The Khajiit are a playable race present in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Khajiit are one of the beast races which inhabit the continent of Tamriel, primarily their home province of Elsweyr. The Khajiit are Cathay and are recognizable by their feline appearance and their sly accent. Along with the Argonians, they are referred to as the beast-races of Skyrim. Because of this, Khajiit have a negative public image.
Abilities and professions
Known for their natural agility and stealth, many Khajiit disdain weapons in favor of their claws. When involved in combat, they often flatten their ears, narrow their eyes, and show their teeth (similar to a real-life cat). Due to their stealth skills, beguiling wit, and latent agility, they make adept thieves and assassins.
Many Khajiit are also warriors, although this is mainly true of the Cathay-raht, a breed taller and more powerful than the Cathay that are rarely found outside Elsweyr. The Cathay found in Skyrim are much more agile and in addition to their natural agility and proficiency in stealth, they have the added benefit of night vision. These skills, combined with the general tendency of humans and mer to look down on Khajiit and "beasts", leads many Khajiit outside of their home province to become professional assassins, thieves or bandits in other lands.
Public image and history
Khajiit are typically viewed as second-class citizens due to their bestial appearance. Many more of viewed as cheats, liars, thieves, and drug-addicts -- which is accurate in some cases. Because of this, citizens have difficulty trusting Khajiits. Racial slurs for Khajiits have emerged from this negative stereotype, being called "cats", "rugs", or "carpets".
Khajiit are the subject of racial discrimination all across Skyrim, as they are thought to be more criminally inclined than other races. According to Ahkari, a female Khajiit trader who sells in almost every hold in Skyrim, "...it is the Nords. They do not like outsiders in their land, and so we are forbidden to enter the cities. When they look upon us, they see only pickpockets and Skooma dealers". Thus, Khajiit caravans are forced to conduct business and encamp entirely outside of city walls.
They were oppressed and enslaved by rich families and primary industries in Morrowind, until very recently when King Helseth outlawed slavery. They also have a strong racial dislike for Argonians (one which is shared in return). This causes tension in the southern Cyrodilic cities of Leyawiin and Bravil, where Elsweyr and Black Marsh are both fairly close, and which have strong populations of both races.
The Confederation of Elsweyr was the third kingdom taken by the Second Aldmeri Dominion, with its secession in 4E 99, after the moons disappeared for three years. This change of leadership, however, did not rectify the racism that the mer and men have for the Khajiit, and many are still considered nothing more than second class citizens and petty brutes.
The most notable characteristic of the Khajiit is their feline appearance. Being based upon real-life cats, they resemble them, and the range of facial feature combinations enable them to have numerous and varied faces. Some resemble New World mountain cats, such as lynx, bobcats, and cougars, while others display features tantamount to those of Old World cat species, including tigers and leopards, and more yet resemble domestic cats.
Their faces are often speckled with spots or dashed with stripes, although they are relatively faint, especially in comparison to the bold markings of real-world cats. Their range of accessories includes hair, similar to human and meri hair in many compliments, along with some unique to Khajiit, such as lynx-like fur extensions of the ear tips. They also customize themselves with earrings and facial hair, most being similar to standard beards or mustaches and including tiger-like sideburns, optionally with beads tied in.
Differences from other games
Unlike the Khajiit of Cyrodiil, Skyrim's Khajiit resemble mountain cats with thicker fur such as cougars or lynxes; whereas Khajiit in Oblivion and earlier games resembled jungle cats like jaguars and leopards. It is not certain if the character designers intended to do this, or if it is simply due to a change in graphics, though according to canon there are as many types of Khajiit as there are cats on Earth.
Main article: Moons and the Khajiit breeds
The appearance and physiology of a Khajiit is based on the lunar calendar of Masser and Secunda. The Khajiit seen in Skyrim are Cathay and only encompass some of the possible forms they can assume at birth, ranging from a general house cat, to giant feral beasts or even small Bosmer.
- Flames (Destruction) - All races have this starting spell.
- Healing (Restoration) - All races have this starting spell.
- Night-Eye - See in the dark for 60 Seconds for an unlimited number of times per day.
- Claws - Unarmed attacks do 15 points of damage.
Popular usage and unique gameplay
Classes and builds
Khajiits excel in stealth roles, making them extraordinary assassins, thieves, and archers. Their excellent sneak level coupled with certain archery and sneak perks make them very deadly archers, especially when sneak attacking. They also have skill in hand-to-hand combat; their natural claws give them 15 extra damage while unarmed. This ability makes them ideal for brawling as they out-damage their foes. This trait, if paired with the Fists of Steel perk, makes a Khajiit formidable without weapons. Before this perk is unlocked, though, the Gloves of the Pugilist can be used to augment hand-to-hand combat. Additionally, the lycanthrope Khajiit makes better use of hand-to-hand than other races.
Although the intrinsic Night Eye ability may be considered useless apart from certain situations during which visibility is unfavorable, it comes in handy when sneaking in dimly lit areas. Night Eye works under water and while on horseback, but must be triggered before mounting the horse and cannot be restarted without dismounting.
Since Khajiit are rare in Skyrim, role-playing as a Khajiit minority might be interesting to players interested in this type of game-play. Some Khajiit are prohibited from cities because of this. On the other hand, a Khajiit Dragonborn is never prohibited from entering cities, but still receives racial slurs by the city guards, and others.
The following is a list of some of the more notable Khajiit that can be found in Skyrim.
- Ri'saad, Ahkari and Ma'dran: Leaders of the three Khajiit Caravans which travel between various Nord Holds.
- Kharjo: A caravan guard working for Ahkari and travelling between Riften and Dawnstar. One of only two Khajiit in the game who can become your follower.
- J'zargo: A Khajiit mage apprentice found in the College of Winterhold. The only other potential Khajiit follower besides Kharjo.
Racially unique dialogue
|Click for a full list of Guard dialogue|
High disposition greetings
Upon hearing a dragon shout
- sprinting, the tails of Khajiit might swing wildly as if still running. When Khajiit die, their tail animation does not stop, which occurs for Argonians as well. Similarly, after
Sometimes the facial expression of Khajiit remain set in their "angry" position after a fight ends, with the ears back and their fangs bared.
- Solution: Simply speaking to them should cause their facial expression to reset.
- When sitting or using transportation, the Khajiit's tail will clip through the surface.
|Races in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim|
|Humans||Breton • Imperial • Nord • Redguard|
|Mer||Altmer • Bosmer • Dunmer • Orc|
|Beast||Argonian • Khajiit|