4E 174 – 4E 176
During the Great War in Cyrodiil, Imperial Legions stationed in Skyrim’s region of the Reach and its capital, Markarth, were recalled to help repel the Aldmeri Dominion’s invasion, leaving the western region vulnerable to its native Breton population, known as “Reachmen”, who successfully revolted and created an “independent kingdom”.
To deal with the rebellion, the Empire and Jarl Hrolfdir, the father of future Jarl Igmund, established a Nordic militia to retake the Reach from the Reachmen with promises of freedom of religion, attracting the future rebel leader, Ulfric Stormcloak. The uprising was ultimately quelled, but not without consequences. Despite the Empire’s vows for free religion, the Thalmor discovered the worship of Talos taking place in Markarth, and demanded the arrest of Ulfric and the other members of the Nord militia. To honor the White-Gold Concordat and keep the peace with the Dominion, Hrolfdir was forced to comply to prevent any future invasions by the Aldmeri Dominion. One of the policies he was forced to agree to was the arrest of members affiliated with the Nord militia that helped overthrow the Forsworn. Hrolfdir helped arrest Ulfric and the other members of the militia to prevent another war with the Thalmor. In retaliation, Ulfric Stormcloak refuses to observe the agreement and decides to allow the freedom to worship Talos himself when he became the new Jarl of Windhelm, sparking the future Stormcloak Rebellion.
-Battle of Markarth, 4E 174. Reachmen quickly breached Markarth’s city gates and annexed the city. Years later, Jarl Hrolfdir, father of the future Jarl Igmund, was killed by the Forsworn.
-The Markarth Incident, 4E 176. Under the leadership of Ulfric Stormcloak, the Nordic militia retook Markarth while inflicting heavy casualties on the Reachmen rebels. When the independent kingdom of the Reach was overthrown, there were executions, including the deaths of some civilians of Markarth who were native members of the Reach. Surviving stragglers of the Reachmen continued to rebel, forming the Forsworn.