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 Where do the Harpers get their Funding?
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9897 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2020 :  15:19:06  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

Back to the original topic about funding, I concur the lion's share of funding comes through members' contributions, whether from commercial enterprises or outright donations. The Harpers are definitely not some standing army, so members have to be self-sufficient to some extent.



There are likely a fair number of businesses and such owned by retired Harpers or Harper allies, to help with the funding.

One of the things suggested earlier was Harpers taking over enterprises run by bad guys, just to exploit them as a funding source -- allowing whatever the bad guys were doing to keep happening. While I very strongly disagree with this idea, I'm sure that more than a few businesses once owned/operated by various bad guys wound up in Harper hands once those bad guys were discovered and dealt with. Not, as stated earlier, to let the operation continue whilst milking it dry -- instead, being more of a corporate takeover, where the legitimate business continues as before, and the unseen activities are either stopped or entirely re directed.So a business that ran as a front for slavers would continue its legitimate operations, but the slave operations would end. It might become a stop on an underground railroad, or it might just become a legit business and nothing else.



Just to throw out there, they might also keep those businesses running, in hopes of "catching a bigger fish". We see this in a lot of cop movies where they allow low level illegal businesses to function, sometimes even aiding these operations, in order to catch the people above them. Not sure how often it might occur or how profitable it might be, but its definitely a possibility. That being said, I see this MORE as something that Khelben's Moonstars would do, and a discussion around this kind of thing might be a good way to differentiate the two groups better.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 25 Nov 2020 15:45:08
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2020 :  15:57:27  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

Back to the original topic about funding, I concur the lion's share of funding comes through members' contributions, whether from commercial enterprises or outright donations. The Harpers are definitely not some standing army, so members have to be self-sufficient to some extent.



There are likely a fair number of businesses and such owned by retired Harpers or Harper allies, to help with the funding.

One of the things suggested earlier was Harpers taking over enterprises run by bad guys, just to exploit them as a funding source -- allowing whatever the bad guys were doing to keep happening. While I very strongly disagree with this idea, I'm sure that more than a few businesses once owned/operated by various bad guys wound up in Harper hands once those bad guys were discovered and dealt with. Not, as stated earlier, to let the operation continue whilst milking it dry -- instead, being more of a corporate takeover, where the legitimate business continues as before, and the unseen activities are either stopped or entirely re directed.So a business that ran as a front for slavers would continue its legitimate operations, but the slave operations would end. It might become a stop on an underground railroad, or it might just become a legit business and nothing else.



Just to throw out there, they might also keep those businesses running, in hopes of "catching a bigger fish". We see this in a lot of cop movies where they allow low level illegal businesses to function, sometimes even aiding these operations, in order to catch the people above them. Not sure how often it might occur or how profitable it might be, but its definitely a possibility. That being said, I see this MORE as something that Khelben's Moonstars would do, and a discussion around this kind of thing might be a good way to differentiate the two groups better.



There are several references of Harpers infiltrating thieves' guilds before they take them out so this may be a standard practice. Within reason since I could see the Harpers interfering with assassinations right off the bat.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7356 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2020 :  06:28:13  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must comment that I'm a little amused by this scroll.

When I first offered my anti-Harper criticisms one decade ago they were met with polite silence and dismissal. The deeds and legends (and methods) of the Harpers were nigh-unassailable.

Now, after the passage of years, the scribes of Candlekeep seem eager to embrace notions of unwelcome and unsavoury Harper activities. Willing to see the tarnished dirt layered upon (and under) the surface of the Harpers' silvered reputation.

[/Ayrik]
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3191 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2020 :  07:09:38  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been wanting to run a Zhent/Cult of The Dragon/other group of nasty bad's has been secretly infiltrating the Harpers for years, to bring them down from the inside plot. Kinda like Hydra and Shield in the MCU.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep

Edited by - Brimstone on 26 Nov 2020 07:10:14
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2020 :  08:26:53  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Ayrik,

Well, if I had been on here when you made that initial post, I would have been all over it. However, I joined in 2013.

