A remarkable product of magineering, Nontraditional Intelligence Units - colloquially NIU's (pronounced NEE-yous) - are constructs - most commonly in the shape of a standard demi-Halfling race - that are fully self-aware and are capable of passing a Irontree-Lizaphoun Examination.
Research into the concept of a Nontraditional Intelligence Unity was undertaken by the Gnomeworks in the year 1495 of the Era of Promise as a result of the recently declassified Gw-L59 Project. Over the course of the next 5 years, the project went from drafting through design, prototype and production phases until the first working production unit, designated Gw-L59/927 - later named Alexei Lizaphoun in honor of the project head - completed her first Irontree-Lizaphoun Examination and was declared fully operational.
As one of the newest races of Tinris, the legal status of NIU's remains unclear at this time. Most governments have begun deliberating on the matter, but only the Confed have fully provided a legal status. In Confed territories, NIU's are granted full citizen status and are considered people with all rights and responsibilities thereof. Gnomeform NIU's are eligible for the GCL and may hold public office, though at this time none do. It is expected that similar legislation will be enacted worldwide by the end of 1,524 Promise, though the CSDA seems to deadlock every time a vote is called, and three 'no-confidence' votes have led to the matter being tabled for the remainder of 1,523 Promise.
The common designation NIU is also a matter of some debate, as a number of government officials have rallied to extend the term to mean "any non-demi-Halfling creature that has demonstrated the capacity for self-awareness and rational thought and is capable of passing an Irontree-Lizaphoun Examination."