Cutter (full name: Dungeons & Dragons: Cutter) is a collection of five comic issues centering on Tos'un and Doum'wielle Armgo and the sentient sword Khazid'hea; it takes place just prior to Night of the Hunter. The story was written by R.A. Salvatore and his son Geno Salvatore. The majority of the art was done by David Baldeon, with David Garcia Cruz (colors) and Neil Uyetake (letters). Steve Ellis contributed cover art.
|“||Teirflin and Doum'wielle are half-Drow siblings, locked in competition for the ownership of the bloodthirsty sword Khazid'hea—the Cutter! Their father, the Drow renegade Tos'un—a veteran of battles against the Kingdom of Many-Arrows—is forced to choose his heir... but what does the powerful sword have to say on the subject?||”|
|— Amazon.com product listing|
Chapter 1/Issue #1: "Birthright"Edit
Tos'un has been living in the Moonwood for a century with his family: Sinnafain, his elven wife, their son Teirflin, and their daughter Doum'wielle. Tos'un has been crippled by an orc's spear and his sword, Khazid'hea, is ready to be passed on to an heir.
The sun rises over a meadow as Teirflin asks his sister if she is ready. The two begin dueling as Tos'un watches on, commenting on Doum'wielle's skills to Khazid'hea. Khazid'hea is at first doubting, but admits it would be good to have no sister blade to compete with. Doum'wielle gains the advantage and defeats Teirflin for the first time. She leaves, gloating, as Khazid'hea whispers to Teirflin in his anger that there is still hope.
Doum'wielle and Tos'un wait back at the elvish settlement. When Teirflin arrives, he pulls his sword on his sister, claiming that she cheated by using a spell. Tos'un orders him to put his blade away as Khazid'hea secretly whispers to him to be patient until that night. After Teirflin leaves, Doum'wielle admits that she did use magic in the duel, but her father commends her for using all of her resources. He tells her that the next morning she will begin training mentally to wield Khazid'zea because, he explains, "You wish to wield Khazid'hea, but the sword wishes to wield you."
That night, Teirflin approaches Doum'wielle with Khazid'hea in hand. He attacks her, proclaiming that she has stolen his birthright and that Cutter is his to wield. She tells him that the sword is wielding him, and it is true: Teirflin repeats aloud everything that Khazid'hea whispers to him. Doum'wielle wrests the sword from his grasp and impales him as Tos'un and another elf arrive. Khazid'hea is ecstatic in Teirflin's blood; this is apparently what the sword was hoping for. Horrified, Doum'wielle flees, the sword telling her that she cannot stay with the elves, that they will never let her keep her the sword—her birthright. Tos'un watches on with a smirk.
Chapter 2/Issue #2: "The Lost Child"Edit
Sinnafain returns to the village with her hunting party, finding her son dead at her daughter's hand. Tos'un tells her that Doum'wielle stole the sword and fled with it. Sinnafain says they must find her immediately before the sword destroys her.
Meanwhile, in the forest, Khazid'hea convinces Doum'wielle that the elves will be hunting her because they would not understand if she told them that Teirflin attacked her.
The elven search party, including Sinnafain and Tos'un, follow a trail of blood in their search for Doum'wielle. Sinnafain thinks they are moving too slowly, so Tos'un volunteers to stay behind.
As the sun rises, Doum'wielle crosses into land belonging to Many-Arrows. She briefly doubts her course, wanting to turn back, before the sword convinces her that the elves would never understand and that is better to chance the orcs than return to the elves. Suddenly, she is ambushed by orcs. She fights well but is saved by Sinnafain and the other elves, who have pursued her. Khazid'hea tells her that Sinnafain is there to punish her and take her sword. Khazid'hea wants her to slay the elves, but instead she runs off during the battle.
Chapter 3/Issue #3: "Sword, Wielder"Edit
Doum'wielle has a vision of fighting and standing amidst the blood and gore of dozens of slain elves. Suddenly, she looks around and realizes that she is standing among dead orcs. The sword reasons that she is tired and seeing things.
The elven hunting party soon come upon the carnage. When the other orcs of Many-Arrows discover the massacre, they will start a war. Sinnafain thinks it is still important to realize it is Khazid'hea causing the violence, not Doum'wielle herself. The elves here the orcs' drums nearby and all of them run to flee the land except Sinnafain, who remains to find her daughter before the orcs do. Unseen, Tos'un follows her. He believes that Doum'wielle is not yet in control of the sword, but she will not be found in the darkness because of their drow heritage—and that Sinnafain would not want to see her while the sword controls her.
