The dark elves of Menzoberranzan, including the powerful Archmage Gromph, aren't done with Drizzt yet. And consumed by their own power struggles, feeling backed into a corner, the drow may just be desperate enough to call on demonic forces from the deepest reaches of the Abyss, and unleash a disaster even the Underdark could never have prepared for.Archmage has everything Drizzt's fans crave: action, adventure, characters that resonate with equal measures of warrior spirit and deep compassion, and no shortage of wicked dark elves!
In Menzoberranzan, Archmage Gromph Baenre reveals the end of the War of the Silver Marches and the dispelling of the Darkening to Matron Mother Quenthel Baenre. Quenthel meditates on the solution to her spectacular failure on the surface. She sees a vision of Menzoberranzan in its early days, when demons roamed the streets. She believes it to be a vision brought to her by Lolth to solve her problems and bring chaos to the city—and thus security to her position. She begins summoning innumerable demons to the city, who cause chaos and destruction wherever they go.
On the surface, Dark Arrow Keep is dismantled and Lorgru and the orcs of Many-Arrows are banished into the Spine of the World by the combined forces of the three dwarven kingdoms, the elves of the Glimmerwood, and the humans of the Silver Marches. Bruenor Battlehammer immediately sets his eye on recapturing Gauntlgrym (with Drizzt Do'Urden and Catti-brie, of course). Jarlaxle offers Athrogate and Ambergris as agents of Bregan D'aerthe and fellow dwarves willing to aid in the struggle. Regis, however, doesn't plan to join him. He departs, with Wulfgar beside him, for Aglarond to join his love, Donnola Topolino.
In Q'Xorlarrin, Matron Zeerith Q'Xorlarrin and Tsabrak Xorlarrin summon the corpses of fallen House Xorlarrin soldiers in order to court the favor of Lolth. They discover that the Darkening has been dispelled and believe the house may have lost the favor of Lolth, or that other houses may believe so and try to take advantage.
Gromph's wife, Minolin Fey Baenre, approaches Gromph once again with the idea of releasing K'yorl Odran from the Abyss in order to destroy Quenthel. Gromph sends Kimmuriel Oblodra to Byrtyn Fey, who in turn sends him to the Abyss to speak with K'yorl directly. K'yorl imparts to him a spell that will summon a gate powerful enough to allow her to enter the Prime Material Plane. Kimmuriel is to impart the spell to Gromph without his active awareness, so that he will weaken the barrier between the planes so that Menzoberranzan will know chaos as never before. This is according to Lolth's plan she has conceived with Errtu.
In Mithral Hall at the end of the year, Bruenor begins to finalize his plans to march on Gauntlgrym. King Connerad Brawnanvil steps down as king in order to join him, appointing Dagnabbet as his successor. When it is officially announced in Alturiak, King Emerus Warcrown also steps down as leader of Citadel Felbarr in order to join Bruenor, appointing Parson Glaive as his successor.
Meanwhile, Gromph visits with the white wyrm Arauthator, who reveals that Tiago Baenre may yet be alive. Unbeknownst to them, Doum'wielle Armgo has teamed up with Tiago in a quest to exact revenge on Drizzt for killing her father, and both are present when Bruenor's army marches from Mithral Hall on the first day of spring. They follow the army as it passes through Mirabar, gaining a thousand dwarf soldiers, and rests in Longsaddle, leaving much later with wizards in tow, including Penelope and Kipper Harpell. The army passes by Neverwinter, issuing a warning and threat that they will be taking over Gauntlgrym.
The Ruling Council of Menzoberranzan realizes that Quenthel has the favor of Lolth. However, they can no longer abide to have so many demons causing chaos on the streets. Malagdorl Armgo, weapons master of House Barrison Del'Armgo, wears the armor and hairstyle of Uthegentel Del'Armgo as he defeats Marilith in a show of power for his House. However, unbeknownst to all of Menzoberranzan, Marilith allowed herself to be defeated only at the order of Lolth. Later, House Barrison Del'Armgo and its allies assault House Do'Urden in an attempt to kill the hated Matron Darthiir, Dahlia Sin'felle. The force fails.
