Artemis Entreri

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Artemis Entreri
Game information
Homeland Born and lived a few years of his childhood in Memnon. Raised and grew to adulthood in Calimport.
Gender Male
Race Human, shade
Class Assassin, fighter, rogue
Alignment Lawful Evil
Age Mid-forties/aging process is slower
Setting Forgotten Realms

Artemis Entreri is a fictional character in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Entreri is depicted as a ruthless assassin and the arch-enemy of Drizzt Do'Urden, the protagonistic dark elf. He is the creation of author R. A. Salvatore, first appearing at the end of the 1988 novel The Crystal Shard, the first book in The Icewind Dale Trilogy. He makes regular reappearances in subsequent novels by Salvatore, reprising his role of main antagonist to the hero Drizzt Do'Urden.

Entreri's character has been well-developed in the series of books by Salvatore as well as in official material for the Forgotten Realms setting itself. Portrayed as a cunning and tactical assassin, Entreri lives an empty life, devoid of any kind of pleasure or companionship, existing only to kill. Credited with being one of the best assassins in Faerûn, he is a highly composed and calculating man, with fighting skills rivaling those of his dark-elven enemy, Drizzt Do'Urden.[1]

Artemis remains one of the most popular D&D characters. He was voted fifth in the "Underdark All-Stars Poll" on Wizards of the Coast's website,[2] and was also rated as one of Dungeons & Dragons' top twenty most infamous and most powerful villains.[3]

Basics[edit]

Appearance[edit]

Artemis is described as not being very tall, as well as wiry. Artemis is very lean, muscular, and agile. He has short black hair and favors a trimmed goatee and moustache.[4] His skin has a grayish hue due to his absorbing a shade through the use of his vampiric dagger. Artemis rarely ever laughs or smiles. In fact the assassin is as well known for his fearsome glare as he is for his fighting skill; one look from Artemis has often been enough to evoke fear and stop people speaking in mid-sentence.

Personality[edit]

Artemis is a professional and always has an air of control about him. Every move he makes or word he speaks is calculated to achieve a desired effect. He never allows emotions or the circumstances, no matter how dire, to master him. In this, he is completely as determined as Drizzt. He is often seen as the evil version of Drizzt. He tirelessly maintains himself in top condition, and constantly seeks to improve his martial skills, again just as his drow enemy does. Artemis is also terribly cunning, able to outthink as well as outfight his opponents. One aspect of his professionalism that is rare in a man whose business is killing is that Artemis almost never kills unless it is necessary or unless he has been hired to do so. There has been the occasional exception, such as in The Halfling's Gem, Starless Night, and The Silent Blade, where Entreri killed somebody simply because he really wanted to. On two of these three occasions the victim had made the mistake of angering Artemis and provoking him. Artemis has vowed to "never leave an enemy in his wake." He does not take threats lightly. For the most part, those who are not enemies of Entreri or his allies have nothing to fear from him.

Aside from items of value that are useful in the pursuit of his ends (such as his enchanted weapons), Entreri tends to not care about, and even actively disdains, wealth and material luxuries. (This is in contrast to Jarlaxle, who loves material luxuries, and when in Jarlaxle's company, Entreri has often acceded to indulging in certain luxuries, such as wearing fine and expensive clothing, at the drow's insistence.) It is part of Entreri's outlook on life to sublimate his urges and desires; he tends to view them as weaknesses. He tends to hold the view that living in luxury will "soften" him (as a boy, after being taken in by a guild, he slept on the floor rather than his bed out of concern that this luxury might soften him). He dislikes intoxicants and drugs because they cloud the mind; only on very rare occasions has he ever relaxed enough to imbibe even moderate amounts of alcohol, and then only in very secure surroundings. This habit has changed to a degree in the novel Charon's Claw by R.A. Salvatore. On multiple occasions he imbibes alcohol, with Dahlia such to the point that it affects his judgement and he begins a sexual relationship with Drizzt's companion. He only rarely indulged his sexual urges in the past, both because he viewed the inability to sublimate his desire as weakness and because of the vulnerability inherent in sexual, and particularly romantic, relationships. (The disastrous relationship with the half-elf Calihye—possible only because Jarlaxle used a magical artifact to awaken long-buried emotions in Entreri—undoubtedly only further entrenched this tendency in Entreri.) After becoming the most infamous assassin in Calimport, Entreri charged a high fee for his services, but this was clearly more a matter of demanding recognition for his status than any desire for wealth.

