One day long ago, three brothers decided to go out travelling the world together. At twilight they came to a treacherous river that had taken the lives of many people who had attempted to cross to the other side. The Peverells, being expert wizards, casually whipped out their wands and created a bridge out of thin air to cross over. No sooner had they set foot on the bridge when they saw a dark, hooded figure blocking their path in the middle of the bridge. This figure was none other than Death himself, and he was outraged that he’d been cheated out of three new victims, since most people usually drowned in the river. However, Death was cunning and pretended to congratulate the three brothers for being able to “evade” him, offering each of them a prize for their skill.
Antioch, the eldest and most boastful of the Peverell brothers, desired power over others, and so he asked Death for a wand that must always win in a duel for its master, a wand worthy of a man who had conquered Death. So Death crossed to an Elder tree near the river bank, snapped off a twig from one of its branches, fashioned a wand fifteen inches in length with the core of a Thestral hair, and gave it to Antioch, promising him that the newly-created Elder Wand would be the most powerful wand in creation.
Cadmus, the middle brother, was an arrogant man and wanted to humiliate Death even further, so he asked Death for the power to bring people back from the dead. So Death walked to the river bank, picked up a black stone from the riverbed, and gave it to Cadmus, promising him that when turned over thrice in one’s hand, the Resurrection Stone would have the power to bring back the dead as he had requested.
Ignotus, the youngest and wisest of the three brothers, was a humble man and did not trust Death at all. Rather than ask for something to further his own desires, he asked for something that would enable him to leave Death and not be followed. Death, knowing he may have been outsmarted by Ignotus but not wishing to betray his true intentions in giving the brothers their “gifts,” took off his own Cloak of Invisibility that he used to sneak up on people with and gave it to Ignotus with very bad grace. This was no ordinary Invisibility Cloak, as it provided everlasting protection to its wearer and did not fade with age as most Invisibility Cloaks often do. With this, Death stepped aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their travels as they admired Death’s gifts and talked of their adventure.
Eventually, the three brothers separated, each heading toward his home. Antioch reached a village and sought out a wizard with whom he had a quarrel, engaging him in a duel that left the rival wizard dead on the floor. Antioch then proceeded to a nearby inn, where he celebrated his victory and drank heavily in the process. He then drunkenly boasted of his unbeatable wand he had snatched from Death himself, claiming it made him invincible. Later that night, a greedy wizard who had overheard Antioch’s ravings crept up to Antioch’s room. Finding Antioch unconscious and wine-sodden, the wizard took the Elder Wand from Antioch’s belongings and, for good measure, slit Antioch’s throat, winning mastership of the Elder Wand for himself. So Death took back his first victim.
Meanwhile, Cadmus returned to his own home and took out the Resurrection Stone. As Death had instructed him, he turned the black stone over thrice in his hands, and, to his joy and astonishment, the image of the girl he had hoped at one point to marry before her untimely death appeared before him. However, she was cold and distant, as though being seen through a veil, and she suffered due to the fact that she no longer belonged in the world of the living and desired to go back to the world of the dead. Upset that the Resurrection Stone could not make it as though she had never died, Cadmus was driven mad with longing, and he took his own life so as to truly join his love in death. So Death took back his second victim.
Though Death searched for many long years, he was unable to find Ignotus, who successfully hid from Death for a good many years using the Cloak of Invisibility. Finally, when he was a ripe old age and had lived a long and happy life, Ignotus decided to take off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. Ignotus then greeted Death as an old friend, and together they departed this world as equals.