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Murkmire & Argonian Lore Q&A

ZOS_GinaBruno
ZOS_GinaBruno
Community Manager
Do you have questions about the lore behind Murkmire, Black Marsh, or the Argonians themselves? You've come to the right place! ESO's Lead Loremaster Lawrence Schick will be choosing a few questions from this thread to answer in an upcoming website article as Argonian historian Jee-Lar. If you have questions you'd like us to consider, please post them here by next Thursday, October 11. Keep in mind we won't be spoiling any Murkmire plot points, and all questions should be related to Murkmire or Argonian lore.

May your scales stay moist.
Gina Bruno
ESO Community Manager
Dev Tracker | Service Alerts | ESO Twitter | My Twitter
Staff Post
  • Faytoto
    Faytoto
    Soul Shriven
    Is the Vestige an "argonian" thanks to the mnemic egg in the shadowfen questline ?
  • Circuitous
    Circuitous
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Posting an additional question on behalf of someone who can't seem to register for the forums.

    "Is Lord Vivec infertile or not?"
    Thank Stendarr it’s Fredas.
    Elanirne: Altmer Templar Healer, Daggerfall Covenant (US)
    Auria Dolabella: Imperial (Vampire) Nightblade Tank, DC
  • Aliyavana
    Aliyavana
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Circuitous wrote: »
    Posting an additional question on behalf of someone who can't seem to register for the forums.

    "Is Lord Vivec infertile or not?"

    he had children with molag bal
  • Jeancey
    Jeancey
    ✭✭✭✭
    The Argonians seem to be quite unified at this point, as members of the Ebonheart Pact. Do the Argonians themselves feel unified, or are they still likely to fight amongst themselves once the Alliance war has ended?

    In addition, has there been any point in history where Argonians were more unified than today?

    --Jeancey, Administrative Scholar of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits
    Administrator - UESP - Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995.
  • SarthesArai
    SarthesArai
    Soul Shriven
    Greetings, esteemed Jee-Lar,

    even though my people have a long history of dealings with yours, they haven't spend much time finding out about your race and culture - probably because they were busy "uplifting" you into our soceity. But, let's no longer speak of the past, shall we?

    While passing our worker camps, I've often heard people call themselves "Saxhleel", which, after some inquiry, I found out to mean "People of the Root". Are the names "Argonian" and "Saxhleel" synonyms, or is there some distinction between them?

    While I was studying with the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuit, I also heard talk about snake-like Naga, toad-like Paatru, and bird-like Sarpa. Can they also be called among the Argonians or Saxhleel? Is there a separate name for the reptilian form that's encountered in most of the outside provinces? Why are these three forms confined to the inner Regions of Black Marsh?

    These are the most pressing questions I have about your race right now. I'm thinking of taking an expedition into the deeper territories of the Marsh, and would be in need of a guide, if you're interested.

    Regards,
    Sarthes Arai of House Redoran
  • Draxinusom_
    Draxinusom_
    ✭✭
    Are there other tribes with a completely different phenotype like the Naga that look unlike the normal Argonians but are still considered to be Argonians?

    What do the children of a Naga and a non-naga Argonian look like?

  • usmcjdking
    usmcjdking
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭
    Aliyavana wrote: »
    1. Murkmire has a lot of fauna that resembles that of Morrowind, why is that? It has Swamp Jellies which are officially described as being cousins to the Netch and look similar. Hackwings resemble Cliff Striders and I am wondering if those two are related as well. It also has Shroom Beetles as well from Morrowind which I wonder if these are all introduced species or if they migrated and eventually adapted into the environment.

    2. Why does Shadowfen (which is on the border of Morrowind and Black Marsh) not have the various Murkmire creatures such as Swamp Jellies, Hackwings, and Shroom Beetles which appear to be related to Morrowind species, but Murkmire which is located on the far southeastern section of Black Marsh home to those creatures that bear such a close resemblance to Morrowind species?

    --Zebendal, Scholar of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

    I don't understand why @Aliyavana isn't employed by you guys yet. She/he is the best QA tester the lore department even has access to.
    Edited by usmcjdking on October 4, 2018 9:40PM
    0331
    0602
  • LickingHistSap
    LickingHistSap
    ✭✭✭
    Greetings, Jee-Lar

    As a Lukiul, I'm unfortunately woefully ignorant of most aspects of our native Black Marsh's culture and religion. What I know comes only from Imperial and Dunmeri recordings of our homeland, which are frankly rather hard to take seriously.