Artemis Entreri's greatest hatred and disgust is reserved for those who are willing to abandon or betray their children in an effort to save themselves. This is because of the events during his formative years, specifically because of something that was done to him by adults who he should have been able to trust as a child. This is suggested in "The Third Level"—Salvatore's contribution to the 1994 Forgotten Realms short story compilation Realms of Infamy—where it says on page 80, "Still, he could smell the breath of that lecherous old man, like the breath of his own father, and his uncle." This is not the only reference, as in The Silent Blade Entreri "thought back further, to the torment that had landed him [in Calimport] in the first place, trials too great for a boy to overcome, deception and betrayal by everyone he had known and trusted, most pointedly his own father." It has also been hypothesized by Jarlaxle Baenre, who knows Artemis very well, that somebody close to him, most likely a "parent or a close family friend" (possibly a priest, and definitely a traveling merchant who helped him get to Calimshan), betrayed him when he was less than nine years of age. Most recently it was discovered in Road of the Patriarch that he was fathered by a priest because his mother needed the money, and was given to an abusive man for caretaking. After an attempted rape by his "Uncle" Tosso, Artemis has been extremely reluctant to completely trust anyone. He has since begun to slightly trust Jarlaxle, as much as he could trust anyone. His experiences in Memnon and Calimport at a young age have scarred him; he was betrayed by those family members closest to him, and all the authority figures he ever encountered were clearly hypocrites and liars openly using their power to exploit and rob those less fortunate than themselves. Entreri developed an utterly pessimistic and pragmatic outlook, viewing the world as a hateful place where everyone exploits everyone else, unless they are too weak to do so; to survive, one must possess the power to exploit others and the ruthlessness to do so without allowing emotions to encumber you.

Entreri despises serving other individuals. He values his independence highly (and of course, trusts virtually no one) and tends to view serving another as little better than being a slave to that person. Unlike Jarlaxle, he has never shown much interest in, or desire to, formally control an organization such as a thieves' guild, although his reputation and skills could have allowed him to do so with relative ease (when he removed Regis the halfling from the leadership position of the guild formerly led by Pasha Pook, the guild was his for the taking, but he chose to leave Calimport in pursuit of his revenge against Drizzt Do'Urden.) Entreri presumably has little interest in occupying his time with the headaches of day-to-day leadership when he would prefer to be pursuing his craft and refining his fighting skills. He understands the value of being affiliated with such organizations, however, and being able to draw upon their resources. His preferred position inside Calimport was as an "independent contractor", so to speak; an assassin who might favor one leading guild (such as Pasha Pook's) as his primary employer, but possessing the freedom to choose to move from guild to guild. He did maintain his own network of informants and contacts, independent of any guild, while he was in Calimport; typically, when he returned to Calimport after absences of several years, the fact that he would have to reestablish his old network of contacts, or even rebuild it one informant at a time, and that he would be vulnerable without such a network, was often uppermost on his mind.

Because Entreri has for so long defined himself in terms of his fighting skills, he has several times worried about aging, less in terms of fears of suffering death due to natural causes than the fact that aging will slow his reflexes and rob him of his fighting skills. This is particularly vexing to him because Drizzt Do'Urden, his great nemesis, is an elf, and will likely remain young and vital long after age has stolen his fighting abilities and, eventually, caused him to pass away. In The Silent Blade and Servant of the Shard, it is implied that age has slowed him slightly. Age has only very slightly reduced his speed and agility—he is still capable of speedy and agile movements many younger fighters cannot even dream of—but, as Artemis has long prided himself on being the best of the best, it irks him to slow even slightly. In the short story That Curious Sword, Entreri accidentally infuses himself with part of the essence of a shade when he uses his jeweled dagger (capable of magically draining life energy) to kill the shade attacking him and Jarlaxle. Later stories and novels imply that this has greatly slowed his aging process, and perhaps even rejuvenated him to some extent. It is likely that Entreri is now as fast and agile as he was at his peak, and that his aging process has slowed to the point that he may live as long as Drizzt Do'Urden, or longer. This also creates yet another odd mirror-aspect of Drizzt, an above-ground dweller infused with darkness against a drow infused with light.

