chapterI

Author's Note: This is my first work, so don't be too harsh, ok? It's not finished yet, but I wanted to know if it's good enough to be continued. This would be the base for my other story, about Drizzt when he joins Bregan D'Aerthe.

Sorry for the repeated use of drow words. I just plain liked them. And my English sucks. Just feel free to read this and review it.

From Darkness to Light

Kaarlick the halfling had been working as a bartender in the Velve Da're (Sword Arm) tavern for nearly ten years and he had seen many customers. But he rarely saw a drow with life in his eyes. Most of the male drows he had seen lived only to kill, betray, and torture others. Their eyes said it all. They are only mindless slaves of Lloth. Only a few had life in their eyes, and even fewer that lived to visit his bar once again. Menzoberranzan was never the place for life. It is a place of death and betrayal.

Today he saw a flicker of life inside one of his bar patrons. A drow noble, drinking as if his throat is a bottomless well.

" More ale, bartender! " The drow noble shouted.

" Sir, that is not ordinary ale. It is imported from the surface, it is called Firewine and you have drank enough that even a rothe would collapse from it "

The drow threw some adamantite coins in front of the bartender.

" I said more ale! "

" Okay, okay. Just don't drink too much, okay? I don't want any brawls in my tavern. "

Zaknafein Do'Urden nodded and continued his drinking. His mind is full of thoughts, and drinking is the only way to let go of them. His son was going to graduate from the Melee-Maghtere in two days. He knew what horrible events that waited for his only son. He had gone through the rituals once, and it horrified him everytime he remembered it. Drizzt is softer than he is, the rituals would have a terrible effect on him. And what awaits Drizzt once he graduates? A life just like his? A weapon master who did anything the matron orders him to do. If the matron said kill then he kills, eventhough his heart told him not to do so. He can bear with it. He can overcame the pain whenever he did something his heart forbid. But Drizzt? He knew his son wouldn't be able to defeat his own heart. Drizzt is too kind, too soft for a drow. And the reward for kindness in Menzoberranzan is death.

"That's the last mug I'll fetch you. You'd better find yourself an inn before you get into trouble."

The bartender's voice broke Zaknafein's thoughts.

"And why can't I sleep here? "

" Because I run a tavern, not an inn for drunkards like you that awoke to find that they had no money to pay the bill."

" Nice business policy. "

Zaknafein stumbled out of the tavern, wondering where should he go. Malice would kill him if she found him like this. And he didn't want to go home, not to that house. The house had too many memories for him. The days when he was young, days when he and Malice still loved each other. He shivered when he thought of Malice. There is no place for him in her heart now. He is now a mere tool that can be disposed of whenever it became useless. He shivered too whenever he thought of Lloth. Lloth, the Spider Goddess. Lloth, the deity who controlled Menzoberranzan. The one responsible for making drows, at least in Menzoberranzan, evil.

Why can't they fight? Why do they have to surrender to every whims of Lloth? Why do drows surrender to their destiny? The thoughts raced through his mind as he walked across the streets. Then his thoughts flew to Jarlaxle. The bald drow had formed a band of mercenaries called Bregan D'Aerthe. Members of the band are mostly males, eager to change their destiny. Males in Menzoberranzan were destined to be slaves to the females. The high priestesses, the rulers of the city, were all female. The master of Melee-Maghtere, a place that had mostly male students, is a female. Even the deity of the city, Lloth, is a goddess.

"Maybe I should join Bregan D'Aerthe." He thought. He would have a better future in Bregan D'Aerthe than what future awaits him now.

" But do you have the courage to do so? " His heart asked.

Lost in his thought, Zaknafein didn't pay attention to the street he walked. He didn't even see a little drow running towards him. BAM! Both drows, the small and the big one fell to the ground.

The kid didn't say a thing. He continued his run towards a small alley. He didn't want to stay and wait for the older drow to hit him or something. Drows are, mostly, evil. Especially when the drow is a noble.

Zaknafein patted his pants and gathered his senses. And then he saw something on the ground. A ring. The ring is a plain one, made of silver. But the gemstone on top of it, though dusty and not attractive, caught Zak's eyes. He never saw a gemstone like that, possibly another thing from surface.

How did the kid got such ring? He thought. It is certainly not his, the ring is big enough for my finger and the gemstone is a bit odd.

Then it came to him. If it is not his, that means…

The kid had stolen it from someone else!

He quickly checked his belt. His purse is gone.

" Damn street svirfneblin! "

He won't be able to catch the kid. The kid surely knows how to escape in this city's long-labyrinth like-slums.

" At least he left the ring. "

He had walked only a little more when he saw a priestess and four of her guards. The priestess is from house Baenre, the first house. She was chanting and looking at a mirror. She is looking for something with magic, he thought.

He was going to give the group a wide berth when the priestess shouted.

" You, worthless male over there! Come here!"

In a normal day, Zak would come and listen like an obedient pet. Today, he is drunk and pissed off. But he came over nevertheless.

" What is it do you need from me, Priestess of Lloth? "

" A Do'Urden, eh? Guards, search him. "

" What do you want? "

" I am searching for something and I believe you have it. Guards, you heard me! Strip him if you must. Matron Malice won't mind."

As if I am her pet. Zak is furious now. His mood had been bad all day, he had been pickpocketed, and now a Priestess of the goddess he hate most is going to strip him in front of public! Unable to think clearly because of the Firewine, Zak slapped away the hands of a guard.

" You want to defy me? Guards, kill him! You'll search the ring from his corpse if you must. "

" Kill me? You needed another thousand years of practice to even scratch me. "

Zaknafein started his deadly dance. Each hand wielded one Adamantite sword. Sword clashed against swords. Even under the effects of Firewine, Zak is still much better than the guards. He avoided a slash while cutting the attacking guard's head. Then his leg moved towards another one's stomach, knocking the guard to the ground.

His sword flashed again, one sword blocked a strike while the other pierced through the attacker's chest. The guard on the ground raised immediately, only to meet Zak's sword in the middle of his eyes. The last guard attacked blindly. Zaknafein flawlessly blocked strike after strike. Then he launched his attack, one sword arcing low, forcing the guard to block low. Then the other sword leaped, snake-like, towards the guard's throat.

The priestess was preparing a spell when Zak ran his sword through her heart. A smile of satisfaction on his face.

The priestess cursed, " You will pay for this, filthy male! "

" Not in your lifetime. "

The drunk Zaknafein didn't even bother to clean his sword. He continued his stumbling, leaving the bodies to the slums' inhabitants. He finally stopped upon seeing an inn's emblem, a broken spear, the Harventhus Luth'ol. He checked in and collapsed on his room's bed, not even wondering why the innkeeper didn't ask for payment affront, nor did he remember that he had no money to pay the inn.