Ever since they first inhabited Dread Mountain, the Dread Gnomes and the Kin had a fragile relationship. Even though the Kin fed on the strong and thorny Boolong Trees, Dread Gnomes attempted to hunt Kin for their meat and their pelts, which they turned into jackets and fine clothes. However, their arrows did little to the thick skin of adult Kin, and their young were usually too well protected, so to the Kin these attacks were just minor annoyances.
One day, the ooze toad Gellick came to the Dread Gnomes with a proposition. In exchange for their servitude, the toad would let them collect the poison that oozed from his skin. The gnomes dipped their arrows in Gellick's poison and used them to hunt the Kin. The poison was fast-working; a small scratch was enough to kill an adult Kin within minutes.
With this new weapon, the Dread Gnomes massacred the Kin in a mass-hunt. Faced with extinction, the remaining Kin left Dread Mountain and took up permanent residence at their winter home, the Dreaming Spring. Although they escaped the extinction of their race, the remaining Kin could only survive at the Dreaming Spring, not thrive. Without the cones and seeds of the Boolong Trees, they could not reproduce.
Without the Kin to feed off them, the Boolong Trees began to grow like weeds across the mountain. Many of the Dread Gnome's rest stops and pathways had to be abandoned, and soon they rarely left their homes inside the mountain.
As part of their servitude to Gellick, the Dread Gnomes were forced to relinquish all their treasure to the toad and convert huge sections of their mountain into breeding caves for flies Gellick would feed from. They were still allowed to collect his poison, but they only kept a small amount. The rest was placed at the bottom of the mountain every full moon, where it was unknowingly used to create blisters for the Shadow Lord's Grey Guards.