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On Argonians

Author: 
Cirantille

In studying the various races of Tamriel, I have found a few strange aberrations. Among the human-shaped, the Argonians may be the most fascinating. They are cold-blooded, in both the physiological and psychological sense, and yet they somehow manage to operate in all climes with the same resilience as mammals. Their preference for sub-tropical and tropical climates notwithstanding, to see an Argonian moving through sub-arctic or arctic regions with the same facility as their mammalian rivals is simply astounding.

While most other Altmeri scholars simply choose to ignore this oddity, I chose to delve into it, and I believe I've discovered its cause. The Argonians maintain their they are connected to a mystical force known as "the Hist." As religious beliefs go, it is not terribly complicated, but I believe it has a physical manifestation as well.

The Hist supposedly emanates from all nature in Tamriel but is particularly strong in "Hist trees"—large, usually ancient, growths found at the center of every sizeable Argonian settlement. These Hist trees contain, the Argonians believe, the collective memories and knowledge of all Argonians.

Whether this is true or not, the sap that flows from a Hist tree contains concentrated magicka. I believe that it is this Hist Sap that gives the Argonians the ability to defy the logical limits of their own physiology and also empowers their shamans or "tree-minders." If we can tap the energy contained within a Hist tree, who knows what we, a race used to manipulating magic, may achieve?

The Lost Communion

Author: 
Anonymous

Before the Hist, nothing existed. The Hist meant everything and provided all.

Jaraleet knew this. Every Argonian knew this, instinctively, from hatching. Why, then, wouldn't the Hist speak to them? Didn't the old stories say the Hist talked to its people?

Day after day, Jaraleet burnt offerings and made sacrifices. He chanted and prayed. He ate little, his efforts concentrated upon renewing the ancient connection between the Hist and its people.

One morning, his wife insisted he eat a full meal. "No matter how much you wish it, you cannot feast upon the Hist itself," she gently chided.

Jaraleet blinked as her words pierced his thinking. "Hist sap!" he cried, touching his forehead to hers with affection.

Though no alchemist, Jaraleet concocted formula after formula. He distilled various ichors, combining each one in varying amounts with Hist sap, tasting them all, making adjustments. He felt the Hist urge him on, demanding he break through its silence.

Finally, Jaraleet drank his master decoction. He savored the thick, sweet syrup coating his tongue. Standing quietly beneath the Hist's outstretched boughs, his eyes glittered with comprehension.

"I am your child and servant," he whispered. And the Hist showed him all things.

The Strange Case of Ja-Reet

Author: 
Anonymous

It is very rare for one of our people to be born away from the Hist. We are, in a very real way, part of the Hist. To be born away from it is to be born without something essential. For most of my life and service as a healer, this has remained a theoretical issue. That is, until Ja-Reet.

Though born in slavery, he's done well since the Pact and our emancipation. He even married a Dunmer—the daughter of the Narsis family who owned his parents. While I view such a union with personal distaste, it speaks well of his ability to interact in society despite his obvious disadvantage.

Make no mistake, in Argonian society, he is disadvantaged. He's unable to read social clues, the subtle movements of muscle and tail that most of us take for granted. We occasionally have difficulty reading the emotions of other races. Ja-Reet has that problem even with fellow Argonians. He listens to spoken words, and is insensitive to their tone. Surely being born away from the Hist has deprived him of emotional intuition.

He brought his Elven wife with him to Percolating Mire. She's not welcomed by all, though she draws him out socially, which has been invaluable in trying to learn about how he thinks.

Perhaps proximity to a thriving Hist tree will help Ja-Reet gain the intuition the rest of us take for granted.

Myths and Legends of the Hist

Author: 
Overview of the Hist from an Imperial perspective

Those willing to risk rust chancre, greenspore, and a host of other more debilitating diseases may venture into parts of Black Marsh unmapped by the higher races. The few who can cope with swamp rot, fleshfly bites, and the constant palaver of unseen entities whooping, clicking, or simply lying in the murk waiting to slice teeth across your limbs may reach the innermost swamps. And the hardiest of Imperial explorers, who have no further need to prove their mettle after the following discovery, may gaze upon the Hist tree.

Rumors abound that the Hist tree is the main form of worship among the scaled peoples of these dark swales. Others have hypothesized that the trees are apperceptive, with a deep knowledge and unfathomable secrets from the times before all the races of Man and Mer. Loose translations of recently uncovered Dunmeri texts seem to indicate a ritual among the Argonians, although this may be legend rather than fact.

