- “Your life is yours and yours alone. Rise up and live it.”
Richard Rahl, also known as Richard Cypher, is the Lord Rahl of D'Hara and the Master of the D'Haran Empire. In addition, he was named the rightful Seeker of Truth, was the first war wizard to be born in over three thousand years, and was the husband of the Mother Confessor of all the Midlands, Kahlan Amnell.
Richard was responsible for the defeat of Darken Rahl during the Second D'Haran War. Later, after ascending the throne of D'Hara as the new Lord Rahl, Richard would rule the D'Haran Empire in an effort to protect the New World from the growing threat of Emperor Jagang and the Imperial Order. Along with Kahlan, Richard served as a strong and intelligent leader, thwarting a variety of plots masterminded by Jagang to crush resistance to his Order. Eventually, Richard saved the Old and New Worlds from the Imperial Order, the chimes, and Chainfire by creating the world without magic.
Richard Rahl was raised as Richard Cypher, believing his father to be George Cypher and Cypher's son, Michael, to be his brother. Richard's mother, a native of the Midlands and the daughter of the wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander, was raped by Darken Rahl, and married George Cypher after giving birth to Rahl's heir, Richard. When Richard was young, his mother died in a fire born of anger, an event that caused Richard to fear and suppress his temper for most of his youth.
Richard grew up in Hartland, the main province of Westland, separated from the Midlands by one of the boundaries. With the teachings of his adopted father and his maternal grandfather, whom he knew as his best friend, Richard eventually became a woods guide. His brother became an important political figure and leader.
As Richard grew up, his father had him memorize the Book of Counted Shadows. Richard had to read and reread the last copy of the book to memorize its words, but he didn't mind this, feeling honored that his father had chosen him for the task. Eventually, after many years of study and memorization, George and Richard burned the book. George entrusted Richard with a tooth pendant that he told him would allow the keeper of the book to recognize and trust him.
As time went on, Richard helped Zedd whenever he could and became friends with the boundary warden, Dell Brandstone, whom he would come to call Chase.
- “The connection was so intense it threatened to drain his sense of self.”
- ―Richard, on meeting Kahlan[src]
After discovering that his father, George Cypher, had been murdered, Richard set out to find out the truth about what had happened to him. Finding a dried up vine, the likes of which he had never seen in his capacity as a woods guide, in a jar that only he and George knew about, Richard set out to find the source of this vine, thinking it was a message left by George. Richard's search led him to the Upper Ven where he found the strange vine growing. However, after getting too close to the vine, the plant bit him, embedding its thorn in his hand.
Before he was able to set off to have the bite healed, Richard noticed a woman seemingly unknowingly being chased by four men. After studying them for a moment, Richard rushed forward to intercept the woman without the men knowing of it in order to warn her. Taking her to a side path, hoping that the four men would keep following the road, Richard is surprised when, near the end of the path, the four men caught up to Richard and the woman. Together, the woman, who identifies herself only as Kahlan Amnell, and Richard dispose of the men and make their way to safety.
The New Seeker
- “Zedd, what in the name of everything good is a Seeker?”
Richard took Kahlan to the upper Venn forest, where they met. He also took her to his home in Hartland to meet his friend, Zedd. Richard was suffering from the effects of the bite from the snake vine. En route, Kahlan revealed that she was an inhabitant of the Midlands, who had crossed the boundary in search of the First Wizard whose help she hoped to receive in defeating the wicked Darken Rahl. Zedd healed Richard from the sickness, who he soon deduced to be the very wizard Kahlan hoped to find. Kahlan beseeched Zedd to, in his capacity as the First Wizard, name a new Seeker. Reluctantly, Zedd complied to Kahlan's horror by naming Richard as the Seeker of Truth.
Kahlan pledged her life to Richard as the new Seeker, as did Zedd. She volunteered to act as his guide through the Midlands. Kahlan, Richard, and Zedd found an ally in Richard's old friend Chase, who, being the head of the boundary wardens, knew the boundary better than anyone. He sought to aid them in bypassing it. However, Zedd and Chase were soon struck ill by the shadow magic of the boundary, and Richard and Kahlan were forced to take them to the mysterious bone woman, Adie.
Adie proved able to heal the pair, though she believed the process would take time Richard and Kahlan would not have and suggested that they leave them in her care so they could continue their quest. Richard agreed to this, and in the short time Kahlan spent with Adie, she learned that the old sorceress had known her mother and given her a bone necklace; she proceeded to give a similar one to Kahlan. Richard had no need of a bone because he was protected by the tooth that George Cypher had passed onto him.
Adie also gave them a Night stone and a warning in the form of a riddle, which aided the duo in their journey through a pass in the boundary. In the Midlands, the pair found friendship with the Mud People, who initiated them as honorary members of the tribe, and allowed them to participate in a spirit gathering. The spirits summoned by the Mud People divulged to Richard and Kahlan that the location of the third Box of Orden, the only one not possessed by Rahl, was known only by the witch woman, Shota.
Knowing of the witch woman by reputation, Kahlan was apprehensive about meeting her; legend held that even wizards feared to enter Shota's domain. While guiding Richard through Agaden Reach, Kahlan was captured by the witch woman. Immediately hostile towards the Mother Confessor, Shota covered her in illusionary snakes; removing them only at Richard's insistence. Through Shota, the pair learned that the last Box of Orden was in the possession of Queen Milena of Tamarang, but not before revealing that both Zedd and Kahlan would betray Richard by using their powers against him. Kahlan became greatly distraught by this and wanted only to kill herself for a time, but Richard was able to convince her otherwise and they together proceeded to Tamarang. En route, the pair finally reunited with Zedd.
