A Short History of the Empires
THE AYLEID HEGEMONY
When the first Aldmeri explorers arrived on Tamriel, they did not venture far from their coastline colonies for fear of the forbidden jungles and the hostile tribes said to inhabit them. Thus, the Direnni and proto-Bosmer colonies all settled the shores. An exception were the Ayleid, who, supported by their sorcerous might and summoned Daedric armies, penetrated far into the Heartlands and made them the center of their rule. In time, they were joined by Atmoran settlers, proto-Nords who were exiled from the northern continent and settled Tamriel in scattered groups. The more civilized and magically advanced Ayleid had no trouble subjugating these rowdy clans, and pressed a large number of them into servitude. So it came to be that, in the Heartland of Tamriel, Humans and Elves commingled in a shared, if unequal, culture. As the years went by, the Ayleid Hegemony grew more and more corrupt, decadent and tyrannical. In 1E 242, their servants, recognizing that the Divine Mandate of the Ayleid Hegemony had passed, overthrew their masters in what is now known as the Alessian Rebellion, named after the Nedic queen who first instigated this uprising.
THE FIRST EMPIRE
Under the blessed leadership of the Holy Empress Alessia, the First Empire of Man was founded to bring justice and civilization to the Heartlands. The Colovian west was given in fealty to the Nordic warlords who had come to the aid of the Rebellion. The Nibenese east was entrusted to the rule of the Hierophants, Nedic battlemages who had proven themselves in combat and governance.
Though Alessia herself had declared the Divinity of the Eight, her descendants fell under the sway of the Marukhati Heresies, promoting the blasphemous faith of the One and his Doctrines. Driven by religious fervor, the Nibenese began a short-lived, but expansive conquest of the northwest of Tamriel, seeding Imperial culture in the Nordic and Bretonnic lands. Disgusted, the devout Colovian kings renounced the authority of the Marukhati priesthood, leading to the horrific War of Righteousness in 1E 2321 - dividing east and west for the first time. The line of Emperors was broken, and without a unified center the kingdoms of Cyrodiil fell apart.
THE SECOND EMPIRE
The First Interregnum came to an end with the rise of Emperor Reman I, a powerful Colovian warlord who in 1E 2703 unified the armies of Colovia and Nibenay in response to the Akaviri invasion. Following his victory at Pale Pass, Reman crowned himself Emperor of Cyrodiil, subjugated the Akaviri warlords, and began a spirited conquest of the Tamriel mainland. All of the continent save for Morrowind, the Summerset Isles and the Black Marsh interior become part of the Second Empire.
Under the Reman dynasty, Cyrodiil becomes the true cultural and governmental heart of Tamriel. Unlike the insular Alessians, the Reman Emperors looked beyond the traditional practices of Cyrodiil and introduced many new customs both from the conquered provinces and from the learned Akaviri councilors who had sworn their absolute fealty to the Emperors. Vast road networks and fortifications were constructed, made possible by new systems of taxation, rationalized modes of administration, and more streamlined and hierarchical Legion forces. From these innovations came forth the Imperial Curia, the rational governors of the Imperial center.
The ambition of the later Reman Emperors to unite the whole of Tamriel led them to the destructive Four-Score War (1E 2840 - 1E 2920) against Morrowind, ending in the assassination of Reman III and his heirs. The line of Emperors was broken once again, and stewardship over the Empire was observed by the Emperor's loyal councilors, the Akaviri Potentates, who in their grief declared this to be the start of the Second Era, and the end of the mythical dynasties of the Emperors.
THE THIRD EMPIRE
Though the Potentates were wise rulers in many ways, their foreign ways proved unfit for Tamriel. In the four hundred years of their governance, the Empire became little more than political fiction. The assassination of the last Potentate in 2E 431 signaled the beginning of the Second Interregnum, a time of strife and ignorance which was to last until 2E 852, when an Atmoran warlord known by the name of Talos assumed control over the united armies of Colovia in name of king Cuhlecain of Falkreath. Chosen by the Divines for higher purpose, Talos conquered the Imperial City and crowned himself Emperor after the unfortunate death of his mentor, Cuhlecain. From there, he proceeded to unite all of Tamriel under his rule, thus founding the Third Empire and declaring the start of the Third Era.
Tiber Septim founded the Empire as a mirror of Divine Law within the mortal sphere, and upon his death he ascended to join the Divines as Tiber Imperator. He left his Empire in the hands of his successors, who steered it with an even hand. Under the early Septim Emperors, the provinces knew prosperity and peace, as they were governed by fair and just laws of Imperial design.
The Empire was thrown into crisis by the machinations of the agitator Potema, who in 3E 121 usurped the throne by means of her weak-willed son, Uriel Mantiarco. Her brothers, Cephorus and Magnus Septim, opposed and ultimately overthrew her in a civil war known as the War of the Red Diamond. After these tribulations, the succession of the Septim line left in uncertain hands, with a notable low being the regency of the Dunmeri princess Katariah and the line of Lariat. This lasted until the election of Emperor Cephorus II, a more worthy heir to Tiber Septim, by Elder Council decision in 3E 247. The short-lived civil war following this decision was cut short by the onslaught of the Camoran Usurper in 3E 249, which was valiantly opposed by the Imperial Legions.
Of the more recent Emperors of Tamriel, it can be said that they employed all means to further pacify and unite the provinces of Tamriel, and, as was the case with Uriel V, sought to expand the borders of the Empire further still. Recent years have seen the reign of the wise Emperor Uriel VII, a true example of the enlightened reign of the Septims. Though the Empire has been beset by crises such as the Simulacrum and the recent troubles in the northwest, the Emperor's firm guidance has averted such disasters, and no doubt will keep us safe and prosperous in times to come.
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Generic history book, similar to A Short History of Morrowind. Very common. Quite weak scholarship, mostly parroting old pro-Empire points and obsolete theories, like many books of this kind.