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Archmage (novel)

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Archmage by R.A. Salvatore is the first book of the Homecoming series, which follows the Companions Codex series.

The pall that had descended over the North is gone, and a new day has dawned on a victorious Mithral Hall, but no matter how bright things seem on the surface, Drizzt and his companions know that what lurks just under their feet remains steeped in evil and charged with unimaginable power.

The dark elves of Menzoberranzan, including the powerful Archmage Gromph, aren't done with Drizzt yet. And consumed by their own power struggles, feeling backed into a corner, the drow may just be desperate enough to call on demonic forces from the deepest reaches of the Abyss, and unleash a disaster even the Underdark could never have prepared for.

Archmage has everything Drizzt's fans crave: action, adventure, characters that resonate with equal measures of warrior spirit and deep compassion, and no shortage of wicked dark elves!



The story opens in the Abyss, where Lolth taunts the demon lord Balor, the chief rival of the demon lord Errtu. Lolth finally turns on Balor and traps him in her web.

In Menzoberranzan,Archmage Gromph Baenre reveals the end of the War of the Silver Marches and the dispelling of the Darkening to Matron Mother Quenthel Baenre. Quenthel meditates on the solution to her spectacular failure on the surface. She sees a vision of Menzoberranzan in its early days, when demons roamed the streets. She believes it to be a vision brought to her by Lolth to solve her problems and bring chaos to the city—and thus security to her position. She begins summoning innumerable demons to the city, who cause chaos and destruction wherever they go.

On the surface, Dark Arrow Keep is dismantled and Lorgru and the orcs of Many-Arrows are banished into the Spine of the World by the combined forces of the three dwarven kingdoms, the elves of the Glimmerwood, and the humans of the Silver Marches. Bruenor Battlehammer immediately sets his eye on recapturing Gauntlgrym (with Drizzt Do'Urden and Catti-brie, of course). Jarlaxle offers Athrogate and Ambergris as agents of Bregan D'aerthe and fellow dwarves willing to aid in the struggle. Regis, however, doesn't plan to join him. He departs, with Wulfgar beside him, for Aglarond to join his love, Donnola Topolino.

In Q'Xolarrin, Matron Zeerith Q'Xorlarrin and Tsabrak Xorlarrin summon the corpses of fallen Xolarrin soldiers in order to court the favor of Lolth. They discover that the Darkening has been dispelled and believe the house may have lost the favor of Lolth, or that other houses may believe so and try to take advantage.

Gromph's wife, Minolin Fey Baenre, approaches Gromph once again with the idea of releasing K'yorl Odran from the Abyss in order to destroy Quenthel. Gromph sends Kimmuriel Oblodra to Byrtyn Fey, who in turn sends him to the Abyss to speak with K'yorl directly. K'yorl imparts to him a spell that will summon a gate powerful enough to allow her to enter the Prime Material Plane. Kimmuriel is to impart the spell to Gromph without his active awareness, so that he will weaken the barrier between the planes so that Menzoberranzan will know chaos as never before. This is according to Lolth's plan she has conceived with Errtu.

In Mithral Hall at the end of the year, Bruenor begins to finalize his plans to march on Gauntlgrym. King Connerad Brawnanvil steps down as king in order to join him, appointing Dagnabbet as his successor. When it is officially announced in Alturiak, King Emerus Warcrown also steps down as leader of Citadel Felbarr in order to join Bruenor, appointing Parson Glaive as his successor.

Meanwhile, Gromph visits with the white wyrm Arauthator, who reveals that Tiago Baenre may yet be alive. Unbeknownst to them, Doum'wielle Armgo has teamed up with Tiago in a quest to enact revenge on Drizzt for killing her father, and both are present when Bruenor's army marches from Mithral Hall on the first day of spring. They follow the army as it passes through Mirabar, gaining a thousand dwarf soldiers, and rests in Longsaddle, leaving much later with wizards in tow, including Penelope and Kipper Harpell. The army passes by Neverwinter, issuing a warning and threat that they will be taking over Gauntlgrym.

The Ruling Council of Menzoberranzan realizes that Quenthel has the favor of Lolth. However, they can no longer abide to have so many demons causing chaos on the streets. Malagdorl Armgo, weapons master of House Barrison Del'Armgo, wears the armor and hairstyle of Uthegentel Del'Armgo as he defeats Marilith in a show of power for his House. However, unbeknownst to all of Menzoberranzan, Marilith allowed herself to be defeated only at the order of Lolth. Later, House Barrison Del'Armgo and its allies assault House Do'Urden in an attempt to kill the hated Matron Darthiir, Dahlia Sin'felle. The force fails.

