The original Faceless One was Gelroos Hun'ett, a Master of Sorcere. Amid all the planning and scheming between the great Houses is House Do'urden, a noble house struggling its way up the ladder of the Menzoberranzan's power structure. Lolth's statutes decree that one house may attack another, but the destruction must take place within a single night, and the rival house must be utterly destroyed. As long as the first condition is met, no other houses may interfere in the war. The second condition must be met, for if any member of the besieged family lives to the next morning, they may demand retribution from the city's Ruling Council. So, bargains must be made.
House Do'urden makes such a bargain with one of the city's most skilled wizards, the Faceless One. Dinin Do'urden, secondboy of House Do'urden confirms the payment of his family's matron, Malice Do'urden, in exchange for the death of one Alton DeVir, a low level wizard living outside his House in The Academy school of Sorcere. Gaining this confirmation, Dinin returns home to the throne room of his mother who is pregnant yet again.
Matron Malice finalizes her plans against House DeVir with her husbands and children, all the while she is experiencing the pains of her impending delivery. Her child will be born this night, a third son who will not live to see the morning. A third-born son of a great House is traditionally given to Lolth in blood sacrifice, and so he will be killed as soon as he has been given a name.
House Do'urden launches its attack on DeVir, pressing every advantage it possesses, both physically in terms of warriors, and psychically in terms of prayers to Lolth. The battle is a virtual stalemate until Lolth grants the prayers of Do'urden over those of DeVir, allowing the psychic defenses of the rival house to fall. In the middle of the carnage can be found Zaknafein, Weapons Master and First Husband of House Do'urden. Zak is the finest swordsman in Menzoberranzan, possibly the best that has ever lived in all of Faerun. He cuts a swath through the DeVir warriors and enters the chapel of House DeVir and slays Matron Ginafae and all her daughters.
In Sorcere, Alton DeVir arrives at the chambers of the Faceless One, and is immediately attacked. He runs, but cannot get away from the more powerful wizard, and is near his end. Just before the killing blow, the Faceless One informs Alton that he is the last of his family, his house has fallen. Raising his hand to complete his end of the deal, the Faceless One is suddenly killed by a crossbow quarrel through the back of his neck. He has been killed by his own brother, Masoj Hun'ett, in revenge for years of subservience to the Faceless One. Masoj has spared Alton, concocting a plan to allow the final member of the DeVir family to take the place of the Faceless One, and eventually enact his revenge on Do'urden. In return, Masoj will no longer be subservient, and immediately gains access to a myriad of powerful magical items, the most desirable of which is a Guenhwyvar's Figurine of a black panther. Once Masoj has what he is looking for, he goes to get the acid and turn Alton DeVir into the Faceless One.
Later in Sorcere, the new Faceless One, Alton DeVir attempts an ill-advised spell which allows him to break the barrier between life and death and contact his deceased mother. He wishes to know what House it was that caused his own's downfall, but is interrupted by a Yolchol
just before she can reveal the truth. He is warned by the grotesque handmaiden of Lolth that the Spider Queen has little patience or mercy for meddling males. The wizard is explosively punished for his defiance, much to the chagrin of Masoj.
At Sorcere, Sinafey Hun'ett comes to call upon her son Gelroos Hun'ett, the man otherwise known as the Faceless One. She quickly discovers Alton has taken his place, but just as quickly is informed by her younger son Masoj that he was the one who took his older brother's life. In typical drow fashion, Sinafey is not alarmed by the news, and in fact seems pleased. She immediately accepts Alton in place of her son to be her eyes and ears within Sorcere. When he begs to know who it was that brought about the downfall of his House from Sinafey, she eventually relents and gives him a name: Do'urden.
Drizzt enters The Academy's warrior school, Melee-Magthere. While Masoj shares plans with Alton about Sinafey's designs for the downfall of House Do'urden, Drizzt is subjected to more and more of the hysterical ravings of Hatch'net, the chief instructor of the school.