Venturing to Tamarang proved opportune to Kahlan and Zedd, as Milena was the same queen who Kahlan's personal wizard, and Zedd's former student, Giller, had seemingly dishonorably pledged himself to. Keen to deal with Giller, the trio arrived in Tamarang, only to find that he had been killed when Darken Rahl had visited in order to attain the last Box of Orden. It was found that Giller had sacrificed himself by using Wizard's Life Fire in order to protect the person that he had hid the box with, proving that both Zedd and Kahlan were wrong in their judgement of him.
While leaving Tamarang in low spirits, the trio met up with Chase, healed by Adie, and the young girl Rachel, whom Giller had entrusted the Box of Orden to. The group was soon in high spirits as the hardest task of their mission was complete, however it soon became clear that Richard had been spelled with the use of artistry and was later captured by the Mord-Sith, Denna, while dealing with Milena's court artist James, who was responsible for the spell. Kahlan and the others followed Richard's last order to a certain extent. They brought the box to Michael's army, to better protect it. They did not stay put with the box for long though, and soon chased after Richard.
- “I'm going to teach you the meaning of pain, my pet. I'm going teach you that your body is no longer yours, it is mine, and I can do anything I want with it. Anything. I can hurt you in any way I want, for as long as I want, and no one is going to help you but me. I'm going to teach you that the few moments you will ever have without pain is a moment only I can grant you. You are going to learn to do as I say without question, without hesitation, no matter what it is. You are going to learn to beg for anything you get.”
- ―Denna to Richard on his first day of training[src]
Denna was assigned to torture Richard so he would be compliant and provide Darken Rahl with the Book of Counted Shadows location, which would allow Rahl to open the Boxes of Orden and unleash the Keeper, thus granting himself immortality. Denna was ordered by Darken Rahl to train and break Richard because she was a Mord-Sith who enjoyed administering pain to her pets, and never grew tired of it. She captured the magic of his Sword of Truth when Richard tried to use it against her, and used it from then on to cause him excruciating pain if he ever did anything that she did not command him to do. There was nothing he could do to fight back, or resist her. As such, he was utterly helpless to stop her from training him with the Agiel. She forced him to think sexual thoughts of her to keep the pain away while she brutally tortured him in order to break him mentally as well as physically. To survive the horrors his body was exposed to, Richard learned to partition his mind; an ability of the gifted, which he used to lock away his pride and dignity.
Denna subjected Richard to all forms of training a Mord-Sith could possibly give her pet, including putting her Agiel in his ear. She used the Agiel to train him, and used the pain of the magic to keep him subservient to her wishes. In order to train him, she kept him naked, collared, chained up, unfed, and sleep deprived. He was also forced to say devotion to her and Darken Rahl, which he did without hesitation to avoid the pain of the Agiel. When he failed to please her he was given a more painful training session. After a couple of days, Richard's spirit broke and he finally became her pet, willing to do whatever she pleased in order to not be hurt. Denna killed Richard many times over the course of his training, only to bring him back with the Breath of Life every time. Despite the fact that he partioned his mind, Richard always had a hint of madness in him after his time with Denna.
For some time after this, Denna proceeded to torture and break Richard in the palace of Tamarang; however, Richard lashed out after she allowed the young Princess Violet to participate in his torture, breaking the jaw of the princess and severing her tongue. Queen Milena, horrified at his treatment of her daughter, attempted to apprehend him and Denna, forcing the Mord-Sith to kill the queen
Shortly afterwards, Denna took Richard to the People's Palace in D'Hara, where she allowed her sister Mord-Sith, particularly Constance, to occasionally participate in his torture and breaking. Denna fell in love with Richard, due to his insistence on showing her compassion despite the way she treated him. As such when he turned the blade white, as stated in prophecy, forgiving her of everything she had done and came to kill her, she greeted him naked and knowing he came to kill her, so that she would die as just Denna and not Mord-Sith. She gave Richard her Agiel as a token of her love right before he killed her; to do so.
Later, Rahl questioned Richard about the book to discover he had destroyed it but memorized it an would thus need Richard. He also informed Richard that Zedd had placed an extremely powerful spell over him that hid the true identity of his father. Richard disputed this, claiming George Cypher was his father, only to learn that he had only been his adoptive father. However, Rahl had placed an enemy web over Richard, causing all those who were loyal to him to view him as their greatest enemy; Rahl himself. Only those who were not loyal to Richard would be able to see him for who he truly was. Richard soon learnt through this web that his brother Michael had betrayed him and joined Rahl's cause.
Kahlan, believing Richard dead, invoked the power of the Con Dar, the Blood Rage, and was in the grips of this as Richard found her. Darken Rahl had cast a web around Richard so he would appear as the enemy to his friends and as himself to his enemies. Because of this, Kahlan believed him to be Darken Rahl when she saw him and so released her power into him. After believing that Richard had been confessed by Kahlan, the real Darken Rahl appeared and removed the web surrounding Richard revealing him to Kahlan and Zedd. Darken Rahl then instructed Richard to recite to him the words of the Book of Counted Shadows, otherwise he would kill Kahlan.
