During Cenred's reign, Essetir was frequently at war with the neighbouring kingdom of Camelot. Hostilities eased somewhat during Lot's rule, but the two kingdoms remained enemies.
When Cenred refused to defend Ealdor from bandits, Hunith went to Camelot to ask for help. Uther sympathized with their plight, but refused to jeopardize his peace treaty with Cenred by sending an army into his lands.
When Morgana's magic began to manifest itself, Merlin advised her to seek advice from the Druids in the Forest of Ascetir. He later tried to warn Morgana when Arthur and the Knights of Camelot entered the forest to rescue her, as Uther believed that the Druids had kidnapped her (The Nightmare Begins).
When Kilgharrah attacked Camelot, Arthur and Merlin embarked on a quest to find Balinor, the last Dragonlord. They started their search in the village of Engerd, and from there they traced Balinor to a cave in the Forest of Merendra. He eventually agreed to help them, but was killed by bandits before they reached Camelot.
According to Uther, Camelot's accord with Essetir had fallen through by this point and the two kingdoms were at war. If Cenred had discovered Arthur in his lands, he would have killed him instantly (The Last Dragonlord).
Morgana used a mandrake root to cause Uther to experience hallucinations that made him appear to be going mad, leaving many doubting his ability to lead Camelot. Morgause told Cenred that Uther was weak and without a leader Camelot was vulnerable. Cenred, however, was unsure, stating that even with Uther incapacitated, an assault on Camelot could not be taken lightly. Morgause informed him that she had an ally in the court; Cenred doubted that the ally, Morgana, was reliable, due to her betraying Camelot, her former home.
Morgause assured him that Morgana could be counted on until the end, convincing Cenred to participate in the fight for Camelot. He then gathered his forces, with mercenaries flooding into his kingdom. Camelot scouts witnessed this and rushed to inform Uther. The invasion force was soon complete and he led his soldiers to the weakened kingdom of Camelot in their thousands.
Gaius suggested they negotiate with Cenred, if only to buy them time to prepare, but Arthur, knowing Cenred would not be easily satisfied, ordered Camelot to prepare for a siege, insisting that the castle had never been taken, thereby giving them the advantage. He also ordered that the people of Camelot's outlying villages took shelter within the city. When Leon argued they'd be leaving behind their homes and livestock which Cenred would certainly destroy, Arthur said they'd still have their lives. With Cenred's army only hours away, preparations began in full; weapons and armour were distributed, barricades and defences were erected and the knights of Camelot prepared for battle.
As night fell, Cenred's army surrounded the city. At the urging of Morgause, Cenred began the attack; as catapults bombarded Camelot, Cenred's army broke through the city gates and battle erupted in the streets. Arthur and his men defended the walls and barricades, holding Cenred's men from advancing, and Uther, ignoring the advice of Gaius, Leon and Arthur, donned armour and joined the battle, fighting against the invaders. Arthur pulled him back but he refused to let his kingdom fall, but was hit in the leg with a crossbow bolt. With their king injured and Cenred's men overrunning the barricades, Arthur ordered a retreat back to the castle.
As Cenred's men advanced on them, Merlin used magic to block their path with fire, leaving the lower town to the attackers. Cenred stated that taking the castle would be much more difficult, but Morgause assured him that Morgana would fulfill her side of their bargain. Meanwhile, in the castle, Morgana went down to the crypts with the hawthorn staff. She drove the staff into the stone floor, awaking the dead of Camelot and forming an undead skeleton army. As the Knights of Camelot fought a desperate battle to keep Cenred's men from breaking into the castle, they were shocked to find skeleton warriors begin to emerge from the castle and attack them from behind. As Arthur and his men fought a battle on two fronts to hold off Cenred's men and the undead, Merlin headed down to the crypt and duelled with Morgana, until Merlin used his magic to cause part of the ceiling to collapse, knocking her out.
With Morgana incapacitated, Merlin used his magic and his sword to shatter the staff. When the necromantic enchantment animating them broke, the skeleton warriors collapsed into inert piles of bones. With the undead threat defeated, the knights of Camelot returned to the battle against Cenred's men, fighting with renewed vigour. Seeing the battle turning against him, Cenred ordered his army to retreat, ignoring a furious Morgause's warning that he had failed her (The Tears of Uther Pendragon).
Cenred then kidnapped Elyan and later Guinevere, so she could lure Arthur to him. Guinevere warned Arthur of Cenred's plan, but despite this, Arthur decided he, Gwen, Merlin and Morgana would go to save Elyan. They succeeded, and Merlin defeated Morgause and Cenred (The Castle of Fyrien).
A Camelot patrol led by Sir Leon accidentally trespassed in the kingdom and all, except Leon, were slaughtered. Leon was found and rescued from near death by a group of Druids who made him drink from the Cup of Life. When Morgana heard Leon inform Uther of this, Cenred and Morgause decided to claim it for themselves so Camelot would be at their mercy.
When Arthur, Merlin, and Gwaine escaped from Jarl's clutches, Jarl came to Morgause and Cenred with important information, revealing that the man he captured was the Prince of Camelot. A group of Cenred's knights were then sent to claim the cup from the trio, which they did. Morgause then used it to turn Cenred's forces into an immortal army, and by doing so, his men were under her control. She then betrayed Cenred, and because she had no further use for him, had him killed. The immortal army was then used to conquer Camelot and put Morgana on the throne as Queen (The Coming of Arthur).
|Forest of Ascetir||Forest|
|Forest of Merendra||Forest|
|Tomb of Ashkanar||Tomb|
- Series 1
- The Moment of Truth
- Series 2
- The Nightmare Begins
- The Last Dragonlord
- Series 3
- The Tears of Uther Pendragon: Part One
- The Coming of Arthur
- Series 4
- Lancelot du Lac (Mentioned only)
- The Sword in the Stone
- Merlin grew up as a citizen of Essetir (The Moment of Truth).
- At the height of Cenred's power, Essetir boasted an army of 20,000 men (The Tears of Uther Pendragon).
- According to Merlin, the Forest of Ascetir marked the boundary between Camelot and Essetir (The Coming of Arthur).
- Essetir is likely located north of Camelot, as Merlin once stated that Ealdor was beyond Camelot's northern border (The Sword in the Stone).
- This kingdom has never been referred as "Essetir" within the series. Fans likely extrapolated the name from the Ridge and Forest of Ascetir, which are located within its territory (The Moment of Truth, The Coming of Arthur).