Eberron: Shadows of the Last War
Zilargo is the gnome nation of Khorvaire.
Zilargo is situated in the south of Khorvaire. It is bordered in the north and west by Breland, in the east by Darguun, and in the south by the Thunder Sea. Geographically its borders are defined by the Howling Peaks in the northwest and the Seawall Mountains in the east. The country is networked by several House Orien roadways, and the Lightning Rail passes along the eastern border with a stop in Zolanberg and terminus at Korranberg.
The Zil are a people that thirst for knowledge. Everything from the smallest bit of gossip to the biggest of state secrets is ambrosia to a gnome of Zilargo. This eagerness for knowledge is at the foundation of a society that is embedded in a web of deceits, deals, manipulations and outright blackmail. For the most part, even the more underhanded of transactions is considered beneath the notice of the government which rules with an extremely light hand. In fact many visitors to Zilargo are astonished at the lack of direct policing; a city watch and the like is generally not in sight. But they would be mistaken to think that they are unobserved and may act criminally with impunity. For the entire nation, and in fact, beyond, where ever gnomish social interests lie, the Trust is there.
The Trust was formed by the Triumvirate, the governing body of Zilargo, to police and protect gnomish interests. The secret, and ultimately the power, of the Trust is that no one knows exactly who is part of it. One’s next door neighbor could be a spy for the Trust. So gnomes tend to abide by the laws that are there, which does not mean that those laws cannot be manipulated.
For most in Zil society, though they may engage in gossip and office politics, their thirst for knowledge is not malevolent. Gnomes tend to careers that can sustain their thirst to learn; many Zil become artificers, historians, librarians, engineers, and craftspeople.