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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?]
- Resist Disease – 75%
- Resist Poison – 100%
- Water Breathing – can breathe underwater indefinitely
- Disposition – +5 when speaking to other Argonians
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.
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.
- Alternative helms include Cowl of the Druid or Veil of the Seer (combined with vampirism this negates the -10 Willpower suffered by male Argonians) as both options have longer ranges for their Detect Life enchantments than Fin Gleam (and reduce sunlight damage if a vampire).
- Alternative rings include Ring of Nighteye (common in the loot table) and Ring of the Iron Fist.
- The Hero can wear two Rings of the Iron Fist (+50 Hand to Hand, +66% Reflect Damage) by creating Potions of Nighteye and following the farming tips in that items wiki article.
- 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.
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.
Example male names
- Haj-Ei (Jel for "Hides His Eyes")
- Big Head
Example female names
- Amusei – member of the Thieves Guild.
- Deetsan – Magician of the Mages Guild and leader of their Cheydinhal division.
- Ocheeva – A Shadowscale Executioner of the Dark Brotherhood.
- Quill-Weave – Renowned author of fiction.
- Tar-Meena – Wizard of the Mages Guild and caretaker of the Mystic Archives. Scholar of necromancy and the Mythic Dawn cult of Mehrunes Dagon.
- Teinaava – A Shadowscale of the Dark Brotherhood, and Ocheeva's twin brother.
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- The Elder Scrolls: Legends
|Races in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion|
|Humans||Breton • Imperial • Nord • Redguard|
|Mer||Altmer • Bosmer • Dunmer • Orsimer|
|Beastfolk||Argonian • Khajiit|