Alessian Empire, Alessian Order
(the symbol of the Alessian Empire)
A history and story of the trials of St. Alessia, the Nedic slave who rebelled against the Ayleid overlords and made a pact with Akatosh to become the first Dragonborn (please note Alessia is the first Dragonborn in recorded history; Miraak was truly the first, but no record exists of him being Dragonborn, or of him really existing at all except for as the Betrayer).
Who was Alessia?
(a statue in the depiction of St. Alessia herself)
Alessia was a human born in what was known as Sard, or now Sardavar Leed. What her original name may have been is unknown. Alessia is actually a clipping of the title bestowed upon her by her followers, Al-Esh, meaning “High-Princess”. Another name given to her was Pravant, meaning “The First”. From these two titles, she was given many different names, such as Parrif and Aleshnut.
(the rise/fall of Merid-Nunda)
As with all humans born in Cyrodiil during the First Era, she was born a slave to the Ayleids, the Elves who ruled the area of Cyrodiil. She prayed to Akatosh and the Aedra for freedom from the Ayleids, who, at least to the human slaves, seemed to worship the Daedra. (Scholars have deduced that the Ayleids, though never truly united in religion, seemed to center their worships around the Aedra until the late Merethic Era, where Daedric cults among the various Ayleid tribes rose to power; and even then, there were only two major deities they seem to have worshipped, Magnus and Meridia, whom they knew as Merid-Nunda, because the two of them represented a personification of the most-sacred element, Light itself.)
(purportedly what the beginning of the Alessian Empire would have looked like before conquering the Nibenean)
Alessia’s prayers were answered by three visions from the Aedra at Sancre Tor. Through them, Akatosh bestowed upon Alessia three gifts. The first gift, he tore open his own heart and muscle, offering to her as the Amulet of Kings, as he is “King of Spirits” and she would be “Queen of Mortals”. The second gift, he offered her a handful of his own blood, through which she would be granted the first of the dragonfires, and as long as they burned, the gates of Oblivion would remain shut. The third gift, he offered her guidance to shape her empire, where she would rule as Queen of Queens, so long as the Amulet of Kings remained whole.
Soon after, she established her holy city in Sancre Tor, and began an open revolt against the Ayleids. She worked alongside Morhaus – the winged man-bull mortal son of Kynareth – and Ayleid Rebel Lords, where they eventually made their way to the capital city of the White-Gold Tower. Though hesitant to assault the Ayleids most heavily fortified center, Pelinal Whitestrake stormed the tower, and slew the king of the Ayleids, the sorcerer Umaril the Unfeathered. Morihaus and Alessia soon followed with their armies, taking the citadel. Many of the Ayleids eventually fled to Valenwood. In 1E 243, Alessia declared herself Empress of the new Cyrodiilic Empire, taking the Amulet of Kings as divine provenance that she was to rule. She established the open religion of the Eight Divines (who would become the Nine with the transcendence of Talos). Some years later, Alessia, now on her deathbed, was visited once more by Akatosh (in some stories, she was visited by Shezarr) and was granted Sainthood, and was immortalized as Saint Alessia. When she finally died in 1E 266, she was buried in the catacombs beneath Sancre Tor. This later became tradition by Reman Cyrodiil and his successors, who would also be buried in those catacombs. However, some stories counter this, asserting that she was buried beneath the Temple of the One in the Imperial City.
(Pelinal Whitestrake vs Umaril the Unfeathered)
Under Alessia, the Alessian Empire, there are only a few rules who are known to history. Alessia herself in 1E 243, Bellharza the Man-Bull son of Saint Alessia and Demiprince Morihaus in 1E 266, Gorieus in 1E 461, and Hestra, who expanded the Cyrodiilic Empire all the way into High Rock itself in 1E 1029. Among the Empire’s more defining moments was the rise of the monotheistic Alessian Order that followed the teaching of the prophet Marukh, whose teachings questioned the validity of Elven rule – the same teachings that led to the rise of the Alessian Order, he also went on to write the Alessian Doctrines, which provided the base laws for the Alessian Empire; he was also credited with the phrase, “All are guilty until they prove themselves innocent” which was thought by some to be a cruel concept at the time. It was said Marukh began his teachings after he spoke to “the Enlightened One” – Marukh and his priests name for Saint Alessia – in a vision. He taught that the Elves were not fit to rule, and that to defy the Emperor was to defy the Gods – his belief is somewhat supported in the fact that Akatosh himself essentially supplanted Alessia as Empress in the first place.
(the trials of St. Alessia)
The borders of the Alessian Empire fluctuated much during its life. At its inception, it encompassed East Cyrodiil, including the Nibenay Valley and the White-Gold Tower. West Cyrodiil remained under the control of the Colovian Kings, who resisted Alessian’s right to rule, though they eventually joined the Empire as allied territories. Many of the Ayleid Lords who supported and allied with Alessia were allowed to remain in control of their realms, becoming Vassal-States of the Alessian Empire. These Vassal-States were meticulously dissolved by the Alessian Order. With the death of High King Kjoric the White in 1E 478, the Empire made attempts to seize portions of southern Skyrim, and though they mostly succeeded, they failed to acquire the kingdom of Skingrad. The Empire attempted to annex High Rock, but were thwarted at the Battle of Glenumbra Moors in 1E 482; this would later be remembered as one of the Empire’s most disastrous mistakes. However, in 1E 1029, Empress Hestra defeated King Styriche, the Vampire of Verkath, and successfully conquered High Rock. In 1E 2305, High Rock regained its sovereignty, reasserting their independence in response to the Alessian Order’s growing excesses.
(the man-bull Morihaus, eventual husband of St. Alessia and father of Second Emperor Half-Man Half-Minotaur Belharza)
1n 1E 2321, the Colovian Kings of West Cyrodiil broke away from the Empire, establishing the Colovian Estates, completely severing all ties with the Alessian Empire. Struggling with finances under the weight of controlling their land, the Empire finally broke under the strain and the War of Righteousness erupted. After a decade of war that annihilated at least half the population of the Iliac Bay, and saw the destruction of the Alessian Order’s monastery complex at Lake Canulus it finally ended in 1E 2331, with the dissolution of the Alessian Empire. The Alessian Order purportedly collapsed at the same time.
(the Cyrodiilic Pantheon)
Cyrodiil and the rest of Tamriel would remain divided until the rise of Reman the First and the Second Empire in 1E 2703.