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Khajiit by tomme23 Khajiit by tomme23
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felirectus
Species: F. sophos

Khajiit, the feline sapience, were one of the first to evolve. Appearing in China around 700,000 years ago, predating both mankind and merkind, the khajiit are the last of a long line of upright cats. They diverged from the feline and pantherine cats around 15 million years ago, making them basal to the group. Together with the saxhleel, the khajiit built the world's first civilisation in Tamriel and were the first to invent agriculture (around 350,000 years ago - also predating merkind). The Skyforge in Whiterun, the world's oldest surviving artificial structure, was constructed by the khajiit around 125,000 years ago (and was heavily enchanted, allowing it to withstand the next glaciation). Ironically enough it was designed to forge bronze, not iron and certainly not steel. Meanwhile in Endor the still tribal khajiit domesticated the leopard around the same time, leading to the modern senche - which is now the third most popular pet after housecats and dogs. The khajiit were also the first to create a confirmed daedra, the pokémon of Japan around 100,000 years ago, thereby indirectly causing Arceus' Eden and shaping the modern climate and biodiversity. The first empire, based in China around 11,000 - 10,000 years ago, is also attributed to the khajiit.

The modern khajiit range (or rather, the areas in which they are the majority) has shrunk considerably since their golden age, covering the 'oriental lands' (China, Japan, Korea, and Tibet) and the province of Elsweyr. Since the beastfolk civilisation fell after the Eden, khajiit culture has been massively influenced by that of the elves who took over the continent. For example, before the elven takeover no khajiit had ever worn clothes other than armour. With their fur, they didn't need to protect themselves from the elements so the nudity taboo never developed either. The khajiit of Endor still don't wear clothes. Before the Great War, Tamriel was often seen as a staging ground between humanity and the elves, with both the khajiit and saxhleel relegated to bystanders. Natural khajiit are also completely carnivorous (as are the saxhleel, orca, and the great eagles) and so developed agriculture to support their livestock. This is much less efficient than omnivorous farming, and also one of the reasons why man and merkind dominate the planet today.

However the biggest influence on khajiiti life in Tamriel is Azura. Around 6,000 years ago, the daedric lord became one of the patron deities of Elsweyr and felt free to shape their anatomical development in-utero. And so she gave them different morphs, bound by the phases of the moons, which go from almost elven in appearance to large quadrupedal forms. None of these morphs had any basis in the genetic code; and so, unlike the dunmer and orsimer, when Azura was forced to cease her meddling the natural khajiit were once again born in Tamriel. The khajiit of Endor have never had such alterations, nor would they tolerate it.

Pictured here is an adult female Chinese khajiit. Males are slightly larger and possess manes. One of the more ubiquitous of Azura's modifications to the bipedal forms is a humanoid body type. Natural khajiit have eight nipples arranged in pairs down the abdomen, little to no inward curvature of the waist, and relatively cat-like shoulders. A khajiit should not be able to throw like a human can. Khajiiti cubs are born very small, with a much smaller brain than a human newborn, so they have the longest childhood of any animal. Maturity age is around 23 years in natural khajiit.

Pioneering innovations attributed to the khajiit include:
  • Agriculture; growing rice to feed livestock
  • Pottery
  • Animal husbandry; domesticating water buffalo, chickens, goats, and sheep
  • Mining
  • Sailing
  • Writing
  • Calendars
  • Masonry
  • Bronze working
  • The wheel
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Trapping
  • Mathematics
  • Currency
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Submitted on
January 15, 2015
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