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【书籍搬运】A Brief History of the Empire 帝国简明史[卷一至卷四全 另附录游戏剧情相关历史简述]

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A Brief History of the Empire
Stronach k’Thojj III 著
原文链接:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Brief_History_of_the_Empire
翻译整理:dafacecat

卷一

在Tiber Septim的统治到来以前,整个Tamriel帝国处于一片混乱之中,以致于诗人Tracizis把那段时期称之为持续动荡的“洋溢着鲜血和邪恶的日日夜夜”。各王国的国王们是一群贪得无厌的暴君,他们心胸狭窄,鼠目寸光,不但不思进取,反而抵制Tiber的把秩序带入这片土地的尝试和努力。这些人荒淫无度,朝纲混乱,Tiber Septim不得不靠铁腕手段扫荡群雄,用武力把和平带入了Tamriel。这一年是第二纪元896年。到了第二年,大帝Tiber Septim改元称制,宣布了新纪元--第三纪元的开始,是年即为第三纪元元年。 一代雄主Tiber Septim在位38年,这是一个守法、虔诚、辉煌的黄金时代。这个时代从奴隶到君主人人知晓公平,个个追求正义,堪称帝国历史上最伟大的统治时期。Tiber大帝崩逝时大雨整整下了两个星期,似乎整个Tamriel帝国都在为他而哭泣。 Tiber大帝驾崩后,他的儿子,Pelagius继承了皇位,史称Pelagius一世。尽管他的统治时间很短,他却完全继承了乃父坚毅果敢的性格,颇有一代英主的风范。照此看来Tamriel帝国的Tiber盛世将延续下去,前景一片大好。然而,Alas,一个不为人所知的 Septim家族的敌人,雇佣了那个杀人不眨眼的臭名昭著的杀手组织--黑暗兄弟会,趁Pelagius一世在首都一座神庙里下跪祈祷的时候刺杀了他,此时Pelagius一世的统治时间还不足三年。 英年早逝的Pelagius皇帝没有留下任何在世的子嗣,因而皇位的继承权落到了他的堂姐Kintyra,也就是他父亲Tiber大帝的兄弟Agnorith的女儿的头上。Kintyra,亦即原Silvenar王国的女王承继大统,嗣位为君,史称Kintyra一世。得益于诸神的佑护, Kintyra女皇治下的Tamriel帝国经济繁荣,收成富足,而女皇本人也是一个热心的艺术、音乐和舞蹈事业的支持者和保护者。 Kintyra女皇逝世后,她的儿子继位。这位皇帝是第一个把Uriel作为Tamriel帝国帝号的皇帝,因而史称Uriel一世。 Uriel一世是Septim王朝伟大的法律制定者,同时也是独立社团和行会的促进者和推动者。在他恩威并施的政策推动下,战士行会和法师行会在整个 Tamriel帝国有了长足的发展。他的儿子,同时也是他的继任者Uriel二世从第三纪元64年,也就是他父亲Uriel一世逝世的那一年开始,到第三纪元82年在位,一共统治了帝国18年。然而富有悲剧色彩的是,同他的前任们海晏河清的盛世相比,枯萎病、瘟疫、叛乱等等使他的统治似乎被蒙上了一层受诅咒的阴影。他从他父亲那里遗传的温和性格此时根本不对Tamriel帝国的路数,公理和正义几乎荡然无存。 第三纪元82年,Pelagius二世继位。他不但继承了他父亲Uriel二世的帝位,同时也继承了他父亲统治后期窘迫的财政状况和糟糕的司法运作。为了改变这种状况,Pelagius收回了元老院所有议员们的议席,并规定只有那些愿意出巨资的议员才能重新获得他们的席位。他同时也在他的诸侯们,也就是Tamriel各王国的的国王们中间公然鼓励类似的这种卖官鬻爵的做法,借以充实国库,所以到他为期十七年的统治时期的末期, Tamriel又恢复了繁荣的景象。然而,他的批评者们指出在这种政策之下,所有“有才但无财”的贤士都这样被Pelagius皇帝草率地疏远和驱逐,而这种亲小人远贤臣的做法也为他的继任者Antiochus皇帝继位后将要面对的一些麻烦埋下了伏笔。 Septim家族一向作风简朴,然而于第三纪元98年继位的Antiochus皇帝绝对是这个家族中追求奢靡生活的异类之一。他有数不清的情妇和几乎同等数量的妻子,并以其富丽堂皇的穿着和幽默诙谐的谈吐而闻名一时。然而很不幸的是,在他统治期间似乎有打不完的内战,其兵荒马乱的状况甚至比其祖父Uriel二世统治时期有过之而无不及。第三纪元110年,也就是Antiochus皇帝即位后的第十二年爆发的Isle战争几乎把 Summurset Isle省从Tamriel帝国分离出去。只是靠着一场突如其来的奇怪风暴,由Antiochus皇帝和Summurset省的国王们组成的联盟才击败了岛国Pyandonea国王Orphum的叛军。传说Artaeum岛上的Psijic教团使用的巫术是这场暴风雨的幕后功臣。 Antiochus皇帝的继任者,也就是他的女儿--女皇Kintyra二世的故事绝对是帝国历史上最悲惨的传说之一。她的堂兄 Uriel,即Solitude王国的Potema女王的儿子觊觎堂妹的皇位,指控Kintyra是Antiochus皇帝的私生子,借以影射在她父亲统治期间帝国首都声名狼藉的颓废和淫乱。Uriel的这一指控并未能影响Kintyra二世的加冕典礼,不甘心失败的他又联合了同样心存不满的 High Rock省、Skyrim省和Morrowind省的国王们,以及他母亲Potema女王的盟友们,自己居中协调、调度,发动了对Septim 家族的帝国的三次进攻。 第一次进攻发生在Iliac Bay地区,该地区恰好处于High Rock和Hammerfell的分界线上。此战Kintyra二世的军队和随从遭到了残忍的大屠杀,女皇本人也被俘虏。在被处死前的两年里,女皇Kintyra二世被关在Glenpoint(一说是Glenmoril)的一处暗无天日的帝国监狱里,整天受着非人的折磨。他们的第二次进攻针对Morrowind岛沿岸的一系列军事要塞而发动,女皇的皇夫 Kontin Arynx在这些要塞的守卫战中阵亡。第三次,也是最后一次进攻,是围攻帝都的战争。这场战争发生在元老院调动军队主力分兵去镇压西面的 High Rock省和东面的Morrowind省的叛乱,而帝都守备空虚之时。此时帝都脆弱的城防已经无法阻挡Uriel众志成城的大兵压境,勉强抵抗十四天后投降,帝都陷落。城破的当天晚上Uriel就迫不及待地加冕并自封为Tamriel帝国的Uriel三世皇帝。这一年是第三纪元121年,但也就是因为这一事件而开启了Red Diamond战役的战端。这一战役将在本书系列的第二卷中讲述。
卷二

