It was seventy spring thaws after the folly of the Drumbeater that a moot of the southern thanes was called at the wreck of the Windhelm so that they could crown a King in the Merethland. Ysgramor had given leave for this, because he was still among the Old Woods gathering the last of the host and helping them to point the boards of their longboat hulls for good fortune. Harald, a young beard of northern birth, was crowned by will of all the southronholds.
Harald the King, called Hairy-Breeks, had been born during the fortieth winter after the Drumbeater, when for three thaws even the axes of the ploughships could not break the ice around the Stuhnsbay. His unions and offspring were these: by his oar-wife Rebec the Red, an accounted hero in her own right, Hwamjar the Bear and Hwem the Ram. By his wine-wife Anshalf the Blue, Jarmungdrung the Hammer and Horldrung the Hammerer. By his wine-wife Hjaalma Mead-Hearty, Hjaafing Haraldsson, and Hjindr Haraldsson, and Hjeimdal the Shouter, and Hjeigsmer the Whisperer, and Hjeileen Haraldsdottir. By his shield-wife Ogres-Nails, no children. By his hearth-husband Kheln Einnson, no children (as is of course, barring the treachery of the lords of night). By his throne-wife, called Merethskyne in honor, only Hjalmer called the Doubtful and the Father-of-Vrage«.
And in his seventh summer, Harald took the waters of the white run and laid eyes upon the Hrothgar, and called on his shout-masons for the building of the Broadwall to hold the line as their kingdom grew.
And in his eighth summer, Alordane Whaleskin-Cloak was named the Clever Man of the kingshall and Harald's Clever Man by blood.
And in his thirtieth winter, two sons of Harald were waylaid by Direnni while surveying the western boundary of the southronholds, which has never been set since. They were Hwamjar the Bear and Hwem the Ram, who had been born before among the flames of Sarthaal and been captains after the last stand at Balfree. They lived as beasts on their Return and could not accustom themselves to the kingshall, but they did good service in the west.
And in his forty-fifth summer, his heir Hjalmer was born, then called the Doubtful. Hjalmer was born of the south, and hunted with foxes like the kreathmen, and was of low stature, and did not take wasabi. He would be crowned by custom in time, but reign only four months before falling during a meadhammering. Only later was Hjalmer called the Father-of-VragÃ« when the deeds of his son were written; only later still was it known that he chose his throne-wife under instruction by a boar.
And in his seventieth summer, Vrage« was born, who would be called the Gifted, who would take hold of all the lands from Balfree to Dwemereth.
And in his seventy-seventh summer, Yspalha the Pilot, whose ship was a winged raft blown about on kynesbreath and elf magic, was chasing snow-whales over the Rift when she lost her bearings. She found her way wrongheadedly to the jungled valley of the saliache and laid eyes on the tower of white gold which is our enemies' pride. And it was known then that we would lay it low and take hold of all this continent.
And on the seventh day of the thaw following his seventy-eighth winter as King in the Merethland, Harald was stabbed through the gut by a bat tiger in a contest of beast-jousting. The wound festered and he died in a fortnight, aged one hundred and eight winters and one hundred and seven summers.