30th of Frostfall, 4E 171
Everyone in the courtyard stared in stunned silence at the grisly offering that had tumbled from the upended cart brought in by the Thalmor ambassador. His Imperial Majesty, Titus Mede II, schooled his features from shock to stern anger. The Blades, he thought, recognizing the Akiviri helmets encasing the severed heads that spilled callously on the stone walkway in front of the White-Gold Tower at the heart of the Imperial City. All of them? he wondered, but something told him that he knew the answer, and his face grew tighter still. He forced himself to look up at the Altmer emissary.
“So,” he said softly, “It has come to this.”
The high elf sneered. “Too long has mankind misruled Tamriel, and its glory has diminished with each passing moment. The Aldmeri Dominion will allow no further degradation under your stewardship. We lay claim to the lands we have demanded, and we shall seize them by conquest since we must. War is the only language you humans seem to understand.”
Now furious, the emperor roared, “Come and take them!”