Though "kami" is a Japanese word for spirits, in capitalized form it has also been used by Garou and other shapeshifters around the world to refer to a breed of half-spirit entities in the service of Gaia. These Kami are Gaia's equivalent to the Wyrm's Fomori or the Weaver's Drones, but are far rarer than Fomori (Drones may be rarer still, but are basically indestructible, while Kami may or may not even possess combat prowess). Most are created by binding a Gaian spirit into a human, animal, or even a plant or landform, although some Kami are "naturally occurring", the result of a spiritual awakening in a section of the natural world. Technically, the changing breeds could have originated as Kami, though they are not currently considered such.
Several varieties of kami exist:
- Human Kami - Fusions of a human being and a Gaian spirit, these are extremely rare, but possess an understanding of the nature of Gaia unheard-of in normal humans, and thus are very valuable to the Gaian cause (although Garou may view them as ill-appreciated rivals). They may or may not be visibly transformed by their connection to Gaia. A few are combat-capable, but most develop healing or cleansing powers.
- Animal Kami - Animals of any variety can become kami hosts; they generally develop human-level (though not necessary human-like) intelligence, and may have powers enough to be formidable opponents even when small in size.
- Plant Kami - Generally ancient trees imbued with sentience and mobility, these are among the most likely Kami to awaken spontaneously rather than be created by a ritualist, although this occurs only in locations of deep wilderness which are either untouched by humanity or frequented only by spiritualistic native cultures.
- Awakened Landscapes - Entire regions and ecosystems may have a "genius loci" or regional spirit which is aware and able to influence events in the area; these kami are almost never artificially created, but evolve in areas where Gaia's power is strong (before the sundering, all areas of Earth might have possessed such spirits). Usually these kami will manifest their power subtly, through movements of local animals, plants, landforms or even people, but they can also sometimes act directly by manifesting an avatar, although they cannot move from the region they represent.
- Rorqual - A specific variety of animal Kami native to Gaia's oceans, the rorqual are whales or dolphins imbued with Gaian spirits that enable them to act as Gnosis batteries for the Rokea weresharks, who often have no access to Grottoes (caerns) due to frequenting the middle layers of the ocean. The Rokea are fiercely protective of the rorqual, who possess only spiritual power and are defenseless against the minions of Qyrl (the undersea reflection of the Wyrm), as well as from human whalers.