It is late in the second era, a time of war, as the Empire of Tiber Septim sweeps through the kingdoms of Tamriel in a glorious bid for conquest. Septim is opposed on all sides, but never more fiercely than by Hammerfell, the home of the Redguards.
The High King of Hammerfell, Thassad II, resists the Imperial invasions even as he sees other kingdoms crumble, until, at last, without warning and surprisingly devoid of court treachery, death takes its full measure. With its High King dead, Hammerfell is crippled, plunging into a bloody civil war between the Crowns, fighting for their homeland's continued sovereignty, and the Forebears, who have finally accepted the Emperor's rule.
Crown Prince A'tor, son of Thassad and heir to Hammerfell, leads his forces in continual victory over the Forebears. But the latter make a pact with the Emperor, which allows Tiber Septim to bring his armies in and crush the weakened Crown forces. The last battle is fought in the harbor of Stros M'kai, the ancestral seat of the Crowns. Prince A'tor and his men fight fiercely, but are, in the end, defeated.
Fearing eventual rebellion from the headstrong Redguards, who have never suffered long a foreign ruler, Tiber Septim establishes Imperial garrisons in every city of Hammerfell. Lord Richton, the man who beat A'tor at the Battle of Stros M'kai, is appointed Provisional Governor of that city. His present reign is not a kind one. The overloud Redguards either end up dead or missing.
Your sister, Iszara, is one of the missing.
You are Cyrus, a Redguard mercenary who left Hammerfell long ago to wander the borderlands of the Empire. You vowed never to return, and the reason why is a shame you still bear. Forget the troubles ahead- the Imperial guards, the dragons, the legions of undead- your biggest fear is facing Iszara again. For she, no doubt, has never forgiven you for killing her husband ten years before.