Are you so eager for war?” the drow asked, his face barely an inch from the elf’s. “Do you long to hear the screams of the dying, lying helplessly in fields amidst rows and rows of corpses? Have you ever borne witness to that?” “Orcs!” the elf protested. Drizzt grabbed him in both hands, pulled him forward, and slammed him back against the wall. Hralien called to Drizzt, but the dark elf hardly heard it. “I have ventured outside of the Silver Marches,” Drizzt said, “have you? I have witnessed the death of once-proud Luskan, and with it, the death of a dear, dear friend, whose dreams lay shattered and broken beside the bodies of five thousand victims. I have watched the greatest cathedral in the world burn and collapse. I witnessed the hope of the goodly drow, the rise of the followers of Eilistraee. But where are they now?” “You speak in ridd—” the elf started, but Drizzt slammed him again. “Gone!” Drizzt shouted. “Gone, and gone with them the hopes of a tamed and gentle world. I have watched once safe trails revert to wilderness, and have walked a dozen-dozen communities that you will never know. They are gone now, lost to the Spellplague or worse! Where are the benevolent gods? Where is the refuge from the tumult of a world gone mad? Where are the candles to chase away the darkness?” Hralien had quietly moved around the wall and walked up beside Drizzt. He put a hand on the drow’s shoulder, but that brought no more than a brief pause in the tirade. Drizzt glanced at him before turning back to the captured elf. “They are here, those lights of hope,” Drizzt said, to both elves. “In the Silver Marches. Or they are nowhere. Do we choose peace or do we choose war? If it is battle you seek, fool elf, then get you gone from this land. You will find death aplenty, I assure you. You will find ruins where once proud cities stood. You will find fields of wind-washed bones, or perhaps the remains of a single hearth, where once an entire village thrived. “And in that hundred years of chaos, amidst the coming of darkness, few have escaped the swirl of destruction, but we have flourished. Can you say the same for Thay? Mulhorand? Sembia? You say I betray those who befriended me, yet it was the vision of one exceptional dwarf and one exceptional orc that built this island against the roiling sea.” The elf, his expression more cowed, nonetheless began to speak out again, but Drizzt pulled him forward from the wall and slammed him back even harder. “You fall to your hatred and you seek excitement and glory,” the drow said. “Because you do not know. Or is it because you do not care that your pursuits will bring utter misery to thousands in your wake?
R.A. Salvatore (The Orc King (Transitions, #1; The Legend of Drizzt, #20))