War of the Spider Queen is a New York Times best-selling series of novels set in the Forgotten Realms universe published by Wizards of the Coast. The series contains six books focused on the drow and their principal deity Lolth. Each of the six novels in the series is written by a different author with veteran Forgotten Realms author R. A. Salvatore overseeing the project. Cover art for each book in the series was created by Gerald Brom who has done other Forgotten Realms work including reprints of The Avatar Series.
According to Salvatore, the idea for the series was that of his editor Philip Athans, who also wrote the fifth book of the series. Athans had to convince Salvatore to sign onto the project, and it was the idea that he "could help some other writers get some much-needed exposure" which won the author over. Salvatore and fellow authors Richard Baker, Thomas M. Reid, and Richard Lee Byers along with Athans and others then met in Seattle to compile the main overview of the storyline. Afterwards, Salvatore became the content editor, mostly ensuring that content within the drow city of Menzoberranzan "kept the place where I wanted it for future works."
In September 2006, Wizards of the Coast released the War of the Spider Queen series in two separate gift sets featuring Brom's artwork on the exterior of the boxes. Graphic design for the gift sets was done by Lisa Hanson and Matt Adelsperger
Since the completion of the War of the Spider Queen, two series continuing the stories of certain characters have been developed by authors involved in the original series. Thomas M. Reid, author of Insurrection, is continuing the story of the half-demons Aliisza and Kaanyr Vhok in The Empyrean Odyssey, with its first installment titled The Gossamer Plain released in May 2007. Book two, titled The Fractured Sky was released in November 2008 while the finale, The Crystal Mountain, was released in 2009. Lisa Smedman, who developed the character Halisstra Melarn heavily in Extinction, is continuing the story of the drow priestess in The Lady Penitent. Books one and two, Sacrifice of the Widow and Storm of the Dead, were released in 2007 while book three, Ascendancy of the Last, was released in June 2008.
Books in the series[edit | edit source]
|2002||Dissolution||Richard Lee Byers||372||ISBN 0-7869-2944-8|
|2002||Insurrection||Thomas M. Reid||365||ISBN 0-7869-2786-0|
|2003||Condemnation||Richard Baker||375||ISBN 0-7869-3202-3|
|2004||Extinction||Lisa Smedman||371||ISBN 0-7869-3596-0|
|2004||Annihilation||Philip Athans||373||ISBN 0-7869-3752-1|
|2005||Resurrection||Paul S. Kemp||369||ISBN 0-7869-3981-8|
Authors[edit | edit source]
The War of the Spider Queen series is written by six authors with two editors; Philip Athans and R.A. Salvatore. Authors like Richard Lee Byers and Philip Athans had already adventured into the world of Forgotten Realms with their writing  while for others like Lisa Smedman and Thomas M. Reid, War of the Spider Queen was their first real foray into Forgotten Realms writing. On the back cover of each book is a quote from R.A. Salvatore, a short excerpt of his opinion on the author of the novel.
Richard Lee Byers, Dissolution: "Richard Lee Byers is one of the most thoughtful and insightful authors I`ve ever met. A perfect choice for plunging the world into sheer chaos." Byers' previous work for Forgotten Realms was that of the Sembia Trilogy along with fellow collaborators Athans and Smedman. He has since written The Year of the Rogue Dragons trilogy, and is currently writing The Haunted Lands Trilogy.
Thomas M. Reid, Insurrection: "No one I have ever met has better grasp of the tone and mindset of the Drow. Very few people "get it" as well as Thomas Reid." Though Insurrection is Reid's first novel in the Forgotten Realms world, he has done much in the way of editing for both the Forgotten Realms and Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings
Richard Baker, Condemnation: "Rich Baker's combination of talents in both fiction and game design makes him the perfect author for this book." Richard is a long standing game designer for TSR, signing on with them in 1991. Since War of the Spider Queen, Baker has also written The Last Mythal trilogy.
