Traveling through the spine of the world was Drizzt Do'Urden, he was investigating an oddly large number of orcs that had been attacking many small villages. This would not have worried many or have even been mentioned to Drizzt by Lady Alustriel except that several children had been kidnapped from a village near Silverymoon. Drizzt had been asked to follow the orcs and retrieve the children but when he found them he had been too late, finding the bodies of the children hung in some trees. So Drizzt took it upon himself to avenge the children and had followed the orcs all the way to the spine of the world.
Drizzt was currently camped in a deep cave he had explored earlier to an extent and deemed it safe for the night, and quickly started up a crackling fire in an adjacent chamber. Just as he was about to lay down however, Drizzt heard a small sound, a quiet footstep. Immediately on guard, Drizzt quickly put out his fire and unsheathed his scimitars, then made his way to the entrance of the cave in a defensive position in complete silence. Another footstep, this time closer than Drizzt would have liked and then another and another. Drizzt climbed up to a small natural shelf on the cave wall next to the entrance that ran around the cave as far as he could see and awaited who or what was entering the cave. Moments after, two humanoid figures walked in, concealed by their cloaks from head to toe.
"I promise you this is the right cave this time, and this trip will be worth it." The taller figure said in a vaguely familiar voice yet Drizzt could not quite place it. But the other voice when he heard it filled him with dread.
"Whatever you say Jarlaxle I don't really care," Artemis Entreri said in a slightly annoyed tone. "Let's just hurry up and get a vial of the stuff and get out of here. I feel like we're being watched…." Artemis looked around the cave for any sign of someone but was interrupted by Jarlaxle roughly patting his back, directing him deeper into the cave.
"Don't worry about it. The two of us can take on whatever happens to be watching, but I doubt there is." Jarlaxle assured Artemis. The two continued on into the cave with Drizzt tailing them silently, how he was able to avoid detection he had no idea. Jarlaxle led the way, far deeper into the cave than Drizzt had explored previously and they soon came to a set of two iron doors, one on either side of a dead end corridor.
"I shall take the left if you will take the right," Jarlaxle said to Artemis and moved towards the left door. Artemis nodded hhis consent and went over to the right hand door. Waiting until both had entered the rooms, Drizzt followed Artemis through the iron door on the right. Inside the room was a small spring that Artemis was collecting some of the water from being very careful not to touch the water itself with his bare skin. Drizzt by now had climbed down and was crouching behind a stalagmite while watching carefully. However as he leaned around to get a better look Drizzt took a small step, accidentally kicking a tiny pebble, causing a noise that was louder than it should have been due to the echoing nature of caves. Blast…! Was all Drizzt had time to think before Artemis was immediately upon him. Drizzt stood quickly with his scimitars already drawn and sprang back. Artemis hid his shock at seeing his longtime adversary and glared at the drow.
"What in the nine hells are you doing here?" Artemis asked vehemently. Drizzt took a step forward. "I could ask the same of you. I personally was camping for the night in this cave until you disturbed me." Rolling his eyes Artemis sarcastically replied, "Oh poor baby, why not just get your friends to come fight me so you can sleep?" Glaring, Drizzt advanced a step slowly and put his scimitars into a more aggressive position.
"My friends are not here and I would never ask something like that of them."
"So you're alone then?" Artemis asked as he drew his own weapons. Drizzt nodded, quickly calming himself and relaxed. "I am, but if you think we will duel you are mistaken." Artemis smirked slightly. "But if you don't defend yourself, how will you ever get back to your friends alive? You really want to cause that kind of grief to them?" Drizzt halted all movement and stared at Artemis. He's just trying to get me to fight him by taunting me… I can't give in but… He's right, I can't do that to my friends!
"So what will it be Do'Urden?" Artemis asked advancing. A fire burned in Drizzt's eyes and he advanced as well and the deadly dance of blades began.
Jarlaxle, after thoroughly searching the room he had chosen to look in, walked into the room Artemis had gone into to. He was greeted by the sight of Drizzt and Artemis fighting. How Drizzt got there he had no idea but he did not care. Whenever the two fought it was always a great show, so Jarlaxle leaned against a wall and started watching them casually.
Artemis, even though he knew that the spring held a horrible fate for any who dared to bathe in the water or drink a large amount of it, did not take caution while fighting and ended up closer than he would have liked before he realized it. Drizzt had no clue about anything wrong with the water and quite easily was turned to where his back was towards it. With an unexpected slash, Artemis drove Drizzt back into the water causing him to slip on a rock and become completely submerged in the water. Artemis hopped back to avoid being splashed and stared down at the drow, who was now crawling out of the water spluttering and gasping for air. He started to stand but was suddenly wracked by a severe trembling that coursed throughout his entire body. Crying out in pain, Drizzt collapsed slowing beginning to shrink. Meanwhile, Artemis stood by staring with hidden shock as his foe transformed into a small child, an infant really. Just as soon as Drizzt stopped shrinking Jarlaxle had come over to Artemis and was staring with him. Jarlaxle broke the silence first, "Well at least we know the water works. Let's go." He started to walk out but Artemis grabbed his arm and pulled him back.
"If we leave him he'll die and-"
"Yes yes I know you'll never get to know who the better swordsman is," Jarlaxle interrupted and promptly ignored the glare he received. "But if you intend to carry him along with us in this state then you are going to take care of him." Artemis looked down at the young unconscious Drizzt and could not help but grimace. I have to know. I must. Besides it can't be too hard to find a way to turn him back. Then he'll be indebted to me…
"Fine, I will." Artemis said as he picked Drizzt up much to Jarlaxle's surprise. Despite his surprise however, Jarlaxle was very amused by the sight of his companion holding an infant. It was obvious he had never done so before and had trouble getting the baby drow into a comfortable, secure position. He chuckled and shook his head, "You are the most determined man I've ever met…"