According to Salvatore, the idea for the series was that of his editor Philip Athans, who also wrote the fifth book of the series. Athans had to convince Salvatore to sign onto the project, and it was the idea that "I could help some other writers get some much-needed exposure" which won the author over. Salvatore and fellow authors Richard Baker, Thomas Reid, and Richard Lee Byers along with Athans and others then met in Seattle to compile the main overview of the storyline. Afterwards, Salvatore became the content editor, mostly ensuring that content within the Drow city of Menzoberranzan "kept the place where I wanted it for future works.
In September 2006, Wizards of the Coast released the War of the Spider Queen series in two separate gift sets featuring Brom's artwork on the exterior of the boxes. Graphic Design for the gift sets was done by Lisa Hanson and Matt Adelsperger
Since the completion of The War of the Spider Queen, two series continuing the stories of certain characters have gone under development by authors involved in the original series. Thomas M. Reid, author of Insurrection, is continuing the story of the half-demons Aliisza and Kaanyr Vhok in The Empyrean Odyssey, with its first installment entitled The Gossamer Plain being released in May 2007. Book two entitled The Fractured Sky is due in November 2008 while the finale, The Crystal Mountain, is set for sometime in mid 2009. Lisa Smedman, who developed the character Halisstra Melarn heavily in Extinction, is continuing the story of the Drow priestess in The Lady Penitent. Book one and two, Sacrifice of the Widow and Storm of the Dead were released in 2007 while book three, Ascendancy of the Last, is scheduled for June 2008.
|2002||Dissolution||Richard Lee Byers||372||ISBN 0-7869-2944-8|
|2002||Insurrection||Thomas M. Reid||365||ISBN 0-7869-2786-0|
|2003||Condemnation||Richard Baker||375||ISBN 0-7869-3202-3|
|2004||Extinction||Lisa Smedman||371||ISBN 0-7869-3596-0|
|2004||Annihilation||Philip Athans||373||ISBN 0-7869-3752-1|
|2005||Resurrection||Paul S. Kemp||369||ISBN 0-7869-3981-8|
The War of the Spider Queen series is written by six authors with two editors; Philip Athans and R.A. Salvatore. Authors like Richard Lee Byers and Philip Athans had already adventured into the world of Forgotten Realms with their writing while for others like Lisa Smedman and Thomas M. Reid, War of the Spider Queen was their first real foray into Forgotten Realms writing. On the back cover of each book is a quote from R.A. Salvatore, a short excerpt of his opinion on the author of the novel.
Richard Lee Byers (Dissolution): "Richard Lee Byers is one of the most thoughtful and insightful authors I`ve ever met. A perfect choice for plunging the world into sheer chaos." Byers previous work for Forgotten Realms was that of the Sembia Trilogy along with fellow collaborators Athans and Smedman. He has since written The Year of the Rogue Dragons Trilogy, and is currently writing The Haunted Lands Trilogy.
Thomas M. Reid (Insurrection): "No one I have ever met has better grasp of the tone and mindset of the Drow. Very few people "get it" as well as Thomas Reid." Though Insurrection is Reid's first novel in the Forgotten Realms world, he has done much in the way of editing for both the Forgotten Realms and Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings
Richard Baker (Condemnation): "Rich Baker's combination of talents in both fiction and game design makes him the perfect author for this book." Richard is a long standing game designer for TSR, signing on with them in 1991. Since War of the Spider Queen, Baker has also written The Last Mythal trilogy.
Lisa Smedman (Extinction): "Lisa Smedman is a purposeful and subtle writer, and that subtlety is critical for this middle book in the series, a quiet turn to the more personal stories that will guide the greater events of the climax." Smedman's first contribution to the Forgotten Realms universe was a short story in the Sembia Trilogy. Since War of the Spider Queen, Smedman has begun The Lady Penitent trilogy, telling the tale of Halisstra Melarn in her service to Lolth.
Philip Athans (Annihilation): "Once again it is Philip Athans moving the Forgotten Realms to new ground and new vibrancy. This is the one I've been waiting to read. It's time Phil Athans to get his due." Phil Athans is the Managing Editor for Wizards of the Coast Book Publishing, his first novel in Forgotten Realms being Baldur's Gate in 1999. Since War of the Spider Queen, he has written The Watercourse Trilogy along with several other stories.
