He quickened his pace and pulled his cowl low. The assassin did not enjoy the Underdark any more than he enjoyed the fact that his rival, Drizzt Do'Urden still lived. Here, he felt vulnerable.
He pulled out his jeweled dagger and stared at the blade. How he missed this. How many times did it prove successful to him? he wondered. He stoically replaced the dagger in his sheath.
Suddenly, he heard the clicks of handcrossbows and fell to the ground. Drow? the assassin thought. He was many miles from Menzoberrenzan and doubted that drow would have traveled this far past Blidgenstone just for him. Still, the assassin pulled out his sword and dagger.
“Del thwendella mar solloa freth terith” said a familiar voice from behind the assassin. Entreri lit his torch, and his eyes went back to the normal spectrum of light. It was Jarlaxle.
“My, my…” said the assassin, “What a long road for Bregan D’aerthe and their mercenary to travel”
Jarlaxle laughed, “ I heard you were back again” he said, referring to the reincarnation of the mighty assassin, “I had to see if the rumors were true”.
Entreri knew better than to believe that rumors of his whereabouts spread in the wide chaos of Menzoberrenzan. Jarlaxle was up to something. How did the mercenary know that he had been brought back to life? Artemis thought.
“I spoke to the wizard,” Jarlaxle said as if he had read the assassin’s mind. “He told me of your new life”
“Did he?” Entreri asked slyly “… and now, I live again”
“Where are you to go Entreri?” the mercenary laughed
The assassin smiled and said one word: “Drizzt”.
After Artemis Entreri told Jarlaxle his full tale of his death and reincarnation, Artemis was ready for his journey.
“I will go with you” Jarlaxle said
“No…no. This is my fight, not yours,” Entreri said, “and never would I want to take you from your home and have you travel to the surface again.”
“ Oh, my friend, there is much you do not know. I too have a reason to venture to the surface,” Jarlaxle said, taking off his wide-brimmed hat, “I search a Duregar by the name of Meilerk”
Entreri did not doubt that this Duregar fellow was an associate of Jarlaxle, but wondered if that was his only reason for coming. With little time to debate, Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle walked out of the Underdark together.
* * * * *
Drizzt Do’Urden was sitting at the top of Kelvin’s Cairn with Regis the halfling by his side.
“It is a bit c-cold,” the halfling said, “and I am in need of a warm m-m-meal”. Drizzt stared down at his short friend. So many good memories they had shared. The ranger thought of his companion, Wulfgar, and how he had died. He thought of Catti-Brie and of course, Bruenor.
“Why are we here anyway?” Regis asked and Drizzt cast him a cold glare. It was the anniversary of Wulfgar’s death, and they were here to remember him.
Catti-Brie came over and kissed Drizzt on the cheek and thanked him for being such a great friend. Tears rimmed the woman’s eyes.
Bruenor came over and spoke a few words of Wulfgar.
* * * * *
The caravan of companions made their way down the great cairn, when they stumbled on a herd of vicious tundra yetis. Drizzt went for his scimitars and slowly circled a few of the beasts. The ranger tossed Catti- Brie the onyx figurine and in a few moments, Guenhyvwar was next to Drizzt. A fair sized yeti went for Regis, but was stopped by a silver streaking arrow. Catti-Brie shot many more before aiming Tulmaril to other yetis. Bruenor had killed 2 yetis already was almost on his 3rd when a scimitar cut open the beasts belly.
“Bah!” Bruenor cried, “That one was mine!”
“There will be plenty more my friend,” The Ranger laughed. Suddenly, a huge yeti grabbed Drizzt and began squeezing him. The ranger went for Twinkle and hit the enormous beast in the face. Blood poured from the yeti’s nose angering it even more! It began to squeeze harder and harder. Bruenor hit one home on the yeti’s burly leg but the monster still squeezed the drow. Drizzt squirmed up and pulled both scimitars from their sheaths and began plunging them in the beast’s ribs. Still squeezing, the animal screamed in pain. Drizzt felt as if he were going to die. He had no idea where Catti-Brie and Regis were. In a struggle, Drizzt cut the monster’s throat and when the beast let go, he tucked under and flipped behind the doomed yeti. A scimitar was going into his back.
