- “I guess it was a feeling of love, but words are so hollow, next to the power of the wanting of her.”
- ―Brophy, a confessed man[src]
The Confessor's touch, Confessor's magic or Confession, was the power wielded by all Confessors. Simply put, it made the victim completely, unconditionally loyal to the Confessor, to the point where they no longer had any sense of self.
Confessor's magic Edit
A Confessor's power wasn't activated so much as unleashed. As long as the Confessor could touch the victim directly (clothing and armor posed no obstacle) the power could be delivered with absolutely no defense. When touched, the magic amplified the capacity for love that all humans had and directed it towards the Confessor; as such, this power was considered Additive Magic. Upon being unleashed, the power also produced a significant concussive force, often described as "thunder without sound". The force at close range was described as being powerful enough to finish off an already injured individual at close range. Although it was never explained thoroughly, there appeared to be negative consequences for anyone making contact with the victim at the time they are touched.
The result of the victim's love being amplified in such a way was complete, unquestioning, irreversible loyalty towards the Confessor. The person touched would do anything, namely revealing deeply-buried truths, but even things like dying on the spot. As part of this transformation, the victim's persona and free will was stripped away, effectively killing the person while only leaving the memories and body intact. Despite this, victims did retain their normal amount of intellect and could take initiative with instructions (when ordered to protect the Confessor, for instance, they will intelligently assess and respond to threats). However, the victim was stripped of all will to deceive the Confessor, and thus took all questions for their literal meaning, and answered with the clear truth.
Confessor's magic stretches over any amount of distance between the Confessor and the confessed, and remains until the death of the Confessor. As stated in in the television series, (although it isn't elaborated upon much), a Confessor's power comes from spirit not blood. As such, when Dennee's spirit was resurrected by Denna and placed into a new body, Dennee was still able to confess people and sense the truth.A Confessor's touch is fatal to Mord-Sith, as their power derives from hate and suffering opposing a Confessor's power, which derives from love. In the short time they live post-confession, they suffer excruciating pain, but experience the normal effects of a Confessor's touch.
Accidental usage Edit
- “Like holding your stomach in.”
- ―Richard describes restraining the Confessor magic[src]
A Confessor's powers manifested in childhood, and from that time onward, their power must be kept under active restraint. A Confessor's natural state is one in which her powers are relaxed and active, so she must be trained to constantly hold them in. Kahlan Amnell warned Nissel that drugs that interfere with consciousness, such as strong painkillers, could cause an accidental release of power. Regular sleep, however, would not cause an accidental unleashing.
The major cause of accidental release was sexual intercourse - when in the throes of passion, a Confessor would inevitably lose control of her power, destroying the essence of the person they are with. This meant that a Confessor could never marry for love.
Victim's experience Edit
The following is an example of what the victim of a Confessor's touch experiences. It is a testimony by Brophy, a man wrongly accused of murdering a boy, in Wizard's First Rule.
"It's hard to remember everything of that time, but I will try to explain it the best I can. Pain. I remember the pain. It was exquisite, beyond anything you could imagine. The first thing I remember after the pain is fear. Overpowering fear I might be breathing wrong, and it would somehow displease her. I almost died from fear that I would displease her. And then when she told me what she wanted to know, it was a flush of the greatest joy I had ever known. Joy, because then I knew what I could do to please her. I was overjoyed that she made a request of me, that there was something I could do to satisfy her. That's what I remember the most, the desperate, frantic need to do as she wanted, to satisfy her, and make her happy. Nothing else was in my mind, only to please her. To be in her presence was beyond bliss. The pleasure of being in her presence made me cry with elation. She told me to tell the truth, and I was so happy, because I knew I could do that. I was thrilled to have a task within my power. I started talking as fast as I could, to tell her all the truth I could. She had to tell me to slow down, because she couldn't understand me. If I had had a knife, I would have used it on myself for displeasing her. Then she told me it was all right, and I cried because she was not displeased with me. I told her what happened. After I told her I hadn't killed the boy, I remembered she put her hand on my arm - the touch nearly made me faint with pleasure - and she said she was sorry. I misunderstood. I thought she meant she was sorry I hadn't killed the boy. I begged her to let me go kill another boy for her. Then she explained that what she meant was that she was sorry for me, for me being accused wrongly of the murder. I remember crying uncontrollably, because she had shown me a kindness, she was sorry for me, she cared for me. I remember what it felt like to be near her, to be in her presence. I guess it was a feeling of love, but words are so hollow, next to the power of the wanting of her."
Recovery period Edit
A female Confessor's power could not be used indefinitely - use left them feeling physically fatigued, and the power itself took some time to recharge. The exact time varied between Confessors - Kahlan Amnell's power recharged within a few hours, which was unusually fast, as the average Confessor required up to a day for their power to return.
Male Confessors Edit
A confessor's child will always be born a confessor with the exception of the Pristinely ungifted. As magic manifests itself differently in men and women, male confessors' touches are much stronger and require no recharge time. This may appear to be useful, but almost all male confessors are so overwhelmed by their powers that they do not have the restraint or compassion to use them wisely. These Confessors had no regard for justice and duty, and were often power-hungry and bloodthirsty. They eventually led the Midlands into the dark times where Confessors ruled, a period that ended around 60 BCB. After these dark times, it became a solemn law of the Confessor order that every newborn male confessor be taken to a special place in Aydindril where his mother would order her mate to place a rod on the baby's neck and step down on either end of it, killing the child.
Application of the touch Edit
Confessors were created as human weapons during the Great War, and their intended use continued through history - to discern the ultimate truth. At a criminal trial, a convicted offender or sufficiently powerful authority figure could request the accused be touched by a Confessor, who would then ask the accused to speak the truth. Since the victim of the touch was unable to lie, the absolute truth of the case would be found, either way, and the case could be decided accordingly.
The Confessor's touch was also used in self-defense - Confessors being the target of much animosity, they could turn an assailant into a bodyguard prepared to die for his intended target, by touching such an assailant with their power. All Confessors were trained to shut out distractions and 'make time theirs' to slip through the victim's guard and deliver the touch.
Reversal and immunities Edit
Under normal circumstances, the touch of a Confessor could not be undone - it was absolute in every sense of the term. However, being transformed into an animal, which did not have the same basic capacity for love as a human, would lessen the degree of devotion the victim felt. This was the protocol for a person touched during a trial who was proven innocent by the act.
Only one exception existed to the finality of the touch - if the intended target already loved their Confessor unconditionally and totally, the touch could be overwhelmed and rendered ineffective. The power of the touch would be exhausted trying to amplify this excess of love, leaving nothing with which to affect the target's free will, personality, etc. The Confessor would in turn suffer a concussion in addition to the usual exhaustion following the use of her touch.
First Wizard Zeddicus was touched once by the Confessor's power, however he avoided it's effects because his soul was partially in the underworld, where it could not be totally manipulated. He stated that he used the power as an "anchor" to drag his soul back to the world of life.
The Con Dar Edit
Main article: Con Dar
With the touch of a Confessor being an Additive power, the power's balance was found in its opposite, the Subtractive Con Dar, a power invoked to protect someone the Confessor held dear. Unlike the touch, it was a learned skill. The Confessor in the midst of the Con Dar became single-minded in her desire to protect, marching for days without rest and doing all but leveling buildings that stood in her way. Such a Confessor could not be reasoned with and would kill or invoke her magic without a second thought.
Behind the scenes Edit
- In Legend of the Seeker a Confessor's touch causes both the Confessor and her victim's pupils to expand so as to ensure the audience is aware that some sort of magic passes between the two.