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【书籍搬运】The Great War 卫国战争

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原文出处:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Great_War

“大战”(帝国-艾德莫精灵国)简述 尤士丁尼-昆图斯(副将) 著 兰可 译 作者按:书中所述内容主要取自战时截获的敌方文件、犯人审讯记录、幸存士兵和帝国官员的目击报告。在175年帝都突袭战中负伤之前,我一直在落锤省/落锤之地和赛瑞迪尔担任第十军团指挥官。古语有云:管中窥豹,只见一斑。我会结合自身经验和在战争中磨炼出的知识,合理推测,力求真实客观。

萨尔摩的崛起 不为世人所知的是,正如赛瑞迪尔一样,夏暮岛也在“湮灭危机”中遭受了重创。精灵开展了对抗湮灭入侵者的战争,有时甚至能够突破阵线关闭湮灭传送门。作为一个国家,精灵在抵抗入侵方面远比赛瑞迪尔成功,但接连涌入不计其数的迪德拉大军让这一切都显得毫无意义。萨尔摩一直是夏暮岛内一个有影响力的派别,但同时也一直没有多少话语权。在湮灭危机期间,“水晶塔”被迫授予萨尔摩更大的权力和职权。他们付出了艰苦的努力,几乎就要将夏暮岛从被击溃的命运中拯救出来。第四纪元22年,他们利用自己在危机中建立起的威望取得了对夏暮岛的全面控制。萨尔摩将国家更名为艾利诺,以铭记人类诞生之前的一个早期时代。出于不满或是无知,大部分生活在艾德莫精灵国之外的人们仍然称之为夏暮岛。 第四纪元29年,萨尔摩支持的派别推翻了瓦伦林地政府并与艾利诺结成联盟。由此推断,早在“湮灭危机”之前,萨尔摩机构就已经与某些波兹莫派别有密切联系。蓄谋已久的艾特莫军队在政变发生之后随即入侵了瓦伦林地,并在很短时间内击败了失去防备的帝国及其波兹莫盟友。自此,艾德莫精灵国完成了复兴。 在入侵瓦伦林地之后不久,艾德莫精灵国切断了与帝国的所有联系,而后沉默了整整七十年。大多数学者认为出现这一现象的原因是艾利诺发生了内部冲突,但自从萨尔摩巩固了其在夏暮岛和瓦伦林地的地位后,世间就极少能了解到有关艾德莫精灵国内部派系斗争的消息。

第四纪元98年,两个月亮-玛瑟和赛甘达-消失了。这在帝国境内大部分地区引发了人们的不安和恐惧。由于月亮在当地文化中具有重要意义,艾尔斯维尔的情况更加糟糕。在渡过两年的Void Nights之后,月亮又再次出现。萨尔摩宣称是他们利用目前尚不为人所知的Dawn Magicks恢复了月亮。但并不清楚究竟是他们真的恢复了月亮抑或仅仅是提前预见到月亮将要重现。

无论事实真相究竟如何,虎人仍将萨尔摩视为自己的救世主。在不到十五年的时间里,帝国对艾尔斯维尔的影响力日益削弱,以致对第四纪元115年发生的政变也无法作出有效回应。那次政变导致艾尔斯维尔联邦解体以及亚尼坤纳和Pelletine两个古王国复辟。这两个王国旋即成为艾德莫精灵国的附庸国。自此之后,帝国再无能力阻挡萨尔摩势力的推进。

第四纪元168年,当提图斯·梅德 II 登基时,他面对的是一个疲弱的帝国。赛普丁族系的光辉岁月已经成为遥远的回忆。瓦伦林地和艾尔斯维尔落入敌手。黑沼泽自“湮灭危机”后不久便脱离了帝国控制。晨风省在瓦丹非尔火山爆发的打击下一蹶不振。落锤省/落锤之地饱受Crowns和 Fore熊s战乱之苦。只有高岩省、赛瑞迪尔和天际省仍然保持着繁荣和和平。