Combat and tactics[edit]

Artemis is a tactical master, taking every advantage offered him and seeking to create more. Artemis is also a very fast learner. Even if he observes a particular combat maneuver just once or twice, he is able to adapt it to his choice of weapons and duplicate it effectively in battle (these tend to be Drizzt's maneuvers, their styles and skill level being so similar). He is also excellent at improvising; he can use his surroundings to excellent effect, when he would otherwise be at a severe disadvantage. Artemis is also a consummate warrior, combining his ambidexterity, thieving training, and warrior's weapon skills to be one of the most dangerous swordsmen in the Realms. Few men indeed could have so repeatedly crossed blades with Drizzt Do'Urden and lived to tell of it. He specializes in a two-weaponed fighting style with the use of a dagger and a sword, equalling Drizzt in fighting capability. (When he first encountered Drizzt and other drow, Entreri was impressed by how common it was for drow elves to fight skillfully while simultaneously wielding two long blades, as it would obviously be easy to tangle one's own long blades together while moving them through fighting routines. As presumably, any disadvantage to fighting a warrior wielding two long blades when one of his own blades would be a dagger, and thus shorter than his opponent's sword, is offset by the fact that Entreri may be able to execute at least some fighting maneuvers that an opponent with two swords could not execute, or at least could not execute as easily or quickly, without tangling his weapons together.) According to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Entreri is an 18th level character, with twelve levels as a fighter, one level as an assassin, one level in ranger, and four levels as a rogue. This was as of the time he had his longsword, prior to stealing Charon's Claw. Entreri has had many adventures since and has risen in levels.

Magical items[edit]

Vampiric dagger[edit]

Often referred to as a "jeweled dagger" in various novels, the hilt of this weapon is studded with gems. The emerald and garnet studded dagger is Entreri's signature weapon, which he possesses from his earliest appearance, a brief appearance at the end of the novel The Crystal Shard. Because of its distinctive appearance, even those who are not familiar with Entreri (but who are familiar with tales of him) or who have not seen him in a long time, often realize who he is by seeing the distinctive hilt of that dagger. It is one of the most recognized and feared weapons in Calimport. The magical weapon possesses the ability to suck the life force of the victim and use it to heal the wielder. The more sinister portion of the blade's power is its ability to feed on the victim's very soul, thus destroying the victim utterly. For a time, the dagger was taken by Regis after Drizzt defeated Entreri and left him to die at the edge of a cliff. Regis later gave this weapon to Catti-brie to assist her in her search for Drizzt in the Underdark. Entreri retrieved his dagger after he captured Catti-brie in Menzoberranzan.

His common interrogation technique is to force the victim's palm open and use the dagger to make a single blood-drawing tear on it, thus starting the life-draining magic. He usually doesn't have to wait long before the victim yields and pleads for him to stop. Even very brave warriors who have faced terrible evils can be terror-stricken if they feel the dagger leeching away at their soul. When Entreri is seriously hurt and under pursuit, he would commonly use the dagger to heal himself at the expense of a poor beggar or drunkard who happens to pass by. The dagger has been revealed to be capable of bringing back someone dead, or nearly so, as long as their hand is closed on the hilt when it is used on someone. The victim of the dagger, of course, is drained to death, a twisted form of charity.

In battle, Entreri's favorite wielding technique with this dagger is to wield it as a main-gauche in his left hand with a sword or sabre in his right. Entreri is a very accurate shot if he throws the dagger, which he has done on several occasions in battle. When circumstances have led to his throwing his deadly dagger at an opponent, he is then usually set upon immediately by his opponent (often a drow who also wields two weapons) who tries to take advantage of the assassin's no longer having two weapons to wield simultaneously, often forcing him to improvise.

Charon's Claw[edit]

For the novel, see Charon's Claw (novel).
The sword has a slender, razor-edged, gleaming red blade, its length inscribed with designs of cloaked figures and tall scythes, accentuated by a black blood trough running along its center. Entreri opened his hand enough for the wizard to see the skull-bobbed pommel, with a hilt that appeared like whitened vertebrae. Running from it toward the crosspiece, the hilt was carved to resemble a backbone and rib-cage, and the crosspiece itself resembled a pelvic skeleton, with legs spread out wide and bent back toward the head, so that the wielder's hand fit neatly within the 'bony' boundaries. All of the pommel, hilt and crosspiece was white, like bleached bones—perfectly white, except for the eye sockets of the skull pommel, which seemed like black pits at one moment and flared with red fires the next." — Servant of the Shard

