Professor Illius Gloria
Along with the question of the sire, Notes fails to explore further interactions of the various races. In such a wide open world as our Tamriel, and sprawling metropolitan hubs like the Imperial City, Solitude, Alinor, and Mournhold, such pairings are inevitable. To avoid documenting them belies not lack of opportunity, but simple indolence and torpidity.
What does it say of the industrious and scholarly integrity of the University to sit idly by and allow such a stain to remain unwashed? What does it say of our worth as intellectuals if we set our academic principles aside in lieu of stolidity and bias? This erudite will not twiddle the thumbs while the gold of the University remains tarnished.
The Grey Prince
According to The Arena and Its Champions: A History (Gwylim Press, 4E22), there was an Imperial Arena champion between the years of 3E430 and 433, known to history as “The Grey Prince,” and, as The Arena and Its Champions marks, was an Orc of mixed heritage, pale grey of skin (likely the source of his combat name) and fearsome to behold in the pit. Tax and census documents of the time reveal the Grey Prince to be a common-born Orc by the name of Agronak gro-Malog, mothered by Luktuv gra-Malog of Skingrad County. In a 3E433 interview with The Black Horse Courier, gro-Malog said of his origins, “I grew up here in the Imperial City, but I was born elsewhere. My mother was a servant in the employ of Lord Lovidicus, and resided at his fortress. Lady Lovidicus was a shrew of a woman. The Lord and my mother grew close, and ultimately fell in love. I was the result of their union. When the Lady learned of my birth she was furious, and threatened to kill both my mother and me. So we fled, leaving my claim to nobility behind.” Further census research shows that a Lovidicus noble family once resided in the County of Anvil in the Crowhaven estate, northeast of Anvil proper.
After speaking with the chief custodian of the Imperial Arena, I was given a journal which belonged to the Grey Prince before his gladiatorial death. However, the journal was not penned by gro-Malog, but by his professed sire, the mysterious Lord Lovidicus. In it, Lovidicus details how he fell in love with gra-Malog and fathering a child with her, despite being of Colovian heritage. What is even more striking is that Lovidicus was stricken with vampirism, and had been for 200 years prior to gro-Malog’s birth.
What this shows us is that not only can Man and Orc interbreed, but a vampire can produce offspring “the old-fashioned way,” rather than by spreading their disease to infect others and thereby creating thralls.
Turning again to The Arena and Its Champions, there is no mention of gro-Malog possessing the traits of a vampire–many combats were held outdoors in the sunlight, un-enchanted steel weapons are the norm in the Arena, and he purportedly never sucked the blood of his opponents. Or at least if he had, it is not mentioned in the aforesaid text. What is notable, however, is the heightened strength gro-Malog possessed, moreso than other Orcs of his age and frame, as his record shows.
The Lunar Lattice
Speaking of omitted information within Notes, the Council seems to have forgotten, or perhaps was ignorant, of the specifics of Khajiiti childbearing. Having spent time in Senchal, Rawl’Kha, Rimmen, among other townships and villages in Elsweyr, and speaking with Clan Mothers, the Mane, Moon Clerics, and all manner of common Khajiit, from the Suthay-Raht, to the Ohmes, I’ve noted how the “physicality of the mother” rule put forth by Notes does not cog with the specifics of Khajiiti birth. Commonly referred to as “The Lunar Lattice,” by the cat-folk, I am told by nearly every Khajiit I’ve had the pleasure to speak with, that it is in fact the moons, Jone and Jode–Masser and Secunda, respectively–that give the Khajiit their appearance. Some Khajiit, as the Alfiq, or Alfiq-Raht, are quadrupedal. In fact, I’ve made the acquaintance of Khajiit as large as mammoths and tenfold as intelligent.
What strikes me, however, is the fact that, when introduced to family, rarely are they of the same Khajiiti subspecies. In a single family, it’s not uncommon to have Dagi-Raht, Suthay-Raht, Ohmes, Cathay, and Tojay all within the same family–the same generation and same parents, even! The Council, for its posturing and haughty lording, couldn’t bother to speak with Khajiiti citizens of the Empire to set the record straight.
The Lunar Lattice is, without a doubt, the largest exception to the province lorded over by Notes, that a single mortal being will bear the resemblance of the mother and menial, undefined traits of the father.
In the book The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons (Phrastus of Elenhir, 2E572), the history of the Bretons of High Rock is examined. In it, Phrastus makes mention of the Direnni Clan, who, rather than subjugate the Nedes as the Ayleids had, simply arrived, beat down aggressors, and situated themselves as the ruling class. To quote Phrastus, “The aristocratic Elves established a system of feudal vassalage over their human subjects, with rights and privileges that included the “Perquisite of Coition” with any human they desired. Sex with attractive Nedes was considered casual recreation, and Direnni nobles competed to have stables of the most desirable human subjects.” Needless to say, this practice resulted in half-breed offspring, which the Direnni described using the old ehlnofex word beratu, which, in common Tamrielic, means “half.” The beratu (the root of the word “Breton”) were not identified as Mer, and were only allowed to marry of the Nedes.
