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Around the village are ruins of what seems to have been a greater civilization, a theory hinted by Dredhwen, proprietress of The Wastrel's Purse, which temporarily houses the notable Relmyna Verenim, a powerful sorceress and "mother" of the Gatekeeper.
The eight initial residents or the "hopefuls", Relmyna being the exception, who are trying to get into the Isles are:
Relmyna Verenim was a temporary resident, as she already gained the "Blessing of Sheogorath'", i.e. madness.
Shelden is the self-proclaimed mayor of Passwall as he was the first to arrive there and will address it as his town when the player first talks to him. All the "hopefulls" that are trying to get in the Shivering Isles are located in Passwall and are required to go mad to do so, though.
The Hero can buy merchandise, sleep, and dine at The Wastrel's Purse run by Dredhwen, a place like it being rare to come by in the Isles. Even with the defeat of the Gatekeeper, only one citizen, Jayred Ice-Veins, decides to take the step to leave the Fringe and enter the Isles.
After entering the Shivering Isles the Hero must first pass through the Gates of Madness in order to find the lord of this Realm.
Passwall is partly destroyed by the Knights of Order, but is fixed after one beat the Shivering Isles Main Quest.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sheogorath believes that a talking grapefruit named Stanley lives in Passwall which is likely a reference to Stanley the Watermelon from Adventure Time.
- Passwall is most likely a reference to the Passwall spell from The Elder Scrolls: Arena.