在《帝国简明史》这套丛书系列的第一卷里概述了Septim王朝前八位皇帝的生平,这段历史从雄才大略的开国皇帝 Tiber Septim起,到他的六世侄孙女Kintyra二世为止。女皇Kintyra二世被俘后囚禁于暗无天日的Glenpoint监狱,两年后被秘密处死。而她的死则被认为是Septim皇族纯皇室血统的某种终结,这一事件也是历史上一个重要的分水岭。Uriel三世,这位靠武力夺得帝位的篡位者,不但宣称自己是Tamriel帝国的皇帝,同时为了表明自己继位的正统性和合法性,他还把Septim皇族的显赫姓氏Septim加入他的皇帝尊号中,称Uriel Septim三世。而事实上,他原来姓的是他父亲的姓Mantiarco,而不是正统的皇家姓氏Septim。 卷一的末尾提及了由此而引发的Red Diamond之战,Red Diamond是Septim皇族的族徽。持续时间长达六年的 Red Diamond战争使帝国派系林立、四分五裂。在帝国长期的动乱中存活下来的皇室后裔们是皇帝Pelagius二世三个勇武的子女: Potema、Cephorous和Magnus,以及他们为数众多的子孙们。Potema女王毋庸置疑全力支持她的儿子Uriel三世,同时她还拥有整个Skyrim省和Morrowind省北部地区所组成的联盟的支持;然而Cephorous和Magnus也不是省油的灯,他们通过自己的努力成功地使 High Rock省背叛了Potema女王的同盟。余下的Hammerfell省、Summurset Isle省、Valenwood省、 Elsweyr省以及Black Marsh省表面上宣称只忠于帝国皇帝,不过实际上这些省的大部分国王都是Cephorous和Magnus的支持者。 第三纪元127年,Uriel三世在Hammerfell省的Ichidag战役中被俘,迎接他的即将是审判。当装载他的囚车行进在帝都的大道上时,一个暴徒突然袭击了囚车并纵火把这个暴君活活烧死在里面。他的舅舅,同时也是那个在战场上将他生擒的人随后赶到帝都,在众人的欢呼声中被拥立为Tamriel帝国的新任皇帝,即Cephorous一世。Uriel三世的罪行被昭告天下,受世人唾骂。尽管Uriel三世数典忘祖地把Septim 这个姓加到了自己的尊号和头衔中,然而将Septim这一皇家姓氏作为Tamriel帝国皇帝的一种荣誉头衔的这一传统却并没有随着Uriel三世的死而烟消云散。 Cephorous皇帝统治期间值得一提的事情除了战争还是战争。虽然总的来说他是一个睿智与温和的人,但此时诸侯割据的Tamriel 帝国需要的是一个伟大的军事家,--不过很幸运的是,他恰好也能胜任这份工作。为了击败他的姐姐,即号称“孤城狼女王”的Potema, Cephorous皇帝同她进行了长达十年的持续战争。第三纪元137年,正值她的Solitude王国的王城被围攻之际,Potema女王去世,战争结束。Cephorous皇帝虽然是胜利者,但他也只比他的姐姐多活了三年。在长期戎马倥偬的岁月里他根本无暇顾及个人的婚姻大事,所以也没有留下一儿半女。因此他的弟弟Magnus,也就是皇帝Pelagius二世的第四个儿子,继承了哥哥的皇位。 Magnus皇帝即位的时候年纪已经比较大了,而惩罚和处置在Red Diamond战争期间对帝国不忠的国王和诸侯们的工作几乎耗尽了他余生的精力。他的儿子,继任者Pelagius三世在传说中被指控为弑父者,不过此说并不太可信--因为Potema女王去世后,Pelagius即继任为Solitude王国的国王,一当就是八年。而在此期间,亦即他登基为帝前的这段时间他都几乎没怎么去过帝都。 第三纪元145年,Pelagius登基成为Tamriel帝国的皇帝,史称Pelagius三世,不过有时人们更愿意用另一个名号,即 “神经病Pelagius”来称呼他。自打即位起这位疯子皇帝种种稀奇古怪、离经叛道的行为在皇宫里就层出不穷:他经常使他的亲贵高官们下不了台,他还故意冒犯他的诸侯国王们;更让人匪夷所思的是他甚至还在帝国一次很重要的舞会上当众宣布判处他自己以绞刑。最终,饱受他这种疯疯癫癫的状况折磨的他的妻子,也就是帝国皇后Katariah,一个黑暗精灵女性,不得不代行摄政,而皇帝Pelagius三世则被送往一系列的疗养院和精神病院休养和治疗,一直到第三纪元153年,也就是他34岁时去世为止。
《Tamriel帝国简明史卷二》

