Tiber Septim – The Elder Scrolls Lore

Hello everybody and welcome to this presentation
of The Elder Scrolls Lore. In The Elder Scrolls, there are many stories. There are many myths and many legends. Tales of heroes and tyrants. Gods and kings. Then, there’s Tiber Septim. At the dawn of the Second Era, Cyrodiil was
ruled by Versidue-Shaie, a Tsaesci of Akavir who had usurped Emperor Reman Cyrodiil III. Upon Versidue-Shaie’s death by assassination
at the hands of the Morag Tong, his son Savirien-Chorak took his place. Many years later in the year 430 of the Second
Era, Savirien-Chorak and all of his heirs were slaughtered by the Dark Brotherhood in
a single night. The reign of the potentates was ended, and
thus began The Interregnum. With no heir to the throne, Tamriel was thrust
into uncertainty and chaos. Rebellions and civil wars erupted all over
the continent, as various regional rulers sought to stake out their own little kingdoms. Attacks on Tamriel were carried out by invaders
from Akavir to the east, Pyandonea to the south, and from the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. Naturally, there were some claims to the title
of Emperor of Cyrodiil during this time. None were properly legitimized, and none made
any advance to restore the former glory of The Empire. But eventually, Tamriel’s savior would come. Four-hundred years after the death of Savirien-Chorak,
Talos of Atmora was born. His name translates to “stormcrown” in the
language of the old Ehlnofey, the progenitors of all intelligent life on Nirn. It isn’t known when Talos left his birthplace,
but he spent his youth in Skyrim, living among the Nords and learning their ways. He studied their abundant history of warfare
and tactics. It also seems that Talos was born with an
innate understanding of the thu’um, and was quick to master it. At the age of twenty, Talos was in the employ
of King Cuhlecain, a petty, insignificant ruler who had managed to gain a modicum of
power over his small domain in this chaotic time. Cuhlecain controlled the Colovian Estates,
a region of northwestern Cyrodiil including parts of southern Skyrim. Talos would give Cuhlecain the edge he needed
to expand his territory. The first step would be to secure his northern
border. The land of the western reach has been contested between the Nords and the Reachmen for practically as long as men have lived on Tamriel. This time was no exception. Cuhlecain needed the area to be tamed, and
sent his new Atmoran general to get it done. Talos personally led his Colovian troops along with a contingent of Nord berserkers onto the battlefield. They fought the Witchmen of the Reach and
drove them into a retreat. The Reachmen fell back beyond the walls of
Old Hrol’dan. Talos shouted the walls down. After this decisive victory, the Greybeards
issued a call, announcing that they were about to speak. Talos climbed the steps to High Hrothgar. He went before the Greybreads, and when they
spoke his name, the world shook. Talos was then prophecized to rule all of
Tamriel. General Talos continued to lead Cuhlecain’s
armies to victorious battle. In one year’s time, the King’s realm had grown
to encompass all of western Cyrodiil. Next they would expand into the Eastern Heartlands. They captured the White-Gold tower, and the
ruling battlemages of the Nibenay Valley surrendered. King Cuhlecain then controlled all of Cyrodiil,
and thus proclaimed himself Emperor. It was then that some of the other powers
of Tamriel took notice. The controlling interests of Skyrim and High
Rock apparently saw the ascendance of Emperor Cuhlecain as a threat significant enough to
launch a joint invasion. They quickly took control of all the major
passes into northern Cyrodiil. Situated in one of these passes is the ancient
Ayleid city of Sancre Tor. Sancre Tor was the site of Saint Alessia’s
divine council with Akatosh, where she was gifted the Amulet of Kings, and where her
righteous rebellion against the Ayleids began. The Nord and Breton commanders of the invading armies made their winter headquarters in Sancre Tor, believing the fortress to be impregnable. Talos led a small army into the pass, and
stationed them in the lowlands beneath the citadel during the dead of winter. The Nord-Breton leadership saw this unusually
foolish move by the legendary general, and jumped at the chance to defeat him. They sent the majority of their troops out
