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|“|| "Let the damned drow come!"
All about me I saw excitement, in the dwarves, in Catti-brie, even in Regis, the halfling known more for preparing lunch and nap than for war. I felt it, too. That tingling anticipation, that camaraderie that had me and all the others patting each other on the back, offering praises for the simplest of additions to the common defense, and raising our voices together in cheer whenever good news was announced. What was it? It was more than shared fear, more than giving thanks for what we had while realizing that it might soon be stolen away. I didn't understand it then, in that time of frenzy, in that euphoria of frantic preparations. Now, looking back, it is an easy thing to recognize.
It was hope.
In the first part of the book, the dwarves of Clan Battlehammer in Mithral Hall are preparing to face a drow attack from Menzoberranzan. Drizzt Do'Urden and Catti-brie are tasked with securing the alliance of the barbarians of Settlestone. Catti-brie has to beat their leader Berkthgar the Bold in a duel in order to convince him. In the meantime in Menzoberranzan the very air seems to whisper of something big to happen. House Baenre is afraid of a conspiracy against them by the other houses; they fear that they may have lost the favor of Lolth. The svirfneblin of Blingdenstone also feel something in the air. We learn that the Spider Queen fears she might be unable to keep an eye on Menzoberranzan for a time and she asks the demon Errtu to take her place.
In the second part of the book, the effects of the Time of Troubles present themselves, with magic going awry. Harkle Harpell fails to teleport himself in Mithral Hall; Guenhwyvar becomes stuck while traveling between the planes but is saved by Catti-brie, who destroys the panther's statuette. The human woman is later possessed by the sentient sword Khazid'hea and does not become herself again until Drizzt takes the sword from her. The magical prison holding Gandalug Battlehammer for thousands of years fails. In Menzoberranzan, drow society, based on magic, is in chaos. House Oblodra, a house of psionicists, is the only house able to retain their powers and so plans a coup. However, the avatar of Lolth appears and suggests an alliance of the greater houses against the Oblodrans, giving them the means to summon Errtu's demonic minions to their aid.
In the third part of the book, the Time of Troubles ends and magic is restored. The Harpells reach Mithral Hall, Catti-brie dominates the will of her sentient sword, and Guenhwyvar's statuette is repaired. Drizzt and Catti-brie speak about their feelings for each other and decide to be merely friends for the time being. In Menzoberranzan, House Baenre moves against House Oblodra, which is besieged by Errtu's demons. Matron Baenre, with the powers given to her by Lolth, gives a great display of strength and sends Matron K'yorl Odran to the Abyss. That settled, Baenre resumes her planning to attack Mithral Hall.
In the fourth part of the book, the drow army marches to Mithral Hall. The svirfneblin of Blingdenstone evacuate their city when the drow pass by and decide to secretly follow the drow in order to aid the dwarves. When the battle begins, the forces of Mithral Hall quickly dispose of the drow slaves (mostly kobolds and goblins), but then the true enemy, the drow, enter the fray. On the surface, Mithral Hall's allies from Settlestone, Silverymoon, Longsaddle, and Nesme are in danger of being outmaneuvered and outnumbered by the drow.
In the fifth part of the book, the most significant part of the battle for Mithral Hall is fought. The drow, in greater number, drive back the dwarves and their allies both from the lower tunnels and on the surface. The defences hold due to the intervention of Lady Alustriel and the svirfneblin from Blingdenstone, and soon the disloyal drow start deserting. The weapon master Uthegental Armgo is killed by Bidderdoo Harpell, and dawn catches the drow on the surface by surprise. Eventually Drizzt and his companions, hunting for the leaders of the drow, meet Matron Baenre and her party in the deep tunnels. In the ensuing fight, thanks to the indirect intervention of Errtu, Bruenor manages to kill the Matron Mother, avenging the death of Wulfgar.