提图斯·梅德 大帝只有几年时间来巩固他的统治,在那之后,他的领导能力将接受最终的考验。

*

战争爆发

第四纪元171年霜降月30日,艾德莫精灵国派遣一名大使赴帝都递送了最后通碟,随行的还有一辆被遮盖住的马车作为觐见礼物。在其提出的一长串要求中,包括索要数额惊人的贡品、取缔刀锋会、宣布泰洛斯崇拜为非法以及割让落锤省/落锤之地大部分地区。尽管将军们警告帝国军力虚弱不宜开战,但皇帝提图斯·梅德 II 仍然拒绝了艾德莫精灵国提出的要求。萨尔摩大使随即打开了马车,将一百颗首级扔到了地板上-那是在夏暮岛和瓦伦林地的所有刀锋会成员。从此,一场绵延五年之久、席卷帝国和艾德莫精灵国的“大战”爆发了。

数日之内,先代精灵军队同时入侵了落锤省/落锤之地和赛瑞迪尔。一支强大的军队在萨尔摩将军 Naarifin 领主的指挥下,由艾斯维尔北部的秘密营地开出,开始从南方进攻赛瑞迪尔。这只部队沿瓦伦林地边界对帝国防线展开侧翼包抄。不久,Leyawiin沦陷,同时,Bravil 通讯中断并被包围。

与此同时,在Lady Arannelya的率领下,一支先代精灵军队从瓦伦林地出发抵达赛瑞迪尔西部地区,经由Anvil和Kvatch进入落锤省/落锤之地。另一只稍小规模的先代精灵军队从落锤省/落锤之地南部海岸线登陆,并迅速占领了大量南部海岸线地区。不计其数的帝国军团经由亚力卡尔沙漠撤退,史称March of Thirst。

*

第四纪元172年至173年:先代精灵进军赛瑞迪尔

现在已经知道的是,赛瑞迪尔最初的目标原本只是征服落锤省/落锤之地,入侵赛瑞迪尔不过是为了在进攻落锤省/落锤之地的同时牵制住帝国军团。然而,Naarifin领主在进攻行动方面取得的远超出预期的巨大胜利使萨尔摩相信帝国原比他们预想的还要虚弱。因而占领帝都并彻底摧毁帝国成为他们接下来两年的主要目标。正如我们所知的那样,萨尔摩几乎就快实现他们的目标了。在那最黑暗的时刻,若非我们皇帝坚决抗争,这场灾难将无法避免。

第四纪元172年期间,先代精灵已深入赛瑞迪尔,Bravil和Anvil均已失陷。年底,Naarifin领主的军队直逼帝都城墙之下。帝国军队为了守住东部海岸,在Lake Rumare上及尼本沿线与精灵军队爆发了激烈海战。

在落锤省/落锤之地,取得对整个南部海岸线的控制权后,萨尔摩着手于巩固已占领地区的军事存在-这正是他们在对皇帝的最后通碟中所要求的内容。在南部城市中,只有赫加瑟仍在坚守不降。March of Thirst的幸存者在落锤省/落锤之地北部重新集结,并与来自高岩省的援军汇合在一起。

第四纪元173年,帝国在赛瑞迪尔展开了更加顽强的抵抗,但先代精灵的进军似乎依旧不可阻挡。来自天际省的生力军极大充实了皇帝在帝都的主力部队,但先代精灵强行突破了尼本路口并开始向东部海岸进军。年底时,帝都已三面被围,只有通向Bruma的北部补给线仍然畅通。

在落锤省/落锤之地,帝国的运气有所好转。第四纪元173年年初,一支来自哨卫城的Fore熊部队突破了精灵对Hegathe(属于Crown势力)的包围,并籍此实现了两派的和解。尽管如此,Lady Arannelya的主力部队仍然成功穿越了亚力卡尔沙漠,并在斯凯文外围遭遇Deci阿努s将军率领的帝国军团。两军进行了血腥的、不分胜负的战斗。Deci阿努s将军被迫撤退,斯凯文落入Arannelya之手。但先代精灵也遭受重创,无力继续推进了。