However, Richard had fallen in love with Kahlan, power and all, and was as such immune to her magic. Using the charade of being under Kahlan's power, Richard utilized the Wizard's First Rule and tricked Darken Rahl into opening the incorrect Box of Orden, the power of which subsequently destroyed him.
Following Rahl's death, Kahlan was in great despair and wanted to commit suicide since she thought she had destroyed the man she loved. She then discovered that he had been protected by his love of her and found out that they could finally be together. Richard then had his brother executed not for his betrayal of Richard, but for the deaths of all the innocent people that his betrayal had caused. Shortly thereafter, Richard found out that his real father was Darken Rahl and he was now the new Lord Rahl and Master of D'hara.
Tear in the Veil
Although Darken Rahl was killed by opening the Boxes of Orden, his opening the Boxes allowed for a tear in the veil which allowed the Stone of Tears to be in the world. The veil is the boundary separating the underworld from the world of life. With it torn, the keeper could potentially consume the world and destroy all life. Richard, being the last war wizard in approximately 3,000 years was the only one who could prevent this from happening by closing the veil. This was because war wizards are born with both sides of the gift: additive and subtractive magic.
After learning of the veil's tearing, Richard discovered it was up to him to close it. Unfortunately, he was clueless to how this was to be done, so he decided to start by calling a gathering of the Mud People to call forth the spirits from the underworld for advice. Before the ceremony, Richard received a grave warning, which the Bird Man, leader of the Mud People, interpreted to mean that the gathering will be dangerous, if not deadly. Richard decided he had no other options, and went on with the gathering.
In the gathering, the ancestor's spirits had told the elders to leave. Only Kahlan and Richard had stayed. Darken Rahl's spirit appeared and went off to do the Keeper's bidding in the world of life after giving Richard the mark of the Keeper. The mark gave Richard excruciating pain and rendered him unconscious. Denna then came forth, following Darken Rahl through the upmost layer of the underworld after Darken Rahl had left. After a brief conversation with Kahlan, she took the mark off Richard, by taking it herself only after making Kahlan promise that she would do anything to ensure the survival of Richard.
Sisters of the Light
While all this was occurring, Richard was suffering from intense headaches that were caused by his gift going out of control. His han is one of the most powerful ever known, due to his being descended from the intensely magical Rahl and Zorander bloodlines. The Sisters of Light appeared to try to help him learn to control his gift and to get rid of the potentially fatal headaches, but Richard had refused the first two out of three offerings mainly because he would have to be collared. At the third offering Kahlan forced Richard to put on the collar and go with them in order to "prove his love" (Kahlan had only done this because of the promise she made Denna).
After being taken by the Sisters of the Light, Richard had to cross the Valley of the Lost. The valley was a desolate land where spells originating from the Towers of Perdition raged and battled each other creating great clashes of power that were potentially deadly. The towers were created by the wizards during the Great War 3,000 years ago to separate the Old World from the New World. While attempting to cross the valley to go to the Old World, Richard and Sister Verna, the sister that was guiding him, got separated and lost. While Richard was trying to find his way through, he stumbled upon two different towers, one in which he found and took some black sorcerer's sand. He later found Sister Verna again and was able to escape out of the valley.
Palace of the Prophets
They eventually reached the Palace of the Prophets, home of the Sisters of Light and many wizards in training. Richard quickly became friends with another wizard named Warren. Warren's gift specialized in prophecy and spent much of his time in the vaults of the palace. In the vaults, Warren found many books of prophecies which spoke of the underworld, the Stone of Tears, and other information Richard needed to know to close the veil.
However Richard was in a terrible situation, because he was bound to an area around the Palace of Prophets; he was a prisoner and could not leave the palace for more than a few miles. To make matters worse, the sisters did not realize the extent of the problems that faced Richard and intended to keep him there for hundreds of years in order to train him to be a wizard (this was possible since the palace was spelled to slow down aging).
Uncovering the Sisters of the Dark
Richard escaped by getting help from a distant relative, Nathan Rahl, who told Sister Verna how to get Richard past the magical barricade outside the palace. Richard then helped the people of the Baka Ban Mana to help get their land back from the wizards who took the Valley of the Lost from them. He did this by destroying the Towers of Perdition to free the valley of the raging storm of spells and all the people that were stuck within them. Chase and Rachel were among the people freed. Richard took the Stone of Tears from Rachel, who protected the stone in a necklace given to her by Zedd. Then he called the red dragon Scarlet with the tooth she gave him, and flew to D'Hara. He arrived in time to stop Darken Rahl and the Sister of the Dark who had drawn the necesasry spell forms in sorcerer's sand. Richard threw some of his black sorcerer's sand on the pool of white sorcerer's sand, which contaminated and destroyed the spell form that was drawn in white sorcerer's sand. Then he put the Stone of Tears in the glow emitted from the opened Box of Orden, which puts the Stone of Tears around the Keeper's neck, effectively locking him away once more.
Imperial Order War
Aftermath of the Mother Confessor's Execution
After successfully defeating Darken Rahl once more, Richard then made his way on horseback to Aydindril to prevent Kahlan's death at the hands of the council, even though he knew it would be well past Winter Solstice when he arrived and would be too late to stop it.
He meets Mistress Sanderholt at the Confessor's Palace kitchens who informs him of Kahlan's death at the hands of the council members. Seething with the Seeker's rage, Richard sentences and carries out the execution of the council for their betrayal of the Midlands.
