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Literature / Gnomesaga

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Gnomesaga is a High Fantasy series written by Kenny Soward and published by Ragnarok Publications. It stars the gnomes in a Dungeons & Dragons-esque world who become involved in an interdimensional war with a number of powerful warlords.

Niksabella the gnome has tinkered in the shadows for years, developing an invention that might change the world, even if she doesn’t know it yet. She has few friends and even fewer allies in the city of Hightower, where social and academic status is quite important. Her brother, Nikselpik, is a cantankerous wizard who drinks too much, sings dirty songs, and makes rude passes at gnomestresses.

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A dark addiction consumes him, a habit called bugging, which gives him increased power and feelings of euphoria while pushing him closer to death. Dark creatures from the ultraworlds have come calling. Niksabella must fight to protect her life and her invention, while Nikselpik engages the enemy as an unlikely guest of Hightower’s military elite. Niksabella and Nikselpik must find their true powers together, or perish apart. Will they heal the wounds of their childhood before it's too late?

     Books in the series 

  • Rough Magic
  • Tinkermage
  • Cogweaver


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This series contains the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Jontuk is this for his people.
  • Abusive Parents: Desmira is a horrible-horrible mother to the twins.
  • Action Girl: Niksabella evolves into one of these.
  • Aerith and Bob: Niksabella, Raulnock, and Lili.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The Prophetess becomes this in Tinkermage once we find out just what lengths she's willing to go to.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Niksabella has developed a perpetual motion machine. Justified in that it really does run on magic.
  • Ape Shall Not Kill Ape: Gnomes do not have a history of internal violence. Other races on the other hand...
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Niksabella in Cogweaver. She becomes a goddess in place of her mother, the Baron, and another ax-crazy monster.
  • Berserk Button: Nikselpik has this with his sister threatening to get his bottom wet. Due to almost drowning him as a child.
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  • Big Bad Wannabe: Raulnock menaces the group but is clearly out of his league.
  • Big Bad: The Baron is the big evil it seems. Later, it becomes clear Desmira is the more dangerous of the two.
    • It becomes a big Big-Bad Ensemble when the various god candidates are assembled.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Baron is dead, Niksabella's mother is destroyed, and the invasion thwarted. Niksabella has sacrificed her life to become a goddess separated from her family forever, however.
  • Broken Ace: Nikselpik is known as the Black Wizard and is a terrifying Necromancer when he's not completely strung out.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Female gnomes are called gnomestresses.
  • The Captain: Stena Wavebreaker is beloved by her men and feared in the skies.
  • The Chosen One: Niksabella is prophecized to save the Stonekin from enslavement. One could not pick a more unlikely candidate.
  • Converting for Love: Nikselpik attempts to do this for Fara. The fact he's a necromancer and she's a priestess of a Lawful Good goddess means it comes crashing down pretty quickly.
  • Cool Airship: Come Tinkermage we find out the gnomes have an entire fleet of these.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Nikselpik is this with Fara. Played with, as he just moves on to another relationship.
  • Evil Is Petty: Raulnock's actions regarding Niksabella go beyond what simple greed can justify.
    • Goes up to the 11 when he decides his defeat at Nikelspik's hands is worth betraying his species.
  • Fantastic Drug: Bugging is more or less Gnome heroin. Except, with bugs.
  • Functional Addict: Nikselpik was this. Subverted when he gets much-much better without drugs.
  • High Fantasy: It takes place on a Dungeons and Dragons-esque world which is one of an entire multiverse of them.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Niksabella lives in her lab, rarely sees sunlight, speaks almost nothing but technical gibberish, and rarely eat but is found extremely attractive by other gnomes.
  • Karmic Death: Nikselpik has a habit of inflicting these as he destroys both Raulnok and his mother after a lifetime of abuse by both.
  • Kick the Dog: Raulnock having Niksabella beaten.
  • Knight Templar: The Prophetess has no restraint in manipulating Niksabella to her own ends.
  • Global Airship: Averted. Gnomish airships have a fairly limited range and mostly stick to established trade routes.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Somewhat similar to Literature/Dragonlance's Tinker Gnomes or Azeroth's, Gnomesaga's gnomes are famous for their inventions but this is not their whole deal.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Prophetess has been doing this to Niksabella her entire life.
  • Mad Scientist: Niksabella is believed by the public to be one of these. They're about half-right.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Desmira constantly attempts to control her daughter through flattery, offers of parenting, and appeals to family despite obviously caring not one bit for them.
  • More Than Mind Control: Raulnok's betrayal of the gnomes is motivated by both possession and the fact he really-really hates Nikselpik.
  • Nay-Theist: Nikselpik finds the idea of worshiping gods rather offensive despite living in a standard D&D fantasy setting.
  • Not So Harmless: Desmira finds this to be the case about her children. BOTH her children.
  • Not Quite Dead: It turns out Niksabella's lover, Termund, survived due to a Contrived Coincidence.
  • Nubile Savage: Nikselpik's opinion of the Swamp Elf women.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Swamp Elves are a bunch of savage tribals the gnomes treat with disdain.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Averted. Orcs are pretty much the same bastards they are in D&D.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Niksabella is worried someone will steal her invention or no one will take us seriously. Then invaders from another dimension attack.
  • Red Baron: Nikselpik is known as the Black Wizard.
  • Religion Is Magic: Clerics heal the sick as in Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Silicon-Based Life: The Stonekin are this.
  • The Sociopath: Desmira has all of these qualities being superficially charming, possessing a complete lack of empathy, and having a narcissistic personality which only cares about herself.
  • Spiritual Successor: Gnomesaga is basically a book made in the style of TSR/WOTC's Dungeons & Dragons fiction from the Nineties.
  • Steampunk: Gnome society is a magical version of this.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Niksabella makes a lot of these as do gnomes in general.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Niksabella used to display this. By sending potentially lethal spells against her brother.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Jotnuk is trying to do this with the mysterious Baron.
  • The Unfavorite: Desmira considers Nikselpik to be this of her two children. Which comes crashing down when Nikselpik kills her.
  • Wham Line: "Oh and I'm also your mother." This after the Prophetess reveals she's a goddess.
  • Wizard Duel: Raulnock and Nikselpik have one.
  • Wrench Wench: Niksabella loves tinkering with machinery more than anything and is described as noticeably attractive to her fellow gnomes despite being something of a shut-in.

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