The First Exalt (初代聖王 lit. First Holy King) is the nameless founder of Ylisse and ancestor of the Ylissean Royal Family.
The First Exalt was a great warrior with no known name who founded Ylisse. Approximately 1000 years prior to the events of Awakening, the Fell Dragon Grima started attacking Archanea, intending to destroy humanity. Seeking a way to slay the Fell Dragon, the First Exalt called upon Naga to grant him the strength to end the dragon's wrath. With the power of the Falchion and the full Binding Shield, Naga enacted the Awakening rite upon the Exalt, inducing a pact on his bloodline. With their collective power, the Fell Dragon was put into sleep for a thousand years. As a side effect of the Blood pact with Naga, the First Exalt received a Brand which would be later passed down through his descendants, thus marking them as heir to his power.
At some point an event known as the Schism, of which little info is known, occurred. The First Exalt established his own kingdom which would be named Ylisse. With many new nations formed alongside Ylisse including Plegia, Ferox, Valm, and Chon'sin. The First Exalt removed two of the five gemstones in the shield and gave Ferox Gules and Chon'sin Vert. The third stone, Azure was given to Tiki, whom the First Exalt was stated to be friends with, who took it with her to the Mila Tree. However the fourth stone, Sable, was stolen by the Grimleal who founded Plegia, keeping the sphere to prevent the Fire Emblem from being used against Grima in the future. The Binding Shield, with only Argent remaining, remained in Ylisse. The Falchion also remained in Ylisse as the blade could only be wielded by the First Exalt and his descendants.
Very little is known about the First Exalt after this aside from the fact that he was wed to a beautiful pegasus knight who is said to have wielded a spear that resembled wings. She was also said to have the power to turn even enemies into allies with just her words. Panne stated that the First Exalt fought for the rights of the Taguel and was a close ally of them.
- The First Exalt shares many parallels with Marth himself, including his wife who matches Caeda, Marth's own wife at the end of Mystery of the Emblem.
- Given Chrom is stated to be a distant descendent of Marth in Male Avatar's support with Tiki, it is possible the First Exalt is a descendant of Marth as well.
- Despite his prominence in the background of Awakening, the First Exalt is the first legendary hero in the series to have no name.