Vengeance is Mine Sayeth the Dwarf

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Vendenace of the Iron Dwarf is the third and final of the Companions Codex trilogy, and fourth since the resurrection of the Companions of the Hall.

The Darkening is well under way across the Silver Marches, the drow of Menzobarranzan trying to both to finally take down the rogue Drizz’t Do’Urden, and facilitate the rise of their dark goddess Loth as the mistress of magic.

Armies of orcs, goblins, and giants swarm across the land.  The dwarves are trapped in their citadels. Nesme and Sundabar have fallen to the hordes.  Silverymoon is pressed, the Glimmerwood is surrounded.  Winter has fallen with no end of the kingdom wide siege in sight, so all wait with baited breathe to see what the spring will bring.

But not all are sitting idle. 

While Wulfar and Regis are trapped in the Upper Underdark, separated from their friends as the Companions made a break for Mithril Hall, Drizz’t, Cattie-Brie and Bruenor are simultaneously trying to convice the dwarves that Bruenor is who he claims to be, and keep the dwarves from starving in their homes.

At the Temple of the Yellow Rose, Ambergris and Afrenefrere are called forth by a certain drow rogue who has also called the aid of a pair of bronze dragon sisters and have come forth to the Marches to stop the advent of Menzobarranzan.

The fate of Dahlia is still uncertain, and Aretmis Entreri is no where to be seen.  Quenthel Baenre becomes more like her mother each day with the aid of an insane Ilithis, Gromph Baenre is torn between admiration and fear of his sister the new Matron Mother, and Tiago Baenre risks everything the drow have worked for on the surface, all in an attempt to finally kill the infamous rogue Drizz’t Do’Urden.

Many wheels are in motion in the Silver Marches.  Will they spin to fruition or seize in failure?

While you ponder that question and perhaps seek out the answer for yourself, onwards and upwards to Spellstorm by Ed Greenwood next.

Rumors race around Cormyr regarding the mythical Lost Spell, a powerful enchantment designed centuries ago by the presumed dead god of spells—a spell long thought lost to the ages. Found by some magic-less merchant, rumor has it the Lost Spell is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

It is a powerful lure, and archwizards of every stripe descend upon the merchant, only to be trapped with him inside his manor by a vicious spellstorm—escape impossible, and their magic useless with the interference from the storm.

Moreover—they find themselves faced with the infamous Elminster of Shadowdale, who claims he’s just there to decide who gets the Lost Spell, but who clearly has an agenda of his own.

But before Elimster can put whatever plan he has in motion, archwizards start dying.

 

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Choice and Consequence

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Fifth in the Brimestone Angels saga, Fire in the Blood is the continuation of Farideh and Havilar’s stories, it picks up a wee bit after the events of The Adversary, but before the end of the Sundering saga as Shade and the Netherese are still a threat.

Farideh and her family find themselves stuck in Cormyr, in the capital of Suzail no less, as Havilar’s sweetheart Brin attempts to get out of a royal marriage that he got himself into during the almost decade that the twins were held in stasis as per a bargain Farideh made to try and save them all.

It’s a difficult task navigating the twisting rules and regulations of Cormyr laws, more so when you are outsiders looking in and the Chosen of Asmodeus the god of sin himself.

But it’s kind of hard to worry about how long your sleeves need to be and what color is in fashion this season when you and your twin sister are constantly under attach because of who she is sleeping with.

Add to that a dead king, two missing princes, a Shadowvar spies in the castle as well as every noble house, and the Chosen of the supposedly dead god Azuth the Magistar of magic and is being driven slowly mad from the pain of his god…yeah.  I don’t think Farideh and company reeeeeally care about much else this time around.

Interesting tidbit though.  Farideh keeps having these visions os Asmodeus with a blue rune on his chest.  Turns out this rune is the symbol of Azuth himself and from the rambling of the mad Chosen it sounds like he’s the key to Asmodeus’ resurrection, and possibly his downfall.

