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Douglas Goodall's Posts

Douglas Goodall

On the difficulty of keeping lore consistent between games (04/08/01)

You have no idea. NO idea.

Seriously, I have re-learned the necessity of GREP. I only wish Arena and Daggerfall had left more documents for me to search... Redguard and the early Morrowind stuff is all easily searchable for contradictions. Still, I fear several are inevitable.

AND I should note that I was a big fan of the series, which makes this much easier... I only THOUGHT I knew everything about Tamriel... I can't imagine coming to work here without already being something of an Elder Scrolls loremaster.

On Dwemer trivia (pre-Morrowind) (04/19/01)

"I never told you or have been told myself that House Dagoth was not *linked* to Dwarves. It's just that House Dagoth *was not* Dwarves. See the difference?"

Right. The Dwemer didn't divide themselves into "Houses" anyway.

"Actually, according to "The Songs of King Wulfharth", some dude called Dagoth Ur killed Dumac the Dwarfking during the Battle of the Red Mountain. The Songs controverse each other, so take it with a grain of salt. After all, it's a legend, and a Nordic one. Nords, after all, might not have a clue as to what was going on."

Well, the Nords *were* there... Only the combined might of the Dunmer and Dwemer could drive the foreigners out to found Resdayn. After the Battle of Red Mountain and the mysterious disappearance, the Dunmer no longer needed Dwemer technology for defense -- by then, they had the Tribunal.

"On a side note, Dunmer traditionally place family name first and given name second, as in "Indoril Nerevar" and "Hlaalu Brevur"."

Um. I suppose you're referring to the

If they place the family name first, how do you explain that the quote about Brevur the Betrayer was spoken by Paulus Hlaalu?

Your first guess was a good one, but it is not the right one. Not that it matters in the larger scheme of things.

For instance, Indoril Nerevar's full and formal name would be Serjo Indoril Nerevar Mora.

I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't just made it up.

Raptormeat: Lakene had a good point, but not many people ever thought that way. Certainly not enough to destroy a whole race... Unless, of course, a whole race can be destroyed by the actions of one person...

Xachariah II: The Dwemer did not use solar panels. Good guess, though.

"Only Boethiah can change a race's skin. Only the Dwarves can cover it in tin foil."

Carry on.

Clarifying some Khajiit information (04/19/01)

"It has got something to do with Khajiit Culture ..."

YM: Biology

Their culture came from their odd biology. They missed out on Y'ferr's decree, so Lorkhaj played a little trick on them...

"Depending on WHEN a Khajiit is born , she looks more human or feline. The most humanoid breed , looks almost like elves , but with tails and soft fur covering parts of the torso."

One of the "humanoid" breeds looks like that.

"Depending on their Khajiit Breed they have different duties to do in Khajiit society..."

This is more a practical matter than some kind of caste-system. Obviously there are jobs you cannot do without opposable thumbs, etc.

If you ever move to Tamriel, keep in mind that there is a whole province just waiting to be introduced to the tasty fishy stick.

On the mortality of gods (04/20/01)

Arkay and the King of Worms were once mortal...

And what about Tosh Raka?

On the Khajiit breeds as seen in the games (04/20/01)

The breeds of Khajiit in the various games:

Arena: Ohmes
Daggerfall: censored>
Morrowind: suthay-Raht

There are no Ohmes or in Morrowind.

The "jaguar men" are cathay-Raht... a little different from the suthay-Raht. The screenshot Khajiit (see the above link or the screenshots section) are suthay-Raht. S'rathra and Joto were also suthay-Raht.

On the meaning of "Khajiit" (04/22/01)

You'll have to wait for the game. Or later. You need to read "Ta'agra for the Unclawed."

I'll give you some hints, though.

khaj = desert

-iit (when applied to places) = "one who lives/walks in"

On what the Ta'Agra (04/22/01)

A "beta version" of it.

