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Khajiit
KhajiitES
Classification Humanoid
Homeland(s) Elsweyr
Capital Unknown
Leader(s) The Mane
Classes Warrior, Thief, Assassin, Wizard
Alignment True neutral
Homeworld Nirn
Language(s) Daedric

Khajiit are a playable race featured in the Elder Scrolls series. They are a race of cat-like humanoids.


HistoryEdit

The kingdoms of the Khajiit existed long before recorded history. Elsweyr consisted of 16 kingdoms of about 20 different types of Khajiit early in the First Era, which were a model of cooperative specialization and harmony compared to other races of the time. The Thrassian Plague would upset this balance in 1E 2260, leaving only two primary kingdoms. The province was fashioned into its modern state in 2E 309 when Keirgo of Anequina and Eshita of Pellitine combined their long-feuding domains and gave the land its name, sparking a class struggle that briefly threatened to draw outside intervention. The people of each kingdom found themselves drawn together by their leaders, which was considered a betrayal by many, as the northern Anequina saw Pellitine as depraved and decadent, while the Khajiit of Pellitine thought Anequina barbarous.

Peace was eventually restored amongst the Khajiiti by the generally non-partisan Mane, Rid-T'har-ri'Datta, who "bestowed to the classes equality under the bi-lunar shadow, dividing their power in accordance with two-moons-dance". What this established, in a more understandable sense, was a rotational power base in which both sides of Khajiiti society, the southern city-dwellers under the nobility and the northern nomadic tribes under their chieftains, shared alternate control of the region based on the phases of Masser and Secunda, which are held in great reverence in Khajiiti society. The terms of this measure, the Riddle'thar, were overseen by the thinly-veiled dictatorship of the Mane himself. The efficacy of each individual Mane has varied greatly, and some led the Khajiit to periods of strife and war throughout the Third Era, especially with the Bosmer. They have historically achieved greater peace and prosperity under ]]Imperial]] rule (according to Imperial scholars), yet often rebel against their authority in keeping with their unique view of the world.

In 4E 98, the moons Masser and Secunda vanished, creating fear and strife amongst the Khajiit. When the moons reappeared two years later and the Thalmor announced they had used magic to restore them, the Khajiit praised them as their saviors. n 4E 115, popular support for the Thalmor led to a coup against the Imperial-backed government in Elsweyr and the reestablishment of the ancient kingdoms Anequina and Pelletine as client states of the Thalmor.

AppearanceEdit

The most notable characteristic of the Khajiit is their feline appearance. Their facial features vary in appearance from wild to domestic to old world cats (tigers, leopards, ect).

Their faces are often speckled with spots or dashed with stripes, although they are relatively faint, especially in comparison to the bold markings of real-world cats. Their range of accessories includes hair, similar to human and meri hair in many compliments, along with some unique to Khajiit, such as lynx-like fur extensions of the ear tips. They also customize themselves with earrings and facial hair, most being similar to standard beards or mustaches and including tiger-like sideburns, optionally with beads tied in.

CultureEdit

The Khajiit, along with the Argonians, inhabited Tamriel long before the elves arrived (which could mean the two beast races are possibly Native to Tamriel unlike humans or elf which migrated to Tamriel. However, some sources say life originated in Tamriel). Topal the Pilot, founder of the Ayleid empire, described an intelligent, if primitive, race of cat-people inhabiting the forests around Lake Rumare when he arrived there with his expedition. Eventually, the elves and humans drove the beast races into the southern extremes of Tamriel, into the forests and marshes that humans considered uninhabitable. For hundreds of years, the Khajiit existed as dozens, even hundreds, of warring nomadic tribes, a condition which lasted into 2E 309 when the province was finally united under two powerful, formerly warring factions. Soon after, the Cyrodiilic Empire began making diplomatic overtures with Elsweyr, leading up to Tiber Septim's unification of the entire continent.

Imperial influence has chiefly been felt in the southern regions of Elsweyr, where relatively large, semi-permanent cities have sprung up along trade routes. These cities are known to move around frequently, but within a small region in the jungles near the river basins. The primary source of income in Elsweyr is their export of moon sugar, which is used to make the highly addictive drug skooma. In fact, a sizable portion of the Khajiiti southern population are "sugar tooths", slang term for a skooma addict, although they seem to be more able to function under the influence than other races. The fertile grounds near the southern rivers are also well suited for other crops, particularly saltrice, which makes up the bulk of the legal trade. The northern regions, still mostly dry grassland, have not progressed far from their tribal origins, and rarely consider themselves united in any meaningful way.