第三纪元153年,Pelagius三世逝世,他的妻子,也就是代行摄政的Katariah皇后登基,是为女皇Katariah一世。这位女皇的即位引起了一场不大不小的风波:一些纯血统论者认为,自从女皇Kintyra二世逝世后,已不再有纯Septim皇族血统的继承人出现,故而他们对这位黑暗精灵女性的统治持保留意见。不过她的拥护者们却从另一个方面予以反驳:他们认为虽然Katariah女皇和Tiber大帝没有血缘关系,然而她和Pelagius三世所生的儿子Cassynder却是名副其实的Tiber大帝的子孙,将来传位于子,帝国皇室的血脉仍将延续下去,不至于因她的继位而中断。尽管一直受到种族主义者的非议和反对,Katariah一世为期46年的统治仍是Tamriel帝国历史上最值得赞美的时期之一。女皇并不呆在帝都养尊处优地过活,她的足迹几乎踏遍了帝国辽阔的国土,有些地方甚至自Tiber大帝开国以来还未蒙圣眷。她修复了很多被前任皇帝们搞砸的联盟,整顿了一团糟的外交局面。正因为女皇勤政爱民,Tamriel帝国的平民远比那些贵族们要爱戴她。然而天公不作美,女皇Katariah一世在 Black Marsh省一场小规模的冲突中不幸罹难,不过这倒正好中了某些阴谋家的意。但事情可能没有这么简单,一位名叫Montalius的贤者有这样一个发现:这场小冲突与Septim家族被剥夺了皇族权利的一支后裔有关系,不排除由于非族人继位引发这家人的新仇旧恨从而报复的可能性。 Katariah一世逝世后,她的儿子Cassynder继位,此时Cassynder已经是一个中年人了。虽然身上有一半精灵族的血统,然而他衰老的程度却比得上一个Breton人。早在登基以前他就是Wayrest王国的国王,但由于健康问题他就已经把王国一应政事全权交由他的同母异父兄弟Uriel Lariat处理。尽管如此,作为与Tiber大帝和Pelagius皇帝有直接血缘关系的唯一皇室成员,这个皇帝还是只能由他来当。未出乎任何人的意料,Cassynder皇帝的统治只持续了很短时间,两年后他就追随自己的先祖长眠地下。 Cassynder皇帝逝世后,他的同母异父兄弟,也就是女皇Katariah和她续弦的皇夫Gallivere Lariat的儿子 Uriel Lariat,离开自己的Wayrest王国登基为帝,史称Uriel四世。从法律上来说,Uriel四世也是Septim皇族的一分子:早在他成为Wayrest王国的国王时,女皇Katariah就把他吸纳为家族成员了。然而对于元老院和帝国老百姓们来说,他只不过是Katariah女皇的一个私生子而已。Uriel皇帝并没有他母亲那样充沛的精力,而他长达43年的统治反而成了滋生各种反动言论的温床。 Uriel四世的故事将在本系列丛书的第三卷中介绍。
卷三

在本系列丛书的第一卷中叙述了塞卜丁王朝从Tiber一世到Kintyra二世一共八位皇帝的生平。第二卷描述了其后从Uriel三世到 Cassynder一世的六位皇帝。在第二卷的末尾也顺便提及了Cassynder皇帝的同母异父兄弟Uriel四世于第三纪元202年取得 Tamriel帝国帝位一事。

