Griven Smartstaff is of the average, 3 foot tall height that most gnomes are, with earthy brown skin and cropped hair the color of a red sunset. His nose is quite long, sticking several inches out from his face, with a wide mouth. Round spectacles sit atop his nose, in front of bright blue eyes that are constantly in motion. His fingers are ink-stained and long. The enormous tome he carries attached to his back by leather straps is almost as large as he is, with various papers and bookmarks protruding and occasionally falling out. He ignores them when they do, knowing it just leaves more room for something else. A small birdcage is attached to the tome by two rods next to his head, and in it sits a yellow canary. He also possesses an enchanted quill and inkwell that float around his head when he uses the activation phrase. They can write hands free as he dictates, but he prefers to record by hand when he isn't on the move.
His tendency to gather information stems from when he was but a wee gnome. The other gnome children would often play tricks on one another, as even adult gnomes tend to do. One of their favorites would be to convince the young Griven that his name was anything other than what it really was. Niverg Ballywog was the last straw in a long list of nonsense names, and so he carried an empty book with which he would record every new name they would give him. Anytime they would throw out names such as Dragonfriend Mahogany or Sir Knight Tuna, he knew they were speaking to him. Somewhere along the line, he decided he never wanted to forget anything ever again.
Obsessively he began writing and sketching his new experiences. A self portrait for every year that would go by, a horned beetle he found in a stump, a colorful flower, all would be studied and sometimes sketched. A diary emerged and Griven began carrying that too, recording anything interesting that would happen throughout the day. Books piled up in his room, and when he moved into a new home they piled up his dwelling. This all lead up to the day a group of adventurers stumbled into the forest village he grew up in and stayed for several days. He knew he had to leave the village for even more fascinating experiences. After endless questions as to what their business was and where they were going, they finally agreed to let the gnome tag along to the next city.
Griven left the party some days afterward to travel alone, but always joined others when they would so much as acknowledge his questions. The dangers of the road and caves the adventurers would frequent brought a love of dangerous experiences. He quickly realized he wasn't one for fighting, but his value was in his knowledge, which the fighters could exploit when faced with new foes while he stayed out from underfoot. When the danger would pass he would immediately begin recording the events. If his services were discovered to be useful, he would often request useful magical items or scrolls.
Unfortunately, books will be filled quickly from use, and they must be put in storage. One such storage item is a pocket bookcase given to Griven by an ailing academic who knew the gnome would get more use from it than him. It is a shrinking bookcase that becomes a normal size for item storage and then can shrink to the palm of a man's hand. Care must be taken not to let any items stored inside to fall out, otherwise they will become of normal size and weight. Griven cannot fit the giant tome on his back within the bookcase, but he cannot bear to see it go.