The Shroud

The Shroud is a realm in which the Dream Lords and their supplicants exist during the Torpor. The Shroud differs from the concrete reality of Geron, existing as a kind of mutative influence which corrupts the real world with its powers. Driven by the powerful and ancient minds of the Dream Lords, the Shroud is an imposition on reality which represents the collective idealizations of the Dream Lords. As the Dream Lords gain more or power, so does the Shroud. To the natives of Geron, the Shroud is a poisonous radiance exuded by people, places and things corrupted by it. Like light, the energy of the Shroud can be focused and refracted, and even kept at bay by certain substances and land formations.

Even though the Shroud is an energy, it's capable of warping and influencing the real world, especially in the presence of ancient artifacts or places which channel its power. Some believe the Shroud represents a future which the Dream Lords are working towards, others believe the Shroud is a raw force which can be manipulated and manifested through arcane magic. Regardless of one's belief, the Shroud is a powerful and seductive force through which time and space can easily be cheated, but at the cost of bringing the subject closer to the Shroud's corrupting influences which cause the subject to undergo certain irreversible physical and mental changes.

Though the Shroud is a manifestation of the will of the Dream Lords, it has its own ecosystem complete with parasites, freeloaders and roaming nightmares which the Dream Lords are unable to control. In many ways, these creatures are similar to those found in the Immortal Forest. Some people speculate that many of these lifeforms were native to Akashar before the planet became a wasteland, and both the Shroud and the Immortal Forest represent the experimental efforts of both the Shi'Xul and the Akkan-Shai to save what they could of their world.

Since time and space within the Shroud is not a constant, whirlpools and tides of time exist within it that can distort reality. In places where the radiance of the Shroud is condensed by artifacts or natural features, 'ghosts', 'poltergeists' and other strange reflections of the past may interact with the present, real world. For some, this is proof of life after death. For others, phantoms of the Shroud represent fragments of time and space experienced outside the natural order, still powerful within their own right.

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