需要指出的是尽管Uriel四世的黑暗精灵母亲,也就是Katariah一世,嫁给了一位具有真正Septim皇室血统的皇帝(Pelagius三世),并在Pelagius三世驾崩后成为女皇统治了Tamriel达数十年之久,他仍然算不上是一位具有Septim皇室血统的皇帝。Uriel四世的父亲,一位名叫Gallivere Lariat的Breton贵族,其实是Pelagius三世崩逝后女皇Katariah一世续弦的皇夫。在登基为帝前,Cassynder一世就是Wayrest王国的国王,然而他孱弱的病体使得他不得不退位。 Cassynder一世皇帝没有任何子嗣,因而他于第三纪元192年合法地吸纳了他的同母异父兄弟Uriel进入Septim皇族并将自己原来的领地--Wayrest王国也一并托付给了他。七年之后,也就是第三纪元199年,女皇Katariah一世驾崩,Cassynder皇帝嗣位为君。三年之后的第三纪元202年,Uriel发现他再次继承了Cassynder皇帝的遗产--帝位。Uriel四世的统治虽然为期漫长却很艰辛。尽管皇帝 Cassynder一世已经赋予了他作为Septim皇族一员的合法地位,而且他父亲Gallivere Lariat的Lariat家族的确算得上是一个名门望族,然而他们在血缘上仍然不过是Septim皇族的远房表亲而已。这使得元老院中几乎没有人承认他是具有神圣的Tiber皇帝血统的继承人。 元老院在Katariah一世和Cassynder一世母子长达49年的统治时期内逐渐攫取了很大的权力,到Uriel四世时已呈尾大不掉之势。尽管Uriel四世是一位坚明果敢的帝王,然而本身就不那么名正言顺的他根本就指挥不动元老院。皇帝和元老院又一次无可避免地站到了对立面上,而这一次又是元老院取得了最后的胜利。自从百余年前Pelagius二世推行卖官鬻爵的政策时起,元老院就被Tamriel帝国中最富有的一群权贵们所占据,而帝国真正具有决定性的权力都掌控在他们手里。 元老院对Uriel四世的最后一次胜利发生在他驾崩之后。Uriel四世的儿子Andorak在元老院的投票中被剥夺了皇位的继承权,而另一位具有更接近Septim皇族本脉血统的表亲被元老院选中,并于第三纪元245年继位,史称Cephorus二世。在Cephorus二世统治的前九年里,忠于Andorak的势力一直在同帝国军队较量。在一项被贤者Eraintine称之为“Tiber Septim大帝伟大的心脏停止了跳动”的法案中,元老院作出了如下妥协:他们把High Rock王国封给了Andorak以结束这场内战。直到现在Andorak的后代仍然统治着那个地方。 大体上说,Cephorus二世皇帝面对的对手比之Andorak更加野心勃勃和贪得无厌。一个用贤者Eraintine的话来说是“从幽暗梦魇中浮现”的自称为Camoran Usurper的神秘男子,带领着一支由魔族Daedra和亡灵战士们组成的魔域大军横扫Valenwood省全境,征服了Tamriel帝国一个又一个的诸侯王国。几乎没有人能抵挡得住这种迅猛的攻击,整个第三纪元249年的日历差不多被他以血书就,人们几乎已经放弃了抵抗。Cephorus二世派遣了很多雇佣兵前往Hammerfell以阻挡Usruper的北伐,但这些雇佣兵要么被贿赂倒戈,要么被杀死然后复活为亡灵战士--无论什么结局都助长了Usruper的嚣张气焰。 Camoran的故事值得单列一本书来记载(推荐读者参阅Palaux Illthre所著之《Usurper覆灭记》一书)。然而一言以蔽之,Usurper最后的覆灭同皇帝Cephorus二世并没有多大关系。这一局部地区的成功叛乱反而从侧面助长了其它地区对表面上虚弱无力的帝国的敌意。Cephorus二世的儿子和继承者Uriel五世,通过展示帝国潜在力量的方式扭转了这种观点。 为了将Tamriel帝国的注意力从伤痕累累的内乱中转移出来,Uriel五世从第三纪元268年继位伊始就发动了一系列的对外战争。他于第三纪元271年征服了Roscrea,276年征服Cathnoquey,279年征服Yneslea,284年征服Esroniet。在第三纪元288 年,他踏上了毕生最为雄心勃勃的征途:征服整个Akavi大陆。这场战争最终以失败而告终,两年之后也就是第三纪元290年,Uriel五世战死在 Akavir大陆上的Ionith战场。然而,Uriel五世获得了这样一个荣誉:他被公认为仅次于Tiber大帝的两位武功最盛的皇帝之一。 本系列从书将要介绍的最后四位皇帝,也就是从Uriel五世的幼子Uriel六世开始的四位皇帝,将在第四卷,也是本丛书的最后一卷中详述。
卷四

本系列丛书的第一卷简要叙述了Septim王朝自Tiber大帝开始的八位皇帝的生平。第二卷描述了Red Diamond战役以及之后的六位皇帝。第三卷记叙了接下来三位皇帝的艰难岁月:失败的Uriel四世,无能的Cephorus二世,以及英雄的Uriel五世。

在武勇的Uriel五世战死在隔海相望的遥远大陆Akavie上时,他的儿子Uriel六世才五岁大。事实上,Uriel六世是在他父亲 Uriel五世行将出征Akavie大陆之际降生的。Uriel五世除Uriel六世之外的唯一后裔,就是他和平民通婚生下的双胞胎姐妹 Morihatha和Eloisa,这对姐妹在Uriel五世出征Akavie大陆一个月后出生。Uriel六世于第三纪元290年加冕为帝。皇太后 Thonica,同时也是小皇帝Uriel六世的亲生母亲,获得了Uriel六世成年前有限的摄政权。然而实际权力仍然掌握在元老院手里,一如百年前女皇 Kataraih一世统治时期以来那样。 元老院沉醉于无拘无束、无休无止地制定各项法律的自由(并从中谋取私利),以至于Uriel六世直到第三纪元307年,也就是他22岁的时侯才获得亲政的权力。十七年来他一步步缓慢地试图取得本属于他自己的权力,然而早就沉溺于权力的元老院对他的这一行动设置了很多障碍,使得他举步维艰,甚至连他的亲生母亲,也就是皇太后Thonica也陷于她那有限的摄政权力中而不能自拔,也对他束手束脚。最后当他亲政时,帝国的官僚机构除了否决权之外几乎没给这位皇帝什么实权。 然而就是这一项否决权,Uriel六世频繁而又热切地动用了很多次。第三纪元313年,Uriel六世终于可以自豪地宣称他最终获得了 Tamriel帝国的实际统治大权。他构建了致命的间谍网和堪称他的死士的卫队,并通过威胁和恫吓的手段使得元老院中的顽固分子就范。他同父异母的妹妹 Morihatha是他坚定的同盟者,尤其是当她嫁给Winterhold的城主Baron Ulfe Gerson后,更给她带来了可观的财富和影响力。正如贤者Ugaridge所说的那样,“Uriel五世将Esroniet踩在脚下,然而Uriel六世却把元老院收拾得服服贴贴。” Uriel六世在一次坠马事故中身受重伤,甚至连帝国顶尖的医生都回天乏力。他所挚爱的妹妹Morihatha戴上了象征皇权的三重冠,继位为君。在她25岁的时侯,她被外交官们公认为Tamriel第一美人(必须承认这是私下的举动)。她学识渊博,精力旺盛,活泼好动,同时也是一位训练有素的政治家。她将Skyrim省的首席大魔法师请回帝都,并将之钦封为自Tiber大帝时期以来的第二位帝国战法师。 Morihatha完成了她哥哥Uriel六世未竟的事业,并将帝国中央行省Cyrodiil置于皇权的掌控之下。然而在中央行省以外的外省,帝国正在潜移默化之中走向分裂。自从她祖父Cephorus二世执政以来,公开起义和内战的势头就愈演愈烈。在每一场战役都周密估量了双方态势之后, Morihatha女皇稳扎稳打地将叛乱的诸侯们一一镇压,期间她都一直注意不过分扩张自身。 尽管女皇Morihatha的军事策略取得了重大胜利,然而她深思熟虑的战略步骤和平稳谨慎的军事策略经常激怒元老院。元老院的一位名叫 Thoricles Romus的亚龙人议员,对女皇拒绝派遣大军收复他饱受战火肆虐的家乡Black Marsh震怒不已。一般都认为是他雇佣杀手于第三纪元339年刺杀了女皇。Romus随后被逮捕并处以死刑,尽管直到最后他仍然声称自己是无辜的。 女皇Morihatha的子女都早年夭折,她的双胞胎妹妹Eloisa也在数年前去世。Eloisa的25岁的儿子Pelagius因而被加冕为Pelagius四世。Pelagius四世继续着他大姨Morihatha女皇的事业,他逐步将那些位置重要而又桀骜不驯的诸侯国、公爵和男爵们的领地收归治下。他秉承了他大姨Morihatha女皇那谨慎平稳的作风--然而遗憾的是,他并未取得像她那样的成功。那些诸侯国们已经脱离帝国的管束太久,以至于就算是帝国实行温和仁慈的政策他们也觉得难以忍受。然而,在Pelagius四世为期49年的统治结束后,Tamriel帝国比自Uriel一世以来的任何时期都要接近统一。
我们的当朝皇帝,尊贵和威严的Uriel Septim七世皇帝陛下,是Pelagius四世之子。他像其姨祖母Morihatha一样勤政,他拥有其舅祖父Uriel六世的治政才华,他还具备其舅曾祖父Uriel五世的军事头脑。在承继大统后的二十一年,Uriel七世将正义和秩序带入了Tamriel 帝国。然而在第三纪元389年,他的帝国战法师Jagar Tharn却背叛了他。

