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Lore:Alessian Empire

Lore: Appendices / History
Alessian Empire
ON-misc-Alessian Empire Emblem.png
1E 2431E 2331
Capital Imperial City
Location Cyrodiil, Skyrim, High Rock
Common languages Cyrodilic
Government Absolute monarchy, later theocratic absolute monarchy
Preceded By Succeeded By

The Alessian Empire, also called the First Empire,[1] the Empire of Cyrodiil,[2][3] and the Empire of Men,[4] was established by the former Nede slaves of the Ayleid Empire in 1E 243 following the Alessian Slave Rebellion.[5] The Empire traces its founding to the moment when Saint Alessia received the Dragonfires and the Amulet of Kings from Akatosh; she used the Amulet to drive the Daedra out of the mortal realm.[6] Akatosh told Alessia that as long as the Dragonfires remained lit and her heirs wore the Amulet of Kings, the gates of Oblivion would remain shut and Tamriel would be spared the depredations of the Daedra.[6]

Only a few rulers of the First Empire are now known: Queen Alessia, its founder and spiritual leader; Belharza the Man-Bull, Alessia's heir by her consort Morihaus, crowned in 1E 266; Gorieus, crowned in 1E 461; and Hestra, who expanded the reaches of the Empire all the way to High Rock in 1E 1029.[7] One of the defining events of the Empire was the rise of the zealously monotheistic Alessian Order, which followed the teachings of the prophet Marukh.[8] The Order's influence spread rapidly until, in 1E 361, its puritanical doctrines were formally adopted and enforced by the Empire.[9] Thereafter, the arch-prelates of the Order were said to wield almost as much power as the emperors themselves.[10] It was a sect of the Order called the Marukhati Selective that was responsible for the Dragon Break known as the "Middle Dawn".[11][12]

The Alessian Empire's territory fluctuated considerably throughout its history. At its inception it encompassed East Cyrodiil, including the Nibenay Valley and the White-Gold Tower, which later became the centerpiece of the Imperial City; West Cyrodiil remained a patchwork of independent Colovian kingdoms that resisted the Alessian Order's dogma.[8][13] A number of Ayleid vassal-states also briefly existed under the Empire's umbrella until the xenophobic Alessian Order methodically extinguished them.[9] Following the defeat and death of High King Kjoric the White in 1E 478, the Empire seized portions of southern Skyrim, but failed in its bid to acquire the Kingdom of Skingrad.[13] A westward expansion and attempt to annex High Rock was likewise thwarted at the Battle of Glenumbra Moors in 1E 482, which would be remembered as one of the Order's most disastrous mistakes.[14][15] High Rock would later be inducted into the Empire in 1E 1029 after the Empress Hestra defeated King Styriche, the Vampire of Verkarth, only to reassert its independence in 1E 2305 in response to the Alessian Order's excesses.[1] In 1E 1033 the Alessians under Hestra invaded Black Marsh to suppress the pirates led by Red Bramman operating from the Topal Bay.[16] An unknown Alessian Emperor agreed to fund the All Flags Navy's campaign against the Sload of Thras in 1E 2241.[17] Under the command of King Bendu Olo, the fleet sailed to Thras in 1E 2260 to mete vengeance upon the Sload for releasing the Thrassian Plague on the people of Tamriel.[18]

The final days of the Empire arrived in 1E 2321, when tensions within the Alessian Order's bloated priesthood gave way to internal strife, prompting the kingdoms of West Cyrodiil to completely sever ties with the Empire and establish their own government, the Colovian Estates.[8] Hemorrhaging money and land, the Empire finally broke under the strain and the War of Righteousness erupted.[8] After a decade of violence that wiped out half of the population of the Iliac Bay[19][20] and saw the loss of the Order's extensive monastic complex at Lake Canulus,[21] among untold other atrocities, the war ended in 1E 2331 with the dissolution of the Alessian Empire and Order both.[8] Cyrodiil and Tamriel would remain divided until the rise of Reman I and the foundation of the Second Empire in 1E 2703.[8]



Name Born Race Crowned Died, Deposed, Abdicated,
or Office Abolished
Additional Information
First Empire
Alessia 1E ? Nede 1E 243[5] 1E 266[21] Founded the First Empire.
Belharza the Man-Bull 1E ? Minotaur 1E 266[22] 1E 322[UOL 1] Son of Empress Alessia and the demigod Morihaus.
Ami-El[UOL 2] 1E ? possibly 1E 322[UOL 1] 1E ? Active in 1E 358.[nb 1]
First Empire during the Alessian Doctrines
Gorieus 1E ? 1E 461[23] 1E ?
Hestra 1E ? 1E ? 1E ? Active in 1E 1029,[1] around 1E 1030[nb 2] and 1E 1033.[16]
Shor-El[11] 1E ? 1E ? 1E ? Probably after Hestra.[nb 3]
Unknown[17] 1E ? 1E ? 1E ? Active in 1E 2241, funded All Flags Navy.[17]
Unknown 1E ? 1E ? 1E 2331[8] Final Alessian Emperor.[nb 4]
Empire post-dissolution of the Alessian Reform
Herda 1E ? 1E ? pre-1E 2703[8] Empress credited with improving relations with the Colovian West.[24]



  1. ^ According to developer Matt Grandstaff's posts, Ami-El was still emperor in 1E 358.
  2. ^ The Legend of Red Eagle mentions Hestra invaded the Reach after 1E 1030.
  3. ^ Dates of Shor-El's reign are unknown, but they are mentioned after Hestra in Where were you when the Dragon Broke? as part of the Emperor Oversoul.
  4. ^ The final emperor of the Alessian Empire is unidentified. His office was abolished in 1E 2331 when the Alessian Empire and Alessian Order were dissolved at the conclusion of the War of Righteousness.


  1. ^ a b c Bangkorai, Shield of High Rock — King Eamond
  2. ^ A Life of Strife and StruggleKing Laloriaran Dynar
  3. ^ The Onus of the OghmaPhrastus of Elinhir
  4. ^ The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons?Phrastus of Elinhir
  5. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: All the Eras of Man, A Comprehensive History of our HistoryImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  6. ^ a b Trials of St. Alessia
  7. ^ Loading screen in ESO
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  9. ^ a b The Last King of the AyleidsHerminia Cinna
  10. ^ Chancellor Abnur Tharn Answers Your QuestionsChancellor Abnur Tharn
  11. ^ a b Where Were You ... Dragon Broke — Various
  12. ^ Vindication for the Dragon BreakFervidius Tharn, Arch-Prelate of the Maruhkati Selective
  13. ^ a b Rislav The RighteousSinjin
  14. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High RockImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  15. ^ Shezarr and the DivinesFaustillus Junius
  16. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The War with the Trees: Argonia and the Black MarshImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  17. ^ a b c 2. Baron-Admiral Bendu Olo
  18. ^ 4. Instrument of Vengeance
  19. ^ The War of BetonyVulper Newgate
  20. ^ A History of DaggerfallOdiva Gallwood
  21. ^ a b Cleansing of the Fane
  22. ^ On MinotaursNonus Caprenius, Temporarily Unaffiliated Scholar of Imperial Antiquities
  23. ^ Rislav The RighteousSinjin
  24. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Wilds Remain: ValenwoodImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432

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.

  1. ^ a b Members of the Hew's Bane Thieves Guild Answer Your Questions — Walks-Softly, Kari Coin-Counter, Velsa, Zeira, Thrag, Andarri
  2. ^ Matt Grandstaff's Posts