The Shivering Isles, also known as Sheogorath's Realm of Madness, or The Madhouse, is a realm of Oblivion included in the expansion pack The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles. It is the Daedric Prince Sheogorath's own Plane of Oblivion. The realm consists of three parts: Mania, Dementia, and The Fringe.
The Shivering Isles were once the realm of Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of order. He was so powerful that the other Princes feared him. Because of it, they cursed Jyggalag to live a life of a madman, the thing that he hated most. Since then the Shivering Isles have been ruled by Sheogorath. However, every era Jyggalag is allowed to revert back to his original form and wreak havoc in this realm of Oblivion. This event is known as the Greymarch, when Jyggalag destroys the Isles and turns them into the realm of perfect order. As a part of his curse after gaining control of the Shivering Isles, Jyggalag transforms back into Sheogorath who then recreates the realm back to one of madness.
During the year 3E 433, Sheogorath sent an invitation to the Nirn in the form of a large three headed gate to the Isles located in the Niben Bay. His purpose was to find a champion who would end the Graymarch. The person who would later become Sheogorath's champion would be none other than the Hero of Kvatch, who would kill the Gatekeeper, become the Duke or Duchess of ether Mania or Dementia and defeat Jyggalag's Forces of Order while defeating the Daedric Prince himself in single combat, thus freeing him from his curse and allowing him to roam the plains of Oblivion in his true form. After being defeated, Jyggalag named the Hero of Kvatch the new Daedric Prince of Madness before departing to wander the voids of oblivion.
During the Fourth era, Sheogorath went on a "vacation" to the mind of Pelagius Septim III. During this time, dialogue with Dervenin suggests that the Isles went into a state of chaos without the Mad God's rulership, as according to Dervenin the Cold Flame of Agnon went dark and that north and south raged war, suggesting a civil war took place. This wasn't until the Last Dragonborn, at the urging of Dervenin, went into the mind of Pelagius Septim III and made the Daedric Prince return to the Isles.
Flora and fauna
The Flora and Fauna of the Shivering Isles are a testament to Sheogorath's madness, as the north, known as Mania, reflects the Mad God's pleasure with simple madness and calm obsession. Mania features tall mushroom like plants and colorful trees, and its fauna reflects these traits as creatures native to Mania are known to have more colorful bodies. The south, known as Dementia, reflects the darker side of Sheogorath's personality, featuring swamps, bogs and dark forests. All of the plant life of the Shivering Isles are connected to the root system, a series of natural caverns and rock formations that is in fact a large living organism that is connected to all the trees and plants in the Isles.
The Fauna of the Shivering Isles include many diverse creatures, including the tree like Gnarl, the amphibious Baliwog and Scalon, the goblin like Grummite, the insect-like Elytra, the canine Skinned Hound, the undead Shambles, the Daedric Golden Saint and their rivals the Dark Seducer, the Hunger and the Flesh Atronach.
Getting to the Shivering Isles
Arrival to the Shivering Isles is solely at the discretion of Lord Sheogorath, Prince of Madness. He permits the Hero access after killing an insane dark elf that comes out of the portal to the isles. Once they kill him, they can enter the portal.
The best way to explore the Shivering Isles is by foot. Take the time to meander along the paths that stretch across the beautiful landscape. A weary traveler can often find a place to rest at one of the many campsites found dotted across the world. But those campsites are often filled with mages that worship Sheogorath. Keep in mind that creatures roam freely here just as much as they do in Tamriel, so it won't exactly be a walk in the park.
The main religion in the Isles is obviously the worship of Sheogorath himself, as many, if not all, houses in the Isles include a small bust of the Mad God, as well as lettuce and string, the favorite playthings of the Mad God. There are also different opinions on Sheogorath's worship, and the role of the prophet Arden Sul. The Zealot cult believes that Sheogorath is a living god, and Arden Sul was his mortal aspect. While the Heretic cult believes that Sheogorath is in fact a powerful mortal man pretending to be a Daedric Prince who profanes the teachings of Arden Sul.
There is also the Apostle cult, which believes that the Mad God is unfit to rule the Shivering Isles after their leader Ciirta discovered during last Greymarch that Sheogorath "left" the Isles.(while in fact he turned into Jyggalag) Ciirta and her apostles launched a movement to usurp the Mad God out of the Howling Halls that once kept the mad Emperor Pelagius III. Another part of the religion of the Isles is the worship of the prophet Arden Sul, as both Mania and Dementia have different stories of his death.
|Planes of Oblivion|
|Daedric Princes' planes||Apocrypha (Hermaeus Mora) • Ashpit (Malacath) • Attribution's Share (Boethiah) • Coldharbour (Molag Bal)|
Colored Rooms (Meridia) • Deadlands (Mehrunes Dagon) • Evergloam (Nocturnal) • Hircine's Hunting Grounds
|Pocket Realms||Chimera of Desolation (Mehrunes Dagon) • Havoc Wellhead • Infernace • Lord Velian's Plane • Maelstrom (Fa-Nuit-Hen) • Paradise (Mankar Camoran)|