For other uses, see Argonian.
"This reptilian race, well-suited for the treacherous swamps of their homeland, has developed natural immunities to disease and poisons. They can breathe underwater and are very good at picking locks."
―In-game description[src]

The Argonians are the reptiloid natives of the Black Marsh of southern Tamriel. Their amphibious physique suits them for aquatic and terrestrial habitation. Years of living in dangerous bogs and swamps has bolstered their immunity to the diseases and poisons found there. Behind expressionless faces, Argonians possess a quiet intellect, and because of this, many are talented mages. Naturally agile, Argonians also make keen rogues and warriors.

Background[edit | edit source]

Argonians, like Khajiit, were oppressed and enslaved by rich families and primary industries in Morrowind, the last province to abolish slavery. Though slavery is now illegal in Morrowind, House Dres still practices it. This was the main reason for the Argonian invasion of Morrowind, following the Oblivion Crisis, which led to the near total destruction of Morrowind. Argonians are also frequently the victims of racial prejudices, as are all of the beast-races.

Culture and origins[edit | edit source]

Black Marsh, home of the Argonians.

Argonians 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 friend.[source?] Argonians are descended from the intelligent Hist trees of Black Marsh. Most of the Argonians are immigrants from Black Marsh, and all are highly skilled in the art of combat. The band of mercenaries known as the "Blackwood Company" is made up of mainly Argonian and Khajiit warriors commissioned by the Emperor. The Blackwood Company serves as a sort of competitor of the Fighters Guild, and are a point in the last few Fighters Guild quests. The guild hall in Leyawiin is where they have their hist tree, imported from Black Marsh. Hist is what all soldiers of the company drink before doing a contract. Argonians are the only race not to suffer negative effects from drinking the Hist Sap.

Oppression[edit | edit source]

Despite both being seen as beast-races, and a sharing a history of oppression from the men or mer races there is strong racial dislike between both the Argonians and the Khajiit. Members of both races commonly see the other as vastly inferior to themselves.[source?] If it were not for the lands of the Imperial-held Niben Bay that separates the lands of Black Marsh and Elsweyr, it is very likely that both races would have gone to war with each other long ago.

Shadowscales[edit | edit source]

The Shadow marks the birth of Shadowscales.

Main article: Shadowscale

Born under the constellation of The Shadow, certain Argonians are trained at early ages to become assassins for the Dark Brotherhood and are given the title "Shadowscale." Two members of the Cheydinhal Sanctuary bore this title: Ocheeva and Teinaava. Their rival, Scar-Tail, was also a Shadowscale. Meanwhile, few Shadowscales existed in Cyrodiil during the Oblivion Crisis.

Biology[edit | edit source]

The cranial features vary with each Argonian.

Argonians have gills on their necks and are covered in scales. This gives Argonians the unique ability to breathe underwater, which has proven to be an advantage in combat with other races, especially in the swamps of Black Marsh. Argonians are trained in guerrilla warfare to drown their enemies by dragging them to the water and holding them under.[source?]

Argonians have very sharp reptilian teeth lining their mouths, which, if they are unarmed, can be used as an effective weapon. If an Argonian becomes a vampire, they appear to age tenfold and their eyes turn light red and nearly blank, though their pupils are still visible. Argonians possess tails, the only race besides the Khajiit to do so. When swimming they use their tails to propel themselves as they glide through the water like a fish (this does not however equate into an actual speed bonus in-game when swimming as an Argonian, the Speed attribute still determines that). An Argonian's tail is also used for balance giving them an extra advantage in certain situations. This is one of the many reasons Argonians are effective as thieves and assassins.

Argonians have a wide variety of cranial features such as fins, ridges, spines, spikes or horns. Female Argonians tend to pierce their cranial features.[source?]

Character creation[edit | edit source]

Main article: Character Creation (Oblivion)

Attributes[edit | edit source]

Attributes Male Female
Agility 50 40
Endurance 30 30
Intelligence 40 50
Luck 50 50
Personality 30 30
Speed 50 40
Strength 40 40
Willpower 30 40

Skill bonuses[edit | edit source]

Skill Modifier
Alchemy +5
Athletics +10
Blade +5
Hand-to-Hand +5
Illusion +5
Mysticism +5
Security +10

Special abilities[edit | edit source]

Usage[edit | edit source]

Argonians are best suited to the role of a close quarters Assassin. This is because Illusion, Alchemy, Mysticism, and Security are all valued skills for an assassin. An Argonian's natural availability of immunities and resist effect can be further augmented by selecting The Atronach birthsign. The single drawback to having this birthsign can easily be negated by having a single Welkynd Stone and at least two identical scrolls weighing 0.1 pounds in the inventory at all times. Whenever magicka gets too low, simply scroll duplicate the Welkynd Stone and use one of the two (or more) that will result.

Benefits[edit | edit source]

An Argonian Witchhunter uses bows and spells.

To fully negate the attribute penalties associated with male Argonians, Porphyric Hemophilia needs to be contracted, becoming a vampire. This lessens the number of items required to achieve the same results as a non-vampire.

  • The only race that is fully immune to poison naturally.
  • Monetary advantages when selling off items such as Fin Gleam and Jewel of the Rumare due to a natural water-breathing trait.
  • The highest number of natural immunities as a vampire, which adds a convenience factor to playing an Argonian vampire.
  • Speechcraft, like Security, is controlled by a mini-game and depending on the Argonians skill with said mini-game, they may not need any points invested at all. This makes the perceived weakness of -10 Personality unnoticeable for some, due to Mercantile tricks and the fact Illusion is only widely used to avoid heavy combat, making the battle importance of the school relatively low (most combat styles provide paralysis effects already).
  • Bows are almost entirely useless when traveling in underwater locations. Argonians have an easier time in those areas as a melee assassin with high Hand-to-Hand, which can easily be boosted to 85+ at level 1–2 due to certain acquirable items, racial bonuses, vampirism, and taking it as a major skill).
  • -10 Endurance can be negated by drinking fortify health or upmarket potions (specifically the one which fortifies health/magicka and gives chameleon, and the one which restores health, fortifies health, boosts armor and negates vampiric weakness to fire in a single potion) granted the Argonian has access to the enchanted chest, due to the rare nature of ironwood nuts, painted troll fat and other highly useful alchemy ingredients.

Drawbacks[edit | edit source]

"Hey, lizard! It must break your heart, huh? Being so close to the water, knowing you'll never get to swim again... You know, sometimes, when they let us in the yard, you can hear the sounds from the lake. The boats, the gulls. So close... No, you'll never get to swim again, Argonian. But don't worry, you'll be dead soon enough. That's right. You're going to die in here!"
Valen Dreth[src]

Argonians have several drawbacks. Bow and arrow attacks are much more useful for an assassin than a close-quarters sneak attack; however, this is completely unimportant if the Argonian chooses not to play as an assassin or assassin-like class. Because of their reptilian appearance, Argonians are disliked by men and mer, and therefore have a harder time persuading others, though, as mentioned, this will not matter if Charm spells are used.[source?] Additionally, their health will always be slightly lower than other races, due to their decreased Endurance.

Names[edit | edit source]

Argonians have a complex language, known as Jel, that few men and mer try to learn, with the exception of Dunmer slavers. As such, many Argonians go by their translated names.[1]

Example male names[edit | edit source]

Example female names[edit | edit source]

Notable Argonians[edit | edit source]

Ocheeva, a Shadowscale of the Dark Brotherhood.

See also[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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