The alchemist Liverwrist looked up from the steaming bowl of stew he was eating as the door of his shop swung inward. Setting down his spoon he eased himself out of his chair and watched as three customers stepped inside with no small amount of surprise. He hadn’t had three customers in a season and the last two had only been gawking fools looking for a stone capable of turning lumps of iron into gold. These three didn’t look familiar though and they didn’t spare any of his wares more than a glance as they moved through the shop. One was a human wearing a hood and a cloak, his well oiled leather armor bore signs of battle and he wore several daggers on his waist. The second was an elf, unusually rough looking for one of her kind, she wore a naked sword but kept her hand on the hilt of the blade. Her dark eyes and hair were as black as the ashes from a fire pit and Liverwrist could smell faint traces of blood on her. A quick glance at her hands and armor explained the stench, flecks of blood dotted her pales flesh and chainmail. The last, who towered head and shoulders over everyone else, wore bright silks and a feathered cap. The brute’s massive footsteps sounded like drumbeats and he stopped to stare at a collection of multicolored vials arrayed on a table midway through the shop.

Liverswrist palmed a small vial of silver liquid as he smiled a toothless grin at the elf warrior. If he shattered the vial it would emit a gas that would kill anything that caught so much as a whiff of it. “If you’ve no coin in your pockets be off, I won’t miss my supper for a pack beggars.”

“Our friend was murdered last night,we seek the means to restore him.” The elf reached for a leather pouch hanging from her belt and flung it at Liverwrist. The ancient shopkeeper snatched it out of the air with surprising agility and opened the mouth of the pouch. There was a sizable collection of gold, silver, and a few bent coppers with. Liverwrist pulled the strings drawing the pouch shut and tossed it back at the elf regretfully.

“What you ask for is no paltry healing elixir or potion of invisibility, to raise one from the dead is a rare feat requiring powerful magics.”

“Then you’re saying it cannot be done.” Setting down a red vial Runt’s enormous face fell as the half-giant stared down at the aged shopkeeper.

“When did I say that?” The Alchemist frowned at the enormous bard narrowing his eyes to slits. Limping across the shop the ancient floorboards creaked in protest beneath his feet. He plucked a weathered leather tome  off of a bookshelf. Brushing aside a mortar and pestle on a table he slammed the book open and began flipping through its yellowed pages. “Gods and necromancers are not the only ones capable of resurrection but you will not find what you seek in any shop.”

Stopping midway through the book he tapped his finger at a page littered with elven script. “First you must take up the egg of a phoenix, then petrify it transforming it to stone, finally you must journey to the great river that marks the border between the world of the living and the realm of the dead. From the shore cast the stone into the water. Wade into the river to reclaim the stone and press it to the flesh of any creature, it will restore them to life.”

The cloaked man huffed pulling back his hood to reveal hair the color of corn husks and one startling blue eye.”He’s sending us on a fool’s errand, I told you this was a mistake Seravim. Lets stop wasting our time and find someone who can bring Tanalin back to us.”

Seravim shot a look at the human and he went quiet, but his icy eye remained fixed on Liverwrist.

“I won’t take insults in my shop boy. Least of all from a thief.” The alchemist slammed the book shut and tossed it towards the hooded man who caught it against his chest. “That book will tell you how to restore your friend and where to find the only egg you need.”

The thief turned the book over in his hands. “How much?”

Liverwirst limped past the man his hand slipping on the vial as he sweat. “Leave the pouch and then get out. My suppers going cold.”

The Stone of Resurrection is a magical item that allows anyone who touches it to be returned to life, however it can only be used on a person once. Such stones are extremely rare as the eggs of the phoenix are something seen perhaps once in a generation and seizing one is difficult. Transforming such a valuable item to stone is an act which few would even consider, especially since single egg could be sold for enough coin to buy a small kingdom. Aside from its wealth petrifying the egg would kill the unborn phoenix within as surely as an arrow through the heart. However there are numerous potions, spells, and creatures capable of carrying out such a transformation. Perhaps the most daunting step in creating a Stone of Resurrection is the journey to the river that runs between the world living and the dead. Deadly creatures, spirits, and the guardians of the underworld prowl the river’s shores. Even if someone was able to find the hidden river and survives the difficult journey they could very well fall victim to such foes.