This page lists all the Beast Races, or Beastfolk, or Betmer, found on Nirn. For an index of all races, see here.
Note: Elder Scrolls lore is generally not clear-cut. Reasons for this range from biased in-universe sources intentionally only giving you only one side of a story, to sources lacking critical information or working from false information, to the implication that All Myths Are True, despite the contradictions, or that at least all myths are Metaphorically True. Out-of-game developer supplemental texts (frequently referred to as "Obscure Texts" by the lore community) are more trustworthy, but are frequently left unofficial and sometimes later contradicted. Because of this, it is entirely possible for two contradictory statements in the below examples to both be true. (And due to frequent events in-universe that alter the timeline, both may literally be true in-universe.)
The Beast Races (collectively known as Betmer) of Nirn that are neither Men or Mer.
- Beast Man: Each includes bestial features of varying magnitudes — heads, body cover and often legs — overlayed on top of humanoid frames.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Like the races of Mer, each Beast Race has traits, beliefs, and practices which come across as very alien to a human observer. Specific examples for each race can be found in their entries below.
- Demihuman: While primarily humanoid in size and shape, each Beast Race has numerous features outside the range of normal humans.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Both playable beast races appeared far more human in Arena, the Khajiit looking like somewhat feral Wood Elves while the Argonians were essentially scaly, fanged men. Argonians became more reptilian in Daggerfall, but the Khajiit remained furless until Redguard and Morrowind. The lore justifies these discrepancies somewhat by establishing a staggering amount of dimorphism and subspecies for both races, with some beast folk almost looking human and others as merely sapient lizards and cats. Online, in particular, gets to have a lot of fun going in on the many variations of the Khajiit that resulted from this explanation, and as a result, you'd better be ready to have conversations with ten-foot-tall tiger-men, half-ton actual tigers, and housecats.
- Fantastic Racism: While the races of Men and Mer frequently display this toward one another, the Beast Races get hit with it from both sides. It ranges from being downplayed (such as Argonians and Khajiit being barred from some cities due to distrust) to being played dangerously straight (enslavement by the other races at various points in history and, in the case of the Sload, sometimes being killed on sight). Overall though, humans are historically known to be generally more accepting and friendly towards Beastmen, whereas elves, especially the Altmer and the Dunmer, tend to view them as even lesser than humans.
- Rock Beats Laser: Averted when the Aldmer came to settle Tamriel. Tamriel was said to have already been inhabited by the Beast Races, but they were aboriginal and primitive, making them "easily displaced" by the more magically and technologically advanced Aldmer.
The Argonians are the reptilian natives of the Black Marsh (which they call Argonia) in southeastern Tamriel. While primarily reptilian in appearance, which includes possessing scales, elongated faces and jaws, claws, tails, and being cold-blooded, they also possess some traits of amphibians (small gills that allow them to breathe underwater similar to tadpoles) and birds (with some, particularly females, naturally growing feathers). The Argonians are slow to trust and hard to know, but incredibly loyal to those they call friends, as well as cunning and resourceful fighters. Argonians are highly resistant to disease and are famed throughout Tamriel as masters of guerilla style warfare, especially when exploiting the swampy terrain of their homeland. In fact, Black Marsh has never been wholly occupied by an invading force. (Even Tiber Septim merely captured several border cities, where non-Argonians can live somewhat comfortably, and declared Black Marsh "conquered".) They are also unfortunately (perhaps along with the Orcs) the most vilified and misunderstood of all the races, and for much of their history the Argonians were slaves to the Dunmer.
The Argonians refer to themselves as the "Saxhleel" in their own tongue (known as "Jel"). "Saxhleel" translates to "the people of the root" in Jel, a name which reflects the bond they feel with the sentient and ancient Hist trees which are also native to Black Marsh. Argonians believe that their souls were given to them by the Hist, and they drink the sap of the Hist to communicate with them and to grow. The Hist have a strange and often ambigious agenda of its own, and by pulling on the mystical bounds formed between them through their drinking of its sap, the Hist both subtly influences, or even outright directs the Argonians to do its bidding. The Hist has also been known to alter the Argonians both physically and mentally in times of crisis; making them stronger and more ruthless when invaders would impress upon their homeland. Most Argonians are able to feel the presence of the Hist in their minds at all times, but the further they travel from Black Marsh the weaker the connection gets. Additionally, the Hist are said to "acknowledge" Sithis as the true creator of the universe, and thus offer Argonians born under the sign of the Shadow (known as "Shadowscales") at birth to the Dark Brotherhood (which serves Sithis) to be trained in the arts of stealth and assassination.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: Living in the Black Marsh with so many poisonous and toxic lifeforms has made the Argonians almost totally immune to natural and magical poisons.
- Alien Hair: Being the most "alien" playable race, the Argonians have just about everything but hair treated like hair. Horns, spikes (both flexible and rigid), scales, fins, feathers (particularly females), etc.
- Badass Army: As of the 4th Era, the Argonians have proven to be one of the strongest fighting forces on all of Nirn. Usually depicted as being at the very least marginally Cloud Cuckoolander in their tendencies, they have proven to be an exceptionally "hidden badass" fighting force. Following the Oblivion Crisis, their race Took a Level in Badass when the Hist, whose sap the Argonians drink to grow, began to change the Argonians, making them stronger and more aggressive to prepare for the coming chaos and wars following the Crisis. Offscreen events recorded in the in-game books make it clear they're masters of Viet Cong style guerilla warfare, and their invasion of Morrowind (and, therefore, its rich ebony deposits) is speculated to have made them one of the only nations still capable of standing against the Aldmeri Dominion. They were also the only force in all of Tamriel that not only held off the Dremora in the Oblivion Crisis, but actually forced the Dremora to close their gates because the Argonians were invading Oblivion.
- Beastess: Some Argonian females display traits along these lines, with their bestial appearances while being the equal of Argonian males in combat.
- Big Damn Heroes: During the invasion of Tamriel by the Akaviri race of "Snow Demons" known as the Kamal, the Nords and Dunmer managed to fend them off, but were under threat of Kamal reinforcements. That ended when the Argonians joined the fight, helped to break the Kamal lines, and then slaughtered them all in a decisive final battle.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction:
- The Argonians are easily the most "alien" out of the playable races and are an oviparous (egg-laying) sapient species, with the females possessing Non-Mammal Mammaries. According to some sources (and confirmed by Argonians in Elder Scrolls Online: Murkmire), the Argonians are also sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they can switch genders. The time spent as either male or female is called a "life-phase".
- Other sources state that they actually start life as perfectly ordinary lizards, and only mutate into their larger, sapient from when they consume hist sap.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Comes with the territory of being tree-worshipping lizards. However, unlike some of the other beast or Mer races (especially the Sloads and Dwemer), the Argonians are relatively similar to the other species in terms of morality, with some noticeably odd quirks: their language lacks in past and future tense verbs, as the Argonians live "in the now" much more than other races, which often leads to some bizarre morals. As a whole, though, they're relatively similar to humans in terms of morals, if with the caveat of completely disregarding the past and future for being Easily Forgiving to the umpth degree.
- Cold-Blooded Whatever: They're Lizard Folk whose physiology is chiefly and visibly reptilian, however they also have elements of amphibians (said to be "sequential hermaphrodites", meaning they can switch genders, and confirmed by Argonians in Online and fish (gills which allow them to breath underwater, and shows up in-game as a Water Breathing racial ability).
