The DemonWars Saga
|Author||R. A. Salvatore|
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)|
This article does not follow Wikipedia's guidelines on the use of different tenses. (October 2021)
The DemonWars Saga is a series of seven high fantasy novels by American writer R. A. Salvatore. The series is set in the world of Corona, principally in the kingdoms of Honce-the-Bear and Behren, and amongst the nomadic To-gai-ru. The saga is separated into two trilogies bridged by a single book, Mortalis. The saga has an accompanying roleplaying game, entitled Demon Wars.
The first trilogy
The Demon Awakens
The first book in the trilogy introduces the reader to Elbryan Wyndon and Jilseponie Ault, two young friends whose lives are irrevocably changed by the destruction of their village of Dundalis, and Avelyn Desbris, a pious young man who enters the monastery of St.-Mere-Abelle in order to study and to serve God. Divided by the catastrophe, Elbryan and Pony (Jilseponie's nickname) struggle to sort out their lives. Elbryan is taken in by the Touel'alfar, the winged elves of Corona. Jilseponie makes her way to the city of Palmaris where she is raised by the Chilichunks, a husband and wife who own a tavern in the city. Meanwhile, Avelyn comes to terms with the all-too-human brothers of the Abellican Church and the myriad injustices he witnesses them cause.
Years pass before the trio meet. During their time apart, Elbryan is trained by the Touel'alfar as a ranger and takes on the name Nightbird. Meanwhile, Pony becomes a barmaid at the Chilichunk's tavern; Fellowship Way, and eventually enters into the military after marrying the nobleman Conner Bildeborough, before rejecting him on their wedding night, resulting in the marriage being immediately annulled. Avelyn, a promising young monk at St. Mere-Abelle, begins learning the use of the powerful gemstone magic, but eventually leaves the Church after finding it to not be the holy place he had hoped for and receiving a vision of the awakened demon dactyl. It will be up to these three, along with a group of friends and allies, to save the world from the demon dactyl, Bestesbulzibar, and his dark force of goblins, powries and fomorian giants.
In order to accomplish this feat Elbryan and his friends take the people of the Timberlands, whose homes have been destroyed by the demon's army, and forge them into a guerrilla fighting force. With them, Elbryan Wyndon and his friends strike quickly at the edges of the enemy, doing all in their power to weaken them. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the only way to truly stop the encroaching darkness is to defeat the dactyl itself. Intent on this quest, the three friends, accompanied by the elves Belli'mar Juraviel and Tuntun and others, journey to the Barbican and Mount Aida to face their enemy. In the end the demon is defeated by Avelyn Desbris and his amethyst gemstone. Though they are victorious, victory comes at a high price. The monk Avelyn gives his life to end the demon dactyl's influence.
The Demon Spirit
Even with the destruction of the dactyl, not all is well in the Kingdom of Honce-the-Bear. The servants of Bestesbulzibar still roam the land, creating havoc. Elbryan and Pony, along with the small group of fighters they'd formed, commence to mop up the demon's army as best they can. Soon, though, they discover that their friend Bradwarden, who they thought was dead, is still alive and is in the clutches of the Church. Furthermore, the Chilichunks, Pony's adopted family, were also captured as a means to lure Pony out so that Markwart can take back the Ring Stones stolen by Avelyn.
It is up to Elbryan and Pony, with help from their friends such as the new character Roger Lockless, to attempt a rescue while fighting the enemy. During this time Elbryan teaches Pony Bi'nelle dasada, the forbidden sword-dance of the Touel'alfar, the short winged elves of Corona. Meanwhile, Father Abbot Markwart schemes to get back the stolen gemstones from Jilseponie. One of his servants, Marcalo De'Unnero, uses his exceptional training in the martial arts to create two new Brothers Justice to find the woman and the gemstones and deal with them both. While this is going on, another of Markwart's servants, an ambitious monk named Brother Francis, comes to the forefront of the story. With his closeness to Father Abbot, Francis becomes a powerful force in the monastery and eventually leads his own party in search of the gemstones, at Father Abbot's command.
The Church no longer has a solid foundation, however. Master Jojonah is a high-ranking member of the Church and a former teacher of Avelyn Desbris. He, along with others, begins to see the rot in their beloved institution and work quietly to bring about the truth of Avelyn. This work eventually leads to the death of the master as Elbryan and his companions free Bradwarden.
