The night air is chilly, but the crackling fire you've started warms your bones comfortably. Crickets chirp, and you smile up at the stars, glad for the quiet evening.
There is a loud roar, and you are blinded momentarily as the campfire suddenly surges up into the air. The flames split down the middle, revealing an abyss that leeches the warmth from your soul. Out of this hellish place stumbles a black-cloaked figure clutching a scythe. Quickly, you reach for your weapons.
The strange apparition staggers for a moment. Then, gathering its strength, it pulls back the hood on its cloak. Beneath is a bleached skull with stars for eyes.
"I am Azrael, Lord of the Undead," it hisses. "Or rather, I will be Azrael, after Time itself has died."
Even as Azrael speaks, decay begins to eat away at its body, and the god shudders. Holding one arm up to watch as tiny fissures form in its bones, the deity sighs, "Ah, sweet Entropy, come to claim me at last."
Its gaze sweeps back to you. "But no, not just yet. First, I must set events in motion."
Weakness begins to overcome Azrael, and it sinks to one knee. "Long ago, I became the most powerful of all the gods, in spite of my enemies' efforts to stop me. Delirious with power, I destroyed the other gods and eventually fell to feasting upon the souls of their worshippers. After devouring every living creature, I consumed the planets and, eventually, the stars themselves, until I was left alone, in darkness."
The god struggles to finish its message as its bones turn to dust and blow away, "Unexpectedly, I felt remorse for what I had done. I grieved for the universe I had destroyed, but I lacked the power to recreate it. So, I have come to you, to beg you to do what I cannot."
Azrael reaches into its cloak and produces a leather sack. "Take these items and use them."
As Azrael dissolves, it gasps out, "Kill me tonight, or tomorrow will never dawn."
All that remains is a pile of dust and a leather bag.
* Requires the use of the Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook, Third Edition, published by Wizards of the Coast.