Dungeons & Dragons’ most beloved drow, Drizzt Do’Urden, is again in R.A. Salvatore’s newest novel. Glacier’s Edge is the second e-book within the Way of the Drow collection, and it picks up the place Starlight Enclave left off in 2021. In it, fan-favorite characters Catti-brie, Jarlaxle, Artemis Entreri, and Zaknafein come throughout a society of drow in contrast to any beforehand found within the Forgotten Realms. Polygon is proud to current this unique excerpt.
On Aug. 9, the novel started transport from on-line retailers and unbiased booksellers nationwide — together with signed copies out there at Barnes & Noble.
They entered a large lane of taverns and brothels, some free-standing development, others carved into stalagmites, and nonetheless others not more than partitions of material hardly shielding the actions inside.
Dininae knew this place from the times when he had been known as Dinin, at the moment the Secondboy of House Do’Urden. He had come right here typically to play, to gamble, to struggle – something to interrupt the monotony of his existence because the lowest noble of Matron Malice’s courtroom. The Braeryn appeared quieter now to him, and fairly a bit. At first, he figured that resulting from current occasions— the march to the floor, the brewing troubles, and the conflict with the demon hordes that had been fought right here in Menzoberranzan only some years under—however as he and Voselly continued their stroll, he realized that no, that wasn’t it in any respect.
The cabinets had been stocked, racks of soiled glasses piled on the finish of each bar.
Which meant this wasn’t an indication of decline. No, this present day, this second, the avenue was surprisingly empty.
He did see just a few patrons and potential clients, some leaning on the bars, some standing with the prostitutes as if placing a discount, a pair pitching bones in a small alley between two stalagmites that comprised a single tavern. But they had been all so unnatural at it he didn’t suppose them typical denizens of the Stenchstreets. He seemed for insignia, and famous from the refined revelations of their armor and weapons that these weren’t the downtrodden of Menzoberranzan, no.
Yet he noticed no home markings, no emblems or crests.
And that made it worse.
“Are you at the ready?” he whispered to his companion.
“Of course. You see it, too?”
“I count six.”
“At least eight.”
“Ah yes, my favorite number, or so I was told from the moment of my birth,” Dininae replied.
“Take heart, we’ve friends about,” Voselly informed him. “We need only hold our ground for a short while.”
“Unless they also have friends nearby.”
Voselly stopped and half-turned, smirking down at him. She was about to say one thing, Dininae was about to shout one thing, when she abruptly spun about, bringing her trident sweeping throughout, angled downward with nice power, driving apart a sword stabbing for her again. Her attacker overbalanced and fell ahead simply sufficient for Voselly to roll her shoulders and launch a devastating proper cross that crunched into her attacker’s face and snapped his head again viciously.
He was absolutely unconscious earlier than he hit the bottom.
Dininae had watched each motion, the sweep and the attractive approach Voselly had dropped her left shoulder again, primarily “throwing” the proper hand together with her left shoulder, leading to such a protracted and actually devastating punch.
He silently reminded himself by no means to anger this lady, however that was on a regular basis he needed to take into account something apart from the struggle, which now got here at him quick within the type of a pair of younger males, or extra pointedly, in a closing barrage of 4 waving and stabbing swords.
So fast was his draw that Dininae’s swords appeared to easily seem in his fingers, simply as Zaknafein had taught him, drawing and stabbing in a singular motion. His opponent to the proper turned and slapped a sword throughout to deflect, however the different one had not anticipated the sudden assault and caught Dininae’s left-hand blade proper on the tip of his breastplate, the place it slid up and jabbed into his throat.
Dininae would have completed him, would have almost decapitated him, besides that the opposite attacker was already countering with a backhand sweep together with his blocking blade, forcing Dininae to fall again and switch quick to deliver his left-hand blade slashing throughout to intercept.
He had one out of the struggle quickly a minimum of, stumbling and gagging and falling off to the facet, however one other enemy leaped into the void and pressed ahead fiercely, forcing Dininae again on his heels, his two swords working furiously to maintain the 4 stabbing blades at bay.
Work for the rhythm, he informed himself silently.
Work for the rhythm, fall into the stream of the battle, uncover the tendencies of your opponents. So Dininae did, and he was fairly happy with himself as he held his floor, anticipating every assault and deflecting, parrying, riposting, even, or avoiding with a easy twist. After all of these years as a drider, he was nonetheless dwelling as much as Zaknafein’s coaching, and dwelling as much as the compliments Voselly had simply put upon him.
His shock broke him from that rhythm and that confidence when he sensed one thing coming arduous for his head from behind.
Reflexively, he simply folded his legs below him and dropped to his knees, tucking his chin, as effectively, and bracing himself.
But the missile – which was truly one other enemy drow warrior – went over him, falling over the 2 attackers, who tried arduous to not stab their poor flailing comrade within the collision.
