King of Keys

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The King of Keys,
"It is said Locks have two purposes: to open, and to remain closed. To be sure of either, the blessing of The Empty hour is needed"
Origin Blood
Titles Heartless Jack, the Dealer, The Grinning Man, The Empty Hour
Names The Chittering Host
Aspects Knock Winter Edge
Date of arrival somewhere before, in the house of the Wyrm
Owner(s) User:DislecticWriter)



The Kings status as an Hour is somewhat debated, as it is known that he was once a Name in service of another Hour in the House of the Wyrm. He wore the name Pawn of Keys then, and was the Name of an Unknown Hour, who was avaricious and paranoid, and feared that others would come to steal his power away from him. The Unknown Hour trusting not even his own Names, all except for his trusty Pawn of Keys. The Hour struck a Deal with the Pawn, who was to lock the Hours power away safely. So his Name did, by locking it in his own chest. What became of the Hour after this is unknown, though by all accounts, it didn’t pass into Nowhere. It is said that it remains, asleep or feeble or ensnared somehwere in the mansus, having lost its power and its identity to the former pawn, who henceforth styled himself King.

The Wyrm did not look kindly upon this act, and some form of retribution was brought down upon The King of Keys, stripping him of flesh and denying the power of wounds to him. This did not seem to slow the Grinning Man down however, who was after that one of the most active Hours for mortals to deal with. He answered every summons of mortal adept, and would listen to their plies or bargains silently. Those who could not pay their depts to him where pulled into his service, turned into puppets hung from his empty chest. From that they on, their voices would barter for the King.

After the Collission the behavior of the King has changed a little. While he still answers every call, and is makes deals for Opening, Safeguarding, Revealing or Containing whatever another wishes, his the ensnared Puppets behave differently now. Instead of one speaking at the time, they are all chattering through eachother, taunting, giggling or bargaining at the same time, while the skull of the King of Keys simply watching the deal being struck from above. What happened exactly is unknown, but some brave scholars have speculated that the Chittering host may have Usurped the King of Keys like he once did his own master.

Because of the unclear nature of the power here, Wether it is with the Unknown Hour, The King of Keys or the Chittering Host, the Hour of the King of Keys is also called the Empty Hour sometimes, a powervaccuum which is struggled over from within.

Since the Collision


The King of Keys usually appears as an inhumanly tall skeleton, whose arms and chest is drapped with many iron chains. On the end of those dangle keys of all shapes and sizes, and from his shoulders and ribs hemp robes with puppets hang. In the center of his ribcage on left side, a chest hangs suspended on five chains. The Skull of The King of Keys never speaks, only grinning.

In dreams, he is known to appear in the shape of a white faced baboon, crawling with ants.

As Heartless Jack, he is described as a gentlemen thief, with a shotwound in in his torso and no skin on his face.


The King of Keys governs opening and closing, revealing and keeping, give and take. he loves people who want what does not belong to them, go where they shouldn't, and also those feel deeply about their secrets and their treasures He also represents combat of the mental or verbal variety, ambition, and usurption of power through guile

Knock for revealing and uncovering, Winter for safeguarding and suppressing, Edge for mental strife and usurpation


We call upon the King of Keys,

... who bears many gifts,

... who keeps eternal,

... who smiles at lies

The King of keys worship (and worshippers) can be divided into two categories.

Ambition: The King if Keys is worshipped more for what he offers then what he represents. Those that strive for things they should not have or have access to yet implore the King of Keys in their ordeals. The thief who wants to crack the safe, the explorer who wants access to the tomb, the adept that wants to take a shortcut to a deeper understanding of the lore. He is also worshipped by those who want to rise above their station, get promoted, take over leadership. The final aspect of this is those that have things they want to keep, locking away stolen goods, squirreling away secrets.

Safety: The king is also worshipped by the mournful and the shameful. Throughout the ages since the Kings ascension, people have been burying their loved ones in a locked chest filled with valuables, offering them up for the King of Keys to claim. Everyone knows The Empty Hour keeps what his eternal, and wherever his treasure hordes me be, it is probably better there in to descend into nowhere. Otherwise, there is safety in forgetting and losing. Those that worry about things they know or have done offer it up to the key to keep it safe from others or themselves.


founding Knock cult: We start a cult to the principles of openings and revelation, to the Wyrm that knows the right way, and Heartless Jack who offers the wrong way.

cult: The Door-Enders Society

initiate a member: The rite must begin with all doors locked. In the end they will all be open.

promote a disciple: at thresholds, a blade can be a key. The eyes that open this night may never be closed.

promote a Key: at dusk, my disciple is bricked into a room without doors. By dawn, they will kneel before me once more.


