Welcome again to another punishingly named chapter in our Elder Scrolls lore series. Last week, we talked about the Elder Scrolls themselves. This week, we’ll be looking at the history of the Imperial City and the White-Gold Tower, and its significance throughout the eras.
The Imperial City is a circular city which is built on an isle in Lake Rumare, with the White-Gold Tower in the center.
The Elder Scrolls are stored in the White-Gold Tower, at least for much of the Third and Fourth eras, and possibly part or all of the Second Era as well.
The city is the center of Cyrodiil, the Imperial peoples, and the governmental center of the Empire as a whole. Being in the center of Cyrodiil, it is essentially in the center of Tamriel as a whole. It is thus a relatively large city, and contains many stores, residences, and an arena, as well as having an extensive underground tunnel and sewage system. On the same island as the Imperial City lies a port, the Arcane University, and the Imperial Prison.
Under the White-Gold Tower itself, even, there are tunnels connecting to Ayleid ruins.
HISTORY OF THE IMPERIAL CITY, WHITE-GOLD TOWER AND THE FIRST CYRODIILIC EMPIRES
Founding of the White-Gold Tower, the Imperial City, and the first human empire.
The Temple of the Ancestors was built in the Middle Merethic era by the Aldmer (the ancestors of all modern elven races) as a temple to the Ten Ancestors. It later became an independent city state, known as White-Gold Tower, due to it being in the center between both the Aldmeri and Ayleidic peoples.
Humans were an enslaved people during the start of the First Era. However, in the middle of the third century of the First Era, around 242, the men of the region rebel, and lead by Alessia and with the help of the Nords and a some defected Ayleid rulers, they overthrow the Aylied rule of White-Gold Tower and surrounding Cyrodiil by 1E 243.
Alessia becomes the emperor of the newly-founded Alessian Empire, the first human Empire to rule Cyrodiil. The Ayleid rulers who helped with the rebellion became vassals, as the remaining Ayleids seeked refuge elsewhere, such as in Valenwood. This new united human empire expanded west, to Colovia (where modern Anvil, Kvatch and Skingrad lay).
At this time, the Empress also founds the religion of the Eight Divines. At the end of Alessia’s life, as she is dying in 1E 266 — twenty-three years after the founding of the new empire — Akatosh appears in the White-Gold Tower — now the heart of the Imperial City — and makes Alessia the first Imperial Saint and first gem in the newly crafted Amulet of Kings, which Akatosh created to defend Tamriel from the forces of Oblivion (as surely, dem sneakeh daedras would want some o’ dat Tamrielic action).
Humans try to be Thalmor
During the late-middle Fourth Century, the Alessian Empire starts enforcing strict doctrines to suppress and purge any Elven influences from the worship of the Eight Divines, and abolishing the remaining Ayleid vassal kings of the Empire. These rules are enforced by the Alessian Order. They do this in the name of Queen Alessia, under the story that the ghost of the late queen and empress visited a prophet and proclaimed that this cultural suppression should come to be.
Skipping ahead quite a bit, the Alessian Order and Empire is dissolved after the Colovian states break off from the main empire, in a war that lasts a decade from 2321 to 2331. The Order and Empire are dissolved, shattering Cyrodiil into Eastern and Western empires.
The Start of the Modern Empire
Almost four centuries after the division of Cyrodiil, the Akiviri come and beat the fwarp out of everyone. Reman I rallies and unites Cyrodiil once again, to counter fwarp-beat the Akivir. This new uber-army defeats the Akiviri on the border of Cyrodiil and Skyrim.
This new empire then goes on to conquer Valenwood, before the death of Reman half a century later.
After one or more other emporers, Reman II comes to power as the new emporer in 1E 2812. In 1E 2840, he then precedes to wage a conquest against Morrowind, which lasts eighty years. Reman II is only alive for eleven of those years, and Reman III continues the war. Reman III and his son and heir are later assassinated by the Morag Tong (woo go MT). This ends both the Reman Dynasty and the First Era. Also, the Morag Tong possibly are the ones who assassinate the next emporer, or Akiviri Potentate at the start of the Second Era. Morag Tong are such trolls that way. They supposedly wrote “Morag Tong” on the wall with the Potentate’s blood. That’s how you assassinate someone, Dark Brotherhood noobz (lol I’m joking I’m joking).
Please, join me next time as I lazily explain the Empire and Imperial City, so you know the importance of beating down the Aldmeris for dat city (or, if you’re unfortunately Aldmeri, stealing every single Elder Scroll and hiding in a corner of the map as us Ebonheart Pact people and Daggerfall bros try to take the scrolls back to no avail, instead just oil pot catapulting each other in fields as you high elves and itteh bitteh kittehs throw fireballs at us and go “LOL LOOK AT DEM RED AND BLUE PEOPLE DRAGONKNIGHT SPAMMING EACH OTHER AHAHAHA *kisses Elder Scroll, sees a bit of the Scroll’s knowledge through the sunlight, goes blind*”
Thanks for reading, and don’t not remember to maybe sometimes leave a like, follow (via WordPress) and/or subscribe (via email)! Also, I’d like to thank UESP.net and the Imperial Library, as their collections of lore have helped me research the TES world quite a bit, and without them this would probably not be possible, or at least not as detailed and widespread, as even having read lots of books ingame, my knowledge is limited.