Come on a Walkabout...

Jun 19, 2005 at 18:13 o\clock

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Starless Night

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

Eye Of A Warrior

 

Courage.

 

In any language, the word has a special ring to it, as much, I suspect, from the reverent way in which it is spoken as from the actual sounds of the letters. Courage. The word evokes images of great deeds and great character: the grim set of the faces of men defending their town’s walls from raiding goblins; the resilience of a mother caring for young children when all the world has seemingly turned hostile. In many of the larger cities of the Realms, young waifs stalk the streets, a braving of hardships both physical and emotional.

 

I suspect Artemis Entreri ought such a battle in the mud-filled lanes of Calimport. On one level, he certainly won, certainly overcame any physical obstacles and rose to a rank of incredible power and respect.

 

On another level, Artemis Entreri surely lost. What might he have been, I often wonder, if his heart had not been so tainted? But I do not mistake my curiosity for pity. Entreri’s odds were no greater than my own. He could have won out over his struggles, in body and heart.

 

I thought myself courageous, altruistic, when I left Mithril Hall determined to end the threat to my friends. I thought I was offering the supreme sacrifice for the good of those dear to me.

 

When Cattie-brie entered my cell in House Baenre, when, through half-closed eyes, I glimpsed her air and deceivingly delicate features, I learned the truth. I did not understand my own motivations when I walked from Mithril Hall. I was too full of unknown grief to recognise my own resignation. I was nit courageous when I walked into the Underdark, because, in the deepest corner of my heart, I felt I had nothing to lose. I had not allowed myself to grieve for Wulfgar, and that emptiness stole my will and my trust that things could be put aright.

 

Courageous people do not surrender hope.

 

Similarly, Artemis Entreri was not courageous when he came with Cattie-brie to rescue me. His actions were wrought of sheer desperation, for if he remained in Menzoberranzan, he was surely doomed. Entreri’s goals, as always, were purely selfish. By his rescue attempt he made a conscious choice that coming after me was his best chance for survival. The rescue was an act of calculation, not of courage.

 

By the time Cattie-brie had run out of Mithril Hall in pursuit of her foolish drow friend, she had honestly overcome her grief for Wulfgar. The grieving process had come full circle for Cattie-brie, and her actions were motivated only by loyalty. She had everything to lose, yet had gone alone into the savage Underdark for the sake of a friend.

 

I came to understand this when first I looked into her eyes in the dungeons of House Baenre. I came to understand fully the meaning of the word courage.

 

And I came, for the first time since Wulfgar fell, to know inspiration. I had fought as the hunter, savagely, mercilessly, but it wasn’t until I looked again upon my loyal friend that I regained the eyes of a warrior. Gone too was my resignation and acceptance of fate; gone was my belief that all would be right if House Baenre got its sacrifice – gave my heart to Lloth.

 

In that dungeon, the healing potions returned strength to my battered limbs; the sight of grim, determined Cattie-brie returned strength to my heart. I vowed that I would resist, that I would fight the overwhelming events, and would fight to win.

 

When I saw Cattie-brie, I remembered all that I had to lose.

 

Jun 18, 2005 at 18:11 o\clock

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Starless Night

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

 

In The Web

 

One of the sects of Faerun names the sins of humanity as seven, and foremost among them is pride. My interpretation of this had always been to think of the arrogance of kings, who proclaimed themselves gods, or at least convinced their subjects that they spoke with some divine beings, thus conveying the image that their power was god-given.

 

That is only one manifestation of this most deadly of sins. One does not have to be a king to be taken down by false pride. Montolio DeBrouche, my ranger mentor, warned me about this, but his lessons concerned a personal aspect of pride. “A ranger often walks aloe, but never walks without friends nearby,” the wise man explained. “A ranger knows his surroundings and knows where allies might be found.”

 

To Montolio’s way of thinking, pride was blindness, a blurring of insight and wisdom, and the defeat of trust. A too-proud man walked alone and cared not where allies might be found.