Back when I had time to do that sort of thing, I set up grammar rules, etc. The vocabulary is limited, and it doesn't *sound* as cool as the pseudo-english of S'rathra in Redguard. It needs more work, but I no longer have time to do that sort of thing. I'm only on the forums now while waiting for my computer to... Oh. It's done now. Excuse me.

On Khajiit phalic barbs (04/22/01)

"There's no accounting for taste."

I don't know who wrote/said that. I suspect it is a "modern" and anonymous quote. In any case, my profile will disprove this notion.

And, in the spirit of tastelessness, only some breeds of Khajiit have the... traits that Therris had in Real Barenziah. While all Terran felines have this trait (and many carnivorae have something similar), it makes no biological sense for the Khajiit to have it... unless Khajiit women are not sexually receptive year-round like human women or always ovulate during intercourse... The fiction from Daggerfall somewhat disproves that notion as well, thus the dilemna.

I thought of a couple explanations for this and eventually settled on one which I should save for later revelation.

I retroactively removed this trait from most of the Khajiit. I'm allowed to do that because I said so. So there. Therris was obviously a cathay-Raht, since he clearly wasn't a Senche, [censored], [censored], or [haven't made up a name yet]. Ohmes don't have this trait at all and suthay-Raht (like the Khajiit in Morrowind) have it only to a slight degree.

So far, this is the only "design" topic I've brought up that even Ken was unwilling to comment on...

Perhaps if I get around to writing the other volumes of Khajiit Physiology, the game itself will have a more lucid explanation.

Answering some questions about Bretons and Knights (04/26/01)

"1.What is the stereotype on the breton knights? (are they seen as the most chivalric?, mystic?, or what?)
2.Which of the eight divines is held in the most accord by the bretons?
3.Any ideas on what the breton unique ability will be for Morrowind?
4.Is the bretons penchant for magic tied in with them being a particularly relgious group of people?"

1. There's more than one order of Breton Knights... Why not make up one you like playing?
2. Like most of the Empire, Bretons worship all of the Eight Divines (and there's a strong Emperor Cult in a few places), but they are not generally devout. The Bretons used to be ruled by witch-kings and High Rock has more witch covens than many provinces... Alas, this is not relevant for a Knight. If you're looking at playing a Breton religious crusader, feel free. Each of the Divines supports a Knightly Order, in addition to the other Knightly Orders (Bretons are a Knightly people, if not a particularly religious one).
3. Yes.
4. Their talent for magic comes from their history. There's a clue in the link Raptormeat posted.

Perhaps you should read Heroic Achievements of the Bretons... That's a joke, btw.

Is that joke too obscure?

On whether "the Daedra were created by the 'intelligent races' of Tamriel" (04/28/01)

A similar argument was made by the opponents of the Allesian heresy. Might I direct the interested scholar once more to volume XI of Marobar Sul's Ancient Tales of the Dwemer... which doesn't exactly answer your question, but is quite interesting.

More on the Hist (04/30/01)

"1) i wonder, will the Hist will be modeled as an NPC??? one gets killed, and has Argonian Eggs when you search it.
2) are the Hist related to Spriggans?"

No comment on the exact relationship between the Hist and the Argonian reproductive cycle, but it's cool. As for egg-laying, this is an interesting question. While the majority of reptiles do lay eggs, there are a number that have live births (basically, the eggs hatch internally). I guess I had pictured the Argonians going more the live birth route, because they are so humanoid, but the concept of them laying eggs is an interesting one. Have to think more on that.

As for your questions:
1) Nope, no Hist NPCs to be found, although I think it's a really cool idea. Remember, we're gonna be in Morrowind this time around, and won't be delving into murky Black Marsh quite yet. The Argonians are pretty touchy when it comes to crossing their borders.

2) Nah. Hist are much cooler.

On Ebonheart(s) (05/11/01)

There is a city of Vivec and a Castle Ebonheart and a city of Ebonheart. 2 of the 3 are in the game Morrowind. The third may or may not exist, but it would help explain some gaps, etc.

