The Dry Season
Gnomish government is a complicated matter; individual communities make their own rules by majority vote, though the communities that share an island will typically have very similar basic rules created by a seasonal council. These councils are also democratic, and usually attended by the majority of each community – some are left behind as guards or to tend to vital tasks, but they will usually delegate their votes to a family member or trusted friend.
This serves well in day-to-day or even season-to-season matters, but makes for extremely disorganized responses to crises or to events involving the more centralized Celestial Kingdom or elven republics. This has resulted in the formation of several inter-island organizations, chiefly the Nightbreakers and the Stone Sentinels. Attempts to form an inter-island equivalent of the seasonal councils have been unsuccessful, due to both logistics, and a general feeling that gnomish solidarity is quite solid enough as is.
The Nightbreakers are the closest thing to an organized Gnomish navy, forming patrols between the widely separated Gnomish islands and outposts, whose ships are crewed by volunteers from communities across all islands – though if volunteers are short, each island council will levy community militia to join the group and fill the gaps.
The Stone Sentinels, so named for their use of illusion to disguise themselves as rocks – particularly effective on the small and generally quite arid Gnomish islands – are groups of gnome mages tasked with defending the islands against daytime surprise attacks, since even the bravest invasion force would view a night assault on gnome territory as suicidal.