The Dark Elf Trilogy
The Dark Elf Trilogy, chronicling the beginnings of Drizzt serves as a prequel to the Icewind Dale Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore. Originally created as a supporting character for Wulfgar in the largely popular Icewind Dale Trilogy, Drizzt Do'Urden, a drow elf (more commonly known as a "dark elf"), soon assumed the lead role after Salvatore realized Drizzt's popularity. The final book Sojourn made the New York Times Best Seller list.
The Dark Elf Trilogy Consists of 3 books:
Homeland - The Dark Elf Trilogy Book I
Homeland - published in 1990, Homeland follows the story of Drizzt from around the time and circumstances of his birth and his upbringing amongst the drow (dark elves). The book takes the reader into Menzoberranzan, the drow home city. From here, the reader follows Drizzt on his quest to follow his principles in a land where such feelings are threatened by all his family including his mother Matron Malice. In an essence, the book introduces Drizzt Do'Urden, one of Salvatore's more famous characters from the Icewind Dale Trilogy.
Exile - The Dark Elf Trilogy Book II
Published in 1990 also, Exile tells the story of Drizzt outside of the drow cities in the open wilderness of the Underdark. For the ten years following his abandoning his house, he is left with no one but his faithful Guenhwyvar, a magical panther he had acquired in Homeland. Drizzt is also met with great dangers that he meets with the business ends of his scimitars. Struggling with conflicting emotions, which involve his failure in Menzoberranzan and a deep grief for his father and friend Zaknafein, he makes his way to the surface to face newer dangers.
Sojourn - The Dark Elf Trilogy Book III
Published in 1991, Sojourn is the story of Drizzt coming to the surface of the world and facing adversity due to the infamy of his kin. It follows him trying to find his place among the humans that live between the city of Sundabar and Citadel Adbar. He is rejected, and hunted, before meeting and living with an elderly blind man known as Montolio Debrouchee. Montolio teaches Drizzt what it means to be come a ranger and together they defend Mooshie's home against a raid by local orcs. Drizzt ultimately leaves the Sundabar area and makes his way to Icewind Dale where he befriends Catti-brie and Bruenor Battlehammer and finds a place to call home.
The Dark Elf Trilogy Boxed Set
Drizzt was born to the tenth noble House of Menzoberranzan, Daemon Na'shezbaemon (more commonly known as House Do'Urden). He was the son of Malice, the Do'Urden Matron Mother and her consort, Do'Urden weaponmaster (and sometime Patron) Zaknafein. As the third son, drow culture demanded that Drizzt be sacrificed to their goddess Lolth. However, the death of his older brother, and the first son, Nalfein, (incidentally, at the treacherous hand of the second son, Dinin) in the battle against House DeVir which raised Daemon Na'shezbaemon to the 9th ranked in the city during his birth, made him the second son and spared him.
Being a male in the matriarchal drow society, Drizzt Do'Urden suffered considerable abuse at the hands of his family, particularly his eldest sister Briza, in the first sixteen years of his life. His first ten years were spend as a page prince in the care of his sister Vierna; though she was far from kind, in his later years Drizzt would recall some affection for her, stemming from the fact they shared paternity through Zaknafein.
As a child, Drizzt displayed amazing reflexes and coordination. Consequently, Zaknafein was able to persuade Malice that Drizzt should become a warrior, instead of replacing Nalfein as the house wizard. Thus, at the age of sixteen, Drizzt began his weapons training. He began learning the skills that would lead him to become one of the most formidbable swordsmen in both the Underdark, and Faerun.
At twenty years of age, he went to the Academy, specifically Melee-Magthere, Menzoberranzan's warrior academy, where he excelled in his studies despite his resistance to the attempted brainwashing by the masters of the academy. When it was clear that there were none in Drizzt's class who could beat him, the masters of the academy matched him against students three years above him. Drizzt defeated that class easily. His time at the academy would have been perfect (by Drow standards) except for the graduation ceremony, where he disgraced himself by refusing to take part in an orgy, refusing the advances off two high priestesses, one of them his sister, Vierna, and damning Lolth. Vierna, angered by Drizzt's defiance, showed him what happened to those who defied the Spider Queen: she took him to a drider's lair. She started to leave him there, but changed her mind, believing that death by drider would be too merciful. She threatened to turn Drizzt into one of the hideous creatures if she heard of any more defiance from him. He graduated with honors, even though he did not participate in the ceremony. He believed that no one really noticed his absence from the ceremony because the others were wrapped up in the moment.
He began patrolling the Underdark with his assigned patrol group. He witnessed first hand the cruelty his race showed the other races of the Underdark. Not long after graduation, he took part in a surface raid in which he saved the life of a child of the most bitter enemy of the drow, the surface elves, by hiding her body underneath the corpse of her murdered mother. Zaknafein, fearing that Drizzt had succumbed to the evil ways of the drow, fought with Drizzt, and was told the truth of the matter by his son. Upon hearing Drizzt say that he had no part in the murder of the surface elves, Zaknafein became ecstatic, and revealed that Drizzt was indeed his child. They planned to escape House Do'Urden and live in the cavers of the Underdark. Unfortunately, Matron Malice and her daughters, in a bid to find out why Do'Urden was no longer in Lolth's favor, were watching. They knew that the only way to rectify the situation was to offer Drizzt up as a sacrifice to Lolth. Malice informed Zaknafein of the plan to sacrifice their son ,and to stop it from happening. Zaknafein offered himself to replace Drizzt. This was Malice's intention all along. She believed that once Zaknafein was dead that Drizzt would begin behaving like a proper drow noble, and would take the position of weapon master with pride. When Drizzt learned of his father's demise, he confronted Matron Malice. She told him, cruelly and with much delight, that Zaknafein had been sacrificed to Lolth in order to regain the Spider Queen's favor. She told Drizzt that he was to serve as the house's new weapon master. Drizzt refused outright and using one of Zaknafein's weapons - an exploding ball of light - escaped into the Underdark.
Drizzt then spent some years in the Underdark during which he was enslaved by mind flayers and then had to fight Zaknafein again, who had been made undead by Malice, thanks to Lolth's "greatest gift" Zin-Carla, to find Drizzt. In the end, Zaknafein regained enough control to sacrifice himself, flinging his body into a pool of acid. For Malice's failure to use Zaknafein to kill Drizzt, Lolth decreed that house Do'Urden should be destroyed, and House Baenre, the most favored First House of Menzoberranzan, did just that, with only Vierna and Dinin surviving.
Having lived in the Underdark for over forty years, Drizzt then realized that neither he nor anyone around him would be safe, so he decided to travel to the surface. There he met with much adversity because of his race, but also found his true calling in life as a ranger, during his time with a blind ranger named Montolio. He eventually moved to Icewind Dale, where he joined with Catti-Brie, Bruenor Battlehammer, Regis the halfling, and Wulfgar the barbarian. The Icewind Dale Trilogy picks up chronologically where The Dark Elf Trilogy ends, following Drizzt's emergence from the Underdark.