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Malazan Wiki

Shimmer was an Avowed member of the Crimson Guard. She was commander of the Second Company. She spent her early childhood living on a farm in a rural province of Itko Kan, where she was known as Iko. While still a child, she was taken from her family, brought to the capital, and trained in whipsword dancing. At the time of the Malazan siege of Kan she was one of the king's bodyguards.[1]

She was short, only coming up to Kyle's chin and had long, midnight black, flowing hair that fell to the small of her back. Her eyes were "black under narrow slanted lids" and "they matched the blue-Napan cast of her face." She wore a glittering coat of fine mail from neck to calves and her whipsword sheathed on her back.[2][3]

The mage Smoky was Shimmer's friend and confidante.

In Midnight Tides[]

After cutting down the preternaturally skilled Emperor of the Tiste Edur in Trate, Iron Bars remarked at how good and fast with the sword his enemy had been. With another five years of experience, he noted, the Emperor would have been skilled enough to give Shimmer, Blues, or even Skinner trouble.[4]

In Return of the Crimson Guard[]

'Civil War', Shimmer on a book cover simulation by Corporal Nobbs

Shimmer was in overall charge of the Second Company when they besieged the warlock Shen's fortress atop the Spur in Bael. [5] Afterwards she took the company to Kurzan where they inducted slaves into the Guard and trained them. She conducted negotiations with the Kurzans for vessels to take the Guard back to Stratem, but negotiations failed and the Guard seized the ships they required by force.[6]

With the end of the Diaspora, Shimmer's company returned to Stratem. She organized a squad to reconnoiter the Guard's assembly point at Fortress Haven in anticipation of Lieutenant Skinner's arrival.[7] Shimmer met with Skinner once he was located and Kyle thought she "looked shaken" afterwards.[8] She no longer recognized the man she once knew.[9]

The reunited Guard travelled on to the Malazan imperial capital of Unta. Shimmer was dismayed at how the capital had grown and prospered since she last saw it fifty years previous. Instead of being angry or fearful, the populace was surprisingly amused or confused over the Guard's appearance. She wondered if "perhaps we have outlived ourselves."[10] Shimmer and Skinner led a select few Avowed to the Malazan Imperial Palace where they hoped to confront Empress Laseen, but only Mallick Rel was present.[11] When the Guard tried to return to their ships they had to fight their way back through Malazan soldiers and Claws.[12] By the time the wounded Shimmer reached the harbour she had to be carried on an improvised litter.[13]

Shimmer by Shadaan

The Guard sacked Cawn before moving inland towards Li Heng. As the Battle of the Plains against the Malazans began, evidence of Skinner and Cowl's betrayal of the Guard began to accumulate. Shimmer was brought to the edge of death by two Hands of Imperial Claws due to Skinner's withdrawal of the Veils to protect only his own faction.[14] Then K'azz returned and revealed how the pair had imprisoned him.[15] The creation of a Chaos rent on the battlefield forced a truce among all parties except for Skinner's faction.[16] After the rent was closed and Skinner and Cowl were vanquished, Shimmer and the Guard withdrew by warren.[17]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Shimmer.

In Blood and Bone[]

(Information needed)

In Assail[]

Shimmer led an expedition to Assail to find Cal-Brinn and the lost Fourth Company. On the journey, she began a romantic relationship with Iron Bars. She also began to question why she felt so emotionally cold. As the Guard neared Cal-Brinn on the high peaks of the Salt Mountains, Iron Bars and other members of the Guard began to succumb to the extreme cold of Omtose Phellack. But Shimmer, K'azz D'Avore, and Blues were not affected. K'azz asked Iron Bars and the others suffering to go back off the ice for their own safety. At the top of the mountain the remaining Guard learned from Silverfox and Kilava Onass that their vow had made them, in effect, T'lan Imass. Those who had not felt the cold, like Shimmer, had died sometime in the past and been brought back by the magic of the vow.[18] With this knowledge, a now united Guard returned to their home on Stratem.[19]

Significant plot details end here.

In Dancer's Lament[]

(Information needed)

In Kellanved's Reach[]

(Information needed)


"And so the dance. The sword-dance of spinning cuts. Beautiful -- but oh so deadly."
―Shimmer's whipsword instructress[src]

Notes and references[]