Lore:Second Era Wars
Yashnag's Chiefdom vs. Western Skyrim
c. 2E 435 — 2E 467
There was a conflict between Yashnag's Chiefdom (an Orcish state in western Falkreath Hold) and the Nordic kingdom of Western Skyrim from c. 2E 435 to 2E 467. The conflict has no official name, and it is unclear when it started, but it began 'more than 30 years' before 2E 467 and must have started after the Sack of Orsinium and the Skyrim Schism in 2E 431.
- Durcorach's Invasion of High Rock — 2E 541
King Emeric of Wayrest had been courting Rayelle, daughter of King Ranser of Shornhelm, when he met and abruptly married Princess Maraya, daughter of the Redguard King Fahara'jad of Sentinel. Ranser was deeply offended, and withdrew his diplomats from Wayrest, surreptitiously raising levies and hiring mercenaries in Rivenspire over the course of a year. Finally, in Last Seed of 2E 566, he swept down from the northern mountains, taking Emeric by surprise and nearly razing Wayrest immediately. Only the efforts of the king's personal guard saved the city, and forced a protracted siege. Ranser's forces were insufficient to take the fortified city by storm, and so the siege dragged on as the tide of the war turned against him. Ranser's aggression was unpopular even among his own nobles, and several prominent houses of Rivenspire withdrew their military support and sued for peace. While internal stresses took their toll, the original Daggerfall Covenant paid dividends, as Camlorn, Evermore, and Daggerfall were compelled to come to Wayrest's aid.
Meanwhile, Emeric was cannily leveraging his diplomatic connections. His recent marriage ties with the Redguards summoned a fleet of fierce warriors across the Iliac Bay, while an offer to restore Orsinium brought the Orcs into the fray. Under Kurog gro-Bagrakh, the old enemies of Shornhelm burned Ranser's holdings and were waiting to prevent the troops' retreat from the advancing Breton and Redguard forces. Caught between the hammer and anvil at Markwasten Moor, Ranser's army was utterly destroyed. Only a select few were able to escape with the king, who retreated to a tor overlooking the smoking ruins of Shornhelm, hoping to make a last stand. Driven to desperation, Ranser turned to dark sorcery, but was murdered during the ritual by one of his own generals. The Crown of Shornhelm went missing during the chaos, and that evil place has henceforth bore the name Traitor's Tor.
Second Akaviri Invasion
Also called the Liberation War by the Argonians. A fleet originating from the Akaviri nation of Kamal, under the command of Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal, invaded northern Tamriel during the Interregnum of the Second Era. United by a common enemy, the Nords of Eastern Skyrim, the Dunmer of Morrowind and the Argonians of Black Marsh jointly defeated the Akaviri invaders and formed an unusual alliance, the Ebonheart Pact.
- Battle of Windhelm or Sack of Windhelm, 7 Sun's Height – 7 Last Seed 2E 572: For reasons unknown, the Akaviri fleet, although originating from the east, bypassed the eastern shores of Vvardenfell and Solstheim, instead landing near Windhelm, in the north of Skyrim. Windhelm was taken by surprise and utterly sacked, resulting in the death of Queen Mabjaarn Flame-Hair and her heir, Princess Nurnhilde, who both fell leading their troops, known as the Blood Claws. Nurnhilde's younger brothers reached Windhelm during the battle, but too late to prevent its sack: Fildgor Strong-Prince at the head of his Stormfist Brigade, Jorunn the Skald-Prince leading the "Pack of Bards". The twin-brothers joined forces to repel the Akaviri invaders.
- Battle of Vivec's Antlers, 2E 572: Jorunn then sought the aid of the reclusive Greybeards, who summoned the mythical Ash-King, Wulfharth. With the aid of Wulfharth, Jorunn rallied his troops and fortified Riften, expecting an imminent assault. However, the invaders simply bypassed the city, passing into Stonefalls in western Morrowind. They were opposed by Dark Elf forces commanded by general Tanval of House Indoril, who staged a fighting retreat as the Akaviri slowly advanced towards eastern Stonefalls.
- There, on a beach of the Inner Sea just to the west of Ebonheart that would later be named Vivec's Antlers, Dunmeri troops under the command of the living god Almalexia met and held them, while Jorunn and Wulfharth (and allegedly the Stormfirst Brigade) pursued the Akaviri force into a surprise pincer attack. The fighting was fierce, but the Nord army was overextended, and victory seemed uncertain until an elite Argonian phalanx of Shellbacks led by Heita-Meen reinforced the Dunmeri army, turning a stalemate into a slaughter. With the aid of a tidal wave summoned by Vivec, the Kamal were obliterated by the three unlikely allies.
