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For thirty-eight years, the Emperor Tiber Septim reigned, bequeathing the throne of Tamriel to his grandson Pelagius on his deathbed. The Septim family, occasionally inclusive of adopted and married members, has ruled ever since.
Within a few generations, however, the family had begun to develop rivalries and jealousies which exploded into a civil war in the year 3E 120. The War of the Red Diamond ended with the death of Uriel III and his mother Queen Potema of Solitude, but its reverberations may still be felt today. The unity of the Empire was never again to be assumed.
The Emperors who followed, such as the Sheogorath-kissed Pelagius Septim III, yielded to the authority of the Elder Council to keep some semblance of order in the land. It was only too evident what occurs when the Empire tried to maintain unity without a strong leader. In the most horrible example, the people of Valenwood, the Colovian West, and Hammerfell suffered under the depredations of the Camoran Usurper, whose undead and daedric hordes ravaged the land for nearly twenty years before his defeat in 3E 267.
The Empress Morihatha brought a change in the rulers of Tamriel, who ever since have been notably stronger and more capable. This strong central power has not meant that the last one hundred and twenty years have been the most peaceful in Tamriel's history, utterly devoid of bloodshed, but merely that the wars and troubles of the recent past are tame in comparison to the utter violence and wreckage of the past.
The most famous trouble of recent years came early in the reign of Emperor Uriel Septim VII. By wile and sorcery, his trusted battlemage Jagar Tharn imprisoned and impersonated his liege. The ten years that Tharn reigned, the so-called Imperial Simulacrum, was a time when old troubles resurfaced, forgotten grudges rekindleded, and wars flared throughout the land. In the east, Morrowind attacked Black Marsh in the Arnesian War; in the north, Skyrim battled High Rock and Hammerfell in the War of Bend'r-Mahk; in the south, Elsweyr took arms against Valenwood in the Five Year War; and in the west, Valenwood lost land to its former ally Summerset in the War of the Blue Divide.
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