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The Harpers
Aliases Those Who Harp
Organization Type Secret Society
Leader(s) The High Harpers
Founded 261 DR
Base of Operations Anywhere
Membership Unknown
Allies Lords' Alliance
Enemies The Zhentarim, Cult of the Dragon, Evildoers
Status Active

Harpers

Those Who Harp believe in the power of individuals, the balance between the wilderness and civilization, and the good of humankind and its allied creatures. They preserve the tales of the past so that others may remember its lessons when dealing with the present.

The Harper Code is simply stated but hard to follow: to work against villainy and wickedness, to keep folk free of fear and tyranny, to support law and order, to gain peace wherever laws are just and fairly enforced, and to prevent extremes of power and influence and imbalances of wealth and opportunity.

In following these aims, Harpers do whatever must be done without thought of personal pride or comfort. They police themselves (traitor Harpers must die), are free to rebuke and disagree with other Harpers, aid other Harpers without hesitation or thought of cost (or expectation of payment); and try to record and preserve the past, accumulating written lore for all.

The Harpers usually operate in secret, alone or in small groups traveling throughout the lands. Many members are elves, rangers, or bards. While they lack a main base of operations, Harpers are common in Shadowdale (often sheltered by Elminster or other powerful allies) and are rumored to have many boltholes and safehouses dotted across the realms.

A Harper agent might be an elf Warrior in full plate or a penniless human ranger in leather. Harpers spread knowledge, aid common folk in small ways, thwart the schemes of villains, and manipulate the affairs of civilized races in order to preserve their idea of balance. In addition to these active Harpers, many folk serve as their spies, give them shelter when in trouble, watch for enemies, or report unusual occurrences.

Harpers often secretly aid adventurers and other groups that promote good causes, whether this aid consists of a pointer to a friendly innkeeper in a hostile town, a traveling cleric appearing just when the group is hurt or a surprise attack against a common foe.

One of the strongest concentrations of Harper power is in Shadowdale, where Storm Silverhand makes her home. The Harpers have many allies throughout the Dalelands, including Lord Mourngrym and Elminster, the Sage of Shadowdale. The Harpers stand for many of the same things that the Dalesmen hold dear, and with a few exceptions are welcomed throughout the Dalelands.

Locally, the Harpers oppose the growing evil in the abandoned forests of the Elven Court, while they protect the forests against excessive clearing and settlement. They aid adventuring parties who confront monsters or bandits in the forest. The Harpers also oppose the insidious activities of the Zhentarim by assisting adventurers who challenge Zhentarim-backed brigands, spies, and mercenaries. Harpers tend to be rare and secretive characters, but they operate more openly in the Dales than they do elsewhere. Heroes of good heart will find that Harper aid is not so far away as it is in other lands.