With however a fast appreciative look again at a laughing Voselly, Dininae sprang up and ahead. He stabbed the thrown drow first, proper within the kidney, and as that man crumbled in ache, Dininae blew previous him, over him, seizing the initiative and driving again the 2 attackers. He deftly employed an inside-out collection of thrusts together with his left-hand stabs, transferring his hand in shut and to his proper hip and launching the assaults from there to power the stumbling, off-balance drow to maneuver out wider.
A ultimate thrust despatched the drow skipping again three strides, and Dininae turned absolutely on the drow to the proper, blades rolling now as if to easily overpower the guy.
Except, no, for Dininae broke virtually instantly to return out quick to the left, the place that drow was charging, clearly believing that Dininae absolutely concerned with the opposite. The attacker got here in with an offensive stance, one blade excessive, the opposite too far ahead.
Dininae bought previous the tip of that blade simply, and bought his left arm up excessive, blade horizontal to steal the chop of the drow’s raised sword.
These weren’t houseless rogues. They wore high-quality armor.
But Dininae wielded Baenre swords, and with the momentum of each fighters bringing them quick collectively, that high-quality breastplate barely slowed the thrust of Dininae’s right-hand blade.
The drow stopped quick, contorting weirdly.
Dininae stepped again, dropping his left shoulder to ship his free sword reducing out arduous behind him to remain the push of the remaining fighter, whereas his proper foot went as much as the impaled drow’s chest and pushed off arduous, sending Dininae out and right into a roll and throwing the mortally-wounded attacker stumbling again and toppling over the primary warrior Dininae had dispatched.
A flicker to the proper had Dininae snapping his sword up, and simply in time to deflect a handcrossbow quarrel.
He seemed all about, seeing drow flooding into the road, and at first considering a military had come towards him and Voselly.
But no, most of those had been Blaspheme warriors, the guy former driders, he realized. He seemed to a smiling Voselly.
“They’ve been shadowing us?” he requested.
“I told you we had friends,” she replied.
“You didn’t say they were shadowing us.”
The warrior shrugged. “Perhaps I wanted to confirm that which was told to me, and which I hoped to be true.”
“That I can fight?”
“Yes, and perhaps you will soon find trust in me to tell me the truth about Dininae. You are no commoner. You are not self-taught in the arts martial. You attended the Academy and were trained by a weapon master.”
She quieted as one other giant drow lady walked up, one other of the Blaspheme power who had spent millennia within the Abyss with Lolth and her fellow torturers.
“What do you know, Aleandra?” Voselly requested.
“Your ambushers are fleeing.”
“Let them go.”
She nodded. “Yes, I gave the order already. But there is one other, a priestess of House Hunzrin. She wishes to retrieve these enemies who have fallen, to tend them that they will not die.”
“Why does she care? Are these murderers of House Hunzrin?”
“She did not say, but my guess is House Melarn, of course.”
“So House Hunzrin is trying to play a mediation role here and avoid a war,” Voselly reasoned. She seemed round on the 5 fallen ambushers, the place just one, skewered by Dininae, seemed to be in mortal hazard.
“Have her come and heal that one,” Voselly determined. “And do with him as she will. The others come with us back to House Baenre. I would not overstep my authority here. Let the Matron Mother Quenthel Baenre decide their fate.”
Aleandra rushed away and started barking orders, whereas Voselly led Dininae again the best way that they had come.
“It was my kill,” he stated to her as they moved off. “You did not think the disposition of the fallen warrior should be my choice?”
“No,” she answered merely. “I was once weapon master of the First House of Menzoberranzan. You are but a commoner, so you say. Why would I care what you wanted?”
Dininae stopped and let her transfer just a few steps forward of him, and stood there with fingers on hips till she turned again.
“You mean to play the same games that decided our mutual fates in times past?” he requested.
“Your words have consequences. When I can trust you, I will respect you.”
“Because I am a noble, you believe?”
“Because you will no longer be lying to me. Do not misunderstand me, warrior. I am as fearful as you regarding our disposition in this struggle, and regarding our future, if we even have one. We are the Blaspheme, so they have decided. We are Matron Mother Baenre’s shock soldiers, her fodder. She will throw us against her enemies, no doubt, and will shed no tears when we are torn apart.”
“Or Lolth will reveal her joke and revert us to a state of abomination,” Dininae replied, admitting his deepest concern.
“It has crossed my mind. And that is why I intend to bring the Blaspheme tightly together beneath my command. Here or back in the Abyss, we stand together or we face torment – and actual death only if we are fortunate. But I like people who tell me the truth, Dininae.”
She virtually spat his sobriquet.
He didn’t wish to cross Voselly. He actually didn’t wish to cross Matron Mother Baenre. And most of all, he didn’t wish to grow to be a pawn within the grand scheming of the Demon Queen of Spiders.
But in the long run, he was a Do’Urden, Elderboy Dinin Do’Urden, and on this most complicated and harmful time, he merely couldn’t discern how that fact would play.