I was reading Night of the Hunter, and was surprised by Drizzt lack of conviction when Catti-Brie agreed that goblins were irredeemable and that Mielikki agreed with her.
Honestly, this was just supposed to be Drizzt x someone else, but for that ending I would of had to write a lot more since I believe Drizzt wouldn't leave it like that, so it ended up as Drizzt x Catti-Brie x oc in the end.
Also written before I read Rise of the King. In a later book this was briefly addressed, but kinda meh to me.
Drizzt stared at Catti-Brie. He was surprised in the change. He had no doubt that Bruenor would always hate the orcs and goblins.
"Is this truly what you believe Mieklikki to believe?"
Catti-Brie nodded in full confidence.
Drizzt stayed quiet as he processed their conversation. He understood their doubts about the alliance, and he didn't necessarily disagree with those. However, the total disregard for an entire race was what bothered him. He saw the look that Catti-Brie was giving him, her eyes full of understanding, but she couldn't truly understand him. He had explained this to many people, but he didn't follow Mielikki's tenants, but rather had the same set of tenants as the goddess. He wasn't religious, and while he considered himself a follower of Mielikki, it was only because he believed his heart to be the same as hers.
"I will travel with all of you to free Pwent. I will travel to Mithral Hall myself." Drizzt looked at Bruenor "You've been too good of a friend for me not to help you. If anything happens, my blades will have your back, worry not."
Wulfgar stayed silent, understanding where this was going, and though he had come back for his friends, he also understood Drizzt's point of view. Looking around, he seemed to have a better understanding of Drizzt's heart than anyone else here. More than anything, he was surprised at Catti-Brie's outright condemnation for goblinkind, though he held no pity for them himself. Drizzt's own friends, his own lover, were asking him to abandon what was in his heart, and Wulfgar knew, that elf in front of them would never be Drizzt again if he did.
"It sounds as though you plan on parting ways with us." Regis commented.
Drizzt looked at Regis and nodded. "You've all been good friends that I love, and if you need me, or ever need me, all you must do is call upon me. However, I must continue on."
In the end it had all come back to the Companions of the Hall. Drizzt truly believed that he could recreate those days, but he was wrong. No, everyone was different, and he didn't blame them for that. But it to him it seemed as though they expected him to have changed along with them.
For everything that happened Wulfgar nodded. "I will do the same. Once we finish, I will return to the Icewind Dale if any of you ever need me."
"And hopefully I to Delthuntle, though I fear I may require some aid."
Everyone knew what Bruenor meant when he made a sort of huffing sound. His place was among the dwarves, as it had always been.
"I suppose I will travel with you then." Catti-Brie said, looking at Drizzt.
Drizzt gave her a pained look while Wulfgar only managed to rub his face with his hand, slightly uncomfortable.
"I have long tried to replace the hole you left in my heart." Drizzt said.
"And you found someone?" Catti-Brie asked fearfully. She had been fearing this moment since her rebirth.
"No, no one can ever replace what we had."
"And no one need to. I am here again." Catti-Brie replied, cupping his cheek.
Drizzt pushed her hand away. "We are not of the same heart and mind as we once were. It would be unfair to both of us to try to chase after this. I tried once with another, and it did not end well."
"Is this all about the orcs? Even your goddess Mielikki condemns them as evil."
Both Regis and Wulfgar sighed. Catti-Brie, in all of her love for the drow had seemingly forgotten part of what made Drizzt who he was. What made him abandon his city of birth. He held fast to his principles, his tenants. Ones that came from his heart, and of no other being.
"If what you said is true, then Mielikki is not my goddess and perhaps she never has been."
"Then who is? Lolth?" she asked sarcastically.
To Drizzt, this felt far too much like another conversation he had had with another lover. "I do not need a god or goddess to define me. Just as I have no use for a race to define me. Will the orcs of Many-Arrows need to be cut back? Perhaps, but I will not condemn an entire race simply because people may think they are evil. We have traveled with an orc. I have met many orcs that I would prefer to many humans, or any other race for that matter. Humans and elves laying waste to goblinkind villages, though they hadn't been born in a time where they were enemies. You wish to make exceptions for one race but not another. Condemn one to death simply because it is easier to perceive them as entirely evil. I struggle with my convictions, to understand if what I did was right or wrong. Perhaps it would be wrong to let this goblin live, to let it walk away. But I would rather face that struggle than the cold indifference that you claim."
Drizzt closed his eyes and drew a deep breath. "I will meet you all in Gauntlgrym." With that he walked away.
Catti-Brie stood there, the pain evident in her eyes.
Bruenor stood opposite of her, slightly torn. He still wanted to take down Many-Arrows, but Drizzt had reminded him of Jessa. She had been a good companion along with Nanfoodle. Not as good in his mind as Catti-Brie, Wulfgar, or Regis, but she had been a friend. While his convictions were solid, as were Drizzt's, he understood where Drizzt was coming from. How many Jessa's would he be killing. However in the end, the orcs were encroaching onto his Delzoun kin, and that was where his loyalty lied. Just as Drizzt's loyalty lied with his his friends, Bruenor's was split between his kin and the friends he had spent years traveling with.
"You should know Drizzt better." Wulfgar said to Catti-Brie. "He's told these stories quite clearly, and perhaps goblinkind is considered evil by the gods and goddesses, but Drizzt is beholden to no higher being. And if I understand Mielikki correctly, she would not want him to worship her if his heart was not with her. Mistaken or not, he holds in his heart that goblinkind is not inherently evil and he did right in walking away."
Wulfgar felt a hard slap. He wasn't trying to hurt Catti-Brie, but explain Drizzt's actions to help her. "With our path, it would have torn the two of you apart. He was just as hurt when he walked away. He learned that you had changed and he had not."
Catti-Brie stormed away, and everyone sighed. While each had his own reason for not wanting to come here, new purposes and people in their lives, this was not what they were expecting. Though they could hardly blame Drizzt. Even Bruenor had been caught off guard with Catti-Brie's vehement agreement with him.