 

When I discovered the web of Menzoberranzan growing thick about me, I understood my error, my arrogance. Had I come to think so much of myself and my abilities that I forgot those allies who had, to this point, allowed me to survive? In my anger over the death of Wulfgar and my fears for Cattie-brie, Bruenor, and Regis, I never considered that those living friends could help to take care of themselves. The problem that ad befallen us all was my own fault, I had decided, and, thus, was my duty to correct, however impossible that might be for a single person.

 

I would go to Menzoberranzan, discover the truth and end the conflict, even if that end meant the sacrifice of my own life.

 

What a fool I had been.

 

Pride told me that I was the cause of Wulfgar’s death; pride told me that I could be the one to right the wrong. Sheer arrogance prevented me from dealing openly with my friend, the dwarven king, who could muster the forces necessary to combat any forthcoming drow attacks.

 

On that ledge on the Isle of Rothe, I realised that I would pay for my arrogance; later, I would learn that others dear to me might pay as well.

 

It is a defeat of the spirit to learn that one’s arrogance causes such loss and pain. Pride invites you to soar to heights of personal triumph, but the wind is stronger at those heights and the footing tentative. Farther, then, is the fall.

Jun 17, 2005 at 18:11 o\clock

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Starless Night

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

 

Shadows

 

There are no shadows in the Underdark.

 

Only after years on the surface have I come to understand the significance of that seemingly minute fact, the significance of the contrast between lightness and darkness. There are no shadows in the Underdark, no areas of mystery where only the imagination can go.

 

What a marvellous thing is a shadow! I have seen my own silhouette walk under me as the sun ride high; I have seen a gopher grow to the size of a large bear, the light low behind him, spreading his ominous silhouette far across the ground. I have walked through the woods at twilight, my gaze alternating between the lighter areas catching the last rays of the day, leafy green slipping to grey, and those darkening patches, those areas where only my mind’s eye could go. Might a monster be there? An orc or a goblin? Or might a hidden treasure, as magnificent as a lost, enchanted sword or as simple as a fox’s den, lay within the sheltering gloom?

 

When I walk the woods at twilight, my imagination walks beside me, heightens my senses, opens my mind to any possibilities. But there are no shadows in the Underdark, and there is no room for fanciful imagining. All, everywhere, is gripped in a brooding, continual, predatory hush and a very real, ever present danger.

 

To imagine a crouched enemy, or hidden treasure, is an exercise in enjoyment, a conjured state of alertness, of aliveness. But when that enemy is too often real and not imagined, when every jag in the stone, every potential hiding place, becomes a source of tension, then the game is not so much fun.

 

One cannot walk the corridors of the Underdark with his imagination beside him. To imagine an enemy behind one stone might well blind a person to the very real enemy behind another. To slip into a daydream is to lose hat edge of readiness, and in the Underdark, to be unwary is to die.

 

This proved the most difficult transition for me when I went back into those lightless corridors. I had to again become that primal hunter, had to survive, every moment, on that instinctual edge, a state of nervous energy that kept my muscles always taut, always ready to spring. Every step of the way, the present was all that mattered, the search for potential hiding places of potential enemies. I could not afford to imagine those enemies. I could not afford to imagine those enemies. I had to wait for them and watch for them, react to any movements.

 

There are no shadows in the Underdark. There is no room for imagination in the Underdark. It is a place for alertness, but not aliveness, a place with no room for hopes ad dreams.

Jun 16, 2005 at 18:09 o\clock

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Starless Night

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

 

Prayers Unanswered

 

Not since the day I walked out of Menzoberranzan have I been so torn about a pending decision. I sat near the entrance of a cave, looking out at the mountains before me, with the tunnels leading to the Underdark at my back.

 

This was the moment in which I believed my adventure would begin. When I had set out from Mithril Hall, I had given little thought to the part of my journey that would take me to this cave, taking for granted that the trip would be uneventful.

 

Then I had glimpsed Ellifain, the maiden I had saved more than three decades before, when she had been just a frightened child. I wanted to go to her again, to speak with her and help her overcome the trauma of that terrible drow raid. I wanted to run out of that cave and catch up with Tarathiel, and ride back beside the elf back to the Moonwood.

 

But I could not ignore the issues that had brought me to this place.

