The gnome hefts the giant tome situated on his back and then pushes his round spectacles up his protruding nose. He rubs the tip of his nose, knowing that he should really stop studying with his face so close to the books. The skin would sometimes rub off the tip during long hours of recording and study. Specks were moving on down the road, and he produces a spyglass from a loop on his hip. Through the lens, he spots a group of adventurers. He grins from ear-to-ear and gives a hoot, almost losing his balance due to the weight of the book on his back.
"These fellows look like they have purpose! It's time to find out what they're up to!"
In the dry steppelands, one of their most valuable exports is the dried sap of the Larthorn tree. These ugly plants are covered with vicious thorns, but the locals harvest the golden droplets that ooze from their bark each Autumn. This sap, once dried, is valued for its medicinal properties and as a spice. Since little gold or silver is found in the hinterland, the dried droplets of sap are often used as currency by the locals.