Although it does not produce as useful effects as Inhabit or Castigate, Keening is nonetheless a treasured art in the Shadowlands because of the potential power it has. More than anything else, it makes a wraith feel emotional again. Chanteurs can create strong emotions and reactions in almost anyone they chose, and it’s an experience that some wraiths would give their unlives to have again, even if the emotions are artificial sensations made from a manipulative wraith.
Chanteurs primarily work through song, although merely speaking or shouting may have their desired effect. Although Keening can be used with large groups of wraiths, Chanteurs prefer to focus on one target at a time.
Mistakes made with Keening can have severe repercussions. The most common is for an intended positive emotion to backfire and become a negative one, but in extreme cases of misfortune, a Chanteur has been known to be driven mad by his own power.
- Perfect Pitch: A Chanteur can tell when another wraith is using Keening.
- Sotto Voce: A Chanteur can hide their use of Keening from other wraiths.
First / Second Edition
- Dirge: A Chanteur can strengthen a listener’s darker emotions (sadness, anger, grief).
- Ballad: A Chanteur may inspire a listener's higher emotions (love, happiness, joy).
- Muse: A Chanteur can make a suggestion to others to do their bidding.
- Crescendo: A Chanteur can physically damage wraiths with a scream. If Embodied, they can terrify the Quick to the point of harm.
- Requiem: A Chanteur can fill someone with a completely overwhelming emotion.
20th Anniversary Edition
Basic abilities were dropped in the 20th anniversary edition.
The standard powers of Keening are the same as previous editions, with the following exceptions, which replace the skills of the same level or where noted.
- Hearing Voices: A Chanteur can make their voice appear to come from a nearby object or person.
- Mood Music: A Chanteur can inspire both positive and negative emotions in their listeners.
- Satire: A Chanteur can ruin a wraith's social standing with a story or song.
Wraith: The Great War
Keening abilities during the Great War are the same as the basic abilities and standard powers with the following exceptions, which replace the skills of the same level or where noted.
- Brenden's Lay: A Chanteur can travel without harm through a Maelstrom so long as they continue a chosen song.
- Songs of the Living: A Chanteur can fill a song with life and use it to damage a Spectre.
20th Anniversary Edition
The 20th anniversary edition introduces the initiate arts, a set of Keening abilities available to members of the Chanteurs' Guild with sufficient standing.
- Sotto Voce: This is essentially the same as the old basic ability.
- Cacophony: A Chanteur can deafen and disorientate everyone nearby, and disrupt other uses of Keening.
- Siren Song: A Chanteur can enthrall a victim, making it easy for them to submit to the Chanteur's influence.
- Banshee: A Chanteur can inflict injuries on a victim that won't take effect until a specified condition occurs.
- Out Of Tune: A Chanteur can temporarily disrupt a wraith's attunements.
- Distraction (Renegades): A Chanteur can hum or whistle a tune that interferes with Barghests.
- Spectre Song (The Sea of Shadows): A Chanteur can imitate a Spectre’s moans and screams.
- WTO: Wraith: The Oblivion Second Edition, p. 146-147
- , p. 119-120
- WTO: Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 181-184
- WTO: Renegades, p. 92
- WTO: The Sea of Shadows, p. 91-92
|Wraith: The Oblivion Arcanoi|
|The Great 13||Argos · Castigate · Embody · Fatalism · Inhabit · Keening · Lifeweb · Moliate · Outrage · Pandemonium · Phantasm · Puppetry · Usury|
|Forbidden||Flux · Intimation · Mnemosynis|
|Dark Arcanoi||Blighted Insight · Contaminate · Corruption · False Life · Hive-Mind · Larceny · Maleficence · Shroud-Rending · Tempest-Weaving · Tempestos|
|Risen||Fascinate · Serendipity|
|Jade||Chains of the Emperor · Way of the Artisan · Way of the Farmer · Way of the Merchant · Way of the Scholar · Way of the Soul|
|Miscellaneous||Alloyed · Behest · Connaissance · Displace · Kinesis · Leechcraft · Tempered|