Lore:Empire of Cyrodiil (Interregnum)

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For other Imperial entities also referred to as "Empire of Cyrodiil", see Empire.

The Empire of Cyrodiil[1][2] (also known as the Imperial Empire[3]) refers to an Imperial state that existed during the early years of the Interregnum. Although identified as an empire, it differed from the Alessian Empire, Second Empire, and Third Empire in that its only permanent dependency was Cyrodiil itself, and it was at no time ruled by a Dragonborn emperor.


With the collapse of the Second Empire in 2E 430, its provinces reasserted their independence, leaving the Imperial heartland of Cyrodiil to its own devices. The region remained a bastion of Imperial culture as the rest of Tamriel rejected its influence. Further, institutions that had been hallmarks of the Second Empire, including the Imperial Legion, the Elder Council, and the office of emperor, survived the chaos relatively intact. As such, the Empire of Cyrodiil, as it would come to be known, succeeded the Second Empire as a matter of course. In the absence of legitimate claimants to the Ruby Throne, the Empire of Cyrodiil was ruled over by a succession of pretenders who usually attained the throne through conquest.

The earliest known of these pretenders was Durcorach, a leader of the Reachmen, who reigned over the Empire for a time before being slain in battle outside Daggerfall in 2E 541. He and his successors, a dynasty called the Longhouse Emperors, held the throne until the death of Leovic at the hands of Varen Aquilarios of Chorrol in 2E 577. Of all of the pretenders who had thus far achieved control of the Empire, the Longhouse Emperors had been some of the more successful ones, having managed to stay in power for a span of several decades.[4] One triumph of their reign was the opportunistic annexation of Riverhold and Orcrest in northern Elsweyr by the Legion of the West Weald under General Lavinia Axius. This occurred during the early years of the Knahaten Flu outbreak, which had hit the Khajiit particularly hard. The Khajiit attempted to retake both cities from the Imperials, but were unsuccessful.[5] Under their rule, Cyrodiil controlled land as far as the Wrothgarian Mountains.[6]

Leovic's usurper, Varen Aquilarios, had been the Duke of Chorrol before leading the Colovian Estates in rebellion against Leovic when he legalized Daedra worship.[7] After personally killing Leovic and claiming the title of emperor of Cyrodiil, Varen set out to cement his status a legitimate leader of the Empire by retrieving the lost Amulet of Kings. He was encouraged in this endeavor by the powerful necromancer Mannimarco, who promised that the Amulet could be used in a ritual to persuade Akatosh to make Varen a Dragonborn.[8] Mannimarco betrayed Varen, however, and the ritual broke the covenant with Akatosh and set Nirn adrift in the Mundus in an event named the Soulburst.[9][7][8] Varen was believed lost in the event and his wife, Clivia Tharn, ascended to the Ruby Throne as Empress Regent.[10][4]

Clivia Tharn's reign ushered in a time of increasing instability within the Empire. Swayed by offers of power and immortality, Clivia fell under the thrall of Mannimarco, who convinced her that the Mages Guild was responsible for the Soulburst and to expel them from the Imperial City, allowing Mannimarco's Worm Cult to operate freely.[4][11] Mannimarco himself aspired to become a god and rule not only Nirn, but his master Molag Bal's realm of Coldharbour as well.[9] Beyond the Empire's borders, the other nations of Tamriel began to unite into three different alliances in response to perceived Imperial aggression and corruption: the Ebonheart Pact,[12] Daggerfall Covenant,[13] and the first Aldmeri Dominion. Each alliance sought to conquer the Empire of Cyrodiil and place one of their own on the Imperial Throne, triggering the Three Banners War that wracked the whole of Tamriel in 2E 582.

