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The Transitions Series is a series of fantasy novels by R. A. Salvatore, the famous science fiction and fantasy author, consisting of three novels: The Orc King, The Pirate King, and The Ghost King. The Orc King was published in September 2007, The Pirate King in October 2008, and The Ghost King in October 2009. This series will be Salvatore's latest work in the long saga of the companions of Mithril Hall. It continues the tale of the famous renegade drow (dark elf) Drizzt Do'Urden and his friends. This series is a follow up to The Hunter's Blades Trilogy. Like the rest of the saga, it is set in the Forgotten Realms, a popular Dungeons & Dragons role-playing setting.
The Orc King Edit
The story begins a century in the future. Drizzt Do'Urden still wields Twinkle and Icingdeath and he now wields Taulmaril, Catti-Brie's magical bow. Drizzt defeats a group of bandits calling themselves Casin Cu Calas, a group that wears black and travels through the Orcish Kingdom of Many-Arrows and slays Orcs in their sleep. He is angered when one of them mentions Bruenor Battlehammer's past weakness by allying with the Orcs.
The sixth heir to the throne of Kingdom of Many-Arrows, Obould the Sixth, is visiting the house of a "beautiful" Orcish maiden who is set to marry an elf from the Glimmerwood (formerly Moonwood).
Back in the past, with his traveling companion Innovindil, Drizzt returns from his journey to the grave of Ellifan. A group of Orcish shaman start conspiring against Obould, and coax forth the Half Ogre-Half Orc Clan Karuck. Innovindil and the rest of her clan are attacked by Clan Karuck, where Innovindil and her Pegasus are slain. Hralien and his friend find her corpse in a tangle below a tree. Another drow, Tos'un and one of the instigators of the Orcish war, has been living in the area alone. Hralien begins hunting for Tos'un, believing him to have masterminded the ambush as it was too well organized to have been orcs. The real mastermind is a powerful Gnomish wizard named Jack, that has been trained by Illithids and other powerful creatures, who has been secretly controlling Clan Karuck's different Shaman for centuries.
Back in Mithral Hall Drizzt accompanies Bruenor to a place they believe to be the ancient and lost dwarvern home of Gauntlgrym. With Regis and the dwarves Thibbledorf Pwent, Torgar Hammerstriker, and Cordio Muffenhead they enter, only to discover a cavern full of demonic monsters. Regis and Drizzt share doubts about this place being Gauntlgrym, upon seeing the buildings. The buildings look like ones you'd find above ground, and not under. After a vicious battle with two monsters from the Plane of Shadow, they enter into a massive building and find statues of Orcish and Dwarven scholars and tapestries of Orcs and Dwarves living together. A frustrated Bruenor takes several scrolls and heads home.
Cattie-Brie and Wulfgar search for Colson, Wulfgar's surrogate daughter, and with the help of Alustriel, ruler of the city of Silverymoon, find her in the town of Nesmé. Once she is retrieved, Wulfgar leaves to return her to her original home of Auckney and her birth mother before departing for Icewind Dale and the Tribe of the Elk. Cattie-Brie returns to Mithral Hall with Alustriel.
In response to Innovindil's death, Hralien goes to find Drizzt and bring him back to hunt down Tos'un Armgo. Tos'un also wields Khazid'hea, a sentient sword previously wielded by Catti-brie.
Clan Karuck gathers up several tribes along the River Surbin and races towards Dwarven and Silverymoon wizards as they finish construction on a bridge across the river. Several Dwarves are slain as well as a wizard. After collecting the dead the next morning, Alustriel promises to train Catti-brie in the way of the wizard.
After several days of work, Nanfoodle and Regis finally decipher the text on the scrolls. As it turns out, the language is a mixture of Dwarven and Orcish alphabets. According to the text, Dwarves and Orcs had lived together for centuries, and relations were continuing to improve. After gathering information from Regis, Nanfoodle determines that the only reason the city fell is because something melted the permafrost beneath the city, sucking the entire town and its population under.
Drizzt departs Mithral Hall and eventually captures Tos'un. Bruenor, Regis, Hralien, Torgar Hammerstriker, Thibbledorf Pwent and Cordio Muffinhead track down Drizzt and together with a bound Tos'un they set out to kill King Obould Many-Arrows and end the war.
