“So you can’t solve the riddle, either?”
“My people have said it’s the work of the Afrits of the air,” ibn Samman replied jovially. “When they get thirsty they make it rain, and then drink up all the water themselves before it can reach the ground. In this way does Rimahn keep the deserts barren and thwart the plan of Oromasd.”
Despite the afternoon heat, Jafar suddenly shivered. He remembered all too well his encounter with the tall, powerful Afrits of the air, and how they had taunted him and knocked him from the flying carpet he’d stolen from Akar. They were cruel and mighty djinni who would easily have killed him if they’d thought he was the least bit significant. Even a passing reference to them was enough to frighten him.
But he could not allow his fear to show, so he controlled h