The Quiescence (also called the Sleeping Curse) is the inherent sympathy of Sleepers (and humankind in general) to the Abyss. Mages call it an affliction of the soul that came into being after the Exarchs assumed their Supernal Thrones and Atlantis sunk beneath the sea. The resulting rift between Fallen and Supernal World begat the Abyss, whose very presence dampens the soul spark of beings within the Fallen World, cutting them off from their source in the Supernal Realm. In a sense, the Abyss cuts off the oxygen that the fire of the soul needs to stay alive. It never completely diminishes the spark, but it quells it enough to keep most mortals from realizing the true nature of reality. Instead, they believe the “Lie,” the falsehood shown to them by the Quiescence of their souls.
The Quiescence is even more pernicious, however, in that it actively seeks to keep Sleepers from Awakening. Any hint of the Supernal World is resisted. The very sight or sensation of magic causes a Sleeper’s soul to flinch and the Abyss to stir. Mages believe that this Dissonance is the result of their inherent abyssal sympathy. Sleepers hover near the Void, savoring the far shores on the other side, but have not the strength to attempt the crossing —unless they Awaken.
There are a few mortals whose souls have stirred just enough to rise above the Quiescence, but not enough to be called Awake. They have not heard the call of a Watchtower, and remain ignorant about magic and the truth behind reality unless it is taught to them. These half-aware mortals are called Sleepwalkers, or sometimes “lucid dreamers.”
In the Second Edition, Sleepwalkers now explicitly also includes any mortal who has a supernatural merit or a minor supernatural template, such as Ghouls, Wolf-blooded, psychics, magicians, and the like.