According to the story, seventy-nine deserters of the Night's Watch abandoned their posts at the Nightfort, a fortification on the Wall, and went south, becoming outlaws. One was the youngest son of Lord Ryswell. When the deserters reached the lands of House Ryswell, they sought shelter with his father, but instead were captured and returned to the Wall. As punishment, holes were cut into the Wall and each of the deserters were placed in their own hole with spears and horns and then the holes were sealed up while they lived. They had left their posts in life so that in death, they continue their watch. Lord Ryswell, as he was dying, had himself carried to the Wall to take the black so he could stand beside the son that he had condemned to certain death. They became known as the seventy-nine sentinels.