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    Canonfire :: View topic - What do the People of the Testing want?
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    What do the People of the Testing want?
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
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    From: Canada

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    Sat Dec 17, 2022 5:58 pm  
    What do the People of the Testing want?

    I've been looking through the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer again, and I find it strange how a seemingly good-aligned group dedicated to a seemingly good-aligned goddess (Sehanine Moonbow) and Seldarine are seemingly doing so many dodgy things.

    They supposedly caused the death of Queen Yolande's consort in the Moonarch, they drive all the humans off Lendore Isle and even chase away their fellow elves in the Council of Five that used to rule the northern Spindrifts, and there are rumors they plan to usurp the rule of Olvenking Hazendel in Sunndi!

    What are the People of the Testing's goals, and how do ambiguous actions like these further those goals? The People seem more CN than they do CG, especially since we have no idea what their goals actually are. Their actions also seem to turn not only humans but many of their own fellow elves against them, and they do nothing to correct their PR problems.

    I made up my own explanations on Canonfire as to why the People do what they do, trying to reunite the elven race that was fractured ironically by a lack of foresight from Sehanine Moonbow, but I'd be interested in hearing other peoples' takes on it.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
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    Mon Dec 19, 2022 12:15 am  

    I agree that the actions of the People of the Testing and more particularly the elves on Lendore Isle don't seem to gel with a CG alignment.

    It's worth noting though that according to the 2e FR sourcebook, Demihuman Deities, specialty prests of Sehanine can also be CN and TN and her similarly her worshippers can be CN, TN or even LN.

    The simplest explanation is that we're seeing a CN cult of Sehanine in action. Other explanations could be that it's not Sehanine behind this whole thing in the first place or maybe Sehanine has gone kinda mad or driven to an extreme measure based on a revelation she has divined.

    Although it's implied, I'm not sure the LGG specifically says that the People of the Testing are behind what happened on Lendore Isle. Maybe Anfaren Silverbrow is a charlatan or a member of the People who has taken things too far? Some friction between Anfaren and the People could be interesting.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
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    Mon Dec 19, 2022 9:07 am  
    Re: What do the People of the Testing want?

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    I've been looking through the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer again, and I find it strange how a seemingly good-aligned group dedicated to a seemingly good-aligned goddess (Sehanine Moonbow) and Seldarine are seemingly doing so many dodgy things...


    -Me too:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=5920
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
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    From: France

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    Tue Dec 20, 2022 9:46 am  
    Re: What do the People of the Testing want?

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    I've been looking through the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer again, and I find it strange how a seemingly good-aligned group dedicated to a seemingly good-aligned goddess (Sehanine Moonbow) and Seldarine are seemingly doing so many dodgy things.

    They supposedly caused the death of Queen Yolande's consort in the Moonarch, they drive all the humans off Lendore Isle and even chase away their fellow elves in the Council of Five that used to rule the northern Spindrifts, and there are rumors they plan to usurp the rule of Olvenking Hazendel in Sunndi!

    What are the People of the Testing's goals, and how do ambiguous actions like these further those goals? The People seem more CN than they do CG, especially since we have no idea what their goals actually are. Their actions also seem to turn not only humans but many of their own fellow elves against them, and they do nothing to correct their PR problems.

    I made up my own explanations on Canonfire as to why the People do what they do, trying to reunite the elven race that was fractured ironically by a lack of foresight from Sehanine Moonbow, but I'd be interested in hearing other peoples' takes on it.




    Hello. What is happening on the island of Lendore is very interesting. I am a supporter of the theory of the Great Calamity and the Great Departure. In Dragon 65, two castaways see an old man who claims to be the Archmage Lendore who shows them a floating glass city and a glass ship. The island of Lendore is used mainly by suel people. A warning to all who would invade these islands. I don't know who introduced the idea of a glass portal (LGG? before?).
    ripvanwormer in his history of the elves makes Spindrifts the place of arrival of the Elves. A magic door?
    The People of the Test are in charge of selecting the elves who will go back to where they came from or failing the others. The door ? the city ? the boats ? are in the Spindrifts. It's time to go. The Calamity (the return of Tharizdun?) is coming.
    It is possible that the Scarlet Brotherhood has intruded on the Council. Hence the termination of the agreement with Lendore's successors. And everyone out.
    I've always been surprised how little development this DRAGON article has. It is certainly an illusion that shows what can happen. Not a suel technology but an Elvish one, forgotten and secretly guarded.
    Jacques
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    Wed Dec 21, 2022 12:25 pm  

    I ignore the takeover of the Lendore Isle. "Elves retreating to an island" doesn't interest me.

