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A United Empire and the Greatest Threat to Tamriel

    • 45 posts
    April 18, 2016 7:12 PM EDT

    After hundreds of Skyrim playthroughs, I finally read a lore book that I had somehow either missed or just never got around to reading: The Great War. It has quickly become my favorite lore book because of its incredibly detailed account of the battles and events leading up to and during the war that led to the controversial White-Gold Concordat.

    What really stood out to me though, was that in the Empire's weakened state, it took help from every nearby province to hold back the Thalmor. For example, the famous success at The Battle of The Red Ring could never have been accomplished without help from the Nord legions to the east, the Redguard legions to the west, the Cyrodiilic legions to the North, and the incredible strategy on the part of Emperor Titus Mede II (who, prior to reading this book, I though of as simply the emperor you get to kill for the Dark Brotherhood. I had no idea he was so awesome). 

    I used to think that both sides of the Skyrim civil war had about an equal amount of merit, but this really seals it for me. Were the Empire to be completely dissolved, no one province would even come close to being able to withstand an attack from the Thalmor (Someone may point out that Hammerfell was able to do it after the Great War, but that was a weakened Thalmor who had just been trying to fight two wars at once. Were the Aldmeri Dominion to focus entirely on Hammerfell, I have no doubt they would succeed), and that includes Skyrim. The books itself even says something to this effect as a last note: "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." Without a united front against the Thalmor, we will see the Aldmeri Dominion aborb every province one by one until all are ruled by oppressive elven overlords.

  • Mr.
    • 763 posts
    April 18, 2016 7:26 PM EDT

    I think you will be quite interested in the following lore articles by Vix:

    And basically the entire "Altmer section". Unless you have already read them.  

    • 168 posts
    April 19, 2016 11:51 AM EDT

    Without a united front against the Thalmor, we will see the Aldmeri Dominion aborb every province one by one until all are ruled by oppressive elven overlords.

    This is already happening since the beginning of the 4th era. The Thalmor simply play an individual lute on each province controlled by the Empire to make them break off. This is called "Salami Tactics", a.k.a "Divide and Conquer". Wanna examples? Alright! Summerset Isle? Take credits for what Martin Septim did. Valenwood? Organize a coup and take the Imperials supporters by surprise. Elsweyr? Use "dawn magic" to "restore" the moons and impress the Khajiits in the process (we all know the moons are gripped to their religion). Hammerfell? Demands the Empire to cede sections of southern Hammerfell to the Thalmor as a condition of the peace treaty, so the Emperor had to betray the Redguards - they'll never trust the Empire again. Skyrim? Use the Nords' religion (reverence to Talos in particular) to make them hate the Empire and rise up against it.

    • 1595 posts
    April 20, 2016 3:57 AM EDT

    Were the Empire to be completely dissolved, no one province would even come close to being able to withstand an attack from the Thalmor

    Approve. The truth is plain to see. Pretty much every NPC in the game worth listening to tells us that the Empire is the best hope for long term victory over the Old Mary.

    Yet people still insist on supporting Ulfric

    • 393 posts
    April 20, 2016 4:00 AM EDT

    Ulfric is the rightful High King) For the Glory of Aldmeri Dominion!

    • 1595 posts
    April 20, 2016 4:09 AM EDT

    You said it Thuri. Give Gormcloak the crown and you pretty much let the Dominion in through your back door - and they won't be gentle about such a means of ingress.

    • 393 posts
    April 20, 2016 4:11 AM EDT

    Oh, they will be gentle) So gentle that the Imperials won't even notice anything before it's too late)

    • 113 posts
    April 20, 2016 12:55 PM EDT
    Wow... "Thuri". So Thorien is Phil's overlord. Thalmor is Empire's overlord? Noooo!
    • 43 posts
    April 20, 2016 1:03 PM EDT

    Assuming the Dragonborn helped the Empire end the civil war in Skyrim quickly, if I was the Empire I would try the Thalmors own sedition on them and try and win the Khajiit over, who are the most likely to leave out of the two, as well as secretly build a Blades like organization up to fight back against Thalmor agents and there activities in trying to split apart the Empire. Also I would secretly regain the trust of Hammerfell to catch the Thalmor by surprise if there was another war and attempt to gain the support of the Argonians against the Thalmor. The Empire might win if the Khajiit or/and Argonian aid them but if that failed the Talmor most probably will fight them to another standstill or win.

