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Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Summerset Isles
Region Summerset Isle
Appears in Arena, ESO
Shimmerene ca. 2E 582
Map of the Summerset Isles
"None can match the beauty of Shimmerene, the city of lights. Be welcome and merry, for what is ours is yours. However, if you come to steal tread lightly, the guards do not take kindly to would be thieves..." — In-game description in Arena

Shimmerene is one of the eight major cities in the province of the Summerset Isles,[1] located on the east-central coast of the main island. Known colloquially as the City of Lights, Shimmerene is a bustling port-town where the majority of the main island's import, from nearby Auridon or even the mainland of Tamriel comes from. It is also the gateway for many foreigners coming into Summerset Isle.[2][3]

Layout and Geography[edit]

The city's banner

Shimmerene is a dense, seaside town built on a hill that overlooks the Auridon Strait, the large body of water that separates the main island from Auridon.[3] Not only does it anchor the vineyards of Russafeld, a large stretch to the other side of the island,[2] but the city also sits near a crossroad in eastern Summerset that connects three-ways to the other corners of the island. Outside of Shimmerene's walls are a couple of noteworthy landmarks, such as the Caomus River running from the southern mountains past Tor-Hame-Khard that empties between Shimmerene proper and the dockworks. Some of the old ruins just outside of it were originally used by monastic orders, such as the Psijic Order in their original headquarters, the Keep of the Eleven Forces,[UOL 1] and especially the monks of Eldbur, with their monastery in the northwest[4] and sanctuary in the southwest.[5] Shimmerene is neighbored by several settlements, including Rosefield to the west and Silver Wood to the far southeast.[1]

Shimmerene is a large city built in the main island's architectural style with one entrance in its western wall, a long stairway from the main road. From there, the first place of note is the town square marked by a fountain, where the streets diverge north and east. Traveling north, the streets become narrow and confined together by high walls and arches. They descend toward the waterfront which is wide and open-aired, fit for large vessels. There is a gated bridge on the river mouth that branches the city proper with the Shimmerene Dockworks, a long street down the coast with warehouses for shipwrights. The street east of the town square is a path along the south wall that climbs around Shimmerene's hill. The highest peak of the hill is occupied by the Monastery of Serene Harmony, a large temple and center of divine worship in the city. Both the north and east sections connect to each other at the base of the hill in narrow alleys between tall buildings. There is a lake along the eastern street and there is also a hedge maze at the base of the hill, near the waterfront.[6]

Notable Locales[edit]

  • Shimmerene Palace[8]
  • Shimmerene Dockworks


The Waterworks
Kinlady Avinisse of Shimmerene

Shimmerene is an ancient settlement, one that dates back before King's Haven Pass was an active trade route that connected it to Corgrad.[9] Since well into the mid-First Era, the people of Shimmerene had built their labyrinthine waterworks piece by piece underneath the city until its completion by roughly the mid-Second Era.[10] When the Interregnum broke out, the city-state's traditional celebration, the Shimmerene Soiree ceased indefinitely.[11]

By the mid-Second Era, Shimmerene and its environs were governed by Canonreeve Elquisa, a title given to her by her cousin, Avinisse, the Kinlady of Shimmerene. Despite her cousin's superior rank, Elquisa oversaw the bureaucracy that saw the city running operationally.[12] In 2E 582, the High Queen of the Summerset Isles, Ayrenn made an official decree that opened the main island to the people of mainland Tamriel. This decree was met with open opposition from many nobles, but most notably from Kinlady Avinisse.[13] The kinlady wrote a book called "A Rejection of Open Borders" which provided her case against the decree and called it many things, from radical to unwarranted.[14] Despite her claims, Shimmerene saw a lot of activity because of it and as it was the gateway for many into the island.[3]

At around this time, the kinlady appointed a new Aldarch of the Serene Harmony Monastery named Tilcalar, whose origins were completely unknown but came highly recommended by Kinlord Milunthel. The two made a deal in which the Aldarch would secure the interest of Shimmerene and the Summerset Isles by placing newcomers under a "cultural assessment" and sending them back home.[15][16] In actuality, they were placed in prisons underneath the monastery[15] and Tilcalar sacrificed them in the name of his patron, Clavicus Vile. One of the Eyes of the Queen, Razum-dar traveled to Shimmerene to uncover newcomer disappearances and with the help of a newcomer and Valsirenn of the Psijic Order, uncovered his plot and his association with a cult called the Court of Bedlam. Razum-dar and the newcomer defeated Aldarch Tilcalar in the Coral Forest.[17]

