Lords are the leaders and stewards of the Land, also known as Earthfriends. The standards for Lordship are high, so they are generally few in number. In order to become a Lord, a person must master the martial arts and the use and application of magic. These skills are called the Sword and the Staff respectively, and together form the First Ward of Kevin's Lore, an ancient repository of knowledge. A student who masters both parts of the Lore – and does not opt to become Unfettered in order to pursue a private vision – is invited to join the Council of Lords at Revelstone, also known as Lord's Keep. The Lords carry special staffs that allow them to channel their power, and are easily identified by their sky blue robes.
The original Council of Lords was founded by Berek Halfhand, following his defeat of the King of Doriendor Corishev (who had previously governed the Land). Following the Ritual of Desecration the Council lapsed, but was re-established when settlers returned to the Land.
The "New Lords" had only a fraction of the skills and knowledge of their predecessors, being unable to master much of Kevin's Lore. The reason for their failure remained a mystery for many years, but was eventually discovered to be the Oath of Peace which they swore in order not to repeat High Lord Kevin's mistakes.
At some pont following the events of The Power That Preserves the Council of Lords was renamed "The Clave", and the High Lord became the "na-Mhoram". Believing that Lord Foul had truly been defeated the the former Lords became complacent. As the centuries passed they were corrupted by Lord Foul and his ravers, and eventually became the servants of Despite.