About Erebus, the Face Thief
Kitsune Epifovian 6
There was once a promising future ahead for the man who would become the strange prisoner called Erebus. He was a treasure hunter, an archeologist working for King Markadian's Royal Academy. He was renowned for his relentless pursuit of mysteries and his vast knowledge of ancient legends. He became famous for his descriptive prose. His entries into the Academy's reports and ledgers were copied many times and distributed among nobles as entertainment. His gift for poetry and lexicon earned him many admirers. Through careful research, a flair for writing, and a great deal of luck, he became quite famous for bringing lost things back to the light.
Some things should stay buried.
In one nameless temple locked away behind a lock brittle with age the man who would become Erebus found a mystery in the shape of a golden pyramid hanging from the ceiling of a ruined temple so decrepit it's origins were impossible to decipher. The tarnished pyramid was just large enough to fit comfortably in one hand. Its surface was covered in strange runes in a language he'd only seen glimpses of in ancient manuals kept under high guard by the royal historians. The chain was set into to stone above the altar and required much effort with a saw and a pair of metal shears to break it free.
It took him only minutes to discover that it was not a simple relic. It was slightly warm to the touch, and he could feel things moving within it like the shivering of gears. The top of the pyramid turned easily in his hands aligning the symbols differently. Another twist revealed yet another interpretation of the runes. He discovered dozens of configurations and shapes.
In spite of the warnings carved into the walls by whoever had last been there and sealed the thing away, the ancient puzzle became his obsession.
He consulted with colleagues, slowly deciphering the many symbols etched in it's surface and all their various combinations and configurations. Over the course of months a spark of understanding began to take hold. Intuition guided him to discover more configurations. The symbols began to make sense.
He began to hear whispers coming from within the puzzle box. Paranoia slowly took hold. His work and social life suffered. His friends began keeping their distance and his loved ones tried to get through to him, but the pyramid was his only love now.
Small cracks in his psyche mirrored the small cracks in reality that seemed to follow him around. The voices were with him always now, and those near him began seeing strange things. Wherever he went, pets and livestock turned up mutilated and people reported strange things lurking in shadows or crawling on roofs at night.
He retreated from society, living in a small cottage near Farholde in the swampy frontier of Caer Bryr.
When the Royal Academy came for him all the windows were shuttered and nailed closed. He was working on transcriptions of the symbols by candle light. Papers and notes covered every surface and were pinned to the walls in clusters. He had run out of ink and had opened a vein in his hand to continue his writing. The food he was eating was moldy. He had not bathed in so long that his clothes had begun to rot off his body.
They sent for the Inquisitors and sat with him, trying to get through to him, worried for his soul. Before the Inquisitors arrived, his former colleagues watched as he finally solved the mystery that had consumed his life.
With one final twist of the puzzle it came back to the shape of a pyramid. The symbols now formed the shape of a strange eldritch sign on all sides. With a muffled click, it opened...
When the Inquisitors arrived, led by the famed Witch Hunter Sir Balin, they discovered their famous explorer sitting on the floor holding the pyramid, lolling his head as if in time to music only he could hear, repeating strange poetic verses. The members of the Royal Academy who had called the Inquisitors were all completely catatonic.
It was clear to the inquisitors that he had become possessed by dark powers. The writings pinned to the walls were proof enough that he had sought out the knowledge that eventually became his undoing. That was enough to have him sent to Branderscar.
He did not fight them. He barely spoke. He did as he was bid. When Sir Balin turned him over to Warden Richter it was a somber affair. A great scholar, a hero in his own discipline, had been utterly lost to his pursuits . Worse, he had taken a number of other great minds with him into the darkness. It was a tragedy, yet no one could quite blame the scholar. He seemed as much a victim as any other. It was Sir Balin that asked that the sentence be commuted so long as the prisoner was cooperative. The merciful Knight believed that maybe in time the man's mind would heal and some answers could be gained. So the Warden reluctantly agreed and the execution postponed.
He was a model inmate, slowing coming back to himself over the course of months. He barely seemed crazed at all unless he started speaking. Then all manor of blasphemies and strangeness poured fourth. He called himself Erebus now and spoke in riddles and nonsensical questions. His words nagged at the mind. Prisoners first, then guards began showing signs of mental stress and fatigue. Ill tempers and depression set in. Then desertion. Then one guard killed another. Branderscar lost half it's guard force in a matter of months. Warden Richter has suspicions that the blight across Branderscar began when the prisoner called Erebus arrived, but he had no evidence at all. Even only having a hunch to act on, he decided to get on with Erebus' sentence, having completely given up hope that he would ever come back to who he once was.
Today Branderscar is like a wretched pustule on the verge of bursting open and spilling out its infection onto an unsuspecting land. At the center of it, the man called Erebus, who was nearly finished with his work at Branderscar.
He had fed long and become stronger. He had the time he needed to become used to this place and this form and it's limited perceptions. He had sent out his call and received an answer. A deal had been struck. It was time now for his work to truly begin.
The creature called Erubus has been sealed away for a very long time. The Church of Mitra has tried very hard to erase all mention or reference to it, for part of it's power is drawn from people knowing of it's existence. It is a memetic hazard that draws on knowledge of itself to sew the fear that it feeds on. More than anything else it wants to be known.
