Fauna of Vvardenfell

by Edras Oril

Many species of creature are peculiar to Vvardenfell. This book covers the few notable species native to its unique habitat. Many are hunted for their alchemical properties, which are also listed here. This book should serve well as a guide for the hunter, the alchemist, and the aspiring naturalist.

The Alit

The alit is a large two-legged beast with a thick rugged hide. Due to its lack of tail, the animal appears top-heavy and clumsy, but it can be incredibly fast when riled. This beast has a similar appearance to the kagouti, but without the tail, tusks, and head crest. Its eyes are small, so it relies mainly on its sense of smell. This animal, like the kagouti, is omnivorous. It feeds mainly on plants and small animals, but will willingly take a chunk of meat out of an unwary traveler. Its two large lower fangs make it a dangerous beast to cross paths with.

The alit is normally harmless, unless surprised, which is easily done. The diseased and blighted variety, which is unfortunately common these days, is far more aggressive, and has a poisonous bite. When the alit attacks, it prefers to charge, bearing its enormous weight down on its victim. It then commences to chew on its prey slowly. It is not difficult for the hardy hunter to kill, but should be avoided by the casual traveler.

The alit only mates once a year, and is extremely dangerous at this time. Females are most dangerous, and will charge anything within range of its smell. Males prefer to charge the females, tending to ignore anything else in the area.

Alit meat is tough and inedible, but its hide has many alchemical uses. Its most interesting property is telekinesis. The full alchemical properties of alit hide are as follows:

  1. Drain Intelligence
  2. Resist Poison
  3. Telekinesis
  4. Detect Animal

Cliff Racer

These large bird-like creatures are the bane of every traveler. They are fast and aggressive, and attack without provocation. They attack with their long barbed tail, which is bereft of any feathering. They have an average wing span of three meters, and two large fins on their body – the dorsal one being the larger. Their heads are relatively small, their brain being about the size of a comberry. They only have one thought: everything that moves is food. They have been known to take on animals much larger than themselves, and usually lose.

Cliff racers can be heard from a long distance, but stop squawking to sneak up on their prey. You’ll often not notice one until it’s right on top of you. Its squawking is perhaps the most annoying sound ever heard, and is best shut up by a single heavily enchanted arrow to the throat.

Cliff racers are prolific breeders. It is always mating season for these birds. Only their constant attacks on armed travelers, and creatures bigger and nastier than itself, keep this bird from overrunning the ecosystem. If an area is left unhunted too long, such as in the high mountainous Ashlands, an unwary traveler will soon find himself swarmed by dozens of them. They are not difficult to kill individually, but when they swarm they can pick a man clean to the bone in a matter of minutes.

Cliff racers are useful for their plumes, which are used by alchemists in potions of levitation. This is perhaps the only quality which excuses the existence of this horrible creature. If it were possible to hunt these creatures to extinction, I’m sure there would be teams of hunters trying to do just that. The alchemical properties of their plumes are few, and the levitate effect is their only real use:

  1. Drain Willpower
  2. Levitate


Dreugh are reddish colored, semi-humanoid beasts with four long tentacles instead of legs. They are intelligent, and live in deep waters along coastal areas. They often attack fishermen without provocation. Dreugh feed mainly on slaughterfish, which are highly aggressive prey. The dreugh has four clawed arms. It uses its main claw, larger than the others, for both attack and defense.

The dreugh’s mating habits are mysterious, since no naturalist has been able to get close enough to observe it. It likely takes place in the dark underwater caves located around the coastal waters rather than open water, as this is a safer place to lay their eggs – if they do indeed lay eggs. None have ever been found.

Dreugh wax, harvested by the hardier fishermen of Morrowind, is prized for its alchemical properties. It comes from scraping the inside of the dreugh’s shell, which is also used to make armor. The properties of the wax are as follows:

  1. Fortify Strength
  2. Restore Strength
  3. Drain Luck
  4. Drain Willpower


Guars are large animals that walk on two sturdy hind legs. Its two smaller fore-legs are used for digging up roots and tubers. It is a steadfast beast of burden. Tamed guars are placid and often used by farmers to dig up corkbulb root, which happens to be its favorite food. It has a keen sense of smell, and can smell these roots from miles away.

The Ashlanders raise herds of guar, and Dunmer traders typically use them as pack animals. Their thick hide is also a common commodity. The rare White Guar is a magnificent variety of this species. It is rumored to live somewhere in the northern Grazelands, and is honored among the Ashlander tribes as a sacred animal.

Wild guar tend to be aggressive, and will attack passing travelers. Their bite is powerful enough to take a man’s arm clean off. Their large weight can overpower even the hardiest traveler. Guars are typically more aggressive during the mating season, which happens once a year during the rainy season.

