In writing our episode about the races of Tamriel, there were certain things that I left out in the interest of keeping the episode from running too long. This post has been a long time coming, that was our fifth episode, but here it is nonetheless.
There are some creatures (sentient or non-sentient) that the lore doesn’t really explain much: like the Centaurs of Valenwood, Goblins, Imps, Minotaurs, Ogres, Silt Striders, Trolls, and many more. The thing is, this doesn’t bother me very much because most of these creatures are just fodder for my swords and spells. It seems strange to me that there’s no larger context for the existence of the Silt Strider, since they seem to be relatively important to the commerce of Morrowind, but I can let that go.
There are other creatures which do have a little context, and I’d like to take some time to go over them now. First up: Giants. The Giants have a shared ancestor with both Men and Mer, the Ehlnofey. They developed their own language (Giantish) and their own rudimentary culture during a period of isolation from the Nords and other Elves. The Giants are usually passive, unless provoked, and are herders of the Mammoths. If they feel they, or their charges, are threatened they will attack with extreme strength. Often, Nord farmers can be found bringing sacrificial cows to Giant Camps, presumably to keep the Giants from attacking their farms for food. I am not sure however, due to their passive nature, whether or not they would stoop to this level. It’s believed that the “Dwarves” (Dwemer) got their name from time spent living in relatively close quarters with the Giants, and the Giants took to calling them dwarves because of their size. This is unconfirmed.
The Hagravens, and their origins, are a bit of a mystery. The Glenmoril Witches, a coven that had influence across Tamriel, were known hagravens. It is possible that they were once just witches but, through a pact made with Hircine (the Daedric Prince of the Hunt), were able to transform themselves into the hagravens. They also have been known to fully polymorph into large-sized raves and take wing. Nowadays they are often found in league with the Forsworn, who revere them for their great and terrible power.
The last species I want to discuss is the Dreugh, who appear in Daggerfall, Morrowind and Oblivion. They are primarily a water-bound squid-like creature, although for a brief period in their life cycle they walk dry ground. You can encounter them in both habitats in Oblivion and Morrowind. The Dreugh undergo what is called karvinasim, which involves walking on land for a year during their adolescence. At the end of that year they return to the water and meff, which involves consuming all of the skin, tissue, and organs required to live on land. They then vomit it out into small balls which are called grom. Gross.
If there is a creature or species that I left out, let me know. I’ll find out all I can about it and post it here. This could be an ongoing series about all the lifeforms of Tamriel. Like… BBC Planet Nirn.