While Phrastus indicates that the beratu maintained their Nedic appearance, what of the Direnni noblewomen who practiced the Perquisite of Coition upon Nede men? Would those children not maintain a predominately merish appearance? Phrastus indicates that the elven blood became further and further diluted, as beratu married back into Nedic stock. But if some of the beratu were, in fact, resembling the race of their mother, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the Bretons we know today would have distinctly more elven features than Nedic? Would there not be two subraces of Breton as we see with Khajiit and their Lunar Lattice, where half appear “human with elven traits” and the other would appear “elven with human traits?”
Pelagius the Mad
Two records exist of the birth mother of Thoriz Pelagius Septim–one being The Madness of Pelagius (3E97), and the other being the serialized The Wolf Queen (Waughin Jarth, 3E245). In Madness, the mother of Pelagius is named “Utheilla” of the Direnni Clan–an Altmer–and in Wolf Queen, she is named “Hellena,” the Cyrodiil Queen of Lilmoth. In light of the score-or-more of errors located in Wolf Queen, such as the misspelling of Katariah and Yokuda and misappropriation of a certain Psijic grandmaster, it would not be a continental leap to suggest that if Pelagius’ mother was, in fact Hellena, that Hellena is either another name for Utheilla, or made-up altogether. In either case, it is worth mentioning. Accuracy begets believability.
Should Emperor Pelagius’ mother be Direnni, would it not stand to reason that Pelagius would take a distinctly Altmeri aspect? The get takes the appearance of the mother, according to Notes, does it not? The only redeeming quality is the saving grace of the term “generally,” which he Council uses when describing the appearance of the offspring and its relation to its mother. However what is striking is the fact that Notes offers no example at all of the rules, or, for that matter, of its exceptions.
Mental Bearing and Academic Integrity
One passage from Notes bears a particular interest.
“Argonians, like the dreugh, appear to be a semi-aquatic troglophile form of humans, though it is by no means clear whether the Argonians should be classified with dreugh, men, mer, or (in this author’s opinion), certain tree-dwelling lizards in Black Marsh” (The Notes on…, ps. 6-7). “This author’s opinion” is that Argonians are fit to spent their entire lives within caves? That is what “troglophile” means. So what the author of this particular section means to say is that he (or they) was too lazy to investigate properly, asking the denizens of Black Marsh about their observations on their biology. The author is entirely unable to even distinguish whether the Saxhleel are Men, Mer, or something else. The answer is obviously “something else,” which leads to the logical conclusion that Argonians are not interfertile with the other races of Tamriel, including Khajiit, who share such a trait. At least Notes got that much right.
What’s more, there are no instances of interbreeding between Khajiit and Argonian, this much is true. Or Argonian and Men or Argonian and Mer, for that matter. What’s interesting about the Argonian physique (and I have received many questions on this subject) is the fact that female argonians appear to be equipped with mammalian breasts. I asked one of the Saxhleel, as tentatively as was possible, about the matter, and she was unsure. Her best idea was that it was the doing of the Hist, for one reason or another, and she could not claim to speak for the ancient and noble trees of Black Marsh, whence the Argonians owe their existence. She did inform me that some Argonians are hatched and some others, typically farther to the north and west, are birthed live. The best she could postulate was that it had something to do with the Hist sap ingested at a young age. Furthermore, it bears noting that the Argonians, through their lives, sometimes flip genders. In fact, the maiden I interviewed had been a male only three years prior.
The fact remains that, mammalian breasts or no, Argonians are not interfertile with races of Man or Mer, and the Council of Healers of the Secondnd Era (Notes was originally published in the early Second Era, having been updated six times, the most recent being the Seventh Edition in 3E407) maintained hideously improper views of other races, to the point of impacting their ability to conduct proper scholarly thought, and by extension, proper intellectual honesty.
It seems to me that Notes on Racial Phylogeny and Biology was beholden to the biases and whims of one or more members of the Council of Healers. I’m not sure when prejudice and discrimination took precedence over logical inquiry, but it seems to me that the Council willingly and continuously abetted biased views and injected them into mainstream social consciousness. Should not the scholastic value of a text be reflected by the integrity of the pretenses upon which it was founded? The sheer fact that such bias could be published and used to further influence the minds of the as-of-yet uneducated is a tragic thing, indeed.
I find myself wondering why such hideous displays of vulgarity and disservice to those studious of nature was allowed to persist for a whole seven iterations. It is unconscionable to allow such inaccuracies and misgivings to be touted without remaining bereft of credibility. A footnote or note from the later Councils of Healers would have sufficed, yet the feet of the leaves of Notes on Racial Phylogeny remain completely and utterly blank, as if to deny any guilt in the first place!
And so here we are, with sleeves upturned and sins laid bare, for the collective peoples of the Empire to stand in abject defiance of literary inaccuracy, in staunch opposition of oppressive misinformation. As always, Stendarr’s Mercy and Julianos’ Wisdom will see that the truth be given the justice it is due.