He then visits Kahlan's grave, where he deduces from a coded message on the marker that Kahlan is in fact alive. Both he and Kahlan pray to the good spirits at the same time, and the spirit of Denna visits them and takes them to the place in between worlds, where they could finally be together as one.
Rise to Power
Richard decides to depart Aydindril to find Kahlan and Zedd, but changes his mind after seeing the brutal oppression of the Imperial Order who had seized control of Aydindril. On his way to the D'Haran consulate, Richard is saved from an unpleasant encounter with Galtero, Lord General Brogan's (General of the Blood of the Fold) right-hand man by Ulic and Egan, two of the Master Rahl's guards and taken to Cara, the Mord-Sith.
With the help of Cara, and her Sisters of the Agiel: Hally, Berdine, Raina, and his personal bodyguards Ulic and Egan, Richard seizes control of Aydindril from the Imperial Order by forging the D'Haran's loyalty to him using the bond, a counter to the Dream Walker's magic created three thousand years ago by Richard's ancestor, Alric Rahl.
He then gathered the representatives of the varied lands of the Midlands, dissolving the alliance and demanding their unconditional surrender to D'Hara or be left to the brutal Imperial Order's mercy.
Battle of the Palace of the Prophets
In the battle of the Palace of the Prophets, Ann and Zedd go to destroy some of the prophecy books so Jagang doesn't get his hands on them and destroy the Palace of the Prophets itself so that Jagang can't seize it and live forever. Zedd puts up a light spell but he can't trigger it so he and Ann leave. But Richard goes there in the Sliph and on his way, he meets Kahlan. Needless to say, there's a big sappy reunion and they go into the palace together, not knowing that Zedd had a spell put there. They go inside the library where he put it and start to see the spell. They make it out of there barely alive and Richard, since he has the required magic and is strong enough, triggers the spell, unknowingly, and blows up the palace. They leave the palace together unharmed and meet up with Verna. All around them, the Palace guards and the Sisters of the Light are fighting Jagang's men. Richard tells Verna that she and the sisters can go and meet up with some of his men that are a few miles outside of the Old World and to go to one of his generals and say that Richard sent them. Then he and Kahlan go back to the Sliph and it turns out that Kahlan has the required magic to travel in her. They go back to Aydindril where the Confessors Palace is under attack by Jagang's men, the Imperial Order.
Battle of Aydindril
In the battle of Aydindril, Richard and Kahlan return to the Wizard's Keep via the Sliph to find the Mriswith Queen attempting to establish a new colony within the bowels of the fortress. After barely surviving the assault against the Queen, they look down on the city and realize it is being invaded by the vengeful forces of the Blood of the Fold. The Fold is being led in the assault by hundreds of Mriswith; the D'Harans are being slaughtered. Richard and Kahlan descend in to the battle and rally the army to them.
Richard is able to kill dozens of Mriswith while Kahlan uses hit and run tactics against the Blood of the Fold. Gratch soon appears just as Richard is surrounded by the Mriswith and leads the Gar nation (which he now commands as a general of sorts) in to the fray. The Mriswith are completely destroyed. The Keltan army also appears at the same time as they have come to support their new queen, Kahlan, and forces the Fold in to a surrender. Richard accepts the Blood of the Fold's surrender to D'Hara and to himself as Master Rahl. Richard thanks Gratch for the support of his new allies and wishes his old friend a farewell as they depart ways once again.
After Richard and Kahlan are reunited to lead the Midlands and D'Hara against the threat of the Imperial Order, its leader, Emperor Jagang sent an assassin through the sliph deep inside the Wizard's Keep in Aydindril.
While Jagang's plan to eliminate Richard Rahl by using a wizard from the Palace of the Prophets was initially foiled, the Mother Confessor and Lord Rahl soon learnt that another of Jagang's agents has unleashed a deadly plague into them, through a breach into the banished structure of the Temple of the Winds in the underworld.
Things fall in place and intents are unveiled, as Richard's half-brother Drefan and childhood friend from Hartland, Nadine come to Aydindril. For Richard to undo the damage caused by Jagang's minions, he fulfilled prophecy and also the spirits' intent, to enter the long-lost Temple of the Winds. The requirements of the spirits included the marriage of both Richard and Kahlan to Nadine and Drefan, with resentment and bitterness from the part of the former.
Prophecy mentioned that Richard would be betrayed by the 'one in white', the Mother Confessor, his true love. This was inadvertently fulfilled by the consummation that was required by the spirits, and with it, Richard was able to enter the Temple of the Winds to provide a solution to the magical plague.
Death of magic
To end the plague, Richard Rahl traveled to the Temple of the Winds, where he learned how to take the plague from the world, though upon leaving the temple the spirit of Darken Rahl made him take the plague upon him so he could leave. He did so, but was then committed to dying. Kahlan Amnell traveled through the sliph to find Nathan Rahl, who told her to recite the names of the three chimes to save him. Kahlan returned to Richard and did so, which in turn released the chimes into the world.
The function of the chimes was to drain the world of additive magic, which would leave everyone with the gift helpless. Zedd and Ann tried to trick Richard and Kahlan into believing the chimes were not the cause of the magic's failing, but as the Seeker of Truth, Richard learned otherwise. Though Additive magic failed, Subtractive did not, allowing the Sisters of the Dark to still use some of their magic. Jagang was unable to use his powers as dream walker. Cara found it troublesome that she could not feel the bond with Richard, and her Agiel did not work.
