For your question about conversation: there are a few problems with your code. But the good news is that there is already an action built into Inform which will do what you want --- the "asking it about" action.
See Section 16.13 of Writing with Inform for a simple way of getting a table-based conversation working. Here's an example:
After asking the archer about a topic listed in the Table of Archer Reponses:
say the response entry.
Table of Archer Responses
"Werewolf/Werewolves" "They come out at full moon."
"Killing werewolves" "You'll need a silver dagger."
(You need to use tabs to separate the columns.)
Edit: if you really wanted to set up a new "list-asking" action", this is possible, but will be hassle. First of all you'd need to destroy the existing "ask" command. Which will also destroy the command for the "asking it for" action, which you might want to put back.
Understand the command to ask as something new.
Understand "ask [someone] for [something]" as asking it for.
Now your new command needs two nouns: a thing (actually a person, but that comes later), and a topic. Because it takes two nouns, you need to tell Inform how the syntax works; so the action should be called "list-asking it about".
List-asking it about is an action applying to one person and one topic.
(Inform will understand that the "it" in the action name marks where the first noun belongs, so that we can write rules like "After list-asking the archer about something".)
Next we define the command for this action.
Understand "ask [someone] about [text]" as list-asking it about.
And now we have a brand new action ready to have rules written about it.
But there's no good reason I can think of to do all this, since the new "list-asking it about" action we've created is practically identical to the old "asking it about" action anyway. The only difference is that the default "asking it about" action comes with a check rule, the "block asking rule". (This rule is the one that prints "There is no reply.") If we don't like that rule, we can easily get rid of it without going to the trouble of making a new action:
The block asking rule does nothing.