Analyzing the ja-Kha’jay

Originally published to /r/teslore on

The mechanics of Khajiit subspecies morphology has been a semi-mysterious topic ever since outsiders first encountered different shapes of the cat-men. Study, conversation, and observation of Khajiiti culture have resulted in the raw data of the Khajiit forms being collected, most especially from an Interview with Three Booksellers, but the intricacies of the relationship the Khajiit children have with the moons has remained for the most part unexplored.

A recent endeavour on #memospore, with noteworthy legwork by /u/solthas, has resulted in what I believe to be a suitable introduction into a fuller understanding of the ja-Kha’jay.

If one were to venture to UESP’s page on Khajiit, specifically the Morphology section, they would find this table:


Now, this table tells us absolutely nothing about the Masser-Secunda interactions and their output form, save that Secunda dictates whether or not the -raht size multiplier is in play. If, however, you were to reorder this chart so that time flows positively (defined as New → Waxing → Full → Waning → repeat) on both axes, with phase shifts so that stance and size are properly ordered, you would end with this chart:


Now, depending on how well you know your Khajiit morphology, you may or may not be beginning to see the picture here. When Secunda stabilizes in the top and bottom quarters of its phases, the -raht forms are born. This is, of course, known from the original table, but ordered in this manner we see that as Secunda moves from Waning through to Full, size steadily decreases (with the exception of Pahmar-Senche). Before I cover the rest of the physiological data, I would like to take this time to review the sixteen known forms of Khajiit.

  1. Alfiq: quadruped, very small, magical aptitude. Alfiq-raht: larger Alfiq.

  2. Pahmar: quadruped, medium-large, lean and quick.

  3. Senche: quadruped, very large. The raht form is particularly enormous.

  4. Dagi: transitional(?) between biped and quadruped. The only description we have comes from Mixed Unit Tactics, describing them as tree-leapers, which suggests a strong quadruped state with biped capabilities.

  5. Ohmes: transitional(?) between quadruped and biped. These are described as Bosmeri in appearance, and they are likely to be bipedal woods-dwellers with a quadruped stance that they are able to use at need.

  6. Suthay: biped, approximately man-sized, perhaps shorter than the mannish average.

  7. Cathay: biped, average to tall on a man. The -raht form would be very tall relative to the human height distribution, and on par with the taller Altmer.

  8. Tojay: biped. While little is directly stated about them, we believe that the Tojay are the bipedal equivalent of the Senche, and tower over the other bipedal forms.

I have one last table to present, and then I will present the conclusion we have derived of the ja-Kha’jay.

Waning|Small Biped -rahtLarge Biped -rahtMedium Quadruped -rahtTransitional (favors 4) -raht
New|Small BipedLarge BipedMedium QuadrupedTransitional (favors 4)
Waxing|Transitional (favors 2) -rahtMedium Biped -rahtLarge Quadruped -rahtSmall Quadruped -raht
Full|Transitional (favors 2)Medium BipedLarge QuadrupedSmall Quadruped

Notice that if one ignores the stance, that this table is rotationally symmetric. Masser’s switch from new-waxing to full-waning wholly inverts the morphologic table, shifting stance and size-time arrangement.

As for the transitional forms Dagi and Ohmes, they are both on the low end of the size-continuum across all Khajiit, but are in the low-middle of their respective favored stance. Alfiq are smaller than Dagi, and Pahmar and Senche larger. Ohmes are approximately on par with Suthay, and Cathay and Tojay are larger. Furthermore, notice that the transitional phenotypes occur on the move from waning to new, and are on full-to-waning Secunda. Although we have yet to create a mathematical model of each moon’s motion with respect to Nirnic time, it is likely that this form-blurring represents a time when the motions of Masser and Secunda line up in time (with, of course, a 90-degree phase shift between Masser and Secunda).

So, to conclude: the phases of Secunda govern the -raht form, and the phases of Masser govern the stance and size. Secunda operates on a simple back-and-forth toggle between -raht and not every quarter-period, whereas Masser rotates the table (not accounting for Secunda’s influence) every half-period.

Here is the link to the public and pretty Gdoc spreadsheet. This is not the document on which the IRC group originally worked, but as that is chaotically laid out and aesthetically poor, we have elected to condense and cleanse the working document to a publishable form. The only data absent from this is the foundation work into making tables to deal with the alleged 24 Khajiit types (giving Masser two more phases), and beginning work on mathematically modeling $$M(t)$$ and $$S(t)$$ functions to determine the birth-order.

I hope the information here has been useful, or at least interesting, and sheds some more light on the workings of the ja-Kha’jay.