*

第四纪元174年:帝都浩劫

第四纪元174年,萨尔摩领导层决定将所有可动用的兵力投入赛瑞迪尔战役,以期取得决定性胜利,一劳永逸地结束战争。春季,先代精灵增援部队在赛瑞迪尔南部集结,并于次种月12日对帝都发动了大规模攻击。其中一支部队北上,意图彻底封锁帝都。同时,Naarifin领主的主力从南、东、西三个方向向帝都发动进攻。皇帝作出了一个大胆的决定,即在城外与精灵决战而非死守都城。没有将军胆敢建议他放弃都城,但最后的结果证明Titus II是正确的。

第八军团负责殿后掩护作战-这注定是场绝望且注定失败的战斗-同时,Titus II 率领主力部队冲出都城向北而去,突破了先代精灵的重重包围并与琼娜将军率领的援军汇合-当时这只援军正从天际省南下。然而与此同时,帝都沦陷,声名狼藉的"帝都浩劫“开始了。被复仇火焰所驱使的精灵们将帝国宫殿付之一炬、白金塔洗劫一空,并对无辜的平民实施了惨绝人寰的暴行。

在 落锤省/落锤之地,当Deci阿努s被命令回师援助赛瑞迪尔的时候,他正在着手准备将先代精灵逐出斯凯文的军事行动。由于不愿意完全放弃落锤省/落锤之地,在部队东进前,他默许数量庞大的“伤残士兵”从军团中退伍。这些“退伍老兵”成为后来最终将Lady Arannelya的军队逐回亚力卡尔(174年末)的核心力量。值得一提的是,Arannelya的军队在撤退过程中还遭到了亚力卡尔武士的袭扰,蒙受了惨重的损失。

*

第四纪元175年:红戒之战

第四纪元174年至175年之际的那个冬天,萨尔摩似乎认为赛瑞迪尔的战争已经接近尾声。他们试图与Titus II议和。皇帝一方面表面上装作已经准备投降,另一方面,他暗中集结了他的军队,准备收复帝都。

在这场被数代帝国战略家奉为经典战例、史称“红戒之战”的战役中,Titus II 将他的军队一分为三。其一, 由Deci阿努s将军率领从落锤省/落锤之地返回的军团隐蔽在靠近Chorrol的科洛文高地。先代精灵并不知道Deci阿努s已经不在落锤省/落锤之地,这可能是由于Deci阿努s留下的大量帝国老兵使Lady Arannelya 相信她面对的仍然是一支帝国军队。其二,由琼娜将军率领的以诺德人为主的军团,抢占了靠近Cheydinhal的战略要地。第三,由皇帝本人亲自指挥主力部队,负责实施从北面对帝都发动主攻。

雨手月30日,血腥的红戒之战开始了。Deci阿努s 将军从西面对都城发动了突袭,同时琼娜将军的军团士兵们沿红戒路南下。经过两天的战斗,琼娜的部队穿过了尼本并向西开进,试图与Deci阿努s的军团汇合进而包围帝都。 Naarifin领主被Deci阿努s的突袭打得措手不及,但琼娜的军队遭遇了顽强的抵抗—先代精灵从Bravil 和Skingrad方向上发动了反击战。然而,英勇的诺德军团屹立不倒,打退了先代精灵一次又一次的进攻。战斗进行至第十五天时,帝国军队完成了对帝都里的先代精灵部队的包围。

Titus II领导了发自北方的进攻,并且亲手俘虏了Naarifin领主。据说皇帝在战斗中挥舞着著名的“铭金宝剑”,但这一点并未得到帝国政府的正式确认。而琼娜将军则率领他剩下的军团构筑起牢不可破的盾墙,断绝了先代精灵冲出帝都向南突围的意图。

最终,先代精灵在赛瑞迪尔的主力部队被完全摧毁。皇帝于第四纪元174年撤出帝都的决定以血的代价得到了证明。Naarifin领主在被俘三十三天后于白金塔被绞死。即使确有其事,关于他被埋在何处也没有相关记载,。有消息声称他在第三十四天被一位会飞的迪德拉带走了。