Paul S. Kemp (Resurrection}: ""Finding someone to finish a series after five novels from five different authors is no easy task. He's got to be willing to find all the open roads the others have left for him. He's got to do his homework, and quickly. And given the quality of his predecessors' work, he's got to be good...enter Paul Kemp. Whew! Writers like this don't come along every day." Before his contribution to War of the Spider Queen, Kemp wrote The Erevis Cales trilogy. Since writing Resurrection, he has continued to examine his character Everis Cale in his most recent trilogy, The Twilight War
The other part of the book focuses on a mysterious Drow named Nimor Imphraezl, the so called "Anointed Blade" of a group called the Jaezred Chaulssin. Nimor incites two groups; the legions of the warlord Kaanyr Vhok and the Duergar army of Horgar Steelshadow; into attacking the Drow at Menzoberranzan, taking advantage of Lolth's silence. First the Lichdrow Dyrr imprisons the Archmage Gromph Baenre, dolling out another blow to the cities magical strength. Then Nimor, acting as a Drow commander from Agrach Dyrr, informs Triel Baenre of the invasion, who sends the Army of the Black Spider to the Pillars of Woe to defeat the Duergar invasion before they reach Menzoberranzan. The army is sent into a trap as the Legions of Kaanyr Vhok join the Duergar, along with House Agrach Dyrr, who turn on their own people to obliterate much of the Drow army.
The remaining five members of the group; Quenthel, Jeggred, Danifae, Pharaun, and Valas, search for another route to the Abyss in order to find Lolth. Pharaun summons the demon Belshazu, who is Jeggreds father, in order to find the location of a Ship of Chaos, which can traverse the planes to Lolth's Domain. They are told to travel to the underwater city of Zanhoriloch in Lake Thoroot where they are to speak to Queen Oothoon, who apparently knows the location of the ship. After some tricks, primarily manufactured by Pharaun, the group make their way through a dimensional portal to the Lake of Shadows, home of the Ship of Chaos. They board the ship and imprison its demon captain, though the ships requires souls to be fed to it in order to shift to the Abyss.
In Menzoberranzan, Gromph Baenre escapes his prison with the help of his rat familiar Kyorli and a mindflayer who Gromph promises great power, and then subsequently kills. He immediately helps bolster the defense of the city against the Duergar and Tanuruuk armies which have reached and begun to lay siege to Menzoberranzan. Gromph and his most trusted associates at Sorcere attempt to kill Nimor Imphraezl, but their spells are either turned against them or Nimor uses one of his rings to retreat to the plane of shadow before he can be killed. Taking advantage of this, Gromph tricks Nimor into holding a triangle of light, and when he retreats to the shadow plane, he is trapped there, for a patch of shadow is required in order to return to the material plane. The magic from the triangle blinds Gromph however, and he is forced to view the world through the eyes of his rat familiar.
After Halisstra returns to her sisterhood, she and two others are sent to journey into the Abyss and kill Lolth. Halisstra is still confused by her religious beliefs however, and the turmoil often boils over for her. She too can hear the call for the Yor'thae, and follows it throughout the Abyss. Meanwhile in Menzoberranzan, Gromph has his eyes magically and surgically replaced by those of a traitor from House Agrach Dyrr. Gromph engages in a battle with the Lichdrow Dyrr in order to turn the tide against the armies attacking the city. After a long, grievous battle, Dyrr nearly attains victory with the help of Nimor before Lolth restores the priestess' powers, and Triel turns the tide in Gromph's favor. Gromph allows his staff to release all of its power, destroying the staff but also destroying the physical manifestation of Dyrr. With Lolth again affording spells to her followers, the Drow gain the upper hand in the battle, and the Scoured Legion of Kaanyr Vhok retreat, leaving the Duergar for dead. Gromph, aware he must destroy the Phylactery of Dyrr or the Lichdrow will regenerate, begins to draw up a plan with his fellow Masters of Sorcere, which is carried out in Resurrection.
Once past the Pass of the Soul Reaver, the group come upon the Planes of Soulfire, and the army lead by Inthracis. Quenthel summons a great demon to assist their fight, while Danifae calls upon Lolth to send millions of spiders to their aid. Pharaun meanwhile takes on Inthracis himself, and eventually defeats the yugoloth. With the battle raging, Halisstra joins the others on the Planes of Soulfire, and after sacrificing Pharaun to the spider horde, the three priestess' make their way to Lolth's tabernacle. Once inside, Danifae is the first to be destroyed, consumed by one of the eight manifestations of Lolth. Suddenly seven of the manifestations attack the eighth, and from the carnage steps Danifae Yauntyrr, the Yor'thae. Quenthel is ordered to go back to Menzoberranzan and be restored as the Mistress of Arach-Tinilith. Halisstra, however, is punished for her unforgivable acts of disloyalty and sacrilege, and is ordered to serve as Lolth's Lady Penitent. Upon her exit from the tabernacle, Quenthel sacrifices Jeggred to the new incarnation of Lolth, allowing spiders to feed on his flesh.
