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Cliff Racers
A Cliff Racer
Type Beast (Reptile)
Range Morrowind
Appears in

Morrowind, ESO, Legends

Cliff Racers (also spelled as Cliffracers or Cliff-Racers), also known as Long-tailed Cliff Racers and Girdle-tailed Cliff Racers,[1][2] are large flying reptiles found throughout Morrowind. They possess long tails and large vertical sails along their spines.[1] They are closely related to Cliff Striders and Cliff Darters.[3][4] They are very aggressive and will attack anyone in sight. Cliff Racers have good vision range, and will often detect and follow travelers without being noticed. This can result in swarms of them descending upon the unwary adventurer.[5]


A Dragon in Morrowind

There are several differing theories as to their origins. Their alleged ancestors, known as Bat Lizards were said to have been encountered by Topal the Pilot in the Merethic Era. They were native to a forested island theorized to have been Gorne.[6] Some historians theorize that Cliff Striders, which are closely related to Cliff Racers, have a shared ancestry with Hackwings. This possible divergence may have resulted from Dark Elves raiding Black Marsh for thousands of years to bring back things they deemed valuable, such as slave labor, livestock, and critters.[7] One account states Cliff Racers migrated to the island of Vvardenfell from parts unknown where, thanks to their numbers, they overwhelmed the Dragon population that lived there and drove them out.[UOL 1][UOL 2] Though another claims that the Skylamps ate all the Dragons of Morrowind.[UOL 3]

Vvardenfell locals in the Second Era used to claim that a visit to Vvardenfell wasn't a true visit unless you had Cliff Racers diving at you.[8] Though Cliff Racers of that time were smaller and not as actively dangerous as those of later eras.[9]

Due to their pest-like nature, in the late Third Era Cliff Racers were driven from Vvardenfell by Saint Jiub the Eradicator,[10][4] although they have been known to exist in mainland Morrowind well into the Fourth Era.[11][12]


A Taxidermied Cliff Racer in the Greathall of Skaal Village circa 3E 427

Racer Plumes are used locally and throughout the Empire as decorations for garments and household goods.[1] Pillows are known to be stuffed with racer plumes.[13] These plumes are also used to make levitation potions.[14]

Cliff Racers are sometimes taxidermied and used in decoration.[15] Their light and hollow bones are used as cost-effective quills.[16]

Most Cliff Racer meat is inedible or extremely tough but it can be stewed to make a ragout.[17][UOL 4] Cliff Racer tails are fatty and tolerable. Dunmer prepare them by boiling trama root for a whole day until the roots are soft, the tails are then added until browned. The roots are then placed onto a plate and the tails over the top of the roots. A little water is then added, finally bittergreen is sprinkled onto the dish and it is served.[UOL 4]

Cliff Racers are the subject of an old Vvardenfell folk song.[18]



  • In the mid-Second Era, one Thetys Ramarys of Balmora, selectively bred the Cliff Strider for their wing strength, in the hopes that they would eventually be able to take flight and dominate Vvardenfell's skies.[19] It is implied that this breeding program may have given rise to the Cliff Racers that plagued Vvardenfell in the Third Era. While a species of Cliff Racers already existed at that time, they were smaller and seemingly less aggressive than those found in the Third Era.

See AlsoEdit