of the fortress and into battle. Meanwhile, a Breton turncoat led General Talos
along with a small contingent of men to a hidden path through the mountains behind the fortress, where he then revealed the magically concealed entrance. While the armies clashed, Talos entered the citadel, wiped out the meager garrison, and captured the commanding officers. Upon seeing his might and hearing his thu’um,
the Nord leaders abandoned their alliance with the Bretons, and swore undying fealty
to Talos. The High Rock battlemage command were executed,
their army sent back in defeat. Within Sancre Tor, Talos discovers the tomb
of Emperor Reman Cyrodiil III. There he finds and claims the hallowed Amulet
of Kings. Talos would later state that this was his
true goal in sacking Sancre Tor. The Empire of Cyrodiil was bolstered by their
new alliance with Skyrim. This did not protect them however from the
wrath of the Western Reach. Their crushing defeat at the hands of Cuhlecain
and General Talos still fresh in their memories, the Witchmen send a lone nightblade to infiltrate
the Imperial Palace. Once inside, the assassin kills Emperor Cuhlecain, cuts Talos’ throat, sets the palace ablaze, and escapes. As the structure of the palace crumbles around
him, Talos emerges from the flames, one hand to his throat, the other grasping the Imperial
crown. There was no debate of who would be named Emperor of Cyrodiil in the wake of Cuhlecain’s death. Besides being a charismatic leader and brilliant tactician, Talos was able to don The Amulet of Kings. This combined with his natural affinity for
the thu’um suggests that Talos carried the Blood of the Dragons, blessing of Akatosh. Never before or since was there a more worthy
successor to Alessia’s legacy. Talos was named as the True Emperor of Cyrodiil,
and took the Cyrodiilic name Tiber Septim, as well as the Nordic Name of Kings, Ysmir,
“Dragon of the North.” What immediately followed was a period of
great restoration. The centuries without central rule had not
been kind to Cyrodiil’s infrastructure. Cities and roads long neglected were rebuilt. The rise of Septim also allowed east and west Cyrodiil to unite and form a bond stronger than ever before. It was then time for the Empire to expand,
and for Talos to fulfil his destiny. Within the twenty years that followed, Skyrim
was incorporated as an Imperial province, followed by High Rock, both through diplomatic
means. Hammerfell followed suit soon after. Being previously embroiled by brutal civil
war, the Redguards welcomed the order and security which the Empire provided. Accounts differ, so it’s unclear as to where
exactly Tiber Septim’s campaign turned next. What is certain is that the elves and beastial races of the continent would be far less receptive to Septim’s sovereignty. The previously unconquerable Morrowind was invaded by the joint armies of Cyrodiil and Skyrim. It isn’t stated for how long the Dunmer held
out. The Tribunal were formidable foes, to be sure. Yet even they proved to be no match for Tiber
Septim’s brilliance in warfare. The Dark Elves eventually capitulated, signing
a mutual treaty before the invasion could advance into the kingdom’s interior. Thus, Morrowind was made an Imperial province. Information on the conquests of the Argonians
and Khajiit is very, very scarce. One thing we do know is that this was only
a few centuries after the outbreak of the Knahaten Flu, which had ravaged both nations. Though the Flu itself was long gone by this
point, they had likely not yet fully recovered from the effects of it. They would have been weak to attack. Both nations were apparently conquered in
similar fashion to Morrowind. Their border and coastal regions were assaulted
by Imperial forces until they were convinced that further resistance was futile. The innermost regions of Black Marsh and Elsweyr
were never fully invaded. Yet they too succumbed to Imperial control
under the glorious Tiber Septim. As far as the High Elves and Bosmer are concerned,
there’s really not much to tell. All who were open to the righteous rule of
Tiber Septim were welcome subjects of the Empire. All who stood in the way of his divine vision
were crushed without mercy. Emperor Tiber’s illustrious campaign lasted
over four decades after the unification of Cyrodiil. When the dust settled, Septim’s destiny
was fulfilled, his Empire encompassing all of Tamriel. The beginning of a new age was declared, the
