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"In the year 249 of the Third Era, a pretender to the ancient throne of the Camorans appeared, and with mundane and Daedric allies, stormed across Valenwood, destroying all who stood against him. The Bosmer were slow to unite against the threat, many too terrified to stand against the Camoran Usurper and some delighted that they were being freed, however violently, from the perceived yoke of the Empire. This minority grew as the Usurper's power did, and once he had consolidated his power in Valenwood, he turned his attentions northward. It took nearly two decades of tyranny before Valenwood found the strength to shrug off Haymon Camoran's rule."
Imperial Geographic Society[src]

The Camoran Usurper was a member of the Camoran Dynasty. Haymon Camoran, as he was originally known [1] (although also later known by such names as Hart-King, and Camoran Hart-King[2]), served as Sorcerer and Advisor to Camoran Kaltos, a military leader and tactician of Valenwood.[2] Haymon, in league with Kaltos and Kaltos' Chief Scout, Orben Elmlock, began their usurpation in 3E 249.[1][2][3][4] He quickly and violently freed the Bosmer from the Empire, taking two years to do so,[2] and then proceeded northward.  After the destruction of one of the first conquered cities, Kvatch, Kaltos plead with Haymon to end the madness and return to Valenwood. Haymon turned on Kaltos, forcing Kaltos to flee for his life.[2] Haymon continued his conquest northward, only stopping after being defeated by Baron Othrok of Dwynnen,[5][6] at the Battle of Firewaves in 3E 267.[1][5][6] During this period, the enemies of Daggerfall, Sentinel and Wayrest are believed to have worked together for their own safety.[7] Before his defeat, he managed to conquer all of Valenwood, large sections of the Colovian Estates,[4] and significant sections of Hammerfell,[2][4] and was working his way through High Rock when he was finally defeated.[4]

Response from the Empire[edit | edit source]

The Septim Empire at the time had a weak emperor [4][6] who was not able to quickly respond to the threat that it faced from the Camoran Usurper, as Cephorus Septim II had been weakened by an inheritance dispute with Andorak Septim, Uriel Septim IV's legitimate son. As Eraintine wrote, however, the Usurper arose "out of a cimmerian nightmare." Cephorus responded by sending large numbers of mercenaries to Hammerfell to try and stop his northward march, but the Usurper either bribed these mercenaries, or slaughtered them and raised them as undead, thereby increasing his numbers.[3]

The March Northwards[edit | edit source]

The Camoran Usurper went on a relentless crusade northwards. It is known that in 3E 253 at the earliest, Dwynnen was ruled by a Lich, and his armies of "zombies, ghosts, vampires, and skeletons."[5]

It is known that the Camoran Usurper conquered Hammerfell and Valenwood by means of a large army, and that his legend insists [3] was made up largely of undead and Daedra,[4][5] however in all likelihood, he used these forces when he began his march in Arenthia and slowly replaced the summoned creatures with the armies of his conquered territories, as traditionally, the armies of Valenwood are mercenary.[5]

In Hammerfell[edit | edit source]

It is known that the Camoran Usurper managed to eventually conquer the majority of Hammerfell during his northward push.[2][4] Specifics about his attacks on Hammerfell are not widely known, except to mention that the towns of Rihad [2][8] and Taneth were destroyed.[2][8] Both townships requested help in 3E 253 from Elinhir, and both requests for help were ignored.[8] The reason for this is largely due to residual dislike between the rival factions of the "Crowns" and the "Forebears."[8]

In High Rock[edit | edit source]

Knowledge of the Usurper's relentless march northwards had reached High Rock as early as 3E 266, however, preparations to repel the invasion did not begin until early the following year. First of all, "two of the major cities of the Iliac Bay, Wayrest and Sentinel, both had kings who were in their minority" (i.e. children), and Daggerfall lacked leadership due to a political power struggle between Helena and her cousin Jilathe. The lord of Reich Gradkeep (later renamed Anticlere), was deathly throughout the whole of 266 before he finally died in 3E 267. In short, there were no Breton leaders from its traditional sources able to unite the provinces against the Camoran Usurper. Of the other leaders who had any influence, even minor influence, at least eight (the Eight Traitors of legend) made secret allegiances with the Usurper in order to have their lands protected.[5]

The second reason why there was a lack of urgency about meeting the threat faced was a breakdown in relations between the Septim Empire and the High Rock province.[4][5][9] The reason for this was that the emperor Cephorus Septim II was a Nord, with sympathies towards Skyrim and Morrowind, and for the first time in the Septim Empire, the ruler did not overly favor the Bretons, nor had spent their childhood there, and for this reason, they supported the Usurper, being as he was, the archfoe of the hated Emperor.[5]

Battle of Firewaves[edit | edit source]

It is known that at the Battle of Firewaves in Dwynnen, the Camoran Usurper finally reached his end.[2][5] It is also known that today the Barony is much larger than it was in 3E 267, when the battle occurred, and at that at the time, it did not even possess a major sea port,[5] although it did have a tiny dock, which caught on fire, and probably gave the battle its name. During the battle, Othrok's forces managed to prevent him from entering the Iliac Bay, so instead he went through the Wrothgarian Mountains, and eventually reached the township.[2]

During the battle, the Baron Othrok had allies in the rulers of Ykalon, Phyrgia, and Kambria. It was these allies that changed a popular misconception about the Usurper, which was that he wished to free the people from the Empire, who resented that the Emperor at the time was a Nord and once he had, he was soon able to assemble the second largest navy that Tamriel had ever seen, which is comparable only with that of the ill-fated Navy of Uriel Septim V.[5]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The pirate Captain Dugal notes with regret in 3E 286, after the defeat of the Usurper, Imperial naval commodores were able to focus once more on pirate threats such as the Red Sabre.[10] It also saw an increase in hostility towards the seemingly ineffective empire, from the regions of Hammerfell, High Rock, and Valenwood.[3] It had a major impact on the history of the Third Era, however, even making its way into the fictional story of Hallgerd's Tale.[11] The Camoran Usurper also left behind a son, Mankar Camoran,[2] who would later play a significant role in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.[12] Also, in Dwynnen, the Barony where the defeat of the Usurper occurred, a Holiday is held ever year called Othroktide, paying homage to the famous first Baron of the town.[5]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • It is unknown why Mankar Camoran, the son of the Camoran Usurper, was an Altmer despite his mother being a Bosmer. It is possible that Mankar was one of the exceptions in The Elder Scrolls lore in which the child takes on the race of the father instead of the mother. If this is true, that would mean that the Camoran Usurper would have been an Altmer.

References[edit | edit source]

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