In the later books, when Entreri faced Drizzt again, Artemis was no longer wielding his saber, but a slender, magical longsword. The magical abilities of this blade were not described in detail, although it could glow upon command. This sword is absent when Entreri reappears in The Silent Blade. Eventually, Entreri stole a deadly, sentient, ancient, evil blade forged by the Netherese called Charon's Claw in the novel Servant of the Shard. Anyone who touches the blade or handle of this sword unprotected must compete with it in a battle of wills. This is a highly difficult task, as the sword is immensely strong-minded. If the wielder fails in this task, his or her soul is consumed by the blade, while the skin and flesh of the skull is also burned away. This ability can be used by the bearer of the sword, but it requires prolonged contact with the enemy, several seconds (Entreri has been seen to impale an enemy with it and let it work). Charon's Claw can be willed by its wielder to leave trails of ash in the air, creating temporary opaque walls to give an edge in battle. It can also produce a strange black glow to act as a light in the darkness which renders the wielder invisible to infravision. The sword is also enchanted so that even a small nick or cut will prove eventually fatal, as the wound will fester and eventually poison the victim.

Without defeating the blade in a battle of wills, the only way for the wielder to safely use the item is to cover his or her hand with a unique, enchanted, black, red-stitched, magical gauntlet to protect him or her from the blade's effects. (This is in fact how Entreri stole the weapon. He had a fake duplicate of the gauntlet created and then switched it for the real one during a duel with the Charon Claw's former wielder. When the man grabbed the fake gauntlet, put it on, and grasped Charon's Claw, the sword consumed him.) In addition, the real gauntlet can detect, absorb, and redirect magical energy as well as psionics, so long as the spell's target is the wearer. Entreri, Grandmaster Kane who is an extremely powerful monk, and an oft aforementioned drow warrior, are the only known individuals who have defeated the sword's will, and thus can wield the sword without the gauntlet and not suffer a horrible death.

The gauntlet, however, was recently destroyed when Entreri braved a lich's tower with his partner, the dark elf Jarlaxle. Although Entreri could still suppress Charon's Claw through sheer willpower, he had lost the formidable defenses against magic and psionics that the gauntlet had granted him. However, near the end of Road of the Patriarch, Jarlaxle has the gauntlet repaired by Kimmuriel Oblodra and gives it back to Entreri.

In Salvatore's short story "That Curious Sword" in the Realms of Shadow: Return of the Archwizards • Anthology, it is revealed that Charon's Claw is a Netherese artifact. After killing a Shadovar messenger sent to retrieve the blade with his vampiric dagger, Entreri absorbed some of the shade's life-force, thus becoming more attuned to the blade and gaining some shade (a creature infused with the stuff of shadow) characteristics.

Entreri's cloak[edit]

In Legacy of the Drow's first book, The Legacy, it was revealed that Entreri had acquired a cloak with the magical property to transform into bat-like wings. However, after being shot in the neck by Drizzt Do'Urden with a drow dart carrying sleep poison, Entreri flew into the side of a cliff and ripped his black cloak. This cloak has not been seen since and is presumably lost. He now wears a drow piwafwi, but will on occasion bear normal dark-colored cloaks (black or gray).

Entreri's hat[edit]

Artemis Entreri was given a small-brimmed black hat as a gift from Jarlaxle Baenre. The hat had functions such as protecting Entreri from the infrared eyes of heat-seeking creatures. It also fastens to the wearers head with a wire, via a small clip on the band, that keeps the hat on the wearer's head almost absolutely. Artemis uses this wire like a garrote in attempt to kill his biological father near the end of Road of the Patriarch. Entreri relinquishes the gift back to Jarlaxle as a sign that he no longer wishes to travel together.

Drizzt[edit]

Throughout Salvatore's novels, Drizzt Do'Urden serves as a foil to Artemis Entreri (and vice versa). After their first meeting in Mithral Hall, Artemis knew that he and Drizzt were virtually equal in skill. The primary difference between himself and Drizzt noticed by Artemis was Drizzt's virtue, specifically Drizzt's caring and concern for his friends. Artemis, by contrast, had a life that could only be considered empty. He had no real friends and no loved ones. He considered such emotional connections to be hindrances, believing that the reason he was so skilled with his blades was because he had dedicated his life to being the best, and had done so to the exclusion of all other pursuits.

But now here was somebody seemingly as good as he was, somebody with friends and loved ones and a full life. For Entreri to accept that Drizzt was his equal in fighting skill, he would be forced to accept that it was possible to be an effective fighter while still pursuing and finding friendship, love and happiness. If this were true, it would mean that Entreri had wasted his life. This was something the assassin vehemently refused to admit to himself. Thus he became obsessed with proving once and for all that he was the better fighter, and that he was the better fighter because he had chosen to forego such distractions as friendship and love.

Entreri has said as much to Drizzt. He has taunted the drow by telling him that all one needs to do to manipulate him is threaten one of his friends and that he, Entreri, could never be manipulated in such a manner.

