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Hal is the main protagonist in the Brotherband Chronicles.

Hal
Hal1
Picture from the US cover
Vital statistics
Title Skirl
Gender Male
Race Human(Half Skandian, Half Araluen)
Status Alive
Location Skandia
First Appearance The Outcasts
Last appearance Scorpion Mountain (To date)

He is a half-Araluen, half-Skandian boy. This lineage makes him an outcast, and he becomes the skirl of the wolfship Heron.

He appears in the Outcasts , the Invaders , The Hunters , 'the Slaves of Socorro, Scorpion Mountain, and Ghost Faces thus far.

Outcasts for a moment. Heroes for life.

History

The Outcasts

Hal first appears six years after his father's death.  Thorn is drunk and lying comatose in the snow outside Karina and Hal's house. Karina tells her son to go fetch a pail of cold water and once he has, instructs the young boy to throw it over the drunk Thorn which he does, albeit hesitantly.

Six years after that, Hal is now almost sixteen and is testing a new invention he has come up with, a pipe system which connects to the sink so his mother doesn't have to go back and forth to the well outside the house. Unfortunately Hal overlooked one small detail and the piping system collapses, flooding the kitchen and tearing plaster away from the wall while also soaking Stig and Thorn, who were helping with the experiment. 

Later Hal, Stig and Ulf and Wulf (two twins) go and pilot Hal's ship, The Heron, which he has been working on for weeks. They sail it around, testing out Hal's new sail plan which enables the boat to sail at a 35 degree angle into the wind, an impressive feat since a Wolfship can only sail into the wind at a 15 degree angle . Hal, wanting to show off a little, decides to steer the boat around into the port at Halasholm. He does this and it causes quite a stir as initially no one can tell what the boat is due to its unusual sail plan. Hal manages to get the boat into port, narrowly missing Erak's ship the Wolfwind.

He later takes charge of the Heron brotherband and leads the team through all their tasks with an impressive degree of success. After winning the Brotherband competition, the Herons got the privilege of guarding the Andomal. However, that night, a huge storm was blowing outside and Hal thought that he needed to move his ship to a shelter to protect it from the fierce conditions outside. But when he came back, the Andomal was gone, stolen by the pirate Zavac.

The Invaders

Instead of turning in their ship like Erak had ordered, he and the rest of The Herons sail off in the Heron and
Hal 2
because of an approaching storm, they find a nice bay to weather it out. There,Thorn helps the Herons in combat skills, and Hal makes some modifications to The Heron including a fin for stability, and makes the Mangler. One night, they notice Wolfwind and thinking Wolfwind is there to take them back to Skandia they quickly sail south, away from Wolfwind.

They are near Limmat where they find Lydia. Hal thinks she is very beautiful and gets a crush on her. Limmat has been overrun with pirates and they team up with the Wolfship, Barat and defeat them. Unfortunately, Zavac gets away.

The Hunters

In the Hunters, Hal and the Herons are in hot pursuit after Zavac and his ship, Raven. They stop off in a bay where Lydia and Thorn are occupied with the task of chasing down an escaped captive while Edvin tries to heal Ingvar. After that, they move slowly toward Raguza, and toward the upcoming duel. One Captain will be gone forever, and one will never be the same.

Slaves of Socorro

Life has been a bit on the boring side for the Herons ever since they came back. One day, however, Erak confronts them and gives them a job to go to Araluen to be Skandian coast guards. On their way there, they see a sinking ship. The culprit is none other than Tursgud, the skirl of the Shark brotherband, the Heron's rivals. Once they get settled inland at Araluen, they meet Ranger Gilan, who tells them King Duncan has a mission for them. But with more pressing matters, Hal knows that Tursgud captured some Araluen slaves and is heading to Socorro for the slave market. They decide to go to Socorro to rescue the slaves instead of going to the king. Gilan accompanies the Herons there. When the Herons get there, they realize they have no plan on rescuing the slaves. The Herons are put to the test, as more complications unfold.

Personality

Hal is a natural-born leader, though he would say otherwise. He is also a good helmsman, with an instinctive ability to judge angles and wind speeds to pilot the Heron. He is not generally tough, although he can fight back rather well, as shown with Tursgud. He is also shown to have a crush on Lotte in the first book, and has feelings for Lydia, who also has feeling for him though does not show it .

Skills

  • Inventing - Hal has been known for his ingenuity. He has been making inventions even when he was little. He is a genius when it comes to inventing, though he does have a tendency to overlook small details which often lead to problems for him and his friends. He has designed a hook for Thorn, the triangular sail for the The Heron, the The Mangler, and the fin in keel box on his ship, among other inventions.
  • Crossbow - Hal got a Crossbow from Thorn, and adjusted it so he didn't need years of training to aim well with it.
  • Navigation - the young Skirl is a competent navigator, being good at things like mathematics. He took to learning navigation very well in his Brotherband training and quickly put it to good use.
  • Seamanship - Hal is a natural seaman, showing him to be a true Skandian despite his technical lineage.
  • Swordsmanship - Hal has received brotherband training and private lessons with Thorn in the use of the sword, making him an excellent swordsman. "Hal was good with a sword—very good, Thorn knew. After all, he had taught him. He was young and fast." -Thorn, Book Three, (The Hunters). However, though he is good with a sword, it is not his strong suit. He is just able to use a sword whenever needed.

Crew

Gallery

Weapons

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