On musical Argonians (01/31/02)

I thought they should use the marsh itself as their primary musical instrument like the Baka Forest People use rivers. And play lots of odd percussion instruments like water drums and bohdans and djimbes and udus. And make slowed-down bird-call noises.

I wanted the Khajiit to be arrhythmic jazz musicians.

A sample of Ta'agra in response to an attempt to crack Morrowind's cyphers (07/17/04)

Pleased is Jobasha at your work. Very good for smooth skins and blunt ears. The Imperial and Telavanni ciphers broken? Oh, but Redoran is easiest of all! A Sermon here, a Sermon there... But so many sermons hide their secrets like naughty children. Jobasha would suggest a study of Sermon Zero if Jobasha were not so kind and wise. And the fine tapestries of my close friend your kind calls "Cherim."
Of course, Jobasha could ruin this game for you, but where would Jobasha be then? No, the big secrets are for the ja-Kha'jay.
But Jobasha is so pleased, he forgets himself. Jobasha tells you three truths, gives you three gifts, like the eighth keeper on the road to the western lands...
Ahziss zwinthodurrarr rabi.
"I have a yellow writing utensil.
Ahziss liter ajo'iiliten rabiba.
"My brother has a wonderful girl."
Ahziss aaliter vakasash.
"I wish I was my brother."
Is the Cherim of Sermon Zero the same Cherim as the famous tapestrist? (07/18/04)
A common misunderstanding. Cherim is Jobasha's good friend, shared much sugar, many sands. Cherim is famous tapestry maker, puts the ja'Kha'Jay in every one. White Gold is one of his best, one of the least often seen. It shows the White Tower, a dragon spirals around it, a moth priest at the top. Very famous moment, but few men remember.
Have you not heard of Muzariah and her death at the hands of the Three Angry Men? Muzariah was Indoril by birth and a painter by choice. Her best painting lies in the cellars of the Imperial Palace by Imperial decree. No one wishes to destroy such beauty, but no one wishes it to be seen. A dilemna.
But Jobasha says too much. 




Argonians - OblivionArena Description
Argonians hail from the province of Black Marsh. They are a highly evolved race of reptilians, at home in any marsh-like environment from which they hail. They are known for their intelligence, agility, and speed. Because of their reptilian nature, Argonians do not tire easily while swimming, and seldom drown. They can also swim faster than any other race. They are adept at any art involving the arcane, or involving thievery and sleight of hand.

Know ye this also: Thy race is born of the swamps, thou hast stayed thyself from the open fields, for thou art hunters of a different sort, those who stalk thy prey in the still black waters...

Argonian - MorrowindDaggerfall Description
The strange reptilian people of Black Marsh seem equally comfortable in the water - surely no other race of Tamriel can swim faster or for longer than Argonians. An intelligent, quick-footed, and agile people, Argonians often train in magery and thievery.

Battlespire Description
No beast races present.

Morrowind Description
Little is known and less is understood about the reptilian denizens of Black Marsh. Years of defending their borders have made the Argonians experts in guerilla warfare, and their natural abilities make them equally at home in water and on land. They are well-suited for the treacherous swamps of their homeland, and have developed natural immunities to the diseases and poisons that have doomed many would-be explorers into the region. Their seemingly expressionless faces belie a calm intelligence, and many Argonians are well-versed in the magical arts. Others rely on stealth or steel to survive, and their natural agility makes them adept at either. They are, in general, a reserved people, slow to trust and hard to know. Yet, they are fiercely loyal, and will fight to the death for those they have named as friends.

Shadowkey Description
A highly evolved reptilian race native to the Black Marsh region. Agile and cunning, Argonians make excellent thieves. Argonians also have Merchant Sense; they buy goods lower and sell higher than other races

Oblivion Description
This reptilian race, well-suited fot the treacherous swamps of its homeland, has developed natural immunities to disease and poisons. They can breathe water and are good at picking locks.

Skyrim Description
This reptilian race, well-suited for the treacherous swamps of their Black Marsh homeland, has developed a natural resistance to diseases and the ability to breathe underwater. They can call upon the Histskin to regenerate health very quickly.