Artemis was never able to trust anybody as a friend as he grew up, and developed a belief that the only person he could truly count on was himself. When Artemis looks at Drizzt, he sees the kind of person he might have become if things had gone differently in his life, while Drizzt sees the same thing when he looks at Artemis. This is one of the reasons for their extreme rivalry. Artemis sees Drizzt has found friends with whom he can count on and enjoy life.

Artemis's conflicting feelings about his nature are compounded by his experiences in the Underdark. Artemis took pride from being unique in his dedication to personal excellence and felt he was peerless in Calimport or anywhere else. During his brief time in Menzoberranzan, Artemis beheld "a city of Entreris" and was horrified by the revelations it brought on. Between Drizzt and the drow of Menzoberranzan, Entreri became increasingly aware of the hollow purposelessness of his life.

History[edit]

Early life[edit]

Entreri reveals little about his past, but some is known about his early life. Artemis Entreri was born into the streets of Memnon, to a prostitute named Shanali, he was constantly abused by his "father," Belrigger, and his uncle, Tosso-posh. Eventually, his mother sold him to a pedophile merchant who was, if anything, worse than his uncle; it's speculated that it was through the depraved merchant's travels is how Entreri reached Calimport. This betrayal was enough to put a block on Entreri's emotions, making the man hide from the world by a sheer mental wall of anger and cynicism. In Calimport, he was taken in by the thieves' guild ruled by Pasha Basadoni. Basadoni taught young Artemis the tricks of the trade, teaching him the basics of fighting, and helping him master stealth. As Entreri practiced, he flourished, becoming the most efficient and deadly assassin in Calimshan and perhaps all of Faerûn. He was hired by many Pashas, his most recent employer being Pasha Pook. Pasha Pook hired Artemis to track down a halfling named Regis who had stolen an enchanted ruby from Pook. Entreri would chase Regis for several years, each time with Regis only escaping by a hair's breadth. Entreri eventually cornered Regis in the far north at the Spine of the World.

Known history[edit]

Artemis was born in the city of Memnon in Calimshan (modeled after Arabic Spain), but traveled to Calimport with a desert caravan when he was only nine. He escaped the caravan once it arrived in the city as he learned that he was going to be sold into slavery by the wicked merchants of the caravan.

Artemis lived on the streets of Calimport after that, using his canny wits and outstanding physical qualities to carve a niche of turf for himself in one of the city’s hundreds of poor shanty towns. After several years, he was noticed by members of the Basadoni Cabal, one of the most powerful thieves’ guilds in Calimport.

He ascended the ranks of the guild quickly, again aided by his devious mind, fit body, and the underestimation of one so young by his foes. At some point after that, he left a lieutenancy in Basadoni's Cabal (or the Cabal itself was wiped out or absorbed) for employment in Pasha Pook's guild. It was this event that was to later bring him into contact with the drow ranger who would become his nemesis, Drizzt Do'Urden. Artemis served Pook for an unknown number of years, until he (and many of Pook’s guild members) were sent out to search for a halfling thief named Regis who'd stolen one of a dozen rubies from the Pasha, a magical stone on a pendant (which functioned as a rod of beguiling). Artemis eventually found Regis in the Icewind Dale area known as Ten-Towns in 1351 DR. He was spotted by the halfling, however, who again fled.

Artemis tracked Regis and his companions, as they sought the location of Mithral Hall, the dwarf Bruenor’s ancestral home. Artemis had captured the companions friend, Catti-Brie, for information, use as a hostage, and as bargaining chip; Artemis intended to trade the young girl for the halfling whom he would then return to Calimport with the ruby and for a suitable punishment.

