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As aeldredg said, he's Drizzt's nemesis. He's considered as Drizzt's equal opponent or human equivalent. Note that the last Drizzt book I've read is Passage to Dawn (which I have no finished yet), but Artemis Entreri is The cool villain in the Drizzt books. There's a description of him in the 2nd book of the Icewind Dale trilogy I believe and IIRC, it says that he has dark hair (possibly black), he's attractive (from Cattie-Brie's point of view anyway), but his eyes are really the only thing that distinguishes him; they're cold killer eyes that have lost all emotion.

He's the perfect assassin. In fact, he's one of the best. He was hired by Pasha Pook, but it was the crime boss of Calimport that wanted the gem that Regis had stole from him. Entreri was supposed to bring back the halfling and the gem to the crime boss.

His knife is able to inflict additional damage when it is thrusted upon an opponent. This was described by Regis when Entreri had captured him and tortured him with his knife. I believe there was a name for that knife as well.

He is considered as Drizzt's equivalent, because he's almost the only one that has come close in beating Drizzt. He posseses two weapons as Drizzt, but unlike Drizzt (which is ironic, because Drizzt is a Drow and it is his nature to be evil) Entreri posseses no morals at all. He kills without resentment. He is after all an assassin.

    Like a dark Ulysses, Artemis Entreri has made a long journey through R.A. Salvatore's books. Many readers of the Forgotten Realms series are familiar with Salvatore's work, all of which is detailed in the R.A. Salvatore node. His longest running series involves an intrepid band of heroes, led by Drizzt Do'Urden, a Drow Elf. Unlike all his sinister brethren, Drizzt fled his birthright, and became a ranger on the surface of the Forgotten Realms, forever forsaking his evil origins. Over the course of his many adventures, he encountered Artemis Entreri, his arch nemesis, and in many ways, his mirror image.

    In the Forgotten Realms, the Drow Elves are feared by all. They are ruthless killers, completely lacking morals, and without any redeeming virtue. They are a society run by matron mothers, unswayed in their worship of Lilith, the Spider Queen, an evil deity that revels in chaos and disorder. They are also the most feared fighters, as, due to their evil nature, they have become the enemies of just about every other race on Faerun (the world of Forgotten Realms). Their skill in battle is unmatched, and is held in check by their chaotic nature; their constant infighting and lack of trust prevent them from forming any lasting alliances. The reside in the fetid realms of the Underdark, a world devoid of light; a hostile environment that has played a crucial part in the creation of one of the most feared races on Faerun.

    Drizzt Do'Urden was one of two exceptions. Like his father before him, Drizzt was disgusted by the ways of his brethren. Unlike his father, he found the courage to run away, and strike out on his own. After spending some time alone in the Underdark, Drizzt finally made it to the surface, and braved the hated rays of the sun, the antithesis to all his race stood for. He established a life for himself, and eventually became a ranger, finally expressing the good that he felt within. Forced to constantly battle the prejudices of all races he met, Drizzt constantly sought balance, and a strict adherence to morals. His perseverance payed off, and he became known to many as a fighter of virtue and a person of character.

    Drizzt and party first encountered Artemis Entreri in The Halfling's Jem, the last book of the Icewind Dale Trilogy. Regis the halfling, one of the members of Drizzt's party, was fleeing from Pasha Pook of Calimport. Regis had stolen a precious and magical jem from Pook, and the irate Pasha sent Artemis Entreri, the consummate assassin, to retrieve his property. Up to now, Drizzt had faced many a fearsome adversary, many of them drow, and had always bested them in combat. Artemis Entreri was the one exception. A cold, ruthless killer, the product of the mean streets of Calimport (think Arabian Nights), Artemis was Drizzt's equal in battle. His sword and dagger met Drizzt's twin scimitars stroke for stroke, just as his personality was an antithesis for all that Drizzt stood for. All their battles in this book were unresolved, much to the frustration of both parties.

    After their preliminary encounter, Artemis was compelled to seek out Drizzt, and to finally eradicate this anomaly in his structure of beliefs. Artemis was consumed with the desire to defeat Drizzt in single combat, no matter what the cost to himself. And if anyone could best Drizzt, that person was Artemis Entreri. For a time, Drizzt too was caught up in the competition, and was filled with an indescribable urge to eradicate the perversion that was Artemis Entreri.

    After time, Drizzt realized the futility of his struggle. To him, Artemis was but the hollow shell of a man. He was without morals, driven only by his desire to excel in his gruesome trade; he was a dead man walking. After Drizzit was able to reconcile himself to the fact that Artemis was what he could have been, had he stayed in his ancestral home, he was able to rise above the animosity that had developed between the two.

    The Drizzt/Artemis saga was played out for a couple of books. In an interview, Salvatore expressed the fact that he wanted to kill Drizzt off, but his publishers wouldn't let him. The series had become so popular, that they were unwilling to let Drizzt the moneymaker go. This resulted in the prolonging of the great battle between Drizzt and Artemis. Artemis began to lose his luster and became an almost shallow version of his original self. He was still unparalleled in battle; he truly was Drizzt's equal in battle. The two of them danced along lines that other failed to see; their prowess was unmatched. But it became a cliché. Drizzt would fight new enemies, only to encounter Artemis somewhere along the way. They would fight, or sometimes temporarily join forces, so as to escape mutual capture, only to engage in furious combat once more. Drizzt rose above this petty competition, but Artemis was somehow cast into a new, shallow mold.

    And then came Salvatore's latest addition to the saga, Servant of the Shard. Salvatore had come full circle, and returned to the source of his first trilogy; the evil crystal shard, an artifact of unparalleled evil. After two books of silence, at least in terms of the Drizzt/Artemis saga, Salvatore returned full force, and completely surprised many. I had resigned myself to more of the publisher prolonged battle between Artemis and Drizzt, only to find that the new book was almost all about Artemis. Through the course of the book, Artemis became human. He felt. Like Ulysses, he had journeyed far and long, only to return home to a lie. Artemis is back in Calimport, the filthy city of his youth. And we come so tantalizingly close to the singular event in his past that made him so callous. He is no longer a villain, but a human, caught in between the lines of good and evil, of birth and upbringing. He begins to feel; he matures into a character with more depth that any had hoped to expect.

    Up to now, Drizzt and Artemis had been equals, but the whole battle was futile. Drizzt was a drow, fated to live many centuries. Artemis had only the normal human lifetime to look forward to. After a while, his skills would begin to fade; he would no longer be Drizzt's equal. When Artemis was an old man, Drizzt would still be in his prime. And then, like the Joyceian Ulysses, he had an epiphany. As the loyal reader, we are not yet privy to what exactly has happened to Artemis, only that he has begun the long journey out of night. While Eugene O'Neil followed the descent into night, we will follow Artemis as he circumvents what he was before. So far, it has not become a mushy reversal; the villain becomes the repentant hero. So far, it has been a human journey into the self; a journey that entails a denial of what was before, and an acceptance of a new future. It is a journey that has not ended, but surely must end. In the accomplishment of this yet unreached end, we will see the completion of a cycle. The villain will find a new perspective, for life is nothing but a chosen perception.

    The discerning reader may have noticed that my e2 handle bears the same name as the focus of this writeup, as do most of my online personas. I can't help it; he's such an awesome villain, and his journey into his own past elevates him above the petty interaction of stereotypical hero/villain to the extent that I remain entranced. He was the consummate villain; a nemesis to one of the most popular heroes in D&D spawned fiction, and he has become what we all are. We all seek a meaning to our existence, just as we all must face a reckoning, if only with ourselves, for all that we've done.

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