Drizzt has graduated from the Academy's Melee-Magthere school, and his now officially secondboy of House Do'urden. Drizzt and Zaknafein confront one another for the first time since Drizzt left nearly ten years before, and both mistakenly believe the other to be utterly consumed in evil, and they both privately vow to kill one another.
House Hun'ett continues its plans to first destroy Drizzt, the House Do'urden. Drizzt is put on patrol in the Underdark, and is nearly killed by Masoj, but the astral panther Guenhwyvar saves his life, even though she shouldn't. Drizzt is inadvertently saved from the treachery by one of the deep gnomes his unit is attacking, Belwar Dissengulp. Drizzt's unit has killed all the others, and he persuades them to preserve Belwar, allowing him to return to his city and warm the gnome of the revenge of the drow, but not before his hands are taken from him.
Later, when questioned, Drizzt deduces that Masoj's attack was a prelude of an attack on Do'urden, and so his house makes ready. Zaknafein confronts Drizzt, and the two nearly kill one another, stopping only when Drizzt reveals he had not killed a little surface elf girl, but had pretended to and instead spared her life. Zaknafein, for his part, it relieved and overjoyed that the darkness of drow life has not taken his son. Zaknafein reveals to Drizzt that he is his father. Unknown to them both, this exchange is being watched by Matron Malice.
Malice confronts Zaknafein, meaning to send him away and then kill Drizzt in sacrifice to Lolth. Zaknafein offers himself up in his son's stead, a bargain which Malice accepts. Drizzt, meanwhile, is attacked by Guenhwyvar, who has been ordered by Masoj to kill him. She rescues him from a cave fisher monster, then turns on him, but Drizzt is able to befriend the black panther, then go and confront Masoj.
He find Masoj and the replacement "Faceless One" Alton Devir together, and battles them. Guenhwyvar once again saves his life, and he is able to kill both of his enemies. Returning home, he learns from his mother of Zaknafein's sacrifice, and turns his back on his family and heritage once and for all.
Drizzt excapes with Guenhwyvar, as well as her summoning figurine, and escapes from Menzoberranzan into the Underdark.