It is said that when a Saxhleel emerges from juvenescence, it finds a nearby Hist tree to lick sap from its bole. The elements in the sap quicken the hormonal glands, which sprout appropriate organs from which the Argonian's gender can be determined. Immediately afterward, an appropriate mate is found and reproduction occurs. The female soon lays one or more eggs, which are moved to a hatching pool where gestation and spawning takes place.

With recent Imperial expeditions into central Black Marsh ending inconclusively (burial sites were marked on the map Cornix Caeparius provided), and the locals reticent to speak of the mysteries of this fabled tree despite our cajoling, we remain alarmingly ungifted in the realm of Hist tree knowledge.

Head horticulturist Titullinia Petillia of the Imperial Palace Gardens has requested careful handling and collection of sap or seeds from this tree, should one be discovered. It may prove to be a considerable boon to our apothecaries.

The Hist's Fire

Author: 
Pegareem

Many ask us how we find our mates, as though Argonians cannot experience joy the way the mer do.

Though this seems absurd, I myself met my husband in an unusual way. I believe the Hist spoke to both of us, to ensure we would both be where we could not help but meet and fall in love. This despite my innermost belief I'd never marry.

The first stir caught me by surprise. I put away items in the shop, organizing what I could amongst the clutter, when suddenly I heard my own voice in my mind say, "Wait for him."

"For …?" I asked aloud, startled out of my reverie.

Silence.

My quiet sensibility replaced by confusion, I turned abruptly, knocking over the lamp, which flung an arc of burning oil across the room.

Oil landed everywhere, from the piles of fabric, to the litter of papers, and the straw scattered over the floor. In a single moment, a modest light source turned the crowded room into a fire pit.

Coral tongues licked across the dried herbs hanging from the ceiling, and I realized I'd been standing still, slack-jawed, as smoke and heat and flame swirled around.

The hut had never seemed so large as it did then. Dark with smoke, bright with fire, its air filled with a dull, creaking roar. I squinted against the elements, my hand across my mouth, and staggered toward the ever-receding door.

"Anyone in there? Anyone?"

"Me!"

I reached the door as it burst open, causing the flames to surge upwards and out with an almost celebratory leap. A dark hand grabbed mine, pulling me out and away.
"Are you hurt?"

Coughing, I shook my head. "I'm all right. But the store …."

We both turned to look. The fire, so unruly within the confines of the hut, had met its match with the wet thatch roof.

"Thank you for helping me," I said, turning to face my rescuer at last.

Our eyes locked in recognition. The Hist had chosen us for each other, and neither of us would need to wait any longer.

Argonians of Black Marsh

Author: 
Anonymous

Although nearly as ancient as the Mer, the Argonians of Black Marsh are still a primitive people. Shamanistic thinking and tree worship indicates a sub-mer capacity for critical thinking. The crude craftsmanship in these artifacts further points to a limited appreciation for aesthetics, calling into question their possibility of possessing a soul.

The Argonian Mating Ritual

Author: 
Valrendil of the Crystal Tower

by Valrendil of the Crystal Tower, Research-Appointee to the Thalmor

I shall endeavor to shed light on these most mysterious creatures, the Argonians, paying particular attention to their mating rituals.

Many speak in whispers of the Hist, a faceless entity with whom all Argonians claim bonds. According to legend, the Hist lives at the heart of Black Marsh in a tree that routinely walks the lands, patrolling its borders.

Some say the wandering Hist is a metaphor for the Argonian condition. Doomed to toil amongst the fetid swamps, they desire a way out of their misery. Somehow the Argonians continue to survive, their numbers neither rising nor falling regardless of adversity.

The lizard-folk view mating as a simple call to procreation by their leader, the Hist. To participate in this annual event, Argonians travel to the town of Hissmir and engage in several trials. The trial winners are allowed to mate, while losers must return the following year.

Though I was unable to observe this year's trials, I hope to attend next year in order to learn more about these strange and sub-Elven reptilians.

Racial Motifs 9: The Argonians

Author: 
Doctor Alfidia Lupus

This morning my maid Dariella came to me all a-twitter with the news that there was a lizard-woman at the door, asking for me and insisting it was urgent. There aren't many Argonians in the City, and it occurred to me this might be a relative of Seif-ij, sent with some dreadful news about Morian, so I donned my University robe and hurried down.

