I like both of your Gnomes.The first type are the most scary.Do they just prey on the dead and dying or do they use their magic to attack the living? If their *nest* is disturbed do they come out en masse with nasty spells and poisoned weapons? Also, can humans talk to them and pay them to spy for them or divulge knowlege or do they hate humans totally?If they hate humans so much,why? Are they just evil or were they wronged by the humans a long time ago?
The second type of Gnome is much less scary but I still enjoyed it.Do any shops open at night for them,or do they never spend their treasure?
I picture the Cantuah as scavengers that dare not, probably could not, attack even a human child. The swat of the arm of a dying warrior would be like the falling of a giant rock for them. They prey on the dead and dying because of their weakness and their potential for food, housing and knowledge.
When infected with Cantuah, a host corpse would appear bloated, filled with discoloured bulges, and open wounds. It would seem sickened and even the flies would stay away from it. If for some reason the corpse should be attacked (burned for instance), the Cantuah would employ magics to escape. Perhaps they would seem like rats or slithering worms fleeing from within the wounds. Probably a lot of Cantuah would die if attacked by a human.
The Cantuah can be summoned by sorcerors or they can be spied upon. They appear at bedrooms during night, binding the hair of their victims in the "Ritual of the Dream". This ritual instills nightmares within the victim, which in turn gives the Cantuah great pleasure. They feed on the bad emotions of others and nightmares are a special treat, some might even say that it arouses them sexually. Sometimes this proves fatal, as an overly eager young Cantuah dissects the skin of their dream host, causing him to awaken. Surrounded by dozens of tiny, bent creatures whispering and chanting, drinking deep of his blood, the host would probably slay them all. Upon death they dissolve and the host would believe it a bad dream, yet his wound would remain and his hair would be tied into knots.
They do not hate humans, they are fey spirits, the harvesters of bad dreams (for their pleasure) and keepers of forbidden lore (gained through tormenting the dying spirit or through secrets whispered during a bad dream). They treasure tormenting a cat equally much, and consider the secrets of a cat of equal worth as those of a human. Whether they gain knowledge about a particular good location for catching mice or the secrets of "the ancient VÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â»ldrahn manuscript" might be the same for them. They hoard secrets for the sake of keeping, not for the learning. They are depicted as hateful and malicious by sages because that is the way they appear to humans (just like wolves have been depicted that way in millennia).
As for the Shinoblin: I would think that their curse is due to the fact that they cannot and will not share their wealth, but rather chose to obtain it by whatever means possible. Their treasure would be their last remaining love, the very reason for their curse, which they know, and yet they cannot stand the thought of parting with it. They are pathetic whiners and nighttime murderers, killing and eating a victim for a few copper coins.
So we're coming up with a mythical-ish race? Well, here you go... Nobody could play one of these...
Ugghim are tiny, gnarled old beings who are born ancient and die when they are young. Each Ugghim has one huge ear. The corresponding eye is also huge. They use these giant senses to lean against doors and walls, eavesdropping and collecting thousands and thousands of secrets, which they love. Ugghim live underground, sucking water from roots and eating spiders, and only come out at night to eavesdrop and collect secrets. They never come out during the day, for the light of the sun causes them to shrivel away.
The king of the Ugghim is called Hegghu. Hegghu has been ancient for 9,000 years and is now getting young- he is expected be followed on the throne by his cousin, Pughugh. Hegghu has spent so much time listening to secrets that all the left side of his body has shriveled away, while his right ear and eye have become gigantic.
I like them. Nobody can play them, but a GM could surely use them in strange plots. Dreamscape plots, magic component gathering quests and information hunting are such scenarios.
Gobbs are elemential spirits that can pass through all uncarved stone and uncut wood, and can walk through such material like we walk through the air. They are about a foot high and coal-black in colour and carry short knives,and also have an imnate magic,so that they can throw small rocks at those they dislike. They drink water normally, and alcohol when they can get it,but shun strong drugs. They feed upon magic, and upon gold and jewels in the earth.
They have been known to decend in large numbers upon mines and devour the jewels and the gold, and each can eat up to a third of it's body weight a day,so they are a dangerous pest,striking out and then vanishing into the rock.They can go without feeding for months, but that makes them very hungry.
A nasty habit of theirs is to invade the trees of dryads en masse, kill the dryad and suck her magic from her with their fangs.They also attack wizards to take their magic.Other bloodsuckers only take blood, these drain a wizard's magical powers and damage his memory.
These elemental spirits could be a scourge upon the land that they infest. A major hazard to mine owners and sylvan creatures alike. Mages would hunt them for their essence and soul, surely for use in some strange concoction or magic item.