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A spirit is a disembodied entity that originates in, and usually dwells in, the Umbra. Spirits are primarily encountered by Garou and certain types of mages, although numerous other supernatural beings are capable of discerning or even interacting with the spirit world. Mages use the term Umbrood as an umbrella term for spirits, to minimize confusion with the Sphere of Awakened magic that is also called Spirit. Wraiths and demons are among the more specialized types of spirits, and many references to “spirits” specifically do not include these two types of beings.
Spirits usually only have the traits of Rage, Gnosis, and Willpower; they do not normally possess Attributes or Abilities. However, many Umbrood spirits and demons are exceptions to this rule. Spirits possess distinctive and sometimes unique powers called Charms, which have effects based on the spirit’s nature. For example, elementals can create whatever element they embody and can blast opponents with their element in combat, and the bane-spirits that serve the malefic Wyrm have powers of corruption, suffering, and decay.
Some spirits can use the Materialize charm, which allows them to cross the Penumbra into the material world for a time; spirits usually manifest predetermined ratings in their Attributes and Abilities while materialized. Other spirits can cross over permanently by binding themselves to a mortal (or rarely an animal, object, or place) via the Possession charm. The resulting mortal-spirit hybrid becomes one of four known types of Possessed: fomori, which serve the destructive and corrupt Wyrm; drones, which serve the stifling, static Weaver; gorgons, which serve the chaotic and generative Wyld; and the rare kami, which serve Gaia, the spirit of the Earth itself.
Spirits and the spirit world are a major aspect of the lives and cultures of the Garou and the other Changing Breeds. In particular, Theurges are specialists in bargaining with spirits via chiminage and binding them via Gifts and rites. Every caern has a spirit (or multiple spirits) bound to protect it, almost every pack has a guardian totem, and most shapechangers have one or more fetishes. Werewolves deal with fomori and other Possessed far more frequently than any other supernaturals, as they are sworn enemies of the Wyrm and its spawn.