Volume I of this series described in brief
the lives of the first eight Emperors of the Septim Dynasty,
beginning with the forebear Tiber Septim and ending with his
great great great great grandniece Kintyra II. Kintyra's murder
in Glenpoint, while in captivity, is considered by some to
be the end of the pure strain of Septim blood. Certainly,
it marks the end of something.
Uriel III not only proclaimed himself Emperor
of Tamriel, but also proclaimed himself Uriel Septim III,
taking a surname as a title. In truth, his surname was Uriel
Mantiarco from his father. In time, Uriel III was deposed
and his crimes reviled, but the tradition of taking the name
Septim as a title for the Emperor of Tamriel did not die with
For six years, the War of the Red Diamond
tore apart the Empire. The combatants were the three surviving
children of Pelagius II, Potema, Cephorus, and Magnus, and
their offspring. Potema, of course, supported her son Uriel
III, and had the support of all of Skyrim and northern Morrowind.
With the efforts of Cephorus and Magnus, High Rock turned.
Hammerfell, Sumurset Isle, Valenwood, Elsweyr, and Black Marsh
were divided, but most kings supported Cephorus and Magnus.
In 3E 127, Uriel III was captured at the Battle
of Ichidag in Hammerfell. En route to his trial in the Imperial
City, a mob overtook his carriage and burned him alive within
it. His captor and uncle continued on to the Imperial City,
and by common acclaim, was proclaimed Cephorus I, Emperor
Cephorus' reign is marked by nothing but war.
By all accounts, he was a kind and intelligent man, but what
Tamriel needed was a great warrior, and he was that. It took
an additional ten years of constant warfare for him to defeat
his sister Potema. The so-called wolf queen of Solitude died
in the siege of her city-state in the year 137. Cephorus only
survived his sister by three years.
Cephorus never had the time during the war
years to marry, so it was his brother, the fourth child of
Pelagius II, who assumed the throne. The Emperor Magnus was
elderly, and the business of punishing the traitorous kings
of the War of the Red Diamond drained much of his health.
Legend also accuses Magnus' son and heir Pelagius III of murder,
but that seems very unlikely. For no other reason, Pelagius
was King of Solitude, following the death of Potema, and seldom
visited the Imperial City.
Pelagius III, sometimes called Pelagius the
Mad, was proclaimed Emperor in the 145th year of the 3rd Era.
Almost from the start, his eccentricities of behavior was
noted. He embarassed dignitaries, offended his vassal kings,
and, on one occasion, marked the end of a grand ball by attempting
to hang himself. His long-suffering wife was finally awarding
the regency of Tamriel and Pelagius III was sent to a series
of healers and asylums until his death in 3E 153 at the age
The Emperess Regent of Tamriel was proclaimed
Emperess Katariah I upon the death of her husband. Some who
do not mark the end of the Septim bloodline with the death
of Kintyra II consider the accendancy of this dark elf woman
as the true mark. Her defenders assert that though Katariah
was not descended from Tiber, the son she had with Pelagius,
was, so the chain does continue.
Despite the racist assertations to the contrary,
Katariah's forty-six year reign was one of the most glorious
in Tamriel's history. Uncomfortable in the Imperial City,
Katariah travelled extensively throughout the Empire, such
as no Emperor ever had since Tiber's day. She repaired much
of the damage the broken alliances and bungled diplomacy had
created. The people of Tamriel came to love their Emperess
far more than the nobility did. Katariah's death in a minor
skirmish in Black Marsh is a favorite source for conspiracy-minded
historians. The sage Montalius' discovery of a disenfranchised
branch of the Septim family's involvement with the skirmish
was a revelation indeed.
When Cassynder assumed the throne at the death
of his mother, he was already middle-aged. Only half-elven,
he aged like a Breton. In fact, he had left the rule of Wayrest
to his half-brother Uriel due to poor health. Nevertheless,
as the only true blood relation of Pelagius, and thus Tiber,
he was pressed into accepting the throne. To no one's surprise,
the Emperor Cassynder's reign did not last long. In two years,
he was dead.
Uriel Lariat, Cassynder's half-brother, the
child of Katariah I and her Imperial consort Lariat, left
the kingdom of Wayrest to reign as Uriel IV. Legally, Uriel
IV was a Septim: Cassynder had adopted him into the family
when he had become King of Wayrest. Nevertheless, to the Council
and the people of Tamriel, he was a bastard child of Katariah.
Uriel did not possess the dynamism of his mother, and his
long forty-three year reign was a hotbed of sedition.
Uriel IV's story is told in the third volume
of this series.
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