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Beastfolk (or Betmer) is used to refer to any sentient beast-like humanoid that inhabits Tamriel, such as the Argonians, Imga, and Khajiit. A few races have died out or disappeared, such as the Lilmothiit and the Bird Men.


Illustration of a typical Argonian male

Argonians (Saxhleel, or People of the Root in their native language of Jel) are the reptilian natives of Black Marsh, a vast swampland province in southeastern Tamriel. The other races often refer to them as "lizards" or the "Lizard Folk" instead, especially when meaning to be derogatory. They are known as the foremost experts in guerrilla warfare throughout Tamriel, a reputation brought upon them by defending their borders from enemies for countless centuries. Argonians have a lifespan similar to that of humans.

According to the First Era Scholar Brendan the Persistent, "[t]he Argonian people have, throughout Tamrielic 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."

For more information, see the main lore article.

Bird Men[edit]

The Bird Men (also known as Cyrodilic bird-people) were supposedly a race of beastfolk who inhabited what became the City Isle in Cyrodiil during the Middle Merethic Era.


The dreugh are an ancient species of aquatic, octopus-like beastfolk, commonly hunted for their hide and the wax from their shells. They are sometimes known as water dreugh. A known variant of dreugh is the dreugh man o'war. The dreugh live on land and in water during different stages of their lives. Dreugh are mostly mild-mannered, and usually scavenge for food. Occasionally, dreugh will cut fishermens' nets while scavenging to steal the fish inside. Dreugh are omnivores, and have been seen eating Elven flesh. When hunting, they prefer dark, dank places from which to snatch unsuspecting prey.

Dreugh are found mostly in northern, western and eastern Tamriel, but can usually be found anywhere coastal. They are known to inhabit the Inner Sea and the Abecean Sea, migrating into the waterways of the Iliac Bay. Land dreugh can be found as far inland as Cyrodiil and Craglorn. Dreugh are known to be immune to paralysis, poison and disease and resistant to magic, but have a low tolerance to frost. They can regenerate health in darkness and in water, but cannot enter holy places. Their infamous shock attacks are unique to land dreugh, and those in the water must rely on melee attacks.

For more information, see the main lore article.


Giants are a race of enormous humanoids with colossal strength. They are found in the wilderness of Skyrim, High Rock, Hammerfell, Cyrodiil and Valenwood.

They have thick grey skin, long, powerful limbs, large hands and feet, and thick greyish-brown hair decorated with braids and beads. Additionally, most Giants have decorative scars carved into their chests. They clothe themselves in fur pelts adorned with the bones of animals and people, although many prefer a simple loincloth.

Although they tower above most races, their height can vary. Some stand between 11 and 12 feet tall, whereas others can be several times the height of the average person. Female giants, also called Giantesses, are more powerful and less common than males, and the only known sightings have been in the Wrothgarian Mountains and Whiterun Plains during the Second Era.

For more information, see the main lore article.


Goblin-ken (or goblin-kin) is an unspecific term used to refer to several different beastfolk, including goblins, ogres, and gremlins. Although they are elves, Orcs are widely considered to be goblin-ken due to the common belief that they are somehow related to goblins. Goblin-ken are used as slaves by the Altmer of Summerset Isle. During the Camoran Dynasty, hundreds of goblin-ken were set free by the rulers of Summerset Isle and allowed to settle the lands north of Valenwood. The Orcish tribes chose to settle high in the Wrothgarian Mountains, near Old H'roldan, which was a part of High Rock at the time. This was due to their dependence on a rare shaggy giant centipede herdbeast that can live only at high altitudes on alpine and sub-alpine forage. The village eventually grew into Orsinium (literally translated as Orc-Town) at the location. After the first sacking of the fortress by the Order of the Diagna and the subsequent rebuilding by Gortwog gro-Nagorm, Orsinium had apparently become solely inhabited by the Orcs, with no further reference to their fellow goblin-ken.

For more information, see the main lore article.


