Nights of the Kindred
There are eleven Keys with which a Wraith can “unlock” Manifestations. Wraith’s powers are stained, flavored by their emotions and deathmarks. When a Wraith opens a conduit and manifests one of his powers, he unlocks that power with a Key. They represent various aspects of death.
Each Wraith gains two Keys at character creation: one determined by their Threshold, and one of their choice, usually one representing an aspect of their death.
Increasingly in modern society, death can occur as a result of machinery going awry. This is represented by the Industrial key. The Industrial Key deals with technology of all sorts. Industrial Manifestations are subjected to “anachrotech modifiers” – that is, they work best on old items of technology. An exception to this rule is the Industrial Rage (it is just as easy to smash a laptop than a 1995 clunker). Interestingly, it is centered around about 1960, with technology older gaining bonuses and technology newer gaining penalities.
Death often is accompanied by strong emotions, particularly fear or anger. The Passion Key deals with manipulating and creating these emotions.
Death can be thought of as a stripping of illusions, that of the impossibility of ones death. This is why a large amount of ghosts are created; a person essentially is saying “I can’t be dead, I’ve still got things to take care of/finish”. The Phantasmal Key deals with illusions ghosts.
The Primeval Key deals with nature, particularly wild animals.
Many cultures, particularly Jewish, hold that the life force resides in the blood. The Stigmata key deals with blood and essence.
Death is stillness and silence, after the movement and cacaphony of life. The Stillness Key allows a Bound to harness these tendencies, also the raising and controlling of corpses and zombies.
The Stygian Key deals with the effects of death itself in a purer form.
There are four Elemental Keys, but they tend to Unlock similar abilities flavored towards a particular element. Unlike the other Keys, they can be thought of to represent various methods of dealing with the bodily remains of the dead. Occasionally – such as with Caul – they are very different. These are:
Cold Wind Key (air)
In Tibet, the most common method of “burial” is known as “Sky burial”. Essentially, the bodies of those who have passed on are placed on a tower or mountain, and left for the animals and elements. The Cold Wind key deals with air and wind, as well as the chilling effects of these.
Grave Dirt Key (earth)
Considered the “standard” method of bodily disposal in the Western world, the Grave Dirt key deals with the element of earth and burial in the ground.
Pyre-flame Key (fire)
Many cultures (particularly Asian) prefer to burn the remains of those who have passed onto the next life. The Pyre-Flame key allows a Bound to to either protect themselves from the energy of fire and funeral pyres, or to make use of the consuming power of flame.
Tear-stained Key (water)
Many nautical people prefer to be “buried at sea”. This key also represents the tears of those mourning the dead. The tear-stained key allows a Bound to access the fluidity and changability of water.