Lisa Smedman, Extinction: "Lisa Smedman is a purposeful and subtle writer, and that subtlety is critical for this middle book in the series, a quiet turn to the more personal stories that will guide the greater events of the climax." Smedman's first contribution to the Forgotten Realms universe was a short story in the Sembia: Gateway to the Realms novel.. Since War of the Spider Queen, Smedman wrote The Lady Penitent trilogy, telling the tale of Halisstra Melarn in her service to Lolth.
Philip Athans, Annihilation: "Once again it is Philip Athans moving the Forgotten Realms to new ground and new vibrancy. This is the one I've been waiting to read. It's time Phil Athans to get his due." Phil Athans is the Managing Editor for Wizards of the Coast Book Publishing, his first novel in Forgotten Realms being Baldur's Gate in 1999. Since War of the Spider Queen, he has written the Watercourse Trilogy along with several other stories.
Paul S. Kemp, Resurrection: ""Finding someone to finish a series after five novels from five different authors is no easy task. He's got to be willing to find all the open roads the others have left for him. He's got to do his homework, and quickly. And given the quality of his predecessors' work, he's got to be good...enter Paul Kemp. Whew! Writers like this don't come along every day." Before his contribution to War of the Spider Queen, Kemp wrote The Erevis Cale Trilogy. Since writing Resurrection, he has continued to examine his character Erevis Cale in his most recent trilogy, The Twilight War 
Series summary[edit | edit source]
A summarized examination of each book in the War of the Spider Queen saga.
Dissolution[edit | edit source]
The background of the series takes place in the matriarchal drow society of Menzoberranzan, the underground city of the drow, in the year 1372 DR. Lolth, goddess of the drow, has gone silent and is no longer affording spells to her priestesses. The females attempt to keep this a secret, but soon they are found out, and males begin disappearing from the city for unknown reasons. Pharaun Mizzrym, a wizard, and Ryld Argith, a warrior, are sent by the Archmage of Menzoberranzan, Gromph Baenre, to discover the cause of these missing drow. The two are attacked several times by Pharaun's sister Greyanna, who is in a power struggle for her household, and trying to kill Pharaun for aligning with their other sibling. Pharaun and Ryld press on, and discover a group of renegade males who are planning a hostile takeover of the city using the thousands of kobold, goblin, and bugbear slaves of the city as their army. When the duo attempt to infiltrate the renegades' base they are captured by its leader, an ilithilich named Syrzan. Using his magic and trickery Pharaun escapes and leaves Ryld behind, who manages to fight his way out of the hideout.
In sub-plots, Gromph attempts to assassinate his sister, Quenthel Baenre, using demons to infiltrate the academy of Arach-Tinilith, where Quenthel is Mistress. An emissary from the drow city of Ched Nasad, Faeryl Zauvirr, is attempting to leave Menzoberranzan. Matron Mother Triel Baenre forbids this, and has Faeryl captured and tortured by her draegloth son, Jeggred Baenre.
The insurrection of the males and slaves is crushed by the physical and arcane strengths of Menzoberranzan, and the city remains under female control. Concerned that others may gather the courage to attempt another take over, Triel sends a group to discover the cause of Lolth's silence and bring an end to it, first by traveling to Ched Nasad. The group is made up of Triel's sister Quenthel, her son Jeggred, Pharaun, Ryld, a Bregan D'aerthe mercenary named Valas Hune, and the Faeryl, in order to secure ties within Ched Nasad.
