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Khajiit and Mer


Started by Do'Rakk
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Hello. So lately I have noticed a rise in a misconception that Khajiit are Mer. I have a big problem with this because as I will show you, this claim is in no way supported by lore. Now I think we can all agree that The Elder Scrolls has fantastic lore, and so I think it should offend anybody when someone makes a baseless claim and calls it lore.

Among other evidence, I think the biggest counter to this argument is the fact that nowhere in the game or in lore are Khajiit explicitly referred to as Mer. They are though, referred to as beast and are separate from the races of Man and Mer.

Upon researching the topic, I think this assumption has stemmed from a misinterpretation of Khajiiti religion, so lets explore the origins according to Khajiiti lore.

Quote:In the beginning, there existed two entities called Ahnurr and Fadomai. Of the many children they had, the one I want to focus on is Khenarthi. After having several children, Ahnurr decided he did not want anymore children, and so Fadomai convinced Khenari to bear children in her stead. Two children of note to this topic bore by Khenarthi are Nirni and Azurah. Amidst the drama following Ahnurr discovering Fadomai's deception, Fadomai gave Nirni a gift. She told Nirni that she would bear as many children as she did herself. Upset after being left nothing, Azurah approached Fadomai. Fadomai instructed Azurah to take of one of Nirni's children and change them to be the fastest, most clever, and most beautiful creatures. They would also have to be the best climbers in order to climb the winds of Khenarthi to realign the moons of Massee and Secunda in times of need. Lastly they would be made the best decievers. After Fadomai died, Azurah set out to accomplish this task. Of the many children Nirni birthed, her favorite were the forest-people, which also saddened Nirni because they did not know their proper form


I want to address this line, they did not know their proper form. Some people have been claiming that Khajiit and Bosmer come from a common Mer race, but right here it says the common race did not have proper form. Hence, they were neither Man, Mer, or beast. Rather, they were something else.

Quote:In Nirni's time of strife, Azurah came to comfort her. While having her distracted, Azurah stole away some of the forest-people and placed them in he deserts and forest of what would later be Elsweyr. She took these formless people and created the Khajiit in many different forms, each form with its own purpose, and linked those forms to the phases of the Moons. When Nirni found out what Azurah had done, she responded by making the deserts scorching hot and destroyed the forests where the Khajiit lived. She then allowed another god, Y'ffer to take the remaining forest people and change them into the Bosmer "so that they would always be of the Mer and never beasts"

Here it says that they were changed from the formless forest-people to the Bosmer. I emphasized always be of the Mer, and never beast for an important reason. It shows a distance difference between beast and Mer. So while Khajiit and Bosmer share a common ancestor, that ancestor was not Mer, part of them were changed to Mer. I think it is important to also note that Bosmer does not mean forest people. In fact Bosmer means tree-sap people.

I think it is this story that due to misinterpretation and maybe even blatant misrepresentation for personal satisfaction is where this idea that Khajiit are Mer comes from. To be sure I took a look into Bosmer lore as well to see what they say. In Bosmer lore, the Bosmer have their origins in Aldmeris, like most the other Mer races. There is also no account in Bosmer lore that links the Khajiit to the Bosmer.

With that all out of the way, I would like to open this topic to further discussion. For those who do still believe that Khajiit are in fact Mer, I would like to hear your explanation of why you think this. I would ask that you please provide evidence based either in game or in lore to support your argument.
This post was last modified: July 23rd 2013, 08:34 AM by Do'Rakk


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Post #81368
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Although I personally don't think they are Mer, the possibility is still there. When using mythology sources, you have to say that both are right or both are wildly interpreted and are therefore not good sources. Saying "this mythology is spot on but this other one is completely dumb" (without contradictory evidence outside of creation myths) shows twisting to fit your line of thinking and/or showing favoritism which leads to a naturally flawed conclusion. NOT saying you did this, but just laying out a foundation/some rules to start lines of thinking and to prevent bias.

Saying both mythologies are accurate enough and can be taken literally, we get this: In the Khajiit mythology, Bosmer and Khajiit share a common ancestor. In Bosmer mythology, as you say, they come from Aldmer. Putting these together, it logically follows that Khajiit are an offshoot of Mer. However, it was divinely differentiated so you can easily say that during the divine separation they were made different enough to be their own thing and no longer Mer in any way. This is actually what I think is closest to the truth. So... you can say that they're an offshoot of Mer or you can say they're completely different. Both would be technically correct depending on how you want to look at it in this case.

Another possibility is the idea that natural stuff happened and then they put on religion on top of it. Something that could have happened is REALLY long ago some Aldmer went into isolation. That group split into two for whatever reason: one evolved into the Khajiit and the other evolved into the Bosmer. The Khajiit just so happened to evolve along a path that greatly separated from other Mer to the point of them being unable to be put within the same category.