    According to them, Argonians born under the sign of the Shadow are shipped off to Dark Brotherhood training camps to become 'Shadowscales', which by most outsider accounts seem to simply be Argonian members of the murderous guild of assassins. However, there have recently been reports of Shadowscales having saved the Argonians of Murkwood from Dominion invaders, acting independently from the Brotherhood. Additionally, many of the Argonians I have spoken to speak highly of the Shadowscales, saying that they exist to 'right the wrongs of Black Marsh'.

    I was hoping that you can use this letter as an opportunity to share the true history of the Shadowscales and what their relationship to the Dark Brotherhood truly is?

    Thank you,
    Seeks-The-Lost
  • Jeet-Maht
    Jeet-Maht
    Soul Shriven
    Jee-Lar,

    I hope this parchment both survives its way to you and finds you well. I come to you with a question that I find myself asking more and more in recent turns of the river. Many of our youngest generations lose themselves more and more to the way of the dryskins, to the point many I would consider lukiul. While change is inevitable and should be embraced, I still find myself curious. When I was raised, I was taught that the Great Serpent Sithis was known as Seth. And his priests, the Brotherhood of Seth, congregated themselves within his holy city of Gideon, where I was hatched. Is this practice merely local to my home of Gideon, or have the dryskins' name for the Great Serpent merely usurped his proper one?

    I eagerly await your reply. Smooth waters, and may the Hist bless you.

    Jeet-Maht
    Pakseech of the Banescale Tribe
    Edited by Jeet-Maht on October 24, 2018 7:44AM
  • TaigaStrider
    TaigaStrider
    ✭✭
    Most esteemed muthsera Jee-Lar,

    It is my sincerest hope that you, a prestigious kena, or scholar, among my people, might be able to answer a few questions I have. I also hope that you might excuse my foreign vocabulary, as I have lived in Morrowind all my life. I was once a slave child before the Pact, and now I am a scavenger and treasure hunter.

    I am just beginning my adulthood, and I have recently undertaken a foray into the land of my people, Black Marsh. They call me a "lukiul." I've never tasted the sap of the Hist, and while now I have the opportunity, I find myself frightened by the prospect of coming under the control of a force I do not understand, and how it might impact my afterlife.

    While the fellow Saxhleel around me encourage me to undergo this process, I want the advice of someone who I know is more educated; perhaps even someone who might know something about others like myself and our place in the world of Tamriel. I apologize in advance for my flurry of questions, but many have to do with spiritual matters, which I find I cannot stop mulling about. I simply must ask.

    I am told I do not have a soul until I join myself to the Hist. Is this true?

    When I join the Hist, what will happen to me? Do I lose my individual self? Will anything happen to my body? Will my name be changed? Will I remember anything from before I tasted the sap?

    Is my life, my individuality, even important to the Hist, or would I just be a tool to serve its purposes?

    If I choose not to taste the sap, when I die, what will happen to me? Will my spirit remain restless, wandering? Will the Hist forcefully absorb me into itself? Will I go to the realm of whatever power I choose to worship? Will I simply cease to be?

    What do you know of other lukiul like me? How many of us are really out there? Are many Saxhleel who were slaves and foreigners just like me? How have we impacted society throughout history, if at all?

    I've struggled all my life with socialization, understanding sarcasm and metaphors, eye contact, and my coordination. I struggle to interact with and understand other people, not just other Argonians. I feel like an n'wah, an alien, almost everywhere I go. Is this just because I have some disorder, or can we even function normally in society without the Hist?

    I understand I have asked much, but if you would be so kind to reply, I would be quite grateful. I hold out hope that I still have some chance of discovering who I am, what my purpose is, and what happens to me after I die. Failing that, I hope I find some way to benefit the people around me despite my impediments.

