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< Lore: People: T
Empress Tavia
ON-quest-Partners in Crime.jpg
Tavia's supposed skull
Race Imperial Gender Female
Born 1st Era
Died 1E 2920, 6th of Hearthfire

Tavia was an Imperial noble in the late First Era. She was the last Empress of the Second Empire, the wife of Emperor Reman III and the mother of Prince Juilek. She was famously imprisoned in Castle Giovesse, a fortress in the vicinity of Gideon, for treason, and spent her remaining years undermining her husband's reign.[1]


Tavia was an Imperial noble alive in the latter years of the Reman Dynasty's reign. She came from a wealthy background and had powerful allies in the western Colovian Estates.[2] At some point in time, she married Emperor Reman III, who ascended to the throne in 1E 2877[3], and had a child: the heir apparent Juilek. In her last seventeen years, Reman and Tavia were at each others' throats until they were at an impasse[2] and eventually, Tavia was sent to prison for treason. Her sentence started in 1E 2899[4] and subsequently she was moved from castle to castle until she was placed in Castle Giovesse in 1E 2913.[5][6] The 2920 series[nb 1] explains that Reman III was paranoid over treason and because of this, Tavia and later his mistress, Rijja were accused and punished for this.[7]

Tavia was placed in a lavish tower in the northern part of Castle Giovesse.[8] In prison, she was accompanied by her personal Imperial Guard, the Kothringi knight, Zuuk[5] and spent all her energy there to dethrone her husband and return from exile.[1] Zuuk was believed to be responsible for carrying Tavia's secret missives.[9] Despite her animosity toward the Emperor, Tavia cared deeply for her son Juilek and feared that Reman would possibly view him as a traitor and have him killed.[10]

In late Second Seed, 1E 2920, Tavia made contact with the Morag Tong through Zuuk and assigned them to assassinate the Emperor. Her plan was for the assassin to attack the Emperor's caravan in Dorsza Pass, a road between Morrowind and Black Marsh.[10] In Last Seed, the Empress sent a missive to Prince Juilek, who was stationed in Ald Lambasi to formally end the Four-Score War. The exact contents of the letter are unknown, but the 2920 series claims it hinted at an impending threat, but also warned him about a band of former slaves en route between them. With the treaty signed, Juilek went post-haste to his mother in Gideon and took the Dorsza Pass to cross the province.[2]

Prince Juilek was assassinated in Dorsza Pass and his body was found sometime later. Tavia greatly mourned the loss of her child and committed suicide a few days later. She left a sum of her wealth to Zuuk, who fled the province[11] and paid the Night Mother with gold for Reman III's death later.[12] After her death, a golden, gem-encrusted cranium circulated throughout Tamriel and it was reported to be Tavia's skull. It is called the Giovessen Skull and a rumor spread claiming that the skull was a false relic, originally from a condemned Breton prisoner. However, when Thane Fulstrom of Eastmarch acquired the skull in the mid-Second Era, it was given to the Imperial historian Mercator Mannix to prove its authenticity. It was later confirmed authentic[13] and kept safe in Fulstrom's manor off the coast of Eastmarch. It was soon stolen by the Thieves Guild and taken faraway to their hideout in Abah's Landing.[14] Another item of interest associated with Tavia and circulated throughout Tamriel was her gilded tapestry needle.[15]



  • ^  The authenticity of the historical-fiction series 2920, The Last Year of the First Era wavers between thoroughly researched to mostly fiction. In the book Fire and Darkness, the author Ynir Gorming claims it is generally well-researched.[16] However, the Imperial historian Mercator Mannix states that the 2920 series is mostly fictional in nature but lends credence to the idea that some events in the book were true.[13]
  • It was well-known that Tavia had an Orchid Nixad around as a friend and a companion. These types of nixad are extremely rare and only appeared in places sacred to Dibella.[17]

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