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The Sea Hound

Depictions and Description
The Aldorian god of the seas, and worshipped by any number of sailors across Faedrun – and now, Mardrun – the Sea Hound is a fiercely protective figure in Aldorian myth and legend. He presides over the oceans and – much like the hound who he takes his name from – while his behaviour may seem unpredictable and alien to those unused to his ways, should one take the time to learn the language of his form, he is as loyal and dependable as a close friend. Aldorian depictions of the Sea Hound take many forms – the most common is that of an old, scarred sailor, wearing a heavy cloak and carrying a single lantern, but his most famous incarnation is that of a dog; typically, this is the Aldorian Hound, a shaggy-coated breed well-suited to the coastal cities and ships that make Aldoria known across the world. Many Aldorian sailors thus believe having a dog aboard a ship is good luck, and each ship tends to have an appointed “Ship’s Hound”, many of which earn their keep by keeping the many rats that tend to climb aboard ships at bay.

According to legends, the Sea Hound first appeared in Aldoria during a harsh storm. Hundreds of years before the battle of Grayfield, the sailors aboard a ship – aptly named “The Sea Hound” found themselves trapped near an inhospitable coastal region with a treacherous reef. Suddenly, an older man appeared to take the helm, with a single lantern grasped in his hand while he barked out directions, and a large hound sat waiting on the prow, barking louder than any earthly animal could to warn them of upcoming reefs. The sailors, upon reaching safe harbor, looked for them both, but could find no trace – and thus, the legends of the Sea Hound began.

As noted above, many ships keep dogs aboard as a way of seeking favor with the Sea Hound. Especially devout worshippers tend to feed and tend to any dog they find, as mistreating one of the Sea Hound’s servants is seen as an offense to him. As befitting a sailor’s god, many of the prayers to him take the form of the work shanties used to coordinate the many actions needed to sail, taking the call-and-response of shanties and applying them to their lives.

Wind may blow down to the bone,
Hey, ho, dog’s at the helm.
Sea Hound guide our ship back home,
Hey, ho, dog’s at the helm.
We’ll break our backs to guide the sail,
Hey, ho, dog’s at the helm,
So help us here and wag your tail.
Hey, ho, dog’s at the helm.

Much less polite are the sheer number of curses associated with the Sea Hound – especially rough seas are caused by “the Hound’s paddlin'”, harsh rains are, “the Hound pissin’ after a night at port”, and an especially idiotic sailor is called, “a rat he’s not found yet.” Of all the gods in Faedrun and Mardrun, the Sea Hound apparently appreciates a good curse more than any other – the sheer variety used by hardened Aldorian sailors has led to them jokingly referring to it as, “a barking prayer”, and most of them are not too shy to use their entire, rather rich vocabulary.

Priests and Priestesses of the Sea Hound tend to be sailors by trade, although a number of them tend to the numerous lighthouses along the coast of Aldoria. Their temples are always situated in coastal regions – it’s considered idiotic to worship the Sea Hound if you’re not close to the oceans he calls home, and so few shrines or temples exist outside of coastal towns and ports. They always pray facing the ocean, and they have a large number of daily prayers related to the actions necessary to guide a sailing ship or keep a lighthouse running, so they are seen as a valuable addition to any crew, even outside of Aldoria.

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