Harpers Faction

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The Harpers
Common Descriptors: Benevolent, knowledgeable, secretive
Primary Classes: Bards, wizards
Alignments: CG (primary), NG, LG, LN, N, CN
Moongleam Tower (Everlund, the North)
Apprentice Harper: Rank 1. You are an apprentice to a Harper, learning the ropes as you assist them in their missions.

Harper: Rank 3. You are an agent of the Harp, taking missions and tasks to accomplish their aims. You are in contact with a Brightcandle of the faction. You are a long-term agent, tasked with responsibilities that range from long-term assignments to immediate missions.
Senior Harper: Rank 10. You are a senior agent, and given a great deal of autonomy in deciding your missions. You are known to at least one Wise Owl, who may contact you for help with particularly difficult missions, or in emergencies that threaten local cells.
• Master Harper: Rank 25. Your experience is laudable, and your sacrifices well-known to other Harpers. The leadership of the Harpers are drawn from those with this degree of renown.

“Down with tyranny. Fairness and equality for all.”
A scattered network of spellcasters and spies, the Harpers advocate equality and covertly oppose the abuse of power, magical or otherwise.

[edit] Overview

The Harpers are an old organization that has risen, been shattered, and risen again more than once. Its longevity and resilience are the result of its decentralized and secretive nature, and the near-autonomy of its members. The organization consist of cells and lone operatives throughout Faerûn, interacting and sharing information with one another only as needs warrant. The Harpers’ ideology is noble, and members of the order pride themselves on their integrity and incorruptibility. Harpers do not seek power or glory— only fair and equal treatment for all.

[edit] Goals and Philosophy

Harpers gather information across Faerûn, discerning the political dynamics within each region or realm, and promoting fairness and equality by covert means. Members of the order oppose tyranny—as well as any leader, government, or group that grows powerful enough to threaten tyranny. They aid the weak, the poor, and the oppressed while maintaining the order’s legendary secrecy, acting openly only as a last resort.

Harper agents adhere to a strict Code of the Harpers, focusing on a number of tenets as they pursue their goals:

  • One can never have too much information or arcane knowledge.
  • Too much power leads to corruption. In particular, the abuse of magic must be closely monitored.
  • No one should ever be powerless.

[edit] The Harper Code

Becoming a Harper involves taking an oath to uphold the Harper Code to the best of one's ability. This includes:

  • 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.

[edit] Activities

Harper agents are trained to act alone and rely on their own resources. When they get into scrapes, they don’t count on their fellow Harpers to rescue them. Nevertheless, Harpers are dedicated to helping one another in times of need, and friendships between Harpers are nigh unbreakable. Masterful spies and infiltrators, they use various guises and secret identities to form relationships, cultivate their information networks, and manipulate others into doing what needs to be done. Most Harpers prefer to operate in the shadows, though a few members of the order become well known. Quests undertaken by agents of the Harpers might include the following:

  • Secure an artifact that could upset the balance of power in a region.
  • Gather intelligence on a powerful individual or organization.
  • Determine the true intentions of a powerful political figure or spellcaster.

[edit] Faction Ranks

Harper Pins
Wondrous Item, rare (attunement)

Wrought by certain finesmiths and enchanted by Harper magicians, the Harper pin provides a number of benefits to the attuned wearer based on their standing within the Harpers as a faction. Pins manifest power based on their attunement to Harper bearers. An un-attuned pin is referred to as being dormant.

  • Basic Abilities: No renown. Harper pins, even those which are dormant, are themselves immune to divination magics. They never register as magical to spells or spell-like abilities.
  • Renown 1+. The Harper attuned to the pin may, as a bonus action and mere act of will requiring neither speech nor gesture, command the pin to change its shape into another piece of jewelry. It never appears to be worth more than 5gp, although this value can be for a piece that is obviously costume jewelry. If the wearer is in any way targeted by a dispel magic, even if the pin is not the target of that spell, it automatically reverts to its normal harp-and-moon shape.
  • Renown 3+. In addition to the above abilities, the pin functions as a ring of mind shielding, without the soul-retention property of that ring.
  • Renown 4+. Harpers with some experience can learn to invest their pins with a fragment of personality. Instead of causing mind-reading to simply fail (which is suspicious), they can cause the pin to "loop" a set of thoughts of their choice, usually setting a cycle of thoughts appropriate to their current cover story. A pin's thought loop can be reset during a short rest.
  • Renown 5+. The pin is capable of playing a counter-tune when the attuned Harper encounters spells that would charm them, granting the bearer advantage on all saves against such spells and abilities. The pin also drinks in the power behind magic missiles, rendering the bearer immune to them. Either of these effects cause a shapechanged pin to revert to its normal, harp-and-moon shape.
  • Renown 6+. The pin protects the bearer from electrical attacks, granting resistance to lightning damage. This effect causes a shapechanged pin to revert to its normal, harp-and-moon shape.
  • Renown 12+. A shapechanged pin is now immune from reverting to its normal shape by any means.

