|Emperor Cephorus Septim II|
|Previous Ruler||Uriel IV|
|Next Ruler||Uriel V|
Cephorus Septim II was the sixteenth monarch of the Septim Dynasty, the former ruling family of the Third Empire. He was preceded by his cousin, Uriel IV, and was succeeded by his son, Uriel V. Cephorus II is noted in history as the first non-Breton or the first to not spend any point of their childhood in High Rock. The Emperor was of Nordic descent and was given his position by the Elder Council, which placed him in direct opposition to his cousin and son of Uriel IV, Andorak. Cephorus II's reign was marked by constant conflict and open rebellion across the Empire, some of which outlasted his reign. The greatest evil to come out of his tenure was the Camoran Usurper, and his conquest across west Tamriel.
Cephorus II was a Nordic[nb 1] nobleman with sympathies from Skyrim and Morrowind, and because of his background, he was detested by the Bretons of High Rock. Before he was Emperor, his predecessor, Uriel Lariat IV was always in conflict with the Elder Council, because despite the fact he was legally adopted into the Septim family, he was not a descendant of Tiber Septim's bloodline. In the end, Uriel IV's son, Andorak was disinherited from the throne by the will of the council, and the position was passed in 3E 247 to Cephorus II, who was more closely related to the line.
From the start, Cephorus II's reign was marked with conflict and dysfunctionality. Andorak gathered his loyalists and started a civil war against the Empire, but only a year later, Cephorus II's attention was focused on another problem, one that Eraintine described as "from out of a cimmerian nightmare". Haymon Camoran had built an army of daedra and undead, and slowly conquered western Tamriel, from his homeland of Valenwood, all the way up the Abecean Sea and into the Iliac Bay. And amidst the conflict, other people such as Torradan ap Dugal saw the opportunity to wreak havoc across the Empire. Cephorus II's efforts to quash the Camoran Usurper were futile and only made it worse as kingdoms fell by the second. He sent a lot of mercenaries to Hammerfell during his northward march, but they were either brided or slaughtered and then raised as undead. One of the biggest losses in this time was the Battle of Dragontooth in 3E 253,:8 but three years later, Cephorus II relinquished the Kingdom of Shornhelm to Andorak in 3E 256, which ended their feud. Eraintine described this act as "Tiber Septim's heart beating no more".
Over time, the Usurper's undead and daedra were slowly replaced by the races of his conquered territories, mainly Bosmer and Redguards. And while news of his conquests had reached High Rock ahead of time, the Bretons did not prepare for his invasion until a year later. Not only were the major kingdoms in the Iliac Bay unsuitable to defend against his armies, but the Bretons' disdain for Emperor Cephorus II led to their sympathies to the Usurper, whom they viewed as his archfoe. It took the combined forces of Dwynnen, Kambria, Phrygias, and Ykalon, led by the first Baron of Dwynnen, Othrok to defeat the Usurper in 3E 267. In the end, Cephorus II took no credibility in the Usurper's demise, and instead, his lack of assistance brought increased hostility toward the ineffective Empire. That, however, was soon mended by Cephorus II's son and successor, Uriel Septim V, who garnered a warrior's reputation reminiscent of his ancestor, Tiber Septim.
As stated before, Uriel V's reign reinforced the people's trust in the Third Empire, but open rebellions and insurrections from Cephorus II's reign went unchallenged for many years, until the reign of his granddaughter, Morihatha. The Empress had inherited a tightly kept Empire from her half-brother Uriel VI, and slowly but surely brought those vassal kingdoms back under her wing. By the time Pelagius IV was well into his reign, Tamriel was closer to unity than it had been since Uriel I.
- The Fall of the Usurper — Palaux Illthre
- Brief History of the Empire v 4 — Stronach k'Thojj III
- Brief History of the Empire v 3 — Stronach k'Thojj III
- The Refugees — Geros Albreigh
- Cap'n Dugal's Journal, Part 2 — Captain Torradan ap Dugal
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Ra Gada: Hammerfell — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
- The Madness of Pelagius — Tsathenes