Elthic and Eleria climb the ladder up to the roof while Xir goes back downstairs and outside to use his ability to run up the wall to the roof again. The three of them gather in the middle of the roof to look at the drawbridge style door that blocks their access to the final area in the top of the tower. Their investigation is suddenly inturrupted as the drawbridge moves slightly, not opening fully but creating a space a foot or so wide between its edge and the wall behind it. A blur of dark purple color zooms out of the crack and circles once in the air above the roof before settling into a hover near the edge of the roof closest to the tower.
Once again, you hear the voice in your heads speaking, but now you hear it audibly as well coming from the small purple dragon-like creature hovering in the air. "Hello again and for the first time." The creature mimes a small bow towards the three adventurers with its right hand (claw?) across its small chest and its horned head dipping down momentarily while its wings flap to keep it aloft. "We meet at last. Now that you have finished clearing away all other obstacles, we can get down to business and discuss your options for the future. First, let me formally introduce myself. I am Verminar Necrotuz, or 'Rat-Killer' for those not accquainted with the Draconic tongue. I would prefer Verminar though if you please. So, firstly, do you have any questions for me? Once those are out of the way, we can proceed to other matters such as my offer to you."
"No, I am not the house. That was your assertion and I just let you believe what you wanted. As I said originally, I speak by my own authority as the soon to be legal owner of this house. Which is why I do not want to give you the key you seek. For if I do that, then Lucias owns this place and will turn me out of the only home I have ever known. Not to mention selling all of my master's precious and important possessions before either selling or burning down this house. As for your friend, I believe he can only be released once the matter of ownership is resolved and the undisputed owner sets him free. I would gladly do this when if I am the rightful owner." The Psuedodragon says while hovering over the corner of the roof.
"This brings me to the subject of my counter-offer. You are currently employed by Lucias to recover the key before time runs out and I become the rightful owner. I believe he has offered you 500 gold crowns for this job. I would offer you more than that to switch sides and help me instead. The contents of that chest full of gold and platinum would be yours, as well as the large black pearl and the scrollcase for your frozen friend. I believe it would come to around 750 gold crowns for each of you if I'm not mistaken. All I would ask is for you to remain my guests here in this house until time expires at midnight tonight and defend this place in case any others come to try and get the key." The purple creature goes quiet, waiting while you consider it's offer or come up with any new questions.
"Ownership is the problem, you see. Technically neither I nor Lucias owns the property yet. Per the will, if he can claim possession by midnight tonight then the house is his. This is why he needs the key for the front door to prove ownership. However, if he does not claim possession by that time, then I gain full rights of ownership." Verminar responds to Elthic's question.
"Though I can understand your position, Xir I must say I hoped I could persuade you. Technically speaking though, is not the agreement that he pays you for a certain service? In this case, getting him the key. If you just did not perform this service, or were stopped from doing so, then you would not expect to be paid. So you're agreement would be concluded honorably. I would also like to hear your thoughts, Eleria. What say you?" The little dragon asks the elven woman.
OOC: I will wait a few more days to see if we can get a response for Eleria from Dues Ex Machina. Feel free to continue this discussion until she does join in or I decide it's been long enough and go forward from there. Also know that I'm not trying or gonna have a PVP here, so whatever you all decide will need to be unanimous. I don't want party members fighting from choosing different sides on this issue.
"Working FOR Lucias?!" The little dragon actually turns it's head and spits as if saying the phrase aloud left a bad taaste in it's mouth. "If I was working for Lucias, wouldn't I just hand you the key? What would be the point in having two of us both offer you jobs at cross purposes?" he answers Eleria's question with two of his own.
"Elthic, do you mean you want to see a copy of the will that I've spoken about? Or a contract with my counter-offer to your group written out and official? The one I can provide now, and the other I could make up with little delay. Which did you mean?" Verminar asks the dwarf while casting a wary eye at Xir still standing resolute with his arms crossed.
"Be right back..." Verminar says as he turns tail and flits back through the small crack between the wall and the drawbridge. A minute later he returns with a rolled up scroll clutched in his paws. He flys overhead (out of reach) and drops the scroll right down towards Elthic who catches it easily in his large hands.
