Forty-one years after the arrival of Saint Seiros in Fódlan, Wilhelm Paul Hresvelg founded the Adrestian Empire, marking Imperial Year 1. It was said that the Empire's name was bestowed by an oracle, and its future blessed by the Goddess. Emperor Wilhelm chose Enbarr as the new nation's capital due to the presence of Seiros.
In Imperial Year 32, Wilhelm raised an army and instigated the War of Heroes with the goal of uniting Fódlan under his rule and ending the tyranny of Nemesis, the King of Liberation. Seiros and the Four Saints fought alongside the Imperial army, which was led by Wilhelm and his trusted commanders, the Ten Elites.
At some point during the War of Heroes, Wilhelm died and was succeeded by his son Lycaon I, who continued his father's crusade until his own death in Imperial Year 98, which marked the end of the war. Over a thousand years later, the people of the Empire revere their founder as Great Emperor Wilhelm I.
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Wilheim's story prior to meeting Seiros is unknown, regardless of his original circumstances eventually Seiros persuaded Wilhelm to join her and gifted him the Crest of Seiros through her blood. With the assistance of Seiros and the other surviving Nabateans, the Four Saints, Wilhelm founded the Adrestian Empire and embarked on the War of Heroes to help her carry out her revenge against Nemesis and his most powerful warriors, the Ten Elites. After Nemesis was slain in Imperial Year 91, the Empire systematically hunted down the Ten Elites, but offered amnesty and high positions to their families to secure their loyalty and solidify the Empire's conquests. The Church of Seiros falsified historical records to present Wilhelm and the Ten Elites as pious followers of the Church and heroic founders of the Empire. Wilheim, for his part, decided to write his version of how the events happened, using the limited information he had regarding Seiros and Nemesis, and creating a secret archive only known to the Imperial family.
Wilhelm is a German given name, and a cognate of the English name William.
- A unique terrain type appears in the Enbarr palace that is a statue of Wilhelm, having its own flavor text honoring the first emperor.
- The statue of Wilhelm bears a strong resemblance to the generic model of a male Holy Knight.
- Unlike the nobles who will succeed him, he does not use the particle "von" common to the nobility of Adrestia. Instead he uses a middle name, such as the nobility of Faerghus.