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House Do'Urden (short for Daermon N'a'shezbaernon) is a fictional clan of dark elves in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, created by R.A. Salvatore.

It is one of Houses of the Underdark drow city of Menzoberranzan which first appeared in Homeland. It was Tenth House of Menzoberranzan at the start of the series. It was the house of the famous drow Drizzt Do'Urden.

"Do" means "walkers in", and "Urden" means "the darkness". Thus "Do'Urden" means "walkers in the darkness".

PlotEdit

At the beginning of the book Homeland (1297 DR), on the day which Drizzt Do'Urden was born, House Do'Urden attacked House DeVir, which was Fourth House of Menzoberranzan at that time. Using the power of the birth of Drizzt Do'Urden, Malice Do'Urden was able to create a spell capable of defeating House DeVir. With this defeat House Do'Urden became Ninth House of Menzoberranzan.

When Drizzt Do'Urden saved the life of Ellifain, an elven child he encountered on a surface raid, House Do'Urden lost the favor of Lolth. House Hun'ett (the Fifth House), which already considered House Do'Urden a threat, prepared to attack. The first part of the battle was supposed to occur with the killing of Drizzt, but he in turn killed Masoj Hun'ett and Gelroos Hun'ett (who was actually Alton DeVir, last survivor of the House DeVir) giving House Do'Urden an edge in the war.

Matron Malice Do'Urden became aware of her sons actions, which had placed the house in disfavor. To regain the favor of Lolth, she sacrificed Zaknafein (Drizzt's father), who volunteered to save his son's life. Drizzt, returned from his battle with Masoj and Gelroos, and discovering what had happened to his father, deserted House Do'Urden and left Menzoberranzan. House Hun'ett lost two of its wizards and the favor of Lolth for failing to kill Drizzt, and House Do'Urden lost the favor of Lolth due to Drizzt's desertion.

Ten years passed with small sneak attacks between House Do'Urden and House Hun'ett, because neither of the houses had regained Lolth's favor. Also both were severely weakened by various losses. House Do'Urden lost its principle weapon masters and House Hun'ett lost its two most powerful mages. In Exile (1338 DR), when finally House Hun'ett launched an attack to House Do’Urden with the help of Bregan D'aerthe, Malice Do'Urden turned the tide of the battle by making a better offer to Jarlaxle. House Do'Urden became Eighth House of Menzoberranzan and made its way to ruling council. But they had lost a lot of soldiers and had yet to regain Lolth's favor. SiNafay Hun'ett became a member of House Do'Urden to offer the house additional power. (under the name Shi'nayne Do'Urden).

To regain Lolth's favor, House Do'Urden needed to kill Drizzt. After Briza and Dinin failed, Matron Malice took her biggest risk and desired Zin-carla to hunt Drizzt down. Giving SiNafay as a sacrifice, Zaknafein's was risen as Zin-carla which is also known as a spirit-wraith. This removed Malice's disfavor in the eyes of Lloth, however, it did not regain Malice favor. When Zaknafein regained his senses for a little time he jumped into an acid pit, destroying himself and causing the failure of Zin-carla. This caused House Do’Urden to lose Lolth's favor forever, as Matron Malice had failed in her distinct orders to kill Drizzt. Briza took the lead by killing her mother but House Baenre,under orders of Lloth attacked House Do'Urden, killing most of its members. Vierna and Dinin survived this attack and joined Bregan D'aerthe in order to survive.

In The Legacy (1357 DR), Vierna tried to rebuild House Do'Urden by attempting to kill Drizzt. She had Lolth's favor and got help from Bregan D'aerthe. She turned Dinin into a drider. During their attack on Mithral Hall, Bruenor killed Dinin in his drider form, and Drizzt killed Vierna, making Drizzt the last known Do'Urden.

CharactersEdit

Briza Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Briza Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Female
Race Drow
Age around 400
Class Priestess
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

Briza Do'Urden was the oldest of three daughters of Matron Malice Do'Urden. A powerful priestess of Lolth, she was angry and brutal, and she always punished infractions quickly. She killed her mother, Malice Do'Urden when she learned that her mother Malice had not successfully completed Zin-Carla, the highest gift of Lolth (Drizzt refers to it as Lolth's greatest lie). She had little time to savor her power, for house Do'Urden was attacked immediately after by house Baenre. She was the last Matron Mother of House Do'Urden, even if only for a few moments. She is assumed to have been killed in the attack. (In the graphic novel, Jarlaxle killed her himself.)

