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Lore:Empire of Cyrodiil (Interregnum)

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Empire of Cyrodiil
ON-concept-Dark Anchor.jpg
Dark Anchors over the Imperial City during the Interregnum
2E 4302E 582

2E 8542E 896

Capital Imperial City
Location Cyrodiil
Common languages Cyrodilic
Government Absolute monarchy
Preceded By Succeeded By
Akaviri Potentate

For other Imperial entities also referred to as "Empire of Cyrodiil", see Empire.

The Empire of Cyrodiil[1][2] (also known as the Imperial Empire[3]) refers to an Imperial state that existed during the early years of the Interregnum. Although identified as an empire, it differed from the Alessian Empire, Second Empire, and Third Empire in that its only permanent dependency was Cyrodiil itself, and it was at no time ruled by a Dragonborn emperor.


With the collapse of the Second Empire in 2E 430, its provinces reasserted their independence, leaving the Imperial heartland of Cyrodiil to its own devices. The region remained a bastion of Imperial culture as the rest of Tamriel rejected its influence. Further, institutions that had been hallmarks of the Second Empire, including the Imperial Legion, the Elder Council, and the office of emperor, survived the chaos relatively intact. As such, the Empire of Cyrodiil, as it would come to be known, succeeded the Second Empire as a matter of course. In the absence of legitimate claimants to the Ruby Throne, the Empire of Cyrodiil was ruled over by a succession of pretenders who usually attained the throne through conquest.

The earliest known of these pretenders was the Warlord Attrebus who claimed the Ruby Throne sometime between 2E 430 and 2E 533, and mounted a campaign to rid Cyrodiil of foreign influence by expelling the Akaviri. The Akaviri refugees went on to settle in the Rim Territories of Elsweyr, where they founded the town of Hakoshae.[4]

Artistic representation of Durcorach's conquest of Cyrodiil

Durcorach, a Reachman warlord, conquered Cyrodiil with an army of Reachmen in 2E 533.[5] With Durcorach’s ascension to the throne, he would found the Longhouse Emperors Dynasty, which would rule the Empire for forty-four years. Durcorach would rule the Empire until 2E 541, when he was slain during an invasion of High Rock in a battle outside of Daggerfall.[6] Durcorach would be succeeded by his son Moricar, who reigned for over twenty years before he was wounded during an invasion of Western Skyrim in 2E 563, and would die in 2E 564 as a result of his injuries.[5] Moricar was succeeded by his son Leovic, who would reign until 2E 577, when he was overthrown in a revolt led by Duke Varen Aquilarios that was caused by Leovic’s legalization of Daedra worship in the Empire.[7] Of all of the pretenders who had thus far achieved control of the Empire, the Longhouse Emperors had been some of the more successful ones, having managed to stay in power for over four decades.[8] One triumph of their reign was the opportunistic annexation of Riverhold and Orcrest in northern Elsweyr by the Imperial Legion. This occurred during the early years of the Knahaten Flu outbreak, which had hit the Khajiit particularly hard. The Khajiit attempted to retake both cities from the Imperials but were unsuccessful.[9] Rimmen was also brought under Imperial control prior to 2E 576.[10][11] Under their rule, Cyrodiil controlled land as far as the Wrothgarian Mountains.[12]

The Soulburst

Leovic's usurper, Varen Aquilarios, had been the Duke of Chorrol before leading the Colovian Estates in rebellion against Leovic.[7] After personally killing Leovic and claiming the title of emperor of Cyrodiil, Varen set out to cement his status a legitimate leader of the Empire by retrieving the lost Amulet of Kings. He was encouraged in this endeavor by the powerful necromancer Mannimarco, who promised that the Amulet could be used in a ritual to persuade Akatosh to make Varen a Dragonborn.[13] Mannimarco betrayed Varen, however, and the ritual broke the covenant with Akatosh and set Nirn adrift in the Mundus in an event named the Soulburst.[14][7][13] Varen was believed lost in the event and his wife, Clivia Tharn, ascended to the Ruby Throne as Empress Regent.[15][8]

Clivia Tharn's reign ushered in a time of increasing instability within the Empire. Swayed by offers of power and immortality, Clivia fell under the thrall of Mannimarco, who convinced her that the Mages Guild was responsible for the Soulburst and to expel them from the Imperial City, allowing Mannimarco's Worm Cult to operate freely.[8][16] Mannimarco himself aspired to become a god and rule not only Nirn, but his master Molag Bal's realm of Coldharbour as well.[14] Beyond the Empire's borders, the other nations of Tamriel began to unite into three different alliances in response to perceived Imperial aggression and corruption: the Ebonheart Pact,[17] Daggerfall Covenant,[18] and the first Aldmeri Dominion. Each alliance sought to conquer the Empire of Cyrodiil and place one of their own on the Ruby Throne, triggering the Three Banners War that wracked the whole of Tamriel in 2E 582.