There was indeed a young lizard-woman waiting in the street, clad in a fetching spidersilk jumper adorned with intricate spiral designs. She said her name was Lifts-Her-Tail (which I thought must be a joke, but who can tell, given these reptilians' impassive features), and she'd been sent to bring me to her master, Desh-Wulm the Perspicuous. She said she didn't know what it was about, but it was a matter of some urgency, and she was to lead me to her master immediately. I nodded, nervously, and followed.

The Argonian lass led me out the Temple gate and down to the Docks, far out on the end of which we found a curious old house I'd never before noticed, with a dark sign by the door that read "The Xanmeer"—a word unfamiliar to me. We went inside to find a large house entirely occupied by Argonians, a dozen or so who seemingly lived there using all the rooms in common. Everywhere I looked I saw Argonian hangings, sculptures, and fetishes, all made from natural materials such as shells, bone, and feathers, glowing with bright spiral and geometric designs. If these objects were representative of what the Argonians used in their home regions, then snakeskin, tortoise shell, jagged teeth, turquoise and jade, all of which we would consider exotic materials, must be commonplace in Black Marsh,.

Lifts-Her-Tail led me up a ramp that had apparently replaced the house's staircase. On the upper level she introduced me to a humid room that, to me at least, smelled of decay and mold. Coughing, I entered, discovering a room almost entirely full of potted jungle plants—some of them seemingly long-dead and rotting. I stepped on something that squished beneath my sandal and stepped involuntarily back, but the lizard-lass gently took my hand, drew me past a wall of ferns and into the center of the room.

There, incongruously, I discovered a large porcelain Nibenese bathtub, like the one in my own vanity chamber, though this one was filled almost to the rim with a noisome, greenish mud. And lying in this mud, nose barely above the surface, was the oldest Argonian I'd ever seen.

In fact, the withered and wizened lizard-man looked so much like a mummy I was startled when it opened its mouth and spoke. In a voice like creaking leather, the reptilian slowly said, "I am Desh-Wulm. You are Al-Phid, Brightest Star of the City. You are welcome in my uxith—my nest."

He seemed to be looking someplace over my shoulder, and I saw that the old lizard's eyes were clouded over with an opalescent film—he was blind. This infirmity was somehow reassuring, enabling me to regain my self-possession and fall gratefully into the routines of etiquette. I bowed—though he couldn't see it—and said, "I am honored to be received into your home, venerable Desh-Wulm. How can one such as I be of service to an Elder of Wisdom?"

"You can beware!" he croaked, scaled hands emerging from the mud and levering him up on the rim of the bathtub. "Your dryskin mages—the weft unravels about them," he said, more calmly, making an unfamiliar spiral gesture above the tub. "It is wrong. The Aurbic skeins should not be disjoined with intent of malice."

I had been around wizards long enough to guess at what he meant. "Morian?" I gasped. "And Divayth? They're in danger? What can I do?"

Desh-Wulm clacked his jaws twice, and then said, "You are capable. You must stop them. You will prevail. If not," three sharp spines rose up from his brow, "there will be ill dreams and serration for all who swim the river. Kaoc!" The old Argonian suddenly began thrashing about in the tub, spilling muck over the sides. "Theilul!"

Lifts-Her-Tail deftly picked up a jug that seemed to be made from a single insect's carapace, uncorked it, and poured some brown liquor down the old lizard-man's throat. "Go!" she hissed, pointing toward the door. "Do as he says! Now!"
I turned, ran out of the room, down the ramp, out the door, and back to the Imperial City.

GT Noonan's Posts

Author: 
GT Noonan

Scribs in Morrowind society

You have all seen the Scrib. It's what you would get if you stepped on a Spider, a Roach, and a Puppy all at the same time. I imagine that if and when the children in Vvardenfell come out from hiding, you might see them walking these Scribs around the block on a leash. Fairly tamed little buggers until you kick one. Then it turns on ya with quite a punch.

On Khajiit and Argonian variants (08/08/00)

The Pocket Guide explains the Khajiit rather well. They basically are one race, but range from very humanoid to perhaps an actual cat-like appearance. You could probably mistaken the most humanoid one for a human, while the most beast-like one you might take as a cheetah or something. This is my best idea/suggestion anyways. The same can probably be said for the Argonians. They may range from either a very humanlike apprearance to a crocodile-like appearance. I guess it depends on how many times they decide to lick the tree (refer to the PGE).