Artemis also found himself working briefly with forces of the Arcane Brotherhood, assigned the task by the wizard, Dendybar the Mottled. This union was not a calm one, and Artemis killed a warrior named Jierdan over leadership of the band. When this group caught up with the heroes in the dangerous passageways of Mithral Hall, the remainder of the Brotherhood’s forces perished and Artemis met Drizzt face to face for the first time. This clash, and several more to follow, was inconclusive, though both men grew to hate one another perhaps because they both saw the kind of man each might have become had circumstances differed. Artemis was successful in capturing Regis, and he returned the halfling to Calimport. At one point, Regis tried to escape, and Artemis removed a finger from his hand as punishment and a warning not attempt such a ploy again. Regis hoped to slow their travels enough so that his companions, who were pursuing, might catch up. Regis was later rescued and Pook’s guild all but destroyed by the actions of the heroes, although Artemis survived and disappeared into Calimport’s streets. When the halfling’s friends were set to return north, Regis said he’d remain behind and run what had been Pook’s guild. In 1357, Regis reappeared at Mithral Hall, now the heroes' home. Actually, Artemis was using a magical mask (functioning as a mask of disguise) to appear as the halfling. Artemis had captured the real Regis and hidden him deep in the bowels of Mithral Hall. Artemis and Drizzt fought again, and finally, one seemed about to defeat the other. Drizzt left the battered Artemis for dead, though Regis later tried to finish the job the drow ranger had started. Artemis did not die, although that was perhaps the closest he had ever come to death (not counting the past before he was known as the deadliest of assassins). He was found by Jarlaxle of the Bregan Daerthe band of drow mercenaries and taken to Menzoberranzan. Jarlaxle healed him and offered to let Artemis help the drow bring down Mithral Hall and kill Drizzt once and for all. Left with little choice, Artemis agreed, though he knew the drow would likely kill him the instant he was no longer of use to them. The fact that the drow of Menzoberranzan revered Lolth, the Spider Queen did nothing to help comfort Artemis, as he’d always hated spiders. Artemis again met Drizzt and Catti-Brie, and eventually the three reached an agreement to work together and escape the drow and their city. The plan worked, but as time passed, both men found it increasingly difficult to be in the other’s presence, so great was the enmity between them. After the journey of a week or so back to the deep tunnels beneath Mithral Hall, Artemis left the company of the human and the drow and, while no hostilities were exchanged, the fiery light in both men’s eyes said that the truce was over and if they ever met again, it would be for the final time.

Encounter with Drizzt[edit]

Entreri had become so skilled in his art that he was amazed upon meeting Regis's friend Drizzt Do'Urden, whose fighting skills were equal or even better than his own. Entreri wanted to test who was the better fighter and so eventually became determined with defeating the drow ranger. After their first fight, Entreri took Regis and led the dark elf across the Faerûn to Calimport, where they battled in the night. That battle resulted in Entreri having to run away with his dignity in pieces, fueling his urge to defeat Drizzt. He got his chance a few months later on the slopes of the Spine of the World near Mithral Hall, where he joined forces with the mercenary Jarlaxle and his band Bregan D'aerthe. Nonetheless, the ensuing fight ended with Artemis nearly dying and saved by Jarlaxle, only to be taken to Menzoberranzan under his command.

Entreri's experience in Drizzt's homeland was an eye-opening experience for the assassin who had spent most of his life the same way as the dark elves he now lived among. With no knowledge of how to return to the surface, Entreri was trapped until Drizzt returned to Menzoberranzan, followed by his friend Catti-brie. Although Drizzt is captured by Bregan D'aerthe and handed over to House Baenre, Jarlaxle gives Artemis many hints as to how one might rescue the ranger. Entreri proceeds to join forces with Catti-brie in order to rescue Drizzt so that they may lead him back to the surface.

After leaving Menzoberranzan in chaos, Entreri returns home to Calimport, where he had once been known as the greatest assassin of them all. Once the guilds realized he was not back with a mission to kill anyone in particular, Entreri was offered a lowly position in the Basadoni Guild, but Entreri's pride did not allow him to sink to the level of street enforcer. Unfortunately for the assassin, the guild hired a battlemage to dispose of him, and he was narrowly rescued by none other than Jarlaxle and Bregan D'aerthe. With the help of Jarlaxle and his band, Artemis Entreri took control of the Basadoni Guild.

Jarlaxle also decided to grant Entreri his wish to fight once more with his nemesis, Drizzt Do'Urden, after the opportunistic mercenary tricked the drow ranger into giving him the evil artifact, Crenshinibon. Artemis, who wished to put an end to the doubts that have turned up his head, due to his experience in Menzoberranzan and the comments made by Drizzt in which Entreri's life is compared to an empty shell, agreed and fought with Drizzt within the crystal tower made by Crenshinibon. Drizzt was close to winning over the injured Entreri, but the assassin was saved by outside intrusion of a psion, Kimmuriel Oblodra, who had covered Entreri with a protective shield of psionic power. The shield absorbed the power of Drizzt's thrust, and when Entreri reflexively fired a punch at Drizzt, the kinetic energy of the shot was transferred into the ranger.