- Conlang: Their native "Jel" language. Unlike the other languages of Men and Mer, it does not descend from Ehlnofex, but rather comes from the Hist. It is unique in that it has no past tense or future tense verbs, only present tense.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Usually depicted as being at the very least marginally Cloud Cuckoolander in their tendencies. Seemingly named after unique traits they display while still hatchlings, so you get Argonians walking around called things like Hides-His-Eyes, Scouts-Many-Marshes, and Nine-Toes. Offscreen events recorded in the in-game books make it clear they're masters of Viet Cong style guerilla warfare, and their invasion of Morrowind (and, therefore, its rich ebony deposits) is speculated to have made them one of the only nations still capable of standing against the Aldmeri Dominion. They were also the only force in all of Tamriel that not only held off the Dremora in the Oblivion Crisis, but actually forced the Dremora to close their gates because the Argonians were invading Oblivion!
- Culture Chop Suey: They combine elements of Meso-American cultures (in the Mayincatec fashion) along with native cultures of Southeast Asia. Their ancient cultures built grandiose pyramid structures called "xanmeers" while Argonian art makes use of bright colors, feathers, and hides of all kinds. A succession of conquerors has long prevented the Argonians from growing past the "tribal" stage of society, while the Argonians are also masters of Viet Cong style guerilla warfare.
- Death World: Most of the Black Marsh is full of dangerous flora/fauna, extremely difficult to navigate, and flat out toxic to non-Argonians.
- The Dog Bites Back:
- For thousands of years, the Argonians were slaves to the Dunmer. Following the events of the Oblivion Crisis and the infamous "Red Year" (both of which severely weakened the Dunmer), the Argonians took the opportunity to invade Morrowind, the Dunmer homeland. They captured most of the still-habitable portions, along with Morrowind's rich ebony deposits. House Redoran did eventually push them back (well, mostly; the latest lore has the Argonians still hanging on to a small portion of Southern Morrowind), but not before the Argonians had sacked countless cities and killed huge numbers of Dunmer, while driving many more north and west.
- The trope is played around with a bit in that the invasion was at least partially spurred on by the Thalmor who saw a ripe opportunity to kick their Dunmer opponents while they were down, and used agent provocateurs planted among the Argonians to agitate for the invasion.
- Easily Forgiven: A cultural tic, at least toward fellow Argonians. Culturally, Argonians live in the "now", preferring not to dwell in the past or look ahead to the future. Additionally, hating each other is the same as hating themselves because they "are all people of the root".
- Enemy Mine: Despite their long-time animosity, the Argonians formed one under the Ebonhart Pact with the Dunmer and the Nords, first to drive out the Akaviri Kamal invaders, and then to focus on wiping away the rashness of Imperial rule as well as ending mortal scheming with higher powers from beyond Nirn during the Interregnum.
- Evolutionary Retcon: The appearance of the Argonians has changed drastically over the course of the series, though, interestingly, this change has been given an in-universe justification. Arena displayed them as gray-skinned humanoids. Two games later, Morrowind turned them into bird-legged, iguana-looking people. Oblivion returned them to more traditionally bipedal lizard people. Finally, Skyrim has them looking like velociraptor-looking people (they use the same model as other races, apart from the reptilian head and tail). Essentially, with each game, the Argonians have gotten a more aggressive "predatory" look. This evolution is ostensibly justified in-universe by the fact the Argonians worship the Hist, a race of sentient trees in their homeland of Argonia (or "Black Marsh"). Hatchling Argonians drink the sap from the Hist that changes them physically. After the events of the Oblivion Crisis, it is believed that the Hist have been strengthening the Argonians, turning them into more formidable warriors over time.
- Exploited Immunity: The Argonians have a racial ability which allows them to breathe underwater. They also have a reputation for being skilled at guerrilla warfare, constructing underwater camps (which are naturally hard for non-Argonians to assault) and one of their favorite tactics is to ambush their victims, grab them, drag them underwater, and keep them there until they drown.
- FaceHeel Turn: As a race during the 4th Era, if one considers the Empire as the "face" side of things and the Aldmeri Dominion as the "heel". (Which, while the Empire has its flaws, is still very much the "gray" to the "black" of the outright fascist Dominion.) After Red Mountain's eruption, the Aldmeri Dominion influenced the Argonians to attack Morrowind and get revenge over millennia of slavery and to free the remaining illegal slaves there, as well as to capture Morrowind's valuable Ebony deposits. The Dominion profited in further weakening the Empire by tearing away two more provinces (Argonia seceding and then attacking and occupying parts of Morrowind, causing the Dunmer to lose faith in the Empire).
- Fantastic Drug: If an Argonian licks the sap of Hist trees, the Hist can communicate with them through visions. If a non-Argonian tries this, or if the sap is somehow tainted, it can result in extreme hallucinations and intense bloodlust.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: The Argonians are seemingly named (in Jel, the language of the Argonians) after unique traits they display while still hatchlings and, if they have frequent dealings with non-Argonians, get those names translated into Tamriellic. "Haj-Ei" becomes "Hides-His-Eyes", for example. In other cases, their name in Tamriellic is based on their profession. For example, "Quill-Weave" is a writer, "Makes-One-Soup" is a chef, and "Lights-Sparks" is a mage.
- Fantastic Slur: In Skyrim a few characters derogatorily refer to Argonians as "boots", presumably referring to the practice of using reptile leather (snake, crocodile, etc) to make footwear.
- Gender Bender: According to some sources (which have been confirmed by Argonians in Murkmire), Argonians are said to be sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they can switch genders. The time spent as either male or female is called a "life-phase".
- Healing Factor: Their Histskin ability allows them to improve their restoration spells, and they have a much stronger natural resistance to diseases than most other races.
- Hive Mind: Downplayed, but extant. Argonians are said to be able to "feel" the Hist inside of them at all times, connecting them with the Hist and to each other. It is said that the farther an Argonian travels from Black Marsh, the weaker this connection gets. Sensing the upcoming Oblivion Crisis, the Hist were able to use this ability to recall most of the Argonians in Tamriel to Black Marsh in preparation for the trials to come.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Averted in terms of producing offspring, as the only confirmed Tamriellic playable race to not be able to interbreed with the race of Men and Mer.note Being an egg-laying species and not (being known to have) descended from the same common ancestors makes this aversion rather understandable. However, that doesn't preclude sex from happening. The Lusty Argonian Maid and its sequels treat the subject from an IKEA Erotica standpoint.
- Ideal Illness Immunity: Downplayed in that it's not truly "ideal", but the Argonians are naturally highly resistant to most forms of disease. This actually may have hurt their reputation during the deadly Knahaten Flu outbreak in the 2nd Era, which crippled much of Tamriel. As the Argonians were immune to the disease, they were blamed as the creators (or at least as carriers) of the disease, souring their relations with many of the other races of Tamriel.
- In-Series Nickname:
- The Argonians get several of these from the other races, most of them derogatory, such as Lizard Men and just plain "Lizards". The word "filthy" often precedes them.
- The Argonians themselves often refer to the other races as "landstriders" (more politely) or "prey" (in a more negative sense).
- Language Equals Thought: Their language, Jel, has no past or future tense verbs. As such, Argonians tend to live "in the now", easily forgetting and forgiving past offenses while paying little mind to the future. (The possibly Omniscient Hist seem to do that for them, as seen with them foretelling and preparing the Argonians for the Oblivion Crisis and turmoils of the 4th Era.)
- Last of His Kind: As of the 4th Era, there is only one known Shadowscale remaining, serving in the Skyrim branch of the Dark Brotherhood. The practice of sending Shadowscales apparently died out sometime after the Oblivion Crisis.