On Khajiit

Remember, Khajiit come in many forms. The closer you get to their homelands, the more wild they may appear. Though wild looking, this does not mean they are more primitive thinkers. There may or may not be different forms of the Khajiit in MW (I'm not the animator, so I wouldnt know) so just keep your eyes open for them.

Also, another point to be taken is that since Dark Elves use Khajiit and Argonian slaves, the nature of these slaves is most likely to be more Kitty-like, or primitive. There are reasons for the look, so dont think that it was just a snap decision.

[...]

5) Perhaps in future products, you can have the choice to play different types of Khajiit. Gentlemen prefer Ohmes... although I have to admit I like the way the Suthay-raht (sometimes called ja-Khajiit, though this is either a deliberate insult or a translation error) in Vvardenfell have turned out.
6) If Khajiit have six breasts, which I will neither confirm nor deny, only the top two have visually-pleasing fat deposits in most "beeds."
7) Only three "breeds" of Khajiit have the, um, adaptation discussed in The Real Barenziah which occurs in Earth-cats for entirely different reasons.
8) Khajiit are not like cats in every way. They are not exactly like humans either. I should know because I made all this stuff up.

What are Argonians like, biologically? (01/15/01)

Because they ARE "morphically diverse" (as you put it), I would seriously say that Argonians can be very mammalian or reptilian. They can be warm blooded or cold blooded. They can lay eggs or have very humanlike deliveries. Remember, given the nature of their being, they can appear as simple crocodile-like creatures or humans with scales and tails. The possibilities are quite great actually.

Do they have matched upper and lower teeth sets, like humans? (01/15/01)

Well, once again, they can. And then there are the ones that allow birds to clean their teeth.

Argonians can't kiss. (01/15/01)

Very UNtrue, given the structuring of the Argonian in question.

What Earth reptile are Argonians most like? (01/15/01)

Unanswerable. They can look like whatever reptilian creature you wanna imagine in my mind. Hell, maybe even turtle-like if you wish.

Are Argonians emotional? (01/15/01)

Depends on the evolved status of the particular Argonian. The less "humanlike", the more out of touch with its feelings and emotions (I would imagine). We can honestly tell if a crocodile or a salamander shows emotions, so I can only pretend to know this answer. Specualtion probably depends on how far you want to go into a character.

What is a typical Argonian view of each of the other races? (01/15/01)

I take it you are talking about an Argonian of humanlike evolution and STILL residing in Black Marsh. If so, their feelings are probably more geared towards the Dark Elves and the Cyrodils. There may be some disgust for the Dark Elves due to enslavement and there may be some, but very little, lack of trust for the Cyrodils. They tolerate all races however, and most likely fear none of them. Afterall, who is gonna risk conquering Black Marsh at the expense of getting the Fever?

Are the Argonians naturally diverse, or are there multiple species of Argonains? (01/15/01)

No, not another race, simply a version of the same. 

The Hist Sap may very well play a large part in this. The sap is the possible agent for their evolved or de-evolved appearance? I think so. You heard the term "licking trees" from MK once? Secreted sap from the trees lends a powerful toxin which may allow an Argonian to "graduate" to another stage of evolution. This may be a ritual event for certain members of clans or perhaps citizens who are awarded the "right" to evolve. I cant actually say its "evolving" but thats a more comprehensible term to use for this case. If you take on the form of a crocodile or newt, this doesnt exactly mean you are "lower" or "unintelligent". I think the sap only alters the appearance and not the mental. This is ONE race, not a series of subraces. There is only ONE Argonian species. Just as Obsidian said, dogs are all one species too, but they take on many appearances. The same can be seen with the Khajiit.

Why do Argonians look different in each TES game? (01/15/01)

The reason for the Argonians looking differeht all the time in different TES games really is just part of OUR evolution in design and such. With the ability for Argonians to look different due to their ritual tree licking, it allows us to keep the pace of the game going steady and looking new and almost original in all of the upcoming games. Seeing the same characters over and over could lend itself to some real boredom. But, this isnt just some excuse that we use for making changes either. It was simply an idea that sounded cool and works well within the game and for our design purposes also.