*

白金协定和战争的结束

尽管取得了胜利,帝国的军队也无力继续再战。残存的所有帝国军队集结在赛瑞迪尔。经历了红戒之战后,他们大多疲惫不堪、减员严重。没有一个军团拥有编制的半数以上的士兵。两个军团被整编消灭,这还不包括早年在撤离帝都时损失的第八军团。Titus II 深知这正是议和的最好时机。第四纪元175年末,帝国与艾德莫精灵国签订了“白金协定”,结束了“大战”。

协定的条款非常苛刻,但Titus II 相信这对于维持和平和使帝国得以喘息并重振旗鼓是必要的。“白金协定”中最饱受争议的两条内容是禁止泰洛斯崇拜和割让落锤省/落锤之地南部大部分地区(其中大部分已被先代精灵部队事实上占领)。有批评者认为,“白金协定”的内容几乎与皇帝早年拒绝的最后通碟一模一样。但是,在受到战争威胁后便接受条款和在经历长期破坏性的战争后接受条款之间,是有着本质区别的。在第四纪元171年时,帝国各省都不会承认这些在萨尔摩武力胁迫下签订的条款。Titus II 将不得不面临内战威胁。但是到了175年,帝国的大部分地区都渴望和平,无论付出什么代价。

*

尾声:落锤省/落锤之地,独自战斗

然而,落锤省/落锤之地拒绝接受“白金协定”—他们不愿承认战败和割让如此之多的土地。Titus II 为了维持这来之不易的和平协议,被迫宣布将落锤省/落锤之地从帝国省份中除名。理所当然地,红卫人将此举视为对其的背叛。籍此,萨尔摩无疑实现了他们的长期目标之一-在落锤省/落锤之地和帝国之间埋下怨恨的种子。

最后,尽管战争又持续了五年,并将落锤省/落锤之地南部化为一片废墟,但英勇的红卫人迫使艾德莫精灵国止步不前。红卫人声称这充分证明没有必要签订“白金协定”,并且如果Titus II 能够继续勇敢下去,艾德莫精灵国将被落锤省/落锤之地 和剩余帝国军队的联军彻底打败。当然,这一观点是否正确永远也无法得知。但红卫人不应该忘记是帝国在红戒之战中付出的巨大牺牲-他们中有布莱顿人、诺德人,还有赛瑞迪尔人-极大削弱了先代精灵,才使得精灵最终同意签订Second Treaty of Stros M’kai(第四纪元180年)并从落锤省/落锤之地撤出部队。

毫无疑问的是,当前的和平不会永远持续。萨尔摩素有远见,这一点已为导致“大战”爆发的一系列事件所证明。所有热爱自由反对暴政的人唯有祈祷落锤省/落锤之地和帝国能够在一切太晚之前尽快达成和解,重新团结起来共同面对萨尔摩的威胁。否则,任何对抗萨尔摩统治泰姆瑞尔大陆的努力将都变得希望渺茫。

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A Concise Account of the Great War Between the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion
by Legate Justianus Quintius
A soldier's summation of the major events before and during the Great War