The Demon Apostle
The final novel in the first trilogy begins with the mopping up of Bestesbulzibar's army and the battle against the demon's spirit, which possesses the highest levels of power within the Abellican Church. Again, it is up to Elbryan and Pony, along with their friends, to combat the corruption and attempt to end its terrible hold forever. The protagonists' courage is tested as they work to heal their home; their wits are challenged constantly as they strive to defeat the enemy; and their convictions regarding right and wrong battle against what might be necessary to end the evil.
Elbryan Wyndon, the Nightbird, travels north to take back the Timberlands while Pony moves south to the city of Palmaris. In their journeys they learn of dire news and find unexpected allies. On the one hand a civil war in Honce-the-Bear seems imminent. On the other, the intrigues of the Abellican Church, and her Father Abbot's desire to take back the magic gemstonesâa desire manipulated and enhanced by the spirit of the demon dactylâdog the steps of the heroes, especially those of Jilseponie, who has recently learned of her pregnancy.
Elbryan, Pony and their companions fight their way through numerous battles and intrigues before finally confronting Father Abbot Markwart, his lackey Marcalo De'Unnero and the spirit of Bestesbulzibar. In the end De'Unnero is defeated and Markwart is slain. The demon dactyl's spirit flees again, bringing victory for the forces of good. However, the victory comes with a heavy price as Elbryan Wyndon, the Nightbird, dies of wounds inflicted in his battle with Marcalo De'Unnero.
The novel which bridges the two trilogies of the Saga tells of Pony's life after the war: her fight against the crushing grief of her husband Elbryan's death and her fight to stop a plague infecting the people of the kingdom. At this time, the characters of Aydrian Wyndon, Elbryan's and Pony's child, and Brynn Dharielle, a To-Gai girl turned ranger, are introduced to the story.
The second trilogy
The novel Ascendance begins the tale of Aydrian Wyndon, a tortured and lonely young man raised by the Touel'alfar to be a ranger even greater than his father and, hopefully, be the salvation of the elves. The plans of the Touel'alfar go awry due to Aydrian's own arrogance, cultivated by a dark force. When he leaves the home of the elves, events occur which bring about great sorrow for himself, his mother and the kingdom.
Transcendence is the story of Brynn Dharielle and her quest to free her people from the tyranny of the Behrenese kingdom. With the help of Belli'mar Juraviel, elven trainer of the rangers Elbryan and Brynn (among many others), a dragon named Agradeleas, and others, Brynn works hard throughout the story to see her dream of freedom come true.
The final novel of the DemonWars Saga brings all of the main players from the previous two books together to combat the evil still residing in the land. With the end of this novel and the final destruction of the evil presence, the saga concludes.
The nephew of the ranger Mather Wyndon, he was taken in and trained by the Touel'alfar, the winged elves of Corona. After several years of training under his mentor and close friend Belli'mar Juraviel, he is given the name 'Nightbird' and is charged to defend the lands of the North against the armies of Bestesbulzibar, the Demon dactyl. Alongside his mate and later wife Pony and her mentor, former Abellican Brother Avelyn Desbris, Elbryan goes to Mount Aida and defies the dactyl. The demon is destroyed but Avelyn is killed.
After this victory, Elbryan leads the resistance against the remaining evil forces and takes the fight to the corrupt leadership of the Abellican Church that betrayed Avelyn. He was killed in the final battle against the Church after fighting the Bishop of Palmaris Marcalo De'Unnero. He then assisted Pony in defeating Father Abbot Dalebert Markwart, who was being possessed by Bestesbulzibar. The strain was too much and it killed him. He was given a national funeral and recognized as a ranger even greater than his uncle was.
During the final days of the war between Pony and her son Aydrian (who was also possessed by the demon), the young man summoned his father's zombie-spirit to defeat his mother. Pony awoke Elbryan's consciousness from within the zombie and they banished Bestesbulzibar from Aydrian's body. Years later, after Pony's death, Aydrian broke the spell protecting Andur'Blough, the hidden valley of the elves, and destroyed what remained of Bestesbulzibar with the help from his father, his mother, his great-uncle and all the rangers dead before them.