Long ago, when Mitra was young, He managed to seal away the source of all Fear. This triumph began his ascent to primacy. Ages later, this banished Outer God has found a crack in Mitra's seal, opened on accident by some foolish mortal. It claimed the mortal's form as it's own and began to explore the first hints of long-awaited freedom. Now it is slowly widening the crack in the seal, letting more and more if itself through.
Once it wanted only to sate it's hunger. In it's exile it has had a very long time to think and reflect. More goals than feeding have been added. First among them is revenge.
Appearance and Personality:
Erebus looks like whoever he wants. Sometimes he looks like a cat. Sometimes he looks like something that used to be a cat. Sometimes he looks like something that used to be a human. He wears the faces of those he takes, slipping on other people's lives like comfortable old clothes.
If you are lucky he will be content to eat you. If you are not lucky he will be you, letting you live in the aftermath of all the things he has done in your name.
It is hard to say what Erebus' true personality is, since he changes them so quickly. Who- or what -ever he is, he spends a lot of time smiling.
He is a person who looked into the wrong abyss, and the abyss looked back. Now he is a puppet being worked by the tendril of an otherworldly nightmare.
Whatever it is that has put on the skin of the man who Erebus used to be, it is enjoying the transformation.
HP: 57 (8, 5d8 , +18 con, +6 aberrant)
AC 19 (+1 size, +4 wis, +4 armor)
Touch: 19 (+4 armor, +1 size, +4 wis)
CMD 20 (10 +3 str, +0 dex, +6 bab, +1 size)
+9 Fort (5 base, +3 con, +1 resistance)
...-2 attack, +4 damage, power attack
Tentacle x2, +10, 1d10+4 bludgeoning or piercing, x2 crit. 30' reach
Tentacle x2 +10, 1d8+4 bludgeoning or piercing, x2 crit, 25' reach
Nightmare Tether x2 +10, 1d8+4 piercing, 40' reach
Grapple +16 (+6 bab, +1 size, +3 str, +1 enhancement, +5 feats)
Bite,+11, 1d4+4, x2 crit (only in natural form), 15' reach
Leather club +10, 1d6+3, x2 crit
Longsword, +6, 1d8+3, 19-20 crit
Longbow, +3, 1d8, x3 crit
Veil of Useful Items
• 2 daggers
• Bullseye lantern (full, lit and shuttered)
• Hempen rope (50-foot coil)
• Sack full of needed spell components (worth less than a 1 gp) and common clothes
• Window (2 ft. by 4 ft., up to 2 ft. deep)
• Potion of cure light wounds
• 100 gold pieces
• Unholy Symbol of Asmodeus (silver)
Note that the window patch will create a window (and therefore a hole) in a nearby wall. If there are no nearby walls, it simply turns into a common wooden window frame. It cannot be placed on a living creature however. Once removed, a patch cannot be replaced.
Traits and Feats:
Class skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Disguise, Escape Artist, Linguistics, Diplomacy, Stealth, Intimidate, Knowledge (All), Perception, Disable Device, Profession, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Speak Language, Survival, Swim
Skill Points: (6 class, +4 wis, +2 bonus, +1 favored class) x6
Roll twice on all class skills, taking the higher result (Class skills marked in Bold)
+6 Knowledge Nature (1 rank, +3 class, +2 int)
Potion of Cure Light
Favored Class Bonus
1) +1 skill point
2) +1 skill point
3) +1 skill point
4) +1 skill point
5) +1 skill point
Kitsune gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, and –2 Strength.
Agile (Ex) Kitsune receive a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks.
Change Shape (Su) A kitsune can assume the appearance of a specific single human form of the same sex. The kitsune always takes this specific form when she uses this ability. A kitsune in human form cannot use her bite attack, but gains a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to appear human. Changing shape is a standard action. This ability otherwise functions as alter self, except that the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores and can remain in this form indefinitely.
Superior Shapeshifter Some talented kitsune take more naturally to shapeshifting than magic, and develop that gift. They gain Fox Shape as a bonus feat at 1st level, ignoring its prerequisites. This racial trait replaces kitsune magic.
Natural Weapons (Ex) In her natural form, a kitsune has a bite attack that deals 1d4 points of damage.
Low-Light Vision: Kitsune can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Non-Euclidian Embracing Dimensions: You gain the Powerful Build racial trait. You also gain the inverse of Powerful Build, which allows you to count as smaller size when it would benefit you, such as on attacking rolls and hide checks. Because of the Nature by which you gained these effects, you may benefit from both simultaneously, should such conditions be made that you would
Eldritch Abomination Awakening Rite You gain two tentacle attacks as primary natural weapons. These tentacles deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage for a medium creature, or 1d4 for a small creature, plus your strength modifier. They have a reach of five feet. You may attack with weapons and your tendril in the same round, but your tentacle attacks are treated as secondary weapons: The attacks are made with a -5 penalty on the attack roll, and you add only 1/2 your Strength bonus to the damage roll.
