The Elder Scrolls

Questions about the relationship between Beastfolk and Men/Mer

TheElderScrolls2 - Questions about the relationship between Beastfolk and Men/Mer
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tl;dr: Anyone have good info on Argonian and Khajiit origins?

So, I was looking into the origins and relations between several of the races, because I find that sort of mythic history interesting. However, as I was going through it, I was having a lot of difficulty figuring out where Argonians and Khajiit fit in the grand scheme of things. Not even in a "where did they come from" way, but more what are they in the first place? Because honestly they could be anything from heavily-mutated men/mer to elevated lizards/house cats, and I'd be willing to buy anything in between.

Despite going on a pretty deep dive into the lore, I think the thing that's thrown me off the most is that racist pitfall of a book, Racial Phylogeny. Not the author's claims about Argonians being dreugh-relatives and what have you, but rather the simple mention of rumored children borne of mixed Men/Mer-Argonian and Men/Mer-Khajiit pairings. The big game-changer there is that, if these are true, then that would imply that either they're Men/Mer that have been modified, OR that Men/Mer are able to breed with beastfolk. That latter one might seem like not that big a deal, but besides Aedra and Daedra we have no confirmed cases of mixed-race children outside the greater Men-Mer group.

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Beyond that, there's a lot of weird anomalies floating around. The Khajiit and Argonians' presence on Tamriel pre-date the arrival of the Ayleids, but it's not clear how long they were there. Also there's the races of Akavir, the Tsaesci and Ka Po'Tun, which could potentially be related to the Argonians and Khajiit, respectively. Even then, though, are we dealing with a couple of smaller groups of races or just more extensions of Men/Mer? We know that races can be drastically mutated by magical means, such as the Orcs and Falmer which are both just forms of elf, and both the Khajiit and Argonians are actively being mutated by the Moon and Hist, respectively. Their myths are unhelpful on the matter, though the possibility of the Hist trees being daedric in nature could open up a particular set of avenues.

I know this is just a pointless thought experiment, but it's just curious to me that we know so little about where these two cornerstone races of the Elder Scrolls lore actually came from. It's not like Men and Mer where we have clear lineages all the way to the dawn of time. They were just found with their respective civilizations at one point and the records they had were either unhelpful or not preserved. We can at least be confident that the Hist have heavily affected the Argonians, regardless of where they came from, but that's a "how" they came to be what they are, not "what" they started as. And Khajiit myth just kind of a train wreck when trying to rationalize it with everything else we know. I could probably get even more longwinded with this than I already am, but I think you fellas get the picture. Is there some obscure reference I'm missing? I haven't played ESO (because MMO's aren't my jam), so if there's something there I'd definitely be at increased risk of missing it.

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