 

I had known from the outset that visiting Montolio’s grove, that place of so many fond memories, would prove and emotional, even spiritual, experience. He had been my first surface friend, my mentor, the one who had guided me to Mielikki. I can never express the joy I felt in learning that Montolio’s grove was under the protective eye of a unicorn.

 

A unicorn! I have seen a unicorn, the symbol of my goddess, the pinnacle of natural perfection! I might well be the first of my race to have ever touched the soft mane and muscled neck of such a beast, the first to encounter a unicorn in friendship. It is a rare pleasure to glimpse the signs that a unicorn has been about, and rarer still to ever gaze at one. Few in the Realms can say that they have ever been near a unicorn; fewer still have ever touched one.

 

I have.

 

Was it a sign from my goddess? In good faith, I had to believe that it was, that Mielikki had reached out to me in a tangible and thrilling way. But what did it mean?

 

I rarely pray. I prefer to speak to my goddess through my daily actions, and through my honest emotions. I need not gloss over what has occurred with pretty words, twisting them to show myself most favourably. If Mielikki is with me, then she knows the truth, knows how I act and how I feel.

 

I prayed that night in the cave entrance, though, I prayed for guidance, for something that would indicate the significance of the unicorn’s appearance. The unicorn allowed me to touch it; it accepted me, and that is the highest honour a ranger can ask. But what were the implications of that honour?

 

Was Mielikki telling me that here, on the surface, I was, and would continue to be, accepted, and that I should not leave this place? Or was the unicorn’s appearance to show me the goddess’s approval of my choice to return to Menzoberranzan?

 

Or was the unicorn Mielikki’s special way of saying “farewell”?

 

That last thought haunted me all through the night. For the first time since I had set out from Mithril Hall, I began to consider Montolio and Wulfgar, who had passed on from this world, and thoughts of those others I would likely never see again.

 

A host of questions assailed me. Would Bruenor ever get over the loss of his adopted son? And would Cattie-brie overcome her own grief? Would the enchanted sparkle, the sheer love of life, ever return to her blue eyes? Would I ever again prop my weary head against Guenhwyvar’s muscled flank?

 

More than ever, I wanted to run from the cave, home to Mithril Hall. And stand beside my friends, to see them through their grief, to guide hem and listen to them and simply embrace them.

 

Again I could not ignore the issues that had brought me to this cave. I could go back to Mithril Hall, but so could my dark kin. I did not blame myself for Wulfgar’s death – I could not have known the dark elves would come. And now I could not deny my understanding of the awful ways and continuing hunger of Lloth. If the drow returned and extinguished that – cherished! – light in Cattie-brie’s eyes, ten Drizzt Do’Urden would die a thousand horrible deaths.

 

I prayed all that night, but found no divine guidance. In the end, as always, I came o realise that I had to follow what I knew in my heart was the right course, had to trust that what was in my heart was in accord with Mielikki’s will.

 

I left the fire blazing at the entrance of that cave. I needed to see its light, to gain courage from it, for as many steps as possible as I walked into the tunnel. As I walked into darkness.

Jun 15, 2005 at 18:08 o\clock

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Starless Night

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

 

Duty Bound

 

No race in all the Realms better understands the word vengeance than the drow. Vengeance is their dessert at their daily table, the sweetness they taste upon their smirking lips as though it was the ultimate delicious pleasure. And so hungering did the drow come for me.

 

I cannot escape the anger and the guilt I feel for the loss of Wulfgar, for the pains the enemies of my dark past have brought to the friends I hold so dear. Whenever I look into Cattie-brie’s fair face, I see a profound and everlasting sadness that should not be there, a burden that has no place in the sparkling eyes of a child.

 

Similarly wounded, I have no words to comfort her and doubt that there are any words that might bring solace. It is my course, then, that I must continue to protect my friends. I have come to realise that I must look beyond my own sense of loss for Wulfgar, beyond the immediate sadness that has taken hold of the dwarves of Mithril Hall and the hardy men of Settlestone.