Insurrection[edit | edit source]
The group of six travel to Ched Nasad, a neighboring drow city headed by House Melarn. Along the way, the group are attacked by a group of tanurukks, minions of the half-demon warlord Kaanyr Vhok. Leading them is Aliisza, an insatiable alu-fiend, who takes an instant liking to the powerful, witty, and attractive Pharaun Mizzrym. When they reach Ched Nasad, the city is in unrest and upheaval, and Quenthel discovers that Lolth has abandoned Ched Nasad as well. As an ulterior motive for sending the group to Ched Nasad, Triel had ordered them to retrieve goods at the Black Claw Mercantile Company co-owned between House Melarn and House Baenre. Ambassador Faeryl Zauvirr betrays the group to Matron Mother Drisinil Melarn, and Quenthel is captured along with Jeggred while in the warehouse holding the goods. Valas, Ryld and Pharaun, meanwhile, off on their own missions, are eventually convinced to join the others at House Melarn in the belief they are being held as guests. There they meet Halisstra Melarn, daughter of Matron Mother Melarn, and Danifae Yauntyrr, a battle captive from Eryndlyn magically bound to serve Halisstra. Soon after arriving at House Melarn, the city comes under attack from the hired duergar Clan Xornbane, and Pharaun, Ryld and Valas are able to rescue Quenthel and Jeggred. House Melarn is destroyed, but the group escape along with Halisstra after Jeggred kills Faeryl, and Pharaun saves Danifae from dying in the rubble of the house. The city is utterly destroyed in the attack, which was actually planned and executed by Zammzt, a member of the Jaezred Chaulssin. The group escapes the destruction, and Halisstra along with Danifae join their group to find the cause of Lolth's silence.
Condemnation[edit | edit source]
The group, now seven strong, plan a trip to House Jaelre to seek the help of the followers of Vhaeraun, male drow who seek to overturn female dominance. After failing to find them in the Labyrinth in the Underdark, they travel the surface in Cormanthor. Halisstra is captured by followers of Eilistraee, but she kills her captors and escapes, where she is found by House Jaelre. Quenthel asks Tzirik, a high priest of Vhaeraun for assistance, and after forcing them to retrieve a book from a beholder's lair in Myth Drannor he agrees to lead part of the group's spirits to Lolth's domain in the Demonweb Pits using astral projection. When they reach Lolth's domain, she is blocked off inside a construct, and will not answer their prayers. The high priest then betrays them by gating Vhaeraun into the Pits, where he plans to kill Lolth and become the dominant drow deity. Selvetarm, Lolth's protector, engages in battle with Vhaeraun. Phauraun manages to allow the group to escape ordering Jeggred, who remained behind, to kill the Tzirik's physical body. The astral projection negated, the group's spirits return to House Jaelre. They decide to go back to the Underdark, where they will make another attempt to contact Lolth in the Abyss.
The other part of the book focuses on a mysterious drow named Nimor Imphraezl, the so-called "Anointed Blade" of the Jaezred Chaulssin. Nimor incites two groups, the legions of the warlord Kaanyr Vhok and the duergar army of Horgar Steelshadow, King of Gracklstugh, into taking advantage of Lolth's silence by attacking a Menzoberranzan while the drow are weakened by the loss of most divine magic. The battle plan has two stages. First the lichdrow Lord Dyrr, of the city's prominent House Agrach Dyrr, is enlisted to imprison the city's archmage, Gromph Baenre, in order to weaken the city's arcane magical defenses. Then Nimor, in the guise of a drow commander from House Agrach Dyrr, informs Matron Mother Triel Baenre of the invasion force and manipulates her into sending the Army of the Black Spider to the Pillars of Woe in order to defeat the duergar invasion before they reach Menzoberranzan. Waiting there is a trap where the legions of Kaanyr Vhok join the duergar and the army of traitorous House Agrach Dyrr to obliterate much of the drow army.
Extinction[edit | edit source]
The main focus of Extinction is on the journey of Ryld Argith and Halisstra Melarn in the world above. After abandoning the group, Halisstra and Ryld run into followers of Eilistraee once again, however Halisstra being shaken in her faith in Lolth, joins the Eilistraeen's order. The two fall in love, a normally unknown emotion to the Drow. After killing a spider, an unforgivable act in pure defiance of Lolth, Halisstra is told her destiny is to find an ancient magical blade, the Crescent Blade. The blade is said to be able to cut through anything, and she soon realizes she is to use it to kill Lolth. The blade, however, has been lost in the Cold Fields, and Halisstra travels to find it, Ryld following without permission. The guardian of the blade is a worm, and after both nearly being killed, Halisstra and Ryld defeat the worm and flee to the forest with the Crescent Blade, where they are healed by the Eilistraeens.