Uriel七世被囚禁在Tharn所创造出的一个异次元空间里,之后Tharn利用自己的迷幻系法术伪装成Uriel七世的样子。在接下来的十年里,Tharn无限制地滥用皇权,却将Uriel七世重整山河的宏愿束之高阁。Tharn伪装龙颜的这十年里其个人目的到底是什么至今未为人所知。第三纪元399年,一位神秘的勇士在皇宫地牢里击败了这个战法师并将Uriel七世从异次元空间解救出来。

〔★上古卷轴第一代《Arena(竞技场)》开始。Uriel七世被其战法师囚禁于异次元空间,玩家将扮演这位“神秘的勇士”去击败战法师,救出Uriel七世。--译者注〕

被解救之后,Uriel七世继续勤奋地从事他重新整合Tamriel帝国的伟业。Tharn的中途干涉毋庸置疑打断了这一良好势头--然而接下来这些年的发展表明,Tiber Septim大帝治下的黄金时期将很有希望再次神圣地降临Tamriel大地。
附录

第三纪元405年,皇帝Uriel Septim七世派了一个神秘的间谍去调查国王Lysandus的死因,发现了一封国王遗留给Daggerfell 女皇的信。第三纪元417年,皇帝发现Lysandus并非在Cryngaine战役中死于前哨城的军队,而是Wayrest的一个小贵族 Woodborne出于政治目的的谋杀。此后,该间谍又帮助皇帝重新激活了在Tiber大帝时代,用来结束第二纪元的矮人神器Numidium。间谍取得了用来控制神器的Tiber Septim徽章之后,High Rock省和Hammerfell省的六个势力各怀鬼胎地来争夺徽章。最后的结果却无人知晓,成了永远的迷。

〔★上古卷轴第二代《Daggerfell(匕首瀑布)》开始。玩家扮演这个间谍,在开放式剧情结尾可以选择把上古神器Numidium交给各派势力中的一方,故而结局成了“永远的迷”。〕 第三纪元427年,一种古老的诅咒“枯萎病”(Blight Curse)开始在整个Morrowind省蔓延。一位传说是上古黑暗精灵之王 Nerevar的转世Nerevarine的英雄经过“七大试炼”,最终消灭了长期在Vvandfell岛中央大火山里隐匿的第六家族首领、恶魔 Dagoth Ur,枯萎病也随之消失,Morrowind省恢复了往日的宁静。随后该英雄抵达Morrowind首府Mournhold(哀伤之城),将审判席三巨头之首Almalexia击杀,结束了审判席时代。 〔★上古卷轴第三代《Morrowind(晨风)》开始。玩家扮演被流放到Morrowind省的Vvandfell岛上的囚犯,在 Uriel七世的密令和一系列势力与个人的帮衬下,完成上古预言中的“七大试炼”,最终成为Morrowind的保护者。随后玩家进逼Morrowind 的首府Mournhold,手刃已经失去正常人性的审判席最高宗教领袖Almalexia。自此,在Morrowind大地上延续将近四千年的审判席时代终结。〕 第三纪元433年,一群身份不明的狂热教徒突然袭击了皇帝Uriel Septim七世和皇族。皇帝本人侥幸逃脱,在皇家戍卫队 “The Blades”的护卫下,皇帝来到帝国监狱的秘道,准备从这里逃走。不想就在地下秘道中,皇帝还是被刺客追杀遇害。与此同时,帝国各地开始出现一扇扇可怕的“Oblivion Gate(湮灭地狱之门)”,打开了正常世界和湮灭地狱的通道,Daedra魔物一个个出现在Tamriel大地上。一个跟随皇帝的囚犯受到皇帝遗命,取得了象征帝国统治者权力的世袭神器“Amulets Of Kings(王者之坠)”,他的使命是找到最后一位继承者,也就是皇子的下落…… 〔★上古卷轴第四代《Oblivion(湮灭)》开始。玩家扮演帝国监狱的秘道中里接受皇帝Uriel七世遗命的囚犯。在一系列的努力之后,玩家最终找到了皇子Martin,但在最后与Dagon神的战斗中Martin化身的金龙虽将之打回湮灭地狱,Martin却不知所踪。第三纪元结束,一个崭新的纪元将重新开始。〕 第三纪元结束。