- Lizard Folk:
- They are a species of humanoid reptilians with scales, elongated snouts, claws, and tails. They are known to reproduce via laying eggs and are said to be cold-blooded (but can survive in colder climates as adults thanks to "concentrated magicka" within the Hist sap that they drink). They also have some traits in common with some amphibians, including the ability to breathe in and out of water, and they are said to go through "life phases" in which their physical forms can change drastically, including, per some sources, changing sexes.
- In Arena, there is an enemy type called Lizard Men, hostile reptilian troglodytes described as "once thought to be distant cousins of the argonians [...] whose use of language stretches only far enough to communicate the location of their prey to the rest of their hunting party, which then move to attack and feed". Interestingly, it resembles the modern Argonian design much more than Arena's version.
- Master Poisoner: The Kota-Vimleel tribe are esteemed alchemists known for creating the most deadly poisons in all of Tamriel.
- Mystical Plague: They are blamed for the 2nd Era plague of the Knahaten Flu, which devastated Tamriel over the course of about 40 years. It is attributed to an Argonian shaman who created the plague by manipulating the spores of the Hist in retaliation for the awful treatment of his people by the other races. Other sources claim that it was a natural disease, but the general distrust of the Argonians throughout Tamriel combined with the fact that Argonians were immune to the disease made the "Argonians caused it" story more popular.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Female Argonians are depicted with them inconsistently throughout the series.
- Non-Linear Character: In a sense, but is both downplayed and a more mundane twist on the trope. Argonians as individuals has no real concept of time, be it beyond or before the present, as they generally view all of life from birth to death as a single moment. To them, time is an illusion established to create a linear version of events and is therefore considered a limited way of perceiving reality. This is even reflected in their native language, Jel, which completely lacks any tenses.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The An-Xileel, a political party with close ties to the Hist, rule Argonia during the 4th Era and appear to be this. It is speculated that their close ties to the omniscient Hist give them foresight into upcoming events and allow them to act with this advance knowledge. They rose to power during the Oblivion Crisis, during which it is said the actions of the An-Xileel are the sole reason Black Marsh remained unconquered by the forces of Mehrunes Dagon. They are strong anti-Imperialists and successfully pushed for Argonia's secession in the early years of the 4th Era.
- Our Gods Are Different: While some more-Imperialized Argonians recognize the Aedra and some of the Daedra, their race primarily worships the Hist - a race of sentient, ancientnote , and possibly Omniscient spore-reproducing trees. They can communicate with each other via deep, interconnected root systems and can communicate with the Argonians via visions transmitted in their sap, which the Argonians drink to learn and grow.
- The Quisling: The Archein tribe. During the 3rd Era, they made fortunes by selling other Argonians into slavery. They also served as the advisors of the Imperial governors in Black Marsh, while being allowed to more directly rule over the more rural areas. When the 3rd Empire fell, they quickly went bankrupt and were hunted by other Argonians as traitors.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Despite being no worse than the other playable races in general, the Argonians are long-standing victims of Fantastic Racism with this being a major reason for it.
- The Savage South: Black Marsh (aka Argonia) itself. It is one of Tamriel's southernmost mainland provinces (along with Elsweyr) and is full of diseases, poisonous life forms, sentient trees, man-eating plants, and vicious wildlife. Even Tiber Septim didn't bother conquering Black Marsh completely, just capturing a few border towns (where non-Argonians could actually live) and calling it a win.
- Screw You, Elves!: After being victimized by the Dunmer for thousands of years with other outside forces (including the Septim Empire) doing very little to stop it, the Argonians fought back hard following the Red Year. They invaded what was left of habitable Morrowind, drove the Dunmer out, and claimed it (and its valuable Ebony deposits) for themselves. Though the Dunmer did eventually manage to stop their advance, they were only partially successful in driving the Argonians back, and they still hold on to a piece of southernmost Morrowind by the time of Skyrim.
- Servant Race: To the Hist, who may have created the Argonians specifically to be this. The Argonians hold a deep reverence for the Hist, as it is said the Hist gave them their souls. Argonians will serve and defend the Hist with their very lives if needed.
- Slave Race: For thousands of years to the Dunmer, who would raid Black Marsh from neighboring Morrowind to capture Argonians as slaves. Even under the otherwise progressive Septim Empire (which outlawed slavery everywhere else), Morrowind was allowed to continue this practice as one of their special privileges (for trading the Numdium to Tiber Septim). With Morrowind greatly weakened by the Red Year, the Argonians invaded in revenge.
- The Stoic: Subverted. Other races believe Argonians to be this, assuming them to have no emotions or feelings. This is largely attributed to their lack of facial muscles needed to display human-like facial expressions. Anyone who pays attention to their voices can quickly deduce this is simply not true. Even those who barely understand the languages of Men and Mer can have strong emotion in their voices.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Argonians can breathe water just as easily as air. They are known to use this as a guerrilla tactic, dragging their foes underwater and drowning them.
- Swamps Are Evil: Black Marsh to all non-Argonians, being full of dangerous lifeforms and diseases. Obviously averted by the Argonians themselves.
- Took a Level in Badass: The entire race following the Oblivion Crisis. The Hist, whose sap the Argonians drink to grow, began to change the Argonians, making them stronger and more aggressive to prepare for the coming chaos and wars following the crisis. It also serves to justify their changing appearance throughout the series. Further, it has been implied that the new An-Xileel regime in charge of Argonia at the time of Skyrim is one of the only two remaining factions that are capable of fending off a Dominion invasion (the other faction being Hammerfell).
- Tyke Bomb: Shadowscales, who are Argonians born under the Shadow birth sign and trained from childhood in the arts of stealth and assassination by the Dark Brotherhood. Some Argonian tribes take their duty of producing Shadowscales to such a degree that they have created potions which allow females to synchronize their egg-laying cycle with the Shadow constellation. By the 4th Era, only one Shadowscale remains. (In Skyrim, Cicero, caretaker of the Night Mother, mentions in his journal that the Shadowscale training facility in the Argonian city of Archon had been shut down, helping to explain the lack of new Shadowscales.)
- Unusual Euphemism: "Landstrider" to non-Argonian races.
- Uplifted Animal: It is theorized Argonians were once normal lizards in Black Marsh before the Hist uplifted the so-called "useful lizards" to sapience and gave them more humanoid forms akin to Men and Mer using their sap. The Helstrom Ancestor Lizard introduced in Online is believed by some scholars to be the species the Hist used. The Hist are believed to have done a similar process to gave Argonians their Lizard-Steeds, as mammalian mounts are ill-suited for the swamp.
- Verbal Tic: The Argonians tend to refer to other races as "prey", going so far as to greet them by saying things like "the prey approaches".
- When Trees Attack: The Hist can incite the Argonians to attack on their behalf, making them this trope indirectly.
- Wise Tree: Argonians worship the Hist, a race of sentient, ancient, and possibly omniscient trees native to the Black Marsh. The Argonians believe that the Hist gave them their souls, and they drink Hist sap to grow and to communicate with the Hist via visions transmitted in the sap.
- Zany Scheme: Argonians have a cultural knack for coming up with these. It is likely linked to their Blue-and-Orange Morality (what is "zany" to a human may not be to a tree-worshiping lizard) and their unusual thought processes.
And the feathered men who lived there.
There the Niben stayed for a moon, and the bird
Men learned how to speak their own words,
And with taloned feet, to write."
The Bird Men were a beast race who originally inhabited what would become the Imperial City Isle in central Cyrodiil. What they called themselves has been lost to history. It is said that they were rendered extinct by the Khajiit even before the Ayleids came to settle Cyrodiil.
- Arch-Enemy: They were rendered extinct by "cat demons", believed by modern scholars to be the ancient Khajiit.
