Glaciers Edge is a new Drizzt novel from R.A. Salvatores

Glaciers Edge is a new Drizzt novel from R.A. Salvatores ...

Drizzt DoUrden, who was once the most popular drow in Dungeons & Dragons, is back in R.A. Salvatores' new novel, Glaciers Edge. It takes place after Starlight Enclave in 2021, and the same time as Catti-brie, Jarlaxle, Artemis Entreri, and Zaknafein meet a new drow society as previously discovered in the Forgotten Realms.

On August 9, the novel began shipping from online retailers and independent bookshops across the United States, including signed copies available at Barnes & Noble.

They entered a wide network of taverns and brothels, some free-standing, others carved into stalagmites, and yet others that were just walls of fabric, barely shielding the movements within.

Dininae knew this area from the days when he was named Dinin, at the time the Secondboy of House DoUrden. He had come here often to play, to gamble, and to do whatever it took to quell the monotony of his existence as the lowest noble in Matron Malices court. At first, he assumed that recent events would bring the situation to a halt, and that the battle with the demon hordes would be overthrown.

The shelves were stocked, and racks of dirty glasses were stacked at the end of every bar.

Which meant that this wasnt a sign of decline. No, this day, this moment, the avenue was strangely empty.

He saw a few patrons and potential customers, some leaning on the bars as if bargaining, and a couple pitching bones in a small alley between two stalagmites that comprised a single tavern. He looked for insignia, and noted from the subtle revelations of their armor and weapons that these were not Menzoberranzan's downtrodden.

Yet he saw no house markings, no emblems, or crests.

And all that made it worse.

Are you at the ready? he whispered to his companion.

Naturlich. You see it, too?

I have six people.

At least eight people.

Dininae replied, "Ah, yes, that's my favorite number."

Voselly told him, "We have friends around." We must only hold our ground for a short time.

Unless they have pals nearby.

Voselly stopped and half-turned, staring down at him. Dininae was about to say something, but suddenly swung forward, bringing her trident across and angled downward with great force, driving aside a sword stabbing for her back. Her attacker was overbalanced and fell forward just enough for Voselly to launch a devastating right cross that crushed into her attacker's face and snapped his head brutally.

Before he hit the ground, he was completely unconscious.

Dininae had watched every move, the sweep, and the amazing way Voselly had lowered her left shoulder back, effectively slapping the right hand with her left shoulder, resulting in such a long and devastating punch.

He silently reminded himself never to enrage this woman, but that was all the time he had to think about anything other than the fight, which now came at him quickly in the form of two young men, or more bluntly, in a closing barrage of four waving and stabbing swords.

Dininaes swords appeared to simply be in his hands, as Zaknafein had taught him, drawing and stabbing in a single movement. The other had not anticipated the sudden attack and caught Dininaes left-hand blade right at the tip of his breastplate.

Dininae would have finished him and nearly decapitated him, except that the other attacker was already countering with a backhand sweep with his blocking blade, forcing Dininae to fall back and turn fast to bring his left-hand blade slashing across to intercept.

He had one enemy out of the fight, stumbling, gagging, and falling off to the side, but another enlisted his assistance and leaped into the gap, forcing Dininae to retreat on his heels, his two swords wreaking havoc.

He promised himself to work for the rhythm.

Litany of Zaknafeins.

Dininae was quite content with himself as he remained firm in his defense, anticipating every attack, parrying, riposting, even, or avoiding with a simple twist. After all of those years as a drider, he was still living up to Voselly's praise.

When he realized something was threatening his head from behind, his shock drained him of that rhythm and confidence.

Reflexively, he just folded his legs under him and fell to his knees, tucking his chin, as well, bracing himself.

The missile, which was actually another enemy drow warrior, went over him, killing two attackers who tried their hardest not to stab their poor flailing companion in the collision.

Dininae sprang up and forward, punching the thrown drow first in the kidney, then fleeing behind him, taking the lead, and defying the two attackers with his left-hand stabs. He swiftly launched the strikes from there, causing the drow to burst out wider.

