Resurrection of the Warlock Lord
In the Skull Mountain, Bandon gathers a group of followers at an altar, announcing that they will be reborn as Mord Wraiths and that one of them in particular will lead the others. Bandon plunges the Warlock Sword into the base of the altar, causing the heart of the Warlock Lord to rise up and beat again. As blood pours out of the heart onto the altar, Allanon bursts in and tries to stop Bandon.
As the two of them battle, Bandon orders his followers to drink the blood on the altar. They do so and transform into Mord Wraiths. The lead Mord Wraith fires his magic at Allanon, sending him crashing through a window and down the mountain. Bandon then receives visions from the Sword in which tell him that Wil Ohmsford is the key to resurrecting the Warlock Lord. He sends his Mord Wraiths away to look for Wil.
The lead Mord Wraith arrives in Wil's quarters at Storlock and blasts Wil with magic, catapulting him out the window of his quarters. As the monster makes its way outside, illusion of Wil, made by Mareth, appears and lures the Mord Wraith away from Storlock.
Changes Made for the TV Adaptation
- In the TV series, the Mord Wraiths are followers of Bandon who are transformed into powerful monsters after drinking the Warlock Lord's blood. In The Wishsong of Shannara, humans who practice magic were subverted and turned into Mord Wraiths by the Ildatch, the magical tome from the Age of Faerie which Brona used to become the Warlock Lord.
- The TV series makes a distinction between black Wraiths, who act as mere servants of the Warlock Lord, and red Wraiths, who are much more powerful and are leaders of the black Wraiths. In the The Wishsong of Shannara there is no distinction between one Mord Wraith and another.
Mord Wraiths are a group of powerful sorcerers and the principles antagonists in The Wishsong of Shannara. They were human servants of the Warlock Lord who recovered and were subverted by the Ildatch, the magical tome from the Age of Faerie which Brona used to become the Warlock Lord.
When the Warlock Lord fell, the Druid Allanon searched the ruins of Skull Mountain to find the Ildatch. He could not find it and assumed it had been lost forever. However, somehow it was preserved and recovered by a sect of the Warlock Lord's human followers: would-be sorcerers of various Races who were not subject to the power of the Sword of Shannara and were therefore not destroyed along with their master when Shea Ohmsford defeated Brona.
More than sixty years before Allanon came to Brin Ohmsford seeking her assistance in destroying the Ildatch, these sorcerors took the Ildatch back into their Eastland lair, where, hidden from the Races, they began to delve into the magic and its secrets. They were subverted by the Ildatch, just like the Skull Bearers that served Brona, but this time, instead of flying, the evil walked the land. Eventually, as the sorcerers began to enslave Gnomes and send them out to battle the Dwarves, they began to be called Mord Wraiths, or "black walker" in the Gnome language.
Mord Wraiths were feared throughout the lands for tales of their power: They destroyed men's minds, burned whole bodies into blackened char with a magical red fire, and could walk without a trace of sound or movement. They were described as tall, soundless, faceless things, wrapped in black cloaks with hoods that hid their features. At times they carried staffs of burnished witch wood, such as when they summoned a Kraken at Capaal.
Allanon tried to get to the Ildatch to destroy it and the Mord Wraiths, but he failed to penetrate the Maelmord, the magical, semi-sentient forest the black walkers had created around the tome to protect it. He was forced to give up and seek the help of Brin, who could use her wishsong to create a path through the forest.
The Mord Wraiths did their best to stop Brin and Allanon on their quest to destroy the Ildatch, and to stop her brother Jair Ohmsford from healing the Silver River and saving his sister. However, they were destroyed when Brin took possession of the Ildatch and destroyed it with the wishsong.