  • April 20, 2016 11:22 PM EDT

    If I am not mistaken, Emperor Titus Mede II let a substantial portion of his Imperial Legions in Hammerfell go inactive (some sort of 'medical leave' or ineffectiveness, but he somehow officially wrote them off) so that they could keep fighting with Hammerfell against the Aldmeri Dominion, even though Hammerfell seceded from the Empire over the White-Gold Concordat.

    So it was not only the desert terrain and an exhausted AD army against amazing Redguard warriors. It was also leftover Imperial Legions fighting with the Redguards to help drive out the AD. This at least speaks to Mede's character and to some extent, his cunning (even if the Mede family ignored the warning signs about the AD before the Great War started).

    Just more evidence to me that the best thing the Dragonborn can do is end the war quickly in favor of the Empire. It at least screws over the Thalmor/AD the hardest, with the second-best option being a quick end to the war and Skyrim independence. But in light of some of the things you learn at the Thalmor Embassy (not posting for spoiler purposes, anyone can learn this info if they are thorough in the relevant quest stemming off of the main questline fairly early on), it is rather clear that the last thing the AD wants is a quick Imperial victory.

    • 393 posts
    April 21, 2016 10:02 AM EDT

    I'm by no means an ovelrord, just a humble Justiciar))

    • 411 posts
    April 21, 2016 10:03 AM EDT
    Me on the Other hand am a Thalmor overlord whenever i use my secret Thalmor transformation.
    • 10 posts
    April 25, 2016 8:41 PM EDT

    I actually would have to disagree with the assumption that Skyrim could not fend of the Aldmeri Dominion. First thing to consider is logistics. Invading Cyrodil and invading Skyrim is no way the same monster. For example for the Cyrodil campaign they were able to build their forces in Valenwood and march them in, while the Navy came up through Topal Bay. However Skyrim does not share a boarder with any Aldmeri Territory. So to move an army into Skyrim let's look at all the possible routes. Vallenwood/Elswhere. They would have to march through Cyrodil, and I don't given the recent history the Empire would allow them free access to move a force the size you would need to conquer Skyrim. Of course you could go through Hammerfell but then not only would they have to deal with the Redguards, but the Alik'r desert. Losses would be to high. A large scale naval attack would be incredibly risky. They would have to go past Stros'Mkai, then around High Rock and whatever remnants of the Imperial navy that would be there. Then the Sea of Ghosts. It's not called that because it's haunted, think about how many ship wrecks there have been there. Of course they could go the long way around which would put them in potential conflict with the Saxheel. And let's be honest if Summerset was overun during the Oblivion crisis, while the Argonians over ran the Badlands of Oblivion to the point where Dagon gave up, who wants to mess with that? But let's say youi make it then you have either the same problem moving a fleet that size through the Sea of Ghosts, or you land somewhere in the incredibly weakened Morrowind and march this large force through the most inhospitable and alien terrain Tamriel has to offer. Let's also not forget that there is no love lost between the Dunmer and the Altmer. Between House Redoran and House Telvanni an Altmer Army would be decimated. Not to mention the generals of said army would be prize targets for the Morag Tong. With the exception of the Dunmer joining the AD and attacking Skyrim together Morrowind is a no go zone. So you see the complexities of attacking Skyrim alone would cost the AD quite a price in both supplies and manpower. But for the sake of argument let's say they land 85% of the invading force in Skyrim, which is a really generous estimation.

    Then they have to deal with the Nords. Now before anyone goes hating on the Nords for whatever reason I would like to make a quick point. History ALWAYS repeats itself. When the Nords returned to Tamriel Skyrim was inhabited by the Falmer, or Snow Elves. A race that was literally driven into underground slavery as their only means of survival. The Nords shattered a civilization that was suppose to rival that of Summerset and the Altmer. Then hundreds of years later during the Alessian rebellion, the Nords came down and  played a large part in the annihilation of the Hartland High Elves.Every time an "Empire" has been formed the Nords have been the driving force behind it. So your talking about the most proven race of conquers/mer killers that has ever existed.