Dininae turned the drow to the right, the blades rolling now as if to completely overpower the fellow.

Except, no, for Dininae broke almost immediately to return quickly to the left, where that drow was charging, evidently believing that Dininae was fully involved with the other. The attacker came in with an offensive stance, one blade high, the other too far forward.

Dininae jumped over the tip of the drows raised sword easily, and he raised his left arm high, with his blade horizontally.

These were not rogues who lived in rented houses. They wore fine armor.

Dininae fought with Baenre swords, and with the momentum of both fighters bringing them fast together, that fine breastplate barely slowed the thrust of Dininaes right-hand blade.

The drow slowed down suddenly, twisting strangely.

Dininae stepped back, dropping his left shoulder to send his free sword cutting out hard behind him to keep the rest of the pack, while his right foot went up to the impaled drows' chest and pushed off hard, sending Dininae out and into a roll, shoving the mortally-wounded attacker stumbling back and toppling over the first warrior Dininae had dispatched.

Dininae picked up his sword just in time to deflect a handcrossbow feud.

He was surprised when he saw drow flooding into the street, and at first thought an army had fought him and Voselly.

But no, the majority of these were Blaspheme warriors, the other former driders, he realized. He turned to Voselly, who smiled.

Is it that they've been watching us? he asked.

She replied, "I told you we had friends."

Sie claimed that the men were watching us.

The warrior shrugged. Perhaps I wanted to confirm what was given to me, and that I believed to be true.

Is it possible to fight?

Yes, and perhaps you will soon trust me to tell me the truth about Dininae. You did not take part in an academy training.

Another large drow woman stepped up, another of the Blaspheme force who had spent millennia in the Abyss with Lolth and her co-terrorists.

Aleandra, what do you know? Voselly asked.

Your ambushers are fleeing.

Let them go.

She nodded. Yes, I gave the order already. But there is another, a priestess of House Hunzrin. She desires to retrieve these foes who have died, and to tend them so that they will not die.

Why does she care? Are these people the murderers of House Hunzrin?

No.

Then what would you say?

She did not respond, but my guess is House Melarn, of course.

House Hunzrin is attempting to play a mediation role in order to avoid a conflict, according to Voselly. She looked around at the five fallen ambushers, where only one, skewered by Dininae, appeared to be in mortal danger.

Voselly directed her to come and heal that one. And do as she will with him. The others will come back to House Baenre. I would not be overstepping my authority here. Let the Matron Mother Baenre decide their fate.

Aleandra rushed away and began barking orders, while Voselly led Dininae back the way they had come.

As they left, he said, "It was my death." You did not think the disposition of the fallen warrior should be my choice?

No, she answered honestly. I was once the weapon master of the First House of Menzoberranzan. You are a mere shopper, according to you. Why would I care what you wanted?

Dininae paused and allowed her to go a few steps ahead of him, and stood there with hands on her hips until she turned back.

Do you mean to use the same games that determined our mutual destiny in the past? he asked.

Your statements have consequences. When I can trust you, I will respect you.

You believe that I am a superior person?

Because you will no longer be lying to me. Do not misunderstand me, warrior. I am as worried as you about our situation in this struggle, and our future, if we even have one. We are the Blaspheme, so they have chosen. Matron Mother Baenres shock soldiers, her fodder. She will throw us against her foes, no doubt, and will shed no tears when we are torn apart.

Dininae replied, confirming his deepest fear that Lolth would reveal her joke and return us to a state of peril.

I have this thought. I intend to bring the Blaspheme tightly together under my command. Here or back in the Abyss, we stand together or we will suffer torment and actual death only if we are fortunate. However, I like people who tell me the truth. Dininae.

She spit his sobriquet as a result.

He didn't want to join Voselly. He didn't want to join Matron Mother Baenre. And, most of all, he didn't want to be a pawn in the grand plot of the Demon Queen of Spiders.

Despite his achievements, he was a DoUrden, and in this most confusing and dangerous time, he simply couldnt discern how that truth would play out.

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