    Moon and stars light your path,

    Echoes-of-Starlight, a humble seeker of lost things
    In-Game Username - @WanderMyst
    EP & AD Roleplayer
    RP Guilds: Clan Blackpaw, The City of Arenthia, and The Banescale Fellowship

    Shäwna - Khajiit - Nord-raised Dark Ranger - EP RP
    Nelanwen the Raven - Altmer - Thalmor Framed as Heritance Spy - AD RP
    Echoes-of-Starlight - Argonian - Former Slave, Wanderer, and Seeker of Lost Things - EP RP
  • Faulgor
    Faulgor
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭
    Dear Jee-Lar,

    As an avid student of all magical pursuits and traditions in our great and honorable Pact, I've been fascinated with your people's aptitude for spells that might be broadly described as illusory magic - as in the, ability to influence others' senses and dispositions, conceal your own likeness and so forth. I am curious about the cultural implications of this affinity for illusions, and whether this stems from a certain magical schooling, philosophical beliefs, military necessity, or something else entirely? I hope you can illuminate my understanding in this matter, to satiate my own curiosity and foster the relations between our people.

    Hridi Oak-Eye, Adept of the College of Winterhold, Class of 2E576


    (In Morrowind and Oblivion, Argonians had a bonus to Illusion magic)
    Alandrol Sul: He's making another Numidium?!?
    Vivec: Worse, buddy. They're buying it.
  • WhiteCoatSyndrome
    WhiteCoatSyndrome
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭
    To the historian Jee-Lar, respectful greetings,

    On behalf of the Order of Star-Gazers, I wish to inquire as to the origin of the practice of allocating Shadowscales during the month of the Shadow. Have the Saxhleel or the Hist had previous interactions with the Stars, or is this merely coincidental?

    For myself personally, it has been my understanding that the Dark Brotherhood branched off from the Dunmeri Morag Tong after the assassination of the Akaviri Potentates, but my impression has been that the Shadowscales as an organization are much older. If you are permitted to speak on the subject, could you kindly explain how it is that the Shadowscales and Brotherhood have become so entwined in so short a timeframe?

    Kind regards,
    Rohais, First Emissary to Craglorn
    #proud2BAStarObsessedLoony
    PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!
    A useful explanation for how RNG works
  • Ilsabet
    Ilsabet
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hey smart guy,

    So what's the actual deal with the Hist? People make it out to be this great benevolent force that connects us all and takes care of us, but I don't recall it ever doing anything for me. It certainly didn't stop me from getting beaten when the overseers caught me not working, and I haven't had any great fortune fall in my lap since I left the plantation either. So is it just some made-up guar-hockey designed to give the downtrodden masses something to cling to, or what?

    Regards or whatever,
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
  • VerboseQuips
    VerboseQuips
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    To the esteemed Jee-Lar, I, Oilbhreis Wind-Hearkener from Winterhold, send my confraternal salutations.

    I am a historian too, although not specialized in Argonian histories, rather in the Draconic war. Vestiges of that time-lost epoch are difficult to unearth, even more to interpret. Yet the frozen lands of Skyrim are certainly more propitious to the preservation of historical documents than the wet and warm lands of Argonia. Water and time stand still together here, unlike there, where both flow freely. I am wondering, what techniques do you use to uncover ancient past in such a corrosive environment? I guess magic is involved? Are you helped by the (collective, if I understand well?) memory of the Hist?

    I decided to write this letter after I read a text about the Jel, which I found fascinating. What bewildered me the most was the lack of concept of time and tenses in that language. Anyone who studied Dragons knows that, as scions of Akatosh, they are linked to Time. This has me wondering… What is the place (if any) of the Dragon god in the Argonian pantheon? Do you even have a Time-related deity?

    I recently bought a bunch of relics from a group of Undaunted who discovered traces of the Dragon Cult in Gavaudon. (By the way, I am appalled by how carelessly these nonsensically violent explorers handle documents of immeasurable historical value.) This will force us to revise some well-established theories and hypotheses about the extension of the territory of the Dragon Cult. But when one thinks of it, however vast Skyrim may be (and have been), it wouldn’t be surprising that a conflict of such cosmogonic importance as the Dragon Wars could have largely crossed our borders – and indeed, some texts mention little-known River Dragons as far South as Rumare. Hence my next question. Do you have any record of Draconic presence in the Black Marsh? If yes, was there a conflict between the Hist and the Dragons?
    Alas, I never had the opportunity to see a live specimen of Wamasu, though the aforementioned Undaunted showed me some bones. I read some text describing the famous Wamasus as Swamp Dragons. Is it just an unfortunate, misinformed naming, or are the Wamasus really related (or even a subspecies) of actual Dragons?

