Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Victims of the Knahaten Flu, seen during Shazah's vision in the quest "The First Step."

"A wife. A husband. A son or daughter. Mother or father, aunt or uncle: each of us has lost one or more of these. It has touched every family in Elsweyr, the dreadful epidemic, the terrible plague—the Knahaten Flu."
Lord Gharesh-ri[src]

The Knahaten Flu or Knhaten Flu,[1] also known as Half-Swim Sniffles by Argonians,[2] is a deadly disease that affected much of Argonia in the Second Era. Whether the terrible Knahaten Flu arose from natural causes, or was created by an Argonian shaman in retaliation for his people's oppression, is still a matter of debate. The plague began in Stormhold in 2E 560, and quickly spread to every corner of Black Marsh, killing all those not of reptilian stock. For over forty years, it held the province in its grip, decimating entire cultures (notably, the Kothringi) and driving outsiders from the land.[3] In 2E 560 it reached Senchal in Elsweyr,[4][5] and it also destroyed significant sections of Argonia,[6] however, the Hist proved immune to it.[6][7]

The Knahaten Flu also helped Argonia temporarily cede from the Empire during the Second Era, as the plague made the land habitable only by Argonians.[8]

In Hammerfell, on the 20th of Rain's Hand, citizens commemorate the Day of Shame, a day in which the passengers of the Crimson Ship, loaded with victims of this sickness, were denied entry into Hammerfell.[9] Even though the action stopped the plague from reaching Hammerfell, it is still remembered as a horrible day in their history.

The Knahaten Flu also created tensions in Cyrodiil during the Third Era, too. It was later revealed to have been a hoax, sparked by Argonians wishing revenge on the Blackwood Company expansionists.[10]

The Altmeri Queen Ayrenn is said by the Khajiit to have helped to restore order after the outbreak. For this reason, they pledged fealty to her and the Aldmeri Dominion.[11]

In High Rock, the flu killed the prominent merchant Pierric Cumberland.[12] It is also responsible for ending Wayrest's Gardner Dynasty, every member of which died, including the entire royal family.[12]

An Ayleid ghost encountered by the Vestige in Shadowfen during the Three Banners War suggested that her people created the flu to get revenge on their former Argonian and Kothringi slaves, who rebelled along with the Alessians.[13]