Or you can give the middle finger to evidence and just simply say "Nope, they're very different things and never shared a common ancestor" because you feel like it. By evidence I mean the creation myths and the fact that one of the forms of Khajiit are almost identical to Bosmer but even a little shorter. That alone shows an incredibly high likelihood of having some kind of common ancestor. If not, that's one hell of a coincidence.

I agree that physiological wise, the Khajiit are too far separated from the Mer races to be still be considered a Mer. I fully agree with you on that. Depending though on how people believe stuff happened, you would still be correct in saying they are an offshoot of Mer (just one that separated a very long way back). The wording of "They did not know their proper form" could simply be religious speak for "They weren't what they would eventually turn into" or "They weren't what they should be". That still could mean that they were Mer but weren't what they would eventually be/what they should be. There's nothing really saying that the common ancestor couldn't be some early form of Mer; only that one ended up being beast and the other ended up being firmly solidified as Mer. Either that, or all this splitting happened when they were still Et-Ada (when the distinction between Man, Mer, and Beast were still being formed). Only with that can you say that they are indeed not Mer at all, but the Bosmer-like form of Khajiit makes that early of a seperation not as likely.
This post was last modified: July 23rd 2013, 08:51 AM by vigk vagk v2


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The point I was trying to make is that Bosmer and Khajiit lore contradict each other. Bosmer lore holds that the Bosmer are from Aldmeris and migrated to Valenwood where they eventually became the Bosmer me know today. Khajiit lore instead states the Khajiit and Bosmer have always been on Tamriel sharing a common ancestor. What this common ancestor actually was is not made extensively clear, other than they lacked proper form which tells me that it is unlikely that it was Man, Mer or anything we are familiar with today.

In regard to the appearance of the Ohmes strain of Khajiit, when the first Aylied explorers walked through Tamriel, they have account of what they called "giant cat demons" and a race that appeaered to be Elven. Lets think of this in a perspective they might have had. All the various races would have still been relatively unfamiliar with each other. What is the one physical feature that makes the Mer most recognizable? Their pointy ears. Now we don't know very much about the Ohmes other than they look similar to Bosmer, but shorter. It wouldn't be unreasonable to think that the Ohmes would have feline features such as pointy ears and could have been easily mistaken for Elven creatures, especially considering that is all the Aylieds were familiar with. It is possible that the association with these Khajiit to Mer was an honest mistake of identification, and while is interesting, only provides circumstantial evidence for any possible Mer heratige of the Khajiit.

There is also still the big issue that nowhere in lore or in game does anything state that yes, Khajiit used to be Mer. This single fact is pretty big for me, especially when considering Orsimer. Orc lore clearly states that Orsimer used to be Altmer, but were transformed into Orsimer. Nowhere are Khajiit even referred to as Mer, or ever being Mer.
This post was last modified: July 23rd 2013, 09:37 AM by Do'Rakk


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Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say "No, Khajiit are in now way derived from an Elven race." What I'm trying to say is the claim that they are is not supported by lore, only by an extreme interpretation of Khajiiti religion (which by the way seems to contradict historical accounts) and circumstantial evidence. That does not constitute proof where someone can fairly say "Yes, Khajiit are Mer." That is what I've been seeing though, and is what I'm trying to address. Is it possible that Khajiit came from a Mer race? Yes, but its not in the lore and shouldn't be passed as such.


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Actually, the mythologies themselves say that Khajiit came from Mer if you combine the Bosmer and Khajiit stories (as I showed above) and there is other evidence that supports it (aka, the Bosmer-like Khajiit form). Just because a book in the game hasn't directly said it doesn't mean that that's not how it is. The evidence DOES point to the fact that Khajiit once originated from a Mer ancestor (or at the very least from before Mer, Man and Beast distinctions even existed yet) unless you show me something that contradicts it. However, I can definitely agree that at this point, their physiology is varied enough to definitively say that Khajiit are no longer Mer.

And may I ask what historical accounts and evidence you're using that contradicts my theory? How is my interpretation extreme? And let's be very clear on how close the Ohmes and Bosmer look: in the Imperial Library, in a pretend interview between a couple in-game characters (that is considered cannon), the interviewer uses language such "remarkable likeness" and even asks "How can you tell the difference?" (without even getting an answer back) meaning almost no discernible difference. It can be found here: http://www.imperial-library.info/content...ooksellers That's way too close to just be a "circumstance".