To be clear, I think the Harper's are compelling as an organization. They are, however, even more interesting with all of the stuff that's been discussed herein because it suspends disbelief, at least for me. :)

It even possibly sets up a great redemption story. ;)

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
475 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2020 :  13:13:23  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Do not be too surprised if the Harper's reputation with Faerun's citizens was never so sterling in the first place. After all, Toril is not Earth, and its people have a different daily experience with Harpers...and one that is often far more personal and direct.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I must comment that I'm a little amused by this scroll.

When I first offered my anti-Harper criticisms one decade ago they were met with polite silence and dismissal. The deeds and legends (and methods) of the Harpers were nigh-unassailable.

Now, after the passage of years, the scribes of Candlekeep seem eager to embrace notions of unwelcome and unsavoury Harper activities. Willing to see the tarnished dirt layered upon (and under) the surface of the Harpers' silvered reputation.

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

770 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2020 :  13:40:35  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I must comment that I'm a little amused by this scroll.

When I first offered my anti-Harper criticisms one decade ago they were met with polite silence and dismissal. The deeds and legends (and methods) of the Harpers were nigh-unassailable.

Now, after the passage of years, the scribes of Candlekeep seem eager to embrace notions of unwelcome and unsavoury Harper activities. Willing to see the tarnished dirt layered upon (and under) the surface of the Harpers' silvered reputation.



Didn't check the dates of the original discussion but for me, looking at it from the Lands of Intrigue, the Harpers are just a good-ish spy network, with bigger backers than most other cloak societies. Actually all the backing that they have most of the times lessens their achivements if compared with those of other clandestine or semi-clandestine groups.

The novel The Alabaster Staff, if I remember correctly, has a very realistic portrayal of what an hardcore Harper Agent might look like to someone that's not been steeped in the Harpers propaganda of the North and the Dalelands.

I think it's quite logic to call into question some of their methods but always keep in mind that at the end of the day, the best way to stop the big bad evil from destroying the town/nation/world is to stab it until it stops moving (and then some more). And that's what Harpers do, which makes them clearly do-gooders in my book. Clandestine, disagreeable, smug, entitled and with questionable practices from time to time, but do-gooders nonetheless.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6066 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2020 :  00:27:26  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Erin Evans portrays the intricacies of the Harper network really well in her Brimstone Angels novels.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2020 :  08:09:36  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Senior Scribe Delnyn,

Great point regarding the difference in cultures and attitudes towards the Harper's. I can see some places dealing ok with the subterfuge, etc., and other places being extremely frustrated with it. For example, in Cormyr, I can imagine that the Wyvernspur family likely had some pretty harsh things to say once they found out what happened to Finder, which was way over the top.

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3468 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2020 :  23:37:42  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I must comment that I'm a little amused by this scroll.

When I first offered my anti-Harper criticisms one decade ago they were met with polite silence and dismissal. The deeds and legends (and methods) of the Harpers were nigh-unassailable.

Now, after the passage of years, the scribes of Candlekeep seem eager to embrace notions of unwelcome and unsavoury Harper activities. Willing to see the tarnished dirt layered upon (and under) the surface of the Harpers' silvered reputation.


-It's been a crazy ten years. A global recessions, worldwide revolution, a pandemic now, and we're all sick of the bullshit.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2020 :  05:33:39  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Karsus and Great Reader Ayrik,

Isn't that the truth.

I think the other issue though that makes points of interest such as what I've brought up with ethics in roleplay, is that gaming has really been put under the microscope in so many ways over the last (10) years. In a variety of ways. I just started looking at things with the array of issues coming up and decided the time was right to strike by putting out my thoughts. Some have liked it, some have not, but either way it is very interesting having the debates, discussions, etc.

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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