The blast seemed to have killed Drizzt, enraging Entreri all the more, for he had spent the recent part of his life obsessed with defeating the elf, but unknown to Entreri, Drizzt was healed right after Entreri left the room where they had dueled. Despite his initial anger and chagrin at this conclusion, Artemis wound up living a happier life from there on with Drizzt "dead." Whereas he had previously been determined with proving himself the better fighter, Artemis was now able to put his rivalry with Drizzt behind him and concentrate on other things.

Travels with Jarlaxle[edit]

Entreri became close friends with a halfling by the name of Dwahvel Tiggerwillies, the guildmistress of a halfling guild based in the Calimport. He was able to confide in her, which was a rare thing indeed for the assassin. After Entreri aided Jarlaxle, Cadderly, and their companions in a quest to destroy the malevolent Crystal Shard, he traveled with the drow mercenary leader Jarlaxle to the Damara area in search of new adventures.

In the short story "That Curious Sword" (which took place in Heliogabalus in the Bloodstone Lands in the Year of the Shield, or 1367 DR) in the Realms of Shadow anthology, a Shadovar approached Entreri and tried to take Charon's Claw, which he said belonged to the Netherese. Entreri killed the man with his jewelled dagger and drained the shade's life-force, thus becoming part shade (one infused with shadowstuff) himself. Since that encounter, his skin has taken a slightly gray pallor, and Charon's Claw feels a certain affinity toward him.

In his most recent adventure, Entreri followed Jarlaxle to the vast land of Vaasa in search of a powerful artifact once belonging to the Witch-King Zhengyi. Following his defeat in an epic war decades ago, the evil wizard's many artifacts continued to plague Vaasa and the surrounding lands. One such item was a book that would generate a magical fortress, sucking on the life force of whatever unfortunate wizard activated it.

The book had indeed been activated, and incidentally the tower generated held the item Jarlaxle sought. Thus the pair traveled to Vaasa, and infiltrated the "Army of Bloodstone." This elite mercenary band of warriors protected the neighboring kingdom of Damara from goblin and giant tribes in the Vaasan plain. While procuring the item, Jarlaxle and Artemis incidentally saved a local half-orc community from Zhengyi's tower, and the young wizardess who'd activated it.[5]

During the affair, Artemis discovered that Idalia's flute, a magical artifact Jarlaxle had given him, was manipulating his feelings. This was an effort on Jarlaxle's part to open up Artemis' heart. Uncomfortably, it caused the assassin to grow sudden strong feelings for the young half-orc wizardess and a nobleborn captain in the Bloodstone Army. Jarlaxle claimed he was trying to give Entreri a reason to live besides killing, to give the man some peace in his troubled life. However, Jarlaxle's capricious nature has caused Artemis to take this claim with more than a degree of skepticism. The flute also causes Artemis to fall in "love" with a half-elf by the name of Calihye. At the end of The Promise of the Witch-King, he sleeps with her, and their relationship develops throughout Road of the Patriarch. However, troubled by Artemis's role in the death of her friend Parissus, she later tries to kill him when he asks her to come with him and leave her home. Although Artemis is protected from injury by Kimmuriel Oblodra, the drow psionicist acting under Jarlaxle's orders, and even though it is made clear that Calihye was under severe emotional turmoil and did not really want to hurt him, their relationship is obviously ended when he pushed her out his apartment window.

After a conflict with King Gareth Dragonsbane of Damara, Artemis and Jarlaxle are exiled from the Bloodstone lands. Upon leaving, Artemis, again prompted by the flute, returns to his childhood home in Memnon. He then finds and kills his abusive uncle and the corrupt priest who likely fathered him, but learns that his mother is already dead. Artemis then goes separate ways with Jarlaxle at the end of Road of the Patriarch. Still haunted by his childhood and struggling to accept what he has become since then, he breaks Idalia's flute and states to Jarlaxle "Artemis Entreri is dead." He then reveals that he is leaving for Calimport and says that he wishes to go home to his halfing friend, Dwahvel Tiggerwillies, whom he formed a tight bond with.[6] Artemis is mentioned in The Ghost King, although he does not appear in the novel.

After leaving Jarlaxle[edit]

In Gauntlgrym and Neverwinter, he appears as 'Barrabus the Gray', a part-shade servant of Herzgo Alegni, a tiefling/shade serving the Netherese. His soul is held in thrall by Charon's Claw, now wielded by Alegni. It is also mentioned that he was threatened with joining Jarlaxle when they paraded his lover before him, though it is likely Calihye, as it mentioned that the lover had been captive of the dark elves. When he refuses, they try to kill him. Artemis Entreri is eventually freed from the domination of the sword by Drizzt in the Neverwinter Saga series of books.

