Please refer to the up-to-date timeline on the wiki: http://wiki.project-tamriel.com/Cyrodiil:Timeline
MIDDLE MERETHIC ERA
(c. ME 2000)
The Aldmeri explorer Topal (or Torval) the Pilot sets sail from the Summerset Isles, looking for the mythical continent of Aldmeris. He is the first Elf to explore the shorelines of Tamriel and interact with its native populations. Topal explores to course of the river Niben up to Lake Rumare, reporting the existence of Khajiit, Argonians, and a mysterious race of "Bird-people" inhabiting the future site of the Imperial City. He claims these people give him their islands as a gift in return for the art of literacy. Topal's account suffers from several anachronisms, and may be a forgery meant to justify the later Ayleid land-grab in this area.
The Niben valley and its environs are inhabited by numerous human tribes: the Nedes, Kothringi, Al-Gemha, Keptu, Men-of-Ge, Al-Hared, Men-of-Ket, Orma, Yespest, Horwalli, and many others. Later generations will remember them as "Nedes", though this was the name of but one of many tribes.
Likewise, the areas later known as the Gold Coast and Hammerfell are inhabited by human tribes, though these are culturally distinct from the Niben ones.
(c. ME 2000 - 1500)
Various Aldmeri factions colonize the coastline of Tamriel. Presumed birth of the Bosmer, Khajiit, Falmer, and Dwemer civilizations.
Founding of the first Ayleid city-states in the Cyrodiilic Heartland. These Elves were dissenters from the Aldmeri mage caste, fleeing their home culture's restrictions on Daedra worship and the usage of Dawn Magics. Unlike other Elven colonists, the first Ayleid settled deep in the Heartland, subjugating and enslaving the indigenous population through use of their summoned Daedra armies. The Ayleid city-states are tribute-kingdoms to the throne of Alinor, though the vast distances make enforcing Summerset law all but impossible.
Several enterprising Elven families explore an colonize the northwest of Tamriel, without relinquishing their ties to Alinor. First among them are the Direnni clans.
Small groups of Atmoran colonists settle the northern shores of Tamriel, fleeing war, hunger, and ill-defined political struggles in their homeland. This slow immigration movement continues for the next hundred years.
Construction of White-Gold Tower, known as the Temple of the Ancestors or the Citadel to the Ayleid. This magical construction, erected through the knowledge of the Dawn Magics, amplified the power of the Ayleid sorceror-kings and allowed them a measure of control over the fabric of reality, similar to that of the Ada-Mantia Tower in Balfiera and Crystal-Like-Law in Summerset.
The Ayleid Hegemony expands to the east and west, founding city-states and fortresses in modern-day Colovia, southern Nibenay, and Argonia.
Saint Veloth, an Aldmeri prophet and mystic, proclaims the faith in the Good Daedra. Rejecting the decadence of Summerset culture, he leads a mass migration of the faithful Chimer into the promised land of Resdayn, later known as Morrowind.
The colony of Saarthal is founded in northern Skyrim, being the first large-scale Nordic settlement on Tamriel.
LATE MERETHIC ERA
(c. ME 1000)
The Night of Tears: Falmeri forces destroy the Nordic colony at Saarthal, driving the Nords back into the sea.
The Return: the Atmoran warlord Ysgramor gathers his famous Five Hundred Companions and retakes Saarthal from the Elves, thus founding the first Nordic Empire.
Nordic forces pursue and exterminate the Falmer, destroying all they can find of them and their culture.
The mysterious god-hero Pelinal Whitestrake appears. This mythical figure, considered an expression of human endeavors and willpower, wanders the world, fighting Elves, founding kingdoms and abandoning them.
The Camoran Dynasty declares itself independent from the Summerset Isles, founding the independent kingdom of Valenwood. The Ayleid Hegemony uses this buffer kingdom to declare their own independence from the throne of Alinor. The Direnni lords, while also suitable remote and powerful enough to defy Summerset, fail to do so, remaining as a nominal tribute-kingdom.