 Author's Note: Much of what is written in this book is pieced together from documents captured from the enemy during the war, interrogation of prisoners, and eyewitness accounts from surviving soldiers and Imperial officers. I myself commanded the Tenth Legion in Hammerfell and Cyrodiiluntil I was wounded in 175 during the assault on the Imperial City. That said, the full truth of some events may never be known. I have done my best to fill in the gaps with educated conjectures based on my experience as well as my hard-earned knowledge of the enemy.
The Rise of the Thalmor
Although it is not well known, Summerset Isle suffered from the Oblivion Crisis as much as Cyrodiil did. The elves made war upon the Oblivion invaders, occasionally even crossing over to close down Oblivion gates. As a nation they had more successes than Cyrodiil did, although the limitless daedric hordes made the outcome a foregone conclusion.
The Thalmor had always been a powerful faction within Summerset Isle, but had also always been a minority voice. During the crisis, the Crystal Tower was forced to give the Thalmor greater power and authority. Their efforts almost certainly saved Summerset Isle from being overrun. They capitalized on their success to seize total control in 4E 22. They renamed the nation Alinor, which hearkens back to an earlier age before the ascendency [sic] of man. Most people outside of theAldmeri Dominion still call it Summerset Isle, either out of peevishness or ignorance.
In 4E 29, the government of Valenwood was overthrown by Thalmor collaborators and a union with Alinor proclaimed. It appears that Thalmor agents had formed close ties to certain Bosmeri factions even before the Oblivion Crisis. The Empire and its Bosmer allies, caught completely off guard, were quickly defeated by the much-better prepared Altmer forces that invaded Valenwood on the heels of the coup. Thus was the Aldmeri Dominion reborn.
Shortly afterward the Aldmeri Dominion severed all contact with the Empire. For seventy years they were silent. Most scholars believe there was some sort of internal strife in Alinor, but very little is known of the factional struggles that went on inside the Dominion while the Thalmor consolidated its power in Summerset and Valenwood.
In 4E 98, the two moons, Masser and Secunda vanished. Within most of the Empire, this was viewed with trepidation and fear. In Elsweyr it was far worse. Culturally the moons are much more influential to the Khajiit. After two years of the Void Nights, the moons returned. The Thalmor announced that they had restored the moons using previously unknown Dawn Magicks, but it is unclear if they truly restored the moons or just took advantage of foreknowledge that they would return.
Regardless of the truth of the matter, the Khajiit credited the Thalmor as their saviors. Within fifteen years, Imperial influence in Elsweyr had so diminished that the Empire was unable to respond effectively to the coup of 4E 115 which dissolved the Elsweyr Confederacy and recreated the ancient kingdoms of Anequina and Pelletine as client states of the Aldmeri Dominion. Once more the Empire failed to stop the advance of Thamor [sic] power.
When Titus Mede II ascended the throne in 4E 168, he inherited a weakened empire. The glory days of the Septims were a distant memory. Valenwood and Elsweyr were gone, ceded to the Thalmor enemy.Black Marsh had been lost to Imperial rule since the aftermath of the Oblivion Crisis. Morrowindhad never recovered fully from the eruption of Mount Vvardenfell. Hammerfell was plagued by infighting between Crowns and Forebears. Only High Rock, Cyrodiil and Skyrim remained prosperous and peaceful.
Emperor Titus Mede had only a few short years to consolidate his rule before his leadership was put to the ultimate test.

***
The War Begins
On the 30th of Frostfall, 4E 171, the Aldmeri Dominion sent an ambassador to the Imperial City with a gift in a covered cart and an ultimatum for the new Emperor. The long list of demands included staggering tributes, disbandment of the Blades, outlawing the worship of Talos, and ceding large sections of Hammerfell to the Dominion. Despite the warnings of his generals of the Empire's military weakness, Emperor Titus Mede II rejected the ultimatum. The Thalmor ambassador upended the cart, spilling over a hundred heads on the floor: every Blades agent in Summerset and Valenwood. And so began the Great War which would consume the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion for the next five years.
Within days, Aldmeri armies invaded Hammerfell and Cyrodiil simultaneously. A strong force commanded by the Thalmor general Lord Naarifin attacked Cyrodiil from the south, marching out of hidden camps in northern Elsweyr and flanking the Imperial defenses along the Valenwood border.Leyawiin soon fell to the invaders, while Bravil was cut off and besieged.
At the same time, an Aldmeri army under Lady Arannelya crossed into western Cyrodiil from Valenwood, bypassing Anvil and Kvatch and crossing into Hammerfell. Smaller Aldmeri forces landed along the southern coastline of Hammerfell. The disunited Redguard forces offered only scattered resistance to the invaders, and much of the southern coastline was quickly overrun. The greatly outnumbered Imperial legions retreated across the Alik'r Desert in the now-famous March of Thirst.

