Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

King Ranser's War, also known as just Ranser's War,[1][2] was a brutal civil war that took place in High Rock in the year 2E 566.



Following the formation of the first Daggerfall Covenant, and Emeric of Cumberland being crowned King of Wayrest, King Ranser had been attempting early and often to wed his daughter, Rayelle, to the new king.[1] Emeric had been courting her, but in 2E 566, instead married Princess Maraya of Sentinel. In response, Ranser recalled his ambassador from Wayrest's court. While Ranser was invited to the wedding, the King refused, as he had been gathering his armies for the war to come.[3][1]

The Siege of Wayrest[]

Main article: Siege of Wayrest

For over a year, King Ranser had been gathering his forces, launched a surprise attack on Wayrest in the 2E 566,[1] quickly advancing through Menevia and Alcaire, and advancing up to the very gates of Wayrest itself while the militias of Wayrest were still outside. Had the attacking Oldgate Lancers managed to break through the militia defending the gate, they could have taken the city within an hour. King Emeric was personally present at the gate, and charged with the Wayrest military and his household guard out to meet the Oldgate troops in battle. Now having to face fully-armored veterans, the fight began to turn in the favor of Wayrest, and when a thunderstorm shocked the horses of the lancers, the Oldgate soldiers eventually turned around and fled. By the time the main army of King Ranser arrived at the city, the gates had been fully shut, so King Ranser besieged the city. In contrast to Durcorach the Black Drake years earlier, King Ranser did bring siege equipment for the occassion.[1] While Count Phylgeon Montclair had attempted to sue for peace between the two parties, Ranser furiously refused, and the Montclairs were forced to back his side.[4]

King Emeric reached out to his allies in the Daggerfall Covenant and to the kingdom of his new Queen, Sentinel. He also reached out to the Orcs of Wrothgar, and offered them Orsinium in return for their aid.[3] The forces of the Covenant, combined with the Redguards' aid, caused the army of King Ranser to withdraw from Stormhaven within weeks.[5] When King Ranser returned to Shornhelm, he found the city already razed by the Orcs of Kurog gro-Bagrakh.[6] In response, King Ranser ordered his spymaster and head of security, Gerard Althen, to murder hundreds of Orcish citizens.[2]

The Battle of Markwasten Moor[]

Main article: Battle of Markwasten Moor

When almost a year had passed, and Ranser's army had been pushed back to Markwasten Moor, his army prepared to make a final stand, being caught between the Breton armada and Orcish troops. Just before the battle, the Montclair nobles who had supported King Ranser, surrenderd to Emeric's forces.[7] During the battle, the bulk of King Ranser's army fell, but the King himself as well as some of his best soldiers and his King's Guard, fled to an unnamed tor.[8] The defeat at Markwasten Moor was said by General Dathieu to have changed Ranser, with the King being consumed by his rage for Emeric.[9]

The end of the War at Traitor's Tor[]

Coming closer to the end of the war, King Ranser had lost most of his forces and gone mad, believing that he would never retreat and would come out victorious with his forces, and win the war.[10] Here, King Ranser started to work on his ultimate plan to defeat his opponents. Through an arcane ritual provided by Reezal-Jul, the court magician, the King managed to transform himself and his most loyal and devoted soldiers into a skeleton army following the sacrifice of King Ranser himself by a general who turned traitor.[8]

In order to accomplish this goal, four braziers had to be lit with a special bag. While at first nothing happened, the King refused to surrender, believing that the mere lighting of the braziers had been sufficient. General Dathieu considered this plan madness, and managed to use a Lieutenant to stop Captain Taern of the King's Guard to advance on the Orcish ranks. Believing the King had truly gone mad, the General attempted to murder the King in order to make peace. After the slaying of the King, however, King Ranser rose again, and slew the General who had betrayed him. The rest of the forces at the tor were cursed with undeath until the curse was lifted with the aid of the Vestige.[11]

Aftermath for Rivenspire[]

Following the conflict, a triumvirate of the three noble houses of the region was formed, consisting of House Dorell, Tamrith, and Montclair. The idea came from Baron Tamrith, who had emerged as a powerful force for peace and cooperation. The triumvirate would rule over Rivenspire in the High King's name, with each of the noble houses pledging their loyalty to the High king. King Emeric approved of the triumvirate, but also promised to select a new king of Shornhelm at the first opportunity.[7] In reality, Emeric did not crown a King or Queen for years, as he mistrusted the nobility of the region.[12]

This triumvirate would not last, however, as the ambitious Baron Wylon Montclair saw himself as the rightful heir to the throne of Shornhelm. He claimed that he was the legitimate heir to Shornhelm's throne, due to his grandfather being King Hurlburt of Shornhelm, and him being a descendend from him in the direct and legitimate line of succession, a claim only Baron Wylon could make. This connection also made him the sole living heir to the domain of the Branquettes, though this territory had already been split among noble houses Tamrith and Dorell.[4] These tensions would continue to rise until they escalated following the death of the Baron, after which he took up arms to take control over the region.