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A Vvardvark

The result of a failed experiment by the Telvanni magister Varkenel, Vvardvarks are small creatures found in the province of Morrowind. They were prevalent on the island of Vvardenfell and the Telvanni Peninsula.[1] They are a magical hybrid that possesses scales, fur, and a long tongue with sharp teeth on it. Their diet consists of small insects. The wizard attempted to create a kind of domesticated predator. His initial trials were aimed at using Ashlands stock to transfigure something similar to cats. Further experimentation would have increased its size and ferocity to create a novel kind of warbeast. His failure was considered one of the most successful accidents in the history of the House Telvanni. Varkenel was given the honor of expanding his experimentation to allow for a proper breeding program by the Archmagister of the House. The line of vvardvarks was expanded with additional colorations and configurations. Some Vvardvarks were even large enough to act as pack animals or riding mounts.[2]

Despite their recorded unpleasant scent, Vvardvarks were domesticated as pets.[3] Other uses for this chimeric creature were found, the Vvardvark's long tongue was used as fastenings due to their elastic qualities,[4] while the Ashlanders used their hard shells for armor.[5] The mounted variety of vvardvarks was adopted by the Mages Guild's Order of the Lamp due to their loyalty, surefootedness, tracking skills, as well as the belief that they can smell magicka.[6]

From the original experiment, several different breeds are recorded to have existed. The most common is the tan-colored breed known as the Demotic Vvardvark.[7] Other varieties have more striking coloration; notably the Dozen-banded Vvardvark, with its vibrant tan and black striped pattern on its scales.[8] Another variety, the Tuxedo Vvardvark, was reported to have scale patterns which resembled the plumage of the chub loon, and are theorized to have been bred to hide among the flightless avians.[9] Mossy Vvardvarks ware yet another variant of this animal. They are known for their green, moss-like pattern on their backs. Some members of the Vvardenfell Zoological Field Commission were reluctant to acknowledge the Vvardvarks as creatures of magical origin.[10]

Varkenel's Hat Trick (ESO)

Vvardvarks became a part of Dunmeri mainstream culture. Felt plushies resembling vvardvarks were a common sight in Morrowind.[11] They also feature in Blessed Almalexia's Fables for Morning.[12] Spells transforming people into vvardvarks against their will were invented,[13][14] and ice sculptures depicting vvardvarks were available for sale.[15] "Varkenel's Hat Trick" is a performance in which the actor reenacts the creation of the first vvardvark via a magic trick by pulling it out of a hat, though it is historically inaccurate.[16]

By the late Third Era, the Vvardvarks found on Vvardenfell were wiped out by the Ash Blight phenomenon.[17]


See Also[edit]