Erebus Kane Character in Cairne | World Anvil

Erebus Kane

Headmaster Erebus Kane (a.k.a. The Sovereign of Ravens)

The enigmatic former headmaster of the college outpost research station known as Beacon, Erebus maintains a silent order of deathless scholars and soldiers at the small island settlement. While he has not been seen since before the Blight, there are signs of his manipulations in the world for those with the acute senses able to see the clues. Erebus and his knight protector, Phaedra Cadence , hold the location secure in the knowledge that no living souls can safely exist there due to the location deep within the fringes of the Void and the remote situation of the island itself as well. From here they scheme, plot, and plan, sending agents from time tom time into the world with their boon of the Pact of the Deathless to further their cause, a world free of pain and suffering, where sickness and death have no power.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Erebus is a Lich ,and as such is undead.

Facial Features

erebus human.png
While maintaining the human facade, Erebus generally appears as an elderly Bechtlarite gentleman, though this appearance changes often, should he so desire it to.

Special abilities

Erebus is a powerful Arcanist and holds the power of the Pact of the Deathless , able to fully manipulate the same power he grants petitioners into his court.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Born and raised in Armuun while the Bechlarite Empire was reveling in its early heyday of prosperity and power under the rule of Sovereign Daimus I, Erebus enjoyed a simple and pleasant enough life. A natural born scholar he was always drawn to exploratory pursuits and driven by an insatiable curiosity. He excelled in his studies both practical and esoteric, and moved quickly into the upper echelons of academic success as he grew into adulthood, eventually rising up as a celebrated researcher and instructor at the famed, The University of the Lighted Way. It was here he met his wife, another researched employed by the university. A whirlwind romance followed and eventually they were wed. Erebus experienced a brief time of peaceful and contented life as he settled into the role of husband and very soon after, father as well to a daughter whom he doted on, but was not meant to last. A plague sprung up in the city, a wasting sickness that was resistant to all attempts to cure it, both scientific and magical. Erebus was called out to throw his own efforts into stopping it, but the endless experiments and debates yielded no solutions. Erebus's wife and child eventually caught and succumbed to the sickness themselves, and the loss nearly broke the man as he struggled and raged day and night to find a way to save them, but he could not. After a time in seclusion, grieving what he had lost, Erebus made a secret pact within himself, that he would find a way to ensure no one ever had to endure such a horrible thing as the loss of a wife or child, and upon emerging he requested a position at a remote research location, so that he might pursue this new idea in private and in secrecy. He was granted the role of Headmaster at Beacon.   As a scholar and headmaster at the university research station at Beacon , Erebus enjoyed a fairly quiet life of study and academia and his curiosity quickly turned to obsession as he delved deeper and deeper into the ancient secrets of life and death, the lure of sorcery finally finding purchase in his soul. He slowly began to detach from his normal life, the skilled orator missing appointments to speak and lectures promised in favor of research and exploration within the ruins and temples of old. It was within one of these that he found himself trapped as a forgotten mechanism was triggered upon his entering an undiscovered tomb. An impossibly large slab of granite slid into place as he entered, trapping him there with nothing but the remains of a bygone era to keep him. His torchlight failing, and resources dwindling, even the surety of death could not slow him from seeking more knowledge, more answers within the relics of the crypt. Clutched in the skeletal fingers of what must have been a highly respected figure, he found a tome covered in what he determined to be some type of mammalian skin, likely human, stitched together and bound around questionable vellum and inked in a faded, yet somehow stull rust colored ink. Within were the steps to a ritual, one that claimed to break the seal upon the brow of life itself, and free the caster from the steely bonds of their mortal coil..becoming not unlike a god in the process and ascending to greatness. With fervor and no small amount of hubris, he devoured the contents of the work, every word a succulent morsel to feed his mind. For days he remained there, engrossed within the words of long ago, learning and plotting until finally, he was found. A rescue party had been sent as a result of his absence being noted. They dug out around the slab and pulled him free, his pack laden with his new treasure. The workers could sense something was wrong, superstitions flaring and their bodies made sick by the mere proximity to the tome, though they had no way of knowing what he carried. Rumors started upon his return, as he quickly became a recluse, secretly preparing to perform the ritual. He gathered the needed items in secret, hiring poverty stricken serfs with the promise of high pay and then slitting their throats as they slept following their completion of the tasks he required. As his mind swept away towards darkness, he would often experiment with the bodies of these poor souls, picking them apart and attempting to lock away their souls before they could flee, and...barring that, occasionally animating their corpses with unholy rites described in his unholy grimoire, adding to the arcane rites described within as his sharp mind slowly but surely began to full grasp the workings of the sorcery within, manipulating the weave of magic and bending the very fabric of reality to his will. The gathering of what was needed took years, and so many lives, but at this point it was of little consequence. What were the heartbeats of the serf worth compared to that of a god in the making?   