The Dark Hour
Most people are unaware of the hour between Midnight and 12:01. While Amber’s populace (and likely all of Creation as well) is transmogrified, a rare few known as Persona-Users (or Conduits) can move freely during the Dark Hour.
A Persona is another ‘you,’ a reflection of your inner-self. It possesses a variety of powers and skills that allow the user to perform legendary feats, including combating Shadows. Only through experience can you learn to utilize all of its strengths, as well as recognize its weaknesses.
These unsettling creatures only appear during the Dark Hour. Their appearance and abilities vary tremendously, but all are predatory and dangerous. If someone is unlucky enough to experience the Dark Hour, they risk having their minds devoured unless they possess the ability to fight the Shadows.
Normal people, who do not experience the Dark Hour, spend it ‘transmogrified’ into coffin-like objects (or Chrysalis). All their senses are suspended, and they have no memory of what occurs during the unearthly period of time.
An ominous tower that appears during the Dark Hour, rising from the foundations of Castle Amber. Its impossible height and architecture contain an ever-changing labyrinth populated by Shadows.
The Wake is a shadowy facet of the Creation—a distorted reflection of known reality. It exists between the Flux of Soul—better known as Tir-na Nog'th—and the material world, although it resides much closer to 'reality' that most would like to believe. It consists of the spiritual remnants of inanimate objects, human emotions, and the residual energy left behind by the dead. All that is in the 'real' world has an influence over in The Wake. Every river, forest, or building has a reflection in The Wake, much like an echo of the true object.
Visually, The Wake resembles the True World, but its appearance varies depending on the emotions that reign in a specific location. If, for example, a meadow is influenced by positive feelings, then it will appear as an idyllic paradise of natural beauty and serenity. On the other hand, in places where negative emotions such as fear or pain hold sway, The Wake turns dark and gloomy, adopting the shape of a nightmare. Prisons and old battlefields are areas where the somber marks are greatest—transforming the The Wake into miniature hells.
Nor is the Wake is a solitary place. In many cases, dreams and nightmares coalesce into living entities. Most of these spirits possess only a rudimentary intelligence, but gain true sentience. Sometimes these spirits will interact with the True World; although their manifestations are typically limited to one location. Familiars, for example, utilize the Three Cords to anchor themselves to the Real World. To refer to these beings as ghosts, however, is erroneous. They are not true souls, but merely psychic collections thereof.