Shivering Isles, an expansion to the successful Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, offers a whole new environment with unique monsters, characters and quests. Installing the game, you then wait for two days in the game world to activate the new zone. A small island has mysteriously appeared in Niben Bay, with an azure carved head whose mouth is a brilliant blue portal. A guard of the watch stands by, killing the numerous insane people who periodically escape from it.
Boldly strolling through that portal, soon the walls dissolve into brilliant shimmering points of light, becoming a storm of flitting butterflies, which wing away into the night. A spectacular midnight scene is thus revealed, with giant gnarled mushrooms towering against a cosmic background of iridescent violet nebulae, while a vast purple milky way splits the sky.
Welcome to the Shivering Isles, a place created by the god ‘Sheogorath’ purely as a challenge for mortals. Checking the map, finding place names like ‘the Hill of Suicides’, ‘the Laughing Coast’ and ‘Mad God’s Boot’, you must resist insanity at every turn.
But not to worry – as the Hero of Kvatch, Leader of the Fighter’s Guild, Grand Champion of the Arena and defeater of Mankar Cameron, you would seem to be a worthy candidate for the job! Indeed, you are immediately under attack from various twisted, slimy creatures such as Grummite Whelps, a form of fanged, waddling fish-men, and Balliwogs, which resemble scaly platypuses with teeth. You begin in a zone called the fringe, which is like a holding cell for would-be champions wanting to gain access to the twin islands of Mania and Dementia.
In here, the magic begins with the great character Jayred Ice-Veins, who is consumed with the concept of killing and vicious bloodthirsty ideas. He’s your ideal quest-partner to side with in exterminating a troll-esque giant with great magical resistance, who stands in your path. And it only improves from that point onwards.
This is an adventure truly worthy of the Oblivion cachet.