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 former jarl did not leave his homeland, however, instead becoming a somewhat crazed outcast who eventually settled in the wreckage of a ship surrounded by sirens near the center of the island. Initially, Harald lived with three other survivors, namely, Wilmar, Wilfred, and Wilhelm. It is implied that the group resorted to cannibalism, and Harald ended up consuming his crewmen whose skulls he later placed on poles and grew attached to, still calling them by name.
Harald helped to build up the wreckage for Myrhyff, as the giant apparently needed a longship to sail out and defeat the gods during Ragh nar Roog, according to Harald's own testimony. Harald did not often venture out of the ship, however, for fear of being killed by the ice giant, and any time he did, he would be brought back to the ship by sirens. Nonetheless, the giant sometimes brought meat to feed both the sirens and Harald.
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.