One night, Nicholas Flamel had a dream in which an angel came to his bed, held out a book and said, these words, which were to remain in the memory of the hearer: "Look well at this book, Nicholas. At first you will understand nothing in it -- neither you nor any other man. But one day you will see in it that which no other man will be able to see." Surely that would contain the secrets to making the Philosopher's Stone!
A short while later while he was alone in his shop a man in desparate need of money appeared with a book to sell. He recognized it as the book that the angel in his dream had been holding and paid for it immediately, without bargaining.
The problem was that the book was written in part-hebrew and he couldn't read it. All of the jews in France had recently been driven out of his country by persecution. He knew that there were still many jews left in Spain, so he copied a small-portion of the book and headed out on his journey to find a translator. He searched for months and couldn't find one, and so started his journey home in discouragement. During the quest homeward, he stopped at an inn and was fortunate enough to be joined at his table by a French merchant who had contacts with someone who might be able to translate the book. The French merchant introduced Flamel to his friend, the Maestro Canches. When Nicholas told him that he had with him the book of Abraham the Jew the Maestro's eye's lit up and he explained that Abraham the Jew was a venerable master who was a great master and spent his whole life studying the mysteries of the Cabala. His book had disappeared, surfacing in some remote corner of the globe for moments and then disappearing again. Unfortunately, the pages that Nicholas had brought with him was not enough to unlock the secrets of the stone. The Maestro agreed to go back to Nicholas's home and translate the entire book.
Ironically, on the journey home the Maestro fell ill and passed away. Nicholas piously buried him at a nearby church and continued on.
When he arrived home he found his wife, his shop and his books as he had left them. Though it took him years, the pages that the Maestro had translated had given Nicholas enough clues to translate the book himself.
Adherring strictly to the rules within the book of Abraham the Jew, he first turned a half pound of mercury in to gold. As he was changing the metals, he changed himself.
From this point on he was rich. He built hospitals, low-income housing for the poor, churches and lived out the rest of his days joyously.
After Nicholas had reached the age of 80, he went about planning his death. Not the means of the death itself but the details such as his coffin, tombstone (the one he ordered was very heavy), burial location, etc. He wanted his death to be as perfect as his life.
Shortly after he died, rumors that he had created the Elixir of Life spread. Any prowlers seeking the stone that could turn any metal in to gold soon were lurking nearby his house and shop searching for the metal.
The heat soon died down and rumors that Nicholas Flamel and his wife Pernelle was still alive were forgotten. Many, many years later, an arcaeologist named Paul Lucas talked to a Turk that told him that Nicholas and his wife Pernelle were still alive. Paul did more research and then wrote and published a book that said that the Flamels' burials were nothing but clever shams, and that they were still alive. The publication of this book aroused many curious people. The people were so curious that they dug-up Nicholas's grave and opened the coffin. There was nothing there.