|Emperor Tiber Septim|
|Emperor Tiber Septim|
|Next Ruler||Pelagius Septim|
|Appears in||Redguard, Morrowind, Legends|
- Talos says: Be strong for war. Be bold against enemies and evil, and defend the people of Tamriel. — Ten Commands: Nine Divines
Tiber Septim, also known as General Talos, Hjalti Early-Beard, the Dragonborn, Ysmir and rarely Tiberius,[UOL 1] was a military leader who became one of the most famous figures in Tamrielic history, reigning as Emperor Tiber Septim from 2E 854 to 3E 38. Tiber Septim started his career in service under the Cyrodilic king Cuhlecain, where he was known as General Talos. In this role, he fought to unify Cyrodiil and finally all of Tamriel, an effort that culminated in 2E 896 with the birth of the Third Empire. He declared the onset of the Third Era at the end of the same year.
Tiber Septim ruled for 81 years and is considered by many to be the greatest emperor in history. He gave his name to the lineage of Cyrodilic Emperors known as the Septims. In the centuries following his reign, Tiber became revered as a god, and is worshipped as one of the Nine Divines under the name of Talos, which means "Stormcrown".
The 24th of Mid Year is celebrated as a holiday in Alcaire known as Tibedetha—middle Tamrielic for "Tiber's Day". Alcaire celebrates its most famous native with a great party, though historically, Tiber Septim never returned to his beloved birthplace.
(There are conflicting accounts of Tiber Septim's birthplace, ancestry, and original name. Below are both the officially sanctioned history and the version outlined in The Arcturian Heresy.)
Tiber Septim was born in Atmora under the name Talos, meaning "Stormcrown" in the old Ehlnofey. He spent his youth in Skyrim, where he learned the ancient art of the Tongues as well as the strategies of war from the chieftains there. At the age of 20, he led the invasion of Old Hrol'dan, taking it back from the Witchmen of High Rock, his earliest known military victory.
Soon after, growing storms made it known that the Greybeards were about to speak. As nearby villages were being evacuated, Talos traveled up the mountains the Greybeards called home, where they removed their gags and spoke his name, causing the world to shake. The Greybeards told Talos that he would come to rule Tamriel, but that he must go south to do so. Before he left, he learned the secrets of the high peak winds—the roar of the winter blast, and the warm silk of the summer updrafts. When he descended from the mountains, he came riding the clouds, striding through the air in great boots he claimed were gifts of the Greybeards for his cunning craft and riddling.
Talos became General of the Colovian Estates under King (and later Emperor) Cuhlecain. General Talos met the combined army of Skyrim and High Rock, who were hostile to Cuhlecain, on the field of Sancre Tor. When they saw him use the Thu'um, Skyrim's army joined with Talos, recognizing him as the son of Skyrim and heir to the Empires of Men.
The Bretons of High Rock saw things differently. In 2E 854, a Reachman nightblade managed to kill Emperor Cuhlecain and slit Talos' throat. While the wound did not kill him, he could no longer use the Voice and went on to command Tamriel with a whisper. He took the Cyrodilic name Tiber Septim, as well as "Ysmir, the Dragon of the North", the Nordic Name of Kings. Tiber Septim ruled the Third Empire for the next 81 years, and died in 3E 38.
(This alternate story shares many of the details and events of the official version, but differs in key aspects.)
According to a book that claims it was written by Ysmir Kingmaker, The Arcturian Heresy, Hjalti Early-Beard was born on the island of Alcaire, in High Rock. Amid rumors of a warlord destined to rule Tamriel, he rose to prominence in the service of King Cuhlecain and fought to unify Cyrodiil. The book declares that the true identity of the Underking is the same as the claimed author, Ysmir Kingmaker. Ysmir provided assistance to the young General, but the manner of his assistance is vaguely described. It states that a storm talked all night with Hjalti and deflected arrows while Hjalti shouted down the wall of Old Hrol'dan, where Hjalti was given the name Talos, meaning "Stormcrown", by his men. Notably, the book also refers to Ysmir as "Ysmir, the Grey Wind" and the "Storm of Kyne". After the province was conquered, Hjalti murdered Cuhlecain and his contingent in the Imperial City and blamed the deaths and ensuing blaze on assassins from High Rock. Ysmir continued to aid in Hjalti's conquests, and Hjalti subsequently took the name Tiber Septim, ascending to the Ruby Throne. 
It remains uncertain which version of events, if either, is accurate. Some elements of the Heresy may be true however, going by a soldier who served with Hjalti Early-Beard, who also had the honor of training with him in Alcaire. 
"Some things are universal, shared by all sentient folk of good will," he said. "So the One teaches us. We must unite against the malicious and the brutish, the miscreated -- the Orcs, trolls, goblins, and other worse creatures -- and not strive against one another."—Tiber Septim
According to the orthodox history, Tiber Septim is believed to have been born in 2E 828 in the ancient continent of Atmora. He is also believed to have been of Nordic blood. The identities of his parents are not recorded. The details of his youth are not well known, despite the fact he spent it in Skyrim.
Tiber Septim had one child with an unknown woman, and this child in turn had one son, Pelagius. Some sources have claimed, in apparent error, that Pelagius was Tiber Septim's eldest son rather than his grandson. Late in life, according to other sources, Tiber Septim had an affair with the future Dunmeri Queen Barenziah and had her unborn child aborted.
Tiber Septim worshipped a single god known as the One and revived worship of him during his reign as emperor. He had a famous hatred of Orcs and saw them as lesser beings, denying them citizenship within the Third Empire, which they had been granted in the previous empire under the Akaviri Potentate. Tiber declared the end of the Second Era and the beginning of the Third Era at the end of 2E 896. His reign lasted from 2E 854 until his death in 3E 38, a total of 81 years.
Tiber Septim became associated with several notable artifacts during his lifetime (and, in some cases, beyond). The Totem of Tiber Septim is a powerful but mysterious artifact that can be used by persons of royal blood to control Numidium, a powerful golem that helped Tiber Septim conquer Tamriel. It is believed to have played a crucial role in the Warp in the West.
According to stories out of Morrowind, Tiber Septim appeared to the Nerevarine just before his reconquest of Red Mountain. He was an old man named Wulf that no others could see, and he gave the hero one of his own septims and granted him luck. The levitating Boots of the Apostle are attributed to the Emperor, though they remain veiled in mystery. There is some suggestion that the Nerevarine may also have found them. The Armor of Tiber Septim was recovered from a ruined fort in Cyrodiil for use by Martin Septim in his effort to stop the Oblivion Crisis.
- In the TES V: Skyrim quest The Ghost of Old Hroldan, an ancient ghost repeatedly refers to the defeater of the Witchmen of High Rock as "Hjalti", and makes reference to the time they spent together learning from "the sword masters of Alcaire". While this does not attest to the truth of the account in The Arcturian Heresy over the orthodox version of history, it suggests that Hjalti Early-Beard of Alcaire was an identity that Tiber Septim used at one point.
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Brief History of the Empire v 1 — Stronach k'Thojj III
- Varieties of Faith... — Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
- The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
- Holidays in Daggerfall
- Events of Skyrim
- Lalatia Varian's dialogue in Morrowind
- Ghost of Old Hroldan's dialogue in Skyrim
- Brief History of the Empire — Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian
- The Real Barenziah — Plitinius Mero
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Wild Regions — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- The Warp in the West — Ulvius Tero
- Tamrielic Lore — Yagrum Bagarn
Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.