 

By Cattie-brie’s account of that fateful fight, the creature Wulfgar battled was a yochlol, a handmaiden of Lloth. With that grim information, I must look beyond the immediate sorrow and consider that the sadness I fear is still to come.

 

I do not understand all the chaotic games of the Spider Queen – I doubt that even the evil high priestesses know the foul creature’s true designs – but there lies in a yochlol’s presence a significance that even I, the worst of the drow religious students, cannot miss. The handmaiden’s appearance revealed that the hunt was sanctioned by the Spider Queen. And the fact that the yochlol intervened in the fighting does not bode well for the future of Mithril Hall.

 

It is all supposition, of course. I know not that my sister Vierna acted in concert with any of Menzoberranzan’s other dark powers, or that, with Vierna’s death, the death of my last relative, my link to the city of the row would ever again be explored.

 

When I look into Cattie-brie’s eyes, when I look upon Bruenor’s horrid scars, I am reminded that hopeful supposition is a feeble and dangerous thing. My evil kin have taken one friend from me.

 

They will take no more.

 

I can find no answers in Mithril Hall, will never know for certain if the dark elves hunger still for vengeance, unless another force from Menzobarranzan comes to the surface to claim the bounty on my head. With this truth bending low my shoulders, how could I ever tread to Silverymoon, or to any other nearby town, resuming my normal lifestyle? How could I sleep in peace while holding within my heart the very real fear that the dark elves might soon return and once more imperil my friends?

 

The apparent serenity of Mithril Hall, the brooding quiet, will show me nothing of the future designs of the drow. Yet, for the sake of my friends, I must know those dark intentions. I fear that there remains only one place for me to look.

 

Wulfgar gave his life so that his friends might live. In god conscience, could my own sacrifice be any less?

Jun 14, 2005 at 18:07 o\clock

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The Legacy

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

End Game

 

When I die…

 

I have lost friends, lost my father, my mentor, to that greatest of mysteries called death. I have known grief since the day I left my homeland, since the day wicked Malice informed me that Zaknafein had been given to the Spider Queen. It is a strange emotion, grief, its focus shifting. Do I grieve for Zaknafein, for Montolio, for Wulfgar? Or do I grieve for myself, for the loss I must forever endure?

 

It is perhaps the most basic question of mortal existence, and yet it is one for which there can be no answer…

 

Unless the answer is one of faith.

 

I am sad still when I think of the sparring games against my father, when I remember the walks beside Montolio through the mountains, and when those memories of Wulfgar, most intense of all, flash through my mind like a summary of the last several years of my life. I remember a day on Kelvin’s Cairn, looking out over the tundra of Icewind Dale, when young Wulfgar and I spotted the campfires of his nomadic people. That was the moment when Wulfgar and I truly became friends, the moment when we came to learn that, for all the other uncertainties in both our lives, we would have each other.

 

I remember the white dragon, Icingdeath, and the giant-kin, Biggrin, and how, without heroic Wulfgar at my side, I would have perished in either of those fights. I remember, too, sharing the victories with my friend, our bond of trust and love tightening – close, but never uncomfortable.

 

I was not there when he fell, could not lend him the support he certainly would have lent me.

 

I could not say “Farewell!”

 

When I die, will I be alone? If not for the weapons of monsters or the clutch of disease, I surely will outlive Cattie-brie and Regis, even Bruenor. At this time in my life I do firmly believe that, no matter who else might be beside me, if those three were not, I would indeed die alone.

 

These thoughts are not so dark. I have said farewell to Wulfgar a thousand times. I have said it every time I let him know how dear he was to me, every time my words or actions affirmed our love. Farewell is said by the living, in life, every day. It is said with love and friendship, with the affirmation that the memories are lasting if the flesh is not.

 

Wulfgar has found another place, another life – I have to believe that, else what is the point of existence?

 

My very real grief is for me, for the loss I know I will feel to the end of my days, however many centuries have passed. But within that loss is a serenity, a divine calm. Better to have known Wulfgar and shared those very events that now fuel my grief, than never to have walked beside him, fought beside him, looked at the world through his crystal-blue eyes.

 

When I die… may there be friends who will grieve for me, who will carry our shared joys and pains, who will carry my memory.

