Jarlaxle Discovers Rain

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Jarlaxle stared upwards in silence. Finally, he said, "Artemis, why does the sky look so strange?"

"Because it is going to rain."

Jarlaxle's expression didn't change.

Artemis said, "There is moisture in the air. When it collects, it forms those patterns. Rain clouds. When they get heavy enough to release moisture, droplets of water come from the sky."

Jarlaxle stared at him. "That sounds absurd. I'll admit there are a few strange things about the surface, but this time, you've gone too far. You're playing another trick on me, just like the time you told me sugar was poisonous."

"Wait around a few hours and see." Artemis walked away.

Jarlaxle sat down cross-legged on the roof of the Basadoni guild and stared up at the sky again. The air had a prickly feeling to it. He shifted. Then he waited.

One hour passed.

Jarlaxle frowned. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was going to happen, and he wanted to know what. Artemis' lie just inflamed his curiosity on what was going on with the sky, and he intended to find out, even if he did have to do as Artemis said and wait a few hours on the roof.

Awareness came flooding back to Jarlaxle when the second hour was almost over. He came out of his gentle reverie at the sensation of something cold touching his arm. He looked around, half expecting to find a spectre on the roof with him.

There was no one and nothing there.

"Is this it?" he said aloud. He tipped his head back and looked at the sky. The strange whorls were moving, and they had darkened to a bruised gray-blue. Something cold landed on the tip of his nose.

He flinched.

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Artemis sat in a simple wooden chair, biding his time. In one hand was his famous vampiric dagger. In the other was a polishing cloth.

He looked up at the sound of a door opening to the sitting room.

His lips quirked upwards at the sound of someone squashing with every footstep.

Jarlaxle dragged himself in, looking very humbled and very wet. Every surface of his body dripped onto the carpet. His hat was sagging on his head, two shades darker, and the crimson feather was bedraggled.

"Well?" Artemis said, glancing at him and then looking back at his dagger as if disinterested. "What happened?"

"Wetness came down and rained on me when I was looking at the sky."

Artemis polished his dagger. "I see. If I had only known that would happen, I wouldn't have let you sit out and get rained on."

Jarlaxle looked resigned. "I'll go change."

Artemis listened to his retreating footsteps squashing away. "Are you sure you don't want to stay in your clothing a bit longer? Then you'd have the first hand pleasure of discovering hypothermia." He glanced over his shoulder.

"Not this time," Jarlaxle said. The drow mercenary scowled at him. "I'll trust that you have sufficiently unpleasant surprises for me and save them for later."

Artemis smirked. "I can't stop you from bringing these things down on yourself. I've only got so much energy to waste trying to steer you away from catastrophes."

Jarlaxle sighed. "Thanks."