Muirne Black

Sold into forced labour at the Rowntree Munitions Factory when she was a child, Muirne has spent most of her life in Dornie and calls the settlement home in spite of how she came to live there. She presently serves as Quarter Master aboard Lucien Bassingthwaighte's ship, the Gaelic Harp.


Full Name: Muirne Black
Age: 34
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue

Status: Alive
Occupation: Quarter Master
Origin: Unknown
Allegiance: Rowntree

First Seen:
Last Seen:



  • Unknown

Portrayed by: Gemma Whelan


Muirne Black posseses only hazy memories of her childhood before she came to Dornie - her mother's hoarse and croaking voice, the melody of a lullaby sung to her in the cradle when she was still a babe, and long, gaunt faces framed in greasy wreaths of fair-coloured hair that did not feel familiar to her until she grew into her own and saw the same in the mirror. She knows she originally hails from a seaside village plundered by Dornie's forces, and that most of her family burned to death when the village was set ablaze. She remembers clinging desperately to her mother's hand, the forceful tug that wrenched them apart, and the emotional anguish of being separated from the person she loved the most.

She was five years old when she was chosen among the survivors to be put to work in the Rowntree's Munitions Factory and taught how to polish the inside of shell casings. When her hands became too big for that task, the foreman moved her into the assembly division - it was there she would have stayed indefinitely if she had not been subjected to so many beatings and so much sexual violence at the hands of her superiors that she put a piece of rebar through another worker's skull.

On the waterfront.

Her punishment should have been clear-cut, and although she was scheduled to be hanged the next day for her crime, a young man named Lucien Bassingthwaighte stepped forward and appealed to Marcus Rowntree on her behalf. The factory needed Muirne gone while Bassingthwaighte needed hands aboard his ship, the Gaelic Harp - not wanting to appear weak or sympathetic in front of his men, Marcus had Muirne lashed bloody before turning her over to Bassingthwaighte, but turned her over nonetheless.

Bassingthwaighte put her aggression to good use, and it was not long before Muirne was participating in the same type of raids that exterminated the village where she was born. Aboard the Harp, she learned how to handle its sails, sift gunpowder, and wield the weapons she helped to produce at the factory back in Dornie. She took a keen interest in the maps used to chart the ship's course and the navigational instruments maintained by the Sailing Master while the Boatswain taught her the art of rigging.

As far as general educations go, it was not well-rounded, but it imparted enough solid seafaring knowledge that she steadily and purposefully climbed the ranks, becoming Bassingthwaighte's Quarter Master in her late twenties. Muirne relished the job; after growing up in the factory, discipline came easy to her, and while some people in a similar position might be sympathetic to the plights of others, Muirne was not only strict in her practices - she was notoriously ruthless and developed a reputation for her brutality (some might say sadism).

Acting as Quarter Master demanded a close relationship with Bassingthwaighte, someone who Muirne respected but hesitated to call a friend due to the fact that she, like the ship she served aboard, remained his physical property. If she did not owe him her life, she might resent that he never gave her permanent command of her own ship - or her freedom. For now, at least, the power afforded to her as his right-hand is enough for Muirne to live on.



Muirne is a product of her environment and makes a strong case for those who argue nurture over nature. Growing up in the hostile environment of the Rowntree Munitions Factory required her to learn how to fend for herself from an early age - she learned that making friends meant having to look out for other people, which was the kind of obligation that she believed hindered her survival more than it helped, even if it meant she'd have people looking out for her in return. In reality, her reluctance to form meaningful relationships stems from abandonment issues surrounding her mother, and an innate fear of her own vulnerability. As a result, Muirne has built up a wall around her heart and reinforced it with a Darwinistic approach to thinking.

It's easy to dismiss the suffering of others when you've spent your whole life convincing yourself that the weak deserve what they receive at the hands of the strong.

In addition to the beatings that were doled out at the factory, Muirne and many of the other girls were raped, not only by their superiors, but by their equals; her exposure to this kind of activity before she was ready for it shaped her into a teenager with inappropriate tendencies and then a sexually aggressive adult who is forced to bear the stigma of routinely being called a whore and a slut by her male peers in spite of them behaving in a similar fashion.

She drinks a little more than she probably should.