- Bird People: It is said that they had feathers of glorious colors, talons for feet, and were capable of flight.
- Handy Feet: According to Father of the Niben, the Bird Men could write with their feet.
- Mighty Whitey: According to legends (most of which were written by Elves), Aldmer explorer Topal the Pilot was this to them. He and his men taught them to speak their own words and how to write, so they declared him their lord and offered him their islands.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: When first approached by Aldmeri explorers, the Bird Men spoke back in Aldmeri, surprising the Aldmer. However, they quickly realized that the Bird Men were only repeating their own words back to them. Despite this, the Aldmeri were able to teach them to actually speak their own words and to write.
"When the dreughs ruled the world, the Daedroth Prince Molag Bal had been their chief. He took a different shape then, spiny and armored and made for the sea. Vivec, in giving birth to the many spawn of his marriage, had dropped an old image of Molag Bal into the world: a dead carapace of memory."
The Dreugh are a semi-intelligent race of aquatic beast folk, somewhat resembling humanoid octopi with hard, leathery hides and pincers on their primary set of "arms". They are native to the coastal areas of much of northern Tamriel, particularly the Iliac Bay and the oceans around Morrowind, but can be found in waterways much further inland as well. For one year of their lives, Dreugh undergo a process known as "karvinasim", in which they emerge onto land to breed. During this period they are known as "Land Dreughs" or "Billies". Unlike their aquatic counterparts, the Land Dreughs show no signs of their usual intelligence and kill indiscriminately. These Land Dreugh can be found as far inland as Cyrodiil.
In the distant past, the Dreugh formed underwater civilizations of "glass and coral", and were known to inhabit Tamriel before the arrival of the Aldmer. These Dreugh were highly intelligent, able to speak, and capable of using magic. According to some sources, the Dreugh come from a previous "kalpa", or cycle of time, in which they ruled the world in service to Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Domination and Rape. However, that world (known as "Lyg") was destroyed and the remnants were one of the 12 worlds assembled to create Nirn during the Dawn Era as described in many creation myths. Conflicts with hunters (particularly the Dunmer) over thousands of years are believed to have contributed to the destruction of Dreugh civilization as well as their devolved intelligence. Dreugh are prized by these hunters for their leathery hides and waxes.
- All Webbed Up: Land Dreughs are known to cocoon their victims, leaving their victims helpless as food for their young.
- Anti-Magic: Dreugh are immune to magical paralysis and poison, while also being resistant to many other forms of Destruction magic, with the sole exception of Frost.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Land Dreughs, who move around like giant crabs. One set of arms moves to their backs during the transformation and is tipped with blades.
- Evolution Power-Up: Dreugh are a temporary case when they undergo "karvinasim" and become Land Dreugh for about a year of their lives to breed. Land Dreugh tend to be hardier, hit harder, and gain a natural "shock" attack in addition to gaining the ability to live on land. However, as a sort of Multi Form Balance, they lose whatever intelligence they still have in their aquatic forms, becoming little better than vicious beasts on land.
- Fish People: They resemble octopi with leathery hides and pincers on their primary two "arms".
- Formerly Sapient Species: They once ruled the world in a previous kalpa, or cycle of time. However, that was one of the 12 worlds which were destroyed and the remnants pieced together to create Nirn. The Dreugh of early Nirn were still intelligent, but that diminished over time as their civilization fell and their intelligence devolved. Now, like the Falmer, their de-evolution from an intelligent, sapient race with their own civilization has included their souls becoming white, like those of animals.
- Future Primitive: It is said that the Dreugh ruled the world in a previous kalpa, or cycle of time. However, that was one of the 12 worlds which were destroyed and the remnants pieced together to create Nirn. The Dreugh of early Nirn were still intelligent, but that diminished over time as their civilization fell and their intelligence devolved.
- Organ Drops: Dreugh are prized by hunters for their leathery hides (which can be forged into quality weapons and armors) and for the wax they produce (which is a valuable alchemical ingredient).
- Our Gods Are Different: Dreugh have an association with the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, whom they served in a previous kalpa. This version of Molag Bal took a form that was "spiny and armored and made for the sea".
- Sapient Fur Trade: While their intelligence is said to have devolved over time, they are still considered a sapient species. That doesn't stop hunters (primarily the Dunmer) from killing them for their hides and wax.
- Shock and Awe: Land Dreughs have a powerful, natural melee shock attack.
- Time of Myths: According to sources including the Dunmeri Tribunal deity Vivec and Mankar Camoran, the Dreugh come from a much earlier era in the history of creation. Vivec describes it as a previous "kalpa", or cycle of time, while Camoran states that it was early Nirn during the Dawn Era, before linear time existed. In either case, it was a place that would not have followed the usual conventions of time, history, or even logic.
- The Unpronouncable: The few Dreugh names mentioned in the series (not including names given to specific Dreugh by other races) tend to be this mixed with a Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër. Examples include Zizzikkiz'Tk and Kra'gh, as well as their place names like Mor-Galg and Djaf.
The Great Apes of Valenwood, who once flourished before the Aldmer came to Tamriel. Now, they are known for their reverence for the Altmer, who they attempt to imitate in every way they can. They vanished from Valenwood during the 2nd Era event known as the "Planemeld", and it is unknown where they went or when they returned.
The most famous Imga was Marukh, a prophet who rose to prominence in the 1st Era under the First Cyrodiilic Empire when he founded the rabidly anti-elven Alessian Order. (Details on the Order can be found on the The Elder Scrolls: Factions page.
- Blue Blood: Every Imga bears some kind of noble title (Baron, Duke, Earl, etc.) which they use when addressing the Altmer. Subverted, however, as there are no land-owning Imga.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: They're intelligent "ape men" who are are naturally dexterous and are renowned for their agility. They are covered with hair, which some shave off in a (reportedly pathetic) attempt (along with powdering their skin) to imitate the Altmer.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Imga consider humans to be beneath them, copying their Altmeri idols, and pretend to find their smell offensive.
- Though ironically, the most famous Imga was Marukh, the founder of the Alessian Order - a human-supremacist theocratic order that took over the First Empire via coup and carried out the genocide of all the remaining elves in Cyrodiil.
- Guttural Growler: The Imga are described as speaking with very gravelly, baritone voices. Despite this, they attempt to speak with perfect enunciation and courtly manners to impress the Altmer.
- Never Recycle a Building: Averted, as Imga have taken over many of the abandoned human trading posts which had been established in Valenwood during the Second Empire.
- Pimped-Out Cape: Wear fancy capes in an attempt to ape the Altmer. One corner of the capes is perfumed, which they hold over their noses when humans are around.
- Sword Fight: They practice with dueling swords in order to impress the Altmer.
- The Unseen: Imga haven't actually appeared in any of the games. (Though one of the better lore-friendly Game Mods for Skyrim, Moonpath to Elsweyr, takes you to Elsweyr and has the Imga working as Thalmor Giant Mooks.
The Khajiit are the feline natives of Elsweyr, Tamriel's south-central desert region. There are seventeen different subspecies of Khajiit, referred to as "furstocks", and what furstock a Khajiit cub will grow into is decided by the alignment of Tamriel's moons at the time of its birth. Most of these furstocks are humanoid with feline features, such as fur, long ears, tails, fangs, and claws, but they can vary wildly. For example, the Alfiq, the smallest furstock, are almost indistinguishable from housecats but possess great intelligence and are rumored to be formidable spellcasters, while the Senche-raht, the largest furstock, are as tall as two men and are ridden as steeds in battle by their kin. The Ohmes, meanwhile, are so humanoid in their appearence that they are frequently — somewhat to their chagrin — mistaken for Elves. The varieties most commonly seen in the games (Ohmes-raht, Suthay-raht, and Cathay) are renowned for their agility, making for excellent thieves and acrobats, but their attraction to piracy and skooma often see them becoming sailors. Khajiit are fond of cakes, puddings and candies of all kinds, stemming from their love of the highly addictive Moon Sugar. Khajiit are also deadly in unarmed combat due to their excellent reflexes and retractable claws. Their foreign appearance and unusual system of morality in regards to personal property makes them common targets for racism.