The origin of the Dwemer - includes some interesting contradictions with later lore (01/22/01)

This myth and legend takes place long, long ago, before the Empire was established, and even before the northerners touched foot on Tamrielic shorelines. Elves (Dunmer) were the predominant race of the continent, alongside the much smaller races of beastmen. A traveling band of elves were crossing through a mountainous range in the northeastern region of Tamriel. They encountered a friendly group giants and established relations amongst the two races. The giants had never encountered any human-like races and were bewildered at the small appearance of the elves. The towering giants stood many, many heads over them. The elves of course, were really not too much different in appearance or size than a typical human, but the giants were not aware of this since they had never seen a human. The giants labeled the elves as "Dwarves", claiming that they were just smaller versions of themselves. Over several years, this tag became a widespread label, and these Elves were known as Dwarves.

The Dumner translation of the word Dwarf is Dwemer. So, strangely enough, all Dunmer would use the term "Dwemer", while the northerners/newcomers rerered to this ancient race as Dwarves, taking on the translation of the giants. It is unknown, but perhaps the newcomers encountered the ginats before they did the elves.

Little is known as to the significance of this legend, but it is told to children all over Tamriel. Many would swear by it while many others will claim it is simply a bogus story.

[...]

Ok, "according" to the legend, the Dunmer originated from the Dwemer. They WERE once also known as Dwemer. The giants thought they were small people, and so called them Dwarves (just as we call short people midgets and dwarves). After many many generations perhaps, the name Dwarf, or the translation "Dwemer", finally just became the tag. I am not saying that the labeled Dunmer accepted the name, they may have just tolerated it. I mean afterall, to them it just meant "a short person". Remember, they have/had no concept of the D&D Dwarves, so would not think of themselves as being compared to them. It also doesnt make them a different race. They were by no means a different race. This was many many years before the Empire was even a thought, so the Houses didnt even exist back then either. The Dunmer operaterd their race through a network of tribes. When the Dwemer was heard about by other Dunmer tribes, they were considered as another tribe. But, for reasons perhaps unknown (hehehe) to many, this tribe was not accepted by other Dunmer tribes. Many things would occur in the years following the creation of the Dwemer, right up until the disappearance.

On horses in Morrowind (04/09/01)

Sorry, the Empire got smart and discontinued use of horses in Morrowind. For 2 main reasons....

1: The environemt is not suitable for horses. The ashy air creates bad vegetation for horses and upon munching on grass and such, they drop dead. Ashgut sounds like a good term for the ash/gastro poisoning. Imagine having charcoal fill up your digestive tract. Cant be a pretty picture, especially when black goo starts leaking from every hole on your body, right before you pop.

2: Dark Elves find horses to be a great dish. The Alpo Bistro! No Imperial guard wants to walk outside his house and see a Dark Elven family picnicking on his steed.

The Empire adopted using Guar and Siltstriders since they are more indiginous to the area. In many cases, Guar and Siltstriders are more advantageous than horses anyways.

On Hist (04/16/01)

This is neither a typo nor bad grammar. The PGE will tell you that the Hist are "a relatively intelligent strain" of Argonians. The Guide contains many inaccuracies, and this is one of them. You will also notice that the Guide mentions "a certain type of spore tree" that native Argonians might worship. Speaking generally, it is these trees that are the Hist. As for the relationship, I'm not talking yet. :)

On the ALMSIVI (04/19/01)

This brings us back to the topic of Vivec and company. Speaking only about Vivec (this goes for his pals of course too), is he REALLY considered a God who lives among people? General Patton swept across a many battlefield, and many think him a great man. But, that doesnt exactly make him a God ya know. In a fantasy setting now, Vivec once did the same. He faught in a great battle and currently uses his "aquired" magics to hold off the blighted forces. More can be learned about him in Morrowind, but from what we "currently" know about him, we cannot trully label him a God can we? Maybe he is no more than a simple hero. *shrugs* Almalexia may be no more either. Just as many (in OUR existense of course) may believe Jesus to have just been a considerate, caring human being. I think its all a matter of personal belief, but interesting all the same.

So, this raises the question.... "Are the 'Gods' in Morrowind an excuse for the existence of magic and the absense of other things (like the Dwarves)? Or are they actual, existing entities of great and bewildering power?" *ticking of machinery in many minds begins*

On the 1st PGE and its contradictions with modern (Morrowind era) lore (04/22/01)

Remember! The PGE was written in a "tourists" view. Much like reading a diary. You cannot expect the "fictional" author of the writing to be right about everything. By putting something in concrete, you limit yourself downplay suspense and originality for further developments and such. Not everything we say is always true. Sometimes, even we developers speak out of personal beliefs and idealisms about certain aspects of TES. And it is NOT always correct.... many times, it is INcorrect purposely. ;)

Not to be cruel, but its keeps everything very dynamic and ever evolving. Just because we tell you a red stick is white, it doesnt mean it isnt really green.

