The Harpers are a semi-secret organization dedicated to promoting good, preserving history (including art and music of old) and maintaining a balance between civilization and nature by keeping kingdoms small and the destruction of plant life to a minimum. They consider the elven empire of Myth Drannor shortly before its fall to be the pinnacle of civilized history and strive to recreate the world in that image.
Those Who Harp are led by a council of seven High Harpers, who are responsible for most of the group’s long-term plans and goals. High Harpers are elected through the means of secret ballots among the other High Harpers, with the criteria being long time service and extreme discretion in the implementation of their plans.
The Harpers have disbanded three times in history. The most recent group is based only in areas in Luruar.
The Harpers were first founded in 324 DR as the Harpers at Twilight. They became the Harpers in 720 DR, disbanded and then were reformed in 1022 DR The group made their presence felt in the Western Heartlands due to their doings with Baldur’s Gate, though they were also felt in Silverymoon. A schism in the group would form after Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun left the group to form the Moonstars in Waterdeep. The Harpers would then stop the plans of Eldrith the Betrayer and Mordoc SeLanmere and would disband shortly prior to the Spellplague. In the decades leading up to the present (1479 DR), the Harpers enjoyed something of a resurgence in membership with many new agents joining their ranks. In 1479, in Silverymoon, a new group called the Harpers of Luruar would form.
In the time of Mystra’s Return, Storm Silverhand begins to revitalize the Harper organization in Cormyr. She sought out people from all walks of life from smithies, merchants, leather workers, and even those who worked in brothels. Her revitalizing actions were known and tolerated by the War Wizards of Cormyr. The Harpers prevented the assassination of King’s Lord Lothan Durncaskyn who was sheltering Mirt’s lady, Rensharra Ironstave.
Most members are either good/neutral-aligned rangers or bards, though many wizards and druids are also their willing allies. Five prestige classes are tied to the Harpers including the Harper paragon, Harper mage, Harper priest, Harper agent and Master Harper. It should be noted that this wiki considers Harper agent and Harper scout to be the same prestige class in two different versions of the game (3.5 and 3rd, respectively).
The Harpers operate mainly in the North Faerûn, along the Sword Coast, the Western Heartlands and the Dalelands. The group itself is extremely decentralized and the nearest thing they have to a base of operations is Twilight Hall in Berdusk. An often employed means of achieving their goals is assisting adventurers who are on quests that would further Harper interests.
Due to the influence of the Moonstars, the Harpers have a relatively small amount of influence within the City of Splendors. They have roughly 120 members at any time within the city’s walls.
Many gods support the organization of the Harpers. Azuth, Deneir, Eldath, Lliira, Mielikki, Milil, Mystra, Oghma, Selûne, Shaundakul, Shiallia, Silvanus, Tymora and the entire Seldarine all contribute clerics to become members of the Harpers and many of these also lend divine aid to the members of the group on a regular basis. This can cause tensions between individual clerics of different faiths but never between deities or between the society as a whole and deities.
Powerful individuals support the Harpers, but equally powerful forces oppose them. Among these are the likes of the Dark Dagger, the Malaugrym, the Rundeen, the Eldreth Veluuthra, the Twisted Rune, the Knights of the Shield, the Iron Throne, the Cult of the Dragon, the Red Wizards of Thay, the Zhentarim and many of the churches of dark gods, in particular the revived church of Bane. The Harpers also oppose any who would forge an empire through conquest or use the Weave without thought to the consequences.