I’m fuzzy on the details of Azuth’s death right now, but it sounds like he was badly injured by either another god or the collapse of the weave and was thrown down into the hells and to the feet of Asmodeaus.  And it sounds like the devil-prince-turned-god took matter into his own hands.  I want to say he killed Azuth, but if he did why is Azuth creating Chosen and why does the newly minted god of sin bear his mark?

Maybe the truth is that Azuth isn’t dead, but held captive by Asmodeus who is siphoning off Azuth’s godhood to maintain his own?

Ugh.  Too many thoughts and speculations running around in my brain right now.  I want to figure things out, but I think I’ll be better for waiting.  So let’s turn back to the Companion’s Codex and the final installment: Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf.

Bloody war rages across the Forgotten Realms world in the third book of the Companions Codex, the latest series in R.A. Salvatore’s New York Times best-selling saga of dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden.

In the evolving world of the Forgotten Realms setting, the Sundering has given way to months of cloud-cloaked darkness, and war rages under that oppressive sky. The orcs have broken a hard-fought treaty that’s held, however tentatively, for a hundred years, and the time to settle old scores has devolved into an all-out brawl for control of the ancient realms of the North.

The Darkening Begins

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Rise of the King is the second in the Companions Codex trilogy and third since the resurrection of the Companions of the Hall.

The Darkening has been cast.  The drow have called upon white dragons and frost giants to aid them in their cause.  The former are lured with promises of riches for their trapped queen, the latter are merely tricked with a few simple spells and the intervention of an insane mind flayer.

Jarlaxle is trapped in Menzoberranzan at the bidding of his sister, the newest Matron Mother Baenre.  House Do’Urden is fully resurrected with Matron Mother Dahlia Darthiir at this head, a patron, a weapons master and a house wizard.  But all are at the call of the Baenres.

Drizz’t and company are trapped as well in Nesme as the combined might of orcs, goblins, and giants assail it’s walls.  Sundabar is putting up a mighty defense, but few know how long it will last with the dwarves trapped behind their doors.

Even the underground tunnels the dwarves built to link the fortresses are overrun with orcs and their kin, so they cannot even come to each other’s aid.

The Darkening is not just a spell, it is the slow ebbing of hope from the people of the Silver Marches as the orc armies continue their advance and none are seen to come to their aid.  How deep it goes depends on the actions of a few, and the events of the finale Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf

In the meantime, we are going back to Farideh the warlock and the Brimestone Angels series with Fire in the Blood.  I love this series so I am very excited to get back to it.

In a direct follow-up to the third book in the Sundering series, The Adversary, young warlock Farideh falls into the midst of a battle for the throne of Cormyr. As the war brought on by the Sundering rages across Faerûn, princes and princesses, wizards and rogues scheme to capture the seat of power of the Land of the Purple Dragon—with Farideh and her allies caught squarely in the middle.

To Each Ending A New Beginning

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And here we come at last to the end of the Sundering saga.  It’s been quite the ride folks and the last book is no exception.

The Herald, written by the Old Sage himself Ed Greenwood, caps us off with an epic battle scene that is…well…pretty much the whole book.

The elves of Myth Drannor are surrounded, besieged, and almost beaten by the armies of Shade.  Their king, or Most High, seeks the power of their Mythal and the wards of great Candlekeep give his dark goddess Shar the power she seeks to subvert Mystra’s portfolio and become the next goddess of magic and lady of the weave.

Well, the Chosen of Mystra can’t have that now can they?

Elminster goes to Candlekeep to try and save it, with Alustair and Lareal opposing him.  He is tricked by the first Chosen of Mystyl and the wards are destroyed.  Making their way to Myth Drannor, Elminster realizes his error with Candlekeep and so the trio go to destroy it’s mythal. 

Storm, Amarune and Arclath are there on errands of Elminster as well, again first to save the Mythal, then to fight when saving is no longer an option.  Dove makes an appearance along with Mirt, protecting what elves they can to allow them the slimmest of chances to escape.  Which they take, ensuring the next generation of Myth Drannoran elves to return and reclaim their ancient homeland.

