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|“|| Life is good for Drizzt Do'Urden, better than it ever has been for the beleaguered dark elf. His dearest friend, the dwarf Bruenor, has reclaimed his throne, and his adventuring companions, Wulfgar and Catti-brie, are to be wed in the spring. Even the halfling Regis has returned. All the friends are united in the safety and prosperity of Mithral Hall, where streams of silver mithral run deep and dwarven hammers bang out the solemn rhythms of ancient and unending songs.
But Drizzt did not achieve this state of peace without leaving powerful enemies in his wake. Lolth, the dreaded Spider Queen deity of the evil dark elves, counts herself among them and has vowed to end the drow's days of pleasant security.
In the first part of the book, the companions Drizzt Do'Urden, Bruenor Battlehammer, Wulfgar, Catti-brie and Regis meet in Mithral Hall for the upcoming wedding of the barbarian and the girl. Wulfgar seems to be back to some of his youth behaviors though, and his possessiveness toward Catti-brie almost disrespects her and makes him act violently with Drizzt. Regis seems to have his own secrets too, obviously hiding from something. The thrill of adventure comes to the companions in the shape of a tribe of goblin found in a new opened area in the depths of Mithral Hall, and the heroes eagerly answer. Despite a weak attempt to parley, battle ensues, and the dwarves of Clan Battlehammer and their allies wipe out the goblins with minimal losses. What the dwarves and the companions didn't know is that the goblins were only the first part of a plan conceived by the drow to test their might. Vierna Do'Urden, sister of Drizzt, is obsessed with her brother and wants him sacrificed to the Spider Queen. By her side she has the mercenary company called Bregan D'aerthe led by Jarlaxle Baenre and apparently the favor of Lolth herself.
In the second part of the book, Drizzt and Regis go back to the new areas of Mithral Hall to investigate on the disappearance of some dwarves. There they are ambushed by the drow, and after escaping the attack, something happens that explains several mysteries: Regis reveals himself to be no one else but Artemis Entreri magically transformed in the shapes of the halfling. This explains some of "Regis" strange attitudes, as well as Wulfgar's and Bruenor's, who have been under the spell of Regis' magical ruby. Entreri is also in league with the drow: he informed them about the whereabouts of Drizzt. The assassin and Drizzt cross blades, and the drow hunters hit them both with narcotic darts. In the meanwhile, Bruenor, Wulfgar and Catti-brie realize the tricks of the fake Regis and run to Drizzt's help, followed by the dwarves Cobble and Thibbledorf Pwent.
In the third part of the book, Drizzt is prisoner of his sister Vierna, who fills him with memories from his youth. Entreri has a deal with the drow: he would duel Drizzt one last time before going on his own way. The fight is set up, but Drizzt doesn't give the assassin the satisfaction of a serious duel, knowing that his opponent wouldn't kill him without one (and Vierna wouldn't allow that anyway). Taunting each other, the duelists realized that the drow wouldn't let their play go on for long and that the only way to escape is cooperating. In that moment Drizzt's companions arrive and battle ensued. Drizzt and Entreri cooperate and call Guenhwyvar from the Astral Plane; then Drizzt manages to escape through a chute, killing a drow in the process and so breaking an old vow, while his companions are overpowered by the drow (Cobble is killed by Vierna) and have to run away, getting lost in unknown tunnels in the process.
In the fourth part of the book, Drizzt tries to find his way back to join his companions, finding instead the real Regis, prisoner of Entreri. Soon after, the assassin shows up and a new duel ensues, interrupted by a drow party. Again Drizzt and Entreri cooperate to get rid of the drow. In the meanwhile, the dwarves of Mithral Hall become aware of the drow menace and start to organize the army. At the same time, Drizzt's companions, joined by Guenhwyvar, reorganize in the tunnels and go again to Drizzt's help, facing once more the drow in battle. The drow retreat, but Guenhwyvar must return to the Astral Plane, Pwent falls in a pit and Wulfgar, apparently killed by a collapsing ceiling, is actually taken by a yochlol sent by Lolth in Vierna's aid.
In the fifth part of the book, Entreri lures once more Drizzt in a duel. The drow has eventually the upper hand and the assassin ends up falling down the side of a mountain. In the meanwhile the dwarves from Mithral Hall meet the bulk of the drow force in battle and defeat it. Drizzt and Regis, back in the tunnels, meet up with Pwent and face the remnants of the drow party led by Vierna and Jarlaxle. Bruenor and Catti-brie soon join them and in the ensuing fight Drizzt kills Vierna while Jarlaxle, injured, is allowed to run away. The companions go back to Mithral Hall victorious bad sad for the loss of Wulfgar. Regis, full of hatred, searches for the body of Entreri, finds him critically injured, steals all his magical possessions, and leaves him to die.
The book ends with the revelation of the real sinister plot of the drow: the Matron Mother Yvonnel Baenre plans to conquer Mithral Hall with the aid of the magically imprisoned ancient king Gandalug Battlehammer, and the hunt for Drizzt was just an excuse to scout the territory and to test the strength of the dwarves.
- Artemis Entreri; (Human Assassin Male)
- Bruenor Battlehammer; (Dwarf Male)
- Catti-brie; (Human Female)
- Drizzt Do'Urden; (Drow Male)
- Regis; (Halfling Thief Male)
- Wulfgar; (Human Barbarian Male)
- Ak'hafta; (Drow Male)
- Alustriel Silverhand; (Human Female) (Mentioned only)
- Anariel; (Female) (Mentioned only)
- Belwar Dissengulp; (Svirfneblin Male) (Mentioned only)
- Beornegar; (Human Barbarian Male) (Mentioned only)
- Biggrin; (Frost giant Male) (Mentioned only)
- Briza Do'Urden; (Drow Priestess Female) (Mentioned only)
- Bruenor Battlehammer I; (Dwarf Male) (Mentioned only)
- Clacker; (Pech/Hook horror Male) (Mentioned only)
- Cobble; (Dwarf Cleric Male)
- Crommower Pwent; (Dwarf Male) (In a flashback)
- Dagna Waybeard; (Dwarf Male)
- Dinin Do'Urden; (Drow/Drider Male)
- Gandalug Battlehammer; (Dwarf Male) (As a ghost)
- Gar-yak; (Goblin Male)
- Guenhwyvar; (Panther Female)
- Harbromm; (Dwarf Male) (Mentioned only)
- Iftuu; (Drow Male)
- Ingeloakastimizilian; (White dragon Male) (Mentioned only)
- Jarlaxle Baenre; (Drow Male)
- Malchor Harpell; (Human Wizard Male) (Mentioned only)
- Malice Do'Urden; (Drow Priestess Female) (Mentioned only)
- Masoj Hun'ett; (Drow Male) (Mentioned only)
- Maya Do'Urden; (Drow Priestess Female) (Mentioned only)
- Montolio Debrouchee; (Human Ranger Male) (Mentioned only)
- Shimmergloom; (Shadow dragon Male) (Mentioned only)
- Thibbledorf Pwent; (Dwarf Battlerager Male)
- Triel Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Vierna Do'Urden; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Yvonnel Baenre; (Drow Priestess Female)
- Zaknafein Do'Urden; (Drow Male) (Mentioned only)
- Agatha's mask
- Alustriel's locket
- Entreri's dagger
- Icingdeath, one of Drizzt's scimitars
- Regis' ruby pendant
- Taulmaril the Heartseeker
- Twinkle, one of Drizzt's scimitars