- This conflict united three races who had held great animosity towards each other for centuries, leading to the formation of the Ebonheart Pact. The Dunmer freed the Argonian slaves in recognition of their crucial aid. However, the Nords of Western Skyrim did not join the Ebonheart Pact, as they had not been affected by the Second Akaviri Invasion and thus saw no need for an alliance, were skeptical that a Nordic–Dunmeri–Argonian alliance could work given their historic emnity, and had also been at odds with their fellow Nords of Eastern Skyrim for a long time.
- Brothers' War, 2E 572: As Jorunn the Skald-Prince returned home to Windhelm, a succession dispute arose between him and his twin-brother Fildgor Strong-Prince, who had jointly defeated the Akaviri invaders after the Sack of Windhelm in which their elder sister Queen Nurnhilde fell. The brothers disagreed on who should succeed their sister and how to rule the land going forward, leading Jorunn to challenge Fildgor to single combat. This long and fierce duel, known as the Brothers' War, was won by Jorunn, who exiled Fildgor and was crowned the Skald-King of Eastern Skyrim, three weeks after the Battle of Vivec's Antlers.
The Colovian Revolt, also known as Varen's Rebellion, was a rebellion against Emperor Leovic of the Longhouse Emperors by Duke Varen Aquilarios of Chorrol. Following Leovic's legalization of Daedra worship throughout the Empire of Cyrodiil, Varen Aquilarios marshaled the military forces of the Colovian Estates to depose him, triggering a widespread rebellion in 2E 576. Varen based his rebellion out of Bruma, where he coordinated his troops as they liberated Cyrodiil's other cities to further weaken Leovic's control. Despite his desire to fight on the frontlines, Varen instated his nephew Carolus to defend Kvatch, who repelled attacks from Longhouse-allied forces from Anvil and elsewhere. Meric Renmus pledged allegiance to Varen and was given the rank of general for his loyalty.
The rebellion claimed victory in 2E 577, when Varen's forces stormed the Imperial City and confronted Leovic's last legion in a bloody battle that razed the city's Market District. Varen personally dispatched Leovic at the foot of the Ruby Throne before proclaiming himself emperor.
Euraxia Tharn entered Elsweyr as the Empire's envoy following the start of Varen's Rebellion. Received at Rimmen as an emissary of the new emperor at the head of a large contingent of Nibenese mercenaries, Euraxia turned on her hosts and deposed King Hemakar of Rimmen in the Frostfall Coup, slaughtering the royal family and establishing herself as queen. From Rimmen Euraxia consolidated an iron grip over much of northern Elsweyr, training siege weapons on her own capital to quell any signs of revolt from the local Khajiit. Unbeknownst to Euraxia, however, Hemakar's daughter Khamira survived the Frostfall Coup, and would ensure her eventual overthrow after the Usurper Queen's attempt to ally with Kaalgrontiid and his rage of dragons in 2E 582.
Three Banners War
The years leading up to the war saw a divided Tamriel witness a series of conflicts and crises that inspired the different nations of the land to band together into three distinct alliances: the greater Daggerfall Covenant in 2E 566, the Ebonheart Pact in 2E 572, and the first Aldmeri Dominion in 2E 580.
The competing ideologies of these alliances set them on a course for war, which began in earnest sometime in 2E 580. Tensions between the alliances were further exacerbated by the Soulburst and subsequent military aggression of the Empire of Cyrodiil under Empress Regent Clivia Tharn. Each alliance saw the opportunity to overthrow the corrupt Imperial regime by capturing the Imperial City and install their own emperor on the Ruby Throne, but also had to deal with the other two alliances.
The armies of the Covenant, Pact, and Dominion invaded Cyrodiil, which served as the main theater of war, however they also launched attacks against each other’s lands. The war caused enormous damage to Cyrodiil's towns and cities, and countless civilians were displaced and resettled throughout Tamriel. The war's ultimate outcome is unknown, but all three alliances, as well as the Empire of Cyrodiil, had ceased to exist by the ninth century of the Second Era.
The conflict of the Three Banners War was represented by a three-headed ouroboros, with each head symbolizing one of the alliances: the eagle for the Aldmeri Dominion, the lion for the Daggerfall Covenant, and the dragon for the Ebonheart Pact.
Major Events and Battles
- Battle of Chalman Keep — A notable three-way battle between Pact, Dominion, and Covenant forces at the contested and strategically important Chalman Keep.
