-- Misery Cord
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Misery Cord (also known as the Misericord)
Location: Europe
Common Construction: Steel

The misery cord is a general term for a dagger worn by knights in the Middle Ages. There are several theories as to the derivation of its name. It is strong enough to pierce plate joints and thin enough to pass through the slits of a visor. One theory is that the misery cord was a coup de grace weapon commonly used against heavily armored opponents.

There was a time in the Middle Ages in which plate armor was superior to many of the weapons of the period. Knights were often overcome through strength of numbers and taken prisoner on the battlefield still alive. At such close quarters, the fallen knights were either captured or executed based on their heritage and more importantly whether their family could pay the ransom. Wealthy or prestigious individuals were spared, while poorer knights were put out of their misery.

Although it was likely used for this purpose on more than one occasion, the name is more likely derived from the latin "misericordia" which means mercy. At the conclusion of the battle, one or both sides were allowed to collect their dead. The most plausible use being that it was a dagger of mercy to end the lives of mortally wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

Dagger, General Term, History, Medieval Europe

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