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The First EraEdit
In the First Era, Cyrodiil was home to the Heartland High Elves, also known as the Ayleids. The elves lived mostly in underground cities and controlled central Tamriel with an iron fist. Each city contained a Great Welkynd Stone, precious and extremely valuable artifacts that were almost all plundered by the end of the Third Era. The last stone was discovered by the Hero of Kvatch in the final year of the Third Era. The stone was an essential item to create a ritual to send the Hero of Kvatch to Paradise, where the hero would recover the Amulet of Kings from Mankar Camoran and end the Oblivion Crisis.
After thousands of years, these underground cities slowly became cursed ruins that played host to undead creatures like zombies, skeletons and spectral beings such as ghosts and wraiths. These undead creatures were able guards for defending these ruins from bandits, adventurers and necromancers, looters and anyone else who entered the ruins. The ruins contained many valuable items and treasures such as gold, gems, Varla Stones, Welkynd Stones and many other miscellaneous items, thus attracting bandits and adventurers. Necromancers entered the ruins in search for hideouts to practice the arts of necromancy without detection, especially after necromancy was banned by the Mages Guild at the end of the Third Era.
The Ayleid government was based on an island on Lake Rumare, located in central Cyrodiil. On this island was the Imperial City. The Ayleid government's headquarters was the White-Gold Tower, based in the very center of the city.
The Heartland High Elves kept humans as slaves for many years, forcing them to expand their underground fortified cities and to carry out any task. One human slave, a female named Alessia, thought that the slavery and suffering of humans was wrong and prayed to the chief deity of the Nine Divines, Akatosh, the Dragon God of Time. Alessia asked Akatosh for assistance in a rebellion against the elves. The humans were weaker than the elves and had no suitable tools for battle. To make matters worse for the humans, the elves had an army of Daedra at their side so any human rebellion would fail if attempted.
Akatosh blessed St. Alessia with the dragon blood and made a Covenant that so long as Alessia's generations were true to the dragon blood, Akatosh would endeavor to seal tight the gates of Oblivion, and to deny the armies of Daedra and undead to their enemies, the Daedra-loving Ayleids.
In token of this Covenant, Akatosh gave to Alessia and her descendants the Amulet of Kings and the Eternal Dragonfires of the Imperial City. Thus does Alessia become the first gem in the Cyrodilic Amulet of Kings. The gem is the Red Diamond in the middle of the Amulet. This is the symbol of the Empire and later taken as the symbol of the Septim line. It is surrounded by eight other gems, one for each of the divines.
So long as the Empire shall maintain its worship of Akatosh and his kin, and so long as Alessia's heirs shall bear the Amulet of Kings, Akatosh would maintain a barrier between Tamriel and Oblivion, so that mortals need never again fear the devastating hosts of the Daedra Lords. But if the blood of Alessia's heirs should fail, then the barriers between Tamriel and the Daedric realms will fall.
North of Cyrodiil, in the land of Skyrim, the Nords, lead by King Harald were having a war against the Snow Elves for power over the land of Skyrim. Harald managed to conquer Snow Elves and completely cleared them out of the land, primarily to Cyrodiil and Morrowind. Many other human slaves attempted to do the same to their Ayleid rulers. The Ayleid Government was fractured due to many city-states and Ayleid controlled lands having civil wars over power. A strong minority of Ayleid nobility even sympathized with the Human cause. Alessia used this period of weakness to the Ayleids as a time to launch her attack in Cyrodiil.
Around the year 1E 242, Alessia's rebel army finally struck out at their masters. Pelinal Whitestrake in particular became legendary for his brutal decimation of the Ayleid army. Alessia herself often had to intercede with the divines on his behalf after "the Madness" took him and he committed particularly atrocious acts. The Nordic king to the North wasted little time in joining Alessia's revolt, and the human armies quickly began to drive the Ayleid out of the populated regions of Cyrodiil. The human strategy was to drive the Ayleid inward, towards the White-Gold Tower, forcing the front into increasingly smaller circles around Lake Rumare.
It was during this period, late in the war, that the Ayleid king Umaril was given control of the Ayleid armies. Umaril, like Pelinal and Morihaus, was of a divine bloodline, having an Ayleid mother and a divine father. As such, he was one of the few able to match Pelinal in battle. To further his advantage, Umaril made a deal with the Daedric Lord Meridia, and was granted use of her Aurorans as foot soldiers. Pelinal eventually defeated Umaril, but just barely, and Umaril's spirit escaped to Oblivion where he would wait and return centuries later. The remaining Ayleid kings swarmed down on Pelinal's injured body, tore him into eight pieces, and left his head for Alessia and Morihaus to find.
However, even the death of Pelinal couldn't halt the human revolt. After years of fighting, Alessia's army finally took control of the White-Gold Tower itself, forever ending the reign of the Ayleid in Tamriel. Alessia was named the first Empress in Tamrielic history.
The Second EraEdit
The second era is arguably the most violent time Cyrodiil has ever seen. It was a time when Daedra were everywhere, the first necromancers in Tamriel started to surface, and Cyrodiil became the center of a huge war that caused the fall of the Empire.
The Imperials would be given a Daedric army for them to use in their war efforts. In return, the Emperor allowed for Molag Bal to drag Tamriel into his Daedric realm, Coldharbour. Control over Tamriel would then be given to Mannimarco.
With Daedra flooding into Tamriel, and anchors placed by Molag Bal to drag it into his realm, citizens of Tamriel were angry at the Imperials for their betrayal and corrupt behavior. Very quickly, a huge war broke out involving all of the nine provinces of Tamriel. With this, the Empire soon crumbled. The Imperials still had control of the Daedric army and used it as their main source of defense against the angry mobs that poured into Cyrodiil to fight the Imperials as well as each other. There were three alliances going against the Imperials. These factions tried to crown their own emperor/empress and take over Tamriel for their own and stop the Daedra from being able to enter the realm.