This is a fairly new force on Windemere and one that hasn’t really set itself up as a military factor. In The Merchant of Nevra Coil, the champions go to the gnomish capital that has recently been turned into a flying city. This technology has been accompanied by a variety of flying machines that range from bird-like golems, gliders, pedal machines, magic-powered, and whatever else the gnomes could think up.
This is a tough one to discuss because they haven’t done a lot in terms of combat with the machines. For now, gnome fliers are for transport and trade. None of the inventors have been inspired to arm their creations with anything more the shields or lightning wands that are more to ward off attackers. There are no bombs or missiles unless a caster is brought on board. It’s unclear if that will ever happen too. Those of us on Earth would assume that such a thing would eventually come about. Yet, Windemere has one thing that we don’t: The Gods and Goddesses.
First of all, most don’t see a reason to create such things because magic is fairly common in Windemere. Casters are not rare, so it’s easier to hire one with a love of fireballs than invent the atomic bomb. Especially since a caster would be able to destroy the device, transform it, or do something to negate it. For many gnomes, that would be a waste of time and high risk. The gods tend to create heroes to eliminate those that could destroy the world. The creation of such a weapon would certainly cause an uproar. Still, it is fairly unlikely that gnomes would bother since they have magic and there’s a history of devastating spells being sealed. Much more worthwhile to create something less likely to get you in trouble. Besides, their inventions explode enough without tempting fate this much.
Now, here is where things can get a little odd for Windemere. One might wonder if guns will be invented for these machines. Again, it comes to mind because they will become some kind of factor in the sky and most would imagine it leads to violent military encounters. Yet, guns RARELY mix well with fantasy. In a world of swords and sorcery, people tend to make guns the greatest invention of death ever. Personally, I think it gives you an advantage over swordsmen, but only if you hit them, don’t run out of bullets, and know they’re coming. Against casters, you might have a small problem because a truck-sized fireball that can melt platemail tends to end a fight. By the way, it isn’t too hard to believe a fantasy character will get out of the way of a gun during their first encounter with one. Want to know why? Crossbows are trigger-based weapons that are aimed with the intent to kill. A swordsman that isn’t an idiot will get the idea as the device is being lifted and respond with caution or try to attack first while getting their head out of the line of sight.
Where was I? Oh yeah, guns. We’re really getting off topic on this one, but you’ll never see a gun on a gnomish vessel. Why? Because they’re sealed technology. Any time a gnome comes close to rediscovering firearms, they’re distracted and driven to look at something else. It’s a racial curse. The reason is because long, long ago, a gnome did invent guns and a group of bandits nearly took over a kingdom with them. This was during the time that the gods could intervene and they saw a potential problem with these weapons. Yes, it’s strange that they saw issues with guns and not magic. The reasoning is that magic is a part of nature in Windemere and guns were mortal devices. (I swear this is going to cause trouble in the comments.) Anyway, guns were taken away and sealed. The closest things are catapults, crossbows, and gnomish orb launchers. At least . . . in most places.