|Empress Katariah I|
|Antecessor||Pelagius Septim III|
Empress Katariah, born Katariah Ra'athim, was part of a prominent Ebonheart family, and she had been Duchess of Vvardenfell before she was married in 3E 141 to Pelagius Septim III, who was then ruler of Solitude (though they would go on to become Emperor and Empress). The unusual union was thought to have occurred both to cement Imperial relations with Ebonheart and because Emperor Magnus hoped Katariah, who was known for her shrewdness, could help conceal the eccentricities of his son Pelagius. Katariah was awarded the regency of Tamriel in 3E 147. The Empress Regent of Tamriel was proclaimed Empress Katariah I upon the death of her husband in 3E 153, and her almost fifty-year reign is remembered as a happy one.
On Her Reign
In truth, Katariah began her reign in 3E 145, as she and Elder Council made all the decisions during her husband's reign, and she formally became Empress Regent two years after her husband took the throne. Regardless of her qualifications, some who did not mark the end of the Septim bloodline with the death of Kintyra II considered the ascendancy of the Dunmer Katariah as the true mark. Her defenders assert that though Katariah was not descended from Tiber Septim, the son she had with Pelagius, Cassynder, restored Tiber Septim's descendants to the Ruby Throne. Katariah's forty-six year reign was remembered as one of the most glorious in Tamriel's history, and assertions to the contrary were denounced as being motivated by racism.
Her relationship with Pelagius was not well known. It's said that she actually had to hold her fainting husband upright during his coronation, and conceived their son Cassynder after he was committed during a visit to his cell. One of the many rumors that swirled about the Empress was that the Emperor was quite sane, and she had merely connived to have him locked up, but none of them were ever substantiated. One of Waughin Jarth's fables, The Asylum Ball, says Katariah, "[e]ager to make her husband happy", sent a "caravan laden with gold" to the Emperor's asylum to fund a ball he wished to hold.
Katariah's renowned champion was Nandor Beraid. His defeat of Raphalas Eul in a duel helped the Empress prove a point and win respect amongst the unruly Elder Council. One of her many acts during her rule was to appoint Jovron Direnni as the first Imperial Battlemage since Tiber's day. However, the Council still managed to gather greater authority under her rule.
For whatever reason, Katariah was uncomfortable in the Imperial City, and she traveled extensively throughout the Empire like no Emperor had since Tiber's day. This allowed her to repair much of the damage that had been done to the Empire prior to her rule. The people of Tamriel purportedly came to love their Empress far more than the nobility ever did. Katariah's death in a minor skirmish in Black Marsh in 3E 200 is a favorite source for conspiracy-minded historians. The sage Montalius discovered in the late Third Era that a disenfranchised branch of the Septim family's had been involved in the skirmish, which came as quite a revelation. Her son Cassynder assumed the throne upon her death. While Empress, Katariah had another son with her Imperial consort, Gallivere Lariat. Uriel Lariat became King of Wayrest, and Emperor Cassynder formally adopted him into his family; thus, upon Cassynder's death in 3E 202, Katariah's second son followed in his half-brother's footsteps and became Emperor, taking the name Uriel Septim IV.
- TES V: Skyrim featured a large galleon named after Empress Katariah.
- A Brief History of the Empire says Katariah reigned for forty-six years, which would make the year of her death 3E 199, but The Third Era Timeline places her death in 3E 200.
- The Armorer's Challenge de Mymophonus — A competition between two skilled armorsmiths
- Brief History of the Empire v 2 de Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian — Part 2 of a description of events in the history of the Empire
- The Madness of Pelagius de Tsathenes — Profiling the renowned Mad Emperor
- The Madness of Pelagius — Tsathenes
- The Wolf Queen, Book Eight — Waughin Jarth
- Brief History of the Empire, Part II — Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian
- The Armorer's Challenge — Mymophonus
- De Rerum Dirennis — Vorian Direnni
- Brief History of the Empire, Part IV — Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian
- Brief History of the Empire, Part III — Stronach k'Thojj III, Imperial Historian