Greyhawk: Return to the Classic
People of the Testing
The mystic cabal known as the People of the Testing is a society of elves whose members are scattered across the Flanaess. These elves are loosely bound by the memory of their experiences in the elven otherworld discovered through the Moonarch of Sehanine. The Moonarch appears only while Oerth’s lesser moon, Celene, is in full phase, and the Moonarch is never encountered twice in the same location. Thus far, it has been reported only in the northern region of Celene.
Those elves who pass under the Moonarch must then pass a series of spiritual tests administered by three elven deities. Some elves never return from their journey through the Moonarch, but all those who do are profoundly changed. Some withdraw from the concerns of their previous lives and heed the Calling Away, which many call the Leaving, even though they may have centuries of life remaining to them. These elves immediately travel to the Lendore Isles; what becomes of them is not known. Other elves may become clerics (usually of Sehanine), seers, poets, savants, or outcasts. From among all these come the People of the Testing.
The concerns of the People involve the destiny of all elves and their vision of the true nature of elvenkind. They are said to have special insights into the Mysteries of Faerie, but their practices are by no means as sensual as those of traditional elven participants. They see more deeply than other elves and have secret knowledge of forgotten magic, ancient banes, hidden realms, and lost races. They guard their secrets carefully, and few publicly acknowledge membership in the People of the Testing. The People are present in all levels of society, however, and they use their influence to keep elven interests secure in the Flanaess, no matter what the cost to other races. No hierarchy exists among the People of the Testing, but each has an area of expertise and authority based on the particular trials he or she experienced under the Moonarch. The distinct role of each elf in this rarified community is presumed to provide some vital service to the gods of their race. The elven sage Elraniel Tesmarien (CG male elf Wiz13) is one who openly, if quietly, avows his role among the People. Residing in the city of Greyhawk, he is in contact with others of the People, throughout the Flanaess and beyond.
Seeming largely uninterested in worldly matters, the People of the Testing have few allies or enemies. Yet, some folk accuse them of conspiring against humanity, particularly in light of the expulsion of the nonelf inhabitants of the Lendore Isles. The People are known to have a strong presence in Sunndi, where some fear that the group may have designs to usurp the authority of Olvenking Hazendel. They are poorly received at the Grand Court of Celene; they have influence there, but they are suspected of contriving the death of the royal consort of Celene. The fact that most People of the Testing choose to remain anonymous hinders them from refuting such rumors. Perhaps they are not concerned with the opinions of the uninitiated. The ultimate goals of the People of the Testing remain mysterious, and it seems the only authority they truly respect is their own inner voice.