Dinin Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Dinin Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Male
Race Drow
Age Unknown
Class Fighter
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

He is brother of Drizzt Do'Urden, first appearing in R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy, beginning with the first book Homeland, following in the second book Exile, and returning in the Legacy of the Drow series' first book The Legacy. In House Do'Urden's war against House DeVir in the opening chapters of Homeland, Dinin unwittingly saved his younger brothers life by murdering his older brother Nalfein, thus making Drizzt the Secondboy of House Do'Urden rather than the Thirdboy. Dinin was also a master of Melee-Magthere until the beginning of the Do'Urden-Hun'ett conflict. When House Do'Urden was destroyed by House Baenre he was spared by Jarlaxle under the conditions that he join the mercenary band Bregan D'aerthe. He was a trusted ally of Jarlaxle until he was turned into a drider by his sister Vierna. In Vierna's raid on Mithral Hall, Dinin (in his drider form) was killed by Bruenor Battlehammer.

Drizzt Do'UrdenEdit

Main article: Drizzt Do'Urden
Dungeons & Dragons Character
Drizzt Do'Urden
Homeland Icewind Dale, Menzoberranzan, Mithral Hall
Gender Male
Race Drow
Age 74
Class Fighter/Ranger/Barbarian
Alignment Chaotic Good
Universe Forgotten Realms

Drizzt was born as the third son to House Do'Urden and was originally meant to be sacrificed to Lolth, but was spared as Nalfein had been killed. Zaknafein trained him to be a great fighter, one of the greatest Menzoberranzan had ever produced. As an anti-stereotype drow, Drizzt has forsaken the evil ways of his people.

Drizzt left Menzoberranzan, and eventually found his way to the surface after time alone in the wilds of the Underdark and a sojourn with the deep gnomes. Most people he met treated him with hatred and disgust, leaving only the most open-minded and open-hearted people to accept him.

He was to meet an important and true friend named Montolio Debrouchee (Mooshie). Drizzt was taught the ways of the ranger from Mooshie, and Drizzt realized he had followed these ways all of his life. From this time on, he made his patron goddess Mielikki, Faerûnian goddess of the forest and of rangers.

Drizzt traveled through the realms in search of a new home. Eventually Drizzt found himself in Icewind Dale. There he met some of his best friends. A series of events led Drizzt and his friends south, to Mithral Hall, where they currently reside.

Sometimes Drizzt regresses into a bestial and instinctive state of mind in which he was identified as the Hunter. The first time this happened was after Drizzt had fled from Menzoberranzan and was living in the wilds of the Underdark. When Drizzt is the Hunter, he reaches his physical apex, his skills honed to their utmost peak. His scimitars are like extensions of his own arms, and his senses are heightened beyond their normal capacity.

Malice Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Malice Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Female
Race Drow
Age around 600
Class Priestess
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

Malice Do'Urden was Matron of House Do'Urden until her death. She was a strong priestess and had favor of Lolth for a long time. She is the only known user of the power of the birth against her enemies. She was the mother of Drizzt, Dinin, Nalfein, Vierna, Maya and Briza. She also had to adopt SiNafay Hun'ett. She first fell out of the favor of Lloth because of Drizzt's actions on the surface raid. She regained temporarily the favor of Lloth by sacrifing Zaknafein as an atonement. She again lost the favor of Lloth after Drizzt's departure from Menzoberranzan. Malice never regained Lolth's favor but was given a final chance by Lloth to regain her favor by destroying Drizzt by the use of Zin-carla. She received the power for this spell by sacrificing SiNafay. She lost control of Zin-carla for a moment, which was enough time for Zaknafein to destroy himself. This caused Malice to forever lose the favor of Lloth and to be killed by Briza, in one last futile desperate attempt to regain Lloth's favor for House Do'Urden.

Malice had six children through three different males: the father of Briza is unknown, Zaknafein was the father of Vierna and Drizzt, and Rizzen was the father of Maya, Nalfein, and Dinin. When Malice's mother died, Briza, Zaknafein and Nalfein where still young, and Malice had just finished her clerical studies.

Maya Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Maya Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Female
Race Drow
Age Unknown
Class Priestess
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

Maya Do'Urden was the youngest of three daughters of Matron Malice Do'Urden; She was a powerful priestess of Lolth. She was slain by House Baenre troops.

Nalfein Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Nalfein Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Male
Race Drow
Age Unknown
Class Wizard
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

Once the elderboy of House Do'Urden, he was a powerful wizard and a great asset to House Do'Urden. On their attack on House DeVir, while Malice was giving birth to Drizzt, he was betrayed and assassinated by his brother Dinin, who wished to become Elderboy himself. He was accepted as an appropriate sacrifice instead of Drizzt that night, saving the young baby's life.