Depending on the game, the playable (and thus the most encountered) breed of Khajiit are the Ohmes in Arena, the Ohmes-raht in Daggerfall, the Suthay-raht in Morrowind, and the Cathay in both Oblivion and Skyrim.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: Khajiit as a whole are far less susceptible to the effects of moon sugar thanks to the fact that nearly all of their food uses it in some form or another, hardening their bodies to it. Still, overeating the sweetest of Khajiit foods can overwhelm even their resistance.
- Ambiguous Situation: While Masser and Secunda's two year abscence (aka: the "Void Nights") has been stated to have caused understandable unrest and panic among the Khajiit, nothing has been said as to whether or not the Khajiit reproductive cycle was affected, and if so, in what way. This has been subject to some Wild Mass Guessing, and caused a few Epileptic Trees to take root.
- Arch-Enemy: They have a long and violent history with the Bosmer, with whom they share a border. Despite this, the Khajiit have twice joined the Aldmeri Dominion, which also includes the Bosmer.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy:
- Khajiit typically come across as incredibly self-confident in their abilities. This extends even beyond martial arts to anything they take interest in, including acrobatics, thievery, and wizardry.
- It also extends to their religious views. The Men and the Mer of Tamriel might fight and squabble vehemently, both with each other and amongst themselves, when it comes to the metaphysical mysteries of Nirn, but at the end of the day they can for the most part agree on at least a few things. The Khajiit firmly believe that both sides have it wrong, and their understanding of Nirn through their worship of the Moons provide them with the only true answer to life, the universe, and everything.
- Beastess: Some Khajiit females display traits along these lines, with their bestial appearances while being the equal of Khajiit males in combat.
- Beast of Battle: The Senche and Senche-raht can be as tall as two men and weigh as much as four tons. They are built like apes and move as quadrupeds, and will allow their kinsmen to use them as steeds in times of war. This has led to Imperial soldiers who have faced them in battle giving them the nickname "battle cats".
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Downplayed, as unlike some of the other beast or Mer races (especially the Sload and Dwemer), the Khajiit are mostly similar to human's concept of morality... mostly. Their language has no word for "rules" and they take a rather loose view of what constitutes personal property, frequently getting them in trouble in the lands of other races where what they do is considered "theft". Culturally, they value cunning and trickery far more than traditional human virtues, even though they still place emphasis on other more benign values like compassion and kindness. Overall, the Khajiit are fairly comparable to human morals, if having a total lack of understanding of what private property is.
- Catchphrase: "May your road lead you to warm sands" is a common saying. Others including including the words "warm", "sand", and "sugar" are also common.
- Cat Folk: To varying degrees depending on the specific furstock in question. Some, like the Alfiq (who are similar to housecats) and the Senche (who are are built like apes) are quadrupeds, while most other furstocks are bipedal. Some, like the Ohmes and Ohmes-raht, are so human-like that they are often mistaken for Bosmer, although Ohmes-raht have tails. The Suthay and Suthay-raht are the most common furstocks, and likely the most balanced in terms of cat-like and human-like features; the Cathay are likewise balanced, but have humanlike plantigrade legs instead of the Suthay's digitigrade, feline limbs. Other furstocks, while as humanoid as the Suthay and Suthay-raht, resemble different types of feline — the Dagi and Dagi-raht resemble lynxes, while the Pahmar and Pahmar-raht resemble tigers and the Cathay-raht resemble jaguars.
- Cat Ninja: Khajiit are naturally inclined toward stealth, and can often be found as assassins, spies, and thieves in other provinces.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Khajiit don't even have a word for "rules"; the closest concept is "foolish thoughts". Unsurprisingly, this extends to their methods in battle. They have no qualms with deception, trickery, and even outright fleeing battle if things don't go their way. They are more than willing to abandon their allies (after all, a smart ally would do the same!) or flee a fight if it means that they can turn around and come back later to stab their enemies in the back, raid their vulnerable supplies, or cut their throats while they sleep. As long as you win, anything goes.
- Conlang: They have one known as "Ta'agra", which obviously makes heavy use of the Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër. It famously has no word for "rules", with the closest word, Thjizzrini, meaning "foolish concepts". "Khajiit" itself loosely translates to "desert walker" in Ta'agra.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Khajiit have a reputation for being rather simple (not helped by their cultural propensity toward drug addiction, their bestial appearance, and being third-person people) and often morally ambiguous (their language has no word for "rules" and they have a very loose view of what constitutes personal property). Despite this, most sources indicate that Khajiit are no less intelligent than any other race, with an especially great knack for cleverness, and should not be underestimated. They are capable warriors with a number of fantastic martial art styles and have no qualms with using underhanded tactics to win. In a border dispute with the Bosmer known as the "Five Year War", the Khajiit defeated the Bosmer and extended their territory with the use of tactics including the "vertical ambush". When the Khajiit broke the war-ending truce and continued their attacks, the Bosmer were forced to use the Dangerous Forbidden Technique known as "the Wild Hunt", in which they irreversibly turn into terrible monsters in order to finally stop the Khajiit. Even the Aldmeri Dominion in the 4th Era got the Khajiit to join as vassals rather than via conquest, looking to avoid open conflict with the Khajiit. Further, throughout the series, Khajiit can be found as high ranking members of the Mages and Thieves Guilds.
- Culture Chop Suey: Their caravans, nomadic lifestyle, and propensity for stealth recall medieval views of the Roma. Like the Redguards, they also take a lot of cues from various "desert" cultures, including north African and Middle-Eastern cultures. Their cultural ties to the drug Moon Sugar are also reminiscent of the Chinese Opium culture.
- Culture Clash: Khajiits sees themselves as being merely a minor part of a whole, and therefore Khajiit culture has a somewhat loose view of what constitutes personal property. Naturally, this leads to conflicts outside of Elsweyr where this behavior constitutes "theft".
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Much of the 3rd Era "Five Years War" with the Bosmer was this for the Khajiit. It started as a border dispute but quickly escalated into a full scale war. While the Bosmer won an initial battle (when the Khajiit got poor counsel from their Nord advisors), the Khajiit absolutely manhandled the the Bosmer after that, claiming some of their territory and even raiding deep into Valenwood. It took the Bosmer invoking the Wild Hunt to finally stop the Khajiit attacks.
- Deadpan Snarker: Khajiit have a propensity toward being these, usually with a sarcastic and pithy slant.
- Exotic Equipment: The penises of male Khajiit are said to be covered in tiny barbs, just like real-life cats'. The Real Barenziah book series in Daggerfall includes a scene where Barenziah, the titular Lost Orphaned Royalty, has sex with a Khajiit so that he'll induct her into the Thieves' Guild. She quickly discovers that there is truth to the "barbed penis" rumors. (The book series exists in later games, but this scene is censored.) Likewise, an exotic dancer in Morrowind will make a comment if the Player Character is a male Khajiit, complaining "not another Khajiit, I'm still smarting from the last one."