In the world below, Quenthel, Jeggred, Danifae, Pharaun, and Valas search for another route to the Abyss in order to find Lolth. Pharaun summons Jeggred's father, the demon Belshazu, in order to ask for the location of a Ship of Chaos, a vessel that can traverse the planes to Lolth's Domain. They are told to travel to the underwater city of Zanhoriloch in Lake Thoroot and speak to Queen Oothoon, who knows the location of such a ship. After some trickery, primarily manufactured by Pharaun, the group make their way to the Lake of Shadows, where a Ship of Chaos is trapped. After boarding the ship and imprisoning its demon captain, they learn that the plane-shifting ability of the ship is powered by feeding it souls.
In Menzoberranzan, Gromph Baenre escapes his prison with the help of his rat familiar Kyorli and a mindflayer whom Gromph tricks, through promises of great power, into casting a spell that frees him and imprisons the caster. After bolstering the defense of the now besieged city, the freed Gromph gathers his most trusted associate mages at Sorcere to attempt to kill Nimor Imphraezl. With each attempt either the spell is turned against the caster, or Nimor uses one of his rings to retreat to the plane of shadow before he can be killed. Taking advantage of this, Gromph tricks Nimor into holding a triangle of light. When he retreats to the shadow plane, he is trapped there, for a patch of shadow is required in order to return to the material plane. The magic from the triangle leaves Gromph blind, but he masks the disability (a dangerous condition because disabled drow are put to death) by magically viewing the world through the eyes of his rat familiar.
Annihilation[edit | edit source]
On the Ship of Chaos, Aliisza the Alu-fiend secretly assists Pharaun to connect mentally to the ship. With the group in need of supplies, Valas and Danifae travel to the Drow city of Sschindylryn where Danifae's former house mage Zinnirit Yauntyrr resides. Zinnirit dispels the magic binding Danifae to serve Halisstra, but Danifae kills Zinnirit and steals his ring of teleportation. Rashuub, Demonic captain of the Ship of Chaos, makes several attempts to kill Quenthel, Jeggred and Pharaun, including gating in other Glabrezu to attack the Drow. Quenthel is seriously injured in the demonic attack and falls ill, during which time she appears to lose some faith in Lolth and becomes increasingly dependent on the conscious vipers of her whip. Jeggred's allegiance to Quenthel, his aunt, begins to falter as she becomes increasingly despondent, and he slowly comes under the influence of Danifae. Using her new ring, Danifae takes Jeggred to the surface in order to kill Ryld and Halisstra, her former mistress. After a long battle, Jeggred murders Ryld, but Halisstra returns to her sisterhood, heartbroken at the loss of her love, and believing Quenthel responsible a lie from Danifae. When Jeggred and Danifae return to the ship, Pharaun guides the group on the ship to the Abyss thanks to assistance of Aliisza. When they reach Lolth's domain, they find it destroyed, Lolth gone. Suddenly, the priestesses' spells are restored, meaning Lolth is alive and has again began to speak. They realize she has removed herself from the Abyss, and they go in search of her, guided by her call for her Yor'thae, Lolth's Chosen. Valas leaves the group at this point, his contract to guide Quenthel fulfilled.
After Halisstra returns to her sisterhood, she and two others are sent to journey into the Abyss and kill Lolth. Halisstra is still confused in her religious beliefs, however. She too can hear the call for the Yor'thae, and follows it throughout the Abyss. Meanwhile in Menzoberranzan, Gromph narrowly escapes having his blindness detected by his sister, Matron Mother Triel. The danger is extinguished when he has his eyes magically and surgically replaced by those of a captive from traitorous House Agrach Dyrr. Gromph engages in a battle with the Lichdrow Dyrr in order to turn the tide against the armies attacking the city. After a long and grievous battle, Dyrr nearly attains victory with the help of Nimor, but not before Lolth restores the priestesses' powers and Triel turns the tide in Gromph's favor. Gromph allows his staff to release all of its power, destroying the staff but also destroying the physical manifestation of Dyrr. With Lolth again affording spells to her followers, the Drow gain the upper hand in battle. T he forces of Kaanyr Vhok retreat, abandoning their Duergar allies. Gromph, aware that he must destroy the phylactery of Dyrr lest the Lichdrow regenerate, begins to draw up a plan with his fellow Masters of Sorcere.
Resurrection[edit | edit source]
The Masked Lord Vhaeraun visits the yugoloth Inthracis and bargains for him to kill the Yor'thae in return the highest position of power among his order. Halisstra and her fellow priestesses of Eilistraee continue their journey to kill Lolth, but they soon decide they must kill the Yor'thae, Lolth's chosen one, in order to kill Lolth. Halisstra believes the chosen one to be Quenthel Baenre, a belief shared by a fully restored Quenthel herself. Quenthel continues to move towards Lolth, along with Pharaun, Jeggred, and Danifae. The two groups meet at the Pass of the Soulreaver, a portal separating Lolth's new home from the rest of the Demonweb Pits. Halisstra's fellow priestesses, Feliane and Uluyara, are killed, and Halisstra is fatally wounded by Danifae. Cursing the lack of intervention by Eilistraee, she renounces her faith yet again and returns to the darkness of Lolth. She manages a healing spell, saving herself from death, and she follows Danifae, Quenthel, Jeggred and Pharaun into the Pass of the Soulreaver. In order to pass over to Lolth's realm, the females who enter the pass undergo tests of faith, including viewing themselves in the future having been rejected as the Yor'thae.
Once past the Pass of the Soulreaver, the group comes upon the Planes of Soulfire and the army lead by Inthracis. Quenthel summons a great demon to assist their fight while Danifae calls upon Lolth to send millions of spiders to their aid. Pharaun takes on Inthracis himself, and he eventually defeats the yugoloth. With the battle raging, Halisstra joins the others on the Planes of Soulfire. After leaving a paralyzed Pharaun to his doom at the hands of the spider horde, the three priestesses make their way to Lolth's tabernacle. Once inside, Danifae is the first to be destroyed, consumed by one of eight manifestations of Lolth. Suddenly seven of the manifestations attack the eighth, and from the carnage steps Lolth in the form of Danifae Yauntyrr, now revealead as the Yor'thae. Quenthel is ordered to go back to Menzoberranzan and be restored as the Mistress of Arach-Tinilith, an earthly witness testifying to the rebirth of the goddess. Halisstra, however, is punished for her unforgivable acts of disloyalty and sacrilege, and is ordered to serve as Lolth's horribly deformed Lady Penitent. Upon her exit from the tabernacle, Quenthel sacrifices Jeggred to the new incarnation of Lolth, allowing spiders to feed on his flesh. Aliisza retrieves Pharaun's finger from his corpse before departing herself.
In Menzoberranzan, the invasion has been squashed, and House Xorlainn lays siege to the traitor house Agrach Dyrr on orders from Matron Mother Triel Baenre. The phylactery of the Lichdrow Dyrr is hidden away within the house, and Gromph Baenre undertakes a mission to breach the wards placed around the house and destroy it. Using scrying techniques, he discovers the phylactery is hidden within the house's temple, and disguises himself to gain entry. Once inside, he engages in a battle with an obsidian golem, the protector of the phylactery. When he overcomes the golem, he finds that the phylactery is a stone in its center. Once he passes the wards on the stone, he cleaves it with an enchanted axe, destroying Dyrr forever. Upon the destruction of the phylactery, the temple is magically obliterated in a final trap ward set by Dyrr, a trap ward also preventing magical exit. Thanks to careful planning, however, Gromph teleports out due to a preset contingency spell recalling him to Sorcere in the event of massive harm to his physical body, harm then undone by his magical ring of healing.
Thus ends the War of the Spider Queen.
