- The Harpers in Baldur’s Gate 3 are led by High Harper Jaheira and are potential allies or enemies for the player, depending on their choices.
- The Harpers are known for opposing evil and maintaining balance between nature and civilization, and they have a long history in the Forgotten Realms.
- In Baldur’s Gate 2, the Harpers are shown to have a darker side, with extremist members who betray their ideals, but Baldur’s Gate 3 presents them as generally heroic and fighting against the Cult of the Absolute.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Harper organization appears defending the Shadow-Cursed Lands against the forces of Ketheric Thorm. Led by High Harper Jaheira, this group of protectors are potential allies for the player – although they can also become enemies depending on the choices made. The Harpers are one of the Forgotten Realms’ most famous groups, and have a long history prior to Baldur’s Gate 3 – notably their morally ambiguous role in Baldur’s Gate and especially Baldur’s Gate 2.
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Who Are The Harpers?
The Harpers are a group dedicated to opposing evil and maintaining the balance between nature and civilization. They are one of the most well-known groups in the Forgotten Realms, and have appeared in Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, video games, novels, comics, films, and more. Some notable members of the Harpers include:
- Jaheira and Khalid
- Elminster Aumar
- Edgin Darvis (Honor Among Thieves film)
- Remallia Haventree (Rise of Tiamat)
- Hero of Daggerford (Neverwinter Nights)
- Storm Silverhand (Many Forgotten Realms novels)
The Harpers Wished To Raise A Heroic Bhaalspawn
Gorion, a scholar of Candlekeep, retired from the Harpers to raise a child of Bhaal, God of Murder, who was predicted to become a great hero. This was Gorion’s Ward, protagonist of the original Baldur’s Gate games. When Gorion was killed by Sarevok Anchev, he instructed his ward to seek out active Harpers Jaheira and Khalid, who became allies. Several Harper NPCs were scattered throughout the game, and would provide information to Gorion’s Ward if their Reputation was high, but attack them on sight if it dipped too low.
Baldur’s Gate 2 Showed A Darker Side To The Harpers
In Baldur’s Gate 2, the party encounters a branch of the Harpers operating in Athkatla. These Harpers are fairly extremist, and attack and kill Baldur’s Gate party members Xzar and Montaron due to their association with an enemy group, the Zhentarim. Jaheira is later summoned to Athkatla’s Harper Hold, where she learns that Harper leader Galvarey and his followers have abandoned the ideals of the organization and live a life of luxury and violence. Among those who follow Galvarey is Dermin Courtierdale, who once served as Jaheira’s mentor when she trained as a Harper.
Disgusted by what she had learned and hurt by Dermin’s betrayal, Jaheira renounced her membership in the Harper organization. However, if the party’s Reputation was high enough, the mage “Terminsel” – actually Elminster Aumar in disguise – could appear and restore Jaheira to her rank, reaffirming her as a true Harper who represented the organization’s true purpose. Despite this, Jaheira’s epilogue in Baldur’s Gate 2 indicated that she did not return to active duty as a Harper, although she kept the Harper Pin, a symbol of membership and loyalty, that “Terminsel” had given her.
Jaheira Ultimately Returns To The Harpers
By Baldur’s Gate 3, Jaheira is once again a Harper – in fact, a well-respected leader within the group. She is known as “the High Harper” and leads a group seeking to defeat Ketheric Thorm and heal the Shadow-Cursed Lands. Unlike the corrupt Harpers of Baldur’s Gate 2, Baldur’s Gate 3‘s Harpers are generally heroic, fighting alongside the player at Moonrise Towers and potentially against the Netherbrain. The group is shown to be fully devoted to stopping the Cult of the Absolute, although a Baldur’s Gate-based cell is wiped out by Orin the Red’s doppelgangers.
In the new epilogue added in Patch 5 of Baldur’s Gate 3, Jaheira can even offer the player character membership in the Harpers. It seems that the corruption embraced by the Athkatla Harpers has been wiped out, and the group shown in Baldur’s Gate 3 lives up to their heroic legacy once more.
Baldur’s Gate 3
- Baldur’s Gate
- August 3, 2023
- M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence
- How Long To Beat
- 30 Hours
- Split Screen Orientation
- Vertical Only
- Number of Players
- PS Plus Availability
- Local Co-Op Support
- 1-2 Players