Guar hide is traded extensively throughout the Ashlands and has several alchemical properties. These include:

  1. Drain Fatigue
  2. Fortify Endurance
  3. Restore Personality
  4. Fortify Luck


Though I intend to make a fuller study of the kagouti and their mating habits, I have enough information to touch on them here. The kagouti is a species related to the alit, but far more aggressive and dangerous. The kagouti stands on two powerful hind legs, much like the alit, but has a large tail to aid its balance; therefore, it can run much faster than its slower, clumsier cousin. The kagouti has a reddish mottled coloration, and a magnificent crest on the back of its skull, which it uses in its mating displays. It has two large tusks protruding from the sides of its mouth, and a small horn on the end of its snout.

The kagouti is incredibly fast, therefore dangerous to unwary travelers. When they charge, they use their massive tusks to gore. Though they are omnivorous, they prefer fresh meat. The kagouti has far better sight than the alit, but it seems to detect motion rather than form and color. It uses this, in conjunction with its sense of smell, to tell whether or not it is charging prey or a fellow kagouti. Its mating habits require further study by yours truly, but they seem to be more prolific compared to alit.

The hide of the kagouti has a few notable alchemical properties:

  1. Drain Fatigue
  2. Fortify Speed
  3. Resist Common Disease
  4. Night Eye


Kwama come in many varieties, each having a specific role in its hive society. The kwama queen is the only member of the species that lays eggs, and other kwama are dedicated to protecting her; kwama warriors have this exclusive role. Kwama workers are dedicated to tending the queen and her eggs. These three kwama types rarely leave their hives. In fact, the queen is so large she is completely immobile. Unfortunately, egg mining is a serious business, so I’m told, and I have been barred from publishing further details on the characteristics and breeding of kwama.

The two other types, kwama foragers and scribs, are the only kind that stray far from the hive. The scrib is an immature form of kwama, and relatively harmless. When provoked, it defends itself with a paralyzing bite, but does little damage. The kwama forager is the only aggressive member of the species. It emits a cloud of fumes that doesn’t seem to do much damage. The creatures are more annoying than dangerous. It is often found far outside of eggmines, and can traverse large distances.

Kwama cuttle is harvested from these creature’s internal shells. Eaten raw, it can be used to resist poison, and has other minor alchemical uses:

  1. Resist Poison
  2. Drain Fatigue
  3. Water Walking
  4. Water Breathing

Kwama eggs come in large and small varieties. The smaller kind carries only the first alchemical property of the larger variety:

  1. Restore Fatigue
  2. Paralyze
  3. Frost Shield
  4. Fortify Health

Scribs have not yet developed cuttle, but their internal jelly has unique alchemical properties:

  1. Fortify Willpower
  2. Cure Poison
  3. Cure Blight Disease
  4. Restore Willpower


The mudcrab is a relatively mundane creature that lives on the coastal regions all over Morrowind. It can be found scavenging in the mud for small plants and animals. It is weak and slow, and not normally aggressive. However, the variety found in Vvardenfell shows unusual aggressive tendencies.

The mating habits of the mudcrab are the one truly interesting feature of this creature, involving a complex ritual of gestures and calls. It is the author’s theory that their mating rituals are complicated due to a complete lack of visible sexual differentiation. Mudcrabs are in fact androgynous, and this ritual seems to determine which role each particular mudcrab will take during each mating season. The mating seasons are semi-annual, but last many months, and a single mudcrab will lay several hundred eggs per season. Mudcrabs happen to be the favorite food source of coastal cliff racers, so they tend to bury their eggs deep in the sand. The “mother” mudcrab with guard this area until they hatch, and attack any other animal that approaches.

Fishermen often catch swamp fever from these creatures, as they are dirty bottom-feeding crustaceans. Nevertheless, their meat is edible, and surprisingly sweet and tasty. It is however an acquired taste, as it has an unusual aftertaste. It is not widely popular outside of coastal regions. Crab meat has a few interesting alchemical properties:

  1. Restore Fatigue
  2. Resist Shock
  3. Lightning Shield
  4. Restore Luck


Netch are a large floating tentacled beasts found throughout Vvardenfell. They are usually passive, found grazing on tall foliage. It prefers coastal regions, particularly around the Bitter Coast, but can be found just about anywhere. They are migratory animals, and will travel vast distances to get to their annual mating grounds.

Male and female netches, called bulls and betties respectively, are highly differentiated. The bull netch is much larger, and happens to be poisonous. The betty netch is the smaller of the two, but typically much meaner. During the mating season, netches can become aggressive, especially if approached during their mating ritual. Normally betty netches have more than one breeding partner, but local netch herders try to curb this tendency so they breed faster, which results in greater aggression in the females.

