Prior to 1271, when the Skelligan island of Undvik was ravaged by the arrival of the ice giant Myrhyff, Harald Tordarroch ruled over it as jarl. However, that event forced out or killed almost the entire population of the island, and most of the surviving members of Clan Tordarroch migrated to Ard Skellig where they were given refuge by Clan an Craite. The jarl did not wish to abandon his homeland, however, and stayed to fight the giant along with three of his crewmen, Wilmar, Wilfred, and Wilhelm. While all of his crewmen perished, Harald was spared by Myrhyff and tasked to build a longship which the giant wanted to sail out on to defeat the gods during Ragh nar Roog. The hull of the ship became Harald's home where he also placed the skulls of his dead crewmen and kept referring to them by name, believing them to be still alive.
Harald did not often venture out of the ship, for fear of being killed by the ice giant, and any time he did, he would be brought back to the ship by sirens. Myrhyff often brought human flesh for the sirens and Harald, which he likely harvested from the bodies of those he killed.
A year after the giant's arrival, Geralt of Rivia visited Undvik to look for Hjalmar an Craite and his missing crew, who had ventured out on an expedition to the island to slay Myrhyff. Even if Geralt offered him the chance to leave the island, Harald did not want to take up that opportunity, opting instead to continue building the longship.
Journal entry Edit
- Geralt's encounter with the crazed man building an enormous ship while conversing with the cut-off heads of his former crew was, to say the least, an unusual experience.
- Though this strange shipbuilder was forced into his labors by the ice giant and his bloodthirsty sirens, it seemed his work had become a kind of escape for his beleaguered mind.
- Surely that was why this unfortunate man showed such dedication to his dubiously worthy cause.
- In the end Geralt learned the true identity of the mad shipbuilder of Undvik. He was in fact Harald Houndsnout, a jarl who was thought to have been killed by the giant along with his crew.
- Though rumors about his death were clearly exaggerated, it was hard to say whether surviving had not proved the worse fate.
- If Geralt doesn't find out that the castaway is the Jarl:
- News of the Giant's death clearly delighted the madman - but he rejected the witcher's offer to take him back to Ard Skellig. For some reason he felt he could not rest until he finished building the ship.
- If Geralt finds out that the castaway is the Jarl:
- News of the Giant's death clearly delighted the madman - but he rejected the witcher's offer to take him back to Ard Skellig. He could not live with the knowledge that he had failed as leader of his clan, and thus was determined to build a ship to serve as his funeral pyre.