The three alliances quickly conquered much of central Cyrodiil and confined the Empire to only the Imperial City and Lake Rumare’s environs.[19] With central Cyrodiil ravaged by war, most of its inhabitants scattered. Some of them hid in the northern and eastern mountains, while others fled south to Blackwood. The richest of the Imperials, mostly Nibenese, bought estates in western Colovia, around the cities of Kvatch and Anvil, away from raging war. That proved to be a mistake, however, as Anvil was captured by pirates who claimed dominion over the entire Gold Coast and declared it an independent state, leading to strife with loyalist Kvatch.[UOL 1]

The Empire did not sit idle as the armies of the alliances forged deep into its territory. It attempted to expand its reach on two fronts: High Rock and Hammerfell to the north, and Valenwood to the south.[20] The invasion of High Rock and Hammerfell was spearheaded by the Seventh Legion led by Magus-General Septima Tharn.[21] To the south, the Legion of the West Weald led by General Lavinia Axius invaded Valenwood to annex Arenthia Vale, which, by decree of the Count of Skingrad, and the Elder Council was renamed the South Weald.[22] Each of these ventures ultimately failed.[20] Circa 2E 582, Chancellor Abnur Tharn as head of the Elder Council attempted to end the Three Banners War and restore the Empire's power through assembling the Wrathstone and using it to activate an "ancient weapon" within the Halls of Colossus. Instead, this unleashed several dragons which had been imprisoned for centuries.[23]

Little is known about the outcome of the Three Banners War; however it is known the Empire of Cyrodiil collapsed during it. By the time of Mehrunes Dagon's plot to gather the Four Amibitions, the Empire of Cyrodiil no longer existed as a power, and its government, the Elder Council, was formerly dissolved.[24][25][26] When Tiber Septim's conquests happened in the Ninth Century of the Second Era, the Empire had long ceased to exist. Cyrodiil was divided between the Nibenese east and Colovian west, and remained so until reunification under the warlord Cuhlecain, whom Tiber Septim served as a general at the time.[27]

Known RulersEdit

Name Born Race Crowned Died, Deposed, Abdicated,
or Office Abolished
Additional Information
Pretenders of the Empire of Cyrodiil during the Interregnum
Attrebus[4] 2E ? Imperial 2E ? 2E ? Expelled the Akaviri from Cyrodiil sometime between 2E 430 and 2E 533.[nb 1]
Many would-be conquerors[8] N/A 2E ? 2E ? Various warlords conquering the Imperial City, none as long-lived as the Longhouse Emperors.
Durcorach "the Black Drake" c. 2E 485[5] Reachman 2E 533[28][5] 2E 541[29][5] or 2E 542[30][31] Reachman Warlord, who conquered Cyrodiil and founded the Longhouse Emperors dynasty.
Moricar "the Middling"[32] 2E 518[5] Reachman 2E 541[29][5] or 2E 542[30][31] 2E 564[5] Son of Durcorach. He was born and raised in the Reach, but received an Imperial education during his father's reign as emperor.
Leovic 2E 542[5] Reachman 2E 564[5][33] 2E 577[5][34] Son of Moricar. Unlike his father and grandfather, he had no experience living outside of Cyrodiil. The third and final member of the Longhouse Emperors dynasty.
Varen Aquilarios 2E 536[UOL 2] Imperial 2E 577[5][34] 2E 579[13][19][nb 2] Colovian Duke of Chorrol, who overthrew Leovic at the end of the Colovian Revolt.
Empress Regent[35] Clivia Tharn 2E ? Imperial 2E 579[13][8][19][nb 2] 2E 582[36] Consort of Leovic and Varen Aquilarios. She was disposed of prior to 2E 582 and was replaced with Molag Kena. However, she may not have been killed when she was replaced.[37]
Unknown (many) N/A 2E 580[19] 2E ? Pretenders of the Three Banners War.[nb 3] One of these Emperors was a soldier from the First Aldmeri Dominion, who ascended to the Ruby Throne after his victory at the Battle of Chalman Keep.[39]
Unknown N/A Kamal[4] 2E ? before 2E 812[4] At least one Kamal Usurper.[nb 4]
Cuhlecain  ? 2E 854[40][nb 5] 2E 854[40] King of Falkreath, who conquered and unified Cyrodiil. Assassinated by an uncertain perpetrator.[nb 6]
Tiber Septim 2E 828[41] 2E 854[40] 2E 896[42][43] General of Cuhlecain. Founded the Third Empire and Septim Dynasty.


