The New Divine Order
“The wolf is with us!” – battle cry of Coraxic warrior priests
Erebus is the god of predators and hunting. He is a strange god, as by the nature of his being and unlike other gods, he is unable to take the form of sentient races. Rather, he tends to appear as the predators of nature that they most fear and different cultures report seeing him as a bear, a lion and even a gigantic serpent – his favored form, however, is that of a great, black wolf.
“With trepidation, I answered the strange summons and found myself on the edge of the blackened forest. I waited there, with baited breath, clutching my journal and quill as if they would somehow protect me. Then, the dark shifted ever so slightly, and to my utter amazement, an enormous wolf stepped out of the shadows. How ever could I have missed him? He was ten feet tall at least, with soot black fur, ghostly yellow eyes and fangs the size of my arm. The wolf leaned down low, so he was looking directly into my eyes and in a low growl of a voice and said: ‘Mr. Matteson, I presume?’ – excerpt from A Comprehensive Understanding of Divinity by Lester Matteson
Accounts of Erebus’ actual birth are lost, but his ancestry is not. He is a spawn of Fenrir, the Wolf That Ate the World, the last surviving member of his brood. It was Erebus’ father that killed Odin and feasted on his corpse – which is the event that most scholars believe to have triggered the catastrophe now known as Ragnarok. Fenrir himself, as well as most of his brood, were killed mercilessly by the remnants of the Aesir throughout the remainder of Ragnarok and a few more killed by Anzo and his descendants during the Long Night. Erebus, however, was discovered as a mere pup by Irma, who sheltered him from the rage of the Aesir and gave him as a gift to Corax.
Since then, Corax and Erebus have been constant companions and few divine friendships are thought to be as strong as the bond between the two. Both Erebus and Corax are wanderers and loners by nature and occasionally will not see each other for many years, but never has the bond between them diminished. Erebus was present during the Breaking of the Heliopause and helped Corax to escape the wrath of his wife. He also fought alongside him during the Teotl War and their perfect unity between man and beast on the battlefield is legendary.
The formation of the New Order is where things got complicated for Erebus. Zuma, the Chained God of Prophecy, predicted that Erebus was fated to end Odin’s line once and for all. Anzo was furious and demanded Erebus be killed, but Corax steadfastly refused. Eventually, Kumo settled the matter by forbidding Erebus to ever step foot in the Celestial City. As such, Erebus spends his time in other planes, such as the Unseen Moon and often, according to believers, on Second Earth itself. Due to this prophecy, he is occasionally called Odin’s Bane.
Appearance: Erebus exists mostly as a great black wolf. Enormous in size with deep black fur and yellow eyes. Often, small flecks of frost or dew appear on his back – while winter is the domain of Tourmaline, many blame brief cold snaps on Erebus. Despite this bestial appearance, my most accounts, Erebus is quite genial and polite to speak to. Some have pointed out that he is often more articulate than Corax.
Erebus and the New Order: Due to his banning from the Celestial City, Erebus has very little to no standing within the bureaucracy of heaven. He is a member of the Great Herd, as the Lord of Wolves, and has allowed him to build a strong relationship with Lilac – some even claim that werewolves and other lycanthropes are the result of a union between them, though others say lycanthropes were created through some profane chymia of Filth’s. His influence is not without weight however, as he serves as a trusted adviser to both Corax and Irma. Filth is known to have a better relationship with Erebus than with most other gods (though it is still far from a traditional friendship) and Noac considers Erebus one of his closest friends. Finally, Erebus’ frequent visits to Second Earth have granted him close relationships with many of the dragons of that plans and he is considered to have more practical knowledge of the different dragons of Second Earth than anybody else and is sometimes called on by the gods to calm or take on a rampaging dragon.
Erebus and the Races of Second Earth: More than perhaps any other god in the New Order, Erebus is an adjunct god. He holds no real influence of his own and while he is sometimes worshiped as a way to protect from predators, those prayers often go straight to Corax or to Lilac. His most common worshipers are hunters, who often ask Erebus to sharpen their eyes before a hunt, and there are several well-known cults of Erebus which are normally dedicated wholeheartedly to the protection of a person or relic, such as the elven Black Blades – a cult of elven exalts, dedicated to the protection of the city of Calinore. Humanity, while most have a genuine distaste for Erebus and what he is destined to do, perhaps worship him the most because they pray for him to fail. He has also become known as a defeater of dragons and is sometimes prayed for when a dragon begins to cause trouble across Second Earth.
Erebus, God of the Hunt:
“You’re not going in there, are you?” asked the smaller mortal. The great black wolf smiled at him, baring his fangs. “I’ve been waiting a long time for another round against the Choir. The last time, I missed one of the heads and it caught me in the side… but I’ve been practicing and this time, he’s mine. Besides, no mortal’s ever beaten him and someone has to save your village. Why the hell did you build it some damn close to a dragon’s nest anyway?”
Erebus is primarily the god of the hunt and many hunters have little rituals in order to honor the Great Wolf before they set on one. Many hunting cabins hand out wolf’s fangs as tokens of membership, others have a stuffed wolf head near the entrance which is petted for luck. Overall, hunters are the only consistent worshipers of Erebus and most take that responsibility quite seriously.