- Covenant Attack on Bleakrock Isle and Bal Foyen
- Siege of Davon's Watch
- Battle at Vivec's Antlers
- Battle at Fort Virak
- Attack on Auridon
- Dominion Invasion of Shadowfen
- Failed Invasion of Glenumbra
- Failed Invasion of the Alik'r Desert
- Fall of the Bangkorai Garrison
- Failed Occupation of Evermore
- Battle at Bangkorai Garrison
- Liberation of Hallin's Stand
- Colovian Occupation of Arenthia
- Battle at Senalana
- Attack on Vinedusk
- Siege of Dune
The Tiber War
The Tiber War (sometimes Talosian conquest) was a series of conflicts spanning through the second half of the last century of the Second Era, started by the Colovian warlord Cuhlecain and continued by his general Tiber Septim. The results of the wars were manifold, most important of them being the end of the Interregnum with the founding of the Third Empire with Septim as its first Emperor, the proclamation of the Third Era, and the unification of Tamriel for the first and only time in its history.
- Battle of Old Hroldan, 2E 852. Cuhlecain's general Hjalti Early-Beard successfully led his king's Colovian troops and their allies' berserkers into breaking the Reachmen lines, forcing them to fortify themselves at Old Hroldan. The next day Hjalti approached the gates of the besieged city, protected by the winds created by a storm following his trail. Reports say that the ancient Nord art of thu'um was used to shout down the walls of Old Hroldan, after which Hjalti's army took the city with relative ease by force. As a result, he was nicknamed Talos, meaning Stormcrown, by his Nordic troops.
- Sack of Sancre Tor, 2E 852. While his army was distracting the majority of the defenders, Talos made his way inside the fortress of Sancre Tor, capturing the Nord and Breton leaders and making them order their troops to surrender. St. Osla of Chorrol has a statue dedicated to her for her actions in the battle, where she healed the warriors that had fallen in battle. Sancre Tor was abandoned and Talos recovered the Amulet of Kings.
- Battle of Five Bridges. After the initial success of his foes, Tiber Septim commanded his reserves to victory, attacking only after his foes were completely victorious, as advised by his Battlemage Zurin Arctus. Having been lulled into a false sense of security by their victory, Tiber took the enemy army by surprise, routing an army twice the size of his own.
- Taking of the Imperial City, 2E 854. After a siege of the capital, the battlemages of the Eastern Heartlands surrendered before Cuhlecain's armies. Before he could crown himself Emperor, he was assassinated, and Talos was crowned in his stead as Tiber Septim.
- Moth Rebellion, 2E 857.[nb 1] An uprising in the Imperial City. The Third Legion, mostly made out of newly-recruited Colovian peasant boys, was sent from nearby Anvil to quell it. There the Legion earned its sobriquet "The Faithful" while besieged in the Hesod Barracks by the Cultists. After the rebellion ended, Tiber Septim triumphantly reentered the capital.
- Battle of the Bjoulsae. Under the command of Amiel Richton, an Imperial squadron crushed Wayrest's naval power in a surprise dawn attack.
- Sack of Senchal. After the besieged Khajiiti refused to surrender, General Pottreid ordered the Third Legion to attack the city of Senchal, with free reins. Due to heavy civilian casualties, including children, the battle was omitted from officially-sanctioned Imperial history.
- Battle of Black Rocks, 2E 863.[nb 2] The forces of the Aldmeri Dominion caught the Third Legion by surprise and almost completely destroyed it. The remnants of it made the core of the newly created Ruby Legion stationed in Nibenay Valley.
- Battle of Stros M'Kai, 2E 864. Also known as Battle of Hunding Bay by Imperials. Sentinel, Prince A'tor rallied the remaining Redguard Crowns for one final battle. The navies of both sides clashed near the isle of Stros M'Kai in the Hunding Bay. Leading the Imperial New West Navy was Lord Admiral Amiel Richton, who brought in a dragon called Nafaalilargus. The turning point of the battle was Prince A'tor's death by a poisonous arrow from Dram, a Dunmer assassin. Arch-mage Voa tried to save the prince, but due to the strength of the poison he was forced to place his soul in a soul gem and to put his body in a magically induced stasis before being burned by the dragon. After their defeat, the remaining Crowns fled to Stros M'Kai, most of them to the Old Quarter of the city, which was promptly burned to the ground by the dragon, killing them all as a result. Some of the survivors took refuge at the local temple of Arkay. The priests there gave them asylum, hiding the body of prince A'tor in the temple and healing the wounded, only to be forced to surrender the latter to the Imperials. The result of the battle was that the Redguard forces, aside from the Crown-allegiant Restless League, were either completely annihilated or subdued. Following the crowning achievements of his career, Richton was made the Provisional Governor of Stros M'Kai, reigning over the city with terror for the next three months.
