With the realization that magic could resolve alot of the obstacles he would come across in life, he plunged into the ancient tomes, greedily devouring what he found, and utilising it to craft new arcane knowledge to bend reality in ways not previously conceived. The way had not always been straight, and often he had been required to shake hands with entities that would drive a normal man insane, but his ascent had lead to first cohorts, then mercenaries, then armies, and finally conquest. His name had poured across the land as he perpetrated atrocities cosmic on his fellow man. He had defeated all that had stood before him, and was free to ransack knowledge wherever he could find it.
As he had become older, the age-old fear of age had set in. He became bitter and reproachful that all he had built within himself would be claimed by the sands, and there was not way of holding it back. Until new knowledge arose. A monastery had been discovered, hidden away in a forest. The marauders, a collection of his more dangerous biological experiments from his younger years, had made short work of the holy men, and one had retained enough cohesive thought to bring one alive to him.
He had spiritually flayed the man, one layer at a time. He had torn his essence to shreds, and in his final pain filled delirium he had started to babble of immortality. The Mage had searched for this before and found no-one had been able to defy the Reaper. He could be temporarily averted, but never discouraged. The monk provided the details of a stockpile of spells deemed too dangerous for mortal perception, and they had been sealed away. He had been uncharacteristically merciful, and put the monk out of his misery. The journey was long and arduous, taking him through mountains and deserts. He proved his determination many times over, and finally claimed that which he sought.
He had retreated to his sanctum, a safe room hidden within the spaces that focused his energies, a turned his attention the scroll. The text revealed a ritual, one where all primary, secondary and tertiary elements were represented. The rite allowed mastery of all reality, specifically over the casters self, and prevented time from ravaging. A surprising simple spell, it had been easy to replicate. He incited the tones, and stood within the circle. After a couple of moments, he started to feel that he may have been cheated. With nothing happening, he strode to the circle edge. He found invisible resistance at the circumference, and started to hammer against it. He desperately conjured up sourceries, and found they splashed uselessly against the walls of his prison.
After a couple more moments, the air outside the circle started to bubble and foam. A figure materialised, and with a start the Mage realised it was the holy man. The man smiled, and waggled a finger at the Mage. There was a sound of glass shattering and reality fragmented around the man. When it reasserted itself, it revealed a much taller man, with skin of white marble. His eyes were glass, and his hair was thick oil that constantly poured down his back. The Mage felt the resonating malevolence through the shield and realised that he found himself in front of the the first evil, The Devil. The Fallen smiled and spoke with a voice of gravel and shards.
"Right Now? Not much of a threat. But someday in the future? Who knows. The reason I have never been usurped is because I make sure I don't have competition. You wanted immortality, thats fine. I don't want you in Hell anyways. Who knows what an enterprising little stain like you could achieve. "
The mage scrabbled for words as confusion reigned.
"I wouldn't try and overthrow you. I mean it's you?! I wouldn't dare hold myself to your level"
"I've watched and noted that your are not satisfied with what you have, constantly pursuing constantly devouring. Give it time and you'll be eyeing my throne. I've seen it before, and this is not the first time I've sent someone like you on a chase for this little ritual.You will now never die. You will never leave that circle. And no-one else will ever enter this sanctum again."
He raised a hand, and was in mid-gesture when the mage screamed.
"Please, have mercy. Was I not merciful to your avatar when I gained what I sought?"
The Devil leered at him.
"You're right. I tell you what. I may even visit occasionally."
He disappeared in a shower of ash. The Mage stared at the dissipating cloud. He sat down cross legged and started to brood. He could wait.