***
4E 172-173: The Aldmeri Advance Into Cyrodiil
It appears now that the initial Aldmeri objective was in fact the conquest of Hammerfell, and that the invasion of Cyrodiil was intended only to pin down the Imperial legions while Hammerfell was overrun. However, the surprising initial success of Lord Naarifin's attack led the Thalmor to believe that the Empire was weaker than they had thought. The capture of the Imperial City itself and the complete overthrow of the Empire thus became their primary objective of the next two years. As we know, the Thalmor nearly achieved their objective. It was only because of our Emperor's determined leadership during the Empire's darkest hour that this disaster was averted.
During 4E 172, the Aldmeri advanced deeper into Cyrodiil. Bravil and Anvil both fell to the invaders. By the end of the year, Lord Naarifin had advanced to the very walls of the Imperial City. There were fierce naval clashes in Lake Rumare and along the Niben as the Imperial forces attempted to hold the eastern bank.
In Hammerfell, the Thalmor were content to consolidate their gains as they took control of the whole southern coastline, which was in fact their stated objective in the ultimatum delivered to the Emperor. Of the southern cities, only Hegathe still held out. The survivors of the March of Thirst regrouped in northern Hammerfell, joined by reinforcements from High Rock.
The year 4E 173 saw stiffening Imperial resistance in Cyrodiil, but the seemingly inexorable Aldmeri advance continued. Fresh legions from Skyrim bolstered the Emperor's main army in the Imperial City, but the Aldmeri forced the crossing of the Niben and began advancing in force up the eastern bank. By the end of the year, the Imperial City was surrounded on three sides - only the northern supply route to Bruma remained open.
In Hammerfell, Imperial fortunes took a turn for the better. In early 4E 173, a Forebear army from Sentinel broke the siege of Hegathe (a Crown city), leading to the reconciliation of the two factions. Despite this, Lady Arannelya's main army succeeded in crossing the Alik'r Desert. The Imperial Legions under General Decianus met them outside Skaven in a bloody and indecisive clash. Decianus withdrew and left Arannelya in possession of Skaven, but the Aldmeri were too weakened to continue their advance.

***
4E 174: The Sack of the Imperial City
In 4E 174, the Thalmor leadership committed all available forces to the campaign in Cyrodiil, gambling on a decisive victory to end the war once and for all. During the spring, Aldmeri reinforcements gathered in southern Cyrodiil, and on 12th of Second Seed, they launched a massive assault on the Imperial City itself. One army drove north to completely surround the city, while Lord Naarifin's main force attacked the walls from the south, east, and west. The Emperor's decision to fight his way out of the city rather than make a last stand was a bold one. No general dared advise him to abandon the capital, but Titus II was proven right in the end.
While the Eighth Legion fought a desperate (and doomed) rearguard action on the walls of the city, Titus II broke out of the city to the north with his main army, smashing through the surrounding the Aldmeri [sic] forces and linking up with reinforcements marching south from Skyrim under General Jonna. Meanwhile, however, the capital fell to the invaders and the infamous Sack of the Imperial City began. The Imperial Palace was burned, the White-Gold Tower itself looted, and all manner of atrocities carried out by the vengeful elves on the innocent populace.
In Hammerfell, General Decianus was preparing to drive the Aldmeri back from Skaven when he was ordered to march for Cyrodiil. Unwilling to abandon Hammerfell completely, he allowed a great number of "invalids" to be discharged from the Legions before they marched east. These veterans formed the core of the army that eventually drove Lady Arannelya's forces back across the Alik'r late in 174, taking heavy losses on their retreat from harassing attacks by the Alik'r warriors.