In Menzoberranzan, Gromph's daughter, Yvonnel Baenre II (who bears the memories of Gromph's mother, Yvonnel the Eternal) plots to gain power using her mother, Minolin Fey Baenre, who would like nothing more than to kill Yvonnel. Yvonnel wants to use Minolin to court the favor of Byrtyn Fey and others in Menzoberranzan. Meanwhile, Gromph meditates on his studies with Kimmuriel and discovers a way to combine psionics with gate magic and resummons Marilith, who by his understanding should be banished from the plane. His success convinces him of the greatness of his inspirations, which in reality will allow demons to walk free unbidden. At Quenthel's bidding, Gromph also sends a messenger to place a gem of tracking on Doum'wielle so she and Tiago can easily be located. Unbeknownst to Gromph, Kimmuriel can use this gem to track both Doum'wielle (for Jarlaxle and Bregan D'aerthe) and Gromph (for himself).
The dwarven army reaches Gauntlgrym with Tiago and Doum'wielle following behind. The army sets up defenses in the entry hall and undergo the Rite of Fealty in which each dwarf sits on the Throne of the Dwarf Gods and pledges fealty to his or her king and kin. Their first battle comes against clever kobolds who use the magma of the trapped fire primordial against them. Fortunately, Catti-brie's magical ring of elemental power and her new staff of the magi enable her to know how to use the primordial power in her favor and the kobolds are forced to retreat.
Tiago and Doum'wielle wait patiently for Drizzt to go out scouting alone, then trap Guenhwyvar in a stone chamber so that she cannot aid her master. Tiago finally faces his decades-long of dream defeating Drizzt Do'Urden. However, during the heated battle, Doum'wielle and her sentient sword, Khazid'hea, get to it first. She wounds Tiago and deals a savage blow to Drizzt, leaving him for dead. Suddenly, she and Tiago and snatched by Gromph's spell; Doum'wielle is magically cast out and left on the snowy peaks of the Spine of the World and her sword is given to Jarlaxle to wield. Jarlaxle uses his wand of goo to attach Drizzt to the wall, sealing his wounds and temporarily sparing his life. There Bruenor and his party find him and take him back to the dwarven encampment, where he lays comatose.
With Bruenor mourning over the grievous injury to his friend, Connerad leads the first dwarven assault into the lower levels. Using the magic of four Harpell cousins, the dwarves descend to the lower levels but are quickly overcome. A hundred dwarves are killed, including Connerad, the former king, in what would come to be known as the Battle of the Under Way. At the same time, demons enter the entry cavern through the pond and are defeated in the Battle of the Cavern. Demons also attack Bruenor and his party in the Battle of the Mines, leaving Tannabritches Fellhammer sorely wounded.
After the battles are waged, the dwarves regroup with a new plan to take the lower levels. All appears to be going well until Marilith and Nalfeshnee, the generals of the demon army, appear. It is only then that Drizzt and Guenhwyvar appear in a psionic vortex, having been awoken and given strength by Jarlaxle and Kimmuriel in order to defeat the two strongest demons. The tides eventually turn and the drow of House Xorlarrin retreat. As the leaders of the dwarves return to the primordial chamber, they find Zeerith Q'Xorlarrin there, who gives her terms of surrender, promising that her house will not return in hundred years and offering three prisoners: Kenneally and Tuckernuck Harpell and Stokely Silverstream. As she does so, Gromph runs out of the chamber across the primordial's pit. He has weakened the walls of Faerzress and unintentionally summoned Demogorgon, the Prince of Demons, back at his tower in Menzoberranzan. Catti-brie uses her contact with the primordial to destroy the chamber, closing the conduit between Menzoberranzan and Gauntlgrym even as Demogorgon leaves a path of destruction through the drow city.
When the chaos in Gauntlgrym dies down, the deceased Connerad is given the honor of being proclaimed the first king of Gauntlgrym. Emerus is proclaimed the second king of Gauntlgrym and dies shortly afterwards, leaving Bruenor as the third and living king of Gauntlgrym. We see snippets of events afterwards: Catti-brie leaves the dwarven citadel, bound for Longsaddle, with a plan in mind to use Gromph to restore the magic of the primordial's weakening prison. Meanwhile, Jarlaxle plots to use the situation in his home city to his advantage, telling Zeerith that he will bring Drizzt Do'Urden to the matron mothers of Menzoberranzan.