Doum'wielle sleeps but has dreams of wielding Khazid'hea against her foes, including her dead brother, her elvish kin, and her father. She dreams that she is forced to use the sword to defend herself against her father. The sword tells her that with it, Doum'wielle is strong; without it, she is doomed. When she awakes, she hears an orcish war party coming towards her. She rushes to them, to give them what they seek: Khazid'hea. She slays the entire band, including an orc fleeing the fight. She then spots an orc in the distance who has escaped to a cliff. She casts a spell to make him fall, but Khazid'hea screams in protest: the kill must belong to the sword.
Sinnafain hears the sound of Doum'wielle's magic from afar. Tos'un appears and tells her it was Doum'wielle, and they are very near the cave where Tos'un first emerged onto the surface a century before. Sinnafain wonders who Doum'wielle could know that, but Tos'un explains that is the sword that knows.
Chapter 4/Issue #4: "A Dark Path"Edit
Sinnafain and Tos'un tramp through the mountains in search of Doum'wielle. Sinnafain complains that she would be able to move much more quickly alone than with Tos'un and his crippled leg. Tos'un tells her that if she must choose between him and their daughter, she should choose Doum'wielle. However, Sinnafain needs Tos'un to show her the path they are on. Tos'un privately pities and envies Sinnafain that she does not realize the metaphorical end of the path is darkness.
Doum'wielle sees her parents from afar. Khazid'hea tells her that they will catch her and punish her unless she cuts them down. She retorts that they will not catch her. She finds a cave to take shelter in. When she reaches to cut a branch from a shrub, the sword protests vehemently. She insists, but when she makes the cut, the sword creates an intense pain in her head.
Meanwhile, Sinnafain wants to rest from the storm. However, Tos'un says they are very close and refuses to stop. They continue on, but quickly realize that behind them is a large bands of orcs. They decide to continue on to the cave and the Underdark, hoping the orcs will be smart enough not to pursue them there. They scramble up a shear cliff in the rain, dodging orc spears. They reach the top and find Doum'wielle, unconscious and barely alive. Once there, Tos'un turns on Sinnafain, shoving her back into the orcs and wounding her leg. He picks up Doum'wielle, claiming he is saving her. Sinnafain is left to the mercy of the orcs, only able to ask Tos'un why he has betrayed her.
Chapter 5/Issue #5: "Homecoming"Edit
Doum'wielle wakes in her father's arms in the Underdark. She asks him where they are, and he says they are on the road home. Doum'wielle asks if he is taking her back to the Moonwood. He asks if she wants to go back, and tells her that in the Moonwood she will face judgment and punishment for her crime of killing her brother. He tells her he is glad she has ignored the sword's advice to kill him, because he is the only one who knows where they're going: the Underdark, the only place a pair of drow like them belong.
Doum'wielle soon realizes that her mother helped track her down and asks what happened to her. Tos'un says the orcs killed her; Khazid'hea says he lies, and he admits it's true. The sword wants blood, so Doum'wielle attacks her father. When she attempts to cast a spell, the sword punishes her; as Tos'un says, the sword does not like to share. Tos'un tells Doum'wielle her mother would have made her face judgment and would not have let her keep the sword. This statement convinces Doum'wielle to continue; she claims the sword as her birthright. Finally, Tos'un reveals they they are headed for Menzoberranzan, his home.
Ten days later, the pair are still traversing the Underdark. They reach a cliff they must ascend. Tos'un reveals that he always knew he would return to the Underdark, so he never let himself forget the path he took, even after a hundred years. However, the waterfall at the cliff is new.
At the top of the cliff, the pair run into a group of drow. They immediately begin fighting, until a priestess (unnamed in the comic, but identified as Berellip Xorlarrin in Night of the Hunter) orders them to stop and demands to know who they are. They give their names as Tos'un Armgo and Doum'wielle Armgo of House Barrison Del'Armgo. Doum'wielle, sensing that her female presence would be of use, demands that they be escorted to Menzoberranzan to their house. However, the priestess tells them at the city of Xorlarrin (Q'Xorlarrin) will greet them. Tos'un is surprised to hear that House Xorlarrin built a city and remarks that their life may be much more interesting than they had planned.
- Realms: Kingdom of Many-Arrows • Underdark
- Settlements: Menzoberranzan (mentioned) • Q'Xorlarrin
- Geography: Moonwood
- This collection was originally published as five separate issues under the name Dungeons & Dragons: Cutter Issues #1-5.
- ↑ R.A. Salvatore (March 2014). Night of the Hunter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32. ISBN 0-7869-6511-8.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 R.A. Salvatore, Geno Salvatore, David Baldeon. (December 2013). Cutter. (IDW Publishing). ISBN 1-6137-7792-2.
- ↑ R.A. Salvatore (March 2014). Night of the Hunter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-6511-8.