How much canon info is there about Highever? I haven't been able to find much apart from: It has an alienage, is by the coast and makes a signature kind of cloth (wool industry?). How big is the city? Is it near/around Castle Cousland? Does it have a harbour? How big is the alienage and what is it like?
(Alright, for you I’m going to make this into an official lore post, because this is actually small and specific).
Disclaimer: All of this is completely canonical knowledge. Nothing headcanoned, there are sources for it and I’ve gathered from every source that I could. This includes: Codice (Highever,
Construction Report: Brickmarks, ), Dragon Age Origins Ultimate/Collector’s Edition Prima Guide, Dragon AGE Core Rulebook. Nothing is headcanon and nothing is taken from an unreliable sources (i.e. Wikipedia).
Highever is a Teyrnir in northern Thedas, one of the few that set on the Coastlands. It sets on the coast of the Waking Sea, west of Amaranthine, across the sea from Kirkwall and the Vimmark Mountains, and North of The Bannorn.
In the very center of the Highever Teyrnir, is Harper’s Ford, this area used to belong to the Howes of Amaranthine. However, during the Orlesian Occupation, Tarleton Howe sided with the Orlesians, Harper’s Ford was marched upon by the Couslands and Howe hung.
Highever is the name of a village in the Teyrnir along the coast, as well as being the name of the Teyrnir (all lands, holdings, and bannorns within in area).
Castle Cousland is located in the Highever Teyrnir, the exact location is unknown.
Highever possesses an Alienage, though the location of it is unknown.
There was a Silver Temple in Highever where Andraste’s Ashes were first held, before being moved to a secret location. Whether the Temple still stands in unknown.
In -165 Ancient, Andraste’s “sons” (Maferath’s sons were adopted by Andraste, though many tried to claim to be her birth son in order to earn leadership of the Alamarri tribes) sought to steal Andraste’s ashes from Highever’s Silver Temple and strengthen their claim to Chief of the Alamarri. The ashes were moved to Haven, but the location was never revealed and eventually lost.
Castle Highever, eventually known as Castle Cousland, was built in the Divine Age and was considered no more than an outpost to the Amaranthine Bannorn. The oupost was held by the cousins of the Howes, the Elstans until the Tower Age.
In the Age of Towers, Bann Conobar Elstan was murdered by his wife, Flemeth, leaving no heir behind. Cononbar’s Captain, Sarim Cousland, stepped up and took the land instead.
The Couslands would declare themselves an independent Bannorn from Amaranthine and start a 30 year war, until Highever was freed and owned southwest Amaranthine as well.
It wasn’t until the Black Age that Highever would be named a Teynir under Haelia Cousland, who would unite the nearby lords against the werewolves and earn herself the title along with their fealty.
4:80 Black, Orlais tried to take Highever in hopes to conquer Ferelden, in the first Orlesian Invasion. They would use Highever to supply their troops by sea. However, Redcliffe stood strong against the Invasion and Orlesian was forced to retreat, unable to pass into Highever.
During the Exalted Age, Eletha Cousland would fight Ferelden’s future king, Calenhad, to remain independent. She would lose, but Highever would remain one of two Teynirs and Eletha would remain their teyrna.
However, in the Dragon Age, the Couslands would be betrayed and Castle Cousland would be stormed by Arl Howes forces, the Cousland family almost completely wiped out. The only to survive would Fergus Cousland, who would be lost in the Korcari Wilds until after the Fifth Blight ended.
(Conditional: The youngest Cousland would also survive the attack and go on to become a Grey Warden, swearing vengeance on Howe.)
Highever would be relinquished after Howe’s death by the Warden and returned to the Couslands.
Fergus Cousland is the current Teyrn of Highever.
Highever has two major Heraldry, The Cousland Heraldry (Left) and The Highever Heraldy (Right).
Known People from Highever
Ardal Cousland (A knight/soldier to King
- Bryce Cousland
- Calenhad Theirin
- Fergus Cousland
- Helena (Jory’s Wife)
- Oren Cousland
- Roderick Gilmore
- Ser Eryhn (A Templar woman with unmatched grace with a sword and shield)
- Warden Cousland
- Highever has a population of 20,000.
- Highever has given Ferelden the most famous Alamarri Legends so far (Calenhad, and Flemeth)
- Nelaros’ Wedding Ring was forged in Highever, it is also where Tabris’ bride/groom comes from.
- Sarethia is the Hahren of Highever’s Alienage.
- Warpaint of the Tempest, is the traditional kaddis for mabari in Highever.
- Highever Weave is most likely a cloth originating from Highever and may be an export.
- Skyhold has bricks stolen from Highever, apparently before the First Orlesian Invasion.