    In the cold snowy days of the Winterhold, when I have no new relic to study and I still have to justify my position and to elude boredom by actually doing something (other than savoring mead), I like to do thought-experiments. Here’s one for you. What would happen if a Time-related entity like a Dragon, would lick the sap of a Hist-tree, which seems to have such a radically different perception/conception of Time from any other Tamriellic race?

    Finally, my last questions are about how you consider your profession of historian.
    If I understood well, impermanence is a concept that is pervasive in Argonian culture and way of living (but of course, my understanding of Argonians is poor due to both geographical and cultural distance). How does someone originating from such a culture come to be a historian, whose function is to preserve relics, to extract knowledge from the past and give it a form of permanence in collective memory? Or do you think your purpose isn’t that? How do you think of the word “historian” itself? Are you a “History-an” or a “Hist-orian”?

    I wish you to stay wet (I think it’s the right closure sentence? I am not sure that book about the Maid is a reliable source on etiquette though...)

    Oilbhreis Wind-Hearkener
    My characters:
    Main and crafter: A Breton magicka templar named Erwann Sorril
    Alt 1: A Bosmer sorcerer named Tuuneleg
    Alt 2: An Imperial dragonknight named Gaius Tullius Hastifer
    Alt 3: An Argonian vampire/nightblade named Observe-le-Xanmeer
    Alt 4: A Nord werewolf/dragonknight named Sigurd Hurlevent
    Alt 5: A Breton sorcerer named Gilian Sorril (he's Erwann's younger brother)
    Alt 6: A Khajiit nightblade named Jolan-dar
    Alt 7: A Nord warden named Sigurmar Hurlevent (he's Sigurd's younger brother)
    Alt 8: An Altmer templar named Oioriel
    Alt 9: An Argonian stamina Warden named Danse-avec-les-Rainettes
    Alt 10: A Redguard templar named Neemokh af-Corelanya
    Alt 11: A Nord stamina sorcerer named Olga Écoute-Vent
    Alt 12: A Breton magicka Warden named Ian Sorril
    Alt 13: A Dunmer magicka necromancer named Ilmoran Dren
    Alt 14: An Orc stamina necromancer named Norgol gro-Borziel
    Main in NA (For collaborative events): A Breton magicka nightblade named Titouan Sorril (long-lost brother of Erwann and Gilian)
  • Raltin
    Raltin
    ✭✭✭✭
    "Salutations to you, honored historian. I am Aicantur, Sapiarch of Zoology with the Crystal Tower of Summerset. It is my esteemed privilege to work alongside the staff of the Royal Menagerie in Sil-Var-Woad, where I have for many years dedicated myself to the study, classification, and documentation of the many varieties of animal across Tamriel. It is unfortunate, with recent events at the Menagerie, that some of my research material has been misplaced or destroyed, alongside the demise of much of the staff and specimens; placing myself in the need of an outside expert, until a time that the Royal Rangers have sufficiently recovered for further outings. I would be obliged if you would answer back regarding several questions involving the wildlife of your homeland, of which the Sapiarchs have little documentation of; purely within the interest of the preservation of knowledge."

    "My first question is on the creatures you refer to as 'Hackwings'. The earliest and conflicting records we have of them indicate they were great birds; with long, saw-like beaks nearly the length of their bodies. Along with these reports, there were collections of brilliant and sizable plumage, unlike the majority of most avian creatures I have catalogued in the past. You could imagine my surprise when the Royal Rangers returned from later excursions with creatures entirely unlike the previous description. The deceased and preserved specimens they retrieved were surprisingly similar to the Cliff Striders of Vvardenfell, with no hints of plumage on their bodies. If these are in fact Hackwings, and they are indeed within the same family as Striders, Racers, and Darters, the presence of plumage would not surprise me; what came as a surprise was the lack of it. To clarify my findings, do hackwings ever sprout plumage within their lifespan? If so, is it a seasonal adornment, perhaps for mating purposes, or a mark of maturity or infancy?"

    "My next question involves the very curious creatures known as 'Swamp Jellies'. In appearance, they seem to be related to the Netches of Morrowind, though they have their own peculiarities that place them apart. All specimens retrieved were of minor stature compared to their greater cousins to the North. This of course begs the question; how large do these Swamp Jellies actually grow, were the specimens collected in their youth, or are they dwarfed by Morrowind's Netches?"

