About 75 years ago, Jzadirune was struck by a horrible curse which they named The Vanishing. Suddenly, the busy and industrious gnomes began to literally fade away. It was never clear how it started or how to avoid the curse, nor was any cure ever discovered, but once contracted, the Vanishing caused its victim to slowly become insubstantial, incorporeal and just plain see-through. Sometimes the Vanishing would work quickly and other times agonizingly slow. But, the end result was always the same, the victim would eventually just completely disappear, never to be seen again.
After hundreds of gnomes lost their lives to the Vanishing, the current gnomish king, King Beznod IV, ordered the city evacuated. Over the centuries, the gnomes had built tremendously lethal and ingenious defenses for their city and Beznod ordered all of the traps, giant gear doors and other defenses activated. As the last gnome left the city, Beznod himself stayed behind, tears streaming down his royal face as he bid goodbye.
The Moonhowlers may have had an audience with Beznod (perhaps his last). While investigating Jzadirune, the party happened upon the old throne room. A semi-translucent image of an old gnomish king sat upon a high-backed chair, apparently asleep. When the party approached, the image appeared to wake up, mumble a few things and then fade away into nothingness.