There are ten Keys, four of which are tied together loosely. As noted previously, each Key is associated with one or more Skills when paired with a particular Manifestation. For example, the Stillness Key is usually associated with Stealth (which is used when the Sin-Eater wishes to conceal his movements) and Subterfuge (which is used when the Sin-Eater wishes to conceal his intentions).

Keys represent a particular way of interfacing with the energies of death and the Underworld. They are, in a sense, crystallized symbols that take on supernatural relevance to a character. The Stigmata Key, for instance, represents a particular connection to the flow of blood and ectoplasm. Perhaps a Sin-Eater with this Key was drenched in his own blood during the Bargain, and the Key emerged from this pivotal moment. Or perhaps his geist is a thing of weeping wounds, the Key a measure of its own nature. By using a Key to unlock a Manifestation, a Sin-Eater gives that ghostly energy focus and form. A Sin-Eater begins play with two Keys, but may purchase others with experience points. The purchase of a new Key usually represents the geist evolving into something greater and more versatile even as the Bound gains mastery over a new aspect of death: only together can they become something greater than they were at the moment of the Bargain.

The Elemental Keys

The Elemental Keys are a cluster of four separate Keys, each of which must be purchased individually. Loosely associated with the four elements of classical alchemy, each of these Keys combines an archetypal element with the symbolism of death and decay.

  • Kalla vindens nyckel is associated with the element of air, with storms and cold, and with the last gasp of the dying.
  • Gravjordsnyckeln is associated with the element of earth, with subterranean environments, and with cemeteries and catacombs.
  • Likbålets nyckel is associated with the element of fire, with ashy remains, and with those who have died of immolation.
  • Tårdränkta nyckeln is associated with the element of water, with drowning, and with burial at sea. Generally, an Elemental Key may only be used to unlock a Manifestation in an elementally favorable environment or else the Manifestation will be less useful in a contrary elemental environment.

Industriella nyckeln

Industriella nyckeln (The Industrial Key) grants influence over the trappings of (relatively) modern society. Manifestation effects that allow the Sin-Eater to control machinery, to “see” through a telephone, or to destroy a computer with a mere touch require the Industrial Key to unlock. However, the Industrial Key is usually only of use within a civilized setting and is of little utility in rural areas. Ironically, it is also less valuable in areas that are too civilized. The Industrial Key works best on archaic or anachronistic technology and suffers heavy penalties when affected with modern technological devices, generally according to the following chart.


(The Passion Key)
The Passion Key allows the Sin-Eater to shape the emotional responses of other people and to instill emotional resonances within places or things. If a particular house frightens away children or a particular lake attracts young lovers, it is likely because such locales carry the emotional resonances governed by this Key. Use of this Key can alter the Sin-Eater’s own emotions, though to a much lesser degree, as something of a side effect — many Bound find themselves moved by haunting currents of wrath or sorrow when they unlock another’s passion.

Hjärnspökets nyckel

(The Phantasm Key)
The Phantasmal Key aids the Sin-Eater in shaping illusions. But these illusions are far more than simple glamours — when used to unlock the most powerful Manifestations, the Phantasmal Key can create an illusion so terrifying that it can drive men mad or so realistic that it can cause physical injury. The Bound who use this Key frequently are themselves given to glimpses of odd hallucinations now and again. Experience allows a Sin-Eater to ignore these figments easily enough, but some grow to almost enjoy the experience.

Urtidens nyckeln

(The Primeval Key)
The Primeval Key unlocks Manifestations that grant influence over nature and forests. It also grants authority over the animal kingdom and allows the Sin-Eater to acquire animalistic traits. Finally, it allows for influence over certain phenomena associated with ancient fertility rites pertaining to death and rebirth. The Primeval Key is the Key most commonly associated with raw physical power and with nature. Primeval Manifestations may trigger a faint feral response in the Sin-Eater for their duration. The Sin-Eater does not lose her cognitive abilities, but she grows somewhat more prone to think in terms of “fight or flight.”

Stigmatans nyckel

(The Stigmata Key)
The Stigmata Key uses blood and sacrifice to assert dominance over the spirit world. To Sin-Eaters, blood is more than a bodily fluid — it is the river of life, and it has been used both to propitiate and to bind both ghosts and spirits since time immemorial. Manifestations unlocked by the Stigmata Key allow the Sin-Eater to influence or even harm ghosts and spirits, to bind them in place, and to mimic their special properties. Unless stated differently under a particular Manifestation’s description, a character unlocking a Manifestation with the Stigmata Key may choose to take a point of lethal damage in lieu of spending a Willpower point, or a point of bashing damage instead of spending a point of plasm. The damage must be deliberate and ritualistic in nature. Damage inflicted in combat (whether upon the Sin-Eater or by him) will not satisfy this requirement.

Stillhetens nyckel

(The Stillness Key)
The Stillness Key assists the Sin-Eater in her more subtle endeavors. Manifestations unlocked with it aid in stealth, invisibility, and in dulling the senses of others. The Stillness Key seems to work best when the Sin-Eater remains utterly silent. Be it superstition or something more potent, those who use this Key tend to avoid speaking even to friends when its powers are in play.

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