A family born to the Drow race (A component of R.A. Salvatore's series: Forgotten Realms, including several subseries) the Baenre Family is the family which has reigned in the fictional Underdark city of Menzoberranzan for over 2000 years. House Baenre is a family of powerful schemers and manipulators that holds more power than any other house in Menzoberranzan.
R.A. Salvatore has made the Baenre family the bastion of power for his creation, Menzoberranzan, keeping it so for over 2, 500 years. Fiercely devoted to the drow goddess Lolth, as all houses in the Menzoberranzan society were, House Baenre was led by Matron Mother Triel Baenre, a shrewd priestess of Lolth who was able to succeed her slain mother Yvonnel, after Salvatore wrote her slain.
Menzoberranzan was a city ruled by backstabbing and ambition, and Baenre thrived in it. It, the house, held the greatest favor of Lolth more successfully than any other family in Menzoberranzan history. As such, the family was successful at keeping hold of the prestige Deceased Matron Mother Yvonnel Baenre succeeded in acquiring and continually supporting throughout her over 2,000 year reign.
Matron Triel Baenre is Yvonnel Baenre's first daughter. Shrewd and ambitious though she is, Triel does not expect to be landed with the role of House Matron so early. Paranoid about her height (Triel is short, even by drow standards), she fills her mother's role but not her throne (literally; during the Starlight and Shadows series, she even sets about trying to add a foot pedastal to the very throne). However, Triel is shrewd and calculating, and a powerful vessel for Lolth's Will, despite her often flippant attitude toward her goddess, her favor with the Spider Queen is the envy of the Drow. She has guided Menzoberranzan through tough times and continues to do so in the presence of looming catastrophe. She has a draegloth son, Jeggred, who acts as her bodyguard and obeys her every command. The draegloth is ultimately slain in Lolth's realm, the Demonweb Pits, by Quenthel Baenre in the book Resurrection, the finale to the War of the Spider Queen series.
Gromph is the Archmage of Menzoberranzan; Master of Sorcere, the arcane school; and first son of Matron Baenre, which makes him the most powerful male in the city. Gromph is approximately seven centuries of age; he appears young, however, as he has a magical amulet containing a piece of a unicorn's horn which prevents him from aging. He wandered for some time and adventured before becoming the "leashed" Archmage of the Council of Eight (the eight ruling houses), according to a decree by Lolth. It is only logical for the Council to keep close watch on the wizards, who are their only real challengers for power, as Archmage Gromph has many responsibilities in the City of Spiders, including lighting Narbondel, the huge "clock" of Menzoberannzan. Gromph is one of the few males of the city who has power enough to have almost anything he desires, including the respect of females, but at the same time he has become bitter and hateful towards Lolth due to the structure of the matriarchal society. Despite having much power, Gromph is angered by the fact that he has risen as far as he can, while he could have gained much more power had he been born a female. Liriel is his daughter by one of his discarded lovers, making her claim to Baenre heritage shaky (since Menzoberranzan is a female-dominated society, parentage is traditionally traced through the mother, not the father.)
Some consider Gromph the greatest archmage in all the Realms; Elminster, however, is more than eleven centuries old and Khelben a few centuries younger than that (both may be greater mages than Gromph, as they have had more time to study and perfect their mastery of the Art); as such, it may be more accurate to list him as a rival in power to the other archmages of the Realms. According to the Menzoberranzan box set, Gromph is 20th level. This actually makes him less powerful (in terms of class, but not in terms of position or family) than the Spider Mage, who is listed as 24th level. Interestingly, no mention is given of the Spider Mage during the events of the War of the Spider Queen, in which Gromph and the drow-lich Dyrr are said to be the two most powerful mages in the city. However, as noted in the Spider Mage's description, he is largely forgotten and seemingly overlooked by the rest of the population. Note that the latest official write-up of Gromph, which can be found in Dragon magazine #302, puts him as a Diviner 18/Archmage 4- a 22nd level wizard specializing in the school of divination. This could represent "normal" character growth since his last write-up.
Disturbingly, Gromph disappears at a time when the city needs him most. He is attacked and imprisoned in a magical sphere by an exceedingly powerful lichdrow named Lord Dyrr, the true ruler of House Agrach Dyrr. Gromph manages to escape the sphere by manipulating an illithid named Sluuguth, killing the illithid soon afterward. Gromph goes from that point on to help secure the city from the many magical fires that were burning it to the ground.
Gromph, in the later War of the Spider Queen hexad of books, with the help of Triel, kills the lichdrow Dyrr and destroys his phylactery.