And in the end, all is both lost and saved.

Candlekeep and Myth Drannor are lost, the magic of the wards and the mythal snuffed out forever, though the location remain and can be rebuilt.  The weave however, is saved.  Shade is thrown down – literally, as their capital city crashes – and the Most High is dead.

At the end of this long, costly war, the words of Abeir and Toril are mostly if not completely separated, the weave is stabilizing once more, and Mystra is returned in body and soul.

But of course this is not the end, this is only the beginning of a new chapter in the Realms world…

Speaking of new chapters, we’re looking at the second chapter of the Companions Codex, Rise of the King next.

The Companions of the Hall are united in body, in spirit, but not in ideals. The world changes around Drizzt Do’Urden once more and old debts insist on payment, old wrongs demand to be set right. And dwarves and orcs once again look at each other with hatred and distrust.

Tos’un Armgo and Tiago Baenre work to matters worse, and they work as only drow can — from the shadows, but with blades drawn.

The King of Many-Arrows is the very image of the new peace in the North, and that’s why he needs to die. When a new orc king takes the throne, and Gruumsh himself calls for war, the savage hordes gather.

After decades of peace, the North explodes in war once again. Dwarf steel meets ancient enemies, and once they taste blood, those blades will not soon be sheathed. Not until all the Spine of the World runs red.

In the middle of this chaos, the Companions fight, and DRIZZT is forced to defend himself, his newly rediscovered friends, and his adopted home, from the treachery of his own black-souled kind.

The Companions of the Hall are back in action in a world that seems to be falling apart again, but may simply be repeating a deadly cycle of violence and hate, a cycle that brings one of the fantasy genre’s best-loved characters into a fight for his life, his loves, and his very soul.

 

End of the Realms

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So this is a bittersweet day for me.  I have recently discovered that as of , there are no more Forgotten Realms books.

There is no official word from Wizards of the Coast as of yet, but a few authors on different sites I frequent have piped in whenever the question has arisen.  The Realms authors seems to be a tight knight community, and the few who have spoken up have confirmed that there are no new Realms books contracted from any of them.

This is really hard for me to hear, but there is a slim hope that some other publisher will pick it up.  Thankfully my paperback collection is almost complete, I only need Shadowmask from the Stone of Tymora trilogy.  Although I did decide to expand my collection a wee bit and pick up the Abyssal Plague series so I need a few of those.  Next it’s the ebooks, and with a little lick I can space everything out until next year before the withdrawal sets in.

And even then, there’s still all the D&D 5e stuff that they’re coming out with, so I should have a goo stockpile for a bit.

But, seeing as no more Realms books are being published, here is a list of all Realms books published from 1983 to 2016, ebooks and cross worlds included, compiled from both Wikipedia and the Realms wiki.  As of today I do not own any of the eBooks, and have starred the paperbacks I do not yet own.

33 years…fuck that’s as old as I am… o_o

Abolethic Sovereignty

  • Plague of Spells
  • City of Torment
  • Key of Stars

Abyssal Plague

  • The Gates of Madness **
  • The Mark of Nerath
  • The Temple of The Yellow Skulls
  • Oath of Vigilance
  • The Eye of The Chained God**
  • Sword of the Gods
  • Under The Crimson Sun by Keith R. A. DeCandido
  • Spinner of Lies Bruce R. Cordell (eBook)

Anthologies

  • Realms of Valor
  • Realms of Infamy
  • Realms of Magic
  • Realms of the Underdark
  • Realms of the Arcane
  • Realms of Mystery
  • The Best of the Realms
  • The Best of the Realms II: The Stories of Ed Greenwood
  • The Best of the Realms III

The Avatar Series

  • Shadowdale
  • Tantras
  • Waterdeep
  • Prince of Lies
  • Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad

The Baldur’s Gate Series

  • Baldur’s Gate
  • Baldur’s Gate 2: The Shadows of Amn
  • Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal

Blades of the Moonsea

  • The Swordmage
  • Corsair
  • Avenger

Brimstone Angels

  • Brimstone Angels
  • Brimstone Angels: Lesser Evils
  • Brimstone Angels: Fire In The Blood
  • Brimstone Angels: Ashes Of The Tyrant
  • Brimstone Angels: The Devil You Know

Brotherhood of the Griffon

  • The Captive Flame
  • Whisper of Venom
  • The Spectral Blaze
  • The Masked Witches
  • Prophet of the Dead

Chosen of Nendawen

  • The Fall of Highwatch
  • The Hand of the Hunter
  • Cry of the Ghost Wolf

The Citadels

  • Neversfall,
  • Obsidian Ridge
  • The Shield of Weeping Ghosts
  • Sentinelspire

The Cities

  • The City of Ravens
  • Temple Hill
  • The Jewel of Turmish
  • The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel

The Cleric Quintet

  • Canticle
  • In Sylvan Shadows
  • Night Masks
  • The Fallen Fortress
  • The Chaos Curse

Cold Steel And Secrets

  • Part 1 (Ebook)
  • Part 2 (Ebook,)
  • Part 3 (Ebook)
  • Part 4 (Ebook)

Companions Codex

  • Night Of The Hunter
  • Rise Of The King
  • Vengeance Of The Iron Dwarf

The Cormyr Saga

  • Cormyr: A Novel
  • Beyond the High Road
  • Death of the Dragon

Counselors & Kings

  • The Magehound
  • The Floodgate
  • The Wizardwar

The Dark Elf Trilogy

  • Homeland
  • Exile
  • Sojourn

Double Diamond Triangle Saga

  • The Abduction
  • The Paladins
  • The Mercenaries
  • Errand of Mercy
  • An Opportunity for Profit
  • Conspiracy,
  • Uneasy Alliances
  • Easy Betrayals
  • The Diamond

The Druidhome Trilogy

  • Prophet of Moonshae
  • The Coral Kingdom
  • The Druid Queen

The Dungeons

  • Depths of Madness
  • The Howling Delve
  • Stardeep
  • Crypt of the Moaning Diamond

The Elminster Series

  • Elminster – The Making of a Mage
  • Elminster in Myth Drannor
  • The Temptation of Elminster
  • Elminster in Hell
  • Elminster’s Daughter
  • Elminster Must Die
  • Bury Elminster Deep
  • Elminster Enraged

The Empires Trilogy

  • Horselords
  • Dragonwall
  • Crusade

The Empyrean Odyssey

  • The Gossamer Plain
  • The Fractured Sky
  • The Crystal Mountain

The Erevis Cale Trilogy

  • Twilight Falling
  • Dawn of Night
  • Midnight’s Mask

The Fighters

  • Master of Chains
  • Ghostwalker
  • Son of Thunder
  • Bladesinger

The Finder’s Stone Trilogy

  • Azure Bonds
  • The Wyvern’s Spur
  • Song of the Saurials

The Harpers

  • The Parched Sea
  • Elfshadow
  • Red Magic
  • The Night Parade
  • The Ring of Winter
  • Crypt of the Shadowking
  • Soldiers of Ice
  • Elfsong
  • Crown of Fire
  • Masquerades
  • Curse of the Shadowmage
  • The Veiled Dragon
  • Silver Shadows
  • Stormligh
  • Finder’s Bane
  • Thornhold
  • Rise of the Blade -never published because the Harpers series was canceled. The novel is available for reading online at the author Charles Alexander Moffat official website.