For Drizzt's final year at the Academy, he and every other student are assigned a year in the other two divisions of the school, sixth months in Sorcere, and six in Arach-Tinith. The idea is to give the warriors exposure to the other disciplines so that they can better function in their necessary societal role. Unbeknown to Drizzt, he has stumbled into the clutches of one of his mortal enemies, a man he has never met before, Masoj Hun'ett. Masoj proves to be a braggadocio (as all drow wizards are), but found that his time in Sorcere was the most enjoyable of all his years at the Academy. He found that he was quite adept at the discipline, dexterity, and intellectual acrobatics necessary to perform magic, and within a few short week was already surpassing some of the most promising wizard acolytes. If his mother has not been convinced he would be a better warrior and had been sent to Sorcere instead, Drizzt might have become a master mage. Drizzt spent his time mastering every cantrip and spell assigned, and thoroughly enjoyed being shown magical artifacts and weapons. Masoj grew more and more jealous and hateful of Drizzt because how easy all this seemed to the warrior. Many times he saw opportunity to eliminate the boy, but the orders of his matron stayed his hand. He had no desire to incur her wrath. Near the end of his time in Sorcere, Drizzt is introduced to Masoj's master, the Faceless One. Alton DeVir, still hot for vengeance, ignores the commands of Sinafey Hun'ett and attacks Drizzt in his office. He might have succeeded in killing the warrior if not for the intervention of Masoj. Alton is pounced upon by a great black panter, a beast that Masoj calls his pet, summonded from the astral plane via an onyx figurine. Drizzt is immediately enamored by the majesty and beauty of the animal, for he has met Guenhwyvar
for the first time. It would not be their final meeting. Masoj begins to hope his mother makes a move against Drizzt soon, before he became too powerful.
Sinafey does make a move, but not the exact one that Masoj was wishing for. She calls the ruling council of the city together, and calls for the punishment of House Do'urden for a failed attack. She reveals that Alton DeVir has survived, and has been posing as her son the Faceless One for all these years. Matron Baenre states that the council cannot enact punishment for a crime so long past, but Sinafey argues that they need not undertake punishment, but rather turn a blind eye as vengeance is taken. Baenre concurs and adjourns the meeting by saying, "This matter is settled, my sisters. It is good that we never met this day." Sinafey puts her plan in motion.
After Drizzt returns from a surface raid against a group of light elves, Sinafey Hun'ett learns from the lower planes that House Do'urden has lost the favor of Lolth. She does not know the details, but there is something one of the sons has done to displease the goddess, thereby giving House Hun'ett opportunity to crush the upstart Do'urdens. Though Hun'ett is higher in the hierarchy than Do'urden, Sinafey knows that Malice has been ascending in the stature of Menzoberranzan's society, and would one day soon attack the upper Houses. If Malice were to regain Lolth's blessings, then Hun'ett would be doomed. Sinafey tells her son, Masoj that "Drizzt Do'urden must die within ten days."
Malice orders her entire household to stay within the walls of the home, an order which Drizzt promptly disobeys. Masoj puts his second chance plan into motion, calling on Guenhwyvar and setting her to track down and kill Drizzt. Guenhwyvar tries to resist the order, but the magic of the figurine compels her to obey, no matter her own wishes. Out in the wild of the Underdark, Drizzt is so wrapped up in his own thoughts and concerns that he is caught unawares by a cave fisher. The beast lashes Drizzt around the neck with its proboscis and begins to draw him up when Guenhwyvar appears out of the shadows and rescues him. The two of them take the monster down together, but then Guen immediately turns on him. Drizzt realizes that she has been sent to kill and prompts her to fight the unwanted urge to obey. Soon, Guen breaks the programming, and her lifelong friendship is assured. Drizzt get Guen to lead him to Masoj. Near Sorcere, Masoj Hun'ett waits for the return of Guenhwyvar, and is enraged to see Drizzt coming up behind her, hale and healthy. As Drizzt is castigating Masoj over Guen's freedom of will, Alton DeVir appears and cries out for vengeance against Drizzt. Drizzt tries to strike a deal with Masoj, the figurine of Guenhwyvar in exchange for the Hun'ett's life. Not knowing that Zak is already dead, Drizzt further sweetens the deal by saying he will depart House Do'urden and take Zak with him, depriving Hun'ett's enemies of their two best warriors. Masoj scoffs at the offer, believing the power of wizards to be greater than the skill of warriors.
Alton tries to hit Drizzt with a bolt of lightning from behind, but Guen puts herself in the way and absorbs the strike. Guen goes after the Faceless One, while Drizzt attacks Masoj. Though it seems at first that the pair cannot win against the wizard's trickery, neither of them give up. Both fight through burns and broken bones to see their enemy dead. Drizzt has taken a drow life, but it was in self-defense, not in murder or internecine treachery, so he is unconcerned by the deed. So passess the Faceless One.