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News of Drizzt arrival spread throughout the surrounding countryside, pleasing some with the news, but causing fear and trepidation in Graul. Minions of the Orc Chieftan had seen the drow enter their environs before the snows set in, and Graul had commanded them to set a watch over him, but secretly hoped the snow would drive him away. Since that had not happened, and the dark elf had survived the winter, Graul wondered if this lone drow were a scout for a larger force to come, bringing war with them. If the drow were alone, he might come in and try to usurp leadership of his tribe. Neither situation could be allowed to stand, so he orders his men to go and kill the elf.

They found Drizzt walking through the local forest, enjoying his first spring. He was enamored by the new growth literally springing from the once dead ground. So enamored, in fact, he was caught by surprise by the attacking orcs. Drizzt easily killed the first two attackers, but was taken down by one of their feral wolves, pinned until he could call for Guenhwyvar. Even with the wolf off his back, he was severely disadvantaged, and would have been slain by a third orc if not for the timely intervention of an arrow in the beast's back. All enemies now dead, Drizzt looks up to see an old, green clad human bearing down on him with a great wooden bow. Roddy McGristle turned and looked for allies, even such creatures he would normally never have contact with, Graul the Orc Chieftain. Roddy knew that Graul's minions had been unable to find the drow, so Roddy informed them he was with the ranger, and that they were plotting together against the orcs. A consummate liar, Roddy went on to convine the Orc Chieftain that they were planning on rousing all the elves, and dwarves, and forest animals against the orc tribe. This roused the ire of Graul, who then decides to muster his forces and attack the grove. At that moment, Tephanis and Caroak stride into the cave, promising to rouse the worgs against the ranger and his grove. The war was about to be joined. Hooter, having spied the preparations for the orc and worgs, flies back and tells Montolio of all he has seen. War is finally coming to the grove, a war which Montonlio had been prepared for for years.

Graul, Caroak, and Roddy were quickly successful in amassing a fairly large force in a short time, a group consisting of a hundred orc warriors, a few giants, and a dozen wargs. Together, they set out down the crags and crevasses of the high peaks and moved methodically toward the grove of Montolio below. In that very same grove, Montolio explained to Drizzt how he had known this night would come, expeciting it for five years. He had played out every possible scenario in his mind, and had stockpiled the necessary weapons and supplies to defend the grove all on his own. He now felt he had a greater advantage with Drizzt and Guenhwyvar at his side. So they began to prepare for the battle, readying weapons, calling in animal allies, and setting traps until all they could do was wait. They did not have long to rest.

From behind his seemingly overwhelming force, Graul calls for the attack. Orcs and wargs stream toward the grove, looking to tear apart any living thing they met, whether sentient being or plant. From high above on the rope bridges, Drizzt ran from crossbow to crossbow, each of which was already loaded with large bolts, and began firing into the crowd with deadly accuracy. He made every shot count, not daring to miss and lose any slight advantage over the attacking hoard. Montolio, hiding in the shadows, used the grunts and clanking armor to give him targets, their loudness creating beacon bright targets for the blind man. The bear Drizzt had bedded down with during his first winter, and other animals came out of the woods and slew orc after orc, quickly thinning the number of enemies against the grove's protectors.

When Drizzt gets to his last arrow, he finally sees McGristle in the fray below him. While he wanted to put his personal grief at an end by killing the lying hunter, he also spied the Orc Chieftain Graul next to him, and he reasoned that killing Graul would end the attack for good. His choice made, he fired at the orc, but Roddy noticed the arrow at the last moment and pushed the orc out of the way. Drizzt's final shot had been wasted. All the traps have been sprung, and both Montolio and the drow were out of arrows, so they drew their swords and leaped headlong into the remaining enemies. Whether orc, warg or giant, the two rangers were more than a match for their enemies, leaving no recourse but to run from the grove as fast as their feet would carry them. Even after all this, Roddy prodded Graul to go in himself and fight back, believing the two of them were more than a match for the rangers. Graul knew his men would follow him if he led another charge, but the Orc Chieftain was not one to risk his own life. He bashed Roddy upside the head, knocking him unconscious, and ran for his life. The battle was over.

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