Sancre Tor (or Golden Hill) is a large fort in the Jerrail Mountains, north of in the province of Cyrodiil. It has held a degree of strategic and theological importance throughout the history of the various Empires of Tamriel, first under the Alessian Order and then as the resting place of the Reman Dynasty of emperors.
By the time of the Elder Scrolls games, the site had been sealed by the Blades, and was nothing but a series of catacombs.
Alessian Empire Edit
Sancre Tor was allegedly where the Slave-Queen Alessia received the divine inspiration for her rebellion. At this time it was ruled by an Ayleid king known as Haromir of Copper and Tea, slain in single combat by Pelinal Whitestrake during the uprising. Following the establishment of the Alessian Empire, Sancre Tor became the focus of the new administration, thanks to both its theological significance to the Alessian Order and the wealth of its mines. Following the collapse of the Alessian Order in the War of Righteousness, Sancre Tor was no longer the centre of the Empire but remained a prominent fortress and religious centre.
Reman Empire Edit
The Reman empire's founding myth states that King Hrol had a vision of Alessia at Sancre Tor, and there made love to the spirit of Alessia or the hillock itself, dying of his labours next to a mound of mud. From this mound was born Reman Cyrodiil, with the Chim el-Adabal embedded in his forehead.
This account states that this is where Sancre Tor got its name, but this is unlikely given the earlier prominence of the city during the Alessian period.
Reman Cyrodiil is credited in one account with restoring Sancre Tor to prominence to a large degree, by declaring it his tomb and the tomb of his heirs. Reman did so as part of a claim to trace his line back to Alessia, who was also alledgedly buried at the site. The last of the Reman emperors, Reman III, was buried at Sancre Tor with the Amulet of Kings.
Sancre Tor was the site where received the divine inspiration for her , and would later found a city. During the uprising, it was also where slew the king in single combat. Sancre Tor has lain in ruins since the beginning of the , and the surrounding region is virtually uninhabited. Now all communications with the north are through the passes at and , and Sancre Tor's citadel and underpassages have become the refuge of various savage goblin tribes.
With the decline of the , the seat of religious rule of Cyrodiil moved south to the , but Sancre Tor remained a mountain fortress and major religious center until the rise of the . In 2E 852 the city was suffering under one of the periodic occupations by Skyrim and invaders. King sent his new general, , to recapture the city and expel the northern invaders. During his siege Sancre Tor was destroyed and abandoned. Realizing the strategic weakness of the site, General Talos, later , resolved to abandon Sancre Tor, and during his reign, no attempt was made to rebuild the city or the citadel.
During the , General Talos is said to have recovered the from the tomb of . Theologians ascribe the long centuries of political and economic turmoil following the collapse of the to the loss of the Amulet of Kings, and associate the renaissance of the in the Third Era with Tiber Septim's recovery of the Amulet from Reman III's tomb. The ruins of Sancre Tor were later corrupted by the , prompting them to be sealed shut by the Grandmaster of the in the 38th year of Tiber Septim's reign.
Economic conditions Edit
Sancre Tor's mines provided some wealth, but the poor soils and harsh climate of the remote mountain site meant it must be supplied with food and goods from the Heartlands. Further, located in one of the few passes through the Jeralls, its fortunes were subject to the instability of relations with . When relations were good with Skyrim, it prospered through trade and alliance. When relations were bad with Skyrim, it was vulnerable to siege and occupation by the .
Alessian historians asserted that Sancre Tor was magically concealed and defended by the gods. Records of Sancre Tor's repeated defeats and occupations by northern invaders gives the lie to this assertion. The entrance to the citadel was indeed concealed by sorcery, and the citadel and its labyrinthine subterranean complex were defended by magical traps and illusions, but their secrets were betrayed to besieging Nords by the Breton enchanters who crafted them.
During the Edit
, a revered warrior who lived during the and a member of the , hid the within the Sancre Tor to prevent the legendary Worm King , at the time also a member of the Five Companions, from using it for his treacherous and evil goals.
After recovering from his experience in the Halls of Torment, Sai guided the towards the Amulet of Kings.
During the Edit
In the closing days of the third era, the was sent by to recover the in order to complete the ritual to gain entry to 's . He was warned by that the tomb had become evil long ago, and the warning was correct: infested both the surface and subterranean ruins. The Hero entered the ruins and discovered that the , , had ensnared four of 's Blades, cursing them to guard the tombs forever as skeletal beings. The Hero was able to defeat them and, with the assistance of their ghosts, removed the Underking's influence and recovered the Armor of Tiber Septim.
One enduring feature of the legend of Sancre Tor is the ancient tombs of the Reman Emperors. Following the defeat of the invaders, Sancre Tor enjoyed a brief resurgence of wealth and culture under Reman Cyrodiil and his descendants, and . Tracing his ancestry to St. Alessia, and following the tradition that St. Alessia was buried in the catacombs beneath Sancre Tor, Reman built splendid funerary precincts in the depths of the ancient citadel underpassages. Here the last Reman Emperor, Reman III, was buried in his tomb with the Amulet of Kings.