In Menzoberranzan, Gromph's daughter, Yvonnel Baenre II (who bears the memories of Gromph's mother, Yvonnel the Eternal) plots to gain power using her mother, Minolin Fey Baenre, who would like nothing more than to kill Yvonnel. Yvonnel wants to use Minolin to court the favor of Byrtyn Fey and others in Menzoberranzan. Meanwhile, Gromph meditates on his studies with Kimmuriel and discovers a way to combine psionics with gate magic and resummons Marilith, who by his understanding should be banished from the plane. His success convinces him of the greatness of his inspirations, which in reality will allow demons to walk free unbidden. At Quenthel's bidding, Gromph also sends a messenger to place a gem of tracking on Doum'wielle so she and Tiago can easily be located. Unbeknownst to Gromph, Kimmuriel can use this gem to track both Doum'wielle (for Jarlaxle and Bregan D'aerthe) and Gromph (for himself).

The dwarven army reaches Gauntlgrym with Tiago and Doum'wielle following behind. The army sets up defenses in the entry hall and undergo the Rite of Fealty in which each dwarf sits on the Throne of the Dwarf Gods and pledges fealty to his or her king and kin. Their first battle comes against clever kobolds who use the magma of the trapped fire primordial against them. Fortunately, Catti-brie's magical ring of elemental power and her new staff of the magi enable her to know how to use the primordial power in her favor and the kobolds are forced to retreat.

Tiago and Doum'wielle wait patiently for Drizzt to go out scouting alone, then trap Guenhwyvar in a stone chamber so that she cannot aid her master. Tiago finally faces his decades-long of dream defeating Drizzt Do'Urden. However, during the heated battle, Doum'wielle and her sentient sword, Khazid'hea, get to it first. She wounds Tiago and deals a savage blow to Drizzt, leaving him for dead. Suddenly, she and Tiago and snatched by Gromph's spell; Doum'wielle is magically cast out and left on the snowy peaks of the Spine of the World and her sword is given to Jarlaxle to wield. Jarlaxle uses his wand of goo to attach Drizzt to the wall, sealing his wounds and temporarily sparing his life. There Bruenor and his party find him and take him back to the dwarven encampment, where he lays comatose.

With Bruenor mourning over the grievous injury to his friend, Connerad leads the first dwarven assault into the lower levels. Using the magic of four Harpell cousins, the dwarves descend to the lower levels but are quickly overcome. A hundred dwarves are killed, including Connerad, the former king, in what would come to be known as the Battle of the Under Way. At the same time, demons enter the entry cavern through the pond and are defeated in the Battle of the Cavern. Demons also attack Bruenor and his party in the Battle of the Mines, leaving Tannabritches Fellhammer sorely wounded.

After the battles are waged, the dwarves regroup with a new plan to take the lower levels. All appears to be going well until Marilith and Nalfeshnee, the generals of the demon army, appear. It is only then that Drizzt and Guenhwyvar appear in a psionic vortex, having been awoken and given strength by Jarlaxle and Kimmuriel in order to defeat the two strongest demons. The tides eventually turn and the drow of House Xorlarrin retreat. As the leaders of the dwarves return to the primordial chamber, they find Zeerith Q'Xorlarrin there, who gives her terms of surrender, promising that her house will not return in hundred years and offering three prisoners: Kenneally and Tuckernuck Harpell and Stokely Silverstream. As she does so, Gromph runs out of the chamber across the primordial's pit. He has weakened the walls of Faerzress and unintentionally summoned Demogorgon, the Prince of Demons, back at his tower in Menzoberranzan. Catti-brie uses her contact with the primordial to destroy the chamber, closing the conduit between Menzoberranzan and Gauntlgrym even as Demogorgon leaves a path of destruction through the drow city.

When the chaos in Gauntlgrym dies down, the deceased Connerad is given the honor of being proclaimed the first king of Gauntlgrym. Emerus is proclaimed the second king of Gauntlgrym and dies shortly afterwards, leaving Bruenor as the third and living king of Gauntlgrym. We see snippets of events afterwards: Catti-brie leaves the dwarven citadel, bound for Longsaddle, with a plan in mind to use Gromph to restore the magic of the primordial's weakening prison. Meanwhile, Jarlaxle plots to use the situation in his home city to his example, telling Zeerith that he will bring Drizzt Do'Urden to the matron mothers of Menzoberranzan.



Main charactersEdit

Drizzt Do'UrdenBruenor BattlehammerGromph BaenreCatti-brie

Supporting charactersEdit

AmbergrisAthrogateBilwhrBungalow ThumpConnerad BrawnanvilDahlia Sin'felleDoum'wielle ArmgoEmerus WarcrownErrtuFaelas XorlarrinGuenhwyvarHarnothJaemas XorlarrinJarlaxleKenneally HarpellKimmuriel OblodraKipper HarpellK'yorl OdranLolthMaegera (unnamed) • Malagdorl ArmgoMallabritches FellhammerMarilithMez'Barris ArmgoMinolin Fey BaenreNalfeshneeOretheo SpikesPenelope HarpellQuenthel BaenreRagged DainRegisSos'Umptu BaenreTannabritches FellhammerTiago Do'UrdenToliver HarpellTsabrak XorlarrinTuckernuck HarpellWulfgarYvonnel Baenre IIZeerith Q'Xorlarrin

Minor charactersEdit

AfafrenfereAleina BrightlanceAndaharArauthatorBalorBeniagoByrtyn FeyCarrinda CastleduckDagnabbetDagult NeveremberDemogorgonDevastulDwadermey XorlarrinHengredda of StarshineHominy PestlerHoshtar XorlarrinIlnezharaJelvus GrinchJuiblex (unnamed) • Kiriy XorlarrinLorgruMandarina DobberbrightMiz'ri MizzrymNigel ThunderstormOgden NuggetParson GlaiveRavel XorlarrinSabineSaribel XorlarrinSinnafeinStokely SilverstreamTaayrul ArmgoTazmikellaTerondarg Del'ArmgoThibbledorf PwentToivo IronbeltTurven'diVadalma TlabbarZhindia Melarn

Mentioned charactersEdit

AishapraArtemis EntreriAurbangrasBanak BrawnanvilBanak BrawnanvilBaphometBerellip XorlarrinBidderdoo HarpellBrommClangeddinDagnaDagnabbitDantrag BaenreDonnola TopolinoDumathoinEffronElastulElminsterFimmel OrelsonGraz'ztHarkle HarpellHartuskHoshtar XorlarrinInnovindilJack the GnomeJearth XorlarrinKavitaKhelben ArunsunKostchtchieMethil El-ViddenvelpMielikkiMoradinMystraNanfoodleNirajObouldShingles McRuffShoudra StargleamStokely SilverstreamSunriseSunsetSzass TamTeirflin ArmgoTiamatTorgar Delzoun HammerstrikerTos'un ArmgoYvonnel Baenre


Planes of existence:

AbyssPrime Material Plane (Toril)


AnaurochKingdom of Many-ArrowsNetherilSilver MarchesUnderdark (Upperdark, Lowerdark)


Citadel FelbarrDark Arrow KeepGauntlgrymLongsaddleLuskanMirabarNeverwinterQ'XorlarrinMithral Hall

Buildings and landmarks:

Arach-TinilithBraerynHouse BaenreHouse Barrison Del'ArmgoHouse Do'UrdenIlluskIvy MansionNarbondelOne-Eye JaxQu'ellarz'orlSorcereSurbrin BridgeTier Breche


CragsFourthpeakRiver SurbrinSpine of the World
Mentioned locations
Planes of existence
Astral PlaneElemental Plane of WaterElemental Plane of WaterIruladoonNine Hells
AglarondBloodstone LandsCormyrDelzoun
Bryn ShanderCitadel AdbarDelthuntleEverlundNesméPort LlastProcampurShining WhiteSilverymoonSundabarSuzailTen TownsTen TownsWaterdeep
Buildings and landmarks:
ClawriftFane of the GoddessNarbondellynSurbrin Bridge
Garumn's GorgeIcewind DaleKeeper's DaleKelvin's CairnMaer DualdonMoonwood/Glimmerwood
Trade Way


bar-lgurabalorcarrion crawlerchasmecopper dragondemondemondrowdwarfelffire elementalfishfrost giantglabrezugoblingoristrohalflinghumanjade spiderkoboldmagma elementalmanemarilithnalfeshneeorcprimordialrothéshadow demonspidervrockwater elementalwerewolfwhite dragonworgyochlol

catcrowdire corby (unnamed) • dogdriderfroggiant cave spiderillithidmyconidnewtpegasuspit fiendsuccubussvirfneblintrollumber hulk


Bregan D'aertheClan BattlehammerCompanions of the HallGutbuster BrigadeHarpellHouse BaenreHouse Barrison Del'ArmgoHouse Do'UrdenHouse MizzrymHouse XorlarrinKnights in SilverWilddwarf Brigade

Council of Sparkling StonesDesaiGrinning PoniesHouse Faen TlabbarHouse Fey-BrancheHouse HunzrinHouse MelarnHouse OblodraHouse VandreeLords of WaterdeepNeverwinter Guard


bag of holdingChacker and WhackerFaerzressHorn of ValhallaIcingdeathKhazid'heaKozah's NeedleOrbbcressRing of elemental powerRobe of the Archmagewand of viscous globsSkullcrackerStaff of the magiTaulmarilThrone of the Dwarf GodsTwinkleVidrinath


Battle of the CavernBattle of the MinesBattle of the Under WayDarkeningFestival of FoundingSpellplagueTime of TroublesTreaty of Garumn's GorgeTyranny of DragonsWar of the Silver Marches


  1. R.A. Salvatore (September 2015). Archmage. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 57. ISBN 0-7869-6575-4.
  2. R.A. Salvatore (September 2015). Archmage. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 356. ISBN 0-7869-6575-4.

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