Richard learned that the chimes were defeated by Joseph Ander, nicknamed "The Mountain," and discovered that Joseph used the chimes to power the Dominie Dirtch, a bell-shaped defense system that formed a perimeter around his country. Richard turned the chimes against Joseph, destroying the Dominie Dirtch and sending the chimes back to the underworld.
Before sending the Chimes back to the underworld, Richard and his company campaigned for freedom for the people of Anderith. A vote was taken, but the people of Anderith decided to side with the Imperial Order, swayed by the lies of their newly appointed Sovereign and his Minister of Culture. Richard was dumbfounded and went for a night walk to think about what had just happened and to think over some things he and Kahlan had just spoken about.
That night, as Richard was out walking, Kahlan was brutally attacked by a group of Haken thugs, employed by the Minister of Culture - Dalton Campbell. Richard came to help her not knowing it was Kahlan the men were beating to death. After he found out it was Kahlan, Du Chaillu also informed him that Kahlan had been pregnant, but that she had lost the child. He then leaves to banish the chimes so that he may heal her. Afterwards he comes to realize that he cannot force people to embrace freedom and that to do so would only result in the complete defeat of very ideals he's trying to teach. His vision, as he called it, told him that in order for him to continue the war against Jagang and the Imperial Order, the people must learn to desire freedom for themselves and be willing to fight for it. Kahlan and Cara did not agree with his "realization" and argued that he was being unreasonable, yet Richard insisted that if they continued fighting the Order, they would lose the war and countless lives would needlessly suffer and die.
Richard took Kahlan and Cara to the woods where he grew up so that Kahlan could recover, and so that Richard wouldn't be inclined to involve himself with the war. Richard let his army know that he didn't want any messages anymore and that he wouldn't give out any orders.
Once Kahlan was almost healed Nicci rode into Richard's and Kahlan's small haven unexpectedly. While the Mord-Sith Cara was bathing and while Richard was busy elsewhere, Nicci confronted Kahlan. She raised her arms and began to cast a maternity spell. A strange hum was emitted and a milky white thread of light ran between the chests of the two women.
Alerted by the humming of Nicci's magic, Richard quickly returned to his small camp. He noticed that the magic Nicci was casting, was not only hurting Kahlan, but herself too.
Cara too was alerted by the sound of Nicci's power and rushed her. Using her Agiel, Cara brought Nicci to ground. Richard immediately realized something was wrong when the pain Nicci felt at the hands of Cara, was mimicked by Kahlan.
After Richard forced Cara off of her, Nicci explained the concept of the maternity spell. It linked the two lives of the caster and the victim. If one should feel a pain, then so would the other. If the caster should die, then so would her victim. At the same time, the caster had the ability to end the victim's life at any moment. However, the drawback was that the caster's gift was useless until the spell was withdrawn or the victim was killed.
Nicci then informed Richard that if he wished for Kahlan to remain alive, he would come with her immediately. Kahlan told Richard not to obey, to kill Nicci, even if it meant ending her own life. Richard told her he couldn't do that and went with Nicci.
Life with Nicci
Nicci took Richard to Altur'Rang, in the heart of the Old World, to show him that he was wrong in fighting the ideals of the Imperial Order. She also hoped to discover what it was that had preoccupied her about him for so long. They lived in the guise of a loving husband and wife, with Richard working as a labouror.
For an entire year they lived in the capital of the Old World. Richard befriended many a people, including a blacksmith named Victor Cascella, who later lent him a beautiful chunk of marble to carve a statue out of. One result of Richard's helpful friendly nature led one of his neighbors to develop a resentment toward Richard. This neighbor eventually fabricated a legal charge against Richard resulting in his arrest. When Nicci learned of Richard's arrest, she joined with Richard's new friends in securing his release. When the official in charge of the prison met with Nicci he informed her of the requirements to secure Richard's release; that he needed to have a use of some kind to the order, and a lrage sum of money to pay penance for his 'civil infraction'. Nicci was allowed to meet with Richard briefly in his cell where he informed her that he had saved some money and hidden it in their home. This savings amounted to a small fortune which Nicci initially believed Richard had stolen. Only after meeting with Richards friends and business partners was she convinced it was an honest earning and procured Richard's release as a carver, creating statues depicting the sin of humanity the new imperial palace.
When Brother Neal, a deciple of and second in command to Brother Narev, finds out about Richard's imprisonment and release he orders carve a statue for the emperor's palace depicting the creator smiting the unworthy humans of the world. Disgusted with the design, Richard instead secretly carves a statue depicting a man and a women, joined in their nobility of humanity.
Several times during the year that Richard and Nicci would spend together, she would lose hope and think that what she had seen within Richard's eyes had been nothing and resigned herself to kill him. But each time she would go to do so, he would intrigue her once again, causing her to believe that there was hope after all.
Walking through the crowded streets of Altur'Rang, Nicci saw a familiar face in the crowd; Sister Alessandra. She knew that her former mentor was there looking for her and quickly disappeared from sight.
Walking down an alley, Nicci found herself come face to face with another person from her past, though no longer familiar looking. None other than Kadar Kadeef. It turned out that the young girl she had ridden of lice over a year ago had pleaded with the towns people to save Kadar's life and had nursed him back to health. Nicci quickly fled the alley.
During the time she had Richard captive she began to fall in love with him and even once try to offer herself to him but he refused so she summoned the young man who would eventually betray Richard and let him use her, thereby making Kahlan feel what she felt as revenge against Richard for not taking her.