Jilseponie "Pony" Wyndon Ursal
Pony was Elbryan's childhood friend. When their village was attacked by goblins, they were the only survivors. The horrors witnessed by Pony broke her mind and she was unable to remember what had happened. She was adopted by a family of Palmaris, the Chilichunks, and slowly started to regain her memory. She married a young nobleman named Connor but all her attempts to love him made the dark memories of her past return. Although patient at first, Connor cracked when she refused to make love to him on their wedding night and he tried to rape her. However, he stopped just in time and broke off the marriage. He gave Pony a way out by offering to let her join the army which she accepted. After joining the army, she met former Abellican Brother Avelyn Desbris, who had run away from the Church with hundreds of gemstones, the source of their power. Pony and Avelyn ran away together and the monk trained her in the ways of the stones. She became a powerful magician and was soon reunited with her lost love-Elbryan.
After the dactyl's destruction and Avelyn's death, Pony helped the resistance against the advance of goblin and powrie forces in the North of Corona. However, the Abellican Church wanted the gemstones back and they sent two monks after her. The monks were defeated but Father Abbot Markwart captured her family. When she found them dead, she vowed revenge against the Church. In the next book, it was revealed that she was pregnant with Elbryan's child but it was seemingly killed during a duel with Markwart. In her rage, she fought the powerful old man again and managed to defeat and kill him. She lost her husband during this battle.
Years later, Pony discovered that her son Aydrian was still alive and had been trained by the elves like his father. Around this time, she fell in love with and married King Danube Brock Ursal becoming Queen of Honce-The-Bear. Aydrian, who had been corrupted by Bestesbulzibar's spirit, killed her new husband and usurped the throne. Allying with her brother-in-law, Prince Midalis, Pony declared war on her son. In the final battle against Aydrian's army, Pony fought against her son, her husband's zombie-spirit and Bestesbulzibar's spirit. She summoned Elbryan's consciousness from within the zombie and they released Aydrian from the hold of the demon. Ten years later, Pony died after spending the last decade with her son. After her death, Aydrian sought to release Andur'Blough from Bestesbulzibar's stain and succeeded with help from the spirits of all the dead rangers.
Brother Avelyn Desbris was an Abellican monk and Pony's mentor in the art of the Stones' magic. Devoted to God, Avelyn worked hard to join the Abellican Church and finally succeeded. He quickly became a center of great attention when he crossed the Gauntlet of Pain without flinching. Father Abbot Dalebert Markwart, the supreme leader of the Church, and Master Jojonah thought very highly of him and started to groom him to be one of the four monks to travel to the island of Pimaninicuit where the gemstones fell from the skies.
After having collected the greatest number of gemstones ever and losing one brother, Avelyn and his companions returned to St. Mere Abelle. During the trip, Avelyn fell in love with Dansally Comerwick, a woman who was on the ship for the crew's pleasure. However, after returning, the Abellican monks killed the crew, including Dansally. Avelyn stole the gemstones and ran away after killing Master Siherton. As he escaped, he had a vision of the Demon Dactyl and realized that the great evil had returned to Corona.
For the next ten years, Avelyn wandered around Corona, attempting to warn the people of the Dactyl's return but also falling progressively into a brawler and an alcoholic. However, his life begun to mean something again when he met Jilseponie, a soldier who had escaped the massacre of her garrison by the powries. The two formed a strong bond and ran away together. During this time, Avelyn taught the young woman how to use the gemstones he had stolen and she became a powerful magician herself.
However, the Church had not forgotten about Avelyn and, using his fellow student Quintall as their tool, their Brother Justice, they tried to reclaim the gemstones and assassinate Avelyn for his heresy. After Jilseponie was captured by Brother Justice and used as bait, Avelyn allied with the ranger Elbryan Wyndon to release her. It was there, after defeating Quintall, that Elbryan was revealed to be Jilseponie's childhood love. Avelyn remained with the resistance run by Elbryan and Pony, using his magic to defeat the hordes of goblins, giants and powries that served as the Dactyl's armies.
Avelyn was later killed during his duel with the Dactyl in Mount Aida where he managed to destroy the Demon's physical form. However, even in death, Avelyn's name was remembered. His former Master in the Church, Master Jojonah, came to embrace Avelyn's belief that the Church was corrupted and he began preaching Avelyn's ways to other Brothers, most notably Braumin Herde. After the death of Father Abbot Markwart, Bishop Francis Delacourt of Palmaris, once the Father Abbot's most trusted advisor and staunch anti-Avelynist, recommended to Bishop of Honce-the-Bear, Je'howeth, that Avelyn be canonized as a saint of the Abellican Church. His teachings help change the Abellican Church for the better.