During the Imperial Simulacrum in the late Third Era, the city-state of Shimmerene was an active settlement. It was ruled by Queen Shashara and had a rivalry with several settlements, namely Dusk, Skywatch, and Sunhold.[8] By the waning years of the Third Era, the youth of the province had organized a movement to reject the High Elves' old way of life and disinterest of foreign customs, in favor of one that sought to accept new cultures from the mainland. Despite this, a darker side had manifested in the form of a guerrilla faction known as the Beautiful, who had taken extreme measures to ensure their goals. One of these actions was the assassination of the King of Shimmerene's daughter, which sparked massive public outrage.[18]

Known Rulers[edit]

  • The Second Era
    • Kinlady Avinisse (ca. 2E 582) (Avinisse is the ruler of Shimmerene but her cousin, Elquisa is the one who governs the city)[12]
  • The Third Era
  • The Fourth Era (once the Thalmor came into power, they abolished the monarchy across the Summerset Isles)[19]


The Monastery of Serene Harmony
The Mother of Rats
For Altmer culture as a whole, see the: Culture section on the Altmer page.

The study of genealogy and ancestry, known in High Elvish as "aednavorith" is a topic of endless interest to the people of the Summerset Isles, but the scholars at the Monastery of Serene Harmony are said to be the very best in the entire province.[20] The monastery is generally a place of meditation and peace,[21] and it has shrines dedicated to the Altmeri pantheon.[22]

In the mid-Second Era, there was an elusive and famous figure that lived in Shimmerene's waterworks called the Mother of Rats, an Apraxic Mer that overwatched the community of people that have been rejected by High Elf society.[23][24] She was originally exiled sometime around 2E 532 for forging a patent of lineage. The dispute that ensued afterward led to the death of forty-three mer and the subsequent shattering of her calian, which brought her into the life of an aprax.[25]

The people of the city celebrate the Shimmerene Soiree, a gala hosted by the Canonreeve to honor their city-state and its success.[11] The event is done in a grandiose manner, with large lights, music, and wafts of floral scents.[26] The soiree was temporary canceled when the Interregnum started in the early-Second Era and since then, artisans tried to sell circlets for the soiree to anyone for any event.[11] Cuisiniers from Shimmerene use long and curved snail hooks to open snails from their shells.[27]

Shimmerene is the setting for an Investigator Vale book subtitled the Retinue of Shambles. In it the eponymous main character and an agent of the Queen, Zaraki-dar investigate a cult called the Retinue of Shambles, their connections with nobles all over Summerset Isle, and their plans in the wake of the Queen's Decree. Their case came to an end at the Coral Forest, where the two and a dozen Dominion soldiers cornered a cultist in the midst of a powerful ritual.[28]



  • Arena was originally conceived as a fighting game featuring a tournament that took the player to each of Tamriel's cities to challenge different gladiatorial teams. According to a file from that stage of development left behind in the final game, Shimmerene's gladiatorial team would have been called "the Titans".[UOL 2]

See Also[edit]

  • For game-specific information, see the Arena and ESO articles.



  1. ^ a b Map of the Summurset Isle – The Elder Scrolls: Arena
  2. ^ a b Our Blessed Isles: A GuideRunilstir the Surveyor
  3. ^ a b c ESO Live Summerset Story and Lore
  4. ^ Eldbur Ruins loading screen text in ESO: Summerset
  5. ^ Eldbur Sanctuary loading screen text in ESO: Summerset
  6. ^ Shimmerene's layout in ESO: Summerset
  7. ^ Ayleid Survivals in ValenwoodCuinur of Cloudrest, 4th Tier Scholar of Tamrielic Minutiae
  8. ^ a b c Shimmerene location and rumors in Arena
  9. ^ King's Haven Territory Record
  10. ^ Shimmerene Waterworks loading screen text in ESO: Summerset
  11. ^ a b c Shimmerene Soiree Circlet adornment description in ESO
  12. ^ a b c Canonreeve Elquisa's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  13. ^ Razum-dar's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  14. ^ A Rejection of Open BordersKinlady Avinisse of Shimmerene
  15. ^ a b Tsoxolza's LetterTsoxolza
  16. ^ Kinlady Avinisse's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  17. ^ Online:The Queen's Decree story quest in ESO: Summerset
  18. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Blessed Isle: Alinor and the SummersetsImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  19. ^ a b Rising Threat, Vol. IVLathenil of Sunhold
  20. ^ Monastery of Serene Harmony loading screen text in ESO: Summerset
  21. ^ Monastic Nuleros' dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  22. ^ Monastery of Serene Harmony location in ESO: Summerset
  23. ^ Lanarie's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  24. ^ Edgar Jend's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  25. ^ Mother of Rats' dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  26. ^ Shimmerene Soiree Gown costume description in ESO
  27. ^ Shimmerene Snail-Hook contraband text in ESO
  28. ^ Investigator Vale: Retinue of Shambles

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.

  1. ^ ESO Live: Summerfall Event Special Livestream (44:00) - Lawrence Schick
  2. ^ Original TES: Arena texts at the Imperial Library