Mordack is the main antagonist of King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder.

He is the brother of the wizard, Manannan and the witch Hagatha. He is a more powerful wizard than his brother, Manannan.[1], and the most powerful mage encountered by Graham's family.[2]


Not much is known about Mordack past. He was the brother of Manannan and Hagatha. He was a member of the Society of Wizards, who always held a dim view of the wizard, and his abuse of power. They even put him on suspension a few times, but it never seemed to do good, though. But he still continued to be a member. As a member of the society he had past dealings with Crispin. Crispin considered him a very unpredictable wizard, a bad one with an evil mind. He never could understood the evil mind of his. It is also known that he used to play chess with Shadrack, who considered him to be a "ninny at chess".[3]

Abdul Alhazred was his minion and also a good friend. Alhazred, was a vizier of the Land of the Green Isles, and a brother of the Society of the Black Cloak. Through his relationship with Alhazred he was able to meet Cassima, princess of the Land of the Green Isles. He expressed his wishes to marry Cassima, though she refused. Enraged by this, Mordack kidnapped Cassima with Alhazred's help and put her to work as a scullery girl on his island.

Sometime after, or possibly during these events, Mordack's brother, Manannan, was transformed into a cat by Prince Alexander of Daventry. Mordack was an extremely powerful sorcerer, but his mastery of the magical arts wasn't enough to return Manannan to his human form. For this reason, and to revenge his brother, Mordack was able to capture King Graham's family--and Castle Daventry!-- then shrink and transport them to his laboratory on an island far away from Daventry. This was not an insignificant feat.[4] He imprisoned the castle and its inhabitants inside a glass bottle.

King Graham tracked Mordack back to his castle. Mordack was finally beaten and extinguished by Graham in a monumental magical battle.[5] After transforming into several animals, Mordack transformed into a Ring of Fire to surround Graham. In response, Graham cast Rainmaker and doused the fire Mordack had become, killing him. Within a year of having taken Cassima, he was slain, and she returned the Green Isles. Crispin, having learned of Mordack's motivation, arrived after his defeat and reversed the miniaturization of the castle and the royal family.

Several months later, Alexander discovered Mordack's connection to Alhazred when he found a letter from Shadrack in which he expressed his regret at Mordack's death despite Mordack being "a ninny at chess." While composing his response, Alhazred stated that he would send Cassima off to Shadrack instead of killing her, but he knew that that tactic had not ultimately worked with Mordack.

Personality and traits

With or without a wand of magic, Mordack was among the most powerful of sorcerers. He could use hand gestures as well as his wand to affect transformation upon himself using Iconomancy.

Mordack is capable of throwing spells potent enough to defeat great necromancers with just the wave of his wand. While its not entirely clear that Mordack is himself a necromancer, it is stated that he may have created the Blue Meanie 'henchman' from flesh and body parts originating from Dink (thus making Dink and the meanie related).

Mordack is said to be a ninny at chess. He doesn't believe in fair play. To him winning is all that counts. Those who challenge him, should only do so if they want a game played for blood![6] Mordack doesn't play for fun he plays for total conquest. Very few can hope to withstand his superior skill.

Mordack affected a small black mustache, and a beard shaped like a spade. His hair came to a point from beneath his skullcap into a widow's peak. His complexion, while not exactly black, was of a duskiness much like feet left unwashed too long. Mordack was dressed in a long cloak with a tall collar.[7]

Titles and nicknames


  • Derek Karlavaegen speculates that a powerful evil family must exist in the universe in order to balance the presence of the powerful and good royal family of Daventry. He feels that such conflict is part of the order of the universe not just to balance forces, but to give purpose to existence. If this is correct then this means that good and evil (or whatever one wants to call the two) must exist--just to keep things interesting![9]
  • Derek Karlavaegen feels fortunate, if not unduly lucky, that Mordack left him unscathed, despite the fact that the adventurer had taken up residence in the former home of his brother Manannan.[10]
  • An apparently younger Mordack before his demise is one of the individuals who encounters other individuals across the Sierra multiverse and is challenged to various board games in Hoyle 3 (Mordack's quotes (Hoyle 3)). He unfortunately doesn't have access to chess. This was Graham and Rosella's second encounter with the wizard, and his only known encounter with Lolotte.
  • It is speculated that at least some of Mordack's power comes from dreaded science, and that might explain the machines he keeps in his lab.
  • When Mordack kidnapped Cassima in the Green Isles, the wizard flew to his castle on the wings of a giant bird. It was the Roc, the same one who captured Graham--perhaps still under the influence and control of the evil sorcerer
  • After Mananan became a cat, Mordack became the cat's master.[11]
  • In the Hoyle 3 demo he criticizes both Graham and Jones, and shows a competitive and a personality of conquest..

See also

Behind the scenes

The official King's Quest Collection trivia program, King's Questions and the King's Quest Companion (1989) (which was worked on with Roberta's help and blessing), establishes Hagatha is said to be his sister. Though this fact is not brought up in any of the manuals or the official adventure games themselves.

KQ5 and the King's Quest Companion do not clarify on the age of the brothers, and thus there is no reference stating which is the older or younger brother. Both are likely ancient, and Manannan physically looks older (and is immortal). But there is no information specifically stating that he is the older brother.

Mordack may or may not be a member of the Black Cloak society. There is only a reference or two to him in a one or more letters that shows he has at least had associations with members of the society, and was at least used to fulfill part of Abdul Alhazred's plan for the Green Isles. But nothing states if he is a member or otherwise. This article reflects this, by showing his associations with the two black cloaks, but neither stating directly if he is a member himself.

While he does not appear in in KQ6, he is referenced and more details about him are given.

Mordack seems to take a lot of inspiration from the evil Wizard Pendragon from the movie Jack the Giant Killer (made in 1962). Pendragon sports a hairdo similar to Mordack's skull cap. Other elements are taken from the 7th Voyage of Sinbad, which starred some of the same cast members.

Mordack also looks quite a bit like Merlin from the 1981 Excalibur film.

It's worth noting that as far as artistic representations Mordack is shown to be human, however his 'brother' is shown to have elf or fairy like ears on the boxart. Manannan's ears are not defined in KQ3 itself. If the boxart is treated as 'accurate' portrayal of Manannan this would indicate that they must be of two separate species, and it may suggest that they are either 'adopted' as part of the same family, or that they are actually only half-brothers. It's also notable that none of them appear to share the same skin color, Manannan is pale/white, Hagatha is greenish (possibly due to her cannabilistic diet, a complexion that matches her stews), and Mordack is 'dusky'/'swarthy'.

Mordack (unofficial)

Mordack appears in fan fiction, including fan games, see Mordack (unofficial).


  1. "Mordack, a wizard even more powerful than the late Manannan...", New Creations from Sierra (Fall 1990), KQC2E, pg 220, Inside the Chest
  2. KQC2E, pg 220
  3. KQ6: Letter
  4. KQC2E, 490
  5. KQC2E, 490
  6. Hoyle 3 demo
  7. KQC2E, pg
  8. In the game files see Script.550+-*
  9. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 490
  10. KQC2E, 241
  11. TOBOKQ3E, 184
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