26 TREE GNOME VILLAGE. This clearing is home to a small group of tree gnomes. Their small village is built on a wooden platform about forty feet in the air and supported by five very large trees. The platform is not immediately obvious, although it casts a significant shadow on the area below, under which only very small plants live.
The gnomes have three lookouts each posted in the upper branches of Trees G and J, with a commanding view of the surrounding area, while themselves being all but undetectable unless characters declare they are searching the treetops. They are used to hostile monsters and humanoids and will not engage adventuring parties unless noticed and hailed first or unless the characters have rescued a tree gnome and are bringing them home. Treat the tree gnomes as very cautious but not hostile, unless attacked.
6 Tree Gnome Lookouts (AC 7; MV 6”@12”; HD 1; hp 5 each'; #AT 1; D Dagger or short bow; SD Save at 4 levels higher; XP 15 each)
Each lookout will have a dagger, a wooden shield, a short bow, and 20 arrows.
The village platform can be reached by the means of large rope ladders which the tree gnomes will lower for those they deem friendly. The platform and homes of the gnomes are made from the living branches of the trees. The branches are weaved together such a way that the footing is secure and there are no cracks in the floor, walls, or ceilings of the dwellings. The furniture and interior walls are also made of living tree branches. The trees are sentient and many generations ago worked together to build the village for their beloved tree gnomes.
The tree gnomes are wary of the Grounds, as it has become more dangerous without the stabilizing influence of the Triskelion family. They are eager to trade, however, especially for metal items and weapons. If the adventurers make allies of the tree gnomes, this can become a valuable home base for further exploration of the Grounds.