Elder Scrolls Online Description
The Argonians are possessed of a cool intellect, and are well-versed in the magical arts, stealth, and the use of blades. They are also guerilla warfare experts, long accustomed to defending their borders from invaders. They often serve as the scouts and skirmishers for the forces of the Pact.

Elder Scrolls Legends Description
Born in the treacherous swamps of the Black Marsh, this reptilian race is known for its natural endurance.

The War with the Trees: Argonia and the Black Marsh

Imperial Geographical Society

Map of Black Marsh

It has been called the Garbage Heap of Tamriel, to where everything rotten and despoiled eventually flows. Its borderlands and coasts have been ravaged by civilization after civilization, but its heart is inviolate, for so poisonous is its air, ground, and water, its mysteries are secure. Detractors long ago called the southeastern swampland of Tamriel "Black Marsh," but to its admirers, of whom there are a few, it is Argonia.


Every Province of Tamriel has its secret histories, but no land in the Empire is as undocumented and unexplored as Black Marsh. We know that Topal the Pilot and other early Aldmeri explorers passed through the "fetid, evil swamp lands and their human lizards," suggesting an early primitive species that might be related to the modern day Argonians. By the phrasing of the poet's words, it is also clear that Black Marsh had begun its long tradition of being a place no one would want to live in, man or mer, which it maintains into the present day.

Argonian RaceYet people did live there, and people did move there. Compared to much of Tamriel, there have been a large variety of cultures that have live in Black Marsh at different points in the past. Most surprisingly from a modern perspective, we hear of few wars or conflicts between these cultures until well into the Second Era.

In additional to the reptilian Argonians, who are today Black Marsh's most visible denizen, there were once tribes of men - Kothringi, Orma, Yespest, Horwalli - and tribes of mer - the Barsaebic Ayleids and the Cantemiric Velothi - and even a tribe who may have been related to the Khajiit of Elsweyr, the vulpine Lilmothiit. Some were sent to Black Marsh as refugees of prisoners, other settled along the coastal waterways and adapted to its strange and usually insalubrious environment.

The cities of Stormhold and Gideon were originally founded by the Ayleids (their Ayleid names are unknown), but were so far removed from their culture in the heartland that they never were attacked by the Alessian army when it rose in revolt. The southern coastal regions, not surprisingly, were the realms of the Lilmothiit, though they were a nomadic group and left few enduring signs of their existence that were not covered up by later civilizations. The Balck Marsh elves settled in the eastern regions near present-day Archon, Arnesia, and Thorn.

The origin of the species associated with the name "Argonian" is the stuff of myth, not history. We know they were spoken of in various terms by the early non-reptilian inhabitants of Black Marsh, as everything from funny curiosities that would wander in from the misty, mephitic inland bayous for short times, to noble heroes who saver the innocent from horrors of the swamps, to savage monsters who terrorized communities.

The historian Brendan the Persistent writes, "The Argonian people have, throughout Temrielic history, been perhaps the most misunderstood, vilified, and reviled of all the sentient races. Yet, those who have taken the time to experience Argonian culture have gained a greater appreciation for this noble and beautiful people." It should be noted that the historian disappeared during his final expedition into the deeper swamps of Black Marsh.

Rumors and speculation also abound regarding the Hist, a species of giant spore tree growinf in the innermost swamps of Argonia. Some have maintained that natives worship the trees; others claim the trees are, in fact, a sentient race, more ancient than all the races of man and mer. No reliable accounts of expeditions into central Argonia exist to lend credence to these claims, and modern Argonians are reticent to speak of the mysterious trees.

The Argonians, as they came to be called, only occasionally left their homeland, though we find individuals in other parts of Tamriel in the early years of the First Era. The expatriates from Black Marsh did no offer any great insight into the tribal customs of their people, preferring to assimilate into the larger Tamrielic culture. Certainly, outside experience with the natives of Black Marsh in their own folkways, at least in any official capacity, was sporadic until middle of the First Era.