Characters[edit | edit source]
An alphabetical List of the main characters throughout the War of the Spider Queen saga:
Aliisza: Aliisza is an Alu-fiend: a half breed between a Succubus and a mortal, in this case a human. She is the concubine of Kaanyr Vhok, however she is insatiable in pleasures of the flesh and often seeks others such as Pharaun Mizzrym to satisfy her needs. She meets Pharaun during the groups passage to Ched Nasad in Insurrection and later beds him in the novel. She is always flirty with Pharaun and often attempts to coerce information from him, as she is ever acting as a spy for Vhok. Aliisza helps Pharaun guide the Ship of Chaos into the Abyss in Annihilation, though Pharaun alone knows about her intervention. After Pharaun is killed, Aliisza finds the remains of his body and retrieves his finger, making many fans hope Pharaun will be resurrected in the future.
Danifae Yauntyrr: Danifae is a battle captive in the service of Halisstra Melarn, meaning she is magically bound to the fate of Halisstra. She is a devout worshiper of Lolth, never faltering in her faith at any time. After the destruction of Ched Nasad, she is forced to join Quenthel's expedition along with Halisstra. When Halisstra leaves the expedition, Danifae finds a way to break her bondage, and becomes free. When Quenthel is shaken in her faith, Danifae takes full advantage and gathers the allegiance of Jeggred, who is devout to Lolth above all else. Thanks to her unwavering faith, Danifae is eventually named as the Yor'thae, Lolth's chosen, and is made part of the Spider Queen's new form
Dyrr (Lichdrow Dyrr): Dyrr is the de-facto ruler of House Agrach Dyrr and true power behind the throne of Yasraena Dyrr. The Lichdrow is over 2,000 years old and is an extremely powerful spellcaster. He incites the initial attack on Menzoberranzan by gathering a group of males wishing to gain power in the city, along with many slaves. After the initial attack failed, Dyrr along with Nimor Imphraezl were heavily involved in the attack upon the city by Kaanyr Vhok and Horgar Steelshadow. It was Dyrr's own house which turned on the Drow army, causing them defeat at the Pillars of Woe. Dyrr was then involved in a long battle with Gromph Baenre, where his corporeal form was eventually destroyed. Dyrr had hidden his phylactery deep inside House Agrach Dyrr's temple, lodged inside and obsidian spider-golem. Gromph eventually managed to destroy the golem and bypass Dyrr's wards, destroying the Lichdrow forever.
Gromph Baenre: Gromph is the Archmage of Menzoberranzan and a Master of Sorcere. When Lolth goes silent, Gromph is the most powerful caster in the city, and the Lichdrow Dyrr attempts to gain his allegiance. When Gromph refuses, Dyrr imprisons him inside Sorcere, though everyone believes him to be dead. He eventually breaks out of his bondage and engages in a long battle with the Lichdrow, which he wins with help from his sister Triel when her powers are restored. Gromph is then sent on a mission to destroy the Lichdrow's Phylactery before he can be reborn. Though he nearly dies several times, Gromph eventually succeeds, destroying much of House Agrach Dyrr in the process.
Halisstra Melarn: First Daughter of House Melarn, Halisstra is made house-less in the destruction of Ched Nasad, and joins Quenthel's group. Her faith is shaken by the loss of her house, and she eventually breaks during the groups first expedition to the Demonweb Pits. After being captured on a trek over the surface by Dark Elves who follow Eilistraee, Halisstra contemplates the idea of serving another deity, one that does not abandon their followers. She decides to abandon the group at the end of Condemnation and Ryld Argith, who is attracted to her, follows along. Halisstra joins the Elistraeeans where she finds that her destiny is to kill Lolth, and she falls in love with Ryld. After Ryld is killed, Halisstra and two other Elistraeean's follow Quenthel into the Abyss. When Danifae betrays her, Halisstra denounces Elistraee for not warning her, and embraces Lolth once again. Lolth punishes her for being unfaithful, and makes Halisstra her "Lady Penitent", a servant to Lolth for all eternity.
