Alsgood, the Great

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King Alsgood, the Great
1594 - 1609
First Highland King of the Upper Lands of Excalbia

The Excalbian Isles were first settled by the Celts around the 6th century. By the early 10th century, they were inhabited by a number of stable, agrarian tribal groups, located mostly in the Southwestern grasslands and along the rugged Eastern coast.

In the late 10th century, a second wave of settlers – Norsemen – arrived from their colonies in Iceland and Greenland. While the earlier arrivals, now known as the Lowlanders, remained along the coast and in the grasslands, the Norsemen migrated into the highlands.

By the 13th century, the island’s social structure was well established. The Highland clans were warriors, herders and artisans and dominated the Lowland farmers. Clan warfare intensified in the 15th and 16th centuries. As highland nobles made war on each other to honour blood oaths and to satisfy vengeance, life became more difficult in the Highlands.

Alsgood was the son of the Lord of Valmiera. In 1588, the Lord of Valmiera was slain in retaliation for a battle fought years earlier. Succeeding his father, Alsgood found himself going to war as his father had before him. However, Alsgood sought alliances and made peace where he could. Where he could not make peace, he fought, not for vengeance, but for conquest. In 1565 he captured the strategic fortress of Excalbia Castle located on the cliffs of an island in the Valmiera River. He expanded the fortress, also known as Citadel Excalbia, and proclaimed himself King of Upper Lands in 1594. His numerous alliances and conquests led most of the Highland nobles to accept his rule. Those who refused his rule were soon conquered.

The Lowlanders, however, remained outside the Kingdom - though they were thoroughly dominated by it - until Joshua I proclaimed the Holy Empire of Excalbia in 1809, uniting the Highlands and Lowlands.

After a brief but historic reign, King Alsgood was succeeded by his son, Sweyn.