 

This is the immortality of the spirit, the ever-lingering legacy, the fuel of grief.

 

But so, too, the fuel of faith.

 

Jun 13, 2005 at 18:04 o\clock

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The Legacy

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

 

Cat and Mouse

 

What turmoil I felt when I first broke my most solemn, principle-intentioned vow: that I would never again take the life of one of my own people. The pain, a sense of failure, a sense of loss, was acute when I realised what wicked work my scimitars had done.

 

The guilt faded quickly, though – not because I came to excuse myself for any failure, but because I came to realise that my true failure was in making the vow, not n breaking it. When I walked out of my homeland, I spoke the words out of innocence, the naiveté of unworldly youth, and I meant them when I said them, truly. I came to know, though, that such a vow was unrealistic, that if I pursued a course in life as a defender of those ideals I so cherished, I could not excuse myself from actions dictated by that course if ever the enemies showed themselves to be drow elves.

 

Quite simply, adherence to my vow depended on situations completely beyond my control. If, after leaving Menzoberranzan, I had never again met a dark elf in battle, I never would have broken my vow. But that, in the end, would not have made me any more honourable. Fortunate circumstances do not equate to high principles.

 

When the situation arose, however, that dark elves threatened my dearest friends, precipitated a state of warfare against people who had done them no wrong, how could I, in good conscience, have kept my scimitars tucked away? What was my vow worth when weighed against the lives of Bruenor, Wulfgar, Cattie-brie, or when weighed against the lives of any innocents, for that matter? If, in my travels, I happened upon a drow raid against surface elves, or against a small village, I know beyond any doubts that I would have joined in the fighting, battling the unlawful aggressors with all my strength.

 

In that event, no doubt, I would have felt the acute pangs of failure and soon would have dismissed them, as I do now.

 

I do not, therefore lament breaking my vow though it pains me, as it always does, that I have had to kill. Nor do I regret making the vow, for the declaration of my youthful folly caused no subsequent pain. If I had attempted to adhere to the unconditional words of that declaration, though, if I had held my blades in check for a sense of false pride, and if that inaction had subsequently resulted in injury to an innocent person, then the pain in Drizzt Do’Urden would have been more acute, never to leave.

 

There is one more point I have come to know concerning my declaration, one more truth that I believe leads me further along my chosen road in life. I said I would never again kill a drow elf. I made the assertion with little knowledge of the many other races of the wide world, surface and Underdark, with little understanding that many of these myriad peoples even existed. I would never kill a drow, so I said, but what of the svirfnebli, the deep gnomes? Or the halflings, elves, or dwarves? And what of the humans?

 

I have had occasion to kill men, when Wulfgar’s barbarian kin invaded Ten-Towns. To defend those innocents meant to battle, perhaps to kill, the aggressor humans. Yet that act, unpleasant as it may have been, did not in any way affect my most solemn vow, despite the fact that the reputation of humankind far outshines that of the dark elves.

 

To say, then, that I would never again slay a drow, purely because they and I are of the same physical heritage, strikes me now as wrong, as simply racist. To place the measure of a living being’s worth above that of another simply because that being wears the same colour skin as I belittles my principles. The false vales embodied in that long-ago vow have no place in my world, in the wide world of countless physical and cultural differences. It is these very differences that make my journeys exciting, these very differences that put new colours and shapes on the universal concept of beauty.

 

I now make a new vow, one weighed in experience and proclaimed with my eyes open: I will not raise my scimitars except in defence: in defence of my principles, of my life, or of others who cannot defend themselves. I will not do battle to further the causes of false prophets, to further the treasures of kings, or to avenge my own injured pride.

 

And to the many gold-wealthy mercenaries, religious and secular, who would look upon such a vow as unrealistic, impractical, even ridiculous, I cross my arms over my chest and declare with conviction: I am the richer by far!

 

Jun 12, 2005 at 18:02 o\clock

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The Legacy

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

Legacy

 

What dangerous paths I have trod in my life; what crooked ways these feet have walked, in my homeland, in the tunnels of the Underdark, across the surface Northland, and even in the course of following my friends.

