For over a thousand years, Harper agents conspired to keep imperialists from expanding, topple tyrants, preserve art and knowledge, and maintain a balance between civilization and the wild. The Spellplague hit the Harpers hard, and in the years that followed, the Netherese exploited that vulnerability to systematically hunt down those who remained, leaving the organization too broken to carry on. Decades later, though, a survivor named Eaerlraun Shadowlyn reclaimed an old Harper base in Everlund called Moongleam Tower and there started an organization called the Harpers of Luruar. They had a more focused mission: to oppose Netheril. Eaerlraun was assassinated by the Shadovar, reinforcing the necessity of the old Harper rule of keeping one’s membership secret.
Since then, a second, similar group has appeared, called the Harpers of Mornskeep. They, too, have a more narrow mission: to preserve the knowledge of the Cerulean Sign, and to employ it to oppose the Abolethic Sovereignty and other aberrations from the Far Realm. There is much speculation about the relationship between the two organizations. Are they simply the first of a new wave of secret societies that will take inspiration from the Harpers of old, and borrow their name for a more focused mission? Or have some of the High Harpers survived, and begun to create a more secretive, structured incarnation of the Harpers to face new threats?
Before the Spellplague, Neverwinter was home to quite a few Harpers, but they are all dead now. The Netherese did hold influence in Neverwinter before the eruption of Mount Hotenow, so it is not impossible that the Harpers of Luruar have agents there. The Harpers of Mornskeep might take an interest in the creatures that crawl up out of the Chasm. But while it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to find Harper agents of either variety in the city, neither is there any compelling reason to think that there are any Harpers there today at all.
…ye only hear of blades drawn and death and spells hurled, and never know of the many, many times that a quiet word or a skillful deal has turned enemies aside from each other, forced a way clear where none was before, or distracted foes from the eager task of tearing each other’s throats out. That is the true Harper way: subtle and quiet, behind the shouting. Trust and wisdom, and outfoxing others is what we deal in.
— Mirt the Moneylender, Harper
Code of the Harpers
Harpers work against villainy and wickedness wherever they find it, but they work ever mindful of the consequences of what they do.
All beings should walk free of fear, with the right to live their lives as they wish.
The rule of law aids peace and fosters freedom, so long as the laws are just and those who enforce them lenient and understanding.
No extreme is good. For freedom to flourish, all must be in balance: the powers of realms, the reaches of the cities and the wilderlands into each other, and the influence of one being over another.
Whatever it takes, a Harper will do. Pride never rules the deeds of a true Harper.
Freedom is a multiversal right, though Harpers can spare themselves less freedom than those they work to protect when the need presents itself.
Harpers police their own. A Harper who hears the call of personal power can no longer hear the sweet song of the harp. A Harper who seizes power, and holds it above all else, is a traitor to the harp. Traitors must die for freedom to live.
Without a past, no being can appreciate what they have, and where they may be going.