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Lore:Longhouse Emperors

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The souls of the Longhouse Emperors, imprisoned in the Deadlands

The Longhouse Emperors were a dynasty of Reachmen who seized the Ruby Throne and ruled the Empire of Cyrodiil for a period of forty-four years during the Interregnum.[1][2] Regarded as eccentric at best and utterly alien at worst by Cyrodiil's populace, the Longhouse Emperors' reign began when Durcorach the Black Drake and his warriors conquered Cyrodiil in 2E 533, a feat believed to have been made possible with the aid of sympathetic Imperial nobles and secret Daedra worshipers who struck a deal with Mehrunes Dagon.[3][2] In an effort to solidify his tenuous claim to the throne, Durcorach married Veraxia Tharn of the prominent Tharn family of Nibenay in 2E 534, and also appointed a new Elder Council.[4][2] Durcorach eventually met his end while leading an army of Reachmen in an invasion of High Rock in 2E 541; after raiding several cities, Durcorach's army was broken outside Daggerfall, and the Longhouse Emperor himself was slain by Emeric of Cumberland.[5]

Moricar the Middling,[6] Durcorach's son, succeeded him at the age of 23.[7][2] Moricar had been born and raised in the Reach like his father, but had spent his teenage years under Imperial tutelage and was said to better understand Cyrodilic culture.[8] In 2E 563, Moricar launched an invasion of Western Skyrim.[2] Accounts of the campaign differ. In one, Moricar remained in the Imperial City rather than lead the army as his father would have. This decision likely spared his life, as his forces were humiliatingly routed in a single battle by the army of High King Svargrim, but he was consequently lambasted as a coward by Western Skyrim's bards.[6] In another account, Moricar led his troops to the gates of Solitude before Svargrim's army attacked in overwhelming numbers. Moricar was gravely wounded in the battle and returned to Cyrodiil, where Imperial and Reach healers were only able to keep him alive until the following year.[2]

In 2E 564,[9][10][2] Durcorach's grandson Leovic inherited the Ruby Throne. Following suit with his grandfather by marrying a Tharn, Clivia, Leovic's reign was initially only marked by the emperor's peculiar behaviors, which the Cyrodilic nobility blamed on his Reachman upbringing.[4][11] Eventually, however, Leovic crossed the line when he legalized Daedra worship, allegedly at the behest of corrupt advisors, and consequently drew the ire of many nobles who had once been counted among his supporters.[11] One of these erstwhile supporters, Duke Varen Aquilarios of Chorrol, marshaled the armies of the Colovian Estates and led them against Leovic in open rebellion from 2E 576 to 2E 577.[12][2] In the end, Leovic was killed by Varen in the Imperial Throne Room, and the era of the Longhouse Emperors came to a close.[1][4] Durcorach's line was survived by his kin in the Reach, the Blackdrake Clan, and after Leovic's demise, the clan's chieftainship was claimed by Caddach, a cousin who had been installed as the Imperial Governor of Markarth by Moricar.[13]

One triumph of the dynasty's reign was the opportunistic annexation of Riverhold and Orcrest in northern Elsweyr by the Legion of the West Weald under General Lavinia Axius. 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.[14] Under the rule of the Longhouse Emperors, Cyrodiil also controlled land as far as the Wrothgarian Mountains.[15]

Longhouse Emperors used crests with antler imagery.[16]


Name Born Race Crowned Died
Durcorach the Black Drake ~2E 485[2] Reachman 2E 533[2] 2E 541[5] or 2E 542[17]
Moricar the Middling 2E 518[2] Reachman 2E 541[5][2] or 2E 542[17] 2E 564[2]
Leovic 2E 542[2] Reachman 2E 564[2] 2E 577[2]

The table to the left shows the birth and regnal dates of the emperors. The chart below details the lineage of the Longhouse Emperors in the first-degree only. All unknown individuals and dates are noted with the inclusion of "???". A † symbol next to a date of death indicates that the death was not natural. Names in bold indicate ruling emperors.

References are given in the usual style, but notes are also provided for cases where calculation or inference are involved, or where contradictions exist.

Veraxia Tharn
2E ??? - 2E ???
Durcorach the Black Drake
~2E 485 - 2E 541†
2E ??? - 2E ???
2E 525 - 2E 582†
Moricar the Middling
2E 518 - 2E 564†
2E ??? - 2E ???
Camhain Tharn
2E ??? - 2E ???
2E 5?? - 2E ???
Mairead (The Anchorite)
2E 560 - 2E ???
2E 542 - 2E 577†
Clivia Tharn
2E 5?? - 2E ???