With central Cyrodiil ravaged by war, most of its inhabitants scattered. Some of them hid in the northern and eastern mountains, while others fled south to Blackwood. The richest of the Imperials, mostly Nibenese, bought estates in western Colovia, around the cities of Kvatch and Anvil, away from raging war. That proved to be a mistake, however, as Anvil was captured by pirates who claimed dominion over the entire Gold Coast and declared it an independent state, leading to strife with loyalist Kvatch.[UOL 1]

The Empire did not sit idle as the armies of the alliances forged deep into its territory. It attempted to expand its reach on two fronts: High Rock and Hammerfell to the north, and Valenwood to the south..[14] The invasion of High Rock and Hammerfell was spearheaded by the infamous Magus-General Septima Tharn.[15] To the south, an Imperial Legion was mustered from Colovia to annex Valenwood's Arenthia Vale, which by decree of the Count of Skingrad and the Elder Council was renamed the South Weald.[16] Each of these ventures ultimately failed.[14] Circa 2E 582, Chancellor Abnur Tharn as head of the Elder Council attempted to end the Three Banners War and restore the Empire's power through assembling the Wrathstone and using it to activate an "ancient weapon" within the Halls of Colossus. Instead, this unleashed several dragons which had been imprisoned for centuries.[17]

Little is known about the outcome of the Three Banners War; however it is known the Empire of Cyrodiil collapsed during it. By the time of Mehrunes Dagon's plot to gather the Four Amibitions, the Empire of Cyrodiil no longer existed as a power, and its government, the Elder Council, was formerly dissolved.[18][19][20] When Tiber Septim's conquests happened in the Ninth Century of the Second Era, the Empire had long ceased to exist. Cyrodiil was divided between the Nibenese east and Colovian west, and remained so until reunification under the warlord Cuhlecain, whom Tiber Septim served as a general at the time.[21]


Name Born Race Crowned Died, Deposed, Abdicated,
or Office Abolished
Additional Information
Pretenders of the Empire of Cyrodiil during the Interregnum
Attrebus[22] 2E ? Imperial 2E ? 2E ? Expelled the Akaviri from Cyrodiil sometime between 2E 430 and the rise of the Longhouse Emperors.[nb 1]
Unknown (many)[4] N/A N/A 2E ? 2E ? Various warlords conquering the Imperial City, none as longlived as the Longhouse Emperors.
Durcorach 'the Black Drake' 2E 485 Reachman 2E 533 2E 541[23] or 2E 542[24] Reachman Warlord who conquered Cyrodiil sometime prior to 2E 541, founded the Longhouse Emperor Dynasty.
Moricar 'the Middling'[25] 2E 518 Reachman 2E 541[23] or 2E 542[24] 2E 562
Leovic 2E 542 Reachman 2E 562 2E 577[nb 2] Active in 2E 566.[nb 3]
Varen Aquilarios 2E 536[UOL 2] Imperial 2E 577[nb 2] 2E 579[8] Overthrew Leovic at the end of Varen's Rebellion.
Empress Regent[26] Clivia Tharn 2E ? Imperial 2E 582[23] 2E 582[14] Was disposed of prior to 2E 582 and was replaced with Molag Kena. However, she may not have been killed when she was replaced.[27]
Unknown (many)[nb 4] N/A N/A 2E 580[28] 2E 582[14] Pretenders of the Three Banners War.[nb 5]
Unknown N/A Kamal 2E ? 2E ? At least one Kamal Usurper.[nb 6]
Cuhlecain  ?  ? 2E 854[nb 7] 2E 854[29] Colovian King of Falkreath who later conquered all of Cyrodiil. Was allegedly murdered by Tiber Septim.[30]
Tiber Septim 2E 828 Atmoran or Breton 2E 854[29] 2E 896[31][32] Founded the Septim Dynasty and Third Empire.


