A Brief History of the Empire, Part IV [Daggerfall]

The first book of this series described, in brief, the first eight emperors of the Septim Dynasty beginning with Tiber I.

The second volume described the War of the Red Diamond and the six emperors who followed. The third volume describes the troubles of the next three emperors, the frustrated Uriel IV, the ineffectual Cephorus II, and the the heroic Uriel V.

At Uriel V’s death across the sea in distant hostile Akavir, Uriel VI was but five years old. In fact, Uriel VI was born only shortly before his father left for Akavir. Uriel V’s only other progeny, by a different woman, were the twins Morihatha and Eloisa, who had been born a month after Uriel V left. Uriel VI was coronated in the 290th year of the third era. The consort Thonica as the boy’s mother was given a restricted Regency until Uriel VI reached his minority. The Council retained the real power, as they had ever since the days of Katariah I.

The Council so enjoyed its unlimited and unrestricted freedom to make laws (and profits), Uriel VI was not given full license to rule until 307, when he was 22 years old. He had been slowly assuming positions of responsibility for years, but both the Council and his mother, who enjoyed even her limited regency, were loath to give him reign. By the time he came to the throne, the mechanisms of government gave him little power, but the power to veto.

This power he regularly exercised. By 313, Uriel VI could boast with conviction that he truly did rule Tamriel. He utilized defunct spy networks and guard units to bully and coerce the difficult members of the Elder Council. His sister was his usual ally, after her marriage to Baron Ulfe Gersen of Winterhold brought her considerable wealth and influence. As the sage Ugaridge said, “Uriel V conquered Esroniet, but Uriel VI conquered the Elder Council.”

When Uriel VI fell from his horse and could not be saved by the finest Imperial healers, his beloved sister Morihatha took the throne. At 25 years of age, she had been described by (admittedly self-serving) diplomats as the most beautiful creature in Tamriel. She was certainly well-learned, vivacious, athletic, and a well-practiced politician. She brought the Archmagister of Skyrim to the Imperial City and created the second Imperial Battlemage since the days of Tiber Septim.

Morihatha finished the job her brother had begun, and made the Imperial Province truly a government under the Emperess. Outside the Imperial Province, however, the Empire had been slowly disintegrating. Open revolutions and civil wars had raged unchallenged since the days of her grandfather Cephorus II. Carefully coordinating her counterattacks, Morihatha slowly took back her rebellious vassals, always avoiding overextending herself.

Though Morihatha’s military campaigns were remarkable successful, the Council was often frustrated by her deliberate pace. One Councilman, an Argonian named Thoricles Romus, furious at her refusal to send troops to his troubled lands, is believed to be the man who hired the assassins who claimed her life in 3E 339. Romus was tried and executed, though he protested his innocence.

Morihatha had no surviving children, and Eloisa had died of a fever four years before. Eloisa’s 25-year-old son Pelagius was crowned Pelagius IV.

Pelagius IV continued his aunt’s work, slowly bringing back the seditious kingdoms of his Empire. He had Morihatha’s patience and deliberate pace in his endeavors, but, alas, he did not have her success. The kingdoms had been free of constraints for so long, even a benign Imperial presence was odious. Nevertheless, when Pelagius died, after an astonishing forty-nine year reign, Tamriel was closer to unity than it had been since the days of Uriel I.

Our current Emperor, his Awesome and Terrible Majesty, Uriel Septim VII, son of Pelagius IV, has the diligence of his great aunt Morihatha, the political skill of his great uncle Uriel VI, and the military prowess of his great grand-uncle Uriel V. For twenty-one years he reigned and brought justice and order to Tamriel. In the year 3E 389, his Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn betrayed him.

Uriel VII was imprisoned in a dimension of Tharn’s creation, and Tharn used his magic of illusion to assume the Emperor’s aspect. For the next ten years, Tharn used Imperial priveleges, but did not continue Uriel VII’s schedule of reconquest. It is not entirely known yet what Tharn’s goals and personal accomplishments were during the ten years he imitated his liege lord. In 3E 399, a mysterious champion defeated the Battlemage in the dungeons of the Imperial Palace and freed Uriel VII from his other dimensional cell.

Since his release, Uriel VII has worked diligently to renew the battle to reunite Tamriel. Tharn’s interference broke the momentuum, but the years since then have proven that the glorious golden age of Tiber Septim may be visited on Tamriel once again.

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