uring the time now called the Sundering, a barrier of disbelief and fear divided the lands of the living from those of the dead. This barrier, called the Shroud by many Restless, isolates death from life. Because of this Shroud, historians say, the living fear the dead, while the Restless envy the living and their world of sensation and warmth.
The Shroud is strongest in places where life and reason have banished random chance and mystery. Laboratories, factories, and classrooms have potent “walls” against the supernatural, while places strong in passion or mystic faith – séance parlors, graveyards and homes with small children or troubled adolescents – have thinner barriers. On certain days of the year, the Shroud weakens worldwide. The Restless celebrate their greatest holidays during these times.