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< Lore: People: H
Empress Hestra
Race Unknown Gender Female
Born 1st Era
Previous Ruler Herda
Next Ruler Shor-El
Resided in Cyrodiil

Empress Hestra was the ruler of the Alessian Empire during the First Era,[1] circa 1E 1029. That year, she expanded the imperial territory, admitting High Rock as a province after she defeated King Styriche, the Vampire of Verkarth with the aid of the Bangkorai Garrison.[2][3][4] When the Empress Hestra led her legions in harrying the Vampire King and his Gray Host into western Hammerfell, it's said she did so while riding a great Flame Atronach Bear mount named Fiery Ursula.[5] One of the Gray Host's Exarchs was interested in turning the Empress into a vampire, though that plan was ultimately not realized.[6]

By the year of 1E 1030 the Alessian Empire controlled the Reach, and had to contest with Red Eagle's Rebellion. While in legends it is said that Red Eagle singlehandedly slew an entire Legion before succumbing to his wounds, Imperial Records do show Empress Hestra repeatedly having to suppress rebellions in the region.

During her reign, pirates and brigands used the swampland of Black Marsh as a base for launching attacks on merchants off the southeastern coast of Tamriel. She instigated an aggressive anti-piracy campaign in 1E 1033 that eventually led to the capture of the most infamous pirate, "Red" Bramman.[1] Around the same time as the anti-piracy campaign, Hestra's forces worked to bring the Reach under their heel, leading to her being dubbed the south-born hag by the indigenous people. While many of the various kings in the region surrendered, rebel holdouts still inflicted heavy losses.[7][8][9] Hestra is also known to have improved the road system of her empire, an endeavor continued by the Reman emperors in later centuries.[10]


A powerful class of runestone was apparently named after the empress: "Hestra" stones are found in Cyrodiil, and grant the person who activates them a piece of armor and a weapon for a short period of time. Notably, another series of stones are named after Emperor Reman. One theory for the origin of these stones is that they were devised and placed by the rulers whose names they bear, while another posits that the stones were created much earlier and only moved into their current positions by the rulers.[10]

In addition to being associated with these runestones, Hestra has at least one famous enchanted item associated with her: a Gown of State reputed to be able to repel inimical spells, stave off fatigue and enable levitation at will.[11]


  • Her soul bound to the Amulet of Kings, Hestra witnessed the Dragon Break caused by the Alessian Order and afterwards reported that Cyrodiil became an "Empire across the stars".[12]
  • After her admittance of High Rock into the Empire, Empress Hestra made the nobles of House Dorell barons, a position they maintained for many years.[13]