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Drizzt Do'Urden is a fictional character in the Dungeons & Dragons-based Forgotten Realms setting. He is a Chaotic Good drow elf ranger who has forsaken both the evil ways of his people and their home (in the Underdark). He is one of only a few drow known to live on the surface (other than Drizzt, there is a small community of Vhaeraunite drow who reside in Cormanthor, the former home of the elven court and worshipers of Eilistraee, godess of good drow, can also be found in very small, scattered societies.)
The majority of Drizzt's story is told in the fantasy novels of R. A. Salvatore, including The Dark Elf Trilogy, The Icewind Dale Trilogy , the Legacy of the Drow series, the Paths of Darkness series, and The Hunter's Blade trilogy, but he has also been featured in some D&D based roleplaying games, including the Baldur's Gate Series.
Drizzt is about five and a half feet tall and weighs around 130 lb (59 kg). Drizzt's favourite weapon is the scimitar, and he carries two magical blades, called Twinkle and Icingdeath. He also carries a magical figurine which summons his black panther companion Guenhwyvar. He wears a pair of bracers of speed on his calves, making him incredibly quick on his feet. He chose to wear them on his legs instead of his arms because when the enchantment combined with his natural speed, his sword-swings became too fast for him to control. Drizzt's attire is generally a cloth tunic, tough pants, and soft boots. He wears an enchanted chainmail shirt, forged for him by his dwarven friends. He also has a long green cape.
Drizzt was taught the ways of the ranger from Montolio Debrouchee (Mooshie), a blind human, and Drizzt realized he had followed these ways all of his life. From this time on, he made his matron goddess Mielikki, Faerūnian goddess of the forest and of rangers.
Thoughtful and sensitive to others, Drizzt holds himself to the highest ideals but does not expect the same of others. Ever alert for treachery and danger, he speaks little but is apt to be polite (if terse) in his dealings. A perfectionist who yearns to be accepted into places and groups and to make friends widely, Drizzt is haunted by the danger he brings to those he befriends thanks to the scrutiny of the clerics of Lolth and his other foes (notably Errtu and Entreri). Those he meets perceive him as having a grim manner.
Early in his surface travels, Alustriel Silverhand welcomed him as warmly and personally as she does all in need, but dared not let him openly into Silverymoon at that time. His deeds have, very slowly, made Drizzt Do’Urden more welcome in the Sword Coast North.
Drizzt Do'Urden means dreamer who walks in the dark.
Drizzt was born to the tenth noble house of Menzoberranzan, Daermon Nashezbaernon (commonly known as 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 Lloth, but the death of his older brother, Nalfein, shortly after 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 in the first sixteen years of his life. His first ten years were spent in the care of his older sister Vierna; though she was far from kind, in his later years Drizzt would recall some affection for her.
As a child, Drizzt displayed amazing reflexes. 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. It was then that he began learning the skills that would lead to him become one of the most formidable swordsmen in Faerūn.
At twenty years of age, he went to Melee-Magthere, Menzoberranzan's warrior academy, where he excelled in his studies despite the disfavour of the masters of the academy, who matched him against students three years above him (who Drizzt beat easily). His time at the academy would have been spotless (by Drow standards) except for the graduation ceremony, where he disgraced himself by refusing to take part in an orgy, refusing the advances of a high priestess and damning Lolth.
After graduating 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 underneath her murdered mother. Drizzt's weaponmaster Zaknafein, having similar morals to Drizzt, thought he killed the child, but Lolth knew he hadn't and dropped the Do'Urden family from her favour because of it. Zaknafein then fought with Drizzt, thinking he had become like other drow, and was told the truth of the matter by Drizzt.
Unfortunately, the women of house Do'Urden, in a bid to find out why Do'Urden was no longer in Lolth's favour, were watching this battle. The end result of this is that Zaknafein offered himself as a sacrifice to spare Drizzt and Drizzt, on realising what had happened, left house Do'Urden to live in the Underdark wilderness.
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 to find Drizzt. In the end, Zaknafein regained enough control to make himself fall into a pool of acid, destroying himself.
For Malice's failure to use Zaknafein to kill Drizzt, Lolth decreed that house Do'Urden should be destroyed, and House Baenre (the most powerful house in Menzoberranzan) did just that, with only Vierna and Dinin (Drizzt's older brother) 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, and eventually moved to Icewind Dale, where he joined with Catti-brie, Bruenor Battlehammer, Regis the halfling and Wulfgar the barbarian.
It should be noted that among a sizable group of fans of the Forgotten Realms, Drizzt Do'Urden is considered to be quite a trite character and unrealistic to the setting. Many also take umbrage at R.A. Salvatore's changing the canon of the Forgotten Realms in his Drizzt novels.
Novels with Drizzt as the title character do, however, tend to sell extremely well in comparison to other Forgotten Realms-line books, often breaking into the New York Times bestseller lists when first released. While perhaps controversial among some Forgotten Realms fans, Drizzt is certainly one of the better-known faces—if not the best-known face—from the Forgotten Realms, and books featuring him are among the most popular of the Dungeons and Dragons inspired fiction. His popularity reaches beyond the gaming community, appealing to a wide range of fantasy and science fiction fans.
- Related article: Artemis Entreri
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