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Monday, September 27, 2010

Mystic Monday

Return to Reality

Okay, I've been dealing with some sad times the past couple of weeks, and haven't felt silly (thus no Silly Saturday) or very enlightened (thus no Spirit Awareness) posted the past two Saturdays. I apologize for not being able to navigate the fog sooner. Not saying this for pity, merely the truth of things. I had to take the time to face it head on, so it would go away and stick around plaguing my every move.

However, I'm glad to report that the fog has cleared and I am back to my silly and chaotic self, and perfect timing because October, my favorite month, is right around the corner. Yay! And of course, basketball (and hopefully another year as a Squad 6 member) begins soon too. I am especially happy when reports of Milwaukee Bucks' Center Andrew Bogut's return in time for the season recently surfaced. Rumors were abound that he would not be ready, but I refused to believe anything said until it came straight from him. According to sources, he's back and working to be ready for the opener. While I don't expect him to play all the minutes early on, it does my heart and soul good to know he'll be ready. The team is shaping up and I am eager and excited to watch the boys in action!

The Legend of Drizzt

What have I been doing? Well, I did what I always do in times of trouble, I turned to my favorite fantasy/action/adventure saga - Drizzt Do'Urden by R.A. Salvatore. What you need to know about Drizzt is that he's a drow elf, an ebony-skinned race of evil elves created for the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms role-playing campaign. By nature, drows are despicably evil. They do not care for anyone, not even themselves, really. They twist and manipulate all other races to suit their needs and to create chaos all with the goal of pleasing the Spider Queen Lolth. There are others, but in this saga, Lolth is the main chaotic evil goddess referenced. There is one goddess (and only one) that many drow may worship with the chaotic good alignment - Eilistraee. Even the actions of the goddess may not always be "lawful" they are meant for the greater good.

[Note: a character/god/goddess's alignment is composed of two axis. Originally, it was just Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic but was later expanded with a second axis to include Good, Neutral and Evil.]

Drizzt was born very different from others of his race. While drow elves traditionally have red eyes and are adverse to sunlight, Drizzt has purple and prefers the sunlight to darkness even though his innate drow abilities allow him perfect night vision.

What do the purple eyes mean? Well, no one could really say because it hadn't been heard of before, but some could argue that, once his true nature was revealed, they were a sign of his innate goodness, or purity of soul. He never lost that. In fact, his true father (a man who remained unknown to him for the earliest, formative years of his life) worked very hard to keep that purity intact and foster a love of all forms of life and beauty.

His father had red eyes but did not share the chaotic evil alignment but, in the matriarch-based society of the drow, feared retribution and hid his true alignment from the women lest they kill him outright or send him to a worse fate - make him a drider (half-drow/half-spider).

The first trilogy (The Dark Elf Trilogy) chronicles Drizzt's birth through his climb from his Underdark home of Menzoberranzan to the surface world on the planet of Toril. Just because Drizzt reaches the surface, it doesn't mean all is well. Most of his time is spent proving himself and his alignment to others. In fact, for a time, Drizzt doesn't really have an alignment - as in he did not worship any god or goddess because he only knew of Lolth and she and her ways disgusted him. So, his tale continues as he proves himself time and again to others and eventually finds himself a friend and mentor as well as a temporary place to live. Then he eventually finds four friends who accept him for who he is, a home with them and a place where he is "tolerated" in Ten Towns. While they appreciate all that Drizzt has done for them, they can't let go of their fears because as anyone could tell you, any other drow might help them only to turn on them later on. It is this aspect of the drow they fear.

The second trilogy (The Icewind Dale Trilogy), although written first comes second in chronology and will make much more sense if read in order. While Drizzt is tolerated in Ten Towns, he doesn't live among them, but on the outskirts of town, in the wilds of Icewind Dale - a very northern and snowy place. It is in this trilogy that Drizzt really begins to make a name for himself through his quest to help fend off a barbarian attack on Ten Towns and later defeat sorcerer Akar Kessel and the evil crystal shard, Crenshinibon. Drizzt also helps his dwarven friend, Bruenor Battlehammer and his dwarves reclaim their ancestral home of Mithril Hall and later must race to save his halfling friend, Regis - a.k.a. Rumblebelly.

At this point, you'd be best to read The Canticle Quintet - not because they have any bearing on Drizzt, but because it builds the story of other characters who make many appearances throughout the rest of Drizzt's Saga, especially the Bouldershoulder brothers.

Then on to the quad of books, Legacy of the Drow, then to the quad Paths of Darkness. After that comes The Hunter's Blades Trilogy - which I am currently just finishing. After that, I will be on to the Transitions Trilogy (out now) and then on to the latest trilogy Neverwinter which is set to be released October 2010 if it hasn't reached shelves by now.

This is my comfort series because I have "watched" Wulfgar grow from a timid boy to a proud and brave warrior. I have "seen" him overcome odds and torment that would have destroyed most. I have laughed, cried, loved and hated with these people. They are like a second family to me. Their lives are unpredictable and they surprise you at every turn.

Guenhwyvar, Drizzt's 600 lb black panther that can be summoned from the Astral Plane through an enchanted figurine. Originally found in the possession of a crazy and mean drow wizard, Masoj Hun'ett. During Drizzt's escape from the Menzoberranzan, Drizzt kills the wizard and takes the figurine for himself. Rather than a creature to summon at his will, Drizzt treats her like a friend, and that she has been since he left.

There's Cattie-brie a fiesty human girl too. Her and Wulfgar are adopted children of Bruenor Battlehammer, the dwarf, but all six of them - Drizzt, Regis, Cattie-brie, Wulfgar, Bruenor and Guenhwyvar prove to be a strong family of warriors.

I'm off to read more of The Two Swords, the third book of The Hunter's Blades Trilogy. In case you're wondering why I didn't elaborate on the other trilogies - besides making this post even longer, these contain the best stuff! Where's the fun in spoilin' it? 

What are your favorite "go-to" reads - they don't have to be romance either...

2 Moonbeams (comments):

Sheila Deeth said...

You make them sound excellent, so now I'll have to look out for them. Interesting, the difference between a comfort read and the sort of series where I have to get the next one straight away, or for preference yesterday. As to my go-to reads, I cure indecisiveness by committing to the next book I pick up.

Carrie said...

I like that idea Sheila!