* * * * *
Jarlaxle stared out of the tunnel into the glaring surface. Tilting his hat forward he left the tunnel and was once again out of the Underdark in nearly a decade. Entreri looked around, always using his cunning and prowess to benefit. He was just beyond the Dead Orc Pass and stared out into the beyond.
“Where are you Drizzt Do’Urden?” He laughed
Jarlaxle walked up to the assassin. “Let us be on the move,” he said. When was Jarlaxle going to meet his Duregar contact? Entreri wondered.
“What if someone sees you?” the assassin asked Jarlaxle. “ People aren’t used to seing drow up here.”
Jarlaxle chuckled and pulled out a mask. The same mask that Artemis himself once used to take the image of Regis, one of Drizzt’s companions. In a few seconds, the mercenary looked like a human.
“Always prepared,” The assassin mused. With that, the two made their way for Mithril Hall.
* * * * *
In about a day, the mercenary and assassin had made their way all the way to Silverymoon, the town of Lady Alustriel. Although they were delayed while passing through the Trollmoors, the companions made incredible time. Crossing through the thick canopy of wretched creatures would be hard for even the finest honed fighter. But nothing would stop Entreri. It was time for vengeance.
* * * * *
Catti-Brie was the first to see them coming. Two unknown men making their way to Mithril Hall- Bruenor was to be notified. The girl stood up and blew some of the thick auburn locks out of her face. Who were these two men? Then Catti-Brie saw something shocking. It was a jewled dagger, spiraling to her face. The blade gouged her cheek. A jeweled dagger. At first she thought it all a dream, a mere thought. Then she felt the pain. The dagger was eating her! Her flesh began to burn away, leaving an open gash. She had seen, even used this treacherous weapon many times before, but had never felt the sting of the wretched blade. She used all her strength just to remain conscious. Then she saw him. The man was no other than Artemis Entreri.
“This… this Isn’t possible!” she whispered. “Ye died! Ye bloody died…” She trailed off. Then there was only darkness.
* * * * *
Drizzt sat with Regis at a long table in the dining room in Mithril Hall. The halfling was having his 2nd lunch of the day, and was still hungry. Bruenor, at the head of the table, had a pint of beer and began his rant about how the “ the chubby Rumblebelly always was eating”
“Damn ye Rumblebelly! All the damned food in Mithril Hall couldn’t hold yer big appetite!” He screamed. Drizzt looked at Bruenor and then to Regis and began to laugh. Suddenly, Catti-Brie stormed into the room.
“Drizzt…” she said. “I need to be talkin’ to ye.” Drizzt looked at the beautiful woman and smiled. How could he say no to her? The ranger followed the beautiful young woman outside of Mithril Hall. Surprisingly, she took out a sword…not her sword. What’s going on? Drizzt thought. Then Catti-Brie pulled out the assassin’s jeweled dagger.
“I thought Entreri got that back before he died.” He said.
“You’re wrong…” The woman said. Something was out of place. Then, Drizzt saw the assassin, Artemis Entreri, take the mask off his face, revealing his true identity. Drizzt looked upon the resurrected assassin with horror.
“You… you’re dead,” He said grabbing his scimitars.
“Wrong again” the man said.
“Where’s Catti-Brie?” Drizzt yelled.
“Oh, I have her,” Entreri spat, “but if you ever want to see her alive again, we will continue our fight right now!”
“Last time we fought, I proved the better!” Drizzt growled
“Why always do you dwell on the past, when times continually change?” He said running in on the drow. Drizzt formed an X with his scimitars and parried the assassin’s moving blades. The ranger dove over Enterer’s flying dagger.
“Ahh… just like old times.” The assassin laughed sarcastically.
“No” Drizzt said, the fire calming down in his lavender eyes. “I won’t fight you again.”