Ambergris • Athrogate • Bilwhr • Bungalow Thump • Connerad Brawnanvil • Dahlia Sin'felle • Doum'wielle Armgo • Emerus Warcrown • Errtu • Faelas Xorlarrin • Guenhwyvar • Harnoth • Jaemas Xorlarrin • Jarlaxle • Kenneally Harpell • Kimmuriel Oblodra • Kipper Harpell • K'yorl Odran • Lolth • Maegera (unnamed) • Malagdorl Armgo • Mallabritches Fellhammer • Marilith • Mez'Barris Armgo • Minolin Fey Baenre • Nalfeshnee • Oretheo Spikes • Penelope Harpell • Quenthel Baenre • Ragged Dain • Regis • Sos'Umptu Baenre • Tannabritches Fellhammer • Tiago Do'Urden • Toliver Harpell • Tsabrak Xorlarrin • Tuckernuck Harpell • Wulfgar • Yvonnel Baenre II • Zeerith Q'Xorlarrin
Afafrenfere • Aleina Brightlance • Andahar • Arauthator • Balor • Beniago • Byrtyn Fey • Carrinda Castleduck • Dagnabbet • Dagult Neverember • Demogorgon • Devastul • Dwadermey Xorlarrin • Hengredda of Starshine • Hominy Pestler • Hoshtar Xorlarrin • Ilnezhara • Jelvus Grinch • Juiblex (unnamed) • Kiriy Xorlarrin • Lorgru • Mandarina Dobberbright • Miz'ri Mizzrym • Nigel Thunderstorm • Ogden Nugget • Parson Glaive • Ravel Xorlarrin • Sabine • Saribel Xorlarrin • Sinnafein • Stokely Silverstream • Taayrul Armgo • Tazmikella • Terondarg Del'Armgo • Thibbledorf Pwent • Toivo Ironbelt • Turven'di • Vadalma Tlabbar • Zhindia Melarn
Aishapra • Artemis Entreri • Aurbangras • Banak Brawnanvil • Baphomet • Berellip Xorlarrin • Bidderdoo Harpell • Bromm • Clangeddin • Dagna • Dagnabbit • Dantrag Baenre • Donnola Topolino • Dumathoin • Effron • Elastul • Elminster • Fimmel Orelson • Graz'zt • Harkle Harpell • Hartusk • Hoshtar Xorlarrin • Innovindil • Jack the Gnome • Jearth Xorlarrin • Kavita • Khelben Arunsun • Kostchtchie • Methil El-Viddenvelp • Mielikki • Moradin • Mystra • Nanfoodle • Niraj • Obould • Shingles McRuff • Shoudra Stargleam • Stokely Silverstream • Sunrise • Sunset • Szass Tam • Teirflin Armgo • Tiamat • Torgar Delzoun Hammerstriker • Tos'un Armgo • Yvonnel Baenre
Planes of existence:
- Citadel Felbarr • Dark Arrow Keep • Gauntlgrym • Longsaddle • Luskan • Mirabar • Neverwinter • Q'Xorlarrin • Mithral Hall
Buildings and landmarks:
- Arach-Tinilith • Braeryn • House Baenre • House Barrison Del'Armgo • House Do'Urden • Illusk • Ivy Mansion • Narbondel • One-Eye Jax • Qu'ellarz'orl • Sorcere • Surbrin Bridge • Tier Breche
- Mentioned locations
- Planes of existence
bar-lgura • balor • carrion crawler • chasme • copper dragon • demon • demon • drow • dwarf • elf • fire elemental • fish • frost giant • glabrezu • goblin • goristro • halfling • human • jade spider • kobold • magma elemental • mane • marilith • nalfeshnee • orc • primordial • rothé • shadow demon • spider • vrock • water elemental • werewolf • white dragon • worg • yochlol
- cat • crow • dire corby (unnamed) • dog • drider • frog • giant cave spider • illithid • myconid • newt • pegasus • pit fiend • succubus • svirfneblin • troll • umber hulk
Bregan D'aerthe • Clan Battlehammer • Companions of the Hall • Gutbuster Brigade • Harpell • House Baenre • House Barrison Del'Armgo • House Do'Urden • House Mizzrym • House Xorlarrin • Knights in Silver • Wilddwarf Brigade
- Council of Sparkling Stones • Desai • Grinning Ponies • House Faen Tlabbar • House Fey-Branche • House Hunzrin • House Melarn • House Oblodra • House Vandree • Lords of Waterdeep • Neverwinter Guard
bag of holding • Chacker and Whacker • Faerzress • Horn of Valhalla • Icingdeath • Khazid'hea • Kozah's Needle • Orbbcress • Ring of elemental power • Robe of the Archmage • wand of viscous globs • Skullcracker • Staff of the magi • Taulmaril • Throne of the Dwarf Gods • Twinkle • Vidrinath
Battle of the Cavern • Battle of the Mines • Battle of the Under Way • Darkening • Festival of Founding • Spellplague • Time of Troubles • Treaty of Garumn's Gorge • Tyranny of Dragons • War of the Silver Marches