The Haunted Lands

  • Unclean
  • Undead
  • Unholy
  • Realms of the Dead

Homecoming

  • Archmage
  • Maestro
  • Hero

House of Serpents

  • Venom’s Taste
  • Viper’s Kiss
  • Vanity’s Brood

The Hunter’s Blades Trilogy

  • The Thousand Orcs
  • The Lone Drow
  • The Two Swords

The Icewind Dale Trilogy

  • The Crystal Shard
  • Streams of Silver
  • The Halfling’s Gem

The Knights of Myth Drannor

  • Swords of Eveningstar
  • Swords of Dragonfire
  • The Sword Never Sleeps

The Lady Penitent

  • Sacrifice of the Widow
  • Storm of the Dead
  • Ascendancy of the Last

The Last Mythal

  • Forsaken House
  • Farthest Reach
  • Final Gate
  • Realms of the Elves

Legacy of the Drow

  • The Legacy
  • Starless Night
  • Siege of Darkness
  • Passage to Dawn

 

Lost Empires

  • The Lost Library of Cormanthyr
  • Faces of Deception,
  • Star of Cursrah
  • The Nether Scroll

The Lost Gods

 

  • Finder’s Bane,
  • Fistandantilus Reborn
  • Tymora’s Luck

The Maztica Trilogy

  • Ironhelm
  • Viperhand
  • Feathered Dragon

The Moonshae Trilogy

  • Darkwalker on Moonshae
  • Black Wizards
  • Darkwell

Mysteries

  • Murder in Cormyr
  • Murder in Tarsis
  • Murder in Halruaa

Netheril Trilogy

  • Sword Play
  • Dangerous Games
  • Mortal Consequences

Neverwinter Saga

  • Gauntlgrym
  • Neverwinter
  • Charon’s Claw
  • The Last Threshold

The Nobles

  • King Pinch
  • War in Tethyr
  • Escape from Undermountain
  • The Mage in the Iron Mask
  • The Council of Blades
  • The Simbul’s Gift

Paths of Darkness

  • The Silent Blade
  • The Spine of the World
  • Servant of the Shard
  • Sea of Swords 

The Pools

  • Pool of Radiance
  • Pools of Darkness
  • Pool of Twilight

The Priests

  • Lady of Poison
  • Mistress of the Night
  • Maiden of Pain
  • Queen of the Depths

Return of the Archwizards

  • The Summoning
  • The Siege
  • The Sorcerer
  • Realms of Shadow

The Rogues

  • The Alabaster Staff
  • The Black Bouquet
  • The Crimson Gold
  • The Yellow Silk

The Sage Of Shadowdale

  • Elminster Must Die
  • Bury Elminster Deep
  • Elminster Enraged

The Scions of Arrabar Trilogy

  • The Sapphire Crescent
  • The Ruby Guardian
  • The Emerald Sceptre

The Sellswords

  • Servant of the Shard
  • Promise of the Witch-King
  • Road of the Patriarch

Sembia: Gateway To The Realms

  • The Halls of Stormweather
  • Shadow’s Witness
  • The Shattered Mask
  • Black Wolf
  • Heirs of Prophecy
  • Sands of the Soul
  • Lord of Stormweather

The Shadow of the Avatar Trilogy

  • Shadows of Doom
  • Cloak of Shadows
  • All Shadows Fled

Shandril’s Saga

  • Spellfire
  • Crown of Fire
  • Hand of Fire

Shadowbane Series

  • Downshadow
  • Shadowbane (eBook)
  • Eye of Justice (eBook)

Songs & Swords

  • Elfshadow
  • Elfsong
  • Silver Shadows
  • Thornhold The Dream Spheres

Starlight & Shadows

  • Daughter of the Drow
  • Tangled Webs
  • Windwalker

The Stone of Tymora

  • The Stowaway
  • The Shadowmask
  • The Sentinels

The Sundering

  • The Companions
  • The Godborn,
  • The Adversary
  • The Reaver
  • The Sentinel
  • The Herald

Sword Of The Gods

  • Spinner Of Lies (eBook)

The Threat from the Sea

  • Rising Tide,
  • Under Fallen Stars
  • The Sea Devil’s Eye
  • Realms of the Deep

Transitions

  • The Orc King
  • The Pirate King
  • The Ghost King

 