 

I shake my head in wonderment – is every corner of the wide world possessed of people so self-absorbed that they cannot let others cross the paths of their lives? People so filled with hatred that they must take up the chase and vindicate themselves against perceived wrongs, even if those wrongs were no more than an honest defence against their own encroaching evils?

 

I left Artemis Entreri in Calimport, left him there in body and with my taste for vengeance rightfully sated. Our paths had crossed and separated, to the betterment of us both. Entreri had no practical reason to pursue me, had nothing to gain in finding me but the possible redemption of his injured pride.

 

What a fool he is.

 

He has found perfection of the body, has honed his fighting skills as perfectly as any I have known. But his need to pursue reveals his weakness. As we uncover the mysteries of the body, so too must we unravel the harmonies of the soul. But Artemis Entreri, for all his physical prowess, will never know what songs his spirit might sing. Always he will listen jealousy for the harmonies of others, absorbed with bringing down anything that threatens his craven superiority.

 

So much like my people is he, and so much like so many others I have met, of varied races: barbarian warlords whose positions of power hinge on their ability to wage war on enemies who are not enemies; dwarf kings who hoard riches beyond imagination, while when sharing but a pittance of their treasures could better the lives of all those around them and in turn allow them to take down their ever-present military defences and throw away their consuming paranoia; haughty elves who avert their eyes to the sufferings of any who are not elven, feeling that the ‘lesser races’ somehow brought it unto themselves.

 

I have run from these people, passed these people by, and heard countless stories of them from travellers of every known land. And I know that I must battle them, not with blade or army, but by remaining true to what I know in my heart is the rightful course of harmony.

 

By the grace of the gods, I am not alone. Since Bruenor regained his throne, the neighbouring peoples take hope in his promises that the dwarven treasures of Mithril Hall will better all the region. Cattie-brie’s devotion to her principles is no less than my own, and Wulfgar has shown his warrior people the better way of friendship, the way of harmony.

 

They are my armour, my hope in what is to come for me and for all the world. And as the lost chasers such as Entreri inevitably find their paths linked once more with my own, I remember Zaknafein, kindred of blood and soul. I remember Montolio and take heart that there are others who know the truth, that if I am destroyed, my ideals will not die with me. Because of the friends I have known, the honourable people I have met, I know I am no solitary hero of unique causes. I know that when I die, that which is important will live on.

 

This is my legacy; by the grace of the gods, I am not alone.

 

 

Jun 11, 2005 at 17:59 o\clock

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The Legacy

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

Perceptions

 

There is no word in the drow language for love. The closest word I can think of is ssinssrigg, but that is a term better equated with physical lust or selfish greed. The concept of love exists in the hearts of some drow, of course, but true love, a selfless desire often requiring personal sacrifice, has no place in a world of such bitter and dangerous rivalries.

 

The only sacrifices in drow culture are gifts to Lloth, and those are surely not selfless, since the giver hopes, prays, fro something greater in return.

 

Still, the concept of love was not new to me when I left the Underdark. I loved Zaknafein. I loved both Belwar and Clacker. Indeed, it was the capacity, the need, for love that ultimately drove me from Menzoberranzan.

 

Is there in all the wide world a concept more fleeting, more elusive? Many people of all the races seem simply not to understand love, burden all its beauteous simplicity with preconceived notions and unrealistic expectations. How ironic that I, walking from the darkness of loveless Menzoberranzan, can better grasp the concept than many of those who have lived with it, or atleast with the very real possibility of it, for all of their lives.

 

Some things a renegade drow will not take for granted.

 

My few journeys to Silverymoon in these past weeks have invited good-hearted jests from my friends, “Suren the elf has his eyes fixed on another wedding!” Bruenor has often crooned, regarding my relationship with Alustriel, the Lady of Silverymoon. I accept the taunts in light of the sincere warmth and hopes behind them, and have not dashed those hopes by explaining to my dear friends that their notions are misguided.

 

I appreciate Alustriel and the goodness she has shown me. I appreciate that she, a ruler in a too-often unforgiving world, has taken such a chance as to allow a dark elf to walk freely down her city’s wondrous avenues. Alustriel’s acceptance of me as a friend has allowed me to draw my desires from my true wishes, not from expected limitations.

