The Hand of Morda is the ninth chapter of Taran Wanderer. Here the hero faces a monstrous evil that is all the more horrible because it is human, yet imagines itself superior to humanity. The hero can only succeed with the help of his friends. The moment of the villain's near-triumph has been depicted on several different edition covers, inlcuding the 1970s Dell Yearling by Maitz, the 1980s Laurel-Leaf and the 2000s digital painting.
PlotMorda -- after Taran drove his sword into the cadaverous wizard's heart with no effect -- revealed that he had hidden his life force to guard his flesh from harm; Taran, having seen the wizard's missing little finger, realized that the phylactery into which Morda had placed his soul was the very fingerbone which the clever crow Kaw had found... and given to Taran. Possession of the bone protected Taran from being transformed as his Companions had been. Resistant to its powers, Taran would have spared Morda's life, but the wizard slashed Taran's face with his stolen jewel and proceeded to strangle Taran. Only the sudden, crashing arrival of Llyan gave Taran the chance to find the bone -- which Gurgi, in the form of a mouse, offered him -- and to try to snap it. Yet the shard would not break.
|1. Who Am I? | 2. Cantrev Cadiffor | 3. Goryon and Gast | 4. A Matter of Cows | 5. A Judgement | 6. A Frog | 7. Friends in Danger | 8. The Wall of Thorns | 9. The Hand of Morda | 10. The Broken Spell | 11. Dorath | 12. The Wager | 13. The Lost Lamb | 14. The End of Summer | 15. The Open Cage | 16. Taran Wanderer | 17. The Weir | 18. The Free Commots | 19. The Potter's Wheel | 20. The Spoilers | 21. The Mirror|