When Richard's carving for the palace was finally finished and waiting to be taken to the palace, Nicci snuck into the room at Victor's shop and looked at the statue for the first time. It was the moment that would forever alter the course of her life. Looking upon the stone, Nicci finally saw what it was that she had so long sought within Richard. It was life. Simply life. At that moment, Nicci broke down into tears, in horror at what she had done and in joy at what she had discovered.
She quickly left to find Richard, to tell him of her revelation and to plead forgiveness. When she caught up with him, she found him to be gravely injured, with the bodies of Sister Alessandra, Brothers Narev and Neal beside him. Kahlan and Cara were miraculously also with him. Nicci quickly ran forward to sever the link between her and Kahlan, so she would once again have access to her gift and be able to heal Richard.
However, Kadar Kadeef surprised her and began to choke her. Just as Nicci thought she was to die, Cara came to her rescue, under the orders of a dying Richard. Kahlan at first didn't trust Nicci, but after realizing putting her trust in her could save Richard's life, she let Nicci do as she must.
When Richard came through, Nicci informed him that she was no longer a Sister of the Dark, but nor was she a Sister of the Light. She was simply Nicci. She apologized to Richard and Kahlan for her wrongdoing and pledged herself to their cause.
At some point during the year Richard and Nicci lived in Altur'Rang, the events of Jennsen Rahl occur until Jennsen and Richard meet. Jennsen Rahl is pristinely ungifted, which means that magic doesn't work on her. She believes Richard wants to kill her, and hides from him, just like she hid all her life from Darken Rahl. After finding a dead D'Haran soldier who carried a piece of paper with her name on it, Jennsen meets a strange man named Sebastian. She is instantly fascinated, if a little wary, of him. They sleep in a cave near her house, her mother bringing them food. In the morning, the house is attacked by more D'Harans, and Jennsen's mother is killed.
As the group travels away from the Pillars of Creation Richard begins experiencing headaches similar to those that first occurred with the gift. Deciding Zedd is their best hope they continue on when they are approached by a man named Owen. He tells them that his land needs the help of the Lord Rahl to overthrow the Imperial Order. Richard refuses, explaining that people need to fight themselves and he can't do all things for everyone. They set off soon after, and Richard's condition begins to rapidly deteriorate. The group fears they will never reach Zedd in time, and instead adjust their destination to Nicci, who is providing aid in the rebellion of the Old World. Camped for the night Owen discovers them, and reveals he has poisoned Richard. He explains that he has hidden the antidote in the midst of the Order occupying his home empire. He provides the first portion of the antidote, temporarily relieving the effects of the poison and explains the known history of Bandakar to Richard. Richard discovers that a large population of Pristinely Ungifted have been exiled into the empire, which was once surrounded by a boundary similar to the boundaries that separated the sections of the New World. They have now been overtaken by the Imperial Order, and are an entirely passive population, refusing to take up arms even to defend themselves. Richard has no choice but to travel to Bandakar with Owen.
As they travel the group is tracked by Races, which Richard repeatedly kills. To avoid who ever may be tracking them, they begin seeking an alternate path to the empire of Bandakar. When they are close enough to the empire, Owen seeks out his men and brings them to Richard. Richard spends time attempting to convince them to free him from the poison, which they agree to, and to defend themselves, which they still refuse. It is at this point that he realizes they have been banished from the world, not just for being pristinely ungifted as he first assumed, but because they refuse to see evil, opening themselves and their followers up to great danger. He takes a harsher angle with them, forcing them to see the evil that has taken root in their empire, and to pick up arms against it, or their lives are meaningless and not worth fighting for. They begin systematically attacking the small towns to both remove the order from them, and to retrieve parts of the antidote.
Before they can reach the last part of the antidote, it is destroyed by Nicholas the Slide, the man in charge of the Order in Bandakar. When Richard awakens he discovers that Kahlan has traded herself for a false antidote, and immediately sets upon finding her. After the group discovers a trap they return to the woods to devise a plan. Richard, who is now losing his sight due to the poison, and experiencing increasingly severe headaches due to the gift, unravels the mystery of how Nicholas has been spying on them, staying always one step ahead, as well as the problem with his gift. He uses this knowledge to trick Nicholas into using his power, and therefore letting himself be lured out of his body, while Richard sneaks into his location, and beheads him, saving Kahlan. Richard then uses his gift to recreate the antidote for the poison, which he is now dying from. After he has recovered the group sets off, leaving Jennsen and Betty behind, toward Nicci once again.
The Chainfire Effect
- “The only thing he could get out was the single word. 'Kahlan,' he whispered with all his strength.”
After Richard and his team defeated the Imperial Order presence in the Bandakar Empire, events take an odd turn. A battle in a forest occurs and Kahlan is kidnapped and Richard is shot with a crossbow bolt in the shoulder just to the left of his heart. Nicci heals him, but has to use Subtractive Magic to remove the arrow and the blood pooling in his chest.
Search for Kahlan
When Richard awakens from the ordeal, Kahlan is missing and no one except for him remembers her. Nicci and Cara believe the pain he suffered has caused him to become delirious. They no longer remember Kahaln.
