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Emperor Durcorach
ON-trailer-Deadlands and Damnation-Durcorach.jpg
Durcorach the Black Drake
Race Reachman Gender Male
Born 2E 485
The Reach
Died 2E 542
Reign 2E 533-
2E 542
Previous Ruler Attrebus
Next Ruler Moricar
Resided in The Reach
Imperial City
Black Drake Villa
Appears in ESO

Durcorach, known as the "Black Drake", was a Reachman warlord and later the Emperor of Cyrodiil during the Interregnum. After gaining control of the Reach, he raised an army and conquered the Empire of Cyrodiil, where he reigned as the first emperor of the Longhouse Emperors dynasty, while his kin and allies in the Reach founded the Blackdrake Clan.[1][2] Durcorach was succeeded as emperor by his son, Moricar.[1]


Early Life and Rise to Power[edit]

Tagh Droiloch

According to a hagiography commissioned by Durcorach, on the night of his birth around 2E 485,[1] a great comet blazed across the sky, and "seven sevens of silver swans" flew over his mother's shelter in the snowy mountains of the Reach.[3] All who beheld the infant were said to be "struck by the strong beauty of his young face, with eyes so dark and fierce that great warriors could not bear to meet his gaze".[3] He was raised in the challenging wilderness of the Reach, which taught him "the value of courage, honor, endurance, and wisdom".[3] The hagiography continues to describe his early life: At the age of three, a young Durcorach allegedly saved his mother's life by seizing his father's hunting spear and instantly slaying a great black bear that had already devoured twenty men.[3] At the age of five, he saved his village from starving in a harsh winter by hunting a herd of "a hundred elk from Karthwasten to the high peaks of the Druadach Mountains".[3] On his seventh birthday, a tribe of giants invaded the peaceful pastures where his people kept their flocks, and he somehow managed to beat them back.[3]

Durcorach was known for his imposing stature, savage temper, and prowess with both blades and magic.[4][5][1] By the time he was in his late twenties, he had become the chieftain of his clan.[1] In 2E 518, Durcorach's son, Moricar, was born.[1] Durcorach soon became an exceptionally strong and clever chieftain, and in 2E 527, he began building a following in the Reach.[5] His growing power caught the attention of the Tagh Droiloch, a witch-men coven, and he allied with them, and he subdued all rival clans with their help through means involving Daedric bargains.[5][6] By 2E 528, he was a warlord in command of over two thousand soldiers, which rose to ten thousand by 2E 529.[5][1]

Around this time, Imperial nobles and secret Daedra worshipers within the Empire who were supportive of Durcorach brokered a deal with Mehrunes Dagon to have Durcorach crowned Emperor of Cyrodiil.[1][7] The terms of the deal were that Mehrunes Dagon would assist Durcorach in being crowned emperor; in exchange, Durcorach would ensure that four Ambitions were born under the specific signs and circumstances described in the Mysterium Xarxes, and upon their completion, Mehrunes Dagon would "claim his due".[7][8]

Conquest of Cyrodiil and Emperor of Cyrodiil[edit]

Bas-relief depicting Durcorach's conquest of Cyrodiil

By 2E 529, Durcorach and his army were in control of the Reach, having subdued the rival Reachfolk clans, so Durcorach set his sights beyond the Reach and had his army begin marching south towards Cyrodiil.[1][5] On the march south, Durcorach claimed victories and territory beyond the Reach.[1] In 2E 533, Durcorach and his horde of Reachmen conquered Cyrodiil, and Durcorach was crowned Emperor of Cyrodiil.[9][1][5] The Tagh Droiloch disappeared soon after the conquest, but there were suspicions that Durcorach's sorcerers, Baarselg, Faoshor, and Old Wunagh, were members of the coven.[5]

On 1 Sun's Dawn, 2E 534, Emperor Durcorach reappointed, appointed, and dismissed members of the Elder Council.[10][1] Grand Chancellor Abnur Tharn, Councilor Itinia, and Councilor Velan Sophus were reappointed to the Elder Council; Tarnian Lovidicus, Ertus Vandacia, Pheomas Lucasta, and Kelgan the Taker of Teeth were appointed; and Councilor Orlandus Plavi, Councilor Hestraia Silan, Councilor Martiax Granciola, and Councilor Sergan Euraphus were dismissed.[10] Tarnian Lovidicus was also made Chief Councilor upon his appointment to the Elder Council.[10]

In 2E 534, Durcorach married Veraxia Tharn, of the prominent Nibenese Tharn family, to reinforce his commitment to the Empire and to legitimize his claim to the Ruby Throne.[1][11] He attempted to embrace the Imperial culture during his reign and attempted to merge Reach sensibilities with Imperial culture in an effort to win more support in Cyrodiil.[1] Durcorach tried to hold his Imperial court in a way similar to that of prior Cyrodilic emperors, as he wanted to carry himself as an Imperial.[12] He demanded to be taught the proper procedures and protocols of the Imperial Court, and while he tried hard to carry himself as an Imperial, it is said to have brought him unease and frustration, and he was never able to truly understand Imperial culture.[12] He also appointed Imperial tutors to educate his son, Moricar, which allowed Moricar to understand Imperial culture in a way Durcorach never could.[1][12]

At some point during his reign, Durcorach ordered an estate, called Black Drake Villa, built on the Gold Coast.[13][14] Durcorach stored many of the items he acquired during his conquests at Black Drake Villa.[14] The Gold Coast was later noted as a retreat for the Longhouse Emperors.[15]

Invasion of High Rock[edit]

