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The Third Empire, Septim Empire or Tamrielic Empire was an Empire founded by the conqueror Tiber Septim in the late Second Era. The Septim Dynasty ruled the Third Empire during the Third Era, but the bloodline was extinguished in the Oblivion Crisis; the Mede Dynasty rose to power in the early Fourth Era and has held the Imperial throne ever since.
The Empire's prosperity was the driving force behind the ushering in of the Third Era. Through Tiber Septim conquering of all of Tamriel was the continent able to achieve unity and peace.
Bolstered by centuries of relative peace on the continent of Tamriel, a developed and robust military, and thriving commerce between ethnically diverse provinces, the Third Empire was a leading political, economic, and cultural force on Nirn during its time.
The Potentate Versidue Shaie ruled for 430 years in prosperity that established some traditions of the empire before the last Potentate was assassinated by Morrowind's official assassins guild, the Morag Tong. His successor, also a Tsaesci, was promptly murdered by the Dark Brotherhood, leaving no Akaviri heirs, and officially ending the Second Empire.
An unremarkable series of Emperors would follow over the next four hundred years, until the rise to prominence of the Imperial General Talos Stormcrown, also known as Tiber Septim. Septim commanded the army and navy of Cyrodiil through numerous victories and stalemates, slowly bringing the independent states of Tamriel under his umbrella. Talos' own emperor was assassinated in 2E 854, after which Tiber Septim got crowned Emperor. After his crowning, he started the Tiber Wars. He continued to press his attacks across Tamriel, he enacted a treaty between Cyrodiil and Morrowind to bring the Dunmer province into the Empire as a mostly independent province, in return for the aid of the golem Numidium in defeating remaining opponents. Talos succeeded, and was named Emperor the first Emperor of Tamriel, beginning the Third Era.
The first few in the line of Septim Emperors ruled with relative peace and prosperity, but within 50 years, mismanagement and political infighting became the norm. In more than one case, rivals clashed and connived for the throne. However, said contenders were not always mere rivals, as proven by the War of the Red Diamond, fought among three surviving heirs. Potential kings or queens frequently assaulted the sitting Emperor, or had him assassinated, and the Empire began to lose its grip on several provinces. It would not be until the reign of Uriel Septim V that the lands of Tamriel were reconquered and the Empire prospered once more. Unfortunately, Uriel V also chose to launch an ill-planned invasion of Akavir, where defeat and death awaited him.
The next generations of Septim sovereigns rendered peace, prosperity, and unto Cyrodiil. By the time Pelagius IV was crowned and later succeeded by his son, Uriel VII, the Empire had recovered much of its former strength and glory.
- Main article: Oblivion Crisis
Uriel VII's reign was an overall stable one, but was dotted with occasional strife and near-catastrophe. His Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn, possibly at the urging of Mehrunes Dagon, imprisoned him and ruled in his stead for several years. The Emperor escaped just in time to thwart an attempt by the King of Wayrest to conquer Daggerfall. By the time Dagoth Ur threw Morrowind into crisis, there was talk of the failing health of the Emperor, and concerns over the future of the Empire.
As it turned out, the Emperor's health was not an issue, until an assassin prevented him from fleeing from the Imperial City after learning of the murder of every known heir to the throne. Their murderers, a cult called the Mythic Dawn that served Mehrunes Dagon, were preparing Tamriel for an invasion by the Daedra Lord. Septim's sole, albeit illegitimate heir, Martin, close shut the jaws of Oblivion by metamorphosing into an avatar of Akatosh and defeating Dagon, sacrificing himself for the Empire.
The Empire was left without an heir once more, but this time, with no remaining legitimate Septim heritant. The Elder Council, which had essentially ruled during the periods of the weakest emperors, assumed absolute authority. Many provinces whispered rumors of dissolving the Empire; Black Marsh being the first.
Legacy and declineEdit
- Main article: Mede Dynasty
Unfortunately, ever since the beginning of the Fourth Era, the Septim Empire has undergone heavy changes, both culturally and politically. The death of Martin Septim and the end of the Oblivion Crisis marked the end of the Septim Dynasty, only to be lead by the Mede Dynasty. The province of Black Marsh seceeded from the Empire following the Oblivion Crisis, and Morrowind was largely destroyed, with only the most western portion being ruled by the Dunmer and the south being taken over by the now-independent Argonians. Slowly, the Altmer of the Summerset Isles recreated the Aldmeri Dominion and wasted no time in annexing Valenwood and Elsweyr. The Elder Council continued to rule for fifteen years before the death of Chancellor Ocato, igniting a sanguinary civil war in Cyrodiil. It ended when Colovian warlord Titus Mede I conquered the Imperial City and took over what was left of the Empire.
By the time of the Great War, the Empire was only a shadow of its former self. Only by signing the White-Gold Concordat was the Empire able to survive the Dominion. The concordat lead to the loss of Hammerfell; the southern part of which would have been handed over to the Dominion if not for the Redguard uprising. The northern portion of Hammerfell had been warring with the Dominion-held southern portion until the Second Treaty of Stros M'kai, which declared a truce between the Dominion and Hammerfell, causing the former's forces to withdraw. Included within the concordat was an immediate and thorough banishing of Talos worship, birthing the Stormcloak Rebellion in Skyrim (though many Nords and other Talos-worshiping races now simply worship in secret). After the signing of the White-Gold Concordat, the Aldmeri Dominion's Thalmor agents established an embassy in Skyrim, and have been known to secretly capture and imprison any Nords who question their doctrines or beliefs. The Thalmor Justiciars were sent to Skyrim to enforce the White-Gold Concordat and make sure that the Empire doesn't break it again. Furthermore, the Mede Empire published The Talos Mistake which details Emperor Titus Mede II's personal belief that worshiping Talos is morally wrong and that the decision to ban Talos worship was a decision of his own making and was in no way coerced by the Aldmeri Dominion. According to the publication, the Emperor, and indeed the Empire itself, recognizes that allowing the worship of Talos was a mistake and publicly declares its support of removing Talos worship from Tamriel. All that is left of the Third Empire are the provinces of Morrowind, High Rock, Cyrodiil, and the war-torn province of Skyrim.
A man named Lucius Septimius assassinated Pompey the Great, a roman general and politician, in 48 B.C. This is possibly where the name was inspired from and would tie in with the Empire's roman theme.
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion