Set in a medieval world inhabited by humans and a host of legendary creatures, the Icewind Dale trilogy presents the story of four friends, each of a different race, in their adventures across the Forgotten Realms. During the battle of Ten-Towns against an evil apprentice and his army of humanoids, the heroic quartet establishes a reputation for bravery, trickery, and unequaled fighting prowess. At the break of winter, they set out in search of the homeland of their dwarven comrade. The band secretly is followed by an infamous assassin, who captures their halfling friend, returning him to the master of the thieving guild from which he had escaped. The halflings three friends follow, determined to rescue the little thief at any cost.
The trilogy begins with The Crystal Shard, which introduces the main characters of the trilogy and explains the relationships among them. Drizzt DoUrden, a black elf who has forsaken his peoples evil ways, is the central character. He is tall and slender like his surface-born cousins, but his black skin marks him as an evil underground drow, feared and despised by all races. Through underground survival, Drizzt became an unparalleled warrior, making him a valuable ally despite his deceitful heritage. Bruenor Battlehammer was the first to realize this, and thus befriended Drizzt.
Bruenor is a proud dwarf. Although he is short and stocky, the notches on his battle axe tell the story of his abilities in combat. His only dream is to return to his lost birthplace, Mithril Hall, where his ancestors had lived and prospered for centuries before being driven out by evil gray dwarves and a black dragon. For the moment, he leads the dwarven clan Battlehammer and lives with a young abandoned girl, Catti-brie, whom he had raised as his own daughter. Also living among an unfamiliar race, Catti-brie listens sympathetically as Drizzt speaks of the difficulties his heritage has forced upon him.
Another of Bruenors companions is Regis, known as Rumblebelly to the dwarf. Once a member of a prominent southern thieves guild, he moved to the isolated north, fearing for his life. The halflings quick fingers had gone too far in acquiring the magical ruby pendant of his guild master. A lazy half-man, Regis loves nothing more than a large meal and a long nap.
During the Ten-Towns battle against...
(The entire section is 961 words.)