A very successful enterprise of bandits and thieves had long been exploiting the swampland of southeastern Tamriel, a convenient location to the riches of the Empire, where one could disappear without recourse. The coastline alonf the east of Topal Bay had become notorious for acts of piracy, and in 1E 1033, the Empress Hestra demanded the head of the most infamous of the brigadiers, "Red" Bramman.

After many an unsuccessful battle in the Bay, the Imperial Navy discovered the pirate-king's means of escaping capture: a narrow, winding river which emptied into the Bay near Soulrest, its mouth screen by dense thickets of mangroves. The Imperial Fleet followed the course deeper into the heart of Black Marsh than any non-Argonian had ever been before. They eventually caught Bramman in his bandit kingdom not far from what is no called Blackrose, and took his head for the Empress. More importantly, they provided the first reliable accounts of the true culture of Black Marsh.

The Argonians in the interior swamps of Black Marsh were skittish and little wonder, as the contact they had with men from the outside was from the like of Bramman and other brigands. Imperial civilization was, to them, rape, pillage and slavery. As the Cyrodiils pushed deeper into their land, trying to settle it along the pirate routes, they encountered stronger and more violent resistance with each incursion. Once the pirate menace was dealt with, the First Empire was generally content to leave Black Marsh to its native inhabitants.

It was not until the time of the Second Empire that Black Marsh was first "conquered", at least in name. In 1E 2811, at the Battle of Argonia, the last organized army of reptilians in Black Marsh's history was defeated, and they retreated to Helstrom, into the impenetrable center of the Province where the men and mer wouldn't follow. The followind year, Black Marsh was officially incorporated into the Cyrodilic Empire.

The coastal areas and some parts of the interior where it was safe to travel received Imperial leaders to rule in the emperor's name. The land that had once been the home of freedom for Tamriel's criminals became its greatest prison state. Anyone considered too dangerous to hold in "civilized" dungeons in other Provinces was sent to Black Marsh. Its most famous convicts include the notorious axe murderer Nai, the heretic Devir-Mir, and Tavia, the wife of the last emperor of the First Era, who was sent to Gideon in 1E 2899, accused of treason. The worst of the dungeons was constructed in the following era by Potentate Versidue-Shaie on the ruins of the Lilmothiit community called Blackrose. The Rose, as it is called, is still the most secure and notorious prison of our own time, where Jagar Tharn's associates who were not executed await their final end.

IBlack Marshn the chaos of the Second Era, banditry returned to Black Marsh in force. Slave traders from Morrowind were freer than ever to exploit their southern neighbor, and entire tribes of Argonians were dragged in chains to the Dunmer land. Former Imperial officials founded warlord dynasties which earned a reputation for tyranny even in that dark time.

Whether the terrible Khahaten Flu arose from natural causes, or was created by an Argonian shaman in retaliation for his people's oppression, is still a matter of debate. But its result was clear. The plague began in Stormhold in 2E 560, and quickly spread to every corner of Black Marsh, killing all those not reptilian stock. For over forty years, it held the Province in its grip, decimating entire cultures (notably, the Kothringi) and driving outsiders from the land.

Even when the land became inhabitable again, fear of the disease kept most outsiders away. House Dres of Morrowind continued to send slavers into the north, but few others saw any reason to trouble themselves with the land. Even Tiber Septim, it was said, thought twice before conquering Black Marsh for his new Empire. The borders of the province fell easily to his forces, but he wisely decided to avoid strategically unimportant inner swamps, and thus met with little resistance.

Black Marsh's position in the Third Era has been much the same as it has been throughout the other times in history. The Empire finds strategic benefit in holding the coasts, and keeps its most dangerous criminals in Black rose and other dungeons closer to its interior. The heart of Black Marsh remains the sole province of the reptilian Argonians, and any further annexation of this area by Imperial forces seems unlikely.