- Stros M'Kai Uprising, 2E 864. Led by siblings Cyrus and Iszara, the Restless League came out of hiding and stormed the Palace, with Cyrus himself cornering the Provisional Governor Amiel Richton and the Imperial Emissary Dram aboard a Dwemeri dirigible. Cyrus' sword, enchanted with the soul of Prince A'tor, then killed them both. This act was allegedly the third incarnation of HoonDing.
- Rebellion of Sentinel, 2E 864. After hearing of the Crown rebellion in Stros M'Kai, Baron Volag, leader of the Forebears, came out of hiding and retook Sentinel from the Provisional Governor Senecus Goddkey. As a result of these two rebellions, the First Treaty of Stros M'Kai was signed.
- Sack of Mournhold. One of the several battles that occurred after Septim's legions invaded Morrowind and before the Armistice was signed. The city was razed and the royal family of Mournhold was wiped out, except for the five-year-old heiress Barenziah.[nb 3]
- Surrender of Alinor, 2E 896. Given to the Empire as a part of the terms of the Armistice by the Tribunal, Numidium besieged the capital of Summerset Isles, its fall happening within an hour. Alinor's fall marked the end of the Tiber War, finally unifying Tamriel, in turn leading to the proclamation of the Third Era. The great Altmer battlemage Areldur died during Tiber Septim's conquest of the Summerset Isles.
- Forebear Truce. After the Crown forces regrouped at Stros M'Kai and even got close to retaking the capital of Sentinel, the Forebears, desperate at the prospect of losing the civil war, asked Tiber Septim for aid. The Empire was to lend its armies to the Forebear cause in return for a swath of holding titles along the southeast border of Hammerfell. After the Crowns were crushed and the Forebear leader Baron Volag went into hiding not a day later, rumored to be dead, the treaty was revised, and Imperial garrisons were stationed across Hammerfell "until such a time as the native rulership can see fit to reinstate itself safely on its rightful throne."
- First Treaty of Stros M'Kai, 2E 864. Following the double rebellion of both most prominent Redguard factions, the Empire was forced to draw a treaty with the rebels, finally legitimizing their rule. It was signed by Tiber Septim, Iszara, and Baron Volag, representing the Empire, the Crowns and the Forebears, respectively. While Hammerfell's status as a province remained, a remark from almost two hundred years later stated that the Redguards felt that they "are part of the Empire, but not a subject."
- Armistice. After the Imperials amassed their forces at Morrowind's western borders and had several skirmishes with Tribunal-led Dunmeri forces, Lord Vivec himself proclaimed that he would initiate peace talks with Septim's Empire. The terms of the Armistice were culturally very favorable to Morrowind, such as the freedom of religion and perseverance of the ancient Dunmeri right to own and trade slaves. Strategically, the Armistice was very favorable to the Empire, most importantly the access to Morrowind's rich ebony mines and to the Dwemeri Brass God Numidium.
- Orcs of Skyrim — Thora Far-Wanderer
- The Fury of King Ranser — Wafimeles Masteret (Lorekeeper)
- Travails and Triumphs of a Monarch — His Majesty King Emeric
- House Tamrith: A Recent History — Chancellor Regina Troivois, the Department of Interior Affairs
- King Ranser's Tirade — King Ranser
- The True Fate of King Ranser — Serinal Gane, Royal Scribe of Shornhelm
- Shornhelm, Crown City of the North — Lord Wylon, 39th BaronMontclair
- Guide to the Ebonheart Pact — anonymous ethnology (~2E 580)
- Heita-Meen Answers Your Questions — Vicecanon Heita-Meen – Q & A (2E 582)
- Second Invasion: Reports — anonymous diary of a Blood Claws commander (2E 572)
- The Second Akaviri Invasion — Yngmaer Raven-Quill, Historian Royal of the Bards' College, Solitude (c. 2E 582)
- The Brothers' War — anonymous history (c. 2E 575)
- The Stormfist Clan — Thora Far-Wanderer (c. 2E 580)
- Jorunn the Skald-King — Helgreir Lute-Voice, Bard of Windhelm (c. 2E 575)
- Events of ESO (2E 582)
- From Argonian to Saxhleel — Vicecanon Heita-Meen (2E 582)
- Unexpected Allies — Commentary on the Ebonheart Pact by a Nord soldier (2E 582)
- The Frostfall Coup — Tandemen, Sapiarch of Foreign Observations
- Khamira's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
- Abnur Tharn's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
- Events of Two Queens in ESO: Elsweyr