the Thalmor backed a coup of the Bosmer (aka wood elf) home of Valenwood. Empire
forces and loyalist wood elves were defeated, and Valenwood fell. The Thalmor
named their territory the Aldmeri Dominion, after the pre-Empire elven nation.
the end result of the first 50 years after Oblivion was a weakened Empire and a
powerful, independent nation of scheming jerk elves. That set the stage for The
Great War, the aftershocks of which defined the world of Skyrim.
4E171, An Aldmeri ambassador rolled up to the Imperial City with a covered
wagon and a list of demands for Emperor Titus Mede II. The Empire was to cede
large chunks of Hammerfell, disband the Blades, and stop worshipping Talos.
(Talos is the first emperor, Tiber Septim, who allegedly ascended to godhood.
He had steamrolled the old Aldmeri Dominion with a borrowed dwarven weapon of
mass destruction, and the Thalmor weren't fans.)
Titus II refused, and the ambassador dumped the contents of the cart. It was
the heads of every Blades agent spying in the Aldmeri Dominion. The war was on.
Aldmeri invaded Hammerfell and Cyrodiil, and over several years, they advanced
until the Imperial City itself was surrounded. Titus II's army fought its way
out of the city to link up with reinforcements from Skyrim, and the elves
sacked the Imperial capital. The palace was burned and the White Gold Tower,
the most recognizable landmark in Oblivion, was looted.
doesn't end well, part II
Thalmor thought they had won the war, and Titus II encouraged them to think that,
all while planning a counterattack. The attack, called The Battle of the Red
Ring, took the elven forces by surprise and completely crushed them, thanks in
no small part to Nord reinforcements from Skyrim. The Imperial City was in the
hands of Imperials again.
though the Aldmer forces in Cyrodiil were destroyed, the Imperial armies were
in no shape to continue fighting. Titus II took advantage of the victory to
negotiate a peace treaty.
White-Gold Concordat, negotiated at the namesake tower, didn't seem great for
the Empire. It disbanded the Blades, ceded occupied Hammerfell to the Aldmeri,
and outlawed the worship of Talos. In short, it was everything the Aldmeri
ambassador had asked for before he redecorated the throne room with Blade noggins.
"Well, I tried"
II believed that granting these terms after fighting to a standstill was better
than having just given in in the first place. Giving in would have meant a
civil war in the Empire, but at the time of the treaty, all the territories
wanted an end to the fighting.
the Concordat left territories like Hammerfell and Skyrim feeling betrayed. The
Redguards of Hammerfell rejected the treaty and fought the Aldmeri Dominion for
five more years, eventually driving them out and making a second peace treaty
Nords were outraged at the outlawing of Talos worship. Tiber Septim was a Nord,
and the cult of the first emperor was popular in Skyrim. Many soldiers from
Skyrim died to retake the Imperial City, and the White-Gold Concordat seemed
like a betrayal. The Nine Divines may have officially become the Eight Divines
in the Empire, but many Nords kept the faith. (Also, if you pray to Talos, all
your diseases are cured. So there's that.)
Talos, this is the Empire. We have to talk. It's not working out
at the beginning of Skyrim, the Aldmeri are taking the long view, waiting for
the Empire to weaken and fall apart from within. The Empire is biding its time,
trying to recover its strength so it can oppose the Aldmeri. Many Nords think
the Empire is no longer strong enough to protect Skyrim. A Jarl by the name of
Ulfric Stormcloak has just paid a visit to the high king, and a certain
prisoner is on his way to be executed...
prejudice against elves is the view of the author alone. Any discrepancies in
the timeline are a result of warps in reality.
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The biggest prick in Skyrim
Why save the world when you can ruin peoples' days?