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Empress Katariah
LO-misc-Katariah figurehead.jpg
Figurehead depicting Empress Katariah
Race Dunmer Gender Female
Died 3E 200
Black Marsh
Reign 3E 153-
3E 200
Previous Ruler Pelagius III
Next Ruler Cassynder
Resided in Vvardenfell
Imperial City

Katariah Ra'athim (also enumerated as Katariah I)[1][2] was the thirteenth empress of the Septim Dynasty. Katariah's forty-six-year reign was one of the most celebrated in Tamriel's history, and she was popular with the common people.[2] She was preceded by her husband, Pelagius III, and was succeeded by her son, Cassynder.[2]


Early LifeEdit

The Katariah, ship of Emperor Titus Mede II, named after Empress Katariah

Katariah was a member of the prominent Ra'athim Clan of Ebonheart.[1] At some point prior to 3E 141, she was appointed Duchess of Vvardenfell.[3] In 3E 141, on the orders of Emperor Magnus Septim, Katariah was married to the Emperor's son, Pelagius Septim, King of Solitude, who was known for his eccentric behavior.[1][3] Magnus arranged the marriage of Katariah to Pelagius to try and cement relations with Ebonheart, the seat of power for the Ra'athim Clan.[1] Magnus also arranged the marriage because he hoped that Katariah, who was both a shrewd diplomat and beautiful, would hide the madness of Pelagius.[1]

Empress Consort and Empress RegentEdit

On the 8th of Second Seed, 3E 145, Emperor Magnus died quietly in his sleep.[1][3][4] Jolethe, Pelagius' sister, took over the throne of Solitude, and Katariah and Pelagius rode to the Imperial City, where her husband was crowned Emperor Pelagius Septim III.[2][1][4] A legend holds that at her husband's coronation, he fainted when the Red Dragon Crown was placed on his head, but Katariah held him up so only those closest to the Ruby Throne could see what had happened.[1]

Due to Pelagius III's madness, Katariah and the Elder Council made all the decisions and tried to keep Pelagius from embarrassing everyone.[1] In 3E 147, Pelagius began biting and attacking visitors to the Imperial Palace, so he was sent to a private asylum, and Katariah was proclaimed Empress Regent.[1][2][5] Shortly after Pelagius was committed, Katariah visited his cell, and she became pregnant with Pelagius' child.[1] She later gave birth to their son, Cassynder.[1][2] Due to her pregnancy occurring shortly after Pelagius was sent away, there were rumors of infidelity, but Katariah proved that her pregnancy came about after her visit to Pelagius' cell.[1] There were also absurd rumors that the Emperor was actually sane and that she was part of a conspiracy to keep him locked away.[1] In 3E 153, Pelagius died on a warm night in Sun's Dawn after a brief fever in his cell at the Temple of Kynareth on the Isle of Betony, and Katariah was officially crowned Empress of Tamriel.[1][2][4]

Empress of TamrielEdit

Some consider the accession of Katariah to be the end of the Septim bloodline.[2] While Katariah was not a blood relative of the Septims, the father of her son Cassynder was Pelagius III, which meant that her successor Cassynder was a blood descendant of Tiber Septim.[2][6] After the death of Pelagius, she took a Breton nobleman named Gallivere Lariat as her imperial consort.[2][6] With Gallivere, Katariah had her second son, Uriel.[1][2][6] Katariah was uncomfortable in the Imperial City, so she traveled extensively throughout the Empire, more than any emperor had since the days of Tiber Septim.[2] She repaired many of the broken alliances and poor diplomatic relations caused by previous emperors.[2]

During her reign, Katariah appointed Jovron Direnni as the first Imperial Battlemage since the days of Tiber Septim.[7][8] Jovron assisted the Empress in creating peace during the tumultuous moments of her reign.[7] Katariah faced opposition from the Elder Council, and the Council assumed much greater authority and responsibility during her reign.[9][6][8] One member of the Elder Council, Thane Minglumire, Duke of Vengheto, took a particular delight in exposing Katariah's lack of practical knowledge.[9] The people of Tamriel purportedly came to love her far more than the nobility did.[2]

After a massacre of Imperial troops outside the village of Armanias in Black Marsh, Katariah and the Elder Council discussed which armorer should receive the commission to design the armor and weaponry for the Imperial legionaries being sent to quell the unrest in Black Marsh.[9] Katariah favored a clever armorer that she had met in Vivec City, the former slave Hazadir, while the Elder Council favored the finest armorer in the Imperial City, Sirollus Saccus.[9] After much debate, it was decided to have both armorers outfit a champion for a duel, and whichever armorer outfitted the winner of the duel would receive the commission.[9] Katariah's champion, Nandor Beraid, was outfitted by Hazadir, and the other champion, Raphalas Eul, was outfitted by Sirollus Saccus.[9][10] In the duel, Nandor Beraid defeated Raphalas Eul, so Hazadir received the commission.[9]

In 3E 200, Katariah was killed in a minor skirmish in Black Marsh, and she was succeeded by her son, Cassynder.[nb 1][1][2][4] Katariah's death is a favorite topic of conspiracy-minded historians.[2] The sage Montalius later discovered that a disenfranchised branch of the Septim family was involved in the skirmish, which came as quite a revelation.[2]


  • 1  Both Brief History of the Empire and The Madness of Pelagius put the length of Katariah's reign at forty-six years, and The Third Era Timeline puts her death in 3E 200. A possible explanation of the stated length of Katariah's reign by Brief History of the Empire and The Madness of Pelagius could be that Katariah's reign began in late 3E 153 but ended in early 3E 200, meaning that her reign may have in reality lasted forty-six years and some months, but not quite forty-seven years.
  • Emperor Titus Mede II's personal ship was named after Empress Katariah.[11][12]

See AlsoEdit