***
4E 175: The Battle of the Red Ring
During the winter of 4E 174-175, the Thalmor seem to have believed that the war in Cyrodiil was all but over. They made several attempts to negotiate with Titus II. The Emperor encouraged them in their belief that he was preparing to surrender; meanwhile, he gathered his forces to retake the Imperial City.
In what is now known as the Battle of the Red Ring, a battle that will serve as a model for Imperial strategists for generations to come, Titus II divided his forces into three. One army, with the legions from Hammerfell under General Decianus, was hidden in the Colovian Highlands nearChorrol. The Aldmeri were unaware that he was no longer in Hammerfell, possibly because the Imperial veterans Decianus had left behind led Lady Arannelya to believe that she still faced an Imperial army. The second army, largely of Nord legions under General Jonna, took up position near Cheydinhal. The main army was commanded by the Emperor himself, and would undertake the main assault of the Imperial City from the north.
On the 30th of Rain's Hand, the bloody Battle of the Red Ring began as General Decianus swept down on the city from the west, while General Jonna's legionnaires drove south along the Red Ring Road. In a two-day assault, Jonna's army crossed the Niben and advanced west, attempting to link up with Decianus's legions and thus surround the Imperial City. Lord Naarifin was taken by surprise by Decianus's assault, but Jonna's troops faced bitter resistance as the Aldmeri counterattacked from Bravil and Skingrad. The heroic Nord legionnaires held firm, however, beating off the piecemeal Aldmeri attacks. By the fifth day of the battle, the Aldmeri army in the Imperial City was surrounded.
Titus II led the assault from the north, personally capturing Lord Naarifin. It is rumored the Emperor wielded the famed sword Goldbrand, although this has never been officially confirmed by the Imperial government. An attempt by the Aldmeri to break out of the city to the south was blocked by the unbreakable shieldwall of General Jonna's battered legions.
In the end, the main Aldmeri army in Cyrodiil was completely destroyed. The Emperor's decision to withdraw from the Imperial City in 4E 174 was bloodily vindicated.
Lord Naarifin was kept alive for thirty-three days, hanging from the White-Gold tower. It is not recorded where his body was buried, if it was buried at all. Once [sic] source claims he was carried off by a winged daedra on the thirty-fourth day.

***
The White-Gold Concordat and the End of the War
Although victorious, the Imperial armies were in no shape to continue the war. The entire remaining Imperial force was gathered in Cyrodiil, exhausted and decimated by the Battle of the Red Ring. Not a single legion had more than half its soldiers fit for duty. Two legions had been effectively annihilated, not counting the loss of the Eighth during the retreat from the Imperial City the previous year. Titus II knew that there would be no better time to negotiate peace, and late in 4E 175 the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion signed the White-Gold Concordat, ending the Great War.
The terms were harsh, but Titus II believed that it was necessary to secure peace and give the Empire a chance to regain its strength. The two most controversial terms of the Concordat were the banning of the worship of Talos and the cession of a large section of southern Hammerfell (most of what was already occupied by Aldmeri forces). Critics have pointed out that the Concordat is almost identical to the ultimatum the Emperor rejected five years earlier. However, there is a great difference between agreeing to such terms under the mere threat of war, and agreeing to them at the end of a long and destructive war. No part of the Empire would have accepted these terms in 4E 171, dictated by the Thalmor at swords-point. Titus II would have faced civil war. By 4E 175, most of the Empire welcomed peace at almost any price.

***
Epilogue: Hammerfell Fights On Alone
Hammerfell, however, refused to accept the White-Gold Concordat, being unwilling to concede defeat and the loss of so much of their territory. Titus II was forced to officially renounce Hammerfell as an Imperial province in order to preserve the hard-won peace treaty. The Redguards, understandably, looked on this as a betrayal. In this, the Thalmor certainly achieved one of their long-term goals by sowing lasting bitterness between Hammerfell and the Empire.
In the end, the heroic Redguards fought the Aldmeri Dominion to a standstill, although the war lasted for five more years and left southern Hammerfell devastated. The Redguards say that this proves that the White-Gold Concordat was unnecessary, and that if Titus II had kept his nerve, the Aldmeri could have been truly defeated by the combined forces of Hammerfell and the rest of the Empire. The truth of that assertion can, of course, never be known. But the Redguards should not forget the great sacrifice of Imperial blood - Breton, Nord, and Cyrodilic - at the Battle of the Red Ring that weakened the Dominion enough to allow the eventual Second Treaty of Stros M'kai in 4E 180 and the withdrawal of Aldmeri forces from Hammerfell.
There can be no doubt that the current peace cannot last forever. The Thalmor take the long view, as is proved by the sequence of events leading up to the Great War. All those who value freedom over tyranny can only hope that before it is too late, Hammerfell and the Empire will be reconciled and stand united against the Thalmor threat. Otherwise, any hope to stem the tide of Thalmor rule over all of Tamriel is dimmed.

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