Drizzt DoUrden, the most popular drow from Dungeons & Dragons, is back in R.A. Salvatores' new novel, Glaciers Edge. It picks up where Starlight Enclave left off in 2021. In it, fan-favorite characters Catti-brie, Jarlaxle, Artemis Entreri, and Zaknafein meet a new drow population unlike any previously discovered in the Forgotten Real
The novel began shipping on August 9 from online retailers and independent bookshops throughout the United States, with signed copies available at Barnes & Noble.
They entered a vast lane of taverns and brothels, some free-standing, others carved into stalagmites, and yet others that were nothing more than structure walls that barely protected them from the elements.
Dininae knew the place from the days when he was called Dinin, at that time the Secondboy of House DoUrden. He had come here often to play, gamble, and fight anything to quell the monotony of his existence as the lowest noble in Matron Malices court. At first, he assumed that due to recent events the situation would be worse; the conflict with the demon hordes that had been fought here only a few years previously
The shelves were stocked, and racks of dirty glasses were piled at the end of every bar.
Which meant that this wasnt a sign of depreciation. No, this day, this moment, the avenue was strangely empty.
He saw a few patrons and potential customers, some leaning on the bar counters as if negotiating, and a couple pitching bones in a small alley between two stalagmites that comprised a single tavern. He looked for identification, 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 that only exacerbated the situation.
Are you at the ready? he whispered to his companion.
Evidently, you do too. Do you like it?
I have six people.
At least eight people.
Dininae answered, "Oh yes, my favorite number." From the moment of my birth, I was told.
Voselly told him: "Weve friends around." We need only hold our ground for a short time.
Unless they have companions nearby.
Voselly slammed forward, half-turning, smirking down at him. Dininae was about to shout something when she suddenly spun around, bringing her trident sweeping across and angled downward with great force, driving aside a sword stabbing for her back. Voselly rolled her shoulders and launched a devastating right cross that struck her attacker's face with great force.
Before he struck the ground, he was completely unconscious.
Dininae had seen every movement, the sweep, and the beautiful way Voselly had lowered her left shoulder back, essentially throwing the right hand with her left shoulder, resulting in a long and truly fatal 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 confrontation, which now came at him fast in the form of two young men, or more pointedly, in a closing barrage of four waving and stabbing swords.
Dininaes swords appeared to simply pop out of his hands, just as Zaknafein had taught him, drawing and stabbing in a single move; the other one had not anticipated the sudden threat and caught Dininaes left-hand blade right at the tip of his breastplate.
Dininae would have finished him and almost 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.
One enemy leaped into the gap and pressed forward fiercely, forcing Dininae back on his heels, with his two swords firing furiously to keep the four stabbing blades at bay.
He said quietly, "Work for the rhythm."
Litany of Zaknafeins.
Dininae tried to maintain his ground, anticipating each challenge, deflecting, riposting, even, or avoiding with a simple twist. After all of those years as a drider, he was still living up to the expectations Voselly had just placed on him.
When he sensed something going hard on his head from behind, his shock roiling him from that rhythm and that confidence.
Reflexively, he folded his legs under him and fell to his knees, tucking his chin as well as bracing himself.
The missile, which was actually another enemy drow warrior, went over him, killing both of them, despite their efforts to avoid stabbing their poor flailing companion in the collision.
Dininae rose and went forward, stabbed the thrown drow first, right in the kidney, then flew over him, taking the initiative and retaliating against the two attackers with his left-hand stabs. He swiftly launched the assaults from there, causing the stumbling, off-balance drow to crawl out wider.
Dininae turned completely on the drow to the right, blades rolling now as if to simply overpower the fellow.
Dininae was quick to recover from the left, clearly believing that he was fully involved with the other. The attacker took an offensive stance, the other too far forward.
Dininae escaped the tip of that sharp sword easily, and got his left arm up high, with his blade horizontal, to steal the drows raised sword's snout.
These were not rogues who lived alone. They wore fine armor.
Dininae wielded Baenre swords, and with the force of both fighters bringing them fast together, that fine breastplate barely slowed Dininae's right-hand blade.
The drow sat still, strangely.
Dininae stepped back, dropping his left shoulder to send his free sword cutting out hard behind him to keep his composure from the remaining fighters, while his right foot went up to the impaled drows' chest and pushed off hard, sending Dininae out and into a roll and throwing the mortally-wounded attacker stumbling back and toppling over the first warrior Dininae had dispatched.
Dininae shook his sword up in response to a flicker to the right, just in time to deflect a handcrossbow dispute.
He was surprised to discover drow engulfing the street, and at first assumed an army was against him and Voselly.
The majority of them were Blaspheme warriors, the other former driders, he realized. He turned to Voselly.
Do you believe that they've been watching us?
She responded, "I told you we had friends."
You said they were not 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 wage war?
Yes, and maybe you'll soon trust me to tell me the truth about Dininae. You're not a commoner. You didn't attend the Academy where you were trained by a weapon expert.
She sat as another large drow lady came up, another member of the Blaspheme force that had spent millennia in the Abyss with Lolth and her other torturers.
Aleandra, what do you know? Voselly asked.
Your ambushers are fleeing.
Let them go.
She nodded. I've already given the order. However, there is another, a priestess of House Hunzrin. She wishes to retrieve these fallen foes, to tend them so that they will not perish.
Why does she care? Are these people the murderers of House Hunzrin?
Then why is this so?
She did not respond, but my guess is House Melarn.
House Hunzrin is attempting to play a mediator role in order to avoid a conflict, according to Voselly. She looked around at the five fallen ambushers, only one, skewered by Dininae, appeared to be in mortal danger.
Voselly has decided to have her come and heal that one. She will do as she please. The others will return to House Baenre. I would not overstep my authority here. Let the Matron Mother Quenthel Baenre decide their fate.
Aleandra rushed away and began barking orders, while Voselly led Dininae back to where they had come.
As they departed, he said, "It was my killing." You did not think that the disposition of the fallen warrior should be my choice?
I was once the weapon master of the First House of Menzoberranzan. You are only a commoner, so you insist. Why would I care what you wanted?
Dininae paused and let her move a few steps ahead of him, and sat there with hands on her hips until she turned back.
Do you want to be able to participate in the same games that decided our fates in the past? he asked.
Your words have consequences. When I can trust you, I will respect you.
You would say I am a noble man because of that.
Because you will no longer be lying to me. Do not misunderstand me, warrior. I am equally concerned about our disposition in this conflict and our future, if we even have one. We are the Blaspheme, so they have decided. Matron Mother Baenres shock soldiers, her fodder. She will throw us against her enemies, no doubt, and will shed no tears when we are torn apart.
Dininae said he fears that Lolth will reveal her joke and return us to a state of peril.
It has crossed my mind. That's why I intend to hold the Blaspheme tightly together under my command. If we are lucky, we may stand together here or back in the Abyss. But I like people who tell me the truth. Dininae.
She spit his sobriquet in a pinch.
He didn't want to cross Voselly. He didn't want to cross Matron Mother Baenre. And, most importantly, he didn't want to be a pawn in the gigantic plot of the Demon Queen of Spiders.
But in the end, he was a DoUrden, Elderboy Dinin DoUrden, and in this most confusing and dangerous time, he simply couldnt discern how this truth would play out.
Prices at the time of publication.