Richard spends a large portion of time convincing everyone he knows that Kahlan exists, going to the extent of exuming her corpse to prove to Zedd that she could not possibly be buried there. When he finds a body within the coffin, he is confused and wishes to be alone. He eventually decides to visit the witch woman, Shota, again in an attempt to obtain more information to find Kahlan. In doing so, Shota says she might be able to help but has limited information and as a price for the information, Richard must give her the Sword of Truth. He gives in to her demands and she supplies him with the words "Chainfire", "The Deep Nothing" and a small prophecy to beware the four-headed viper. She doesn't touch the sword, and forces Richard to hand it to Samuel. (This causes Samuel to regain his memories of Kahlan).
Kahlan was captured by the not-so-free Sisters of the Dark, Ulicia, Tovi, Cecilia, and Armina. These sisters captured Kahlan in the assault in the forest, and cast a spell on her known to very few wizards as the Chainfire spell. They found information on the spell in the catacombs left behind by the destroyed Palace of the Prophets in Tanimura.
The Chainfire Event/Effect erases everyone's memories of the subject of the spell. In this case, the one time the Chainfire spell was used, Kahlan Amnell was the subject. This not only caused everyone's memories of her to be erased, but also that anyone who, from then on, set eyes on her would immediately forget they saw her and not recognize her. Two counters to the Chainfire spell exist.
1) Anyone holding the Sword of Truth at the time the spell is cast is completely immune.
2) Anyone who touches the sword will notice and remember seeing Kahlan. However, they will not regain their memories of her.
The Boxes of Orden were created as a direct counter to Chainfire in case the spell was ever cast.
Due to the presence of The Chimes in this world, the Chainfire spell is tainted and there are anomalies to the spell. Some people do see and recognize Kahlan.
The point of the spell was to force Kahlan's hand in obtaining the Boxes of Orden from the Garden of Life in the People's Palace in D'Hara and to have a Confessor to confirm the words of the Book of Counted Shadows. She does this, but is forced to leave behind her most prized possession on the pedestal: the statue Richard carved for her, called Spirit, when she was recovering in the home Richard built for them in Westland.
Richard is at the Wizard's Keep with Nicci, Cara, Zedd, Ann and Nathan, and is attempting to force them to understand that he's telling the truth. When Nicci informs Richard that Zedd, Ann, and Nathan want Nicci to "heal" him of his memory of Kahlan, because of the possibility of a glamour spell being casted on him, Richard decides to leave through the Sliph taking Nicci and Cara with him.
When speaking to the Sliph, she mentions that the People's Palace is a "central site", something that Shota had said to Richard during their meeting. Before departing to the People's Palace, Richard asks about the Deep Nothing and the Sliph says she knows of several locations there. Richard finds out that there is a central site there, in Caska, and Richard decides to travel there instead
They arrive in Caska and find a girl, Jillian, who is a priestess of her people intended to watch over the tomb of Lord Rahl and to usher him back in to the world of life from the world of the dead. Imperial Order scouts have captured people in her city, and she asks Richard to help her "cast the dreams" and in return she will help him. He sends Nicci and Cara to try to rescue the people of Caska and follows Jillian into the catacombs of the ruins.
They eventually find books, lots of books, and after hours of searching through the tunnels, they round back on the Sliph's well. At the last moment, Jillian shows Richard she found a book with the word "Chainfire" on it. Nicci and Cara return with Jillian's grandfather after rescuing the captured people, using a burning fog to boil their eyes out of their heads.
Richard, while reading Chainfire, idly plucks a piece of vine from the ground and realizes its a snake vine which only grows when the Boxes of Orden are in play. They immediately leave through the Sliph to the People's Palace.
Learning The Truth
Through a weird twist of events, Sister Tovi was sent on ahead with a single Box of Orden while Kahlan went back to retrieve the other two. Sister Tovi, while leaving the People's Palace, is stabbed by Samuel who is there with the Sword of Truth and he takes the box from her. She's taken to a D'Haran camp outside of the city.
Upon their arrival to the People's Palace Nicci, Richard, and Cara go to the Garden of Life in the palace and Richard tells the guards that the Boxes of Orden are gone and that his wife stole them, as he shakes the statue of Spirit in their faces. General Trimack informs them of a woman that was stabbed outside of the city and brought to the D'Haran camp to be tended to. Richard, Nicci, and Cara leave for the camp immediately.
Nicci insists that, since the woman sounds like Tovi, that she go question her because she doesn't know Nicci has turned to Richard's side. He agrees.
Nicci questions Tovi all night until she dies, and learns that Richard was right about everything and figured it out all on his own. She apologizes quite thoroughly for her actions and trying to dissuade him in searching for Kahlan and vows to help him find her. They leave the next morning in the Sliph and return to the Wizard's Keep in Aydindril to show Zedd, Ann and Nathan the Chainfire book and inform them of the information obtained from Tovi.
Pursuing Kahlan's Trail
After convincing Zedd, Ann, and Nathan that Kahlan exists, they agree to help.
Kahlan and the remaining three Sisters of the Dark are traveling and stop at the White Horse in where Tovi was said to stop to meet them. The Innkeeper, Orlan, sees Kahlan and can remember she exists, but he does not immediately recognize her. This is when the Sisters realize there is a problem with Chainfire. They kill the innkeeper and his wife, and question their daughter who says Tovi stayed there for a time but left before they arrived for Caska. Sister Ulicia kills her and they leave immediately.