Jeggred Baenre: Son of Triel and the demon Belshazu, Jeggred is a draegloth, half-drow half-demon. Though physically massive and full of feral strength, Jeggred is lacking in intelligence. His dedication to his Mistress and Lolth however is uncanny, and is often the only thing that abates his blood lust. Jeggred is sent along on Quenthel's journey in order to protect her and ensure Triel's interests on their journey. Jeggred kills Ryld Argith in Annihilation on orders from Danifae Yauntyrr befre he himself is sacrificed to Lolth by Quenthel Baenre.
Kaanyr Vhok: Kaanyr Vhok is a Cambion, his parents being a demon and a mortal. He is the leader of the Scoured Legion, an army of tanarukks and half-fiends stationed at Hellgate Keep. He enters into an agreement with Nimor Imphraezl to fight along with Horgar Steelshadow and sends his legion against Menzoberranzan. When Lolth returns however, Kaanyr orders his legion to retreat, leaving the duergar armies of Horgar to be slaughtered.
Nimor Imphraezl: At first thought to be a Drow, Nimor is in truth only half Drow, the other half being that of a Wyrmshadow Dragon. He is the Anointed Blade of the Jaezred Chaulssin, descendants of the ancient city of Chaulssin, a city now trapped in the Shadow Plane. As the Anointed Blade, it is Nimor's job to carry out the orders of Revered Grandfather Mauzzkyl, as well as to create and carry plans of his own to bring suffering to enemies of the Jaezred Chaulssin. Nimor designs an intricate plan destroy Menzoberranzan using the armies of Kaanyr Vhok and Horgar Steelshadow, but the campaign eventually fails when Lolth restores spells to her priestess'.
Pharaun Mizzrym: Pharaun is a Master of Sorcere and the only noble son of House Mizzrym. Pharaun tries to keep the limits of his abilities close to the vest, only casting what is required. This causes others to under-estimate him constantly, which he takes full advantage of. Pharaun is sent with Quenthel on her journey after he and Ryld helped stop the incursion of renegade drow males and slaves from destroying Menzoberranzan. His quick wit and sharp tongue often annoy Quenthel and Jeggred to the point the draegloth attempts to kill him several times, but he is always stopped. It is Pharaun who brings the group back to the Abyss the second time, his magical abilities allowing him to maneuver a Ship of Chaos through the planes. He is killed at the end of Resurection as Quenthel decides she no longer has use for him, and leaves the wizards to be killed by millions of spiders.
Quenthel Baenre: Quenthel is the third daughter of Yvonnel Baenre, sister to Matron Mother Triel Baenre and Mistress of Arach-Tinilith, Menzoberranzan's school for educating priestess' of Lolth. Killed by Drizzt Do'Urden near the end of the attempted Drow invasion of Mythral Hall in The Two Swords, Quenthel was ressurrected by Lolth and sent back to Menzoberranzan. Quenthel is sent by Triel to investigate the silence of Lolth. During their quest, Quenthel believes she is the Yor'thae (Lolth's Chosen), but her weakness of faith throughout her journey causes Lolth to reject the priestess, and send her back to Menzoberranzan where she continued to serve as the Mistress of Arach-Tinilith.
Ryld Argith: Ryld is a Master of Melee-Magthere, the drow school of combat. He is well associated with Phaurun Mizzrym, though their relationship could never be described as friendship. Ryld is a well trained fighter and carries an enchanted blade named "Splitter". Having been heavily involved in stopping an initial invasion attempt of Menzoberranzan, Ryld is sent by Triel Baenre along with Quenthel to discover the reason behind Lolth's silence. On the journey, Ryld meets and eventually falls in love with Halisstra Melarn. He is killed by Jeggred in Annihilation on orders from Danifae Yauntyrr.
