Argonians (they prefer Saxhleel in Jel, their native tongue, a word that seems to mean "People of the Root") are the little-understood reptilian denizens of Black Marsh. Years of defending their borders have made the Argonians experts in guerrilla warfare, and their natural abilities make them equally at home in water and on land. They have developed natural immunities to the diseases and poisons that have doomed many would-be explorers and conquerors of the region. Their seemingly expressionless faces belie a calm intelligence, and many Argonians are well-versed in the magical arts. Others rely on stealth or steel to survive, and their natural agility makes them adept at either. They are, in general, a reserved people, slow to trust and hard to know, yet they are fiercely loyal, and will fight to the death for those they have named as friends.
While Argonians appear reptilian in nature at first glance, they also exhibit qualities of fish and amphibians: they are able to breathe underwater through small gills behind their ears, and swim using the same method as that of a tadpole or eel by moving their tail side-to-side to propel through the water. Argonians possess the most alien personalities in all of Tamriel from a human or meric perspective and it is often assumed that Argonians possess neither personality nor emotions. Of course this is not true; Argonians simply do not facially express their emotions as much as man and mer do, though anger is easily detectable from their bared teeth and narrowed eyes. Argonians' genders are sometimes referred to as life-phases, implying they may be able to change gender. However, this is unconfirmed, and Argonian hatchlings may be of either gender. Argonian appearance ranges from reptilian to almost human; this is caused by the Hist sap they ingest as hatchlings which ceremonially takes place on their Naming Day. Ancient cave paintings depict figures which appear to be more tree-like than Argonian.
For more information on the Argonian people, see the Lore article on Argonians.
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