Appearances[edit]

The Icewind Dale Trilogy[edit]

  • The Crystal Shard (1988) — First look at Artemis Entreri, he only appears at the very end, but it leaves much to the imagination.
  • Streams of Silver (1989) — Entreri is on a quest to capture the halfling Regis and recover the stolen gem, then return both to his guildmaster, Pasha Pook.
  • The Halfling's Gem (1990) — Entreri successfully returns Regis and the gem to Pasha Pook, his guildmaster, though he was closely followed by Drizzt Do'Urden and company.

Legacy of the Drow[edit]

Main article: Legacy of the Drow
  • The Legacy (1992) — Accompanied by his future friend, Jarlaxle, among other drow, including Drizzt Do'Urden's sister, Vierna, Entreri is sent to "take care of Drizzt and the others."
  • Starless Night (1993) — Entreri returns to Menzoberranzan after his near fatal experience on the surface world. His loathing of the city leads him to deciding whether he should save a hated rival, or risk a life in the Underdark.
  • Siege of Darkness (1994)

Paths of Darkness[edit]

Main article: Paths of Darkness
  • The Silent Blade (1998) — A split book in which it follows many different points of view, Entreri battles Drizzt Do'Urden in a duel to the death.

Sellswords[edit]

Main article: The Sellswords
  • Servant of the Shard (2000) (also the third book in the Paths of Darkness series) — This story follows both Entreri and Jarlaxle in their struggle through the port city of Calimport. Jarlaxle's new toy, the Crystal Shard, begins to slip its own thoughts into the mind of its master. Entreri, noticing this, goes out of his way to save his friend and destroy the evil crystal.
  • Promise of the Witch-King (2005) — Entreri and Jarlaxle have become bounty hunters, mercenaries for hire, and assassins all at once. They are hired by two dragon sisters to recover lost magical items of Zhengyi, a powerful lich who ruled over the region for many years before his downfall. Their journey eventually leads them to a small half-orc community where a Zhengyi artifact has been uncovered.
  • Road of the Patriarch (2006) — Jarlaxle and Artemis' exile from the Bloodstone lands, their journey to Memnon, Artemis' reckoning with his past, and eventual split of the pair.

The Neverwinter Saga[edit]

  • Gauntlgrym (2010) - Artemis Entreri thought to be Barrabus the Gray.
  • Neverwinter (2011) - Barrabus the Gray is revealed to be Artemis Entreri by Drizzt Do'Urden.
  • Charon's Claw (2012) - Artemis Entreri tries to free himself from Charon's Claw's influence with the help of Drizzt and Dahlia.
  • The Last Threshold (2013) - Artemis Entreri travels with Drizzt and Dahlia to escape pursuit by the Shade Enclave.

Short stories[edit]

  • "The Third Level" — A short story of Entreri's early years in the Realms of Infamy anthology
  • "Empty Joys" — A short story of Entreri and Jarlaxle in the Best of the Realms anthology.
  • "That Curious Sword" — Short story of Entreri from the Realms of Shadow anthology in the Return of the Archwizards series.
  • "Wickless in the Nether" — Short story of Entreri and Jarlaxle in the Realms of Dragons anthology.

Video games[edit]

  • Entreri appears as a hidden playable character in the game Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II after playing through all difficult levels, where Drizzt Do'Urden becomes available. After doing so the player must complete the game again on Extreme mode. Then Artemis Entreri becomes available.
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn he appears when the protagonist and his party gets ready to confront Bodhi for the final time in her lair, provided the previous encounter with Drizzt and his party ended in a particular way. He can still be summoned by using the CLUAConsole:CreateCreature("Artemis") cheat code.
  • Entreri appears in Tyrants of the Moonsea, a freely downloadable module for Neverwinter Nights originally intended to be marketed as a NWN premium module. In the module, he is hired and attempts but fails to assassinate Astar Greysteel, a companion of the hero.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Artemis Entreri@Everything2.com
  2. ^ DDM Underdark Results
  3. ^ Stewart, Todd; Jason Bulmahn, James Jacobs, Mike McArtor, Erik Mona, F. Wesley Schneider, Jeremy Walker (September 2007). "1d20 Villains: D&D's Most Wanted; Preferably Dead". Dragon. XXXII (4): 54–69. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  4. ^ Streams of Silver, pg 20-21
  5. ^ 'Witch King' written for Salvatore faithful - The Utah Statesman review
  6. ^ Road of the Patriarch interview with R.A. Salvatore

External links[edit]