In Menzoberranzan, the invasion has been squashed, and House Xorlainn lays siege to the traitor house Agrach Dyrr on orders from Matron Mother Triel Baenre. The phylactery of the Lichdrow Dyrr is hidden away within the house, and Gromph Baenre undergoes a mission to breach the wards placed around the house and destroy it. Using scrying techniques, he discovers the phylactery is hidden within the house's temple, and disguises himself to gain entry. Once inside, he engages in a battle with an obsidian golem, the protector of the phylactery. When he overcomes the golem, he finds the phylactery in its center. Once he passes the wards on the stone, he cleaves it with an enchanted axe, destroying Dyrr forever. Upon the destruction of the phylactery, the temple is magically destroyed, but Gromph teleports out in time.
Thus ends the War of the Spider Queen.
Danifae is a battle captive in the service of Halisstra Melarn, meaning she is magically bound to the fate of Halisstra. She is a devout worshiper of Lolth, never faltering in her faith at any time. After the destruction of Ched Nasad, she is forced to join Quenthel's expedition along with Halisstra. When Halisstra leaves the expedition, Danifae finds a way to break her bondage, and becomes free. When Quenthel is shaken in her faith, Danifae takes full advantage and gathers the allegiance of Jeggred, who is devout to Lolth above all else. Thanks to her unwavering faith, Danifae is eventually named as the Yor'thae, Lolth's chosen, and is made part of the Spider Queen's new form.
Dyrr (Lichdrow Dyrr):
Dyrr is the de-facto ruler of House Agrach Dyrr and true power behind the throne of Yasraena Dyrr. The Lichdrow is over 2,000 years old and is an extremely powerful spellcaster. He incites the initial attack on Menzoberranzan by gathering a group of males wishing to gain power in the city, along with many slaves. After the initial attack failed, Dyrr along with Nimor Imphraezl were heavily involved in the attack upon the city by Kaanyr Vhok and Horgar Steelshadow. It was Dyrr's own house which turned on the Drow army, causing them defeat at the Pillars of Woe. Dyrr was then involved in a long battle with Gromph Baenre, where his corporeal form was eventually destroyed. Dyrr had hidden his phylactery deep inside House Agrach Dyrr's temple, lodged inside an obsidian spider-golem. Gromph eventually managed to destroy the golem and bypass Dyrr's wards, destroying the Lichdrow forever.
Gromph is the Archmage of Menzoberranzan and a Master of Sorcere. When Lolth goes silent, Gromph is the most powerful caster in the city, and the Lichdrow Dyrr attempts to gain his allegiance. When Gromph refuses, Dyrr imprisons him inside Sorcere, though everyone believes him to be dead. He eventually breaks out of his bondage and engages in a long battle with the Lichdrow, which he wins with help from his sister Triel when her powers are restored. Gromph is then sent on a mission to destroy the Lichdrow's Phylactery before he can be reborn. Though he nearly dies several times, Gromph eventually succeeds, destroying much of House Agrach Dyrr in the process.
First Daughter of House Melarn, Halisstra is made house-less in the destruction of Ched Nasad, and joins Quenthel's group. Her faith is shaken by the loss of her house, and she eventually breaks during the groups first expedition to the Demonweb Pits. After being captured on a trek over the surface by Dark Elves who follow Elistraee, Halisstra contemplates the idea of serving another deity, one that does not abandon their followers. She decides to abandon the group at the end of Condemnation and Ryld Argith, who is attracted to her, follows along. Halisstra joins the Elistraeean's where she finds that her destiny is to kill Lolth, and she falls in love with Ryld. After Ryld is killed, Halisstra and two other Elistraeean's follow Quenthel into the Abyss. When Danifae betrays her, Halisstra denounces Elistraee for not warning her, and embraces Lolth once again. Lolth punishes her for being unfaithful, and makes Halisstra her "Lady Penitent", a servant to Lolth for all eternity.
Son of Triel and the demon Belshazu, Jeggred is a Draegloth, half Drow half Demon. Though physically massive and full of feral strength, Jeggred is lacking in intelligence. His dedication to his Mistress and Lolth however is uncanny, and is often the only thing that abates his blood lust. Jeggred is sent along on Quenthel's journey in order to protect her and ensure Triel's interests on their journey. Jeggred kills Ryld Argith in Annihilation on orders from Danifae Yauntyrr before he himself is sacrificed to Lolth by Quenthel Baenre.
