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The Dark Elf Trilogy is a prequel to the very successful Icewind Dale Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore. Drizzt Do'Urden was originally written as a supporting character in the Icewind Dale series. However, the author soon realized how popular the character was, and Drizzt became the main character.
The trilogy consists of:
- Homeland (1990) — Homeland follows the story of Drizzt from around the time and circumstances of his birth and his upbringing amongst the drow (dark elves). The book takes the reader into Menzoberranzan, the drow homeland. From here, the reader follows Drizzt on his quest to follow his principles in a land where such feelings are threatened. In an essence, the book introduces Drizzt Do'Urden, one of Salvatore's more famous characters from the Icewind Dale Trilogy.
- Exile (1990) — Exile tells the story of Drizzt outside of the Drow Cities in the open wilderness of the Underdark. For the ten years following his abandoning his house, he is left with no one but his faithful Guenhwyvar, a magical Panther he had acquired in Homeland. He is also met with great dangers that he meets with the business ends of his scimitars. Struggling with conflicting emotions, which involve his failure in Menzoberranzan and a deep grief for his father and friend Zaknafein, he makes his way to the surface to face newer dangers.
- Sojourn (1991) — Sojourn is the story of Drizzt coming to the surface of the world, becoming a ranger and ultimately ending up at Icewind Dale.
Drizzt was born to the tenth noble House of Menzoberranzan, Daermon Na'shezbaernon (more commonly known as House Do'Urden). He was the son of Malice, the Do'Urden Matron Mother and her consort, Do'Urden weaponmaster (and sometime Patron) Zaknafein. As the third son, drow culture demanded that Drizzt be sacrificed to their goddess Lolth. However, the death of his older brother, and first son, Nalfein, (incidentally, at the treacherous hand of the second son, Dinin) in the battle which raised Daermon Na'shezbaernon to the 9th ranked in the city during his birth, made him the second son and spared him.
Being a male in the matriarchal drow society, Drizzt Do'Urden suffered considerable abuse at the hands of his family in the first sixteen years of his life. His first ten years were spent in the care of his older sister Vierna; though she was far from kind, in his later years Drizzt would recall some affection for her, stemming from the fact they shared paternity through Zaknafein.
As a child, Drizzt displayed amazing reflexes and coordination. Consequently, Zaknafein was able to persuade Malice that Drizzt should become a warrior, instead of replacing Nalfein as the house wizard. Thus, at the age of sixteen, Drizzt began his weapons training. It was then that he began learning the skills that would lead to him become one of the most formidable swordsmen in Faerûn.
At twenty years of age, he went to Melee-Magthere, Menzoberranzan's warrior academy, where he excelled in his studies despite his resistance to the attempted brainwashing by the masters of the academy. When it was clear that there were none in Drizzt's class who could beat him, the masters of the academy matched him against students three years above him. Drizzt defeated that class easily. His time at the academy would have been spotless (by Drow standards) except for the graduation ceremony, where he disgraced himself by refusing to take part in an orgy, refusing the advances of two high priestesses, one of them his sister, and damning Lolth. Although he thought that no one noticed because they themselves were too "distracted" by the ceremony; therefore, he still graduated with honors.
After graduating he took part in a surface raid in which he saved the life of a child of the most bitter enemy of the drow, the surface elves, by hiding her underneath her murdered mother. Drizzt's weaponmaster Zaknafein, having similar morals to Drizzt, thought he killed the child, but Lolth knew he hadn't and dropped the Do'Urden family from her favour because of it. Zaknafein then fought with Drizzt, thinking he had become like other drow, and was told the truth of the matter by Drizzt.
Unfortunately, the females of House Do'Urden, in a bid to find out why Do'Urden was no longer in Lolth's favour, were watching this battle. The end result of this is that Zaknafein offered himself as a sacrifice to spare Drizzt and Drizzt, on realizing what had happened, left house Do'Urden to live in the Underdark wilderness.
Drizzt then spent some years in the Underdark, during which he was enslaved by mind flayers and then had to fight Zaknafein again, who had been made undead by Malice to find Drizzt. In the end, Zaknafein regained enough control to make himself fall into a pool of acid, destroying himself.
For Malice's failure to use Zaknafein to kill Drizzt, Lolth decreed that house Do'Urden should be destroyed, and House Baenre (the most powerful house in Menzoberranzan) did just that, with only Vierna and Dinin (Drizzt's older brother) surviving.
Having lived in the Underdark for over forty years, Drizzt then realized that neither he nor anyone around him would be safe, so he decided to travel to the surface. There he met with much adversity because of his race, but also found his true calling in life as a ranger. He eventually moved to Icewind Dale, where he joined with Catti-Brie, Bruenor Battlehammer, Regis the halfling and Wulfgar the barbarian.
The books have been adapted into comic book form by Devil's Due Comics. The Artist's name is Tim Seeley, and adapted by Andrew Dabb under the supervision of R.A. Salvatore. The Crystal Shard will soon follow in comic adaptation.
|R. A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms Series|
|The Dark Elf Trilogy||Homeland (1990)||Exile (1990)||Sojourn (1991)|
|The Icewind Dale Trilogy||The Crystal Shard (1988)||Streams of Silver (1989)||The Halfling's Gem (1990)|
|Legacy of the Drow||The Legacy (1992)||Starless Night (1993)||Siege of Darkness (1994)||Passage to Dawn (1996)|
|Paths of Darkness||The Silent Blade (1998)||The Spine of the World (1999)||Sea of Swords (2001)|
|The Hunter's Blades Trilogy||The Thousand Orcs (2002)||The Lone Drow (2003)||The Two Swords(2004)|
|Transitions||The Orc King (2007)||(The Pirate King) (2008)||(The Ghost King) (2009)|