Every Gate has a Key.
Keys are objects that unlock Gates
, supernatural portals between worlds. Like Gates, Keys can hold many forms, from the mundane to the ethereal, and it is even possible to hold Keys without realizing it. Every Gate has at least one Key, though some have several - and some Keys work for entire types of Gates. These are highly sought after by both Walkers
and monsters, allowing an easy stride between planes.
Types Of Keys
Some common form of Keys are
An often-found Key, some Gates respond to any number of normal items. A football, a dagger, a bullet casing fired in anger - often, they are imbued with meaning. Frequently victims of Destiny.
Not a spell, but something greater. Rituals are when the stars align, when the songs are sung to the wind, when All Things Are As They Should, and the Gate opens to those who perform it.
The crudest of Gates open by the most simple means. These tend to fall into sough categories, such as a spell of fire or flesh-warping. Some require much more esoteric magic.
A more ghoulish kind of Ritual, Sacrifices require blood and pain to unlock the magic within the Gate. Depending on the Gate, it ranges from blood-letting to butchery.
Some Gates open only to Keys found in the human heart. Anger, love, virtue, fear - madness is a frequent Key, but one difficult to really use with any reliability, but that hasn't stopped people from trying.
The rarest of Keys. These tend to be one-and-done, specific to one Walker, while other open to a host of often suppressed details, hidden deep within the mind. Recalling them provides the key.
Some Keys cannot be owned, but exist when the times are right. When the stars are right, when the equinox passes its highest point, when jupiter shines the brightest in the sky... These events open dormant gates, usually with unpredictable and unexpected results. These Keys are the most common cause for the Lost
, poor sods whose passage to another world was entirely by misfortune and accident.
Turning The Key
Don't let go of my hand, no matter what the voices in the mist say.
Using a Key is often as simple as being aware of it. Mortals without magic ability, or Mundies, lack the metaphorical third eye to see a Key or Gate for what they truly are. Even when they might have theoretical knowledge of its purpose and value, a Key requries... Something else. Something beyond knowledge - something closer to insight, or inspiration. Whatever it is, it's usually coupled with magic ability. There are exceptions to every rule, but those are rare and usually bad news.