The government of the Khajiit consists primarily of the Clan Mothers of each clan of tribes. These wield power mostly due to their control of moon sugar harvests, but also maintain a hereditary position of power. The nominal head of the Khajiiti religion is a unique form of Khajiit known as The Mane. Khajiit legend claims that it is only possible for one mane to live at a time, and his birth is triggered by the birth of a newborn Khajiit when the two moons have fully aligned in the sky. The Mane is apparently bipedal, and clearly has the power of speech, but does not fall into any of the defined Khajiiti subtypes: he is simply unique. While he is, in theory, a neutral, unbiased religious leader, the Mane is the true power in Elsweyr, and was ultimately responsible for the success of the attempted unification of the province in the last Second Era.

Khajiit, like Argonians, are still considered little more than beast-men by many human and elven cultures. They are not usually trusted by - mostly - the Nords, but also by people in general, as stated by Ysolda, in Whiterun, Skyrim. They were oppressed and enslaved by rich families and primary industries in Morrowind, until very recently when King Helseth Hlaalu finally outlawed slavery. They also have a strong racial dislike for Argonians (one which is shared in return), which causes tension in the southern Cyrodiilic cities of Leyawiin and Bravil, where Elsweyr and Black Marsh are both fairly close, and which have strong populations of both races.

Many Khajiit disdain weapons in favor of their natural claws. They make excellent thieves due to their natural agility and unmatched acrobatics ability. Many Khajiit are also warriors, although this is mainly true of the Cathay, and rarely among the Suthay. In addition to their native quickness, Khajiit have developed a natural proficiency in stealth, and have the added benefit of native night vision. These skills, combined with the general tendency of humans and mer to look down on Khajiit as "beasts", leads many Khajiit outside of their home province to become bandits or professional thieves and assassins.

Their stealthiness makes them suitable for assassinations like the hired Khajiit assassins from the Dark Brotherhood.

Many Khajiit like to adorn themselves in piercings, and interestingly are the only race, besides the Argonians, that still do.

FaithEdit

The Khajiit religion, while quite different from that of men and mer, is still clearly derived from the old Aldmeri pantheon. The Khajiit creation myth includes references to powerful ancestor cats with strikingly familiar names. Their legends start with the original litter mates, Ahnurr and Fadomai (Anu and Padomay). These two gave birth to all of the great spiritual children, including Alkosh the first cat (Akatosh), Khenarthi (Kynareth), Magrus (Magnus), Mara, and S'rendarr (Stendarr). A second litter of children soon followed, including Merrunz (Mehrunes Dagon), Mafala (Mephala), and Sangiin (Sanguine), among others. Ahnurr did not want further children, but Fadomai was persuaded by her elder children to birth one more litter, this final group containing Azurah (Azura), Nirni (Nirn), and the moons. At this, Ahnurr became angry at Fadomai, who fled to the void, and birthed one last child, Lorkhaj (Lorkhan). Fadomai knew she was dying, her life having been drained by her birth, but she gave to Nirni a gift, that she would birth children of her own.

Nirni went to Lorkhaj, asking him to form a dwelling place for her children. This he did, but he tricked his siblings, forming the mortal plane and trapping many of them there with him. Most of Fadomai's first litter were trapped, while her second litter saw the danger and fled. Into this dwelling, Nirni birthed many children, the various human and mer races of Tamriel. However, one of Fadomai's children, Azurah, had also been given a gift by their mother. She was given permission to take one of Nirni's children, and reshape them to her own liking, so long as she made them the fastest, cleverest, and most beautiful of all creatures. Azurah chose a group of forest dwellers among Nirni's children, and from them, she formed the Khajiit. Nirni was furious at this, and asked her sibling Y'ffer to punish the Khajiit. He did this by turning their grasslands into a dry desert, and their forests into poisonous marshes. The Khajiit, however, were protected by Azurah, who taught them the secret of the moons (the Lunar Lattice in Khajiiti terms), and how to change their shapes to survive. Those forest dwellers who stayed true to their mother, Nirni, were turned into the Bosmer, and given the lush forests of Valenwood as their home.

There is some speculation as to how accurate this creation myth truly is. What is known is that Khajiit were present on Tamriel when the Ayleid first explored the region, presumably long before there was any established Bosmer kingdom. What is not known is how long those Khajiit were in the area, nor how many other meri expeditions landed on Tamriel prior to the Aldmeri immigration (evidence suggests at least one other mass immigration of elves to Tamriel, resulting in the Dwemer of Morrowind). Some Imperial scholars believe the Khajiit evolved naturally from non-sentient cats, much like they believe the Argonians evolved from non-sentient lizards. Topal described the Khajiit as two and four legged cats with only primitive behaviors, and no clear signs of intelligence. However, Ayleid legend tells of bartering ownership of the forests of Cyrodiil from the Khajiit in exchange for the secrets of literacy, and Pelinal Whitestrake, early in the First Era, claims to have fought and killed thousands of clearly organized, sentient Khajiit warriors, believing them to be Aldmeri.

The moon is very important to the Khajiit, for the moon decides what body type they take on.

Trivia & NotesEdit

LoreEdit

  • Khajiit are infamously known for their moonsugar used in the highly-addictive, narcotic potion called skooma.
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