The Companions by R.A. Salvatore is the first book in The Sundering series. This story helps to explain Mielikki's involvement with the Companions of the Hall that has been hinted at in novels from The Ghost King to The Last Threshold. It partly serves to move Drizzt Do'Urden's story into the new era. It also, along with the other novels in the series, helps to connect the old and new campaign settings using the Second Sundering as its backdrop.
The book begins in 1484 DR right where The Last Threshold ends, with Drizzt Do'Urden mortally wounded on Bruenor's Climb on Kelvin's Cairn in Icewind Dale. This event provides the impetus for the premise of the entire novel: Catti-brie, Regis, Bruenor Battlehammer, and Wulfgar, after meeting in Iruladoon, are reincarnated by the power of Mielikki in order to save Drizzt. However, the Companions of the Hall must first live through their first 21 years of life with no guarantee that they will survive or even meet Drizzt at all.
Catti-brie is reincarnated as Ruqiah in the Bedine Desai tribe of Netheril. The Netherese lords Draygo Quick and Parise Ulfbinder learn of her magical and divine powers at a young age and send men to capture her. She escapes, but is driven away into the desert, eventually being captured by Lady Avelyere, an acquaintance of Draygo and Parise who runs a school for young sorceresses in the Shade Enclave. There Catti-brie trains in the ways of post-Spellplague magic. When Lady Avelyere uses magic to scour her mind for her true purpose, Catti-brie fakes her death and flees to the Silver Marches, where she runs into the Harpells of Longsaddle and studies with them for a time. When it appears that Lady Avelyere has discovered her whereabouts, she settles in Bremen in Icewind Dale to await the appointed time to meet her companions.
Bruenor Battlehammer is reincarnated as Reginald Roundshield in Citadel Felbarr. He grows up angry and sullen that he is forced to relive childhood and that he was denied his proper rest in Dwarfhome. Eventually, he travels to Mithral Hall, where he finds that the Treaty of Garumn's Gorge has apparently been a failure and he resolves that his purpose in coming back to life was in fact to return as the thirteenth king of Mithral Hall -- meaning that Drizzt will have to survive without him. However, on a visit to Gauntlgrym, he runs into his old friend, the dwarf-turned-vampire Thibbledorf Pwent, which sparks his sense of loyalty to his friends. He decides to set off for Kelvin's Cairn and makes it to the reunion with his friends with only moments to spare.
Regis is reincarnated in Delthuntle, Aglarond, as the son of Eiverbreen Parrafin, later to be known as Spider. He is a halfling water genasi and earns a living by deep-diving for oysters. He falls in with Pericolo Topolino, Grandfather of Assassins, and his daughter Donnola Pericolo, with whom he falls in love. While searching for treasure in a shipwreck, he awakens the lich Ebonsoul, who kills Pericolo and forces Regis to flee for his life. He travels through Cormyr to Boareskyr Bridge, where he joins the Grinning Ponies halfling band. He stays with them for a time but eventually departs for Luskan (where he inadvertently leaves hints that lead Jarlaxle to learn who he truly is) on the way to Icewind Dale. He settles once again in Lonelywood, where Catti-brie finds him. Together they find Drizzt on Bruenor's Climb. Catti-brie is able to use the power of Mielikki to heal Drizzt, and Bruenor and Wulfgar meet them there. The Companions of the Hall are reunited once again.
Meanwhile, Draygo Quick and Parise Ulfbinder have been monitoring events, managing to witness the Companions' reunion from afar. It is revealed that the lich Ebonsoul is still hunting Regis, and it is implied that Lolth be confronting Drizzt and his friends very soon.
- Donnola Topolino, Regis's love interest
- Draygo Quick, Netherese lord
- Drizzt Do'Urden, impetus for reincarnation
- Eiverbreen Parrafin, father of Spider
- Ebonsoul, lich pursuing Regis
- Lady Avelyere, Netherese mage teacher
- Parise Ulfbinder, Netherese lord
- Pericolo Topolino, Regis's mentor
- Ragged Dain, Bruenor's mentor
- Beniago Kurth, Captain of Ship Kurth
- Connerad Brawnanvil, King of Mithral Hall
- Doregardo, head of the Grinning Ponies
- Emerus Warcrown, King of Citadell Felbarr
- Kavita, Ruqiah's mother
- Jarlaxle, head of Bregan D'aerthe
- Niraj, Ruqiah's father
- Parson Glaive, cleric at Citadel Felbarr
- Penelope Harpell, Catti-brie's mentor in Longsaddle
- Reginald Roundshield Sr., Reginald Roundshield's father
- Thibbledorf Pwent (vampire), Bruenor's old companion
- Uween Roundshield, Reginald Roundshield's mother
- Wigglefingers, Pericolo Topolino's mage advisor
- Wulfgar, one of the Companions of the Hall
- Citadel Felbarr
- Delthuntle, Aglarond
- Icewind Dale (Kelvin's Cairn, Bremen, Lonelywood, Iruladoon)
- Netheril (including the Shade Enclave)
- Auckney, Spine of the World
- Boareskyr Bridge, Elturgard
- Longsaddle, Luruar
- Mithral Hall
- Sea of Fallen Stars
The book is arranged so that the viewpoints of each of the three main characters alternate chapters, with snippets of other characters' viewpoints thrown in periodically. Other than the first couple of chapters, the book is loosely chronological, with each chapter occurring within a few years before or after the preceding chapter.