  1. ^ It is unknown when the warlord Attrebus gained the Imperial Throne during the Interregnum. The Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition, establishes that Attrebus' reign occurred prior to the city of Rimmen's secession from Elsweyr in 2E 812, and the book mentions that the Akaviri were expelled from Cyrodiil by Attrebus during his reign and that they later settled in the Rim Territories in Elsweyr. The Rim-men already existed by 2E 582, and since every Emperor from 2E 533 to 2E 582 is known, this means that Attrebus could have only reigned sometime during the period from the assassination of Savirien-Chorak in 2E 430 to the accession of Durcorach the Black Drake in 2E 533.
  2. ^ a b The Chronicles of the Five Companions and The Chorrol Crier state that Varen Aquilarios disappeared in 2E 579, while Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch states that Varen Aquilarios disappeared in 2E 578. More sources use 2E 579 as the year of Varen's disappearance, so this year can be presumed to be more accurate.
  3. ^ During the Three Banners War, when each alliance gained control of the keeps around the Imperial City, they would crown a figurehead Emperor from among their warriors. These Emperors' reigns were extremely short-lived and their names have been lost to history.[38]
  4. ^ At some point prior to 2E 812, the remnants of the defeated Kamal army that invaded Tamriel in 2E 572 seized the Imperial Throne from the successors of the warlord Attrebus. This suggests that at least one Kamal ruled as Emperor for a time.
  5. ^ Cuhlecain proclaimed himself emperor upon capturing the Imperial City, but he was assassinated before he could be formally crowned. His successor, Tiber Septim, later honored Cuhlecain as "Emperor Zero".
  6. ^ Who was responsible for the assassination of Cuhlecain is controversial. The Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition states that Cuhlecain was assassinated by a nightblade from the Western Reach, while The Arcturian Heresy states that Tiber Septim assassinated Cuhlecain and covered it up by claiming that a nightblade from the Western Reach was actually behind the assassination.[40][41]


  1. ^ True Heirs of the EmpireErystera Ligen
  2. ^ Knights of the Dragon
  3. ^ Empress Regent Clivia Tharn's dialogue in ESO
  4. ^ a b c d Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Elsweyr ConfederacyImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Secret History of the Longhouse EmperorsCouncilor Vandacia
  6. ^ Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch — His Majesty King Emeric
  7. ^ a b c Eulogy for Emperor VarenLord Abnur Tharn, Chancellor of the Elder Council
  8. ^ a b c d e Chronicles of the Five Companions 4Abnur Tharn
  9. ^ Khali's dialogue in ESO
  10. ^ The Frostfall CoupTandemen, Sapiarch of Foreign Observations
  11. ^ Prefect Calo’s Dialogue in ESO
  12. ^ Forge-Mother Alga's Dialogue in ESO
  13. ^ a b c d Chronicles of the Five Companions 1Lyris Titanborn
  14. ^ a b The Chim-el AdabalMannimarco
  15. ^ Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch — His Majesty King Emeric
  16. ^ The Order of the Black WormEvoker Brucille
  17. ^ Breaking the Cycle of TyrannyAlla Llaleth
  18. ^ True Heirs of the EmpireErystera Ligen
  19. ^ a b c d The Chorrol Crier
  20. ^ a b Events of Elder Scrolls Online
  21. ^ Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
  22. ^ Yours for the Taking!Catonius Libo, Aide-de-Camp to General Lavinia Axius
  23. ^ The Halls of Colossus quest in ESO
  24. ^ Captain Rian Liore's dialogue in ESO
  25. ^ Councilor Lovidicus's dialogue in ESO
  26. ^ Legate Tebeza-ko's dialogue in ESO
  27. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Seat of Sundered Kings: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  28. ^ History of Markarth: A Story in StoneConsul Cardea, the Ard's Administrator
  29. ^ a b Triumphs of a Monarch, Ch. 3 — His Majesty King Emeric
  30. ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the MountainsFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  31. ^ a b Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
  32. ^ The Wolf of SolitudePjetr the Skald, of the Bards College
  33. ^ Secrets of Moricar the InheritorDevastator Irenian Dast
  34. ^ a b Arvnir's dialogue in The Elder Scrolls Online: Harrowstorm
  35. ^ House Tharn of NibenayCount Opius Voteporix
  36. ^ Events of Planemeld Obverse in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  37. ^ Sister Terran Arminus' dialogue in The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial City
  38. ^ Chancellor Abnur Tharn Answers Your Questions 2Chancellor Abnur Tharn
  39. ^ Those Who Stood at Chalman Keep
  40. ^ a b c d Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  41. ^ a b The Arcturian HeresyThe Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
  42. ^ Brief History of the Empire v 1Stronach k'Thojj III
  43. ^ Tamriel's Timeline, The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.