Title: The Wizards Brother

Synopsis: An Elf and a Wizard take a late night walk in a graveyard in search of a mythical object.

The night was dark, with even the moonlight seeming to have conspired to stay hidden behind clouds while the two figures wandered about their business in the graveyard. Although he would never admit it if challenged, Olsan the Elf, who had taken on strong dragons single handed, was nervous. He didn't like anything about this current quest, especially not his companion. But he was down on his luck and so had to take whaver money he could get.

Behind him as he walked carefully through in between the darkened crypts his partner on this nefarious mission was seemingly making every effort possible to undo all the hard work that Olsan was putting in to his stealthy stalking through this home of the dead and undead alike. Right at the moment he was whistling some strang ditty that Olsan had never heard before.

That was the thing with Wizards, he supposed. They had no real sense of danger, thinking that because they were immortal no harm could possibly befall them. The problem, as far as Olsan saw it, was that there was more than one form of immortal, and he wasn't particularly keen on joining the ranks of the others that boasted the same attribute that he had been born with.

Living forever was all well and good, in his opinion, as long as there were battles to be fought and evil to be banished. But some of the creatures that resided in this particular boneyard were extremely unpleasant, and he really did not want to spend eternity stuck in here with them.

Behind him the Wizard had finally stopped whistling whatever strange tune he had been attempting for the last twenty minutes or so and tapped Olsan on the shoulder. This was not the wisest course of action he could have taken, which may seem a little strange considering he was a Wizard. But I guess that's why they aren't called Wiseards or something.

Anyway, as I was saying, tapping an Elf on the shoulder in a darkened ossuary, especially one as jumpy as Olsan was becoming, and even more so with said Elf's well known propensity for violence and over-reaction, was really a decision that the Wizard should have let stew around in the peanut that was taking up the space where a normal person might keep a brain, for a little bit longer than he did.

As it was, he was lucky enough to get away with the loss of a knuckle on his hand as the Elf realised who he was about to turn into an amputee with just enough time to change the angle of the blade thrust before it did any damage that was too serious. However, upon seeing the wounded Wizard Olsan became even more perturbed than he had been previously.

The smell of fresh blood would be sure to bring out the predators, and now their chances of getting out of here alive had just dropped dramatically. They would have to work fast, find the object they were seeking, and get out of here as quickly as possible. The closer it got to midnight the stronger the demons and ghouls would become.

"Remind me again why we're in this God-forsaken place?" hissed Olsan in the direction of the Wizard who was in the process of trying to find some cloth with which to bandage his hand. His robe would have done the job well enough, but no self-respecting Wizard would ever intentionally damage his robes. They were far too expensive to replace.

"It's a water-purifier. Or at least, that's what it looks like," came the reply.

"So we're in this haunted necropolis as midnight approaches because you want to make you're water a little fresher before drinking it? Please tell me you're joking!" Olsan was indignant. He was more than happy to risk his life, had been doing so for the highest bidder for several hundred years in fact. But why should he do so for something so pathetic?

"It only looks like a water-purifier. It is in fact a powerful device that could cause all manner of problems if it were to fall into the wrong hands. And I'm sure you agree that this particular location has more than its fair share of wrong hands. Not all of which are still attached to their original owners, although that doesn't make much difference in a place like this."

Olsan had to concede the Wizard had a point.

A flicker of light off to one side caught the eye of the Wizard and brought further ruminations to a rapid rest. He felt his heart jump out of its cavity in his chest and head up his esophagus towards his throat. He knew this was only really happening in his imagination, but it felt extremely real all the same. It was really there. The artifact he had traveled for more than 3000 miles, searched archives for more almost 70 years to unearth.

There, right out in the open. All he had to do was go over there and pick it up.

He was distracted once more by the sound of the Elf, who appeared to be worried about something.

"Erm, boss", Olsan was saying as quietly as he could. You might want to look at this. The Wizard turned around to admonish his escort. Now was not the time, not when he was just seconds away from his goal becoming a reality.

But his words of reproach never left his mouth. While he had been distracted by something shiny, which a glance back showed him was actually just a piece of foil left over by an unwary traveler at some point, they residents of the boneyard had surrounded them. Their chances of getting out of this in one piece had just gone from almost none to less than none.

He had made a mistake, and now they were both going to pay with their lives.

Hello Walter, said the Wizards brother with a smile.