Note: This encounter took place before Turn 13
Erebus was sitting in his council chamber, plotting his next move with grim satisfaction. Then he had the sudden urge to vomit as the fabric of the universe was torn open and a man in a hooded cloak stepped out.
"So you're the one who has been gathering her back together," the man said as Erebus fought down his lunch (today had apparently been the wrong day to get takeout from that spicy new restaurant just down the road). The man sat down, not bothering to remove the hood that concealed most of his face. "You have my attention."
Erebus paused, confused. "Um..."
The man sighed and threw back his hood, revealing dark hair and eyes that seemed deeper than the void of space. "What are you doing with Aleta? I've been busy, otherwise I would have confronted you earlier."
"I'm not sure what you mean," Erebus replied, regaining his composure.
Sighing, the man traced a rune onto the table and a magical image of Aleta's face appeared. "Aleta. Immortal individual, one per plane? Two of whom are in your employ? You're allied with an additional one? I don't like it when people interfere with her."
"You've got me all wrong, Master..." Erebus paused, waiting for the strange man to supply a name. When he didn't, Erebus continued. "I'm currently coordinating the defenses of the Infinite Worlds Defense Force, a interplanar coalition designed to promote peace across the infinite worlds and security against threats such as the Flame Dawn, Overseers of Solace, Demons of Torment, or even the now-extinct Sleepers of Avarrach. Aleta has been recruited to our side because of her unique abilities and talents, not for any ulterior motive."
The man laughed. "IWDF? I'm familiar with it. How cute." He leaned forward, his voice dropping. "Listen, kid, if you want to fight the Overseers then that's fine. If you want to fight the Flame Dawn, have fun. But if you harm so much as a single immortal hair on her head, I will find you and I will make you wish that I had killed you."
Erebus paused. What's he so defensive about if she's immortal? She can't die, so nothing I could do would make any difference anyway. "Listen, Master..."
The man leaned back and crossed his arms in front of his chest. "You can call me Ethan."
"Ethan. That's your name?"
"I never said that. Now, you were saying?"
"It strikes me we're on the same side. You appear invested in the Aleta's. The Overseers wish to capture, torture, and even kill them. And with your no doubt considerable abilities, I'm sure that some sort of arrangement can be made. You're very busy?"
"Quite," the man said drily.
"Well, I'm sure I can talk to Syn and the Firmament Foundation would be glad to offer them protection from the Overseers and the Dawn."
"Syn's nothing," the man said dismissively, and Erebus bristled.
I've worked very hard to groom him towards leadership, the general thought, but he hid it behind a smile. "Still, we can keep them safe. You don't like folks interfering with Aleta? Once this war is over I'll turn her over to your supervision. I'm sure we can even arrange for a rescue mission to retrieve the Immortal Sorceress from the demons, though the Descendants of the Dragon won't be pleased about it. The point is, I'm never going to turn away a potential ally and I think we can each do each other good."
"Listen, mortal," the man said coldly, "I don't care about your pretty little alliance, or who rules the planes, or whether or not the whole puffying multiverse is embroiled in an infinite war. I have a bit of unfinished business that I'd rather like to attend to but this convergence at the center of the multiverse is forcing me to take time away from that. If you want me to work with you, you're going to need to offer me something concrete."
"Fine," Erebus said. "What do you require?"
"Nothing," Ethan said. He stood. "I'll be in Avarrach at the conference if you need to speak to me. Otherwise, stay out of my way." Then, slashing his hand through the fabric of reality, he stepped through, the rift sealing itself shut behind him.
Erebus's stomach rumbled. "That's the last time I get that spicy food," he vowed.