Qerimism was started by a gnome named Qerim. However, this was not his original name, which has since been lost to time. This is a title, meaning "enlightened one", or "understanding". Qerim was from Ynmish Isles, as are all gnomes originally, and began his journey at a young age for gnomes, 35. He would travel across the lands spreading his teachings to any gnome that would listen. Then, over the next 200 years, without much prompting, gnome society would simply evolve into what it is today, which mirrored his teachings.
Gnome society changes a great deal, almost as much as human's. Additionally, gnomes readily adopt and adapt to newer and better ways of doing things. They are not mired in tradition like their dwarven cousins. All of the teachings that Qerim preached all seemed to make sense, and he proposed more effective ways of doing things. Qerim also, supposedly had many epiphanies of on how gnomes think and live and was able to come up with the activities that many gnomes still use today. And in fact, as gnomes will tell you, these propositions were so insightful into how gnomes work, that this is why they still practice them.
Creed & BeliefsEdit
Quite possibly the most prone to atheism, gnomes often lean towards a level of skepticism even towards their own religion, and especially towards the beings referred to as the Guardians. A handful of gnome clerics believe the Guardians are actually just figurative expressions of gnome society or in the very most actual historical figures romanticized over time. However all gnomish clerics will admit to the importance of the aspects of society they represent. Within Qerimism, there are several tenets that Qerimism adherents should follow, however, unlike in other religions, these tenets are used as guidance for gnomes to live good lives, not requirements to appease the gods, which most gnomes hold an apathetic attitude towards anyway.
A crucial part of Qerimism are the virtues of humility, light-heartedness, and a respect for all things. Just as the gnomes themselves, the religion itself has proven very maleable, and it has changed a great deal over the years. Additionally, since it is not a written religion, that is it has no written holy texts of any kind (not officially), it completely based on memory and thus changes slightly after more and more people put their own spin on it.
The only thing that has remained relatively unchanging are the Guardians. These beings and the aspects of gnome society they represent have gone unchanged over centuries of retelling their tales, which in itself is a something all gnomes enjoy.
There is a great deal of debate in regards to what exactly the Guardians were, what they still are, and what they do. Some gnomes see them as figurative teaching mechanisms for young gnomes to give a face to a lesson; while other gnomes believe that the Guardians are alive and well and are currently active in our lives. The following is a list of the currently most widely accepted Guardians:
- Garl Glittergold, greater deity of intelligence, luck, and wealth, chief deity of the gnome pantheon (god)
- Gaerdal Ironhand, intermediate deity of vigilance, combat, martial defense (god)
- Segojan Earthcaller, intermediate deity of illusion and gnome wizards (goddess)
- Baravar Cloakshadow, lesser deity of deception, trickery, thieves, and shadow magic (god)
- Flandal Steelskin, lesser deity of smithing, metalworking, and mining (god)
- Baervan Wildwanderer, lesser deity of travelers and woodlands (goddess)
Clergy & TemplesEdit
As far as the clergy of Qerimism, most gnomish clerics and the very few gnomish paladins travel, teaching lessons when they are asked or prompted, and spreading good will through their actions and deeds. In fact, even the most strict adherent of Qerimism is no more serious about their faith than the average, non-clergy elf. Additionally, because of this, most gnomes do not build temples, which is similar to the practices of their closest neighbor, the Ynmish humans. There are many small shrines that can be found in the center of gnomish communities, but these are usually no more than a group of runestones with symbols of the Guardians. There are some shrines that sport small statues of the Guardians, but these are rare, and Gnomes rarely ever spend the resources needed to craft full-fledged temples. Most gnomes also have some small shrine in their own homes dedicated to their own ancestors, like in dwarven homes.