Skyrim’s Most Disturbing Khajiit Lore: The Fur Trader
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim‘s deep in-game history is told to players through books and notes scattered throughout the world. While many of these readings are complex mythology breakdowns or in-universe gameplay hints about the world, others are simple tales. One such story, a confession from a Khajiit merchant, is perhaps Skyrim‘s most disturbing bit of lore.
Very little is known about The Elder Scrolls‘ Khajiit, and encounters with them in Skyrim are few and far between. Khajiit come from Elsweyr and are mostly found in the Skyrim region within a single traveling merchant caravan. They have a rich culture of their own, but their catlike appearance makes them outsiders in human-dominated regions. Skyrim’s Nords are already predisposed to distrust outsiders, and the Khajiit’s status as one of The Elder Scrolls‘ beast races makes it nearly impossible for them to blend in.
For players who find the caravan and read every book and note they come across, it is still possible to glean some information about the Khajiit in Skyrim. One particular book, found in Dead Drop Falls in Skyrim’s Dawnguard DLC, contains one of the creepiest passages in Khajiit lore – if not the entire The Elder Scrolls universe.
In Confessions of a Khajiit Fur Trader, an unnamed author writes from a prison cell on the night before his execution. He grew up wealthy in The Elder Scrolls’ Elsweyr region, but when his family fortune was lost as a result of a fire, he and his brother joined a gang in order to survive. He “wanted to give up” after years of struggling, but his brother had dreams of leaving the gang and becoming caravaners. All they had to do was one final job: stealing a carriage full of jewels. However, the job went terribly wrong, and the carriage tumbled off a cliff with his brother onboard. In the wreckage, he found not jewels but “plenty of luxurious wolf pelts, horker tusks and mammoth hides.” When escaping with the riches, the Khajiit couldn’t bring himself to leave his brother’s body. As a “memento,” he cut off his brother’s skin.
Not long after, a merchant offered a hefty sum for the “forbidden luxury” of his brother’s pelt, and “The Fur Trader” realized his calling. There was opportunity in Tamriel’s black markets for Khajiit furs, so The Fur Trader went on to murder his own kind for their skins. He became richer than anyone in his family had ever been, hiring his former gang members and establishing a stronghold. His confession details the preferences of other Elder Scrolls races, including Bosmer, Argonians, and Orcs, for Khajiit and even Argonian pelts. He goes on to say he will even sell his own pelt one day – the souvenir of a legend.
The confession ends with The Fur Trader’s plan to escape prison, taking advantage of a weak wall and a smuggled lockpick, leaving readers with the notion he likely escaped to skin more Khajiit. The story is self-contained, but it does open the possibility for Easter eggs in future The Elder Scrolls games. Perhaps players will one day walk into a wealthy establishment and see the fur of Tamriel’s most notorious Khajiit hanging on the wall.