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A Brief History of the Empire
by Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian
A description of events in the history of the Empire


This is the MorrowindOblivion and Skyrim version of this series of books. A similar, but not identical, series exists in Daggerfall; see Brief History of the Empire for that version.
Both versions of the book contain a mistake in Volume IV, as confirmed by the developers %5B1%5D: Pelagius IV only ruled for 29 years (he died in 3E368, not 3E388).

Part I
Before the rule of Tiber Septim, all Tamriel was in chaos. The poet Tracizis called that period of continuous unrest “days and nights of blood and venom.” The kings were a petty lot of grasping tyrants, who fought Tiber's attempts to bring order to the land. But they were as disorganized as they were dissolute, and the strong hand of Septim brought peace forcibly to Tamriel. The year was 2E 896. The following year, the Emperor declared the beginning of a new Era-thus began the Third Era, Year Aught.
For thirty-eight years, the Emperor Tiber reigned supreme. It was a lawful, pious, and glorious age, when justice was known to one and all, from serf to sovereign. On Tiber's death, it rained for an entire fortnight as if the land of Tamriel itself was weeping.
The Emperor's grandson, Pelagius, came to the throne. Though his reign was short, he was as strong and resolute as his father had been, and Tamriel could have enjoyed a continuation of the Golden Age. Alas, an unknown enemy of the Septim Family hired that accursed organization of cutthroats, the Dark Brotherhood, to kill the Emperor Pelagius I as he knelt at prayer at theTemple of the One in the Imperial City. Pelagius I's reign lasted less than three years.
Pelagius had no living children, so the Crown Imperial passed to his first cousin, the daughter of Tiber's brother AgnorithKintyra, former Queen of Silvenar, assumed the throne as Kintyra I. Her reign was blessed with prosperity and good harvests, and she herself was an avid patroness of art, music, and dance.
Kintyra's son was crowned after her death, the first Emperor of Tamriel to use the imperial nameUriel. Uriel I was the great lawmaker of the Septim Dynasty, and a promoter of independent organizations and guilds. Under his kind but firm hand, the Fighters Guild and the Mages Guildincreased in prominence throughout Tamriel. His son and successor Uriel II reigned for eighteen years, from the death of Uriel I in 3E64 to Pelagius II's accession in 3E82. Tragically, the rule of Uriel II was cursed with blights, plagues, and insurrections. The tenderness he inherited from his father did not serve Tamriel well, and little justice was done.
Pelagius II inherited not only the throne from his father, but the debt from the latter's poor financial and judicial management. Pelagius dismissed all of the Elder Council, and allowed only those willing to pay great sums to resume their seats. He encouraged similar acts among his vassals, the kings of Tamriel, and by the end of his seventeen year reign, Tamriel had returned to prosperity. His critics, however, have suggested that any advisor possessed of wisdom but not of gold had been summarily ousted by Pelagius. This may have led to some of the troubles his sonAntiochus faced when he in turn became Emperor.
Antiochus was certainly one of the more flamboyant members of the usually austere Septim Family. He had numerous mistresses and nearly as many wives, and was renowned for the grandeur of his dress and his high good humor. Unfortunately, his reign was rife with civil war, surpassing even that of his grandfather Uriel II. The War of the Isle in 3E110, twelve years after Antiochus assumed the throne, nearly took the province of Summurset Isle away from Tamriel. The united alliance of the kings of Summurset and Antiochus only managed to defeat King Orghum of the island-kingdom ofPyandonea due to a freak storm. Legend credits the Psijic Order of the Isle of Artaeum with the sorcery behind the tempest.
The story of Kintyra II, heiress to her father Antiochus' throne, is certainly one of the saddest tales in imperial history. Her first cousin Uriel, son of Queen Potema of Solitude, accused Kintyra of being a bastard, alluding to the infamous decadence of the Imperial City during her father's reign. When this accusation failed to stop her coronation, Uriel bought the support of several disgruntled kings of High RockSkyrim, and Morrowind, and with Queen Potema's assistance, he coordinated three attacks on the Septim Empire.
The first attack occurred in the Iliac Bay region, which separates High Rock and Hammerfell. Kintyra's entourage was massacred and the Empress taken captive. For two years, Kintyra II languished in an Imperial prison believed to be somewhere in Glenpoint or Glenmoril before she was slain in her cell under mysterious circumstances. The second attack was on a series of Imperial garrisons along the coastal Morrowind islands. The Empress' consort Kontin Arynx fell defending the forts. The third and final attack was a siege of the Imperial City itself, occurring after the Elder Council had split up the army to attack western High Rock and eastern Morrowind. The weakened government had little defence against Uriel's determined aggression, and capitulated after only a fortnight of resistance. Uriel took the throne that same evening and proclaimed himself Uriel III, Emperor of Tamriel. The year was 3E 121. Thus began the War of the Red Diamond, described in Volume II of this series.
 