Unrolling the scroll, it does appear to be a copy of the Last Will and Testament of Allahastor Darque. Skimming through it, Elthic sees that the will should be effected and enacted if Allahastor dies or is missing for more than a month without notice or plan. At such a time as that occurs, his possessions and property are to be given over to his cousin Lucias Darque if said cousin can claim possesion of the property within one weeks time after the will being enacted. To claim possesion, he must have the master key to the house which will unlock all doors and disarm any defenses. If at the end of this week, Lucias has not gained possession of the property, then the rights and ownership shall instead fall to Allahastor's familiar Verminar Necrotuz. The paragraph following that is less legal jargon and more a personal note from Allahastor stating that if he had his way, it would all be left directly to Verminar as he is both more loyal and more intelligent than Lucias Darque. Unfortunately, the human legal system enforces it's ways here and establishes that there must be at least a chance for ownership to pass to his next living human kin before defaulting to a non-humanoid. Hence, the setup above. The rest seems to be a list of personal messages to be delivered to friends and acquaintances after Allahastor's passing.
Xir's face remains stoic during this entire exchange. He looks at the will a moment then ponders a moment.
"Our agreement is with Lucias Darque. This one cannot violate that agreement. This agreement states that we shall perform this task in an allotted amount of time which expires tonight. If this one is unable to complete this task, the contract is void. This one cannot purposefully fail to attempt the task, that would be dishonorable. This one must be waylaid or otherwise occupied to not complete the task. That is the only honorable conclusion."
Elthic reads the will, and thinks for a few moments. "Damn." he mutters underneath his breath. Squinting his eyes against the wind, he looks out upon the rooftops of the Orussus houses around him.
"...I had an uncle. He stole everything from my family - our good name, above all else. Family ties are what you make of them. Blood is not always thicker. I... I agree with the dragon.
But we must fulfill our contract, as Xir has pointed out. We must, at least, try. Isn't that what our contract says, Xir? Allahastor wants this to go to his familiar, and hoped that it wouldn't go to Lucias. That, to me, is enough."
Elthic grins slyly. "Lucias wants us to give him the key, but he never put a time limit on it. We can fulfill our contract, and still serve the better good. We just need to wait before we give him the key - as the dragon said.
Of course, if we guard the house against invasion, that's breaking the contract in spirit, at least. But what if we had the key, and just had trouble finding Lucias before the alloted time? Our, better yet, what if our frozen friend downstairs had the key the whole time?"
Verminar nods as Xir speaks, seeming to understand what is spoken and possibly what goes unspoken as well. "I thought as much. Your mind is very organized... a very keen edge to it cutting all the world into good or bad, right or wrong, honorable and dishonorable. No room in the middle except for the blade which parts the two halves."
Turning to Elthic, Verminar nods once back towards Xir as the dragon tells the dwarf, "If there had been some way to hide the key with your now insubstantial friend, my problems may have been solved, but it would be a death sentence for him since the only way to free him is by turning that key in the front door lock. A wonderful idea to be sure, but as Xir has stated he could not willingly go along with any such plan. And I will not have you fighting and harming each other over my concerns. Unfortunately, this leaves only the option of, as Xir put it, 'waylaying or otherwise occupying you all to prevent you from completing your task'." As he says this, the dragon-form drifts backwards and up while turning a large gem over and over in it's hands. "Please understand that I don't wish any lasting harm to come to any of you, and I hope you will forgive me when this is all over."
As he finishes, Verminar tosses the gem downward towards the rooftop where it lands hard and smashes with a tinkle of glass. The tinkling sound grows louder and a golden mist rises from the shards. Out of the mist steps an ape with gold and silver tinted fur. It raises its arms and beats its large hands hard on its chest while howling forth a primal challenge towards you all.
[sblock=OOC]Using the initiatives you rolled for the illusionary hound, but never needed Xir will go on 11, Elthic goes on 4 and Eleria on 3. Unfortunately the ape goes before all of you. I'll leave a little time here for you to say anything else you wanted conversation-wise before the ape attacks(that and I'm tired and it's late here). Sorry Eleria didn't get in much on the conversation (you can still add some and I'll respond to it as if it happened before the ape was summoned), but I saw that Xir wasn't gonna be persuaded and since I'm not doing PvP the only logical option for Verminar was to start the fight.
p.s.- I also noticed in reviewing the thread that I didn't give you XP for dealing with the trap that was on the chest of loot near the ladder up to the roof. I'm leaving this here as a reminder to myself to figure that up and post it tomorrow.[/sblock]