- Evolutionary Retcon: In Arena and Daggerfall, they look like a race of hardy and fair-skinned men/elves that hardly (if at all) resemble their supposed feline ancestors. In Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, they're Beast Folk that resemble humanoid tigers. The retcon here isn't that they turned into different forms (like the Argonians), but rather lore has been added that explain it as being part of their biology. By the waxing and waning of the two moons Masser and Secunda, the children born to a Khajiit can range in appearance from a small house cat to a fair-skinned man/elf to a cat-man to a feline big enough to be ridden as a beast of battle.
- FaceHeel Turn: As a race during the 4th Era, if one considers the Empire as the "face" side of things and the Aldmeri Dominion as the "heel". (Which, while the Empire has its flaws, is still very much the "gray" to the "black" of the outright fascist Dominion.) Through some clever manipulation, the Dominion convinced Elsweyr to abandon the Empire and join their side of the conflict as a client state.
- Fantastic Drug: Moon Sugar, which is a key ingredient to Skooma, is a prized delicacy among the Khajiit. It is also considered sacred, as the Khajiit believe it to be "crystallized moonlight".
- Fantastic Fighting Style: They are said to have many forms with colorful names like Goutfang, Whispering Claw, Two-Moons-Dance, and Rawlith Khaj (translated as "Raining Sand"). Most take advantage of the Khajiit's natural agility and claws.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: They have single names with prefixes and a Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër, for example Ra'Virr, Dro'Zel. Sometimes no prefixes. (Ex. Vasha, Wadarkhu)
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: A given Khajiit can be born into any of these roles depending on the moon phase at their time of birth. The larger furstocks like the Pahmar or Senche tend to be physical fighters owing to their massive physiques, whereas the medium-sized ones such as Cathay or Dagi are usually thieves or assassins, and the diminutive Alfiq are very magically-gifted compared to their larger brethren.
- Guile Hero: Their folk heroes tend to be this, due to their racial inclination towards combat pragmatism and use of sharp wits over brute strength. In the games, Khajiit characters who are allied with the player (e.g. Razum-dar) will typically overcome their adversaries using trickery and exploits, rather than direct confrontation.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Each of their 17 different subspecies is implied to be able to breed with one another. To review, they can supposedly range in size from house cats, through a number of variations of humanoid Cat Folk, to outright tigers large enough to be ridden as steeds in battle. Additionally, the offspring any pairing produces has nothing to do with the parent subspecies, but rather, the phases of the moons under which they are born.
- I Am Legion: When it comes down to it, "Khajiit" is not really a racial description nor an adjective, but rather a collective noun. Each indivual Khajiit regard themselves first and foremost as but a small part of the larger collective called "Khajiit", and as an individual lastly. This is also at the root of why they regard the idea of personhood and personal properity as very fluid terms, tend to speak in Third-Person Person, and always call themselves "this one" when refering to themselves as a specific invidual.
- Impossible Theft: Rajhin, a legendary Khajiiti hero who became the Khajiit God of Thievery. Among his accomplishments are stealing the Ring of Khajiit from Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Darkness, stealing the shadow from a merchant, and stealing the tattoo clean off the neck of the Empress Kintyra as she slept. He was said to have abilities like being able to hide in his own shadow as well as move invisibly, silently, and as fast as the wind.
- Indy Ploy: A common trait of Khajiiti heroes, to the point that they even have a god for this concept, Baan Dar. He is commonly attributed with "the genius which lends itself to the creation of last-minute plans to foil the machinations of the Khajiit's foes."
- Innate Night Vision: Khajiit have an innate Night Eye effect which allows them to see better in the dark.
- Language Equals Thought: Ta'agra, the language of the Khajiit, has no word for "rules". The closest equivalent translates to "foolish concepts".
- Little Bit Beastly: The Ohmes and Ohmes-Raht subspecies have light fur and, in the latter's cases, a tail, but are otherwise completely humanoid, so much so that they're often mistaken for Bosmer. In order to avoid being mistaken as one of the Bosmer, many Ohmes tattoo their faces to resemble their more feline cousins. The Ohmes and Ohmes-Raht are the most common form seen outside of the province of Elsweyr, taking advantage of other races' preference for their appearance to serve in positions of ambassadorship and trade.
- Matriarchy: While the (historically male) Mane is the unofficial "head of state" of the Khajiit people, it is the Clan Mothers who hold the real power in Khajiiti society. They control the harvest and refinement of Moon Sugar, and thus it is they who are seen as the most influential.
- Motifs: Moons. Specifically, the two moons Masser and Secunda which will, depending on their phases, affect what subspecies a Khajiit will be when they are born, and are an integral part of the Khajiit religion. While Khajiit culture is merely scratched at in the main series games compared to some of the other playable races, Online shows that a lot of Khajiit style armor is adorned with symbols of the moons in different phasesnote , as well as the Khajiit style weapons,Example to the point where an armory filled with high-end Khajiit style gear would border on Sigil Spam. In addition to the above, their biggest export is moonsugar, which has religious and cultural significance to the Khajiit, who believe it to be "crystallized moonlight", the Temples of Two-Moons Dance are places for philosophical study and martial training, etc.
- Natural Weapon: Khajiit have natural razor-sharp and retractable claws. They have numerous fantastical martial arts styles which revolve around their use of these as a primary form of defense.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: They are known to play up the perceptions other races have for them as simple and unintelligent in order to take advantage of them. Cleverness is, after all, a virtue in their culture.
- Our Gods Are Different: Khajiiti religion teaches that the Khajiit people are "bound up" in what is known as the "Lunar Lattice", the relation between Moon Sugar (which they believe is crystallized moonlight), Lorkhan's Body (the moons themselves), Lorkhan's Heart, and the White-Gold Tower. Many of the deities, both Aedra and Daedra, are recognized by the Khajiit, but they often have different names and associations in the Khajiiti religion. For example, they call Mehrunes Dagon "Merrunz", and to the Khajiit, he is eternally a kitten, for "what is more destructive than a young cat?"
- Panthera Awesome:
- While not related to the Khajiit, the large Senche cats native to Elsweyr and Valenwood can often be found as Khajiit pets and guard animals. They come in several forms, including Senche-Tigers, Senche-Panthers, and Senche-Lions. While other races see them as little better than wild animals, Khajiit are said to "sense an intelligence" in them that the other races do not.
- The Pahmar-raht resemble tigers and are the tallest Khajiit furstock, easily towering over most other races.
- Proud Merchant Race: The Khajiit are known as skilled traders and for their cross-continental traveling caravans.
- Random Species Offspring: Or random subspecies offspring, in this case. The nature of the offspring of a Khajiiti pairing has nothing to do with the furstocks of its parents, but is instead determined by the phases of the moon under which they are born.
- Rapunzel Hair: Khajiit will cut off their manes in deference to the Mane, who will have them weaved into his own mane. As the Khajiit population grew over time, this became impractical, so in modern times, only the Mane's own tribe and his royal guard will cut their manes in this fashion. Still, the Mane is so weighted down by the hair that movement is difficult without aid and he will often travel the countryside by means of a palanquin.
- Reincarnation: According to Khajiit tradition, the Mane, the unofficial "head of state" for all Khajiit, is one entity reborn in different bodies with the passage of time.
- Sapient Fur Trade: There exists a black market trade in Khajiit furs. One in-game book, Confessions of a Khajit Fur Trader, was written by a Khajiit who trades in the furs of his own kind.
- The Savage South: Elsweyr is a massive desert with some tropical jungles at the borders, and home to the Khajiit who have a not-undeserved reputation for stealing everything that isn't well-guarded. They are considered one of Tamriel's prime examples of a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass race, as even the fascistic Aldmeri Dominion preferred to get Elsweyr to join diplomatically as a vassal rather than via conquest.
