The Mord-Sith are an elite group of women warriors from D'Hara. They were created to defend the master of D'Hara, Lord Rahl, from creatures and people with magic. Mord-Sith believe that it is their sole purpose in life and in death to serve the Lord Rahl unconditionally, and in every way; their devotion is unparalleled.
Candidates to become Mord-Sith are selected from the gentlest and kindest girls in D'Hara, regardless of rank, wealth or any other factors. The kindest girls always make the best Mord-Sith because they have the farthest to fall. Mord-Sith must have no siblings. This is different in Legend of the Seeker as Cara is a notable exception to this rule: we see her kidnapped while playing with her father and sister and meet her sister in episode 3 of season 2 (Broken). They are kidnapped along with their parents and trained from a young age on three levels. Each time, she must be "broken."
The first breaking is a time during which she is tortured to the point of obedience so strong that she would do absolutely anything her master/mistress tells her, without question or hesitation. The girl is hung from a chain and tortured methodically with the use of an Agiel until she breaks. This part of the training rids her of her sense of self and personal desires.
During the second breaking, she is forced to watch as her teacher slowly and brutally tortures her mother to the point of being broken, and eventually, death. This is to rid her of compassion.
The third, and arguably the most difficult, breaking is when she is given the instrument of torture and must inflict pain and suffering upon her own father until he breaks as well, and then she must kill him. When she has completed this task, she is a full Mord-Sith.
Weapons and powers
The only weapon that Mord-Sith carry is the Agiel, a small leather rod (commonly worn at the wrist by a chain) that causes extreme pain to anyone to whom the Mord-Sith touches it (excluding those without the spark of magic, i.e. Pillars of creation). Mord-Sith use Agiels to fight, torture, and kill. Each Mord-Sith wields the Agiel they were "Broken" with.
Every Mord-Sith is taught the Breath of Life. Which is simply Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Commonly used among Mord-Sith to revive whosoever they are torturing, so they may continue to torture.
In Legend of the Seeker, the Breath of Life is magical mist that a Mord-Sith can blow into a dead person's mouth to bring them back to life. This Breath of Life only works if it is given while the corpse is still functional, warm and reasonably whole.
A Mord-Sith's magic counter does not work on all magic. They cannot block the Confessor's touch as its power is based on love and is incompatible with the hatred-based power of the Mord-Sith; a Confessed Mord-Sith dies shortly afterward. Also, magic borne of the Underworld (the Blood beast, the Skrin, the Hedge Maid) is connected with death and unaffected by the power of the Mord-Sith.
Mord-Sith wear skin-tight leather outfits. In times of peace, when they are relaxing, or simply walking around the palace, this leather will be brown. It will be red for combat, torture, or if said Mord-Sith believes the Lord Rahl is in danger. The third potential color I Mord-Sith will wear is white. The only recorded instance of this in the books is at the wedding of the Mord-Sith Cara and Captain Benjamin Meifert, and Mistress Dena has been taken to the Peoples Palace aqnd she took him as her mate. In epsisode 7 of the TV show's second season, Denna wears white after she broke a D’Haran general. Cara explains it as a Mord-Sith has broken a prisoner to the point that they no longer fear their captive shedding their blood.
- Alice †
- Cara †
- Constance †
- Denna †
- Dora †
- Erika †
- Galina †
- Hally †
- Hania †
- Janel †
- Laurin †
- Raina †
- Solvig †
- Wizard's First Rule
- Stone of Tears
- Blood of the Fold
- Temple of the Winds
- Soul of the Fire
- Faith of the Fallen
- Pillars of Creation
- Naked Empire
- Debt of Bones
- The Omen Machine
- The Third Kingdom
- Severed Souls
Legend of the Seeker episodes
- 1.08: Denna
- 1.10: Sacrifice (Mentioned only)
- 1.12: Home (Flash back)
- 1.15: Conversion
- 1.16: Bloodline
- 1.18: Mirror
- 1.22: Reckoning
- Season 2 (Mord-Sith have occurred in every episode of Season 2 because Cara joined the quest to find the Stone of Tears).
Behind the scenes
Several changes were made to the Mord-Sith in the TV series:
- The standard brown leather uniforms of the Mord-Sith are omitted, and all Mord-Sith are shown in red leather.
- Denna is the only the Mord-Sith seen to wear white leather. Cara notes that all Mord-Sith wear white after breaking a new pet. (In the books Cara and Denna are the only ones to ever be shown wearing white leather. Cara at her wedding, Denna after she had broken Richard. Denna said white leather was worn by a Mord-Sith to show everyone their pet was broken and as a demonstration of her power over them, she chose not to make them bleed)
- Mord-Sith do not die instantly at the touch of a Confessor. Instead, they suffer in pain and agony until they die as seen in episode 2:3 "Broken". It is made clear, however, that their training makes it impossible for Mord-Sith to be read by Confessors.
- There seems to be no restriction on a lack of siblings for a Mord-Sith: Cara is shown to have a sister and that those that abduct her are aware of the sibling. (In the books, there are only specific qualities given for the right kind of girl, and while single children family is implied, it’s never directly stated.)
- Mord-Sith do not have the ability to capture a persons magic to cause them pain, but merely to deflect it back at them with much deadlier power. This power extends to magical weapons, as Cara was seen to repel several Dacra in mid-flight as well as being able to control the Sword of Truth. (In the books it is almost an opposite power. The Mord-Sith takes the magic of the user, unto herself, allowing her to control the magic users gift. This process twists a magic user's very essence, and is quite agonizing as torture.)