Beginning of Nord history writing: Ysgramor records the events in the Elven kingdoms in his native runes, thus becoming the first human historian.
The Nords finish their conquest of modern-day Skyrim. The Falmer, apparently driven to extinction, disappear from recorded history.
Tension and small-scale skirmishes occur between the Nordic Empire and the surrounding Elven realms: the Direnni, Velothi, and the Ayleid sphere of influence.
Civil war in the Ayleid Hegemony: the southern Barsaebic city-states chafe under the increasing dominance of the High Heartland Monachs. The Barsaeibics are conservatives who maintain strong connections with Alinor and Direnni. They are concerned over the Heartland's reliance on Daedric pacts, neglect of the Eight Divines, abuse of the Dawn Magics, and their general deviation and isolation from the old Alinor culture. A short civil war breaks loose, in which the Barsaebics are defeated by the Atataric alliance, a proxy army of the Heartland Monarchs. The remaining Barsaeibics flee into Argonia.
1E 222 - 272 or 1E 240-1E 415
The Nordic Empire conquers High Rock and northern Morrowind, subjugating the local Elven lords. Both the Direnni and the Chimer lords were disorganized and internally divided, easy prey for the unified Nordic armies.
The Nords reach a form of accommodation with the Ayleids: the borderland of Falkreath becomes a contested region, with both Nordic and Ayleid settlements.
1E 242-1E 243
The Alessian Rebellion:
- A Nedic slave, later known as Alessia, instigates a rebellion in the slaver city of Sardavar Leed. Assisted by the god Morihaus (son of Kynareth), she overthrows the local lords and forms an army of liberated slaves. They travel around the Citadel in a counter-clockwise fashion, destroying Ayleid cities and swelling their ranks with liberated slaves.
- Pelinal Whitestrake becomes the champion of the Alessian cause. He challenges the dangerous Ayleid sorcerer-kings in one-on-one duels, thus defeating them before they can use their powers against the main Nedic army.
- Attack on Vahtacen, where many slaves are freed and join the army. Alessia assumes the name of Al-Esh (Elvish for "High Highness").
- Pelinal claims the eastern lands for the Rebellion.
- Fights in Sedor, where Pelinal reclaims the Thousand Strong of Sedor, a powerful Nedic tribe.
- The army passes by the northern Ayleid cities, heading towards the shelter of Sancre Tor.
- Several dissident Ayleid kings secretly support Alessia's rebellion. These were most likely lords of the perifery, attempting to undermine the power of the Heartland Kings.
- The Alessian army finds shelter at Sancre Tor, a great hill in the unpopulated north-west. here, they await reinforcements from the north.
- Alessia makes contact with the Nordic chieftains through messenger birds, imploring them for aid.
- Pelinal calls out and defeats the sorceror-king Haromir of Copper and Tea at the foot of Sancre Tor.
- Pelinal kills the Ayleid king Gordaur the Shaper in his palace at Ninendava.
- Alessian forces meet the Nordic mercenaries at the Bridge of Heldon, in Falkreath. Together, they enact a bloody pogrom on the Elven population of this border region.
- The united Nordic and Nedic armies marches south towards the Citadel, intent on taking the Ayleid capital.
- The remaining Ayleid sorceror-kings, intent on countering the Rebellion, make a pact with the Daedric Prince Meridia, appointing the half-god Umaril the Unfeathered as their immortal champion.
- The rebels attack the city of Ceya-Tar, where Pelinal kills Fire-king Hadhuul.
- The united armies reach the shores of Lake Rumare. The Nordic and Nedic chieftains are uncertain if they can take the Citadel in a direct attack, and convene in the Council of Skiffs. They agree on a strategy of caution.
- Pelinal, disgusted by what he perceives as cowardice, attacks the Citadel alone. He slaughters thousands of Ayleid and Daedric servants with his superhuman strenght. Answering his challenge, he duels and defeats Umaril, banishing his spirit into the Void. In his weakened state after the duel, is ambushed by the Ayleid sorceror-kings, who cut him in eight parts.
