Killing off a character is not really something your GM is aiming to do. Raven understands that you get attached to your character’s story and tries not to be too severe of a bitch in bringing down a doom hammer. Besides, sheeting up a new character and going through the process of a prequel and re-integration with the group? Ugh. Not something Raven wants to repeat ad nauseum.
So in the event that your character does suffer the usual types of lethal damage and die dies, you won’t automatically lose your character. If you hit the Dying mark on your damage, you will go down. You’ll go unconscious. It will be dramatic as you lie there bleeding out, but somehow, you’ll get out of it alive.
You might, however, end up being captured by the enemy. You might get tortured, you might get cursed, you might have nasty things happen. Your character might wish he was dead, but you won’t actually die.
But then… there’s Chimerical Death.
This may happen to you. Chimerical damage is faerie damage that affects the faerie mien. Mortals can’t perceive it. In a sense, it’s make-believe damage, but to changelings, it’s very, very real.
On your +sheet, you have a chimerical health meter. When you hit 0 on it, you chimerically die. You immediately fall unconscious and stay in a coma for a length of time dependent upon your Banality rating (see the Mists chart for that length of time). The character only has fleeting and often nightmarish memories of her faerie life when she regains consciousness, but she believes she is mortal and only mortal. The Mists have reclaimed her.
Fortunately, the changeling can be restored to herself with an infusion of Glamour, though only after she’s awaken from her coma. Chimerical death also earns the character a permanent point of Banality.
For the record, chimerically killing another faerie is seen as counting coup. It’s often not a permanent solution for dealing with an enemy. Just remember, however, that the Dreaming will punish a “chimerical murderer” with a point of temporary Banality. If you then go on to truly murder someone physically as well as chimerically, you’ll get another point of temporary Banality (and because of their extreme sensitivity, all non-Scathach sidhe get double that penalty).
Faerie Death occurs when a changeling is killed with cold iron. The death blow itself has to come from cold iron, at which point the Banal metal absorbs the faerie soul into itself and destroys it utterly. After that, it’s over for the faerie. There will be no rebirth for commoners, and she is lost for all time to the Dreaming. When this happens, the Dreaming itself punishes the murderer with Banality for removing a little bit of magic permanently from the world. It is not something that any faerie lightly undertakes, no matter how homicidal he is.