This is something that I've been wanting to write for a very long time. I'm not sure if it came out exactly as I wanted it to, but for better or worse it's here.

Reviews are welcome:)

nota bene: I have noted a tendency in recent years to refer to elven males and females as men and women. Though perhaps not strictly species correct, I approve of this trend and use it for 'man' and 'woman' refer not just to race, but also to qualities of power and maturity.

Ilhar

by Ziggy Sternenstaub

Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face. --George Eliot

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. --William Makepeace Thackeray

Sitting under a red Surface sunset, breathlessly soaking in the last warm, bloody rays, it occurs to Drizzt Do'Urden to wonder if this is what it feels like to curl in the womb and receive nourishment from a source so raw and visceral that it borders on being spiritual. Blood must, after all, have been the inception of his life, the provider of his body in a time when he could not fend for himself, and the root of his vast future. Engulfed in soft, liquid warmth, he once swam in a space as confined as a cell and as infinite as a sanguine Arcadia.

Still bound between one world and another, his blissful certainty of his rightful place in the universe would have precluded contemplation, doubt or even wonderment. The foetus would surely have been an uncrowned prince of serenity in the interregnum of Nature's superlative talent: procreation.

In the present the sun vanishes, and darkness descends. Shadows cross Drizzt's face, its elvish beauty made more exquisite with yearning confusion as the young drow carries his reverie to its unavoidable conclusion: even as this sunset, this ephemeral moment, inevitably ended, so too must have his time in the womb, and on some unremarkable day or night he followed the stentorian summons of Time and came forth, bloody and screaming, from the most intimate passage of his mother's body.

Drizzt usually does not like to think of himself as having any connection with his mother. Even the word "mother" is tainted in his thoughts and imaginings, for it blushes with the violent rage that is a permanent feature of Lloth's chosen females. Yet, on this evening, the mighty shadow of the young elf's father is for once forgotten as Drizzt helplessly thinks of the woman who brought him into the world and gave him some of her own gifts. Some part of Malice Do'Urden went into each bone in her son's body, went into his lush mane of hair, is in his rich black skin, in his iron will and talented singing voice, and in the blood that runs through the same hands he slowly raises up to his bewildered purple eyes.

"Ilhar." Drizzt whispers the drow word for 'mother' (forbidden to him! he remembers the blow of his father's fist) before looking fearfully into the night, some primordial part of him knowing that to speak of a creature is to risk summoning it.

Malice had a bold, handsome face and a lovely body, and Drizzt's elven memory provides him with lamentably clear recollections of himself as a very small child, daring to sneak glances up from his feet, and thinking that his mother was beautiful. In the beginning, he yearned for an approving smile, a kind glance, even a brief pat on the shoulder, but he never received any of these things.

It occurs to Drizzt now that, after that most intimate and utterly forgotten moment of birth, he cannot recall his mother ever having touched him again, and he feels, quite unexpectedly, as though he has lost something. He suddenly wonders how his mother's soaring soprano voice, which had only ever been raised in Lloth's chapel, would have sounded under the open dome of the stars. He wonders what his mother's face would have looked like turned up to the golden light of the midsummer sun, pure and unfettered by Lloth's unspeakable demands. But, recalling the consuming umbra of the matron's scornful, adamantium visage, Drizzt cannot even begin to imagine what he wishes to.

A lump of unshed sorrow rises in Drizzt Do'Urden's throat, and he determines to put away such barren thoughts. He has emerged from a second birth, spat forth onto Toril's immeasurable crust, and left the violent enigma of Malice Do'Urden far, far behind him....

fin


This story is probably less about Drizzt's loss than Malice's.