- The Taking: emboldened by Pelinal's sacrifice, the rebel army attacks the next morning, killing the remaining defendants. With the center of their Empire in human hands, the reign of the Alessian Hegemony is over.
- The last Ayleid city to be defeated by the Alessian army is Anutwyll. The city of Bravil is founded on its remains.
FIRST ERA, ALESSIAN EMPIRE
The Alessian Empire is founded. Alessia becomes the first Empress, inheriting both the title and the priesthood of Akatosh from her figurehead Ayleid predecessor.
Remaining Ayleid cities in Colovia and the southern Niben are absorbed into the Empire as submissive client-states, or destroyed in case of resistance. Ayleid cities in exile are founded in Valenwood, Alinor, the Direnni Hegemony and Argonia.
The Cult of the Eight Divines and the Ancestor Moth Cult are founded. both hark back to Ayleid predecessors.
The Alessian Empire was at first a client-state to the larger Nordic Empire, though later on this relationship will reverse. In turn, the Alessians had various Colovian kingdoms, Nedic tribes and Ayleid enclaves under their rule. Falkreath is at this point part of Cyrodiil.
As a reward for their aid in battle, the Nordic chieftains are granted large stretches of land in the unpopulated west of the country. This is the start of the Colovian kingdoms.
1E 243-1E 498
Alessian power slowly grows and consolidates. Imperial culture develops from joint Nedic, Nordic and Elven traditions.
Death of Alessia. The covenant with Akatosh begins, shielding Tamriel from Oblivion. The Dragonfires ignite and the Amulet of Kings assumes its modern function as Imperial soul-receptable. Belharza the Man-Bull, son of Alessia and Morihaus, assumes the throne.
Nedic and Nordic settlers migrate to Colovia, taking land from the remaining Ayleid city-states and Nedic settlements along the Strident (later Gold) Coast. Simultaneously, the populated tribelands along the Niben are pacified by Battlemages loyal to the Emperor, and brought into the fold of the Empire.
The warlike Colovians organize annual raids of the vulnerable Direnni and Breton cities of the Illiac Bay. These raids will sporadically continue for much of the First Era.
Emperor Ami-El assumes the throne.
Ami-El lends his forces to Skyrim in battle against the Direnni Hegemony in the Western Reach. Anti-Elven sentiments are on the rise across the nations of men.
The Alessian Reforms are adopted. The monotheistic Marukhati abolish the last Ayleid city-states in the east, and persecute any who do not live by the strict religious doctrines of their monkey-prophet, Marukh.
Nord High King Borgas enforces the Alessian Reforms throughout his empire, consisting of Skyrim, High Rock and northern Morrowind.
The Colovian Estates slowly isolate themselves from Alessian rule, assuming the character of sovereign kingdoms. They still pay tribute to the Empire, but are otherwise politically independent. Ayleid enclaves are tolerated in the west, and the faith of the Eight Divines, outlawed under the Alessians, survives here.
The Nibenay is under the yoke of the Marukhati. Dietary restrictions force the Nibenese to give up on many forms of agriculture and husbandry, and focus on trade. A sophisticated mercantile society develops. Restrictions on the worship of the Eight result in the worship of animal spirits and an eclectic mix of minor gods.
High King Borgas, a staunch anti-Elven agitator, is killed by a Bosmeri Wild Hunt. In the ensuing War of Succession, the Nordic Empire falls apart. High Rock becomes part of the growing Direnni Hegemony.
The Marukhati sack the temple of Malada, one of the last remaining Ayleid settlements in the east.
Sload slave raids terrorize Colovia.
The self-centered and isolationist Colovian Estates begin to harass one another. The kingdoms of Kvatch and Skingrad squabble over their shared border.
Emperor Gorieus assumes the throne. There is no mention of another emperor until Hestra around 1E 1000. Either Gorieus ruled for 500 years (not impossible), or there were other, forgotten Emperors between them. The Alessian priesthood is the true power in this period, having reduced the position of Emperor to that of a puppet ruler.