Inescapable Nightmare Tether: You gain a special tentacle attack as a primary natural weapon, known as the Nightmare Tendril. The Tendril deals 1d4 bludgeoning damage for a medium creature, or 1d3 for a small creature, plus your strength modifier. It has a reach of 30 feet. You may attack with weapons and your tendril in the same round, but your tendrils' attacks are treated as secondary weapons: The attacks are made with a -5 penalty on the attack roll, and you add only 1/2 your Strength bonus to the damage roll.
As a move action, you may reach out with this tendril, attempting a ranged touched attack on any foe. This attack can hit and effect incorporeal creatures. If you are successful, the foe must make a Will Save or a Grapple Check (Whichever is higher) against an Intimidate Check from you. If you are successful, the tendril forces itself through the flesh of your target, tethering the creature too you. This tether dramatically limits the targets mobility, forcing their movement speeds of any kind to be halved, eliminating the ability to use Hide or Climb skills, and forcing the foe to make a strength check (DC 20 + 5 per previous check)to move more than the initial tethers length from you. In addition, you move an additional 10 feet per round if you are moving towards the other end of a tether, hungering to see the panic in their unwilling captive. The tether can be broken by killing you, an escape artist check against the your intimidate check, or a DC 30 strength check. An outside force (one not on either end of the Tether) who voluntarily touches the nightmare tether takes 1d6 points of unholy damage per 2 class levels.
All Encompassing Torment Jurisdiction: You gain a Natural weapon identical to the one you already had (nightmare tether). If you had multiple natural weapons before selecting this Mythos, you must decide which one this mythos allows you to replicate.
You gain a bonus to the reach of all your natural attacks equal to 5 plus an additional five feet for every five Epifovian levels you possess, as your attacks seem to stretch and skew across the battlefield to strike at your foes.
Masterful Muscle-Memory Improvement Any time you roll a skill check with an Epifovian class skill, you may roll twice and take the better result.
Unreal Existance At first level, an Epifovian may use his wisdom in place of charisma to determine his bonus to Intimidate checks, as well as add his wisdom modifier to his Armour Class when in light or no armor, with the thousand conflicts of his horrid predecessors giving him insight into combats from Eons past. This bonus applies to his touch and flat footed AC.
Far-Spawn Taint 3 The Horrors of this world would not do well to leave no mark upon the flesh of lesser mortals, nor to share in it. At first level, the Epifovian gains Abberation Blood or Mourning Mutate as a bonus feat, as his skin takes on a faint sickly tone of some unearthly color. He also gains a bonus to Intimidate equal to his Far-Spawn Taint Class Features, but a penalty to all other charisma checks.
At third level, the instinct of ages molds the Epifovian’s mind to better suit the needs of his chosen path. The Epifovian may use his wisdom bonus in place of his intelligence bonus to determine his bonus skill points per level. He gains this bonus retroactively.
At Fifth level, the Epifovian begins to draw strength from his memories. He recalls the Far-Realm, he knows the depths of greatest terror, and he embraces them. At 5th level, whenever the Epifovian would be subjected to a fear effect, he does not grow weaker from it, but instead grows stronger. Any fear effect directed at the Epifovian is delayed for 1 minute per 5 Epifovian levels, and during this point he gains a perfection bonus to all skill checks and attack rolls, with the value depending on the level of fear. (+2 for shaken, +4 for frightened, or +8 for panicked). If another fear effect should occur to the Epifovian during that time, he is immediately stricken with the greater of the fear effects, and his skill and attack roll bonuses are wasted. In addition the Epifovian's natural attacks gain a +1 enhancement bonus to hit and damage.
Shallow Gene-Pool Shoring Bloodline You gain Aberration Blood, Morning Mutate, or any feat with Aberration Blood as a prerequisite as a Bonus Feat. (durable form)
Soul-Shredding Inner Redistribution You heal from both Negative Energy and Positive Energy. You also develop an Immunity to Ability Damage and Soul Drain Effects.
Armor: Chain Shirt
4 guard's keys
Cash and Loot:
A collection of cheap, tawdry, crudely printed books (the so-called “penny dreadfuls”) about dashing heroes, daring do and amply bosomed damsels prone to fainting and outdoor bathing.
A silver holy symbol of Mitra and a Mitran holy book.
a giant narwhal horn and 1,125 gp in walrus tusk
Branderscar password: Hesterfield
Trik is his usual friendly self - affable and approachable. Based on your observations however, this is an entirely false front. It takes one to know one - and as a monster you're fairly certain that Trik has monstrous side to himself as well. You notice that at least two servants disappear during your training.
Trak bears himself as a true professional - whatever he does, he's good at it. Except in one regard - Elise. During your rare interactions with the two of them, you can sense he harbors quite a bit of affection for the white haired woman. He always attends to his brother before her though.
Elise is just as cold as her sense of style would suggest. The white raven belongs to her. A familiar, if you had to guess. She has let slip that she serves an entity called "The Endless Winter".
Dostan is never far from Elise and never has much to say. Blackerly made a somewhat distasteful joke about the woman at one point and Dostan nearly killed him. One night, while serving a heavily intoxicated Dostan more mead, he lamented to you about the lack of snow down here in the south.