A contemporary pamphlet illustration of Harold facing the Slothog.
|Other names||Haroldus the Great Skold|
Although Harold likely fought the invading Turkemen before the Sceptic army was forced back within Clementine, he became more well known after leading an assault on the former once they were engaged with the Leaguesarmy. During the ensuing battle the Sceptic forces were able to break the Turkeman right flank and drive it into the centre. At this point Harold's legend begins, and it is popularly believed that he then single-handedly battled the Turkmantine Empire's most feared bolbogis, the Slothog. In fact he was supported by both Imperial and Stately League forces. Although both Harold and the Slothog killed each other during the struggle, the Slothog's death was the turning point in the battle, as the Turkemen then broke and routed.
Following the fall of the Sceptics and the rise of the Haacobins, Imperial propaganda lauded Harold as a larger-than-life figure who took on the Slothog single-handedly with only a single potive remaining in his stoup. He is sometimes misidentified as a skold when in fact he was a military scourge or bombastine and was thus equipped with the most deadly and destructive scripts available.
Rossamünd Bookchild learned about Harold through pamphlets and idolised him. He was reading about Harold in one that Verline had bought for him after his drubbing at the hands of Gosling Corvinius Arbour when Fransitart came upon him and they briefly discussed Harold. The old master was not as taken in by Harold's legend, suggesting that it was propaganda.
Near the end of Rossamünd and Threnody's first week at Wormstool, he unexpectedly caught a 50 pound barrel of musket shot that had fallen from four stories up while it was being delivered. This was witnessed by several of the garrison and Rossamünd afterwards earned the nickname of "The Great Harold" or "Master Haroldus". The incident was the first display of Rossamünd's powerful strength and the indication that he was not a normal human boy. The incident was later brought up during his court-martial and used as evidence by Honorius Ludius Grotius Swill to suggest that Rossamünd was a manikin.
Harold was later mentioned when Fransitart compared Rossamünd to him on the day that they departed Brandenbrass for Europe's knave and at the Patredike when Decius Trottinott explained a painting depicting his ancestor in action during the Battle of the Gates. The Archduke of Brandenbrass dressed as Harold for Europe's grand gala at Cloche Arde in an attempt to depict himself as a defender of the people.
Harold is an Old English name, from here "army" and weald "rule", meaning "heroic leader". It functions as both a given name and a surname.