Before they could cross the bridge however, they found their path blocked by a hooded figure. It was Death, and he felt cheated. Cheated because travellers would normally drown in the river. But Death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the brothers and said that each had earned a prize having been clever enough to evade him.
The oldest brother asked for a wand more powerful than any other in existence. So Death fashioned him one from an elder tree that stood nearby.
The second brother decided he wanted to humiliate Death even further and asked for the power to recall loved ones from the grave. So Death plucked a stone from the river and offered it to him.
The third brother, a humble man, asked for something that would allow him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And so it was that Death reluctantly handed over his own cloak of invisibility.
The first brother travelled to a distant village, where with the elder wand in hand, he killed a wizard with whom he had once quarrelled. Drunk with the power the elder wand had given him, he bragged of his invincibility. But that night, another wizard stole the wand and slit the brothers throat for good measure.
And so Death took the first brother for his own.
The second brother journeyed to his home, where he took the stone and turned it thrice in hand. To his delight, the girl who he had once hoped to marry before her untimely death, appeared before him. Yet soon she turned sad and cold for she did not belong in the mortal world. Driven mad with hopeless longing, the brother killed himself as to join her.
And so Death took the second brother.
As for the third brother, Death searched for many years but was never