Current Events

Black Marsh continues to be a "backward" land economically by Imperial standards. Most of the agriculture is grown by subsistence farmers, though recently more has been shipped abroad, of Tamriel. Banditry appears to be on the decline in recent years, with most criminal acts being perpetrated not by outsiders, but by natives, such as the "Naga" thugs of Argonian stock. Rumors persists of gangs such as these smuggling powerful drugs across the borders of Black Marsh, but this has remained unproven to this day. Still, the Emperor's fleet guards the Topal Bay carefully, protecting merchants from the pirates who have never truly been eliminated.

Imperials continue to rule in the Empire's name along the coastal cities of the Province, but most have native Argonians as advisors. These Archeins also act as governors in the rural areas that still make up the majority of Black Marsh. Beyond the reach of the Empire, there is little supervision of the inner swamplands, and it is unknown whether or not these areas even recognize Imperial rule of the Province.

Since the abolishment of slavery, Black Marsh's relationship with its northern neighbor Morrowind has been much improved, though border clashed continue as Argonians have begun to reclaim land conquered during the Arnesian War. There have also been reports of minor skirmishes with Imperial troops along the coastal regions, but it is not believed that there is any threat posed by these isolated incidents.

More troubling is the recent prison break at the formidable Blackrose Prison. Though it has since been sealed and its weak points mended, some of the worst murderers, thieves, and political revolutionaries had already escaped into the swamps. It is believed unlikely that any of them could have survived the cruel, dangerous lands of inner Black Marsh.

The Wild Regions

Imperial Geographical Society



These vast swamplands were once part of the Second Empire, which, in 1E2837, had seized a large portion of it to create the Imperial Province of Black Marsh. Many humans still refer to the region by that name, but the Elves call it Argonia, after some ancient battlefield where many of their ancestors fell1. Thus, the native inhabitants of the swamplands, a collection of beastly tribes of "lizard-men," have become, in common parlance, the Argonians.

Argonians are rarely seen outside of their homeland, except for a relatively intelligent strain called the hist. Individuals of this strain are repulsive, but peaceful enough to be tolerated among the human kingdoms, and can be found as far from Black Marsh as western Hammerfell. The rest of the Argonians are primitive, reclusive, and practice heathen rituals of nature worship that necessitates a proximity to a certain type of spore-tree, which grows only in the interior of their native swamplands.

Black Marsh never regained its Provincial status after the dissolution of the Second Empire, though some parts of it are still considered Imperial territories. In CE560, the Knahaten Flu spread through greater Argonia, claiming the lives of the Kothringi tribesmen, the only humans to have persisted in the area for long. The hist proved immune to the effects of this plague, leading to wild rumors that they had, in fact, created it through a manipulation of their cherished spore-trees.








Far to the south of the Summerset Isles is the island kingdom of Pyandonea, home to the Maormer, a rare breed of tropical elf. It is covered mostly in dense rain forest, and is a playground for the southern water spirits. The Maormer almost never travel to Tamriel or visit their cousins at Summerset, for they were exiled from the latter kingdom in ancient times. They are known to possess a strange, chameleon-like skin, an involuntary process that is similar to the forest-coupling skills of the Bosmer. They also practice a powerful form of snake magic. With this, they have tamed the sea serpents of their island for use as steeds and warbeasts. The Maormer ruler is King Orgnum, a deathless wizard who is said to be the Serpent God of the Satakal (see Hammerfell).


The coral kingdoms of Thras, a set of islands southwest of the Chain in the Abecean Sea, are home to a godless tribe of beastmen called the Sload. These amphibious slugmen, perhaps the most hated race in all of Tamriel, were long thought to be extinct. After the Sload released the Thrassian Plague in 1E2200, which claimed more than half of the continent's population, the largest allied naval force in Tamrielic history sailed to Thras, slaughtered all the Sload they could find, and, with great unknown magicks, sunk their coral kingdoms into the sea.