Part II
Volume 1 of this series described in brief the lives of the first eight Emperors of the Septim Dynasty, beginning with the glorious 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 in the imperial family. Certainly it marks the end of something significant.
Uriel III not only proclaimed himself Emperor of Tamriel, but also Uriel Septim III, taking the eminent surname as a title. In truth, his surname was Mantiarco from his father's line. 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 him.
For six years, the War of the Red Diamond (which takes its name from the Septim Family's famous badge) tore the Empire apart. The combatants were the three surviving children of Pelagius II-PotemaCephorus, and Magnus-and their various offspring. Potema, of course, supported her son Uriel III, and had the combined support of all of Skyrim and northern Morrowind. With the efforts of Cephorus and Magnus, however, the province of High Rock turned coat. The provinces ofHammerfellSummurset IsleValenwoodElsweyr, and Black Marsh were divided in their loyalty, but most kings supported Cephorus and Magnus.
In 3E127, Uriel III was captured at the Battle of Ichidag in Hammerfell. En route to his trial in the Imperial City, a mob overtook his prisoner's 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 of Tamriel.
Cephorus' reign was 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, fortunately, 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 who died in the siege of her city-state in the year 137. Cephorus survived his sister by only three years. He never had 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 already elderly when he took up the imperial diadem, and the business of punishing the traitorous kings of the War of the Red Diamond drained much of his remaining strength. Legend accuses Magnus' son and heir Pelagius III of patricide, but that seems highly unlikely-for no other reason than that 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 theThird Era. Almost from the start, his eccentricities of behaviour were noted at court. He embarrassed dignitaries, offended his vassal kings, and on one occasion marked the end of an imperial grand ball by attempting to hang himself. His long-suffering wife was finally awarded the Regency of Tamriel, and Pelagius III was sent to a series of healing institutions and asylums until his death in 3E153 at the age of thirty-four.
The Empress Regent of Tamriel was proclaimed Empress 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 ascendancy of this Dark Elf woman the true mark of its decline. Her defenders, on the other hand, assert that though Katariah was not descended from Tiber, the son she had with Pelagius was, so the imperial chain did continue. Despite racist assertions to the contrary, Katariah's forty-six-year reign was one of the most celebrated 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 that previous emperor's broken alliances and bungled diplomacy created. The people of Tamriel came to love their Empress far more than the nobility did. Katariah's death in a minor skirmish in Black Marsh is a favorite subject of conspiracy minded historians. The Sage Montalius' discovery, for instance, of a disenfranchised branch of the Septim Family and their involvement with the skirmish was a revelation indeed.
When Cassynder assumed the throne upon 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-brotherUriel 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 joined his predecessors in eternal slumber.
Uriel Lariat, Cassynder's half-brother, and the child of Katariah I and her Imperial consort Gallivere Lariat (after the death of Pelagius III), left the kingdom of Wayrest to reign as Uriel IV. Legally, Uriel IV was a Septim: Cassynder had adopted him into the royal 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.
 

Part III
The first volume of this series told in brief the story of the succession of the first eight Emperors of the Septim Dynasty, from Tiber I to Kintyra II. The second volume described the War of the Red Diamond and the six Emperors that followed its aftermath, from Uriel III to Cassynder I. At the end of that volume, it was described how the Emperor Cassynder's half-brother Uriel IV assumed the throne of the Empire of Tamriel.
It will be recalled that Uriel IV was not a Septim by birth. His mother, though she reigned as Empress for many years, was a Dark Elf married to a true Septim Emperor, Pelagius III. Uriel's father was actually Katariah I's consort after Pelagius' death, a Breton nobleman named Gallivere Lariat. Before taking the throne of Empire, Cassynder I had ruled the kingdom of Wayrest, but poor health had forced him to retire. Cassynder had no children, so he legally adopted his half-brother Uriel and abdicated the kingdom. Seven years later, Cassynder inherited the Empire at the death of his mother. Three years after that, Uriel once again found himself the recipient of Cassynder's inheritance.
Uriel IV's reign was a long and difficult one. Despite being a legally adopted member of the Septim Family, and despite the Lariat Family's high position -- indeed, they were distant cousins of the Septims -- few of the Elder Council could be persuaded to accept him fully as a blood descendant of Tiber. The Council had assumed much responsibility during Katariah I's long reign and Cassynder I's short one, and a strong-willed “alien” monarch like Uriel IV found it impossible to command their unswerving fealty. Time and again the Council and Emperor were at odds, and time and again the Council won the battles. Since the days of Pelagius II, the Elder Council had consisted of the wealthiest men and women in the Empire, and the power they wielded was conclusive.
The Council's last victory over Uriel IV was posthumous. Andorak, Uriel IV's son, was disinherited by vote of Council, and a cousin more closely related to the original Septim line was proclaimed Cephorus II in 3E 247. For the first nine years of Cephorus II's reign, those loyal to Andorak battled the Imperial forces. In an act that the Sage Eraintine called “Tiber Septim's heart beating no more,” the Council granted Andorak the High Rock kingdom of Shornhelm to end the war, and Andorak's descendants still rule there.
By and large, Cephorus II had foes that demanded more of his attention than Andorak. “From out of a cimmerian nightmare,” in the words of Eraintine, a man who called himself the Camoran Usurperled an army of Daedra and undead warriors on a rampage through Valenwood, conquering kingdom after kingdom. Few could resist his onslaughts, and as month turned to bloody month in the year 3E249, even fewer tried. Cephorus II sent more and more mercenaries into Hammerfell to stop the Usurper's northward march, but they were bribed or slaughtered and raised as undead.
The story of the Camoran Usurper deserves a book of its own. (It is recommended that the reader find Palaux Illthre's The Fall of the Usurper for more detail.) In short, however, the destruction of the forces of the Usurper had little do with the efforts of the Emperor. The result was a great regional victory and an increase in hostility toward the seemingly inefficacious Empire.
Uriel V, Cephorus II's son and successor, swivelled opinion back toward the latent power of the Empire. Turning the attention of Tamriel away from internal strife, Uriel V embarked on a series of invasions beginning almost from the moment he took the throne in 3E268. Uriel V conquered Roscreain 271Cathnoquey in 276Yneslea in 279, and Esroniet in 284. In 3E288, he embarked on his most ambitious enterprise, the invasion of the continent kingdom of Akavir. This ultimately proved a failure, for two years later Uriel V was killed in Akavir on the battlefield of Ionith. Nevertheless, Uriel V holds a reputation second only to Tiber as one of the two great Warrior Emperors of Tamriel.
The last four Emperors, beginning with Uriel V's infant son, are described in the fourth and final volume of this series.
 