Rizzen Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Rizzen Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Male
Race Drow
Age Unknown
Class Sorcerer
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

He was the patron of Matron Malice Do'Urden until his death, in which Malice tricked Rizzen into engaging the spirit-wraith Zaknafein in a fight, when he was promptly hacked to pieces. Malice claimed that it was no great loss as she had already chosen her next patron from amongst the soldiers of House Do'Urden. Rizzen was also the patron of House Do'Urden at the time of Drizzt Do'Urden's birth, though it was common knowledge that he was not the father of Drizzt. He was the known father of Dinin and Maya.

Shi'nayne Do'Urden/SiNafay Hun'ettEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Shi'nayne Do'Urden/SiNafay Hun'ett
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Female
Race Drow
Age Unknown
Class Priestess
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

She was Matron House Hun'ett for a long time. Thinking House Do'Urden posed a threat, she attacked it with help of Bregan D'aerthe. With Jarlaxle's betrayal, her house was defeated and punished by the ruling council of Menzoberranzan. After that, Matron Hun'ett became a member of House Do'Urden under her new name, Shi'nayne Do'Urden. She was tricked and sacrificed to Lolth to summon Zin-carla.

Vartha Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Vartha Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Female
Race Drow
Age Unknown
Class Priestess
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

Mother of Malice, Vartha was the previous matron mother of House Do'Urden. She died unexpectedly about 400 years ago, which allowed Malice to take control of the house.

Vierna Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Vierna Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Female
Race Drow
Age Unknown
Class Priestess
Alignment Neutral Evil
Universe Forgotten Realms

Vierna Do'Urden was the second sister of Drizzt Do'Urden, younger than Briza but older than Maya. Her mother was Malice Do'Urden and her father was Zaknafein Do'Urden. She is Drizzt's only full sibling, his other siblings being half-siblings, children of Malice but not Zaknafein.

Vierna is the only one of his three sisters for whom Drizzt felt any affection, because he recognized that, like him, she had inherited small goodness in her from Zaknafein. She was Drizzt's primary caretaker when he was a child, and alone of the rest of the family, she could sometimes show some kindness to Drizzt.

Becoming a priestess of Lolth made it impossible for her to break free of the evil of the drow and Menzoberranzan like her brother Drizzt would.

In The Legacy, the first book of the Legacy of the Drow series, Vierna had descended into Lloth-inspired madness; she turned her half-brother Dinin Do'Urden into a drider and joined the forces of Jarlaxle to hunt down Drizzt, with whom she had become obsessed. She failed, however, and Drizzt was forced to kill her in self-defense.

Zaknafein Do'UrdenEdit

Dungeons & Dragons Character
Zaknafein Do'Urden
Homeland Menzoberranzan
Gender Male
Race Drow
Age around 400
Class Fighter
Alignment Neutral Good
Universe Forgotten Realms

Zaknafein Do'Urden, famed Weapon Master of House Daermon N'a'shezbaernon, was Drizzt's father, his mentor and his dearest friend. It was he who gave Drizzt the courage to leave Menzoberranzan. He not only trained Drizzt to become an excellent warrior, he also played a great part in shaping his personality, protecting Drizzt from the brutality of Menzoberranzan for as long as he could.

Zaknafein Do'Urden was an excellent warrior, considered the finest in Menzoberranzan, but most importantly, he was good despite the evil of other drow elves. Noble, kind-hearted, and strong in his own way, he did his best to live by his principles, in a world where greed overcomes compassion and ambition overrules all. He had a mysterious friendship with Jarlaxle, leader of Bregan D'aerthe, but it is revealed in Road of the Patriarch that he was in some way betrayed by Jarlaxle.

Zaknafein was sacrificed to Lolth by Matron Malice when House Do'Urden fell out of Lolth's favor. Upon discovering this, Drizzt left Menzoberranzan for the wilds of the Underdark. Zaknafein was later brought back through Zin-carla to hunt Drizzt in the Underdark. The spirit-wraith found Drizzt and fought him in a cavern where there were walkways over a pit of acid. Ultimately, Zaknafein fights through the mental barriers, and hurls himself into the pit of acid to prevent himself from killing Drizzt.

Years afterward, Drizzt learns that someone he thought lost became a prisoner of the demon Errtu. Assuming that it was his father Zaknafein, he set out to rescue him. It was later revealed that Wulfgar was the demon's captive, and that Zaknafein was indeed dead. However, the priest Cadderly Bonaduce summoned Zaknafein's spirit and dispatched it to Drizzt. The fallen warrior told Drizzt what had happened to him, and expressed the pride and love he felt for his son before disappearing.

Footnote Edit

While it is true that the Do'Urden family and other Forgotten Realms characters are fictional, they are notable as the basis for a large part of the storyline for the Forgotten Realms, not only in R. A. Salvatore's books, but also for a number of books in the series that were written by other contributing authors.

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit

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