Slavery, beast races, and the PGE (04/24/01)

All opinions are very acceptable and I understand (although I may not agree ) any resentment towards the direction of the evolving TES game world. With all due respect, however, there are TONS of events and such in the TES world that are STILL yet unknown to the general fanbase, yet, most is known to the developers. Of course, things such as slavery of the beast races in Morrowind are not something new and pulled out of the developer compost heap. Slavery was a known issue since Daggerfall, believe it or not. It may not have been an issue in Daggerfall, but it is being used now. Even in the game Morrowind, visiting as a beast race, you are known as an Imperial citizen and are NOT looked at as a slave or a worthy slave. You are treated as any other Imperial citizen. Argonians and Khajiit alike. The fact that you may have played as a beast race in Arena and visited a town in Morrowind would still have nothing to do with the fact that there was slavery. I played extensivelt through Arena years and years ago, and this fact does not at all phase me. It is simply something that I look at now and think, "Wow. I visited Morrowind as a Khajiit in Arena and didnt notice a slave/servant situation anywhere. Wonder why I notice it now in THIS game." Sure, that's a thought of mine, but I accept it. As a gamer, a TES fan, and a developer, I totally agree on the direction things have taken thus far.

Of course, with the exclusion of Khajiit and Argonians in Battlespire, I dont know what to say. That was just a design decision. It doesnt mean that they were NOT in the TES universe, it just meant that we did not implement them. Who knows, it may go deeper. Perhaps, at that time, the Imperial Battlemages did not allow beast races to join the Elite Battle college. That's just an idea, not an answer. In all, it was an action shooter. Not a TRUE BEEF TES RPG. On that note, certain different rules had to be applied anyways.

With Redguard, you only played a Redguard. Couldnt play another race. Well, another case of "an action/adventure game", so alternate rules applied. Of course, Redguard was the game that initially hinted on at the slavery and multiple beast breeds, so it was a stepping stone game. It was a good build up to the deeper stuff within the TES universe. And trust me, it gets so much deeper that decades of games will need to be made to find out more and more of the dirt within Tamriel.

The PGE.... what can I say? Of course, depending on what individual, what race, or what class of character wrote it, it would be biased in some manner. IT IS NOT A TES BIBLE. It was never intended to be. It was a fun little "insight" about "ones" visit to various provinces around Tamriel. I thought it was a fairly informative reading and provided readers with some clues, gossip, myths, and mysteries. It was a sort of Dante's Inferno, so to speak, set within Tamriel. Like when National Gepgraphic goes to the wild rain forests of Peru to study the Madrigal Spider Monkey, we take their word for it that they did indeed study this thing for 4 years, through harsh rains, blistering heat, and monsoons. It did indeed swing from tree to tree as a nocturnal creature. It has a mating cycle much like the chimpanzee. It even has a fairly high intelligence. They then come back to the states, edit this hour long program to bring us an exclusive Ntional Geographic Undercover show on Discovery Channel, and they tell us all they had to learn about this creature. An hour later, the credits roll and we sit and ponder what an incredible find this is, and we wonder just how much they ACTUALLY had correct through their 4 year study. Then, more skeptisism sets in and you realise that NONE of this may be true. This monkey doesnt even exist. This may all be for entertainment reasons. Discovery Channel just won the nightly rating with millions of viewers. Hmmm. Basically, you know deep down inside, you wont believe it unless you could actually see this monkey (do you recall the mammoth that was dug up? funny how we see so little of it, yet we believe). Tjis goes back to the PGE. It "states" many things, but these things are a ploy, perhaps, to get the reader to more involve themselves in the subject and do a little research on their own. That's the way I look at it anyways.

So there you have it. My own little Reading Rainbow. But you dont have to take MY word for it.

