The shadar-kai abandoned the world and entered the Shadowfell in service of the Raven Queen long ago. Many shadar-kai remained close to the god and and established themselves in and around her wintery kingdom, while others spread out through the plane and found new cities.

However, the shadar-kai soon learned that mortals cannot spend too long in this dim realm without succumbing to the spiritual malaise that grips all life in the Shadowfell. The shadar-kai eventually learned to fend off fading into nonexistence through controlled application of extreme pain, extreme pleasure, and other extreme pursuits; such excessive living keeps their souls firmly bound in the flesh…

Heroes of the race try to rise above their fellows, hoping to show the Raven Queen their devotion and thus be brought into her direct service, to be remade as sorrowsworn and perhaps even Raven Knights. to show themselves worthy of such an honor shadar-kai constantly undertake dangerous quests to demonstrate their bravery and prowess. Each attempts to outshine the others, hoping that one dim evening, the Raven Queen will summon them for greater duty.

The above is quoted from p.22 Open Grave: The Secrets of the Undead

One of the items created long ago to anchor the soul to the body is the ancestral Gal-Ralan.

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