The old wizard staggered as he stood up. Tears rolled down his cheeks.
"I... don't know what to say..."
Then the rest of the family suddenly burst in.
"Tell me it isn't true, father!" Altair shouted.
"Where you responsible for mother's death, like Chesterine claims?" his brother said, glenching his hands into fists.
"What did you do to poor Zelda?" Beth demanded.
"Did you really cause Chesterine's disability?" Mabel asked.
"I like that chair", Chesterine chimed in, pointing at the ornamental chair.
The Archmagistrum hung his head down.
"I cannot express how sorry I am, but I did not have choice. This house is cursed, and if I didn't do exactly as I was told... No, I cannot say more, or you will all be in danger. It is too late for me, but please, all of you, find a way to end this. My mother Zelda might still be alive. You will find him in the cellars, behind a secret wall that will open up if you utter the word... ABRAXAS."
As the word escaped the wizard's lips, vile green flames lit up all over his body. The booming voice spoke from the fireplace again.
"DAMNED BE YOU WHO SERVED ME SO LOYALLY ALL THESE YEARS! YOU WILL DIE, BUT THE CURSE WILL NOT. THIS HOUSE IS MINE THROUGH THE CONTRACT WE MADE! I JUST NEED tO FIND A NEW FEEDER!"
The other wizards tried to help the burning Zed, but the enchanted flames quickly consumed him. The eerie purple light vanished at the same time.
"It cannot be..." Altair said shaking his head. Everyone just stared at the charred corpse of Zed for a while, then in a common agreement they left the room. The party followed the wizard family downstairs.
Back at the parlour, the wizards gathered to discuss the matter. Altair turned to the party.
"We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us out, but we will take it from here. This is a family matter, and we cannot risk you getting harmed by someone as powerful as Abraxas because of us. So please, just accept our reward and return to your everyday lives, won't you?"
"We will call you if we need your help again, as you six have earned our family's respect. Here is the 900 gold promised, and you know what to do with the gems I gave you, right?"
The three mages in the party can keep one of the gems that they got from Altair, but they have to give one gem to a non-mage companion, and give one gem back to the Ziegfrieds. How will the gems be divided?