The Imga, or Great Apes, are native beastfolk of Valenwood. These intelligent apes are said to have flourished in Valenwood long before the Aldmer ever arrived there. They cohabit in the forests with the Bosmer tribes, and also inhabit many of the abandoned human trading posts which had been established during the Second Empire.

The most notable Imga was undoubtedly Marukh, a First Era prophet who rose to prominence during the Camoran Dynasty. His teachings sparked the massive cultural and spiritual movement known as the Alessian Order.


Illustration of a typical Khajiit male

Khajiit are cat-like people who come from Elsweyr, known for high intelligence and agility. These traits make them very good thieves and acrobats, but Khajiit are also fearsome warriors. However, they are rarely known to be mages. Khajiit mostly stay on land, but piracy and Skooma trade does draw some to work as sailors.

Khajiit anatomy differs greatly from both men and elves, not only because of their fur, tail, and sometimes toe-walking stance, but also their digestive system and metabolism. Khajiit, Argonians, and Imga are the so-called "beast races" of Tamriel because of these large differences. Khajiit have a lifespan similar to that of humans. There are no well-documented cases of cross-breeding between Khajiit and other races, though there are rumors of such a thing. The foreign appearance and behavior of Khajiit make them common targets of racial discrimination.

For more information, see the main lore article.


Lamias are a species of amphibious beastfolk. They have a serpentine appearance, with the torso of a woman and the tail of a snake. Despite appearing to be exclusively female, it is assumed they are hermaphroditic and lay eggs like a reptile. They are initially incredibly protective of their eggs, though they later abandon them and leave the immature Lamiae to fend for themselves. Found all over Tamriel, they can live in water or on land, although they rarely venture far from the water, and are known to take up residence in abandoned ruins. Some desert lamias also reside in Hammerfell. Lamias are larger than most other mortal races, but can interbreed with them according to fables. Lamias eat their prey whole, resulting in a distended stomach while they slowly digest. They appear to be cold-blooded and are known to lounge in the sun.

Despite being reviled as monsters, lamias are an intelligent species; they can speak Tamrielic, can cast powerful magic, and adorn themselves with jewelry. In combat, they rely on debilitating shrieks and powerful claws that drain an opponent's stamina. Curares can also summon spectral lamias. They seemingly have their own religion, venerating entities known as the Egg Mother and the Great Egg. Lamias choose not to erect permanent structures or cities of their own, instead preferring to occupy the ruins left behind by man and mer. They can also be encountered living underwater. Groups of lamias are often led by a queen.

Lamias have had little impact on history due to their primitive nature and hostile attitude towards the people of Tamriel. Notably, the lamias of Tempest Island took part in the Lamia Invasion of 2E 435, and a group of lamias are thought to have fought against Molag Bal in 2E 582 during the Tamrielic invasion of Coldharbour. Medusas are physically similar to lamias, but otherwise unrelated.

For more information, see the main lore article.


The Lilmothiit (possibly meaning "one who is from Lilmoth"), also called the Fox-Folk, were a vulpine (fox-like) beast race who once inhabited Black Marsh. They were said by some to be related to the Khajiit of Elsweyr. The Lilmothiit were a nomadic tribal group, and left few enduring signs of their existence. They founded the settlements of Lilmoth and Blackrose. Lilmoth later came to be occupied by merchants and neighboring Argonian tribes. The Lilmothiit ruins of Blackrose were later turned into The Rose prison in a single day by Pelladil Direnni summoning an army of stone atronachs, under request by the Akaviri Potentate Versidue-Shaie in the Second Era.

For many generations, the Lilmothiit were in decline, and they eventually withdrew their presence on the coasts to the inland regions around Blackrose. Similar to the Kothringi, they became mostly extinct following the devastation of the Knahaten Flu in the mid-Second Era, leaving behind many ruins that scholars planned to explore.

For more information, see the main lore article.


Minotaurs, also called man-bulls or bull-men, are a species of beastfolk native to Cyrodiil with the body of a man and the head of a bull. During the First Era, they were said to have symbolized the Alessian Empire, but in later eras became more commonly perceived as savage monsters by the people of Tamriel.

