Verdun was the site of the Battle of Verdun in 1916 during World War I. One of the costliest battles of the war, Verdun exemplified the policy of a 'war of attrition' pursued by both sides, which led to an enormous loss of life. One of the soldiers present during the battle was fourteen-year-old Stefan Wasserman. On June 10th, "went over the top" and suffered from an extreme case of shellshock. He was incapable of sleeping. The doctors could not explain his condition. Wasserman's inability to sleep was directly tied to an incident taking place in Wych Cross, England where occult magus Alexander Burgess had succeeded in capturing the personification of dreams himself - Morpheus.