- Screw You, Elves!:
- In the Five Years War with the Bosmer. After getting rid of their Nord advisors, the Khajiit brutalized the Bosmer, capturing territory and raiding deep into Valenwood. The Bosmer had to invoke the Wild Hunt in order to finally bring the war to an end.
- Otherwise averted, as the Khajiit have twice joined the Aldmeri Dominion with the Altmer and Bosmer to instead deliver "screw yous" to humanity.
- Slave Race: The Khajiit were one of the primary races targeted for enslavement by the Dunmer.
- Speak of the Devil: Khajiit recognize "dark spirits" known as "dro-m'Athra", who are represented by the inverse phases of the moons. However, the Khajiit refuse to speak of them.
- Sticky Fingers: A cultural trait of the Khajiit. Oddly justified given their language's lack of a word for "rules" and their culture's rather loose view of what constitutes "personal property" - the book The Buying Game states that even Khajiit shopkeepers are suspicious towards other Khajiit entering their stores. This is frequently used against them by the Fantastic Racists of the other races to ban Khajiit from their cities and even to justify slavery. Naturally, Khajiit who have lived among the other races have shown the ability to get past this compulsion.
- Sweet Tooth: Somewhat amusingly, the entire race has a known sweet tooth, particularly toward the drug Moon Sugar (which is sacred in their culture). Rather ironic, given that Real Life felines can't taste sugar at all."The food of Elsweyr is invariably sweet; candies, cakes, puddings, and sugarmeats are the staples of the khajiit diet, and travelers to Elsweyr are cautioned against partaking of any of the native food."
- Then Let Me Be Evil: The sad irony of the Khajiit is that since they are stereotyped as thieves, drug addicts, and generally lowly scum, they rarely find meaningful employment and have to resort to criminal activities to survive.
- There Can Be Only One: The Mane, the unofficial "head of state" for all Khajiit. The Mane is not a standard furstock of Khajiit, but tradition holds that only one Mane may be alive at any one time, since the Mane is one entity reborn in different bodies with the passage of time. The veracity of this is unknown, but there has been no recorded instance of multiple Manes contending for power.
- Third-Person Person: Most of the Khajiit speak this way when speaking in Tamrielic. Not only do they replace "I" or "me" in conversation with their own name, they'll say more generic terms like "this one" or simply "Khajiit". (Ex. "Khajiit has no wares to sell.") This works both ways too, as they'll replace "you" with the name, race, or class of the person they are speaking to. (Ex. "What does the Imperial want?") Less politely, they may also replace "you" with "it". One can readily determine whether a Khajiit in question is a relative foreigner to non-Khajiit lands or has lived in them for a long time by studying their speech patterns. The ones who refer to themselves in the third person frequently are less familiar with non-Khajiiti cultures, while those who use first person are more acclimatized.
- Underestimating Badassery: Due to their small quadrupedal body shapes, the Alfiq Khajiit are typically mistaken for regular housecats outside of Elsweyr. Those not aware of this furstock usually treat them as unintelligent cats, whom they will try to coo or cuddle with. Despite this, where the Alfiq lack in physical strength and robustness of their cousins, they make up for it with frightening magical mastery, as well as serving as excellent spies and thieves because of their unassuming appearances. Additionally, being Khajiit, the Alfiq still possess sharp claws and fangs, which they can wield with great effect against opponents and the unwary alike, with one Alfiq NPC in Online boasting about maiming an Imperial who tried to pet her while she was sleeping.
- The Unseen:
- Most Khajiit furstocks have yet to make an appearance in the main series. Only the Ohmes (Arena), Ohmes-raht (Daggerfall), Suthay/Suthay-raht (Morrowind, Online), and Cathay (Oblivion, Skyrim) have actually appeared.
- The Legends digital card battle shows the Cathay-raht ("Jaguar Men"), Dagi-raht (a smaller sub-breed with an affinity for climbing trees and using magic), and Pahmar-raht ("Tiger Men" and the largest bipedal furstock).
- Online has introduced the Alfiq, Pahmar, Pahmar-raht, Senche-raht, Dagi,
- Weird Moon: Nirn's twin moons, Masser and Secunda, are highly revered in Khajiiti religion and culture. They even dictate what form a Khajiit cub will grow into based on their phases when it was born.
- Arch-Enemy: It is rumored that they came into conflict with the Argonians, who drove them out of Black Marsh. Details of the events are unfortunately scant.
- Fox Folk: They were said to be a "vulpine race".
- Mystical Plague: It is said that the 2nd Era Knahaten Flu wiped them out.
- Noble Savage: From what little is known about them, they were a primitive, tribal, and nomadic society. If they were more "noble" or more "savage" remains unknown, however.
- The Unseen: They are mentioned in the series, but have not actually appeared. Justified, as they are heavily implied to have been driven into extinction either by the Argonians and/or by a deadly disease known as the Knahaten Flu during the Second Era.
A beast of rage and ignoble glaring.
Oh minotaur, oh minotaur,
None can deny your noble bearing.
Around Imperial ruins you gather,
Eternal guardians with hooves and horn.
What memories lead you to path there,
Is it Belharza or the Empire that you mourn?
Oh minotaur, oh minotaur,
Are you monster, Mer, or Man?
Oh minotaur, oh minotaur,
Tell us how you fit into the Divine's plan!
Minotaurs, also known as "bull-men" or "man-bulls", are a large humanoid species with the body of a man and the head of a bull. Though said to possess intelligence, Minotaurs are best known for their massive size and immense strength. Minotaurs are most commonly found in the northwestern and north-central regions of Cyrodiil. The civility of Minotaurs varies greatly depending on the individual. Some prefer to be naked and fight bare-handed or with their horns while others craft rudimentary weapons and armors. Some, particularly their shamans, are capable of using magic. Female Minotaurs are known to exist, but are rarely seen by outsiders.
The most common theory regarding the origin of Minotaurs traces them back to the union of St. Alessia and Morihaus, the divine "man bull". Belharza, Alessia's son and second Emperor of the Alessia Empire, is widely believed to have been the "first Minotaur" and a product of the union between Alessia and Morihaus. In the years during and following the reign of Alessia, Minotaurs began to appear in greater numbers. These Minotaurs were believed to be loyal and devoted supporters of the Alessian Empire. Lending credence to this theory is the fact that modern Minotaurs are commonly found around sites and ruins dating back to the Alessian Empire, which they are believed to be drawn to on an instinctual level. According to some modern scholars, Minotaurs became a target of the Alessian Order, a rabidly human-supremacist theological order who took over the First Empire sometime after Belharza's reign. The Order slaughtered Minotaurs and drove them to wilderness areas on the fringes of the Empire's borders.
- Always Chaotic Evil: According to the beliefs of most Tamriellic citizens anyway. While they are very territorial and aggressive in attacking intruders, it is subverted in that Minotaurs mostly prefer to be left alone and that they once acted as strong supporters of the First Empire.
- An Axe to Grind: Axes, along with massive warhammers, are favored weapons of the Minotaurs. They are strong enough to wield the two-handed variants of these weapons with one-hand, sometimes Dual Wielding them.
- Barbarian Tribe: They live in groups frequently numbering in the twenties with a primitive clan-like social structure. The strongest male dominates the clan and has breeding rights with all females of reproductive age. Younger males may attempt to challenge him for the position via a Duel to the Death.
- Fantastic Racism: Despite the status of Belharza (believed to have been the first Minotaur) as Emperor and their loyalty/devotion to the Alessian Empire, Minotaurs became demonized when the Alessian Order took over. They were re-classified as "monsters" and driven from civilized areas, with whatever culture they had being destroyed.