Part IV
The first book of this series described, in brief, the first eight Emperors of the Septim Dynasty beginning with Tiber I. The second volume described the War of the Red Diamond and the six Emperors who followed. The third volume described the troubles of the next three Emperors-the frustrated Uriel IV, the ineffectual Cephorus II, and the heroic Uriel V.
On Uriel V's death across the sea in distant, hostile AkavirUriel VI was but five years old. In fact, Uriel VI was born only shortly before his father left for Akavir. Uriel V's only other progeny, by a morganatic alliance, were the twins Morihatha and Eloisa, who had been born a month after Uriel V left. Uriel VI was crowned in the 290th year of the Third Era. The Imperial ConsortThonica, as the boy's mother, was given a restricted Regency until Uriel VI reached his majority. The Elder Council retained the real power, as they had ever since the days of Katariah I.
The Council so enjoyed its unlimited and unrestricted freedom to promulgate laws (and generate profits) that Uriel VI was not given full license to rule until 307, when he was already 22 years old. He had been slowly assuming positions of responsibility for years, but both the Council and his mother, who enjoyed even her limited Regency, were loath to hand over the reins. By the time he came to the throne, the mechanisms of government gave him little power except for that of the imperial veto.
This power, however, he regularly and vigorously exercised. By 313, Uriel VI could boast with conviction that he truly did rule Tamriel. He utilized defunct spy networks and guard units to bully and coerce the difficult members of the Elder Council. His half-sister Morihatha was (not surprisingly) his staunchest ally, especially after her marriage to Baron Ulfe Gersen of Winterholdbrought her considerable wealth and influence. As the Sage Ugaridge said, “Uriel V conqueredEsroniet, but Uriel VI conquered the Elder Council.”
When Uriel VI fell off a horse and could not be resuscitated by the finest Imperial healers, his beloved sister Morihatha took up the imperial tiara. At 25 years of age, she had been described by (admittedly self-serving) diplomats as the most beautiful creature in all of Tamriel. She was certainly well-learned, vivacious, athletic, and a well-practised politician. She brought the Archmagister of Skyrim to the Imperial City and created the second Imperial Battlemage since the days of Tiber Septim.
Morihatha finished the job her brother had begun, and made the Imperial Province a true government under the Empress (and later, the Emperor). Outside the Imperial Province, however, the Empire had been slowly disintegrating. Open revolutions and civil wars had raged unchallenged since the days of her grandfather Cephorus II. Carefully coordinating her counterattacks, Morihatha slowly claimed back her rebellious vassals, always avoiding overextending herself.
Though Morihatha's military campaigns were remarkably successful, her deliberate pace often frustrated the Council. One Councilman, an Argonian who took the Colovian name of Thoricles Romus, furious at her refusal to send troops to his troubled Black Marsh, is commonly believed to have hired the assassins who claimed her life in 3E 339. Romus was summarily tried and executed, though he protested his innocence to the last.
Morihatha had no surviving children, and Eloisa had died of a fever four years before. Eloisa's 25-year-old son Pelagius was thus crowned Pelagius IV. Pelagius IV continued his aunt's work, slowly bringing back under his wing the radical and refractory kingdoms, duchies, and baronies of the Empire. He exercised Morihatha's poise and circumspect pace in his endeavours-but alas, he did not attain her success. The kingdoms had been free of constraint for so long that even a benign Imperial presence was considered odious. Nevertheless, when Pelagius died after a notably stable and prosperous twenty-nine-year reign, Tamriel was closer to unity than it had been since the days of Uriel I.
Our current Emperor, His Awesome and Terrible Majesty, Uriel Septim VII, son of Pelagius IV, has the diligence of his great-aunt Morihatha, the political skill of his great-uncle Uriel VI, and the military prowess of his great grand-uncle Uriel V. For twenty-one years he reigned and brought justice and order to Tamriel. In the year 3E389, however, his Imperial Battlemage, Jagar Tharn, betrayed him.
Uriel VII was imprisoned in a dimension of Tharn's creation, and Tharn used his sorcery of illusion to assume the Emperor's aspect. For the next ten years, Tharn abused imperial privilege but did not continue Uriel VII's schedule of reconquest. It is not yet entirely known what Tharn's goals and personal accomplishments were during the ten years he masqueraded as his liege lord. In3E399, an enigmatic Champion defeated the Battlemage in the dungeons of the Imperial Palace and freed Uriel VII from his other-dimensional jail.
Since his emancipation, Uriel Septim VII has worked diligently to renew the battles that would reunite Tamriel. Tharn's interference broke the momentum, it is true -- but the years since then have proven that there is hope of the Golden Age of Tiber Septim's rule glorifying Tamriel once again.

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