20,000 (9:30 Dragon)
Castle Cousland has existed since the Divine Age, making it somewhere around 800 - 850 years old. Originally an outpost of the then-expanding Amaranthine Bannorn, it was ruled by the Elstan family, cousins of the Howe noble family. During the Tower Age (approximately 300 years later), however, Bann Conobar Elstan was allegedly murdered by his wife, Flemeth, which ended the bloodline. Conobar's Captain of the Guard, Sarim Cousland, acquired land and title, which the Cousland family has controlled ever since.
Subsequently, the Couslands declared their independence from the Amaranthine, and instigated a war that lasted for thirty years. When the war finally ended, Highever was not only granted independence, but also half of what used to be southwestern Amaranthine.
During the Black Age, Highever became a teyrnir almost by default after the ruling Cousland (scholars disagree as to whether this was Mather or Haelia Cousland) battled, and defeated, the werewolf threat encroaching upon the land.
The former rulers of Highever are Teyrn Bryce Cousland and Teyrna Eleanor Cousland. Players who select the Human Noble origin will play as the second son/daughter of the Couslands, and the younger sibling of Fergus Cousland.
Arl Rendon Howe, during the early part of the game, will usurp the Teyrnir of Highever from the Couslands. Either the attack is implicitly mentioned if the Warden is not a Human Noble, or witnessed first-hand during the Warden's Origin if he or she is a Noble.
After the Warden kills Howe and the Blight is finally thwarted, Highever is returned to the surviving Couslands (Fergus being the only survivor should the player not choose the human noble origin). As the eldest child of Bryce, Fergus is made Teyrn of Highever.
- Although present on the world map, it's impossible to go or return to Castle Cousland, Human Noble origin or not.
- If you talk to the Mad Hermit in the East Brecilian Forest and are a mage, human noble or dwarf, he will ask you where you came from. One of the choices is to say you came from Highever.
- During the Landsmeet's introduction scene, if you are a Human Noble, you can tell Loghain that you are Teyrn of Highever, after which you are rebuked by Arl Howe.
- Highever seems to be loosely inspired by a combination of Ireland and Scotland: Just as Highever was forced into submission via military conquest by Calenhad's growing Ferelden kingdom, so too was Ireland conquered by the Kingdom of England, upon which Ferelden is based. Also, several inhabitants of Highever have Scottish Gaelic names, such as Ser Gilmore or the teyrn's eldest Fergus; the default name for a male human noble, Aedan, is Irish, and Cousland is a village in Scotland.Cousland Village Website
- More specifically, Highever appears to draw its inspiration from the gaelic overkingdom of Dál Riata. Fergus Cousland and the default male human noble, Aedan, may have been named after two of its most important kings: Fergus Mór mac Eirc and Áedán mac Gabráin.
- ↑ Searle, Mike. "Traveler's Guide: Ferelden Details". Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition: Prima Official Game Guide.