"The best techniques are passed on by the survivors."
―Gaiden Shinji, Blademaster[src]

Blademaster Gaiden Shinji was the leader of the Order of Diagna who lived some time during the early-to-mid First Era[1] in a point known as the "Classical Period".[2] The Order of Diagna, with the joint forces of Daggerfall and Sentinel, attacked the Orcish kingdom of Orsinium during Gaiden's leadership. The war is known as the Siege of Orsinium.[3] In 1E 948, King Joile of Daggerfall sent a letter to Shinji saying "The orcs have been much plaguing the Wayresters and impeding traffic to the heart of the land."[4] It took thirty years for the joint armies to breach and destroy Orsinium.[3]

During his lifetime, he was also the founder and original Blademaster of the Imperial City Arena, which was completed shortly before the siege began.[5] Gaiden Shinji was one of the many casualties of the Siege of Orsinium.[3]


The Ashes of Our FathersEdit

After going to Honor's Rest, the archaeological historians, Lozruth and Sharela will be arguing about who is buried inside the tomb. Lozruth argues that it is Orcish hero Baloth Bloodtusk, while Sharela argues that it is Blademaster Gaiden Shinji. They cannot fully confirm their speculations, however, as the tomb doors are currently sealed. Sharela sends the Vestige to the Honor's Rest Catacombs to obtain more information.

Once there, the burial chamber of one of Shinji's disciples, Tamahl, is found. It contains a Memorial Pool, imbued with his memory of Shinji speaking to Lord Trystan, the leader of the Knights of the Dragon during the First Era. After drinking from the pool, you are transported to the memory as Tamahl. There, you can find Shinji arguing with Trystan:

Gaiden Shinji: "Your king should call off the siege. The battle is unjust."
Lord Trystan: Shinji... Mercedene now commands us. The siege will not end.
Gaiden Shinji: "Mercedene? The Beat of the Reach is your general?"
Lord Trystan: "There's another way. Challenge Baloth to a duel. You could end this siege with a swing of your blade."
Gaiden Shinji: "The Orcs will never agree."
Lord Trystan: "The Orcs love Baloth more than their own king. He'll agree―his people have bled enough."
Gaiden Shinji: "What would your king say? He appointed Mercedene."
Lord Trystan: "King Jolie suggested this. He needs a victory, and won't care who delivers it."
Gaiden Shinji: "Then it shall be. The Order of Diagna will march to Orsinium."

Afterwords, you can speak to Shinji about his upcoming duel with Baloth Bloodtusk, and later speak to Lord Trystan about Shinji.

After Tamahl and Arakaul's burial urns are collected, go back to the Honor's Rest sealed door. There, Lozruth and Sharela will be speaking to the Orsinium Advisor Goruz about their findings. After placing the urns inside the wall, the door displaying Shinji and Baloth facing each other will open.

After going inside, statues of the Order of Diagna and the Savage Sons, Shinji and Baloth's factions respectively, will be seen side-by-side in a large hall. Through the next door is the tombs of both Shinji and Baloth, on opposite sides of the room. A stone statue memorializing Shinji and Baloth's dual is seen in the centre, with a memorial pool in the back.

After drinking from the pool, you will be transported to a memory of Commander Reliana in the First Orsinium. There, Baloth's injured brother Rokaug is revealed to be alive. He says Mercedene kept him captive and that she plans to assassinate both Shinji and Baloth as part of Jolie's plan.

Once you have exited the cave, Shinji and Baloth can be seen dueling on a ledge while having a conversation:

Gaiden Shinji: "No duel should last longer than eight seconds."
Baloth Bloodtusk: "What fool said that?"
Gaiden Shinji: "Myself! How long have we fought?"
Baloth Bloodtusk: "Eight minutes. What do you say to that?"
Gaiden Shinji: "I shall reconsider the proverb."
Baloth Bloodtusk: "You'll have to defeat me to pass it on."
Gaiden Shinji: "True enough! The best techniques are passed on by the survivors."
Baloth Bloodtusk: "That's a good proverb."


Shinji died somewhere between 1E 952 and 1E 973 during the siege of the Second Orsinium while fighting Baloth Bloodtusk. General Mercedene, a vicious commander and ancestor of Reachmen, ordered both of the duelers to be shot, with Lord Trystan being the only survivor of the assassination.


He is still remembered as a legendary hero by the participants of the Arena, who often use his name when talking in a manner that replaces deities, such as "by Shinji," "for Shinji's sake," and "Shinji be with us."[6] He also known for his quote, "The best techniques are passed on by the survivors."[7][8] The fort Shinji's Scarp was named after him.


  • "The best techniques are passed on by the survivors."
  • "Honor wears the face of your next opponent."
  • "The best leader is a constant student"
  • "Adhere to the style that defeats your opponent."
  • "Each day a bed of burning coals, each night a plunge into cool water."
  • "No duel should last longer than eight seconds"


"Do you see how King Joile forces my hand? If I refuse to challenge Baloth Bloodtusk, the Breton king will demand Lord Trystan do so in my place. My obedience, or my friend's life. "This is what kings call 'leadership.'"

Could Lord Trystan defeat Baloth Bloodtusk? "No. I do not slight Lord Trystan. He leads the Knights of the Dragon―his honor and skill with a blade are without question. But Baloth Bloodtusk will see that, and use Trystan's honor against him."
What do you know of Baloth Bloodtusk? "The Orcs claim him a warrior without equal. Of more importance, so do his opponents. Cunning, quick, and patient―he bides his time and then strikes. A style that adapts to his opponents."
How can you face Baloth if he does not fight with honor? "There are a few left with skill to match my own, so the duel itself is an honor. After all, doesn't honor wear the face of your next opponent?"
Unless he's your final opponent. "Ha! You've spent too much time around me, Tamahl."

"I shall miss this place. Each day a bed of burning coals, each night a plunge into cool water. It has tempered me, as... uh... Don't write that one down. I'm still working on a metaphor."


  • Shinji's quote is seen every time Arena is launched, making him the first character mentioned in the entire series.




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