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Literature / Companions Codex

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Drizzt and Guenhwyvar
Companions Codex is a trilogy of books written by R.A. Salvatore and is the penultimate entry in the The Legend of Drizzt series that has been running since the late 80s. Chronologically it is preceded by The Neverwinter Saga and followed by the final entry in the overall series: Homecoming.

The books in the series are:

  • Night of the Hunter (2014)
  • Rise of the King (2014)
  • Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf (2015)

There also is a 2013 novel called The Companions, which is often credited as book zero of Companions Codex, but actually belongs to The Sundering, an event-based series of books in the Forgotten Realms canon that is written by several different authors who contribute to general Realms canon. However, it ties in directly with Night of the Hunter and stars the Companions of the Hall and so is usually counted among the Drizzt books.

Due to the nature of the series, there will be unmarked spoilers for previous entries in The Legend of Drizzt books.

Night of the Hunter starts where The Neverwinter Saga left off: with Drizzt gravely injured on the slope of Calvin's Cairn, alone in the snow. But it also starts where The Companions left off, namely with the reborn Companions of the Hall, who, after growing up as their new reincarnated selves, are now on a mission from Mielikki to save their drow companion. Successfully managing their task, they are faced with the new problems arising in the Silver Marches and the ancient dwarven city Gauntlgrym.

The books also continue the storyline of the expansionist plans of the drow of Menzoberranzan, who plan to aid their goddess Lolth in her attack on Mystra's Weave (the source and network of arcane magic in Faerun). They mount a large scale attack on the cities of the Silver Marches, allying with the orc kingdom of Many-Arrows, a plethora of frostgiants and other northernly nasties and two ancient white dragons. Learning from past failures, Lolth grants the newly appointed Archmage of Q'Xorlarrin a powerful spell that darkens the sky above the Silver Marches permanently and so not only demotivates the goodly races living in the area, but also negates the disadvantage the light-sensitive drow eyes would suffer on the surface.

A prolonged war between the goodly folk of the Silver Marches and the enemy forces erupts and the reunited companions have to take action on different fronts.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 0% Approval Rating: During Tiago's brief stint as the duke of Nesme, he made a sport out of hunting those people who wanted to flee the city to escape his reign. It is implied that there wasn't a dearth of those.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Orc warlord Hartusk is manipulated easily by the drow, because his warmongering and arrogance mean that he will pretty much attack anything they point to and conveniently ousts his former ruler's moderate dynasty for them.
  • The Brute: Yerrininae, the leader of Xorlarrin's drider force. Entreri describes being indirectly hit by him as worse than being directly hit by a frost giant.
  • Dragon Rider: During the climax of Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf Drizzt rides the copper dragon Ilnezhara in a dog-fight against Tiago on Arauthator, an ancient white dragon. In the background of this confrontation there is also Tos'un Armgo who rides Arauthator's son Aurbangras.
  • Faking the Dead: Afafrenfere, when he and his companions are held prisoner by the drow of Q'Xorlarrin, hangs in his cage and plays dead, so that the drow will leave him alone. He is so good at it, that he even fools Entreri into thinking he's a goner.
  • Forced into Evil: Doum'wielle Armgo wins a contest for the sentient magical sword Kazid'hea against her brother, and it's all downhill from there. First, the sword makes her kill her brother in a fit of bloodthirst which leads her to flee her elven village. Then her father Tos'un, former owner of the sword, joins her thinking his time among the surface elves is at an end and intends to return to Menzoberranzan with her in tow, not realizing that as a half-drow Doum'wielle will be treated like dirt. Sure enough, once they meet some other dark elves, Doum'wielle and her father are immediately roped into their machinations as pawns. From there it's a dark journey of killing, rape and emotional unstability for her.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Entreri uses a fingernail he keeps long for exactly this purpose, to unlock his cage in Q'Xorlarrin and escape the compound.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Drizzt is barred entrance from Bryn Shander, because twenty years ago, while he was undergoing a Deep Sleep, the Balor Errtu attacked the town in search of Drizzt. Bryn Shander blames Drizzt for the catastrophe and tells him he's no longer welcome.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The dog-fight during the climax of Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf has Drizzt facing off against Tiago while riding the backs of dragons. The fight is eventually won by severing the saddle straps that keeps Tiago on Arauthator's back and make him plummet toward the death.
  • It's Personal: Yerrininae didn't take the death of his beloved at the hands of Dahlia well. The only thing stopping him from cruelly killing her are the plans of Lolth and first priestess Berrelip for Dahlia to become Matron of the next incarnation of House Do'Urden. They don't stop him from having a good time hitting Entreri senseless multiple times a day, though.
  • Kill It with Fire: Dahlia uses the lightning properties of her weapon to set fire to a female drider that was cornering her and Effron during an ambush in Port Llast. This incident comes back to haunt them, when it turns out that said drider was the lover of Yerinninae, the Xorlarrin's strongest drider, who is now bent on revenge.
  • Kill It with Ice: Aurbangras attacks Afafrenfere with his ice breath-weapon, but misses and hits Tos'un instead, instantly killing him by freezing him in place.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Tos'un Armgo is folded in half when his dragon mount crashes on a mountain side, even musing on how his buttocks have hit his shoulderblades and his hips are pulverized. After the fact he lies in the snow and watches Afafrenfere fight Aurbangras without so much as a groan of pain. It is implied, however, that he's in shock, since he starts feeling pain some time afterwards.
  • The Night That Never Ends: The Darkening, a powerful spell taught to Tsabrak Xorlarrin by Lolth herself, plunges the sky over the entire Silver Marches into artificial darkness. It serves as intimidation tactic as well as relieves the invading drow of their weakness to bright sunlight.
  • Past-Life Memories: All of the reborn Companions of the Hall are fully aware of their previous lives, with all experiences included. This sometimes causes problems for them in The Companions, because they need to remember to act like children, not their adult selves.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": The backbone breaking is described when Wulfgar finally manages to kill Yerrininae. By the end of their prolonged fight in the burning forge, he latches on to him and bends his back backward for so long that Yerrininae's spine snaps.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Regis, who was a rouge and spokesperson rather than a fighter before his rebirth, has now trained his whole new life to be an asset to the group: He is trained in alchemy and brews healing potions among other things, learned how to fight from a very young age, has a plethora of magic items in his possession and can stay underwater for long periods, because of racial genetics from his mother.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Doum'wielle Armgo has killed her brother and so betrayed her mother and the other elves of the Moonwood. The only way she sees before her is leaving the surface world with her father and fleeing to Menzoberranzan.