    Looking at what they've done, why not have the People of the Testing really be following the edicts of a heretofore unknown evil god? Not Lolth, she's overexposed and busy with other evil elves.

    I've been reading Gardner Fox's sword and sorcery novels from the 60s (referenced in Gygax's Appendix N), and part of what happens multiple times is that Kothar (or Kyrik, depending on the series) runs into the incarnation of a demon god that's worshipped in a small area. Perhaps the People of the Testing follow an evil deity/demon lord and are following its will. But they're taking a page from the Scarlet Brotherhood and putting a facade of "Oh we're doing this for mysterious elf-reasons and did you know that we worship Sehanine Moonbow? She's a real peach!".

    Think of these cultists as finding items located in those areas for a particular ritual to establish or perhaps stabilize the deity's power. Then tie it in with other deities. Let's take the Suel since we can look at their interest in Lendore Isle. The deceit? This deity is aligned with Syrul. The murders? The god's trying to get in good with Pyremius.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 22, 2022 8:07 am  

    LarethTheBeautiful wrote:

    ...Perhaps the People of the Testing follow an evil deity/demon lord and are following its will. But they're taking a page from the Scarlet Brotherhood and putting a facade of "Oh we're doing this for mysterious elf-reasons and did you know that we worship Sehanine Moonbow? She's a real peach!"...


    -Perhaps they've been deceived, and sincerely believe that they're following Shanine? Sort of the way that the cold barbarians thought they were following Vatun? Or the way certain demons work (e.g., Fraz Urblu)?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 22, 2022 1:36 pm  

    I <like> CG elves evicting all the humans without compromising their alignment or demonic deceit. What's great about Greyhawk is the threat of wars and conflict between good-aligned groups.

    Possibilities:

    a) the ancestors of current humans agreed to inhabit Lendore Isle provisionally or as long as permitted, and their descendants forgot all about this

    b) the elves know that a horrifying catastrophe will happen to humans on Lendore Isle but for some reason can't reveal this

    c) the elves don't believe in ownership of land and to their mind their religious need trumps human real possession

    etc etc
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
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    From: Verbobonc

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    Sat Dec 24, 2022 8:43 am  

    Simply put, the elves in my mind have declined to renew the lease for the others. As Edmund Scott put it, maybe the other races forgot that this was a temporary (to elves) arrangement, or they inadvertently broke a term of the lease, possibly something quite innocuous such as clearing land they were not allowed to, trespassing in a sacred place, or killing sacred deer or other animals while hunting. It could be any sort of religious taboo you think is appropriate.

    As for what the People of the Testing want, you could keep it inscrutable, an esoteric requirement of elvish mysticism that they need the islands for, and they cannot share, or perhaps it is more earthy, such as they are building some sort of stronghold for a coming cataclysm (centuries in the future perhaps) or maybe they are getting into exploration of the Solnor like the Sea Barons, or they want a location to keep an eye on the Scarlett Brotherhood from...
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 29, 2022 12:01 pm  

    Admission: I don't like Tolkien, so elves going to an island has no special place in my heart.

    I dislike the People of the Testing because a) they are a piece of 90s RPG design that believed scattering the metaplot throughout many RPG books was cool (thanks for that, White Wolf, thanks so much) and b) it destroyed the little community that Len Lakofka set up in the L-series of modules. They are a destructive addition to Greyhawk lore, not a creative one. Moreover, their metaplot never paid off, rendering them even worse. As such, it doesn't belong in my Greyhawk, and that intricate little community that L-series describes remains in place.

    Leaving the Lendore Isles issue aside, the other things the People of the Testing are associated with don't have a Good spin on them. If you're going to say that they're just rumors, fine, but that only leaves the Lendore Isles issue for them.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
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    Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:56 pm  

    Granted; later editions tried to distance themselves from Tolkien, but the inspiration still remains...

    Elves, whom hear the "calling", must resist the urge to pass through a Moonarch of Sehanine Moonbow and join the Seldarine. Perhaps; the elves of the Lendore Isles, seek to establish a Moonarch.

    Hints in some articles, suggest the eventual incorporation of chaimail material. Note; Fey Realm of Fallen Leaves and the Elven Imperium of Ravilia. Hooks about the elves, sailing beyond the horizon, perhaps too reestablish ties with these long lost kin.

    Just a thought...
    GreySage

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Wed Jan 04, 2023 6:56 pm  

    We poor humans are too short lived to ever divine the motives of the Elves, or explain their machinations. Evil Grin
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 05, 2023 10:20 am  

    LarethTheBeautiful wrote:
    Admission: I don't like Tolkien, so elves going to an island has no special place in my heart...


    -The Dragon 65 article was Gygax, or maybe Kuntz, neither of whom were overly beholden to Tolkien.
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