Aedan Cousland: On the northern coast of Ferelden, high atop a fortress overlooking the Waking Sea, sits the Teyrnir of Highever, ancestral seat of House Cousland. Below it lies Harper's Ford, an outpost town situated in the teyrnir's center; a center of trade, commerce and agriculture.
There are a plenty amount of gold and silver mines in Highever, making it one of the richest regions in the kingdom. One of our most productive gold mines actually lay beneath Castle Cousland itself, making House Cousland the richest―if not the wealthiest―of all the noble houses. This allows House Cousland to fund the endeavors of our vassals and other houses. Even the King himself occasionally sought the advice of Highever from time to time.
We Couslands claim our descent from the Alamarri tribe of Clayne and, through the male bloodline, Sarim. Though we weren't Teyrns, back then. And Highever itself was once part of the Arling of Amaranthine. According to the records, Sarim Cousland was a minor vassal who served as captain of the guard to Bann Conobar Elstan, who ruled over the lands of Highever during the Age of Towers. But it wasn't long until Conobar was eventually murdered by his own wife, Flemeth, and House Elstan died with him. Sarim, using his wits, won the support of the freeholders and took the lands and title. From then on, we became the Banns of Highever. At some point in history, we declared our independence from Amaranthine and, after a bitter war that lasted more than thirty years, the Couslands emerged victorious and seized possession of half the land that had been once southwestern Amaranthine.
The Couslands continued to rule as Banns for two hundred years; and became Teyrns when the lycanthrope plague spread across the nation during the Black Age. My ancestor, Bann Haelia Cousland, united the local lords under her banner and drove the werewolves out of their lands, earning herself the title of Teyrna almost as an afterthought. Our time as an independent freeholder ended in 5:10 Exalted, however, when Calenhad Theirin, otherwise known as "Calenhad the Great", arrived at Highever with his army in his bid to unite Ferelden. At that time, Calenhad was an uknown and considered dangerous by many. The last Alamarri Teyrna, Elethea Cousland, gathered the local Banns to maintain Highever's independence and met Calenhad's army in open battle.
History tells us that the battle lasted for several days, months at best. But in the end, Elethea's men were defeated and Elethea herself surrendered to Calenhad, swearing an oath of fealty to Ferelden's first King. In return, the Couslands were allowed to keep their lands and remain as Teyrns and Teyrnas of Highever, titles we hold to this day.
There are times in our history where loyalties were sometimes put to the test during the Orlesian occupation. My grandfather, Teyrn William Cousland, openly supported the rebellion led by Moira Theirin and her son Maric. When our vassal, Arl Tarleton of House Howe, made the unfortunate mistake by siding with Orlais, several battles were fought between Amaranthine and Highever. My father, Lord Bryce Cousland, commanded Highever's army and managed to capture Harper's Ford, as well as Tarleton himself. It was unfortunate, but we couldn't lose Harper's Ford. Thankfully, Tarleton's brother Byron and son Rendon joined the rebellion and stood with us to defeat the Orlesian Empire and regain Ferelden's independence.
Today the Couslands of Highever are admired and respected by the Bannorn. Let us be clear, though: the reason we managed to persevere as long as we did was not through luck nor skill, but for our willingness to lead men into battle ourselves. Our words are "With Justice and Temperance", the embodiment of our ideals; but there are other words that should be remembered when crossing a Cousland: "A Cousland always does their duty".
- Bann Conobar Elstan
- Bann Sarim Cousland
- Bann Haelia Cousland
- Teyrna Elethea Cousland
- King Calenhad I Theirin, the Great
- Alamarri (mentioned)