They have thick grey or sometimes brown or red hide and fur, and large curved horns. Some Minotaurs clothe themselves in a simple loincloth and shawl or wear nose-rings. Others wear intricate leather armor, and some prefer to be completely naked. They are most commonly found in the Colovian Highlands, Great Forest and the Gold Coast regions of Cyrodiil, as well as The Scar of Elsweyr, the Reach of Skyrim, and in ancient times across Valenwood.

For more information, see the main lore article.


Nagas are a breed of Argonian that live in the inner parts of Black Marsh. Nagas have some distinct differences in their appearance compared to the Argonian most commonly seen throughout Tamriel. They are described as having "huge mouths filled with dripping needle-like fangs". Nagas range from anywhere between seven to eight feet tall, though the Naga-Kur tribe found within Murkmire appears to be about the same height as the common variety of Argonian. Naga are sometimes called 'puff adders', suggesting snake-like features. Like other Argonians, Nagas lay eggs, and Naga hatchlings are able to walk right after they hatch.

When Imperial interests were attempting to maintain plantations in Argonia, the Nagas generally acted as highway robbers; however, following the cessation of these efforts, they have since left the roads and have gone back into the inner swamps.

For more information, see the main lore article.

The Naga-Kur (or "Dead-Water Tribe") of northern Murkmire control much of the inner swamps. Unlike the tribeless Nagas that inhabit the region, the Naga-Kur are proud warriors, deeply entrenched in tradition. They are hostile to outsiders and feared by neighboring tribes because of their brutal ways.


Illustration of a typical Orc male

Orcs, also called Orsimer or "Pariah Folk" in ancient times, are the brusque elves of the Wrothgarian Mountains, Dragontail Mountains, Valenwood, and Orsinium (literally translated as "Orc-Town"). They are noted for their unshakable courage in war and their unflinching endurance of hardships. Orcs have elven blood, but are usually considered to be both Beastfolk and Goblin-ken.

In the past, Orcs were widely feared and hated by the other nations and races of Tamriel and were seen as nothing more than uncivilized beasts,The Orcs are as civilized as any of the other races, having worked hard to be seen as actual people. They have slowly won acceptance in the Empire, in particular for their distinguished service in the Emperor's Legions. Many Orcs in the Third Era have actually received an Imperial education as a benefit of serving the Imperial Legion. Orc armorers are prized for their craftsmanship, and Orc warriors in heavy armor are among the finest front-line troops in the Empire, and are fearsome when using their berserker rage.

Orcs have a lifespan similar to that of humans, possibly because of Shor passing a curse Orkey had placed on the Nords onto them. While many Imperial citizens regard Orc society as rough and cruel, the Orcs consider themselves to be stern, fair, and just. The Orcs of the Iliac Bay region have developed their own language, known as Orcish, and have often had their own kingdom, Orsinium.

For more information, see the main lore article.


The Sload (sometimes called worms or slug-folk) are a race of sluglike beastfolk living in the Coral Kingdoms of Thras, southwest of Tamriel.

Sload are innately cautious and careful. In their mythic traditions, all heroes spend years planning, considering and consulting with wise Sload before taking the correct action and achieving their goal. By contrast, their villains all act quickly or rashly and always fail. The Sload language has no word for 'adventure', and the closest equivalent more accurately means 'tragic disaster'.

Sload do not experience emotions as the Tamrielic races do, but are often skilled at acting and may exaggeratedly simulate them for the benefit of more emotive beings.

They will honor laws, loyalties, and friendships only as long as they calculate it to be in their best interests to do so. They also have no compunctions against blasphemy, theft, kidnapping, murder, genocide or anything else that may help them reach their goals.

Sload are apparently not religious and generally reject worship, but will willingly serve Daedra if they benefit from it. Some, in particular the famed Second Era necromancer N'Gasta, also follow the King of Worms.

For more information, see the main lore article.