Triel Baenre: First daughter of Yvonnel Baenre, Triel is named Matron Mother of Menzoberranzan upon the death of her mother. She is short of stature, bad tempered, and a calculating ruler. Triel has one son, Jeggred, who is a Draegloth (see Jeggred Baenre). Throughout the series, Triel is forced to defend the city from the attempted invasions of slave hordes and the combined efforts of Nimor Imphraezl, Kaanyr Vhok, and Horgar Steelshadow. She then orders the destruction of the traitor House Agrach Dyrr, who eventually become a vassal house to House Baenre.
Valas Hune: Valas is a mercenary working under Bregan D'aerthe, a group started by Jarlaxle Baenre. He has traveled much of the Underdark and is sent on the journey with Quenthel as a guide. He carries with him several magical items, including one which allows him to teleport behind enemies, where he uses his twin Kukuris' to kill. As a mercenary, Valas has contacts throughout the Underdark and the world above, and it is his idea to contact the Priests of Vhaereun to look for answers about Lolth's silence. Valas abandons the group in Annihilation before they enter Lolth's domain for the second time.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Further Reading[edit | edit source]
- Richard Baker (December 2002). “Rogues Gallery: The Heroes of the War of the Spider Queen”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 80–87.
- Richard Baker (October 2003). “Rogues Gallery: The Heroes of the War of the Spider Queen, Part 2”. In Chris Thomasson ed. Dragon #312 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 82–89.
- Richard Baker (August 2004). “Rogues Gallery: The Heroes of the War of the Spider Queen, Part 3”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #322 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 76–80.
[edit | edit source]
Wizards of the Coast official book product pages:
References[edit | edit source]
- R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen Gift Set, Books 1-3
- R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen Gift Set, Books 4-6
- Extinction :Forgotten Realms War of the Spider Queen
- About War of the Spider Queen
- Books by Gerald Brom
- Interview with Author R. A. Salvatore
- R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen Gift Set, Books 1-3
- R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen Gift Set, Books 4-6
- 2006. War of the Spider Queen Set I, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0-7869-4186-5
- 2006. War of the Spider Queen Set II, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0-7869-4307-4
- The Empyrean Odyssey
- The Gossamer Plain
- The Lady Penitent
- Sacrifice of the Widow
- Storm of the Dead
- "Interview with Fantasy author Paul S. Kemp
- Richard Lee Byers
- About Philip Athans
- Lisa Smedman Novels
- Thomas M. Reid Writings
- Richard Lee Byers (August 2003). Dissolution. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2944-8.
- War of the Spider Queen - 1. DISSOLUTION
- The Halls of Stormweather
- On the Spot at Fantasybookspot: Richard Lee Byers
- Thomas M. Reid (December 2003). Insurrection. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3033-0.
- Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786932023.
- Richard Baker
- Richard Baker Books
- Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
- Halls of Stormweather
- Sacrifice of the Widow
- Philip Athans (August 2005). Annihilation. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3752-1.
- Phil Athans
- Philip Athans Novels
- Philip Athans
- Paul S. Kemp, Fictioneer
- The Twilight War Trilogy
- Drow Origins
- Forgotten Realms: Dissolution
- Bryan Thomas. "Dissolution (R. A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen, Book I) Review" d20 Zines March 7, 2006. 
- Insurrection Forgotten Realms: R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen, Book 2
- Bryan Thomas. "Condemnation (R. A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen, Book III) Review" d20 Zines March 7, 2006. 
- Bryan Thomas. "Extinction (R. A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen, Book IV) Review" d20 Zines July 21, 2006. 
- R.A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen, Book V
- R.A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen, Book VI
- Harriet Klausner Reviews RESURRECTION: R. A. SALVATORE'S WAR OF THE SPIDER QUEEN BOOK VI
- Resurrection: R. A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen Book VI
- Alu-fiend Aliisza
- Pharaun Mizzrym's House
- Halisstra Melarn
- Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
- Character Profile: Halisstra Melarn
- Sacrifice of the Widow
- Character Profile: Nimor Imphraezl
- Quenthel Baenre
- R.A. Salvatore (September 2005). The Two Swords. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3790-4.
- Triel Baenre
- R. A. Salvatore (January 2001). Legacy of the Drow Collector's Edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786918003.