Background on Hircine (04/25/01)

My knowlege of the Daedra is limited. What I do know though is, Hircine is an antlered Daedric fiend. I wouldnt call him the God Of Hunt, but he is a great Hunter. The Hunter of Mortal Souls and a favored high ranking General of Mehrunes Dagon, the Prince of Destruction. Clavicus Vile may perhaps even be of some blood relation to Hircine. Clavicus is the owner of a shapeshifting beats that takes the typical appearance of a large dog. Dont get the two mistaken. :p

On Khajiit in Morrowind (06/18/01)

Many of the Khajiit in Morrowind will appear to be more "wild", if thats the right way to put it. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that most are slaves. A Khajiit with this appearance may be better suited for slavery. As with Argonians. Maybe the more "beast-like" forms are just bred that way by Dark Elves because they can manage more and heavier work. I dunno, but it sounds good to me. :)

On dragons (09/02/01)

Dragons are not native to Vvardenfell due to the harsh environment. In Redguard, the present dragon is in control of the Empire. Could it be that the existing dragons work with the Empire in return for protection and spoils? If this "were" the case, many dragons probably reside in or around the Cyrodilian/Imperial province. Remember, the symbol of a dragon appears in the Imperial crest. Of course, like in Redguard, they could be dispatched to regions where the Empire needs them. As for Morrowind, there is little protection, if any that the Empire could offer them, especially in Vvardenfell. As for the Skylamps, that's a strange idea that they are natural predators to dragons. If anything, the Cliff Racers may be a natural predator if they attacked dragons in packs, or flocks. I guess the Cliff Racers could be much like the creatures that were in the movie Pitch Black. Not totally, but just in their predatory nature. This could be one theory why dragons either moved out or never existed in Vvardenfell.

More on dragons and their relationship to the empire (09/04/01)

It is also hinted in Battlespire within a journal and in the remains, that the Imperial Battlemages used dragonmounts for security on the Battlespire. In level 1, you will find the remains of an Imperial dragon names Dragonne Papre' and his rider. The journal contains tidbits about the troubles in the spire and what may have happened so that only their decayed bodies remain.

As far as the Empire actually being in alliance with dragon's, there are many hints that lead on to this. Lord Richton was able to summon the Imperial Dragon, N'falilaargas for support in the Battle of Stros M'kai. The Battlespire incident. The look of the Imperial crest. Even the rumors that Tiber Septim WAS a dragon, shapeshifted into human form. Oh, dragon's exist, and there is proof that they do, but in what quantities? Hmmm.....

Even more on dragons in Tamriel

All of the dragons didnt die. They have their own means of remaining "hidden" from Tamriel's populace. Whether its shapeshifting, hiding deep in the mountains or jungles, or even in very protective custody of secret Imperial strongholds, they do exist.

The reason the dragons left Morrowind was because of the food chain being broken. Cliffracers were in such great numbers that they food became scarce for the dragons, so they moved on. Even if they stuck around and killed the cliffracers off, the food would still be at a shortage.

The dragon from Redguard fell easily for many reasons. Cyrus was more than just a Redguard. Playing the game will explain much about his abilities. Also, no matter big the dragon was, he was confined in a rather tight space. Try wrestling with someone in a box the size of a microwave. Plus, Naffy wasnt the smartest of dragons, as working for Lord Richton should say that much alone. His greed got the better of him. Not such a noble dragon.

Also, as Battlespire hinted, there is (or was) an elite Imperial dragon mount guard (TES Dragoons). Search for a document relaying a wing mounted guard's final words about his mount, PaprDragn.

On Dunmeri strongholds

Best Westerns. The were basically fortified stronghold/checkpoint/hotels for travelers. There are no records of any of the strongholds ever being held under siege or used in any battles/wars, but it is quite possible that they were used for warriors as layover posts while travelling.

Was Dyviath Fyr the Hero of Battlespire? (10/10/05)

While Fyr is not the hero of the event that occured at the Battlespire, it is not known if he has any connection to the actual hero. Even devs sometimes like a mystery.

What is Fyr's connection to the throne of Tamriel? (10/10/05)

It's mostly personal. Access to Imperial facilities which house documents and such are of great interest. Fyr has a great respect for the throne even though he may not believe in it.

Fyr is not exactly an active member of the Telvanni Council. He is more like a consultant or advisor to them. Though, he respects their command and WILL carry out most requests laid down by them.

In all, the Telvanni Council and the Imperial Throne are treated quite the same in Fyr's eyes. Fyr is kinda what you could call the Flower Child of Tamriel.

 

Mark Nelson's Posts

Author: 
Mark Nelson

On Argonians and their role in Morrowind (04/18/01)

The Argonians are a slave race in Morrowind, but there are certainly a good deal of free Argonians as well, living as productive members of society. Therefore, you'll find a number of them playing vital roles in your questing (unless affamu has replaced them all with his beloved khajit ). But, given their stature as slaves, don't expect their history to play a vital part in this game. That's not to say I wouldn't like to include it in various ways, which I'm working diligently on sneaking past the ever-watchful eyes of Ken. Shhhh...don't tell. Personally, I'd love for a future game to explore Black Marsh in great detail. I think there are a lot of folks out there who dig on the lizard folk, and would like to see them developed more. Same goes for the Khajit, but you'll have to ask Affa about the furry guys.