Throughout the book Clan Karuck chieftain Grguch has made Obould's armies restless. Obould sends his Shaman to parlay with the Dwarves, apologizing for the attacks and sends a messenger to Grguch. The runner sent to Mithral Hall is captured by treacherous Orcs, and the other messenger is slain by Grguch. Grguch prepares an assault on Obould. As Bruenor and his group marches towards Obould, Drizzt and Hralien search for a way to prove Tos'un innocent. After hearing a discussion between two of the original conspirators proving Tos'un innocent, Drizzt heads off with Bruenor alone. Grguch and Obould are in a desperate battle, neither side gaining the upper hand until the Jack-possessed Karuck shaman starts firing lightning bolts at Obould. Drizzt forces Bruenor to choose the destiny of the land and Bruenor leaps atop the back of Obould, and spring boards himself into Grguch. Drizzt runs after the Shaman and slays him and the shape shifting Jack.
Bruenor is fighting a terrible battle with Grguch which ends with a disemboweled Grguch. A battered Bruenor and dying Regis are brought before Obould. As Obould stares down at Bruenor, the Shaman messenger meant for the parlay heals Regis and Obould's command. Obould lowers his weapon and walks away. Hralien allows Tos'un to live in the Moonwood and the group returns home.
In Garumn's Gorge, Bruenor and Obould sign a treaty, ending the war and establishing the Kingdom of Many-Arrows. Catti-brie takes on the enchanted robes of the wizard Jack and is being tutored by Alustriel and Nanfoodle.
Back in the future, Hralien and Drizzt have captured some unnamed prisoners. They discuss Tos'un and his elven wife Sinnifain and their children, the renaming of Moonwood, and the current state of the Orcish kingdom before they part ways once again.
The Pirate KingEdit
The Arcane Brotherhood has long held the city of Luskan in their power, but when corruption eats away at their ranks, Captain Deudermont comes to the rescue of a city that has become a safe haven for the Sword Coast's most dangerous pirates. But rescuing a city from itself may not be as easy as Deudermont thinks, and when Drizzt can't talk him out of it, he'll be forced to help.
The story begins with Captain Duedermont and the Sea Sprite crew still fighting pirates. One of the captured pirates raises questions of the effectiveness of Duedermont's actions, suggesting that Duedermont is allowed to capture pirates purely as a show and then stating that the Arklem Greeth, a lich who controls the Hosttower in the city of Luskan, supports the pirate trade. On Deudermont's return to Waterdeep, he meets with Lord Brambleberry, and the two of them decide to stop Arklem Greeth and his pirate crews.
Meanwhile Drizzt and Regis decide to travel to Icewind Dale to learn the fate of Wulfgar. Their path leads them to Longsaddle, home of the Harpell family. During their visit, a philosophical debate ensues about crime and whether the 'greater good' justifies the use of severe punishment. Drizzt and Regis leave Longsaddle and head for Luskan, where they meet with captain Duedermont and learn of his plan. They decide to help in the fight.
The task of saving Luskan is presented as moral conflict between trying to better the city at the risk of destroying it or accepting the lesser ideal of stability under less morally pure rule. After a few battles, Arkhlem Greeth blows up the Hosttower, killing many innocents and destroying large portion of the city.
With the war apparently over, Drizzt and Regis continue on their path to Icewind Dale. There they find Wulfgar living on his own in the Dale, testing himself against the harsh seasons before he plans to return to his people.
Back in Luskan, while Deudermont tries to rebuild the city and keep the people of Luskan safe and fed, the High Captains work against Deudermont, hoping to turn the people of Luskan against him and assume the position of rulers. Eventually, the plot works and a civil war breaks out in Luskan. Drizzt and Regis return to help. The final battle sees the death of Deudermont, the sinking of the Sea Sprite, and the return of the rule of the High Captains in Luskan. Drizzt and Regis leave the city with the rest of Deudermont's crew.
The Ghost KingEdit
When the Spellplague ravages Faerûn, old friends and foes alike are caught in the chaos. The blinding light released from the destruction of Crenshinibon burned out the eyes of the mighty Hephasteus, leaving him angry, sullen and defeated. The Crystal Shard, though, also released the spirit of the seven original liches that created it. Then the fearsome red dragon noticed that he was getting colder, he felt diseased... And then a scale fell. He awoke to find that he could see again. After some thought, he finally came to realize the truth of this new feeling he had. He was a dracolich.