Durcorach did not wish to rest on his past victories and began planning another campaign to capture more territory for the Empire.[1] In 2E 541[16] or 2E 542,[17] the Emperor led a horde of Reachmen through Craglorn into the mountains east of the region of Bangkorai, which allowed his forces to bypass the Bangkorai Garrison, and Durcorach's horde descended from the mountains along the south shore of the Bjoulsae River.[1][18][19] The Reachfolk horde laid siege to Evermore, which fell after only three days of besiegement, and the Reachmen then sacked the city.[20][16][17] A breed of wolves known as Black Drake Howlers were among the first creatures to storm Evermore when the Reachmen's attack broke through the city's walls.[21] To the north of Evermore, Durcorach's forces attacked and burned the village of Murcien's Hamlet.[22][23] After sacking Evermore, the Reachfolk horde marched south, and the Reachmen began assaults on the walls of the Bangkorai Garrison.[19][24] Durcorach sent wave after wave of Reach warriors against the walls of the garrison, but after five months of daily slaughter at the gates, the Reachmen and the Knights of Saint Pelin were at a stalemate, so Durcorach and his forces decided to retreat from the Bangkorai Garrison.[24][19] Undeterred by the failure to capture the garrison, Durcorach and his forces once again bypassed the Bangkorai Garrison and marched south and besieged Hallin's Stand, which held out longer than Evermore, but eventually the Reachmen breached the city walls and the city was sacked.[16][4]

Within days of sacking Hallin's Stand, Durcorach and his forces crossed the Bjoulsae and quickly overran much of the region of Stormhaven, and the Reachmen began besieging the well-fortified settlements of Wayrest and the Alcaire Castle.[16][25] The Siege of Wayrest lasted for fifty-seven days, during which the Bretons of Stormhaven manned the walls and repulsed the assaults by the Reachmen.[16][26] The Black Drake's forces were unable to breach the city walls due to a lack of siege engines, and they could not reduce the city to starvation due to a lack of ships to blockade the harbor.[16] Having grown impatient due to this stalemate, Durcorach left enough troops in the revetments around Wayrest's walls to keep the defenders bottled up inside the city, and he marched west to the region of Glenumbra.[16][1]

In Glenumbra, the Reachfolk horde took Camlorn by surprise, and upon capturing the city, it was sacked.[16][18] After Camlorn was sacked, the Emperor and his forces set their sights towards Daggerfall to the south.[16] When his forces arrived at Daggerfall, they massed before the city gates, and then they began investing the city.[16][26] While his forces were investing Daggerfall, Emeric of Cumberland, in command of the Menevia Heavy Dragoons, executed an attack on the rear of Durcorach's ranks, taking them by surprise.[16][1][26] In the ensuing battle, Emeric sought out and struck down Emperor Durcorach himself.[16][1][26] After Durcorach's death, the Knights of the Dragon, led by King Bergamot, launched a sortie against the Reachmen, and the Reachmen were completely routed.[16][26]

His son Moricar, already a vital advisor to the throne, declared himself Emperor as soon as news of his father's death reached him in the Imperial City.[1] One of Moricar's first acts as Emperor was to negotiate peace with High Rock, as he considered the invasion to be his father's quagmire and did not want it to become his own, and he recognized the newly formed Daggerfall Covenant, which was formed in response to Durcorach's invasion.[12][18][26] Upon his death, Durcorach's soul was sent to the Deadlands.[27]

See Also[edit]




  • Durcorach had a warhound named Elf-Biter,[28] and a female Black Drake Howler, a specimen of the breed of wolves named after him.[21]
  • Durcorach reportedly based his warpaint on a pattern he saw in the flickering flame of his hearth.[29] Said warpaint was made from soot and ash.[29]
  • When Durorach allied with the Tagh Droiloch coven, the witches added asp oil to his soot warpaint.[6] It is said that he would fall into a battle frenzy whenever he applied the warpaint.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Secret History of the Longhouse EmperorsCouncilor Vandacia
  2. ^ On the Clans of the ReachTheopho Harvian, Imperial Scribe
  3. ^ a b c d e f The Crowned DragonAuguthan Corovel
  4. ^ a b Mazrahil the Sly Scarab's dialogue in ESO
  5. ^ a b c d e f g High Chancellor's Papers: The Tagh DroilochAbnur Tharn
  6. ^ a b c The Black Drake's Face Warpaint description in ESO
  7. ^ a b A Deal is Struck
  8. ^ Xynaa's Book of ContractsXynaa
  9. ^ History of Markarth: A Story in StoneConsul Cardea, the Ard's Administrator
  10. ^ a b c Imperial Decree Regarding the Elder Council
  11. ^ Chronicles of the Five Companions 4Abnur Tharn
  12. ^ a b c d Audiences with the Longhouse EmperorsSentanus Marillin, aide to the Elder Council
  13. ^ Flames of Ambition Preview—Black Drake Villa
  14. ^ a b Eveli Sharp-Arrow's dialogue in ESO: Flames of Ambition
  15. ^ Gold Coast Guide, Part OneAstinia Isauricus
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Triumphs of a Monarch, Ch. 3 — His Majesty King Emeric
  17. ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Northern Bangkorai and the MountainsFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  18. ^ a b c Guide to the Daggerfall Covenant
  19. ^ a b c Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
  20. ^ The Royal House of King EamondSeneschal Derric Andras of Castle Evermore
  21. ^ a b Black Drake Howler description in ESO
  22. ^ Vital Records, 2E 541—2E 542
  23. ^ Rolbert Foucher's dialogue in ESO
  24. ^ a b The Gray Host: A History Part 1Lord Archibald Laurent, Lordly Explorer
  25. ^ Statue of Sir Byric
  26. ^ a b c d e f The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: High RockFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  27. ^ Events of The Last Ambition in ESO: The Deadlands
  28. ^ Elf-Biter's Collar description in ESO
  29. ^ a b The Black Drake's Body Warpaint description in ESO