Blood of creatures sacrificed by poison, myths made real and murdered for their power, human pain made manifest through wicked knives and strangled cries, all sacrificed upon the altar of an Elder thing whose name must not be spoken aloud, an ancient entity from the Beyond who supersedes all myth and legend and who, if looked upon by mortal eyes will only lead the mind screaming into the dark pit of madness...these are the things he brought to bear upon the altar and alchemist’s table as he worked, infusing the unholy concoction with the arcane workings described within the manifesto of his climb to divinity. When it was done, the flask of thick, black liquid sat upon the bench before him and he smiled, his face haggard and drawn, hair matted and disheveled, and his plan in place...The home he had come to despise, nestled into the teeming streets of the Becht Empire’s capital city could no longer hold his ambitions, but to pursue his goals further, the man could not remain beholden to crown or country, for within the breast of a Bechtlarite is the heartbeat of their duty. As the guards began to bang upon the door, he turned and laughed. They must have finally found the bodies he left, a trail of mangled corpses, broken and twisted by his magicks, an intentional trail that led to his door. You cannot hold the dead accountable for the sins of the living. He quaffed the potion, the ember rivulets of liquid streaming from his lips and staining his clothes and chin. The effect was nearly instant, the breath stolen from him as his shaking hand lost its strength and dropped the flask, shattering it on the ground just as the armed men burst through. He turned to them with a smile as the life slipped from him quickly and his body fell to the stone floor below.     He had made a very large gamble, that despite his crimes they would honor tradition and bury him in the crypt of his family, and it had paid off. The now released spirit of the man had settled into the phylactery as described in the vile work he had learned it from, and as the body was placed beside it, it was merely the matter of a day until his eyes slowly opened in the inky black of his own coffin, tucked with the marble and stone of his family crypt, nondescript and without a marker, they had moved it as far to the back as they could and left him there to rot. It was just as he had planned. It took a few days to acclimate to his body again, the flesh seeming to be strange and alien to him, sensations once taken for granted quickly fleeting as the time passed. He was amused by this. Removing the grimoire from where he hid it in his family crypt, he stole away from the city under cover of night, still human looking and able to move among the living easily enough, he made his way out of the gates and on to freedom, now unchained from his mortal tethered and the last vestiges of human loyalty to his was time to begin his great work.     Life and death, the mystery of creation and destruction, the duality of it all and the veil of separation that he had seen the other side of, these were now his domain. The powers of necromancy flowed through him as did once the blood of crimson before his heart stopped needing to beat. He spent many years, wandering in secret, hiding in plain sight, experimenting, researching, seeking more and more power. His former fascination with learning was not so quick to leave him, but instead became a twisted lure by which he would draw in unsuspecting intellectual talent, adepts of various skill and focus under the guise of an accomplished scholar seeking to nurture that spark and help it grow...but upon it maturing finally in his pupils, he would offer them the next level in their learning, a vile ploy pulling them away wherein he would subdue them through poison and using ritual and pain, sacrifice them upon the altar of his own twisted and driven need for knowledge and power, sending their life to the Elder thing in the dark and in turn imbibing their potential into himself, growing in power as he did. The limitations of his physical form remained the only obstacle that could hold him back, and a new plan began to unfold in his mind.     Having learned early through his divining and spying the machinations of the conspiracy against the crown, Erebus was more prepared than any to weather out the storm of the Blight falling. He gathered himself and his belongings on the island of Beacon, his one time academic home, and quickly took over the remote location using both magic and the brute force offered by the animated remains of his former pupils, and in doing so took full control over the location. As the Blight hit, they found themselves perfectly able to endure the Void, and aside from some physical damage to the location from the impact, suffered almost no losses. Erebus immediately began to reinforce the location, and to gather numbers from the fallen. He began seeking the endless battlefields that littered Cairne, picking through the dead and dying, using the bodies he found there to further his purpose and send envn more souls to his unnamable patron, until finally...he found Phaedra, a mercenary woman that led the fabled Ghost Brigade who fought and fell in a tremendous skirmish near the end of the War of Human Attrition. He watched her much passion and power in her, it was thrilling even in his state to see the way in which she dealt out death and threw herself into harm's way in defense of her fellows. Powerful, selfless, loyal, and driven. This is what he needed.     When the dust settled, he walked slowly over to where she lay, grievously wounded, a broken spear shaft still protruding from her breast. He peeled the bodies away and there she was, still trying to move to protect them, even though they were gone, even attempting to stand and take a swing at him from where she lay. He let her wear herself out, curiously amused by her vigor before moving to set down a helmet to sit beside her, and pouring a cup of wine,and another for her too, setting it beside her. He smiled a breathless smile, eyes never blinking as he looked her over carefully, assessing how long she might have left. He offered her some friendly words, not in the least bit intimidated, but having seen her fight so hard, down to the last...taking wounds that would kill a man twice her size, he praised her for her skill and prowess. He spoke to her for some time about her life and reason to want to keep it, asking her questions about her past and making pleasant conversation...a ritual of his when sifting through battlegrounds and finding the dying, but she was different...she wouldn't give up, tenacious and fierce. He asked her about why she fought so hard, what drove her, curiosity pushing him to lean in close, and seeing the opportunity, she stabbed him with a dagger she still clutched tight in her grip, bloodied teeth gritted, defiant to the last...of course it did not phase him, aside from the stain on his shirt. He leaned in close, dagger still in him, her hand still gripping it and he praised her for her fortitude, and in that moment, the spark formed. He offered her the devil's bargain.     "I can save you, and grant you purpose and be your own woman with only one thing required in return...your undying loyalty, to me above all else, until the end."


