The Interregnum is the period in Tamriel's history between the end of the Second Empire and the proclamation of the Third Empire by Tiber Septim. It began when the last of the Akaviri Potentates, Savirien-Chorak, and all of his heirs were murdered by the Dark Brotherhood in 2E 430. The collapse of any central authority led to five centuries of bickering between small kingdoms and petty states.
The Interregnum was marked by a general decline in living standards across Tamriel. A note in one tale from the era goes so far as to call the prevailing attitude one of "anti-intellectualism", another source talks of the "dark and cumulative losses" of the period, and a third describes the period as "days and nights of blood and venom". A further sign of intellectual decline was the transformation of the Dwemer in popular culture from a mysterious and unfathomable race to a mere vehicle for light comedies and romances. Additionally, roads and cities fell into ruin and were not repaired until centuries later. Even the famed Amulet of Kings was lost.
Some regions and organizations found the period full of opportunities. The services of the Dark Brotherhood were much in demand and the society filled its coffers with gold. High Rock, an area with a history of factionalism was more able to deal with the collapse of central power and fared much better than the rest of Tamriel, lapsing back into its usual structure of kingdoms and city states without difficulty.
During the entirety of Interregnum, petty warlords had attempted to seize control of Cyrodiil's capital and to reestablish the Empire. None of them lasted for long, until, in the year 2E 852 the king of Falkreath, Cuhlecain, sought to proclaim himself "Emperor of All Cyrodiil". Two years later, with the help of his general Talos who reclaimed the Amulet of Kings, he took the Imperial City from the battlemages of the Eastern Heartland, but was assassinated shortly after. It is uncertain whether or not Cuhlecain was ever crowned Emperor. The Third Empire was certainly established when Talos took the name Tiber Septim and was crowned in his stead in 2E 854, signaling the end of the Interregnum, although the rest of Tamriel did not submit to his rule until the conclusion of the Tiber Wars in 2E 896.
- ^ a b The Brothers of Darkness — Pellarne Assi
- ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ a b Ancient Tales of the Dwemer, Part V: The Song of the Alchemists — Marobar Sul
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Arena Supermundus: The Tapestry of Heaven — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ a b A Brief History of the Empire — Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian
- ^ Ancient Tales of the Dwemer, Part I: The Ransom of Zarek — Marobar Sul
- ^ The Amulet of Kings — Wenegrus Monhana
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Sons and Daughter of the Direnni West: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: High Rock — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: The Elsweyr Confederacy — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ The Arcturian Heresy — The Underking, Ysmir Kingmaker