Netch leather is widely traded throughout the continent, and are even bred for the purpose. It has several interesting alchemical properties:

  1. Fortify Endurance
  2. Fortify Intelligence
  3. Drain Personality
  4. Cure Paralyzation


Nix-hounds are notorious for terrorizing the locals. It is a highly aggressive beast and often hunts in large packs. These animals are not at all shy of people, and only the constant effort of town watches keeps them from over-running the local population. These beasts get into mines, terrorize the miners, and can devastate the kwama population. They are also the bane of farmers, for they often kill livestock in the middle of the night. These hideous beasts have large red eyes on stalks, which are keen, and a long pointed snout. They have two sharp protuberances originating from the mouth. They attack with their fore-paws, which have incredibly sharp claws.

This author currently has little information on the nix-hound’s mating habits, but they certainly know what they’re doing. They are prolific, and can live in just about any environment. Blighted nix-hounds are tougher and even more aggressive, if such a thing is imaginable.

Hound meat is a staple food of Vvardenfell, and it isn’t at all bad. It’s sweet and tender, doesn’t take much cooking, and comberry or saltrice can be used to flavor it. The meat also has some notable alchemical properties:

  1. Restore Fatigue
  2. Fortify Fatigue
  3. Reflect
  4. Detect Enchantment


The rats of Morrowind are large and aggressive. They are easily dealt with – a few sturdy kicks to the head will do one in. They will attack anyone, and often get themselves killed this way. Nevertheless, there’s a widespread proliferation of them. They are particularly attracted to stores of dried saltrice, so the little nasties tend to get into people’s pantries.

The cave rat is sturdier and more dangerous to deal with. They are typically found in dark places, and will attack on sight. Though rats are easy enough to kill, they are often blighted, and spread all sorts of diseases. If their populations are not controlled, they can plague entire towns.

Rat meat is commonly cooked and eaten, though it is unhealthy unless boiled into shoe leather. It is not an appetizing dish, usually only eaten by the poor. This meat however has a few alchemical properties worth mentioning:

  1. Drain Magicka
  2. Paralyze
  3. Cure Poison
  4. Resist Poison


The shalk is a large black cave-dwelling beetle, often found foraging above ground in mountainous areas. It is aggressive, but not terribly dangerous. It attacks using both its pincers and a magical firebite. It is immune to fire spells, but has a weakness to cold.

The shalk is a long-lived creature, and only mates every hundred years. Its eggs can stay dormant just as long, and shalk lay so many during the mating season that they hatch steadily over the course of the next century. During the mating period, shalk are said to gather at the call of a “king shalk” to its chosen mating grounds, typically a cave with a large food source. The king shalk is not born as such; it is a mystery how an ordinary shalk becomes one when the time arises. It is this author’s supposition that it is caused by excess growth through prolonged exposure to magical cave crystals, or perhaps a symptom of gorging itself on the bloatspores that grow in the presence of such crystals. Locals say the king shalk is eaten by the others. However, this theory remains unproven until a live king shalk is observed. This author, Edras Oril, asks to be informed of any living king shalk found, or at least given the opportunity to study any resin taken from one.

Shalk resin is a tough, soluble substance which is extracted from the shalk’s carapace. It is used as glues and stiffeners in the manufacture of certain types of armor. It also fetches a decent price from alchemists, as it has some useful alchemical properties, as follows:

  1. Drain Fatigue
  2. Fortify Health
  3. Drain Personality
  4. Drain Speed


Slaughterfish, of both the large and small varieties, are highly aggressive, and will attack a traveler the moment he puts a foot in the water. Their needle-sharp teeth can strip flesh in a matter of seconds. They are surprisingly intelligent, and adept hunters. The smaller variety are omnivorous, while the larger variety are carnivores. They do not seem to consider dreugh prey, which tend to inhabit the same waters, perhaps because they’re smart enough to know the dreugh are the ones hunting them.

The mating habits of the slaughterfish have not been extensively studied, but it is known that they have fairly complex mating rituals. They do not protect their eggs at all, preferring to lay them in deep dark crevasses and caves, usually close to sources of kelp.

Slaughterfish scales are cut away and used in alchemy, mainly in water walking potions, but also for potions of swift swim. Both potions are useful for avoiding slaughterfish when traveling across water. The full list of alchemical properties for scales are as follows:

  1. Drain Personality
  2. Water Walking
  3. Restore Endurance
  4. Swift Swim

In a future installment, this author intends to travel to the region of Mournhold, primarily to study the magnificent durzog. This tough four-legged beast has a large plated skull covered in a thick leathery hide, along with two large fangs and tusks, and a long spiky tail. I intend to make a full study of this creature’s mating habits and characteristics. In the meantime, the alchemical properties of its meat is known to be:

  1. Fortify Agility
  2. Fortify Strength
  3. Blind
  4. Damage Magkica

Thus concludes my treatise on the fascinating fauna of Vvardenfell. I invite any aspiring naturalists in the area to seek me out, as I always enjoy conversing with fellow nature enthusiasts.

Text by Sarah Dimento (a.k.a. Stuporstar)