In case you missed it, this Summer is going to be the Summer of Drizzt. What is that all about? A new novel, coming soon from R.A. Salvatore.
Drizzt Do’Urden, the dual-wielding drow ranger who famously left behind the glamorous and murder-filled world of Menzoberranzan for a frozen city that would welcome him with all the warmth you’d expect from an isolated group of towns striving to survive in a harsh forever winter that’s also full of literal monsters, is at the center of a whole Summer of Legend from Wizards of the Coast.
This is a massive undertaking that includes the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, by Tuque Games, a cavalcade of new Drow and updated lore, and a lullaby read in the haunting voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, whom you probably know as Bumblebee Cummerbund. But why now? Why Drizzt?
In a word, Capitalism. In slightly more words, capitalism and the fact that Drizzt is one of the few iconic D&D heroes that isn’t either, an old old wizard that everyone might rightly/mistakenly call Gandalf–that’s been done–and two, there’s a new Drizzt novel coming out and it’s a big deal. With new Drizzt and new Dragonlance coming this summer, this feels like a part of a big initiative by WotC to rekindle the stories of D&D’s past. Which, if you’re trying to also launch a media empire–say with a TV show and a movie currently in development–you kinda need the lore that people come to expect from an IP these days.
You can’t turn on the TV without seeing someone explain a fantasy world full of Proper Nouns in a coldly detached British accent, regardless of what country they’re actually from. And Dungeons & Dragons is no exception, thanks to Bicarbonate Calcium’s performance of Sleep Sound:
Enter the new novel, Starlight Enclave, which reinvents drow whole cloth and puts Drizzt Do’Urden back in the public eye.
After the settling dust of the demon uprising and two years of peace, rumblings from the Menzoberranzan drow have Jarlaxle nervous. Worried his allies may be pulled into a Civil War between the great Houses, he is eager to ensure Zaknafein is armed with weapons befitting his skill, including one in particular: Khazid’hea. A powerful artifact, the sword known as “Cutter” has started wars, corrupted its users, and spilled the blood of many, many people. Nonetheless—or maybe because of that—the rogue Jarlaxle and a small group of friends will go on an expedition looking for the weapon’s last wielder, Doum’wielle, in the freezing north, for she may be the key to unlocking the sword’s potential…and perhaps the key to preventing the bloodshed looming over the Underdark.
And as they explore the top of the world, Drizzt is on a journey of his own—both spiritual and physical. He wants to introduce his daughter Brie to Grandmaster Kane and the practices that have been so central to his beliefs. But, having only recently come back from true transcendence, the drow ranger is no longer sure what his beliefs mean anymore. He is on a path to determining the future, not just for his family, but perhaps the entire northlands of the Realms themselves.
Two different roads. On one, Jarlaxle and Zaknefein are on a quest to find pieces that could offer salvation to Menzoberranzan. On the other, Drizzt seeks answers that could offer salvation to not just his soul, but all souls.
And no matter the outcome of either journey, the Realms will never be the same again.
Starlight Enclave releases August 3rd