A gnome /ˈnm/ is a diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th century and later adopted by more recent authors including those of modern fantasy literature. Paracelusus considered them one of the most important of the diminutive spirits. Its characteristics have been reinterpreted to suit the needs of various story tellers, but it is typically said to be a small, humanoid creature that lives underground.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnome

"We long to be here for a purpose, even though, despite much self-deception, none is evident."
Carl Sagan
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