Drizzt DoUrden, the most beloved drow in Dungeons & Dragons, is back in R.A. Salvatore's latest novel. Glaciers Edge is the second book in the Way of the Drow series, and it picks up where Starlight Enclave left off in 2021. In it, fan-favorite characters Catti-brie, Jarlaxle, Artemis Entreri, and Zaknafein discover a
The novel began shipping on August 9, from online retailers and independent bookshops throughout the United States, with signed copies available at Barnes & Noble.
Some of the taverns and brothels were free-standing, others were carved into stalagmites, and many others were nothing more than fabric walls that barely protected the movements within.
Dininae was familiar with the Braeryn since he was known as Dinin, who was then the Secondboy of House DoUrden. He had come here often to play, to gamble, and to fight anything to quell the monotony of his existence as the lowest noble in Matron Malices court. At first, he thought that due to recent events the coming to the surface, the brewing troubles, and the war with the demon hordes that had been fought here only a few years
The shelves were well-stocked, and racks of dirty glasses were stacked at the end of every bar.
Which meant that this was not a sign of decline. No, this day, this moment, the avenue was strangely empty.
He noticed a few patrons and potential customers, some leaning on the bar counters as if signing a contract, and a couple pitching bones in a small alley between two stalagmites that made up a single tavern. He looked for insignia, and observed from the subtle revelations of their armor and weapons that they were not Menzoberranzans.
Despite the fact that he could not see any house markings, emblems, or crests, he saw no houses.
And that only exacerbated the situation.
Is your vehicle at the ready? he whispered to his companion.
I have six people on my list.
At least eight people.
Dininae replied: Ah yes, my favorite number. From the moment I was born, I was told.
Voselly assured him that you have friends in your life. We may only need to hold our ground for a brief time.
Unless they have pals nearby.
Voselly scurried off and half-turned, staring down at her. Dininae was about to say something, when she suddenly spun about, bringing her trident sweeping across her shoulders and angled downward with great force, causing her to suffer a sword stabbing for her back. Voselly overbalanced and launched a devastating right cross that crushed into her attacker's face and snapped his head viciously.
Before he fell to the ground, he was completely unconscious.
Dininae had watched every movement, the sweep, and the wonderful way Voselly had dropped her left shoulder back, basically throwing the right hand with her left shoulder, resulting in such a long and devastating punch.
He silently reminded himself never to enrage this lady, but that was all the time he had to think about anything other than the fight, which now came at him swiftly in the form of a pair of young men, or more pointedly, in a closing barrage of four waving and stabbing swords.
Dininaes swords appeared to just take his hands, just as Zaknafein had taught him, drawing and stabbing in a single movement. The other one had not anticipated the sudden strike 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.
He had one off the battlefield for the time being, stumbling and gagging and falling off the face, but another adversary leaped into the gaps and pressed forward fiercely, shoving Dininae back on his heels, his two swords firing viciously to keep the four stabbing blades at bay.
He urged himself to work for the rhythm.
Litany of Zaknafeins.
Dininae was quite happy with himself as he held his ground, anticipating every attack, parrying, riposting, even, or avoiding with a simple twist. After all of that time as a drider, he was still living up to Voselly's training.
When he sensed something going hard for his head from behind, his shock disintegrated him from that rhythm and his confidence.
Reflexively, he just folded his legs under him and fell to his knees, tucking his chin, as well as bracing himself.
But the missile which was actually another enemy drow warrior went over him, killing both of the attackers, who tried their hardest not to shoot their poor flailing companion in the collision.
Dininae leapt up and forward, stabbing the thrown drow first, right in the kidney, then fleeing over him, taking the lead, undoing the two attackers with his left-hand stabs, then launching the assaults from there.
Dininae turned completely on the drow to the right, blades rolling now as if to simply overpower the fellow.
Dininae fell out of position almost immediately, reverting 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 too far forward.
Dininae climbed over the edge of the drows raised sword with his left hand up high, with his blade horizontal.
These were not rogues living in a house. They wore excellent armor.
Dininae wrested Baenre swords, and with both fighters' advances bringing them fast together, that fine breastplate hardly slowed the thrust of Dininae's right-hand blade.
The drow slowed down suddenly, causing him to shiver.
Dininae stepped back, dropping his left shoulder to send his free sword cutting out hard behind him to keep the remaining fighters away, while his right foot swung up to the impaled drows' chest and pushed off hard, sending Dininae out and into a roll, throwing the mortally-wounded attacker stumbling back and toppling over the first warrior Dininae had dispatched.
Dininae snapped his sword up just in time to deflect a handcrossbow feud.
He sat up, seeing drow streaming into the street, and initially imagining an army had engulfed him and Voselly.
But no, the majority of them were Blaspheme warriors, the previous driders, he realized. He looked to Voselly, smiling.
Are they still watching us? he asked.
She replied, "I told you we had friends."
You said they were not following us around.
The warrior shrugged. Perhaps I wanted to confirm what was given me and that I believed to be true.
Is it possible to wage war?
Yes, and perhaps you will soon trust me to tell me the truth about Dininae. You are not self-taught in the arts martial arts. You were trained by a weapon master.
She sat down as another large drow woman rose, another of the Blaspheme force who had spent millennia with Lolth and her fellow torturers.
Aleandra, what do you know? Voselly asked.
Your ambushers are fleeing.
Let them go.
Yes, I gave it to you already. But there is one more, a priestess of House Hunzrin. She wants to retrieve these enemies that have fallen, to tend them so that they will not be killed.
Why does she care? Are these those who murdered House Hunzrin?
What happens if you don't have to?
She did not reply, but my guess is House Melarn.
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 chose to have her come and heal that one. And do as she will with him. The others will return to House Baenre. I would not overstep my authority here. Let the Matron Mother Quenthel Baenre decide their fate.
Aleandra scurried away and began barking commands, while Voselly guided Dininae back to their original form.
As they walked off, he said, it was my suicide. You did not think the disposition of the fallen warrior should be my choice?
Yes, she answered quickly. I was once the weapon master of the First House of Menzoberranzan. You are just a commoner, so you say. Why would I care what you wanted?
Dininae paused and let her move a few steps ahead of him, and stood there with hands on her hips until she turned back.
Do you want to use the same games that decided our mutual fates in the past? he asked.
Your statements have consequences. I will respect you when I can trust you.
You are correct that I am a noble person.
Because you will no longer be lying to me. Do not misunderstand me, warrior. I am as concerned as you about our situation in this war, and our future, if we ever have one. We are 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 replied, admitting his deepest fear, if Lolth will retaliate her narcissistic joke and return us to a state of abomination.
It has crossed my mind. That's why I intend to hold the Blaspheme tightly together under my command. If we are fortunate, we may stand together here or back in the Abyss, or we may face agony and actual death only if we are fortunate. But I like people who tell me the truth. Dininae.
She spat his sobriquet like a spat.
He didn't want to be a pawn in the plot of the Demon Queen of Spiders. He didn't want to be a crossman with Voselly. He didn't want to be matron Mother Baenre.
In the end, he was a DoUrden, Elderboy Dinin DoUrden, and in this most frustrating and hazardous period, he simply couldn't see how that truth would play out.
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