Halls Of The Drowned

The Halls of the Drowned is a realm under the waters of the Solway Firth, off the coast of Galloway. According to popular legend, Norse sailors who were lost at sea centuries ago inhabit the realm, living out a strange half-life on the sea floor.

Following delivery of the Wedding Prophecies in 1223, the King of the Selkies told the magi of the Academica Septima Superior a story of the Halls:

Fifteen score years ago, the one who would become King of the Drowned set his sail for this land. A mighty sorceror of the north, he set out to join his kinfolk, who had come to raid and to conquer. Some say he came serving the king his brother. Others hold that he fled enemies both mortal and otherwise - including, perhaps, Thor himself.

For, as he and his companions passed into the firth, there came upon them a great storm. The waves beat upon their ship like hammers and the rain fell like nails upon their brows. wind tore at their beards like scorned women, and they despaired. The one who would become King of the Drowned wrote his words of power, but the storm would not read them, nor would it be cowed by his magic. In desperation, the King worked one last spell to preserve his life and the lives of his companions. As his ship foundered and sank, he struck runes upon their flesh, invoking them upon himself as he slipped under to breathe no more.

The fish feasted on their flesh and the waves scattered their bones, but the King's magic held their souls fast to the world. Beneath the thunders of the waves, bone found bone and life, of a sort, continued. From smashed timbers they built a new hall, and from every wreck they gained new warriors, new wives and new bondsmen.

On the thousandth year after the death of the Man-God, the King bade his warriors sail once more. From the dark depths their ships burst forth, and great raids were made upon the still-breathing men of Galloway. The Drowned Men took their gold rings beneath the waves once more, to feast and tell their sagas of savagery.

Now, as then, the King of the Drowned rules in his hall of broken timbers and bone, but as the years pass he grows bored with past stories and seeks to raid again. The Drowned Men sailed when Great King Orrey conquered Man and the Isles, and again when the Islesmen made to seize Cruggleton Castle. Whenever they rise, they leave slaughter and devastation in their wake, casting spears above their raids to bring the messengers of the One-Eyed. For it is said that, as Odin himself did wake from seeming death, so might a great enough magic raise the King, give him new flesh and see him once more walk upon the lands of men.

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