Grant and Emile's presentation had just wrapped, and the Board of Elders remained silent. Grant smiled nervously. Emile's face showed no emotion at all.
"Is this a joke?" asked Gelden, head of security for Locutt's Bank Interdimensional.
"Ha ha!" Grant responded, before taking a long drink of water. When it was empty, he refilled it and drank again.
"No," Emile responded. "This is not a joke."
"You wish to break into my bank... with my permission?" Gelden laughed at them.
"It is not your bank," Hostario Locutt the 98th replied, speaking for the first time since the meeting began. His sunken, wizened face sported a patchy white beard and gray, cracked lips. His green robes matched his one green eye. The other eye had been removed and replaced with a marble, Grant noticed.
Gelden looked genuinely distraught at his poor manners. "No sir, of course not." His face pulled back into the suit of armor that he never took off.
Hostario Locutt lifted his left hand and pointed a curled fingernail at Grant. "I could destroy you here... what makes you think you... con men could break into our bank?"
Grant pointed at the fading vision behind him "Did you see the presentation-"
"No, no, no, NO." Hostario stood up. When Grant had been giving the presentation, he had assumed the old man was infirm, but it was clear now that Locutt was not a wizard of any middling power. He stood at around 7 feet, and though Grant could tell that underneath the wizard's robes he was skinny, he could also see that he was not in any way unstable.
"I was asking you- what makes you think you can break into a bank that no man or demon has been able to step into for 285 years without the permission of one of my family members? What makes you think that, despite nine thousand, seven hundred and sixty-seven attempts to steal from our minimum security vaults with a zero percent success rate... that you two common thugs might find a security loophole?" Locutt stared deep into Grant's eyes. "What makes you different, my boy?"
"Pluck," Emile responded.
Locutt stared blankly at the two of them. "I"m afraid he's said it all," Grant added.
The old wizard returned to the head of the table and sat. He considered the two men for a long moment.
Locutt waved his hand. "You can keep anything you remove from the vaults."
"SIR-" Gelden started.
"BUT there will be no slacking in the security. If you find yourselves vaporized or undead, I will feel no remorse at all."
Grant smiled large and turned to Emile. "Shall we leave these men to their business then?" Emile nodded, stoically. "Alright then. Good day!" The men gathered their things and headed into the hallway, down the Angel's Flight, past the runestone, through the antechamber and out into the busy street. It wasn't until they were at least 1,000 yards away that they stopped to look at each other.
"So?" Emile said quizzically.
"So now we do as we've promised," Grant said. "It'll be easier with this."
And he opened a palm and revealed a single white beard hair.