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The Birth of Drizzt Do'Urden
The Drow Elves are one of the most evil and dangerous races to walk the Forgotten Realms.
Once, the Elves walked the surface as one people, but there grew a divide as one group sought power and strength, as the other group valued honor and intelligence. The two groups held to different principals, and walked two different paths. Eventually they followed different gods. The followers of Lolth were driven underground, where they chose to stay, and continue their quest for power.
The Drow society is made of a number of houses of nobility, all lead by the mother of the family. The rules are strict and cruel, and enforced with malice. It's common for a Matron Mother to have one of her children put to death for disobedience.
Yet out of such a hard and villainous environment comes the kind-hearted Drizzt Do'Urden.
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Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Underdark
Drizzt was born to Matron Malice Do'Urden. Males were not held in very high regard, and the third born male was traditionally sacrificed to Lolth. Drizzt's older brother murdered the oldest in order to elevate his own importance in the house. Lolth accepted the soul of Drizzt's older brother in his stead.
Drizzt found life in the Dark Elf city miserable, and very contrary to his own beliefs, but in the interest of survival, he kept his head down, and his mouth shut. He found friendship with Zaknafein, weapons master of the house, who taught him to fight, and about surviving in the Dark Elf city. Drizzt soon found that this weapons master was actually his father, and also shared his beliefs.
One night, on a surface raid, Drizzt allowed an Elf to live. This brought the disfavor of Lolth upon house Do'Urden. Zaknafien was chosen as a sacrifice as reconciliation for Drizzt's sins, but also as a strike to Drizzt's heart.
Drizzt turned on his family and left the Dark Elf city, and everything he'd ever known. After years living in the Underdark, he found his way to the surface.
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Drizzt is the creation of author R. A. Salvatore, who first brought life to the character in his book "The Crystal Shard" in 1988. Here is a list of the books in chronological order:
THE ICEWIND DALE TRILOGY - 1. The Crystal Shard (1988), 2. Streams of Silver 3. The Halfling’s Gem.
THE DARK ELF TRILOGY - 1. Homeland (1990), 2. Exile, 3. Sojourn.
LEGACY OF THE DROW - 1. The Legacy (1992), 2. Starless Night (1993), 3. Siege of Darkness (1994), 4. Passage to Dawn (1996).
PATHS OF DARKNESS - 1. The Silent Blade (1998), 2. The Spine of the World (1999), 3. Servant of the Shard (2000), 4. Sea of Swords (2001).
THE HUNTER’S BLADE TRILOGY - 1. The Thousand Orcs (2002), 2. The Lone Drow (2003), 3. The Two Swords (2004).
THE SELLSWORDS - 1. Servant of the Shard (2000), 2. Promise of the Witch King (2005), 3. Road of the Patriarch (2006).
Outside of the works of R. A. Salvatore, Drizzt has appeared in several graphic novels, and even some video games, most notably Baldur's Gate, and Baldur's Gate 2.
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Drizzt on the Web
Just as with just about anything else, you can always find a vast amount of information about Drizzt Do'Urden on the internet in many forms.
Here is Wizards of the Coast's official Drow of the Underdark Art.
Drizzt.com is a Drizzt Do'Urden fan site powered by WordPress. You can sign in and leave comments and even contribute your own fantasy fiction or fan art.
There are also a number of video clips on YouTube, including this one.
For those of you looking to use Drizzt Do'Urden as a player character or perhaps an NPC in your 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons game, here are his stats and information.
There is also information regarding a 4th edition Drizzt on the Wizards of the Coast user forums, available here.
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Drizzt represents the kind of person we'd all like to be in the face of adversity. A strong will, with an adherence to one's own principles above all else. Drizzt risked everything, and continues to do so, simply to hold on to his beliefs. He left his home, forsaking the only family he'd ever known. He faced living in a world by himself, filled with unknown dangers. He faced people who hated and feared him, with an entire angry city (and god!) at his back, hoping that he could escape the pure evil that was his heritage.
It's not his ability with his weapons that makes him a hero, but his unwillingness to compromise himself, and dedication to stand up for what he believes in.
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I'd love to hear about your impressions and thoughts from your first time reading about Drizzt and his legacy. What were your favorite (or least favorite!) parts, what would you have done differently, etc. If you have any input or further thoughts about any of the information I did, or may not have included (and believe me, I'm well aware that there's an awful lot if information I left out!) in this article please leave a comment.