"How far? Ye’ll know ye’ve found Malver’s Way when ye sees the Arch."
Gnomes, fascinated with magic, tried to find a way to safely access it, and instead wound up addicted in the deadliest way.
Thaumatechnology - in a world where straight magic has an unnerving tendency to get the user killed, either by magical catastrophe or by being lynched by an upset mob, this is a much safer form of magical use… Even if it does occasionally explode.
Woodrats - In a fantasy realm of cooshee (elven dogs/cats) it is to be expected that there is some sort of elven vermin. These mercurial rats are lightning quick, and are capable of hiding in plain sight. Other than this, they have no special ability.