dawn of the Third Era of mankind. Tiber’s reign lasted another 38 years until
his death, at the age of 108. Rule of the empire passed to his grandson,
Pelagius Septim I. When Tiber died, his soul ascended to the
plane of Aetherius, something which no other mortal has ever accomplished. He would then be known again by his birth
name, Talos, the Ninth Divine. But did he, really? The ascension of Talos was a singular event, never having been done before or since as far as we know. No-one can logically explain how this was
done, so did he really do it? There actually is some compelling evidence
which suggests that he did. First, there’s this person. His name is Wulf. He appeared out of nowhere at the fortress
of Ghostgate in Morrowind, just before the fall of Dagoth Ur. There he gave brief counsel to the Nerevarine
on their way to kill the mad, self-made god, and offered them an old coin as a token of
luck. After the destruction of Dagoth Ur, Wulf disappeared. The Nerevarine felt the power emanating from
the coin. It was more than a mere trinket, so they brought it to the Oracle of the Imperial Cult for examination. She explained to the Nerevarine that the person
they met was in fact an aspect of Talos. What stake he had in the events at Red Mountain
during that time and to why he would appear the Nerevarine is a mystery. There’s more which lends credence to Talos’s
divinity. During the Oblivion crisis at the end of the
Third Era, Martin Septim, the last of Tiber’s bloodline, sought to open a portal to Mankar
Camoran’s Paradise. Camoran held the Amulet of Kings, which was
needed in order to relight the Dragonfires and halt Mehrunes Dagon’s invasion. A crucial component needed to create the portal
was “the blood of a divine.” Divines do not routinely present themselves
on Nirn, so this was a problem. Talos however, used to be mortal, and left
traces of himself behind. Martin sent the Hero of Kvatch to Sancre Tor,
which held the tomb of Tiber Septim. Left along with his mortal remains was Tiber
Septim’s armor. The champion retrieved the armor and brought
it to Martin, who was able to extract a small sample of Tiber’s blood by scraping the
inside of the armor. Using those scrapings, Martin Septim was able
to open the portal. If the blood of a divine was a necessary component
of the ritual, then the fact that Tiber’s blood sufficed would prove that he truly did
become a divine after his death. When the Empire was forced to surrender to
the wretched elves of the Aldmeri Dominion in the Fourth Era, one condition was the outright
ban of Talos worship. This obviously shook the foundations of those
faithful to the Nine Divines in the Empire, particularly the Nords. There’s no doubt that the Altmer had a political
agenda behind the banning of Talos. However, there are some who discount that
and maintain that banishing Talos was the morally correct thing to do. They argue that Tiber Septim accomplished
his great deeds as a mortal, and that labeling him as a divine trivializes his human achievements. There’s little doubt that Talos ascended
to the ranks of the gods after his death. Similar to Lorkhan however, where the debate lies is whether or not Talos should be worshiped as a divine. For many reasons of their own, the Altmer
say no. Regardless of politics, Talos of Atmora remains
in the hearts of all true believers, who hope someday to be able to honor Mankind’s greatest
hero openly again. So, that pretty well sums up Tiber Septim. He truly was a noble, venerable leader whose
just conquest of Tamriel was a benefit for all citizens of the Third Empire. This was pretty nice. For once, I set out to tell a simple story
and I was able to do just that. Yep, there is definitely nothing else to cover
when it comes to Tiber… What, that? Well, I mean, that was one incident. I know it doesn’t look good, but I don’t
think… Yeah, but the guy who wrote that clearly has
an axe to grind; it’s highly biased. And besides, there’s nothing else that corroborates
any part of that story… Uhhhrrrgggg oh, alright…. There’s a bit more to cover here. Unfortunately though, we are running short
on time, and I’m going to need as much of it as possible for this next part. The Tale of Tiber Septim is to be continued. This has been Double Negative. Thank you very much for watching. I will see you on the next presentation of
The Elder Scrolls Lore.


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