    "My final question is perhaps more appropriate for the field of a historian, such as yourself. I have noticed a great resemblance to the many creatures of Black Marsh and those of Morrowind; such as the Hackwings/Cliff Striders and Swamp Jellies/Netches previously discussed. I am greatly interested in the migration and development of these animals within different environments, historically speaking. Did the majority of animals known in Morrowind actually originate from the marshes of Argonia; the families of Guar, Cliff Striders, Netches and the like? Or did they instead find their beginnings in Morrowind? Your answer is highly anticipated."

    -May Auri-el light your path, Ceruval Jee-Lar.
    -Sapiarch Aicantur
    Edited by Raltin on October 6, 2018 4:08AM
    "Proud purveyor of Cyrodiil Pickles."
  • Aliyavana
    Aliyavana
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Raltin wrote: »
    "Salutations to you, honored historian. I am Aicantur, Sapiarch of Zoology with the Crystal Tower of Summerset. It is my esteemed privilege to work alongside the staff of the Royal Menagerie in Sil-Var-Woad, where I have for many years dedicated myself to the study, classification, and documentation of the many varieties of animal across Tamriel. It is unfortunate, with recent events at the Menagerie, that some of my research material has been misplaced or destroyed, alongside the demise of much of the staff and specimens; placing myself in the need of an outside expert, until a time that the Royal Rangers have sufficiently recovered for further outings. I would be obliged if you would answer back regarding several questions involving the wildlife of your homeland, of which the Sapiarchs have little documentation of; purely within the interest of the preservation of knowledge."

    "My first question is on the creatures you refer to as 'Hackwings'. The earliest and conflicting records we have of them indicate they were great birds; with long, saw-like beaks nearly the length of their bodies. Along with these reports, there were collections of brilliant and sizable plumage, unlike the majority of most avian creatures I have catalogued in the past. You could imagine my surprise when the Royal Rangers returned from later excursions with creatures entirely unlike the previous description. The deceased and preserved specimens they retrieved were surprisingly similar to the Cliff Striders of Vvardenfell, with no hints of plumage on their bodies. If these are in fact Hackwings, and they are indeed within the same family as Striders, Racers, and Darters, the presence of plumage would not surprise me; what came as a surprise was the lack of it. To clarify my findings, do hackwings ever sprout plumage within their lifespan? If so, is it a seasonal adornment, perhaps for mating purposes, or a mark of maturity or infancy?"

    "My next question involves the very curious creatures known as 'Swamp Jellies'. In appearance, they seem to be related to the Netches of Morrowind, though they have their own peculiarities that place them apart. All specimens retrieved were if minor stature compared to their greater cousins to the North. This of course begs the question; how large do these Swamp Jellies actually grow, were the specimens collected in their youth, or are they dwarfed by Morrowind's Netches?"

    "My final question is perhaps more appropriate for the field of a historian, such as yourself. I have noticed a great resemblance to the many creatures of Black Marsh and those of Morrowind; such as the Hackwings/Cliff Striders and Swamp Jellies/Netches previously discussed. I am greatly interested in the migration and development of these animals within different environments, historically speaking. Did the majority of animals known in Morrowind actually originate from the marshes of Argonia; the families of Guar, Cliff Striders, Netches and the like? Or did they instead find their beginnings in Morrowind? Your answer is highly anticipated."

    -May Auri-el light your path, Ceruval Jee-Lar.
    -Sapiarch Aicantur
    glad to see im not the only one with the same question
    Edited by Aliyavana on October 6, 2018 12:50AM
  • Ilaro
    Ilaro
    Soul Shriven
    Dear Jee-Lar,

    Such an esteemed historian as you already knows about the past expansion of the Barsaebic Ayleids into Black Marsh. They build the city-states of Stormhold and Gideon, and the well known ruins of Loriasel in Shadowfen. After they vanished, their ruins are still scattering the lands. I wonder what you can tell me how far their influence reached into Black Marsh? What were the relationships between the Argonians/Hist and the Ayleids? After so many years of conquest, the Barsaebic Ayleids must have left a cultural influence on the surrounding Argonian tribes. Do certain tribes still have rituals introduced by the Ayleids or did the Hist make sure they were not assimilated in any way? Can we still find tools or even Artifacts from the Ayleids in use or in folklore?
    I hope that such a venerated historian as yourself can shed some lights about this obscure page in the history of Black Marsh.

    - Ilaro, Legends-Seeker of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits
    Edited by Ilaro on October 7, 2018 1:33PM
    UESP - Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995.
    UESP Legends Patroller
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