Let me make it clear one more time: I agree that they are NOT Mer at this point. The evidence DOES point to a shared lineage at some point though, unless you can give me exact points that contradict it.
This post was last modified: July 23rd 2013, 10:53 AM by vigk vagk v2


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The account of Topal the Pilot. In this account, he and a small group of Ayleids charted tamriel, a previously uninhibited (by man or Mer) land. His writings tell of discovering a cat like race throught most of the southern region and as far north as the Niben Basin. Bosmer history also states that they migrated from Aldmeris tp Valenwood after this exploration. If you were to assume that Khajiit mythology is true and that Bosmer were always on Tamriel with the Khajiit, then you have to assume these historical account was false and that the Bosmer were always on Tamriel. If on the other hand, you don't look at Khajiit mythology as fact, but rather a creative reselling by Khajiit to help explain the world around them, then history checks out. By doing this though, you would then not be able to use Khajiit mythology as an anchor for arguing their ties to the Bosmer.

Could these Khajiit have been decendant from another Mer race? Possibly, and the similarity of appearance of the ohme strand to Bosmer is very intriguing, but again, it is not lore, only speculation. And as I said before, I'm not trying to convince everyone of my way of thinking, only trying to stop this claim from being pushed as official lore.

it would be similar to me making a claim the Tiber Septim was born in a specific town and maybe I could find evidence showing that's where other famous nords were born, maybe I could find evidence showing that's where his family is originally from. Compelling as it may be, it is not proof that he specifically was born in that town and to try and claim that he was and it is in the lore is absolutely untrue. Maybe he was born in that town, but its not in the lore, it's speculation.

That is my issue with the claim that I've seen saying Khajiit are Mer. It's all based on speculation and is not lore.
This post was last modified: July 23rd 2013, 12:34 PM by Do'Rakk


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I'm not very well-versed on Bosmeri lore, so the "migrated from Aldmeris to Valenwood after Topal" could be the deciding factor for your case. But nobody knows where Aldmeris even is and, given that, I'm wondering what you're using to base the time-frame of early Bosmer leaving Aldmeris vs Topal doing his scouting. Aldmeris =/= Summerset Isle. Saying they came from Aldmeris doesn't prove or disprove anything in any way. If you're saying it does then you're using speculation to fill in the gap (which you yourself are looking down on me for using).

Just because a theory isn't hard lore (and even in lore stuff there are contradictions) doesn't mean that that's how it happened, and unless you have a direct contradiction to them you can't claim they're wrong because telling them "It's not that way" is assuming the exact same amount of material as "This is what I believe happened" because anything that they speculated did happen you're speculating didn't happen.

But yeah, Topal the Pilot throws a wrench in things a bit... Although in the poem he also found "orcs" but that could just be the fact that "Orc" actually means something in the Aldmeri Language ("cursed people" or something like that). However, it's not like some early Aldmer couldn't have left to Tamriel on an unofficial context before Topal (so no record was kept of it) and then was later turned into Khajiit and Bosmer. Or, by using your information of "Bosmer came from Aldmeris", both Bosmer and Khajiit came from a common ancestor that came from Aldmeris. It wouldn't be too difficult for Topal to not see early Bosmer if they're deep in the forest.

Anyway, this argument has already been done by people much more versed in the lore than I am and this is where I'm in NO way an expert and am mainly borrowing from their thought processes, so I'll just link to the argument: http://www.imperial-library.info/content...ngs?page=1

So yeah, neither of them could disprove the other and both had clear logical lines of thinking based on evidence. And when it comes to lore that means "It could have happened". Therefore you can debate it, and have a different opinion, but others have a right to have a different opinion than you. You can say "I think that possibility is dumb and here's why", but you can't outright tell them they're wrong without direct conflicting evidence. That's what this comes down to: neither of us are able to disprove the other unless more information is given, and I doubt there will be since this is one of the great mysteries of TES.

However, one thing is clear: KHAJIIT ARE NOT MER. They may have shared ancestors with them at some point or they might have not, but if they did that was long ago and anyone who says "Khajiit are Mer" are being silly and, quite frankly, wrong. "They might have originated from some kind of early Aldmer" is a much better wording.
This post was last modified: July 23rd 2013, 04:37 PM by vigk vagk v2


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(July 23rd 2013, 04:31 PM)vigk vagk v2 Wrote: However, one thing is clear: KHAJIIT ARE NOT MER. They may have shared ancestors with them at some point or they might have not, but if they did that was long ago and anyone who says "Khajiit are Mer" are being silly and, quite frankly, wrong. "They might have originated from some kind of early Aldmer" is a much better wording.

Well, if Khajiit are descended from Mer, they are Mer. That's how things work.


By arrow. By blade.
By tooth. By claw.
By shock. By frost. By flame.
The Aldmeri Dominion will dominate Tamriel.
Our enemies will fall until the Throne is ours.

