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The year is 230 of the 4th Era. After the Skyrim Civil War, the Stormcloaks had won their independence from the Empire. General Tullius had been killed and by a miraculous turn, Jarl Elisif was not deposed from Solitude. However, Ulfric Stormcloak became the High King and Skyrim declared itself no longer a part of the Empire. With this declaration, High Rock also separated from the Empire under the claims that it could no longer maintain itself. Without a land connection to High Rock, the Empire could not sail past Dominion territories to loop around the continent of Tamriel to wage another civil war. Instead, the Kingdoms of High Rock had their own, short conflict which resulted in the formation of the High Rock Hegemony.
The Dominion demanded the Empire devote their full force and reclaim Skyrim, however, the Empire was already damaged. Within Solitude, Emperor Titus Mede II had been assassinated. With heirs that were even weaker and less knowledgable, it was only a matter of time before more assassinations occurred. Pretty soon, all of Cyrodiil was in upheaval. Because of this, the Dominion marched into Imperial territory and once more laid claim to the White-Gold Tower. With Aldmeri governors in place, the Dominion turned Cyrodiil into a puppet state. With Auxillary forces garnered from the old Imperial forces, the Dominion declared the Second Great War against Skyrim. Seeing this conflict as none of their business, the High Rock Hegemony remained out of it entirely and left the fighting to a new union of Skyrim and Hammerfell.
When Ulfric was slain, morale plummeted. Years later, Dominion forces patrol Skyrim even more thoroughly than before. The Last Dragonborn has been missing for years. Hammerfell continues to struggle, though a new peace treaty was signed and the Dominion has made no further attempt to invade Hammerfell. Some give up on the fight as it seems the fight is well and truly over.