Conflicts between Kvatch and Skingrad cease thanks to the royal marriage of Rislav Larich, the eight child of the king of Skingrad, with Belene, a daughter of the king of Kvatch.
Emperor Gorieus defeats Nord High King Kjoric the White in battle.
A plague sweeps through Colovia. King Mhorus of Skingrad is among the victims. His son, Dorald, is a devout Alessian and cedes his kingdom to the Emperor. he is killed by his brother Rislav, who usurps the throne with general consent of the people of Skingrad. Emperor Gorieus, enraged over this insult, mounts an invasion, but his legions are destroyed in an ambush by the joined forces of Skingrad and Kvatch. This defeat, a first for the Imperial legions, inspires resistance to the Alessian encroachment across Tamriel.
Emboldened by the events in Colovia, Ryain Direnni outlaws the Alessian Reforms in High Rock. His forces fight the Alessians, and harass Colovia from the sea, attempting to push towards the Heartland.
The Battle of Glenumbra Moors: Aiden Direnni defeats the combined forces of the Alessian Order and Nord High King Hoag Merkiller. The new High King, Ysmir Wulfharth, annuls the alliance with the Alessians, reinstates the Nordic Pantheon and destroys the Alessian temples in his lands. Temporary end of Alessian power beyond the borders of Cyrodiil.
The Ra Gada: Yokudan refugees arrive on the shores of Hammerfell, conquering the province from native Orcs and Nedes. Redguard conquests claims large swathes of Colovia, especially in the Gold Coast.
The city-fortress of Sutch is founded.
c. 1E 900
Despite initial hostilities, relations between Redguard and Imperials quickly improve. A vibrant cultural exchange takes place.
c. 1E 948
Redguard blademaster Gaiden Shinji oversees the creation of the Arena in the Imperial City.
Empress Hestra assumes the throne. She restores much of Alessian power beyond the Cyrodiilic border, and improves the Empire's road network. Various runestones are thought to have been erected in her time.
Legion forces led by Hestra conquer the Reach.
Imperial forces combat piracy along the Black Marsh shore. For the first time, Imperials enter the heart of this province, and chart its waterways.
Hestra manages to restore relations with the Colovian kingdoms. Together, they perform several joint attacks on Valenwood, and defend against Sloadic slave raids.
A sub-group of the Alessian Order called the Marukhati Selectives break time itself through a ritual meant to purify Akatosh from his Elven influences. Between the fifteenth and twenty-third century of the First Era, linear time does not exist.
Testimony from Empress Hestra's soul claims that Cyrodiil became an Empire across the stars.
Mention of Emperor Shor-El, whose reign was lost within the timeless time. He claims that Cyrodiil became an egg.
FIRST ERA, AGAIN
1E 2200-1E 2260
Empress Herda takes the throne. Improves relations with Colovia somewhat. May also have lived after the War of Righteousness.
The Thrassian Plague, a disease engineered by the Sload, kills over half of Tamriel's population.
Bendu Olo, the Baron of Anvil, leads the All Flags Navy in the Thrassian War - a joint effort of the nations surrounding the Abecean Sea. The island-kingdom of Thras is sunk beneath the waves (it will late resurface).
The military success of Bendu Olo leads to the Oloi Confederacy, a short-lived movement of unity among the Colovians. For the first time, the Colovian kingdoms are more powerful that the Nibenay.
The War of Righteousness commences: emboldened by their recent success, the Colovian Estates refuse to give further tribute to the Nibenay, and curtail traffic along the Golden Road. Without this source of revenue, the Alessian Order collapses in on itself. What follows is an exceptionally bloody struggle, as various Nibenese and Colovian factions attempt to lay claim on the White-Gold Throne.
End of the War of Righteousness. The Maruhati faith and the Alessian Order are outlawed, and the First Empire is officially dissolved. Colovia and Nibenay remain divided, and their respective cultures continue to diverge for the next centuries. The line of Alessia is broken, and no Emperor will sit on the throne until the rise of Reman, nearly 400 year later.