Entreri cursed under his breath. “ If you do not continue our fight, I will burn every friend and possession who have ever known in your life!” The assassin whistled. Around the bend came Jarlaxle holding a sword to Catti-Brie’s throat. She was covered in dirt and dried blood and had a large scar on the rim of her right cheek. One of her eyes was closed, and she wore no shirt.
“What have you done to her?” Drizzt yelled to Entreri. The dangerous assassin ignored him.
“Obviously you have no choice!” He laughed. It was the truth. Drizzt couldn’t put his dear Catti-Brie at risk; he had already lost too many friends in his life. Once again, Drizzt grabbed his scimitars and stood before Entreri. The assassin glared at the ranger, watching his every move. How many times had this man threatened to kill one of Drizzt’s companions? Drizzt wondered. Would Entreri ever stop?
“Let us get on with it drow!” Artemis Entreri yelled. Drizzt didn’t move. The assassin motioned to Jarlaxle, and in an instant, the young woman was brought to Entreri. This amused Catti-Brie; once again, the mercenary, Jarlaxle, hadn’t done any harm to the young woman. Entreri took out his jeweled dagger and inched it dangerously close to her throat.
“No!” Drizzt yelled.
The assassin made a small cut on the beautiful woman’s neck. Drizzt dashed towards Entreri, scimitars leading. The assassin batted them to the left and pivoted to the right. Drizzt knew Entreri was about to kick him in the back, but the attack was foiled when the skilled ranger jumped over the assassin’s quick leg. On and on the battle raged! The two rivals made there way to the edge of a cliff around the bend from Mithril Hall. At about a hundred-foot drop, neither would get close enough to the edge to see down. The assassin came head on with his dagger leading. Drizzt parried the circling blades, and every time, he was frustrating the assassin. He ran in on Drizzt faking a swing to the left and instead punched the ranger in the face with the hilt of his sword. Drizzt immediately put his scimitars up to block his face, when he felt the sting of Entreri’s jeweled dagger go into his stomach.
* * * * *
“Drizzt!” Catti-Brie yelled. The ranger did not move. He just stood there, staring at the dreadful assassin. Where was Bruenor? the young woman wondered. She began to look around, but Jarlaxle tightened his grip on her, making it an impossible task. “Drizzt!” she called again.
Quickly, the drow ranger tightened his grip on Twinkle and cut the assassin across the face. Stunned, Entreri’s victory was spoiled by Drizzt Do’Urden again. So furious, the assassin ran over to Catti-Brie and slapped her across the face. While Entreri was preoccupied with torturing the astonishing girl, Drizzt quietly summoned Guenhyvwar. Right when the assassin went to slap Catti-Brie again, he was covered in 200 pounds of black fur. Artemis Entreri reached for his jeweled dagger and drove it into the cat’s throat.
“Guen!” Catti-Brie cried. The great feline turned into mist and went back to the Astral Plane. The assassin laughed.
“I killed your damned cat!” He roared. He began to laugh but was stopped. Entreri began to tremble, and blood started pouring out of his mouth. Neither Drizzt nor Catti-Brie had any idea what was going on. Jarlaxle pulled his blade out of Artemis Entreri’s heart and wiped the blood off.
* * * * *
The assassin stared in horror at Jarlaxle.
“Traito…” but Artemis Entreri was stopped. Barely conscious, he looked to Drizzt and then to Catti-Brie. “Goodbye” he finally said. And for the final time, Artemis Entreri had truly died.
* * * * *
“Why?” the wounded ranger asked Jarlaxle.
“Zaknafien would have done the same.” The mercenary replied. The words touched Drizzt. It was the truth. He could not doubt that the world was not a better place without Artemis Entreri.
Catti- Brie ran out of Mithril Hall in search of Jarlaxle. “Thank you,” she said to the mercenary, “for everything” Jarlaxle smiled. He had always liked that one. The mercenary took off his wide brimmed hat and bowed to the two companions.
Drizzt smiled. He knew that somewhere in Jarlaxle, there was a part of his father, Zaknafien, and now he had truly seen it.