Sadly, it has been reported that Thras has risen again, and that its masters, the Sload, have recently been seen in various areas of Tamriel. Citizens are encouraged to avoid these beasts, and contact the nearest Imperial authorities when they learn of one's existence. Much is remembered about the slugmen, and has been collected for you in the nearby sidebar. Be vigilant.

Collected from the Notes of Bendu Olo, West King of Anvil and Baron-Admiral of the All Flags Navy, and Dealer of Swift Justice to the Foul Spot of Thras.

Life Cycle:

Juvenile: Disgusting little amorphous grubs.

Adolescent: Soft, squishy octopuslike things that cannot emerge on land.

Adult: No outside limit to age or size. Individuals seen on land in Tamriel tend to be older, corpulent adults; the trait of greed is common in these individuals, and they excel as merchants and smuggling entrepreneurs. Younger adults lack essential surface survival skills, and are rarely seen on land. Older adults collapse under their own weight unless buoyed by water.


Perfect memory. They cannot read or write, but they remember everything they see or hear.

Magic-adept: All land-traveling Sload know the Recall spell at a high level of skill, and use it casually and frequently as the default mode of travel. It also provides the best defense; they teleport out of difficulty instinctively. We must be on our feet!


Poor grasping ability, weak tool use. [Sload slowly adapt their outer integument to conform with surfaces and objects, permitting them to pick things up or climb things like disgusting slugs.] Slow! They think very quickly, but never enough to suit their careful, deliberate personalities. They move slowly, and act slowly. It takes them a long time to come to decisions. They can answer questions quickly, if they choose to… which they seldom do.

Cautious. They have no word in their language for adventure. The closest equivalent means 'tragic disaster'. All their heroic myths are about individuals who sit around and think for years and years, consulting cautiously with wise Sload, until finally they act - always deliberately, always successfully. All their mythic villains act quickly, and always fail.

Morally Repugnant: Every Sload individual encountered has been a grasping, callous, godless, self-loving schemer. They do not seem to experience or display any familiar human emotions, though they are skilled diplomats and actors, and produce gross, exaggerated parodies of human behavior [laughter at lame jokes, weeping at apparent misfortunes, furious tirades at folly or ineptitude]. They have no compunctions about blasphemy, theft, torture, kidnapping, murder, or genocide. They break laws whenever they calculate it in their best interests. They do not perceive or honor friendship or loyalty in the familiar human terms, except for a cheerful affinity for those who defeat them or trick them in any endeavor. The adult form does not apparently reproduce, and shows no interest in the fate of its offspring.



Literally, 'Orsinium' means Orc-Town in the early Aldmeris. The goblin-ken (orcs, ogres, gremlins, and other beastfolk) that live in Orsinium favor the Elvish name for their settlement, for it suggests, at least to human ears, a glorious and beautiful fortress-city instead of the squalid and filth-ridden village-and-keep that it is. It was founded during the Camoran Dynasy, when hundreds of beastmen were set free by the rulers of the Summerset Isles and allowed to settle lands north of Valenwood. These Orcish tribes chose an uninhabited mountain region near Old H'roldan in High Rock, for their people were (and most still are) dependent on a rare shaggy giant centipede herdbeast that can live only at high altitudes on alpine and sub-alpine forage.

Orsinium did possess considerable strength during the First Era, when Orcish refugees fleeing the Ra Gada invasion of Hammerfell joined the beastman army already gathering there. This army was determined to take control of the Bjoulsae River and force the kingdom of Wayrest to pay Orsinium regularly for its use. Other powers of the area rose to confront the Orcs, principally the Yokudan Order of Diagna and the chieftan-kings of early Daggerfall. The Siege of Orsinium lasted thirty years and ended in its ruin.

Orsinium briefly became an Imperial territory under the Akaviri Potentate, though this ended with the death of Savirien-Chorak in CE431. The Orcs have recently petitioned the New Emperor to grant them a similar status, but Tiber Septim is famous for his hatred of their kind, and has yet to bestow the beastfolk good answer.

Annotations by YR:

1. "Does anyone on the Thalmor know what the humans are talking about?"