  1. ^ It is unknown when the warlord Attrebus gained the Imperial Throne during the Interregnum. According to the Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition, Attrebus' reign is established to have occurred prior to the city of Rimmen's secession from Elsweyr in 2E 812, and Akaviri expelled from Cyrodiil by Attrebus later settled in Elsweyr and founded Rimmen. As Rimmen was extant as early as 2E 576 per House Tharn of Nibenay when Leovic of the Longhouse Emperors was in power, Attrebus could only have reigned sometime between the onset of the Interregnum in 2E 430 and whenever Durcorach, the first Longhouse Emperor, ascended to the throne.
  2. ^ a b Varen's Rebellion is stated in Pirate Queen of the Gold Coast to have begun 2E 576 and continued into the following year, but the end-date of the conflict (when Leovic died) is not explicitly identified in any existing sources. It is known, however, that after Varen Aquilarios was crowned emperor, he and his Companions spent two years (according to Lyris Titanborn) questing for the Amulet of Kings before returning to the Imperial City and causing the Soulburst in 2E 579. Therefore, Leovic's death and the end of Varen's Rebellion occurred in 2E 577.
  3. ^ Leovic held the office of emperor at least as early as 2E 566, when the Gold Coast Guide was published.
  4. ^ During the Three Banners War, as each alliance fleetingly gained control of the Imperial City, they would crown a figurehead Emperor from among their warriors. These Emperors' reigns were extremely short-lived and their names have been lost to history.
  5. ^ During the Three Banners War, as each alliance fleetingly gained control of the Imperial City, they would crown a figurehead Emperor from among their warriors. These Emperors' reigns were extremely short-lived and their names have been lost to history.
  6. ^ At some point prior to 2E 812, the remnants of the defeated Kamal army that invaded Tamriel in 2E 572 seized the Imperial Throne from the successors of the warlord Attrebus. This suggests that at least one Kamal ruled as Emperor for a time.
  7. ^ Cuhlecain proclaimed himself emperor upon capturing the Imperial City, but he was assassinated before he could be formally crowned. His successor Tiber Septim, who became the first emperor of the Third Empire of Tamriel after completing the conquest of the continent 42 years later, honored Cuhlecain as "Emperor Zero".


  1. ^ True Heirs of the EmpireErystera Ligen
  2. ^ Knights of the Dragon
  3. ^ Empress Regent Clivia Tharn's dialogue in ESO
  4. ^ a b c d Chronicles of the Five Companions 4Abnur Tharn
  5. ^ Khali's dialogue in ESO
  6. ^ Forge-Mother Alga's Dialogue in ESO
  7. ^ a b Eulogy for Emperor VarenLord Abnur Tharn, Chancellor of the Elder Council
  8. ^ a b c Chronicles of the Five Companions 1Lyris Titanborn
  9. ^ a b The Chim-el AdabalMannimarco
  10. ^ Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch
  11. ^ The Order of the Black WormEvoker Brucille
  12. ^ Breaking the Cycle of TyrannyAlla Llaleth
  13. ^ True Heirs of the EmpireErystera Ligen
  14. ^ a b c d Events of Elder Scrolls Online
  15. ^ Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
  16. ^ Yours for the Taking!Catonius Libo, Aide-de-Camp to General Lavinia Axius
  17. ^ The Halls of Colossus quest in ESO
  18. ^ Captain Rian Liore's dialogue in ESO
  19. ^ Councilor Lovidicus's dialogue in ESO
  20. ^ Legate Tebeza-ko's dialogue in ESO
  21. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Seat of Sundered Kings: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  22. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Elsweyr ConfederacyImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  23. ^ a b c Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch
  24. ^ a b The Royal House of King EamondSeneschal Derric Andras of Castle Evermore
  25. ^ The Wolf of SolitudePjetr the Skald, of the Bards College
  26. ^ House Tharn of NibenayCount Opius Voteporix
  27. ^ Sister Terran Arminus's dialogue in The Elder Scrolls Online
  28. ^ The Chorrol Crier
  29. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  30. ^ The Arcturian HeresyThe Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker
  31. ^ Brief History of the Empire v 1Stronach k'Thojj III
  32. ^ Tamriel's Timeline, The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.