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(July 23rd 2013, 04:59 PM)Octagonapus97 Wrote:
(July 23rd 2013, 04:31 PM)vigk vagk v2 Wrote: However, one thing is clear: KHAJIIT ARE NOT MER. They may have shared ancestors with them at some point or they might have not, but if they did that was long ago and anyone who says "Khajiit are Mer" are being silly and, quite frankly, wrong. "They might have originated from some kind of early Aldmer" is a much better wording.

Well, if Khajiit are descended from Mer, they are Mer. That's how things work.

No, that's not how it works. That's like saying that all life on this planet is the same because we all evolved from the same single-celled organism. You wouldn't call a bird a lizard because they shared an ancestor long ago. Once significant changes are made, new classifications are brought in to say "This is significantly different than this other thing, and is therefore not the same". That's how science and classification works. At this point, Khajiit are firmly no longer Mer. Seeing as how Hermeus Mora, the Daedric prince of fate and knowledge, didn't have you get a sample of Khajiit blood when he made you get samples of "All the races of Mer in Tamriel". Hell, he even made you get a sample of Orc blood, but NOT Khajiit. That should tell you enough right there about the current state of things.
This post was last modified: July 23rd 2013, 05:06 PM by vigk vagk v2


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Fair enough, but a.) you're thinking of Linnaean taxonomy, which is outdated and has been replaced by cladistics, and b.) birds didn't evolve from lizards. Birds evolved from dinosaurs and are still considered such. Same thing with humans & apes and even apes & monkeys.

But I'd rather not turn this into a scientific debate. We've brought enough science into the game as it is.


By arrow. By blade.
By tooth. By claw.
By shock. By frost. By flame.
The Aldmeri Dominion will dominate Tamriel.
Our enemies will fall until the Throne is ours.

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(July 23rd 2013, 05:30 PM)Octagonapus97 Wrote: Fair enough, but a.) you're thinking of Linnaean taxonomy, which is outdated and has been replaced by cladistics, and b.) birds didn't evolve from lizards. Birds evolved from dinosaurs and are still considered such. Same thing with humans & apes and even apes & monkeys.

But I'd rather not turn this into a scientific debate. We've brought enough science into the game as it is.

Lol, yeah, fair enough. Thumbs_up


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I'm by no means a lore master or even well versed in lore. With that being said, i'm going to use one of the most simple minded arguments I know: If Khajiit are mer, why is mer not in their name? Any of the other races that have clearly descended from Mers have "mer" in their name. Also during the Septimus Signius quest in Skyrim, you are tasked with finding all the blood relatives of the Dwemer, in that list of blood relatives, Khajiits are not included. Again, I really have no clue what I am talking about, I just thought I would add my input.
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"Mer" is simply the Aldmeri word for "folk" or "people". Not having "-mer" in your name doesn't automatically mean you are not an Elf. The Ayleidoon ("Ayleids" is incorrect) and the Lefthanded Elves are examples of this. Then again, the latter could've had a "-mer" name before they (supposedly) went extinct, and they are referred to as Lefthanded Elves. As for the Ayleidoon, their language simply evolved and their name followed suit (then again, Heartland High Elves). The same is true for the Khajiit and their language of Ta'agra.

I should also point out that, although Orcs are Elves, they are rarely thought of as such by common folk. Take Orthjolf, for example. Instead of greeting you with, "Another Elf, I see," he says, "Nice to see someone who isn't an Elf," or something close to that. He even goes on to tell you how Elves can't be trusted. If you talk to that guy in Markarth (I forgot his name), he probably won't say that it was "your kind" who started the Great War.

At the end of the day, though, gameplay does not always reflect lore.


By arrow. By blade.
By tooth. By claw.
By shock. By frost. By flame.
The Aldmeri Dominion will dominate Tamriel.
Our enemies will fall until the Throne is ours.

Ulwe Wrote:Oh my gosh I love shish-kabretons!
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While yes, some gameplay doesn't always reflect lore, that's usually because the inhabitants don't know the lore themselves (same as how many people here on Earth don't really know history very well). However, I think we can trust Hermaeus Mora to know what is and isn't an elf. While they may have been Elves LONG ago (there isn't enough evidence to confirm or deny that fact, only speculation), they certainly are NOT elves now based on the above points.


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Hermaeus Mora wasn't the one who told you to gather blood. Septimus Signus was.


By arrow. By blade.
By tooth. By claw.
By shock. By frost. By flame.
The Aldmeri Dominion will dominate Tamriel.
Our enemies will fall until the Throne is ours.

Ulwe Wrote:Oh my gosh I love shish-kabretons!
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