" W e l c o m e "
So as of late I have been really inspired by the writings and notes in the novel known as The Legend of Drizzt. It's actually a series of books but my favorite so far is the second book called Exile. So enough of that,but the reason I brought it up is because there were quite a few good quotes and excerpts in there that I plan to put up here for those interested to read. Now onto those excerpts now.
F r i e n d s h i p
Friendship: The word has come to mean many different things among the various races and cultures of both the Underark and the surface of the Realms, In Menzoberranzan, friendship is generally born out of mutual profit. While both parties are better off for the union,it remains secure. But loyalty is not a tenet of drow life, and as soon as a friend believes that he will gain more without the other,the union-and likely the other's life-will come to a swift end.
I have had a few friends in my life,and if I live a thousand years, I suspect that this will remain true. There is little to lament in this fact, though, for those who have called me friend have been persons of great character and have enriched my existence,given it worth. First ther was Zaknafein, my father and mentor, who showed me that I was not alone and that I was not incorrect in holding to my beliefs. Zaknafein saved me,from both the blade and the chaotic,evil,fanatic religion that damns my people.
Yet I was no less lost when a handless deep gnome came into my life,a svirfneblin that I had rescued from certain death,many years before, at my brother Dinin's merciless blade. Me deed was repaid in full, for when the svirfneblin and I again met, this time in the clutches of his people, I would have been killed-truly would have preferred death-were it not for Belwar Dissengulp.
My time in Blingdenstone, the city of the deep gnomes, was such a short span in the measure of my years. I remember well Belwar's city and his people, and I always shall. Theirs was the first society I came to know that was based on the strengths of the community, not the paranoia of selfish individualism. Together the deep gnomes survive against the perils of the hostile Underark, labor in their endless toils of mining the stone,and play games that are hardly distinguishable from every other aspect of their rich lives.
Greater indeed are pleasures that are shared.
S u r v i v a l
To live or to survive? Until my second time out in the wilds of the Underark, after my stay in Blingdenstone, I never would have understood the significance of such a simple question.
When first I left Menzoberranzan, I thought survival enough; I thought that I could fall within myself, within my principals, and be satisfied that I had followed the only course open to me. The alternative was the grim reality of Menzoberranzan and compliance with the wicked ways that guided my people. If that was life, I believed, simply surviving would be far preferable.
And yet, that "simple survival" nearly killed me. Worse, it nearly stole everything that I held dear.
The svirfnebli of Blingdenstone showed me a different way. Svirfneblin society, structured and nurtured on communal values and unity, proved to be everything that I had always hoped Menzoberranzan would be. The svirfnebli did much more than merely survive. They lived and laughed and worked, and the gains they made were shared by the whole, as was the pain of the losses they inevitable suffered in the hostile subsurface world.
Joy multiplie when it is shared among friends, but grief diminishes with every division. That is life.
And so, when I walked back out of Blingdenstone, back into the empty Underark's lonely chambers, I walked with hope. At my side went Belwar, my new friend,and in my pocket went the magical figurine that could summon Guenhwyvar, my proven friend. In my brief stay with the deep gnomes, I had witnessed life as I always had hoped it would be-I could not return to simply surviving.
With my friends beside me, I dared to believe that I would not have to.
H e l p l e s s
There have been many times in my life when I have felt helpless. It is perhaps the most acute pain a person can know, founded in frustration and ventless rage. The nick of a sword upon a battling soldier's arm cannot compare to the anguish a prisoner feels at the crack of a whip. Even if the whip does not strike the helpless prisoner's body, it surely cuts deeply at his soul.
We are all prisoners at one time or another in our lives, prisoners to ourselves or to the expectations of those around us. It is a burden that all people endure, that all people despise, and that few people ever learn to escape. I consider myself fortunate in this respect, for my life has traveled along a fairly straight-running path of improvement. Beginning in Menzoberranzan, under the relentless scrutiny of the evil Spider Queen's high priestesses, I suppose that my situation could only have improved.
In my stubborn youth, I believed that I could stand alone that I was strong enough to conquer my enemies with sword and with principals. Arrogance convinced me that by sheer determination, I could conquer helplessness itself. Stubborn and foolish youth, I must admit, for when I look back on those years now, I see quite clearly that rarely did I stand alone and rarely did I have to stand alone. Always there were friends, true and dear, lending me support even when I believed I did not want it, and even when I did not realize they were doing it.
Zaknafein, Belwar, Clacker, Mooshie, Bruenor, Regis, Catti-brie, Wulfgar, and of course, Guenhwyvar,dear Guenhwyvar. These were the companions who justified my principles, who gave me the strength to continue against any foe, real or imagined. These were the companions who fought the helplessness, the rage, and frustration.
These were the friends who gave me my life.