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 lead 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.
- 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.
What it is to be a Harper
Mirt the Moneylender explaining the Harper's purpose to Shandril in Crown of Fire:
"Right, then, good Lady Shandril, I shall try to tell thee something of what it is to be a Harper."
"A Harper holds peaceful sharing of the lands above all other goals."
"By sharing, we mean all the races living in and under the land, where each prefers to live, trading together where desire and need stir them to, and respecting each other's holds and ways—without the daily bloodletting that all too often holds sway in the Realms today."
"True, we must fight, it seems often enough to keep our swords and our tempers both sharp enough. Yet, know ye; all of us fight when we must, or die. Moroever, 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."