The Twilight Giants

  • The Ogre’s Pact
  • The Giant Among Us
  • The Titan of Twilight

The Twilight War

  • Shadowbred
  • Shadowstorm
  • Shadowrealm
  • Realms of War

Unbroken Chain

  • Unbroken Chain
  • Unbroken Chain: The Darker Road

War of the Spider Queen

  • Dissolution
  • Insurrection
  • Condemnation
  • Extinction
  • Annihilation
  • Resurrection

The Watercourse Trilogy

  • Whisper of Waves
  • Lies of Light
  • Scream of Stone

Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep

  • Blackstaff Tower
  • Mistshore
  • Downshadow
  • City of the Dead
  • The God Catcher
  • Circle of Skulls

The Wilds

  • The Fanged Crown
  • The Restless Shore
  • The Edge of Chaos
  • Wrath of the Blue Lady

The Wizards

  • Blackstaff
  • Bloodwalk
  • Darkvision
  • Frostfell

The Year of Rogue Dragons

  • The Rage
  • The Rite
  • The Ruin
  • Realms of the Dragons
  • Realms of the Dragons II

Other titles

  • Once Around the Realms
  • Evermeet: Island of Elves
  • The Shadow Stone
  • The Glass Prison
  • Silverfall: Stories of the Seven Sisters
  • Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
  • Sandstorm
  • Dawnbringer
  • Venom in Her Veins
  • The Rose of Sarifal
  • The Gilded Rune
  • Prince Of Ravens (eBook)
  • If Ever They Happened Upon My Lair (eBook)
  • Spider and Stone  (eBook)
  • Spellstorm
  • Death Masks
  • Untold Stories

Faith and Vigilance

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The Sentinel is the second to last book of the Sundering series, and it took a bit for me to get into, again because there was no real connection with the character going in.  But other than that I quite enjoyed it.

We are introduced Kleef, Chosen of the dead god Helm and a member of the watch of Marsembar who is probably the only honest man on the payroll.  When the shadowvar chase two fellow Chosen through the streets of his city carrying the Eye of Gruumsh, naturally the servant of the Watcher feels obligated to get involved and ensure the safety of all caught up in this quest.

And an interesting quest this is.  With the worlds of Abeir and Toril separating at long last, many gods and almost-gods are vying to be in the perfect spot to gain more power in the inevitable vaccum that will be left behind, as some of those who were on Toril before the joining of the worlds choose to leave.

One such creature it the earth primordial, who just so happens to be the lover of Gruumsh’s wife.  Tempted into leaving, thinking his love was lost to him, she stole the eye of her husband to give to her lover as a token.  The task of the Chosen are to see it to the primordial’s alter and appropriately scarified to tie the primordial to the plane of Toril.  Or at least that’s the hope.  It is assumed once he has received such a token of love and fidelity he will choose to stay, retaining his mantle so that non other can take it up and gain more power.

Well, that’s the gist of it.  It is a tad bit more complex than that, but those are the bones of it.  What I found most interesting was that nothing was really as it seemed.  See there are four main characters, four Chosen in this story.  One isn’t really a Chosen at all, and another is not the Chosen of the god he claims.  You think these two are going to fall for each other, when really it’s those two. You think this person is going to sacrifice themselves, then you think that person, when really it’s someone else altogether!

It changes direction a lot, but it’s done in such a way that it’s kinda your fault, if that makes sense.  Like the story doesn’t directly point to the assumptions you make, you just make them based on what you (well I guess me in this case) make about books like this, and then it’s revealed that you were wrong all along.

So it’s a mind hump, but in a good way.  And it all makes sense which is better.

And now we move right along to the sixth and last book of the Sundering, The Herald by Ed Greenwoo.

Chaos grips Faerûn as vainglory, prophecy, and ancient forces comingle in the shadows cast by war.  Agents of the Shadovar lurk in the corners of Candlekeep in search of the arcane secrets that will power their war machine toward Myth Drannor. Gods and their Chosen run amok, all in a gambit to seize power. And a threat foretold by an ancient seer stirs.

