The terrible secret of the cannibal gnomes

A colleague of mine, who is aware of my incorrigible dorkery, sent me a link to Fagan Arms, an interesting arms and antiques dealer.  One item they have for sale is this Fijian helmet:

“Made with a split cane frame with bundled cane front bar, covered with pounded mulberry bark secured within by additional split cane braces.  The top with a twisted plant fiber cord for suspension of a charm.  Complete as made and some storage dust to the surface only.  In Fiji, human flesh was considered a delicacy and inhabitants were in constant danger of capture by another tribe.  Clunie reports of hunting expeditions returning with women and children strung from the rigging of the warrior’s canoe.  No warrior ever left his home without his throwing club and a helmet such as this which protected against a blow from the club. “–dealer’s description at Fagan Arms

So, how does this relate to my headline?

Well, the pounded bark covering looks a lot like felt, and I imagine that the padding provided by the bark is part of the protection offered, in addition to the wooden frame.  Lately, I’ve been reading the “Gnomes” book (the English translation of of the Dutch book with the sinister title Leven en Werken van de Kabouter, by Wil Huygen and Rien Portvliet) to my daughter at night.  She loves the intricate drawings of their tiny houses and escapades, especially the pages about their medicinal herbs, because there ia a picture of a gnome with flatulence and a mouse holding its nose!

Anyway, the book explains that gnome caps are actually solid felt:

Now the authors try to explain this away as a defense against falling acorns and possibly predatory animals.  Maybe.

But consider:

Gnomes are increasingly rare.

Gnomes are secretive.

Gnomes are considered a delicacy by other fairy folk like trolls and snotgurgles.

And gnome babies are less common now than they were long ago:

In case you were born in the last twenty years and so can’t read cursive, the text says

“Long ago — more than 1,000 years — families were much larger, sometimes 10 or 12 children. Due to a certain intervention, about which gnomes decline to speak, this is no longer the case.”

The truth is obvious for anyone with the courage to face it.  Gnomes are cannibals.  Baby-eating cannibals!

Gnome stew image taken from the Gnome Stew blog, a really good source of ideas for DMing and refereeing games.

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Published in: on February 7, 2010 at 2:38 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I knew that something wasn’t right about those shifty bastards!

  2. Leave it to you to ruin the Gnomes’ spotless reputation. You really are a dork, and a cruel one at that….baby eating cannibals….it’s BIRTH CONTROL- that’s what they are NOT talking about. Because they are POLITE. Unlike you. Sheesh. Do I have to teach you EVERYTHING?

  3. […] In case you wondered, gnomes really are cannibals. […]

  4. […] of AD&D 2e and Dragonlance. I’d rather have gnomes be like the gnomes in the famous (infamous?) book by Huyget & […]

  5. “I wanted to play a Whisper Gnome but had a twisted idea to make him a cannibal but wanted some race that were actually cannibals. WIN, WIN, thanks

  6. Hi together. The threat is funny. Me also i had to laugh. I like to see an cannibal with this fine red dwarf cap :). But it is in real, that many tribes described hats, caps and other things from cotton or wool as “Armour”-And in many cases they are really working, because they are worked as so called “padded armor”. This means that some layers of material are worked together. So from this they give a real support against club blows, arrows ans some other attacks. These type of armor you will find at China, Argentina ore at the oceanic tribes. Others have noi real protection but the users say that this things have magic powers. See also some shields of the American Indians or weapons and armor from Indonesia or Oceania. Check here:

    http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=15312

    http://www.crafterbynight.com/2007/11/07/quilting/

    Greetings LH
    (weapons and armor historian and writer in arms and armor)


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