Harpers in good standing might receive the following benefits:

[edit] Apprentice (Rank 1)

Prerequisite: Harper renown 1+

  • Sponsor: You have a senior Harper who has not only brought you into the Harpers, but helps to train you. The time it takes to learn one of the mentor's proficiencies by the Training downtime activity is reduced in half. Any given mentor usually knows 1d6 languages and 1d6 tool proficiencies. They can also arrange training with other Harpers for proficiencies outside of their own baliwick.
  • Signs at Twilight: All Harpers learn the methods for contacting and getting information to the Harpers. The use of certain songs, signs to look for, identifying phrases - all the techniques that Harpers use to find one another in a cold and dangerous world. Harpers also learn the meaning, placement, and discovery of the specific Harper sigils.
  • Magic Access: Harpers can get access to Common potions and scrolls at the cost it takes to create those items, and have them within 1d4 days.

[edit] Harper (Rank 2)

Prerequisite: Rank 1 and Harper renown 3+

  • Song Training: By the time a Harper has spent some time as part of the organization, training in music is an inevitability. Harpers use music for a great many things - to subtly identify themselves to one another, to pass coded messages back and forth, and even the use of musical metaphor in their interactions. The Harper of this Rank may choose proficiency in a musical instrument or the Performance Skill for singing. A proficient Harper may play music that communicates something to other Harpers who hear it in a coded fashion, as well.
  • Harper's Pin: Fully acknowledged agents of the Harpers receive a Harpers pin magic item (see sidebar).
  • Harper Cell: Harper agents are frequently put into a cell structure, giving them the support of allies without endangering the entire organization should they be compromised.
  • Harper Lore: Harpers gain access to repositories of arcane lore - spells known only to Harpers. These are taught by mentors or provided as spell-scrolls. These spells may be considered to be added to the spell-list of the character.
  • Harper Trainers: Harpers make a point of providing access to training for its newer operatives. This includes tool proficiencies, languages, and Exploits; Harpers of this rank pay only half the normal cost for that training.
  • Magic Access: Harpers can get access to Common potions and scrolls at half the cost it takes to create those items, and have them within one day. They can get access to Uncommon potions and scrolls at the cost it takes to create those items, and have them within 1d6 days.
  • Mentor: Full Harpers can bring others into the Harpers by acting as their sponsors. They are considered entirely responsible for their apprentices until such time as those apprentices are considered full Harpers themselves.

[edit] Senior Harper (Rank 3)

Prerequisite: Rank 2 and Harper renown 10+

  • Continuing Training: Harpers of this degree of experience within the group have continued their training in music, choosing another musical instrument to be proficient in. They may also choose proficiency in a disguise kit, herbalism kit, or poisoner's kit.
  • Harper's Adroitness: By this point, a harper's career has put them into a variety of situations where they needed to talk their way out of things. The characters gains one of the following Skill Feats: Empathic, Diplomat, Menacing, Performer, or Silver-Tongued
  • Harper Intelligence: Harpers of this ranking receive all manner of intelligence regarding their local area. It is given to them to act upon as much or as little as they see fit, but all of it is expected to be passed to their superiors in the organization.
  • Harper Charm: Harpers of a certain rank inherit small magics that they are invested with. On the first day of a solstice or equinox, if a Harper has exhausted their Charm, they automatically gain another.

[edit] Master Harper (Rank 4)

Prerequisite: Rank 3 and Harper renown 25+

  • Harper Charm: Master Harpers may have up to two Harper Charms at a time. On the first day of a solstice or equinox, if a Harper has exhausted their Charms, they automatically gain a replacement for one or both.
  • Blessing of the Dancing Place: Long ago, when certain gods met at the Dancing Place and affirmed their approval of the Harpers, they worked together to craft a boon for those who worked close to Harper ideals. All Master Harpers who are in accord with the Harper Code and have not blasphemed against one of those gods (Deneir, Eldath, Lliira, Mielikki, Milil, Mystra, Oghma, Selûne, Silvanus, and Tymora), they benefit from the Blessing of the Dancing Place. At the end of a long rest, the Master Harper chooses one of these effects to remain active, until such time as they choose to change it.

[edit] High Harper (Rank 5)

Prerequisite: Rank 4, Harper renown 50+, and nomination by another High Harper

  • Blessings of the Dancing Place: Those who embody the highest ideals of the gods of the Dancing Place, who have sacrificed much for the Harpers, and who have the faith of their fellows receive a mighty boon: at all times, High Harpers are considered to have all of the Blessings of the Dancing Place active on them.

[edit] Faction Roles

Not all Harpers do the same tasks. Harpers tend to receive training that fits well with their best talents, aiding their fellows to the best of their respective abilities. Apprentice Harpers are in training to assume one of these roles, generally speaking; Harpers may not choose one of these Roles until they achieve Rank 2.