Clarifying the Hist (04/22/01)

Okay...here's my attempt to clear up a little confusion (or maybe create some more, which could be more fun :) ) without giving away too much:

The PGE says the Hist are an intelligent strain of Argonians. But it was written as a piece of Imperial propaganda. So, the author is writing with a bias, and, in some cases, is misinformed.

The creation myth says that the Hist were the first trees, and sentient. But, it is, above all, a myth. So, it shouldn't be taken too literally, either.

When it came time for me to flesh out the Argonian history (and you can't have Argonian history without a little "hist"), I had to try and decipher what truths could be gleaned from the various sources. So...the Hist are trees, and very special to the Argonians, for reasons I'm not gonna go into yet. Perhaps the author of the PGE got a little confused when hearing Argonians talk about the Hist. Could be that what they were saying led him to believe that they were speaking about other Argonians (read into that what you will). There has been talk about how the Hist (and Hist sap) are related to Argonian sexuality. This hasn't changed...it's still related. And, it's not a taboo topic; I just don't think it's the most interesting one out there.

Maybe that answers a couple of questions. Might raise a few, too. Rest assured, though, that our goal isn't to deviate from the established mythos of the Elder Scrolls.

Does Argonian skin provide natural protection? (08/15/01)

This is something that has been discussed a bit, but I'll touch on it again. Because of their physiology, Argonians do have some natural protections. However, their hides aren't an "armor," exactly. Sure, it's a lizardlike skin, but not all lizard skin is as tough as alligator skin. Think of the Argonian skin as more of a snake's skin (no, they're not going to be shedding it :p ). It offers some protection, but it's certainly not as thick or durable as actual armor. 

Morrowind's clothing (01/08/02)

...the tailors of Morrowind, due to the unusually harsh environments, have been forced to use unusual materials for their clothing needs. While they first experimented with a wool woven from the fur of the waste rat, this proved to be unpopular. The material, while fairly durable, stank to high heaven when wet. Additionally, the scent tended to attract other waste rats, making the garments especially unsuitable for children and the elderly.

After many years of searching the continent for a suitable material (now referred to as the Great Chafing), the intrepid craftsmen discovered the silk of the blight moth. Though not truly a blighted creature, it's coloration resembled the ash grey left by the mysterious disease infecting the land. The silk, it turned out, was incredibly resilient, pliable, and easy to work with. It also readily accepted magicks, making it a popular material for enchanters. After years of experimentation, tailors perfected the weaving of this delicate silk into thread.

Today, you'll find almost all of the clothing of Morrowind is made of this super strong blight moth silk, as it never degrades, is highly resistant to damage from the elements, and even seems to repair itself from damage. Lo, the wonders of Morrowind.

On musical Argonians (01/31/02)

We actually talked about something similar to this one day. The discussion was about Argonians and their culture, and music was mentioned. The question arose as to whether Argonians would have music based around their slave culture. Do they sing Argonian Spirituals? If so, it would be influenced by native music from Black Marsh (think deep, resounding drums, haunting woodwinds), but also by Dunmer culture. But then Argonian character was taken into account. They are very proud and very patient, and wouldn't give the Dunmer the satisfaction of hearing them sing. This really has no bearing on the game, but it was fun to talk about.

Do Argonians lay eggs? (11/07/03)

Men and Mer assume much about Argonians, but who among them has ventured deep into Black Marsh and lived to tell about it? They assume that Argonians lay eggs because they resemble the tree-dwelling lizards that scurry about on four legs. Yet they assume Argonians have live births, because the females have breasts with which they might suckle their young. Perhaps it is both, as necessity demands. All live at the whim of the Great Root.

Argonian egg-laying, again (11/10/03)

Never underestimate the adaptability of Argonians, or, more specifically, the power of the Hist to allow Argonians to adapt.

I wouldn't expect to hear an Argonian born in Skyrim (or on Solstheim, for that matter) mention being hatched. Nor would I expect to hear more transient Argonians (say, members of a small, nomadic tribe) speak about laying eggs. However, in warmer climates, in places with established, stable, and permanent communities, you would likely see a great number of eggs.