Lore: People: C
Emperor Zero Cuhlecain
Race Human Gender Male
Died 2E 854
Imperial City
Previous Ruler Emperors of the Interregnum
Next Ruler Tiber Septim
Resided in Falkreath

Cuhlecain (known widely as Emperor Zero)[1] was the former petty-king of Falkreath that sought to claim the Imperial City amidst the Interregnum, much like others at that time. In his conquest, he was able to unite the Colovian Estates with help from his prized general, Hjalti Early-Beard and his conquest was the progenitor of the Third Empire.[2] He has since been memorialized by the Cult of Emperor Zero, founded in honor by his successor.[1]


Cuhlecain was born in the Nordic kingdom of Falkreath, which was part of the Colovian Estates at the time. He had later assumed the title of its king and sought to reunite the Colovian Estates. But before he could advance south, he needed to secure his northern border where the Nords and the Reachmen warred for quite some time. Cuhlecain's forces allied with Skyrim and had his general, Hjalti Early-Beard lead his armies. The general's resilience and his efficiency with the thu'um gave the king the sheer power to claim the Colovian West, and so they moved south across the Jerall Mountains.[2] An allied force of Nords and Bretons took control over the Jerall region and its various mountain passes and settlements. The holy-fortress of Sancre Tor was captured in 2E 852 and it became a great roadblock in Cuhlecain's conquest. In response, the king sent his general, now known as Talos to retake the city. In the midst of the Sack of Sancre Tor, Talos found the Amulet of Kings and left the site in ruins, upon the realization of its weak strategic location.[3]

Cuhlecain and Talos' prestige had caught the attention of Chevalier Renald, a remnant of Reman III's Dragonguard from several years prior. He started to support his campaign for the Imperial City but only did so to get closer to Talos Stormcrown.[4] Within a year, King Cuhlecain brought the Estates together and made his way to the Nibenay Valley. The battlemages had quickly surrendered and Cuhlecain took control of the Imperial City.[2] Before he was named the Emperor of Cyrodiil, Cuhlecain was murdered by an unknown assailant in 2E 854. The general consensus is that he was murdered by Reachmen from the Western Reach,[1] however other sources say that his death was conspired by General Talos, who then blamed it on his enemies.[2] Regardless, Talos' throat was slit and although he survived, he was no longer able to use his thu'um. The general donned Cuhlecain's crown and changed his name to the more-Cyrodilic, Tiber Septim.[1]

Tiber Septim continued the wide-scale conquest by advancing in other nations like Hammerfell and Morrowind. In honor of his former king, Tiber Septim founded the Cult of Emperor Zero, which recognized the king's wisdom of appointing Septim as his general and his bravery in the battle for the Imperial City. The cult hood is among the most popular temple-cults worshipped throughout the Nibenay. His visage was crafted by the topiary-mages, which were displayed throughout Green Emperor Way.[1]


  • During the Tiber Wars, Falkreath was governed by the Far Falkreath Estate, one of the several Colovian merchant families that made up the estates. It has strong ties to the holds of Skyrim.[5] but whether Cuhlecain was related to the noble family is unknown.
  • A minor noble family near the Strid River in Colovia, the Richtons supported King Cuhlecain's bid for the Ruby Throne, back when he was vying for control of the estates. One of their own, Amiel Richton served as Admiral of the Imperial Navy and was known for his victory over the Battle of Hunding Bay.[5]