Blood and Silver
Location: The Umbra (Near Realm)
Occupants: Damned souls and Charyss, mistress of the realm.
Often compared to Garou “hell,” Erebus is actually a place of spiritual cleansing. Erebus is filled with rivers of molten silver which both burn and heal at the same time, extending the torment of the inmates for months, years, possibly even centuries.
Werewolves end up in Erebus when they have become too tainted by one of the members of the Triat, most often the Wyrm. Either the werewolf will journey to Erebus to be cleansed, or will be dragged there by other werewolves.
Erebus is well defended, so the chances of breaking someone out of this place are slim. There is virtually no chance that an inmate will escape before his time is up. The gates of Erebus are guarded by Cerberus, a great three-headed monster hound. Each of its heads reflects an aspect of the Triat. The guards within Erebus are called The Brood and appear to be huge, hairless Crinos Garou with burning red eyes and armed with huge silver spears that burn with fire.
The Realm can be easily accessed through the Silver Path, a vast Moon Bridge that leads directly to the gate of the realm that is guarded by Cerberus. Visitors are usually escorted by members of the Brood along a path made of silver. Garou that step from the path risk falling into the rivers.
Erebus is a vast plain of jagged black rock that stretches almost to the horizon. The vista is only broken by the large pools and streams of molten silver that dot the landscape. Numerous tunnels lay beneath, each carrying a river of silver with it that ultimately spill out to a dizzyingly high waterfall that tumbles into a vast lake at the nadir of the realm. Within the lake other Garou thrash about in agony, sentenced to suffer in the liquid metal until their spirits are cleansed of taint and sin. Members of the Brood use rafts to cross the lake to reach the fortress of the Incarna Charyss, the mistress of the Realm.
Hidden within Charyss’ fortress are the halls of the Harrowers and Castigators. Each Garou that is delivered into the rivers has a mystical link with the silver mirrors that line their walls. The laws of Erebus give access to a werewolf’s body, mind and soul while she is submerged in the silver waters, and these mirrors are the gateways. The Brood works in pairs to step through the mirrors and into each sufferer’s mind. Here they work to seek out the sources of guilt, force the Garou to confront each and acknowledge her failure, and then purge her of sin.
A purified Garou is brought before Charyss, who evaluates her and tells her that the great secret of Erebus is that the realm itself cannot force repentance and that the only way to purification is the Garou herself. She grants the redeemed werewolf the Rite of the Silver Forge and guides him to the Silver Gate, which will transport her anywhere she wishes.
Erebus seems to be Garou-exclusive, with members of every tribe of the Nation being present among the souls in purgatory. There are stories of Black Spiral Dancers that are trapped in the silver lake, slowly being purged from the Wyrm’s clutches. So far, it is unknown what would happen if one of these Garou would be fully cleansed. They could be the first uncorrupted White Howlers, or they could be born anew in Gaia’s eyes, ready to choose a new tribe for themselves.
It is unknown if other Fera have a similar realm for penance. Most do not enjoy the close ties to the Umbra as the werewolves do, and some hold that Erebus was only created after the War of Rage, when the Werewolves proved their hubris. Others tell of Corax hanging in whitehot golden cages from Modgudur’s Tree, or Mokolé wandering in waterless deserts as winds that carry gold and silver shrapnels tear at their flesh, but the Breeds remain silent in that matter. It is unlikely that any Garou would gain access to these realms.
Amun intended to banish his brother Veles to this realm if he agreed to be spared and undergo purification. When he denied and was killed, someone had to take his place lest the ritual backlash against the ritemasters. While Jack “Hunts the Tainted” Shepherd intended to make that sacrifice, Amun pushed him away and leapt through himself. When he returned only two months later, he bore no actual memories of the place, only painful impressions. – Summer Snows