It is possible to switch Roles, however this takes a number of downtime months of re-training equal to the Harper's current Rank. At the end of that time, they lose the benefits of their previous Role, and gain the benefits of their new one.

[edit] Harpblade

Warriors and tacticians, harpblades are front-line fighters ready to come to the defense of Those Who Harp. Despite the name, anyone who is ready to defend their own - whether they use sword or spell - can operate as a harpblade.

  • Harpblade (Rank 2): xxx
  • Brightcandle (Rank 3): xxx
  • Wise Owl (Rank 4): xxx

[edit] Harpshadow

Spies and sneaks, rogues and shady sorts, harpshadows are well-versed in some aspect of covert operation or criminal enterprise. Harpers often operate outside of the law, and harpshadows are those who facilitate that when necessary. The criminal contacts a Harper develops are often put to the use of the faction as a whole.

  • Harpshadow (Rank 2): xxx
  • Brightcandle (Rank 3): xxx
  • Wise Owl (Rank 4): xxx

[edit] Harpsinger

Often considered the quintessential Harper, harpsingers are social butterflies, adroit and charming. They develop allies, recruit watchers, establish spy networks, and manipulate the enemy into betraying itself. Above all, the song of the Harp is a sweet one.

  • Harpsinger (Rank 2): xxx
  • Brightcandle (Rank 3): xxx
  • Wise Owl (Rank 4): xxx
  • Recruiter

[edit] Harpsage

Harpsages are vital to Harper efforts, for they specialize in the possession of knowledge and its use and dissemination to those Harpers who may benefit from it. Harpsages are often thought of as arcane loremasters or theologans, but they are more than that: keepers of gathered intelligence, crafts-people, scholars of history and the natural world, and even those who specialize in old riddles or songs.

  • Harpsage (Rank 2): xxx
  • Brightcandle (Rank 3): xxx
  • Wise Owl (Rank 4): xxx
  • Recruiter: Rank 3+. Recruiters are those Harpers who add to the Watcher network. They tend to be charismatic and have winning personalities, as they are literally recruiting spies. They are given a stipend with which to pay their Watchers, and are expected to spend at least a week every month managing their Watchers, collecting information from them, recruiting new Watchers, and passing important information on to the local Brightcandle. In exchange, the Harpers cover their lifestyle expenses at a Modest level for free. Recruiters also may add their proficiency bonus when using Watchers to take Report actions.
  • Harpshadow: Rank 3+. Harpshadows are Harper agents who are put in a single place, with an identity created by the Harpers for them, to watch and be ready. They are expected to perform the Work downtime activity at least one week per month. In return, the Harpers cover their lifestyle expenses at a Modest level for free.
  • Harpsinger: Rank 3+. Some Harpers spend their time out among those who are drunk and mixing freely, using a party atmosphere to uncover secrets and acquire information. They are expected to perform the Carousing downtime activity at least one week per month. The Harpers cover the cost of the downtime activity, and return, the Harpers also cover their lifestyle expenses at the Modest level for free.
  • Harpwright: Rank 3+. Harper finesmiths who focus on the creation of magical items for Harper agents and magic item caches. Each time a Wonderwright uses the Crafting an Item downtime activity to work for the Harpers, they are rewarded with either the schema for a magic item of the rarity they spent time creating, or the components necessary to create an item of that rarity. Upon taking this title, the Harper is immediately granted the schema for Harper's pins and one other magic item of Uncommon rarity.
  • Harpsage: Rank 3+. Harper loremasters and sages record and gather information of use to Harper missions. In exchange for performing one week of the Research downtime activity per month, the Harper is then given general access to the libraries used by local Harpers, to perform their own research when they wish.
  • Brightcandle: Rank 10+ Brightcandles are the heads of cells of Harper agents in their area. Each Brightcandle manages a single cell, for whom they are the sole operational superiors. Brightcandles often know other Brightcandles (but not their cells), and are in contact with a Wise Owl. In exchange for two workweeks of activity a month, Brightcandles have their lifestyles covered at the Comfortable level by the Harpers. They also have access to a variety of Harper agents and other resources, such as caches and libraries. Each Brightcandle is also in contact with the local Herald, working together.
  • Wise Owl: Rank 25+ Wise Owls see far and wide, acting as regional coordinators for Harper activities. Wise Owls have a number of Brightcandles assigned under them, and spend a great deal of their time in facilitating their efforts, collating the information they bring in, and then putting it to good use. They are in contact with the council of High Harpers. In exchange for two workweeks of activity per month, Wise Owls are kept at the Comfortable lifestyle level by the Harpers. They also receive a small collection of magic items that help them accomplish their missions.
  • High Harper: Rank 40. A small council of figures whose job it is to run the Harpers, the High Harpers are always powerful individuals. They are kept at the Comfortable lifestyle by the Harpers, but nearly all of their time is taken up by their duties. High Harpers have the whole organization of the Harpers at their disposal, but are required to remain transparent to their fellow High Harpers.

[edit] Important Members

  • x

[edit] Previous Eras

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