When Hephasteus blew upon the Shard to destroy it, he obliterated the body of the Illithid Yharaskrik as well, but the intellect and consciousness of the powerful mind-flayer remained. Desperate to stay alive, he even settled to attempt to rule the mind of the mighty Hephasteus. At the same time that he tried to take over, Crenshinibon finally won his prize and manipulated Hephasteus to stab the shard into his skull. The three minds, with no privacy and never alone in the one body, had a great shared power. The dracolich's flight, strength, breath and an aura of death and disease, the militiant and strategic mind - as well as psionic powers - of the mind-flayer, and the Crystal Shard's Necromantic powers and patience combined. Yharaskrik-Hephasteus-Crenshinibon had become the Ghost King. Seeking revenge on those responsible for his blindness, the mind of Hephasteus immediately set his sights on Jarlaxle.
Traveling with the silly, but undeniably dangerous, dwarf Athrogate, the latter rhyming the whole way, Jarlaxle snapped out of Reverie one night at the intrusion of the dracolich threatening to find him. Not unintelligent, Jarlaxle had not missed the Spellplague beginning around him as Mystra's Weave itself collapsed. Attacked first by the undead, then by one of Crenshinibon's liches -whom he inadvertently destroyed when his pocket hole dimension collided with the dimensional gate the lich contained- he knew the only way to survive and perhaps stop this horrid monstrosity of a foe was to enlist the help of the mighty drow Drizzt, as well as the holy Deneirrath priest Cadderly. He also knew, due to the last encounter with Cadderly - ending in a threat should Jarlaxle ever return to Spirit Soaring - that the only way to get Cadderly was to get Drizzt, and the only way to Drizzt was Cadderly. As he journeyed to Mithril Hall, attempting to discern a way to get the drow on his side, he learned of a terrible side effect of Mystra's falling Weave touching Drizzt's wife Cattie-Brie. He then decides his only chance - maybe Faerûn's only chance - was to convince Drizzt Cadderly was her only chance and to let him go with him as well. After using Athrogate to convince Bruenor and Drizzt that Cadderly was Cattie-Brie's best hope, Jarlaxle meets up with Drizzt, Bruenor and Pwent, explains to him their plight and how their problems may be connected.
Meanwhile Spirit Soaring is filled with priests, mages, sages and scholars of all sorts all gathered to discuss the recent failures in magic, the failure of some gods to answer but not others and other effects of the Spellplague. Shortly after Cadderly's children and the druidic dwarf Pikel at Caradoon the town begins being assaulted by the Ghost King's undead which, despite their great martial prowess, drives them and the towns people deep into caves under the mountain. At the same time creatures of the Shadow Plane begin assaulting Spirit Soaring but the combined might of the remaining empowered priests and wizards, led by Cadderly,hold them off until sunrise when they retreated. Shortly after as the remaining people at Spirit Soaring equip themselves with magical weapons of the cathedral's collection, their patrols begin to report heavier losses as magic begins to fail completely. Cadderly attempts to find Deneir and finds his god weaving the Metatext and therefore himself into the broken Weave to fix the damage and stabilize it. Soon after a group of priests and mages who have lost faith sally forth against Cadderly's advice to escape and return a few minutes later as zombies at the forefront of an army of shadow creatures, who had returned even during the day.
Drizzt and company run into Danica, Cadderly's wife who had been out searching for their missing children when she stumbled across what appeared to be the death of Ivan Bouldershoulder at the Ghost King's foot. Barely escaping alive and with Jarlaxle's help she recovers in time for them to reach the battle at Spirit Soaring. They attempt to press through with the unconscious Cattie-Brie on a wagon but not even a fierce charge by the dwarven heroes followed by the speed of the drow could break through the unstoppable tide. Seeing his wife and some friends in danger his need to act called out and something answered. Reciting off unknown spells he creates a flying horse and carriage out of a cloud and rides down to rescue the fighters below displaying godlike power in the form of potent and great unknown spells.
In the end, Cadderly defeats the ghost king at the cost of his life and becomes the new Ghost King, forever reinforcing and guarding the ward containing the rift left by the old Ghost King. The rift is in the shattered Remains of Spirit Soaring. Cattie-Brie is allowed one last night with Drizzt, before she and Regis both die from the Spellplague and are taken by Mielekki as a reward partly to Drizzt. The goddess puts them into a pocket paradise plane for all time.