    So now let us suppose you helped the Stormcloacks and Skyrim belongs to Ulfric. The AD was able to fight the Empire basically to a draw. The Sons and Daughters of Skyrim beat the Empire and won their independence.

    So the best place to use as a staging point would be Winterhold, due to it's small population and lack of on hand defenses. But then you have to maneuver a large force through narrow passes in ice glaciers covered in snow. I believe we all have seen the movie 300??? Or think about DA Inquisition and the battle of Haven. So many options for the Nords to cause mass devastation.

    In my humble opinion the AD has absolutely no chance of a successful campaign in Skyrim. Due to the logistical issues alone, to ensure a force large enough to do the job you would have to empty out Summerset and Valenwood, which would them leave them open to an attack from the Empire if whomever the current Emperor is at all ambitious, both Elswhere and Valenwood would be reconquered in a matter of weeks.

  • April 25, 2016 8:51 PM EDT

    I think this is all spot-on and well-written! Thanks!

    I think Skyrim sticking with the Empire is more for the benefit of the Empire/Tamriel as a whole (High Rock would likely prefer this, as would Cyrodiil, Morrowind or what's left of it, the Black Marsh, even Hammerfell despite its secession). I have difficulty believing that the Aldmeri Dominion would fare well in the Black Marsh, and I am skeptical Morrowind has much of value for the AD at this point in time. I guess they could go after High Rock next, assuming they can cement their hold on Cyrodiil? Or perhaps they try and finish off Hammerfell.

    Honestly, it seems that the reproduction rate of the Nedic races ('human') compared to Elves should result in an ability to logistically shove the AD back. I am skeptical about the Empire retaking Valenwood or Elsweyr any time soon, and it seems like the Thalmor should be ousted internally rather than through external conquering.

  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    April 25, 2016 9:01 PM EDT

    we all know the moons are gripped to their religion

    Ho, ho. If only. The Khajiit's entire reproductive cycle is dependent on the moons. They disappeared for two freaking years. That's two years during which the Khajiit couldn't have live children.

    • 10 posts
    April 25, 2016 9:02 PM EDT

    You know that is something I did not consider in my previous post. At the end of The Great War, and the Skyrim war for independence. The "Empire" is just Cyrodil and High Rock. If the Altmer could persuade the Manmer(Bretons) to give ear to their elven anscestry then Skyrim might be in for some bad juju. But I find that even more unlikely than the Dunmer joining the AD.

    • 168 posts
    April 25, 2016 10:43 PM EDT

    I highly doubt the Argonians will do anything for the Empire, unless they're attacked directly. The only people the Argonians have attacked in millennia were the Dunmer, and that was for revenge for centuries of slavery. Argonians are very easy going: stay out of their swamps, and they live and let live. The only way the Khajiits would aid the Empire is if someone present them solid evidences that the Thalmor had nothing to do about the moons coming back. Also heroes depart after their prophecies are fulfilled: thus was the case of the Vestige, thus was the case of the Nerevarine, thus was the case with the Champion of Cyrodiil, thus will be the case of the Dragonborn. 

    • 168 posts
    April 25, 2016 10:48 PM EDT

    The AD has absolutely no chance of a successful campaign in Skyrim? Losing Skyrim splits the imperial forces, cuts supply lines and all around makes everyone more vulnerable. If Cyrodiil falls because of lack of resources and men, that puts the Dominion right at Skyrim's front door, with nothing but ex-legionaries and civilians who took up the sword to defend her. On top of all that an independent Skyrim would just brag to the Dominion they're back to worshipping Talos openly, and if you subscribe to the idea the Thalmor are trying to destroy the towers and eradicate men, where do you think they'll turn their attentions to? After the civil war, they would be far too weak to defend themselves alone, since no one is coming to their rescue. It's this type of short sighted thinking that got Skyrim into this civil war to begin with. 

    • 65 posts
    April 26, 2016 10:02 AM EDT

    I do not worship Talos, I however support Ulfric. I am also for the Empire. If the Empire is to fall, Ulfric would have no chance in beating the Dominion. Before you kill Tulius, if you side with the Stormcloaks, will say "We never wanted this you know?" or something along the lines of that. Besides is the rebellion the reason the war started, or the fact Ulfric killed Torygg in combat and the Empire is claiming murder.