Aydrian Wyndon is the son of Elbryan and Jilseponie (Pony) Wyndon. He was taken and raised secretly by Lady Dasselrond, the Queen of the Touel'alfar. The elves had allowed Pony to believe her child had died in the womb in her spirit battle with Father Abbot Markwart (who at the time was possessed by the spirit of the Demon Dactyl). Also kept secret from all, including the elves, was that the Demon Dactyl's spirit had infected the child's soul, and left a piece of itself there.
Aydrian was raised under the harsh tutelage of the elves. From a very young age he began his ranger training, like his father and great uncle before him. His father, Elbryan "The Nightbird", is said to have been the greatest swordsman and possibly the greatest ranger to have ever lived in the thousands of years that the Elves had been training human rangers. He help destroy the Demon Dactyl's corporeal form and its armies as well as besting Marcalo De'Unnero in combat, who was said to have been the greatest fighter the Abellican Monks ever produced.
Lady Dasselrond also trained him to use the magic gemstones, being the only elf to possess a stone and have any knowledge with using them. No creature, man, or elf used the magic gemstones besides the Abellican Monks, who believed them to be holy stones from heaven. Aydrian's mother, Pony, was incredibly powerful with the gemstones, performing feats no other human alive could and only a handful in history would be capable of.
Aydrian showed to not only be as good of a fighter as his father, but to also be as powerful as his mother with the magic gemstonesâin fact even more so. Under the guidance of the Demon Dactyl's spirit, he was able to tap deeper into the magic gemstones than anyone in history besides the legendary St. Abelle, who was the founder of the entire Abellican Order.
When Aydrian matured he left the elves after overpowering the Queen in a magical test of wills. Upon his journeys he came to a little town where he took up the Ranger name of Nighthawk, as his father's was called Nightbird. During his journeys he met his parents' sworn enemy Marcalo De'Unnero (who had become a Weretiger). They allied and began to plot until Aydrian killed King Danube and took the throne for himself. As king he threw the lands into war and was eventually defeated by the King's Brother Midalis who fought alongside Aydrian's mother Pony, his former friend who was a ranger-in-training with him Brynn Dharielle, a Jhesta Tu mystic Pagonel, a large barbarian ranger Andacanvar, and the dragon Agradeleous.
During the battle Aydrian displayed his gemstone power by bringing his father's decayed corpse back to life. However, as his father became whole he regained control of himself and with Pony they used a soul stone to attack their son's spirit, only to find the Demon Dactyl there. They fought the Demon as they had done so years before, on the day Elbryan had died, and again they destroyed it, freeing their son. Unfortunately, while the spiritual battle ensued, Aydrian was physically rendered frozen and had his heart pierced by Brynn Dharielle and died shortly after being freed from the demon. Pony used her soul stone and dove into it again, with Elbryan's help they brought Aydrian back to life as he had brought his father back. The strain was too great for Elbryan though, and he faded back into death again moments after.
- Salvatore, R. A. (1997). The Demon Awakens: The DemonWars Saga vol. I. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-39149-7.
- Salvatore, R. A. (1998). The Demon Spirit: The DemonWars Saga vol. II. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-39152-7.
- Salvatore, R. A. (1999). The Demon Apostle: The DemonWars Saga vol. III. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-39153-5.
- Salvatore, R. A. (2000). Mortalis. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-43039-5.
- Salvatore, R. A. (2001). Ascendance: The Second DemonWars Saga vol. I. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-43040-9.
- Salvatore, R. A. (2002). Transcendence: The Second DemonWars Saga vol. II. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-43041-7.
- Salvatore, R. A. (2003). Immortalis: The Second DemonWars Saga vol. III. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-44122-2.
- Trial by Fire (2003) by writer Scott Ciencin and artist Ron Wagner
- Eye for an Eye (2003) by writer Scott Ciencin and pencils by Gregorio Tocchini
More recently Devil's Due Publishing have been publishing adaptations of the books:
- The Demon Awakes (2007) by writer Andrew Dabb and pencils by Tim Seeley
- The Demon Spirit (2008) by writer Andrew Dabb and pencils by Nadir Balan
- "Ascendance (The Second DemonWars Saga, Book 1) (978-0345430434): R.A. Salvatore: Books". Del Rey. 2002-04-30.
- "Immortalis (The Second DemonWars Saga, Book 3) (978-0345441232): R.A. Salvatore: Books". Del Rey. 2004-03-02.
- "GraphicAudio News". Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
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