 

But do I love her?

 

No more than she loves me.

 

I will admit, though, I do love the notion that I could love Alustriel, and she could love me, and that, if the attraction were present, the colour of my skin and the reputation of my heritage would not deter the noble Lady of Silverymoon.

 

I know now, thought, that love has become the most prominent part of my existence, that my bond of friendship with Bruenor and Wulfgar and Regis is of utmost importance to any happiness that this drow will ever know.

 

My bond with Cattie-brie runs deeper still.

 

Honest love is a selfless concept, that I have already said, and my own selflessness has been put to a severe test this spring.

 

I fear now for the future, for Cattie-brie and Wulfgar, and the barriers they must, together, overcome. Wulfgar loves her, I do not doubt, but he burdens his love with a possessiveness that borders on disrespect.

 

He should understand the spirit that is Cattie-brie, should see clearly the fuel that stokes the fires in her marvellous blue eyes. It is that very spirit that Wulfgar loves, and yet he will undoubtedly smother it under the notions of a woman’s place as her husband’s possession.

 

My barbarian friend has come far from his youthful days roaming the tundra. Farther still must he come to hold the heart of Bruenor’s fiery daughter, to hold Cattie-brie’s love.

 

Is there in all the world a concept more fleeting, more elusive?

Jun 10, 2005 at 17:54 o\clock

Enter the Drow...

I thought it was time a fabulous authour and his even more detailed and brilliant character got a plug. Some of you may well know many of the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden and his friends, and I have found R.A Salvatore slips some truly profound insights into Drizzt's discourses preceding each 'part' in his novels.

So, I am going to include them here, and leave it up to you to sieve out those pearls of wisdom. Any errors are totally my own, and I do hope to have transposed it correctly...do let me know if I have erred! :)

 

The Legacy

 

As written by Drizzt Do’Urden, in the novels by R.A.Salvatore.

 

The Inspiring Fear

 

Nearly three decades have passed since I left my homeland, a small measure of time by the reckoning of a drow elf, but a period that seems a lifetime to me. All that I desired, or believed I desired, when I walked out of Menzoberranzan’s dark cavern, was a true home, a place of friendship and peace of a warm hearth and share stories with trusted companions.

 

I have found all those now, beside Bruenor in the hallowed halls of his youth. We prosper. We have peace. I wear my weapons only on my five-day journeys between Mithril Hall and Silverymoon.

 

Was I wrong?

 

I do not doubt, nor do I ever lament, my decision to leave the vile world of Menzoberranzan, but I am beginning to believe now, in the (endless) quiet and peace, that my desires at that critical time were founded in the inevitable longing of inexperience. I had never known that calm existence I so badly wanted.

 

I cannot deny that my life is better, a thousand times better, than anything I ever knew in the Underdark. And yet, I cannot remember the last time I felt the anxiety, the inspiring fear, of impending battle, the tingling that can come only when an enemy is near or a challenge must be met.

 

Oh, I do remember the specific instance – just a year ago, when Wulfgar, Guenhwyvar, and I worked the lower tunnels in the cleansing of Mithril Hall – but that feeling, that tingle of fear, has long since faded from memory.

 

Are we then creatures of action? Do we say that we desire those accepted clichés of comfort when, in fact, it is the challenge and the adventure that truly gives us life?

 

I must admit, to myself at least, that I do not know.

 

There is one point that I cannot dispute, though, one truth that will inevitably help me resolve these questions and which places me in a fortunate position. For now, beside Bruenor and his kin, beside Wulfgar and Cattie-brie and Guenhwyvar, dear Guenhwyvar, my destiny is my own to choose.

 

I am safer now than ever before in my sixty years of life. The prospects have never looked better for the future, for continued peace and continued security. And yet, I feel mortal. For the first time, I look to what has passed rather than to what is still to come. There is no other way to explain it. I feel that I am dying, that those stories I so desire to share with friends will soon grow stale, with nothing to replace them.

 

But, I remind myself again, the choice is mine to make.