At the heart of it all, Mystra, the great Goddess of Magic, has withdrawn from the world. Without her protection, Elminster, her greatest champion, fears for the nascent Weave, the fabric of magic Mystra wields to bind Faerûn. Will the Nightseer Shar, mistress of the great and fearsome Shadovar, seize the opportunity to blanket the world with her Shadow Weave?

With the help of Storm Silverhand and his protégé Amarune, Elminster works frantically to strengthen the Weave’s tethers and forestall what seems an inevitable reckoning. But other interests machinate for their own sinister ends.

As the Sundering draws nigh, Elminster and his heroic cohort must see the signs for what they are. The choice of worlds lies in the balance.

Old Friends, Older Enemies

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First in the Companions Codex, the most recent (and possibly last) series of the Drizz’t Saga.

This was full of so many feels for me.  It’s the first book where the Companions of the Hall are reunited in mind, body, and purpose.  And what a purpose that is.

The events of over a century ago looks like they are about to have some hidden and unintended consequences.  The Treaty of Garumm’s Gorge was created to bring peace between the orcs and the Silver Marches, but now it looks like it was a move in a long game Loth and Grummsh were running.

Because now Loth is on the move, and calling on some friends to join her.  We spend a lot of time with the drow of Menzoberranzan, where we learn that Loth is not pleased.  As Drizz’t traveled with Dahlia and Entreri in the Neverwinter series, Loth was making power plays for his soul, hoping to corrupt him.  But thanks to Meilikki intervening and offering his friends to choice to come back and help him, his soul was saved from Loth and delivered once again into Meilikki’s hands.

So now Loth, in spite of or perhaps because of this loss, is making a play for the shattered Weave, hoping to become the supreme Mistress of Magic and greater than all the other gods.

But in order to achieve that, certain steps must be taken on the surface.  So in tandem with Gauntlegrym (newly renamed as the drow city of Q’Xlorrin) the drow weave a mighty spell called the Darkening to…well…darken the skies above the Silver Marches, allowing Loth’s dark children to walk freely and wreak what havoc they can.

And among all this happening, the Companions of the Hall are wrestling with the implications of the treaty they signed so long ago, as Meilikki herself condemned it, telling her new disciple Cattie-Brie that all orckind and goblinkin are irredeemably evil and therefore, a blight on the face of Faerun, and that the treaty was a foolish move.

Tied to all this, in Q’Xlorrin, Entreri and Dahlia are held captive, with the elf female being tortured in mind and body until she breaks and is offered up as a sacrifice to Loth and turned into a living effigy within the new temple of Q’Xlorrin.  Of course when Drizz’t eventually catches wind that Enteri at least is captured by his dark kin, he enlists the companions to help him save the assassin.  And in the process Cattie-Brie and Dahlia face off against each other and battle things out, as Loth had taken over poor Dhalia and used her as an avatar, with Meilikki doing the same to Cattie-Brie.

So…yeah.  Hell of a lot going on here, and there’s a million other smaller things happening that I can’t even begin to tell you here.  I cannot wait to see what happens next, and I can’t help but wonder what happened to make Loth and Meilikki such enemies.  Is it personal? Because of Drizz’t?  Or just a result of their natures clashing, evil chaos vs natural order?

I don’t, and may never know.  But it will be fun trying to find out! After the next book though.  We have The Sentinel, fifth in the Sundering series next.

Stubbornly clinging to his family’s worship of a long-forgotten god, Kleef soon discovers that his god has blessed him with divine gifts, making him one of a new group of Chosen cropping up around the Realms. This divine gift makes him an excellent ally — and a target for those who wish to corral his powers.

After battling his way out of Marsember, a city besieged on all sides in the wake of the Sundering, he becomes swept up in the mission of a group of odd allies — a warrior princess, an accomplished thief, and a mysterious short pudgy man exuding a faint odor of decay. With the forces of Shade tracking their every step, they set out to thwart the rise of the goddess of death, but before long Kleef discovers that his allies hide dangerous secrets — secrets that could destroy not only Kleef but the very fabric of the Forgotten Realms.

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