Berg'inyon, the youngest son to Yvonnel, is a fighter of great prowess, outmatched only by Drizzt Do'Urden and Artemis Entreri. He is described as a typical drow with high ambitions and no sense of morality. Berg'inyon, along with Kelnozz of Kenafin, is introduced as a classmate of Drizzt in Melee Magthere, where he is constantly ranked below Drizzt, much to his dismay and to his mother's anger. After graduating Melee Magthere, he commands House Baenre's lizard riders, and after the death of his elder brother, Dantrag, becomes weapons master as well. After the drow retreat from their assault on Mithral Hall, due to the instability that would likely plague House Baenre after the disastrous failed conquest of Mithral Hall (and the likelihood that Triel would soon give birth to a son she would groom to replace Berg'inyon as the weapons master, which among the drow would likely mean Berg'inyon's death), Berg'inyon chooses to accept Jarlaxle's offer to join Bregan D'aerthe as a lieutenant of the renegade drow band. When Crenshinibon begins to cloud Jarlaxle's judgment, he joins Rai-gy Bondalek, and Kimmuriel Oblodra in their attempt to usurp control of Bregan D'aerthe, but in the ensuing conflict Berg'inyon faces off against Artemis Entreri in single combat due to Berg'inyon's desire to fight the one considered Drizzt's equal; however, Entreri proves to be more skilled than Berg'inyon and slays him.
Dantrag is the amber-eyed former weapons master for House Baenre. He wields two enchanted swords, one of them of drow make, one of them named Khazid'hea, forged in the lands above and possessed of its own personality and will. Dantrag also has a pair of bracers that increase the speed of his hands, allowing him to defeat many of his opponents by simply striking so fast that they cannot move fast enough to effectively counter. He is considered second only to Zaknafein, Drizzt Do'Urden's father, and thus longs to defeat Drizzt, Zaknafein's son and protege, to emerge from under Zak's shadow. In Starless Night, Dantrag challenges Drizzt to single combat in the tunnels above Menzoberranzan. Initially, his superior speed gives him the advantage, but Drizzt's superior skills and insight allow him to win even against this disadvantage, by figuring out the weaknesses in Dantrag's seemingly undefeatable fighting style. Drizzt realizes that Dantrag's magical speed is countered by understanding his predictability; moreover, Dantrag lacks a certain level of control, and is unable to improvise in the middle of one of his moves. Eventually Dantrag is defeated and slain by Drizzt, who takes possession of his bracers and gives Catti-brie the sword, Khazid'hea.
Settling for a life on the surface, Liriel found herself hunted by her House and father. She travelled across the ocean with Fyodor, who became her lover and friend, and a pirate named Hrolf, who took her in as a daughter. Liriel's adventures caused drastic consequences for all drow, including the return of her aunt Quenthel to her old House, as well as allowing drow magic to function on the surface.
Jarlaxle, son of Yvonnel Baenre, is the opportunistic mercenary and former leader of the renegade drow band, Bregan D'aerthe.
Bladen'Kerst, daughter of Yvonnel Baenre and second eldest to Triel. Sadistic, unpredictable and uncontrollable, she was slain by the dwarves of Mithril Hall during the invasion.
Grendan, a 10th year student of Sorcere during the War of the Spider Queen, known for being good with illusions. He is involved with Noori.
Jeggred, a draegloth, stands by his mother Triel's side as bodyguard, and in the face of Lolth's Silence, has joined his aunt Quenthel in her search. He kills Ryld Argith (as ordered by Danifae) and is eventually sacrificed by Quenthel to the reincarnated Lolth.
Julani, a Master of Evocation, stationed at Sorcere during the War of the Spider Queen. He was killed during the events of the novel Extinction, when several Baenre mages tried to cast spells on an enemy, only to have them reflected back upon themselves.
Merith, a psychotic ex-commoner, was adopted for her clerical talent. Arguably as sadistic as the late Bladen'kerst, she knows nothing of intrigue and protocol.
Nauzhror, Triel's first cousin once removed. He is pudgy and a Master of Sorcere who sports a large beard, grown with a hair growth cantrip. He was archmage during Gromph's brief absence.
Noori, a female 10th year student of Sorcere during the War of the Spider Queen. She is noted by Gromph as being high-born, a cousin to himself. Grendan is her lover.
Prath, a student of Sorcere and a nephew and apprentice of Gromph.
Sos'Umptu, the quiet and unambitious sister of Triel and Quenthel, tends the Baenre chapel.
Vendes, the now-deceased daughter of Yvonnel Baenre. Vendes was the House's master torturer, and earned the nickname "duk'tak" (unholy executioner). After she finished with her victims they were turned to stone and displayed around the house. Drizzt Do'urden killed her while escaping from House Baenre's captivity.
Vrellin, One of Triel's nephews. Unusual for the fact that he wears no armor in battle, only a hand crossbow strapped to his left wrist, loaded with magical, exploding bolts.
Zal'therra is a priestess and Triel's cousin. She also commands the Army of the Black Spider.
Zoran, during the war of the Spider Queen, a 2nd year student at Sorcere. Gromph reflected on the fact that he was not a good student, prone to making mistakes.
Major contributions from www.rasalvatore.com and contents from the series available there.