The book ends with celebrations in Mithral Hall, with alliances made stronger. We also witness a happy Lolth handing in an unknown prisoner to Errtu for the demon's service: a prisoner who would be the key to Drizzt, the only one who can break Errtu's banishment.
- Bruenor Battlehammer; (Dwarf Male)
- Catti-brie; (Human Female)
- Drizzt Do'Urden; (Drow Male)
- Jarlaxle Baenre; (Drow Male)
- Regis; (Halfling Thief Male)
- Yvonnel Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Alustriel Silverhand; (Human Female)
- Anariel; (Elf Female) (Mentioned only)
- Artemis Entreri; (Human Assassin Male) (Mentioned only)
- Auro'pol Dyrr; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Bangor Battlehammer; (Dwarf Male) (Mentioned only)
- Bella don Delroy Harpell; (Human Wizard Female)
- Belwar Dissengulp; (svirfneblin Male)
- Beornegar; (Human Barbarian Male) (Mentioned only)
- Berg'inyon Baenre; (Drow Male)
- Berkthgar the Bold; (Human Male)
- Besnell; (Elf Male)
- Bidderdoo Harpell; (Human Wizard Male)
- Bladen'Kerst Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Buster Bracer; (Dwarf Male)
- Cobble; (Dwarf Male) (Mentioned only)
- Dagna Waybeard; (Dwarf Male)
- Dantrag Baenre; (Drow Male) (Mentioned only)
- Delroy Harpell; (Human Wizard Male) (Mentioned only)
- Deudermont; (Human Male) (Mentioned only)
- Dinin Do'Urden; (Drow Male) (Mentioned only)
- Entemoch; (Earth elemental)
- Errtu; (Tanar'ri)
- Fini'they Tlabbar; (Drow Priestess Female) (Mentioned only)
- Firble; (Svirfneblin Male)
- Fredegar Rockcrusher; (Dwarf Male)
- Gandalug Battlehammer; (Dwarf Male)
- Garumn Battlehammer; (Dwarf Male) (Mentioned only)
- Ghenni'tiroth Tlabbar; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Gromph Baenre; (Drow Male)
- Guenhwyvar; (Panther Female)
- Harbromm; (Dwarf Male) (Mentioned only)
- Harkle Harpell; (Human Wizard Male)
- Icingdeath; (White dragon Male) (Mentioned only)
- Jerbollah; (Dwarf Priest Male)
- K'yorl Odran; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Lolth; (Deity)
- M'tarl; (Drow Male)
- Malice Do'Urden; (Drow Priestess Female) (Mentioned only)
- Methil El-Viddenvelp; (Illithid Male)
- Mez'Barris Armgo; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Ogremoch; (Earth elemental)
- Puddlejumper; (Magical crossbreed of horse and frog)
- Quenthel Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Regweld Harpell; (Human Wizard Male)
- Schnicktick; (svirfneblin Male) (Mentioned only)
- Shimmergloom; (Shadow dragon Male) (Mentioned only)
- Sos'Umptu Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Stumpet Rakingclaw; (Dwarf Priest Female)
- Suntunavick; (svirfneblin Priest Male)
- Terrien Doucard; (Half-elf Male)
- Thibbledorf Pwent; (Dwarf Battlerager Male)
- Triel Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Tunult; (Dwarf Male) (Mentioned only)
- Uthegental Armgo; (Drow Male)
- Vendes Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female) (Mentioned only)
- Vierna Do'Urden; (Drow Priestess Female) (Mentioned only)
- Wulfgar; (Human Barbarian Male) (Mentioned only)
- Zaknafein Do'Urden; (Drow Male) (Mentioned only)
- Zeerith Q'Xorlarrin; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Bracers of the Blinding Strike
- Cat's Eye circlet
- Death lance
- Icingdeath, one of Drizzt's scimitars
- Faen Tlabbar Communing Plate
- Regis' ruby pendant
- Spider mask
- Taulmaril the Heartseeker
- Twinkle, one of Drizzt's scimitars
- Planes of Existence