Erebus holds many esteemed titles and awards from his time at the The University of the Lighted Way both as a student and as an instructor. His time at Beacon yielded a great bit of acclaim and notoriety in pre-Blight Bechtlarite society as well due to the inventions and progress made by himself and his select base of students.

Mental Trauma

The loss of his wife and child are to this day the driving force behind his actions, though after all these years and how far he has been removed from humanity, he barely remembers them save in haunted moments of occasional lucidity. The drive still remains however, no matter how little he remembers as to why.

Intellectual Characteristics

Erebus has a mind like a steel trap, and is easily one of the most intelligent and well educated minds on the planet. He is a voracious learner about anything he does not understand and very free with the knowledge he retains. He has a very strong personal motivation to influence those with potential in a way that allows them to achieve the greatest possible lengths in their field of focus.

Morality & Philosophy

Erebus believes himself to be the savior of the living with every fiber of his being, and never wavers in this belief. Despite the lack of humanity, he maintains that the evil acts he must do to survive and to keep his Order moving in the direction of his end vision are all lesser and necessary things in the grand scheme of things. Potential is a precious commodity that must be preserved, and death as a final solution is always to be a last course of action, as death removes all chance for potential to be utilized. None of this will stop him from removing an obstacle or threat to his vision or his people however, and woe to those that cross him in his pursuits.

Personality Characteristics


Erebus is driven by his deep, psychological need to save his wife and child, a scar that will never heal in him. Their loss was the end of his world, and while he will never be able to actually save them, it is through his obsession with conquering death itself and removing the possibility of pain, sickness, and suffering affecting the world, that he moves his plans continually forward with the help of his second, Phaedra Cadence . He no longer consciously remembers the reason for his drive, though hinst of it show up in his memory from time to time, but despite this, the motivation remains true and powperful.
Current Status
Maintaining the Deathless Pact at Beacon
Current Location
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Headmaster, Sovereign of Ravens
Currently Held Titles
Date of Birth
12th of Vigor 149 AR
Date of Death
3rd of Frigus 77 AR
149 AR 77 AR 72 years old
Circumstances of Death
Poisoned himself as part of a ritual to become undead.
Place of Death
Varies in human form, glowing sickly green in true form
Quotes & Catchphrases
"The Dead do not suffer the living."
Aligned Organization
Known Languages
Erebus speaks all the languages native to Cairne and has a working knowledge of several that are not.
Ruled Locations


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