  1. Temptation: Phrase:
  2. Dedication: Phrase:
  3. Ascension: Phrase:
  4. Ascension: Phrase:
  5. Ascension: Phrase:
  6. Ascension: Phrase:
  7. Ending:



'"let us hear it then? what do you need? what do you want? and what is it worth to you?"

The Slack-Neck Debtors

The Slack-neck Debtors.
'"let us hear it then? what do you need? what do you want? and what is it worth to you?"'
Summon one of the Name-emanations of the King of Keys
The door swings open, and hoarse whispers fill the room, and every word pains both them and me.
A deal is made, and payment do. Did I bargain as well as I thought? He simply smiled the whole way through...
Knock 5
Edge 10
Grail 2


Card Saint
'As the hour it follows, it does not speak, and it won't help you, but offers chances to the daring'
Summon one of the voiceless dead, who escaped the Knotted Rooms and entered the service of the King-as-Dealer
It must be summoned with an an equal understanding of what can be gained, how to obtain it, and what may be lost in the process.
It makes no sounds, besides the shuffling of the cards, the shuffle, the shuffle. He offers an Arena, I must supply the adversaries.
Knock 5
Winter 5
Edge 5


The Mansus

The Heartless Chest

In a room with no doors, the King of Keys hoards all his treasures. Even his stolen Power can be found here, and many adept journeys into the Mansus to gain access to it. Few return.

The Knotted Halls

A labyrinthine section of the mansus, within which the Heartless Chest is rumored to be found. Three entrances have been reported, but to exit it one must have the favor of the King of Keys. As all wise adepts know, Heartless Jack offers help to all, but helps no one.

The Knotted Halls reach many places, but the path is winding and no known exits exist.

The Card Saints, those spirits in service of King-as-Dealer, who offer a game of skill, wit and chance to people in the Know, or dreamers with wild goals they can't achieve in the Wake.

The Histories



  • t
    • Aspects: Knock12 Edge12


  • The Template's
    • Aspects: Knock1 Winter1


  • Lips Locked
    • Aspect: Winter5 Knock2
    • Description: for smile or sob or cry for help, my teeth will not seperate today. The Grinning man has taken my voice from me, and only what he lacks may return it to me.
    • Subvert: Pounding Airs or stronger Heart influence to create Lips Parted
    • Decays: Dread
  • Lips Parted
    • Aspect: Knock5 Heart2 Lantern2 Grail2 Secret Histories2
    • Description: My mouth spills over with potential, secrets and sighs may escape me unbidden today
    • Decays: Subtle Fracture
  • Fascination
    • Aspect: Moth2 Memory influence Ill Health
    • Description: I have felt the bladed key pass through my skull, and turn behind my eyes. I can not forget what has been revealed to me.
    • Decays:
  • The Doorless Room
    • Aspect: Winter10 Knock10
    • Description: It inspires fascination to those outside, and terror to those inside.
    • Decays: Bitter Atmosphere


  • The 31th Indictment (Indictments correspond to hour number. Everyone gets one but you can have more books than just that)
    • Description:
    • Start Text:
    • End Text:
    • Gives:


  • Offering at a Treshhold
    • Description: The power of Wounds have been stripped from the King of Keys along with his flesh. But he still accepts them as an offering, if made with an object of power in front of a locked door.
    • Requires: Location, Tool, Mortal. The Mortal will be scarred in the process. The location is the secret hide out, and must have the aspect ???, ??? or ???.
    • Gives:


  • Kingslock
    • The Grinning man has been employed to safeguard this location. We must either offer a better deal or implore a greater power to gain access.

We call upon the Old Wyrm...

Knock2 ...who opens what must be opened. But our reasoning for opening may not please him. we may gain access, but our chances are slim.

Knock5...for whom no price is too great. The Old Wyrm will take on the debt with the King of Keys. But these Hours have History, and victory is not assured.

Knock10 ...who journeyed and returned. The Final Door has opened to the Wyrm, and lesser wards shudder at his passing. The Lock will probably not hold

We call upon the King of Keys,

Edge2 ... who bears many gifts. But the multitudes can be confusing, and my minion is likely to be outsmarted. he may yet outwit the King of Keys, but it is not likely.

Edge5 ... who keeps eternal. The King of Keys does not give up his treasures easily, and while my follower is bright and sharp, good terms are not assured.

Edge10 ... who smiles at lies. My follower barters bravely, and the Dealer enjoys the effort of the bold. The deal is likely to be favorable to us.

If you fail with an Edge aspect, the door will still open, but your minion will have made a Bad Deal

    • Bad Deal **

Payment is due, and my minion has offered more then he has. In a Season of Debts, the minion will be sucked up and lose 2 of their aspect.


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