- Giant Mook: Minotaurs are much taller and larger than most of the other races of Tamriel, and are frequently in conflict with travelers in Cyrodiil's more rural areas.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Minotaurs have the bodies of men with the heads of bulls. They are said to descend from the Divine Date coupling of St. Alessia (a Nedic woman) with Morihaus (an Aedric demi-god "man bull").
- Horn Attack: They are known to use their horns in combat, which are hard and sharp enough to rend even the toughest armor.
- I'm a Humanitarian:
- A common belief is that Minotaurs are man-eaters, but evidence for this belief is scant.
- In the other direction, Minotaur meat has been known to be consumed by other races and is a key ingredient in the dish slumgullion stew.
- A Load of Bull: Minotaurs have massive humanoid bodies with the head of a bull.
- Monster Progenitor: Minotaurs are believed to descend from the union between St. Alessia and Morihaus. Pelinal Whitestrake, Alessia's "champion" and Morihaus' divine "uncle", specifically warned Morihaus against this relationship, believing that they would "beget more monsters on this earth". (Which, if this is the true origin of Minotaurs, proved to be the case.)
- The Nose Knows: Minotaurs are said to have an incredible sense of smell and are able to track their prey by scent alone.
- One-Gender Race: Averted. This is believed to be the case by many in Tamriel, but female Minotaurs do exist. They are just so rarely seen by outsiders that most believe all Minotaurs to be male.
- Sapient Fur Trade: They possess enough intelligence to craft rudimentary weapons and armor, and are known to live in social "clan" societies. However, they are still valued by hunters for their horns (which are prestigious hunting prizes and have valuable alchemical properties) as well as Oxblood Fungal Spores (which are used by blacksmiths and are only known to grow on Minotaurs). They are also often captured alive and used as a common opponent in gladiatorial arenas throughout Tamriel.
The slugmen of Thras, the Coral Kingdom to the west of the Summerset Isles in the Abecean Sea. Sload change drastically in form during maturation, from aquatic grubs to "squishy" adolescents likened to octopi. Adults are vaguely humanoid in shape and capable of living on land. The Sload are naturally skilled in magic, particularly necromancy, mysticism, and teleportation magic. It is said that the Sload do not experience emotions like Tamriel's other denizens, but have some knowledge of them and are capable of simulating them.
Thras has a heavy isolationist policy, with extremely limited contact and trade with Tamriel throughout history. The Sload once claimed ownership of the Summerset Isles, but were chased off by the Aldmer when they came to Tamriel. The Sload continued to antagonize the Aldmer, and then their Altmer descendants, ever after. The most infamous act of the Sload was to inflict Tamriel with the Thrassian Plague in the 1st Era, which wiped out over half of Tamriel's population. In response, the navies of Tamriel united to sink Thras beneath the sea. However, the Sload survived and, some time later, brought Thras back to the surface. Many denizens of Tamriel still kill Sload onsight wherever they are found.
- Absolute Xenophobe: They have an isolationist policy toward almost every other race, especially those of Tamriel. One exception they made was for a Maormer ambassador, who was allowed to visit Thras, be fed, and even meet a Sload elder. That ambassador described it all as "repulsive".
- The Ageless: There is no known age limit or size to adult Sload. One story tells of an "Elder Distended One", who seems to serve as some sort of leader to the Sload. It is said to be "impressively corpulent" and regurgitates some unknown substance that other Sload then "eagerly consume".
- Alien Lunch: Sload are said to serve various molds and fungi as meals. One account even mentions Sload consuming a regurgitated substance from one of their elders.
- Arch-Enemy: To the Altmer, and to all Tamriel in general, to the point that Sload are often killed on sight.
- Beast Man: They are "slugmen" who grow from aquatic grubs, to aquatic octopi-like adolescents, to (extremely corpulent) vaguely humanoid adults.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The Sload are a very alien race. Born into broods of aquatic, amorphous grubs whose parents "care little" for them (and even actively kill them in order to produce the alchemical ingredient "Sload Soap"), those who survive grow into "squishy" adolescents likened to octopi. Further, adult Sload are believed to be hermaphrodites who absorb their sexual organs by the time they are capable of surviving on land.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Practically everything about them is utterly alien to a human observer. They do not experience emotions as we understand them. They feel no pity or remorse for their actions which can include the taking of souls and outright genocide. They gleefully raise the dead as servants and pets. While they border on Always Chaotic Evil, they simply do not see the acts they commit as being evil.
- The Chessmaster: Sload culture holds those representing this trope in high regard. All Sload heroes spend years planning and consulting with other Sload before acting against their adversaries, whereas their villains are rash and always fail as a result.
- Escape Rope: All adult Sload have knowledge of the Recall spell, which they instinctively use to flee danger when greatly stressed.
- Evil Smells Bad: "Evil" from the point of view of every other Tamriellic race, the Sload are said to emanate a constant "repugnant" stench.
- Fat Bastard: As they grow, Sload become more and more corpulent, to the point that only being supported by magic or water prevents them from being crushed under their own weight.
- Final Solution: They attempted this toward every other race in Tamriel using the Thrassian Plague. They successfully wiped out over half of Tamriel's population, believed to be even more than the Oblivion Crisis or Red Year. It's little wonder then that, despite their own various disagreements with each other, one thing most denizens of Tamriel can agree on is that the Sload are unrepentantly evil.
- Graceful Loser: Sload are known to express cheerful affinity toward anyone that does manage to defeat or outwit them.
- Hermaphrodite: Sload are believed to be hermaphrodites who absorb their sexual organs by the time they are capable of surviving on land.
- Lack of Empathy: Sload are described as not feeling the same emotions other races do, but have some understanding of them and are capable of simulating them for diplomatic purposes when meeting with outsiders. They (in)famously do not feel anything for their victims, even likening the taking of their souls to having "coins in a pouch".
- Mystical Plague: Unleashed the Thrassian Plague on Tamriel in the 1st Era. The Plague wiped out over half of Tamriel's population, and in response, the navies of the Tamriellic nations united to form the All Flags Navy, which attacked Thras and sunk it beneath the sea.
- Necromancer: The Sload are well known for their knowledge of necromancy. One of the most famous necromancers in Tamriellic history is N'Gasta, a Sload.
- Our Gods Are Different:
- The Sload are generally non-religious, though they have no problem making pacts with Daedric Princes if it suits them. The 1000ft tall Pillar of Thras is found on the central island of the Thras archipelago and is said to be a portal to Oblivion. The Sload are known to make sacrifices here, though to whom or what is unknown.
- There is evidence that the Sload have a particular connection to Peryite, the Daedric Prince of Tasks and Pestilence. Peryite is associated with the creation of the Thrassian Plague and there is also an ancient shrine dedicated to Peryite in the Summerset Isles which depicts the Aldmer fighting "slug-like creatures".
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Sload use their skills in necromancy to re-animate dead bodies to use as slave labor.
- Parental Abandonment: Adult Sload have no interest in the fate of their (grub-like) offspring.
- Photographic Memory: Sload have perfect recall of everything they see or hear.
- Raising the Steaks: The Sload are said to "slaughter and revive" various forms of sea creature as pets, such as crabs and turtles.
- The Unfettered: Are utterly ruthless in the pursuit of their goals, with even genocide being on the table if it helps them achieve their ends.
- Witch Species: Sload are naturally talented in various schools of magic, including necromancy and mysticism (particularly the taking of souls and teleportation spells).
- Your Soul is Mine!: Bartering in souls is well known among the Sload. The souls they collected are treated as no different than "coins in a pouch".