Kaanyr Vhok is a Cambion, his parents being a demon and a mortal. He is the leader of the Scoured Legion, an army of Tanarukks and half-fiends stationed at Hellgate Keep. He enters into an agreement with Nimor Imphraezl to fight along with Horgar Steelshadow and sends his legion against Menzoberranzan. When Lolth returns however, Kaanyr orders his legion to retreat, leaving the Duergar armies of Horgar to be slaughtered.
At first thought to be a Drow, Nimor is in truth only half Drow, the other half being that of a Wyrmshadow Dragon. He is the Anointed Blade of the Jaezred Chaulssin, descendants of the ancient city of Chaulssin, a city now trapped in the Shadow Plane. As the Anointed Blade, it is Nimor's job to carry out the orders of Revered Grandfather Mauzzkyl, as well as to create and carry plans of his own to bring suffering to enemies of the Jaezred Chaulssin. Nimor designs an intricate plan destroy Menzoberranzan using the armies of Kaanyr Vhok and Horgar Steelshadow, but the campaign eventually fails when Lolth restores spells to her priestess'.
Pharaun is a Master of Sorcere and the only noble son of House Mizzrym. Pharaun tries to keep the limits of his abilities close to the vest, only casting what is required. This causes others to under-estimate him constantly, which he takes full advantage of. Pharuan is sent with Quenthel on her journey after he and Ryld helped stop the incursion of renegade Drow males and slaves from destroying Menzoberranzan. His quick wit and sharp tongue often annoy Quenthel and Jeggred to the point the Draegloth attempts to kill him several times, but he is always stopped. It is Pharaun who brings the group back to the Abyss the second time, his magical abilities allowing him to maneuver a Ship of Chaos through the planes. He is killed at the end of Ressurection as Quenthel decides she no longer has use for him, and leaves the wizards to be killed by millions of spiders.
Quenthel is the third daughter of Yvonnel Baenre, sister to Matron Mother Triel Baenre and Mistress of Arach-Tinilith, Menzoberranzan's school for educating priestess' of Lolth. Killed by Drizz't Do'Urden near the end of the attempted Drow invasion of Mythral Hall in The Two Swords, Quenthel was ressurected by Lolth and sent back to Menzoberranzan. Quenthel is sent by Triel to investigate the silence of Lolth. During their quest, Quenthel believes she is the Yor'thae (Lolth's Chosen), but her weakness of faith throughout her journey causes Lolth to reject the priestess, and send her back to Menzoberranzan where she continued to serve as the Mistress of Arach-Tinilith.
Ryld is a Master of Melee-Magthere, the Drow school of combat. He is well associated with Phaurun Mizzrym, though their relationship could never be described as friendship. Ryld is a well trained fighter and carries an enchanted blade named "Splitter". Having been heavily involved in stopping an initial invasion attempt of Menzoberranzan, Ryld is sent by Triel Baenre along with Quenthel to discover the reason behind Lolth's silence. On the journey, Ryld meets and eventually falls in love with Halisstra Melarn. He is killed by Jeggred in Annihilation on orders from Danifae Yauntyrr.
First daughter of Yvonnel Baenre, Triel is named Matron Mother of Menzoberranzan upon the death of her mother. She is short of stature, bad tempered, and a calculating ruler. Triel has one son, Jeggred, who is a Draegloth (see Jeggred Baenre). Throughout the series, Triel is forced to defend the city from the attempted invasions of slave hordes and the combined efforts of Nimor Imphraezl, Kaanyr Vhok, and Horgar Steelshadow. She then orders the destruction of the traitor House Agrach Dyrr, who eventually become a vassal house to House Baenre.
Valas Hune: Valas is a mercenary working under Bregan D'aerthe, a group started by Jarlaxle Baenre. He has traveled much of the Underdark and is sent on the journey with Quenthel as a guide. He carries with him several magical items, including one which allows him to teleport behind enemies, where he uses his twin Kukuris' to kill. As a mercenary, Valas has contacts throughout the Underdark and the world above, and it is his idea to contact the Priests of Vhaereun to look for answers about Lolth's silence. Valas abandons the group in Annihilation before they enter Lolth's domain for the second time.
Compliance Programs Proof of Good Faith: Fully Document Policies and Procedures for Federal Reimbursement, Physician Groups Are Advised
Mar 01, 2006; LAS VEGAS -- Proper documentation is key to an effective corporate compliance program and can serve as evidence of a good-faith...