Richard finds Zedd, Ann and Nathan standing around a table in the keep upon which Nicci is suspended in midair. On the table a Grace is drawn in blood and green lines are surrounding her in crisscrossing patterns. Zedd explains it's an internal verification web to analyze the spell of Chainfire. Richard, who doesn't understand the process, helps them figure out that there's something wrong with Chainfire. It's been tainted by The Chimes.
Infiltrating the Imperial Order
Richard's infiltration of the Order came quite by accident. After leaving the area of the Night Wisps and trying to figure why he has been cut off from his gift, he is captured and taken to Tamarang by Six. While trying to escape the witch woman, Richard was captured by Order troops who had come to get supplies from Tamarang and see that Six was living up to her end of the bargain with Emperor Jagang. While attempting to flee the castle, Richard, with a sword in hand, went through dozens of soldiers, only to find a wall of archers waiting for him outside. The leader of the troops, a commander Karg, offered Richard two choices; a not so quick death or a chance to live while playing Ja'La as his new pointman. He asked if he would get a chance to play the Emperor's team. Richard accepted the offer and was caged and shipped off to the waiting Imperial Order army outside the People's Palace. While on his way he played several games, losing only once.
Once entering the encampment of the Imperial Order, Richard saw his first glimpse of Kahlan, who was being escorted by his enemy Jagang. Richard was, from that point forward, driven to a single goal of ensuring that Kahlan could escape the evil man's grasp. Richard formed a friendly relationship with one of his wingman named Johnrock. He was captured by the Order on its march through the new world.
During his confinement, Nicci placed the boxes of Orden in play for Richard. When this happened, Richard has a visitor from an unknown entity claiming that he had one year to fulfill the requirements. Richard, determined to play "the Game of Life" to the best of his abilities, set about ensuring that he and his team would get a chance to play the Emperor's team for the championships. In preparation for the upcoming tournament, and in order to hide his identity from Jagang and any sisters that might recognize him, Richard paints symbols related both to the "Dance with Death" and to Ordenic theory. These paintings initially caused the opposing teams to laugh at Richard's team, but after the first game the laughing stopped. Usually Ja'la is won by one, maybe two points at most. Which is good for the losing team seeing as how each member of the losing team is whipped a number of times in accordance with the number of points they lost by. The first team lost by 10 points. Richard's play of Ja'la is unique in that it consists of a variety of strategic plays to confound the opponent. Typically a team relies on brute strength to acquire victory, a trait that mimics the greater body of the Imperial Order Army.
During the time that all this is going on, the Emperor has been erecting a giant ramp to get up and into the People's Palace. While constructing the ramp, troops discover a buried catacomb which leads to a "central site" that has been unknown even by the Lord Rahls. While exploring the site, three sisters find their way into the tomb site of the People's Palace and come across the former Prelate Ann and Nicci. Since any non Rahl finds him or herself greatly weakened in and near the palace, the three link and kill Ann as she attempts to shield Nicci. Sister of the Dark Armina places a Rada'Han around Nicci's neck and takes her back to the waiting Emperor Jagang.
Once back with the Emperor, Nicci finally finds herself face to face with the lost Kahlan. While she doesn't remember a thing about the woman, Nicci can tell by the way that Kahlan composes herself that this is the only woman for Richard. Nicci can see Kahlan, possibly since she put the boxes of Orden in play. However this is a rarety since the Chainfire spell has rendered Kahlan all but invisible to everyone but a few anomalies. When Richard sees Nicci once again in the clutches of that vile man his heart breaks for her.
Richard has been playing Ja'la this whole time and since he saw Kahlan he has been determined to win. Karg has been on Richard this whole time about winning and has promised him a quick death should he let him down. Richard and his team win all their games and find themselves in the finals with Jagang's team. Jagang, seemingly fearful of Karg's team, sends several of his men to kill Richard while he is chained up in camp the night before the big match. Richard, with the help of Johnrock, fight off the Emperor's men. The sense of comradarie that develops between Richard and his team allows them to form into an extremely effective and cohesive team. One of the newer members of the team, an Order soldier named Bruce, even comes to respect and revere Richard as both a team captain and a somewhat friend. Be that as it may, Richard knows that he has to defeat the Emperor's team if he has any hope to save Kahlan.
Just before the match is to start, Commander Karg makes a bet with Jagang on the outcome of the game. If his team wins, he gets to have Nicci for a while, a prize he values not just because she is beyond beautiful, but also because he knows that it will upset Jagang the most. The emperor's team, knowing that it faces not the whip but the executioner's axe should they lose, is determined to be as brutal as possible. They score the first point, but on Richard's team's next turn, they come back and score not just once but twice. However, the emperor negates the point saying it went in after the allotted time of their turn. This enrages many of the fans that Richard and his team have developed over the course of the tournament, but also gives Richard an idea. Over the rest of the game, Richard purposefully keeps the score close and when the final round comes the score is tied. Jagang's team scores one on their turn with the broc forcing Richard and his team to have to score one normal point or two points from the further scoring zone. When Richard does score the two points the crowd erupts for Richard and his team. However, Jagang has this goal overturned, saying that Richard stepped out of bounds. The crowd goes wild, with supporters from both sides rising in anger. There is still time left for one more play in which Richard manages to score once again from the two point zone. Jagang, worried about losing Nicci, and about his own pride, once again attempts to negate the last score.
The crowd, already riled up, erupted. The makeshift stadium became the scene of a small war. Spectators from opposing sides began a bloodbath. In the confusion, Richard is able to put an arrow into Jagang. Karg, having been told about this, goes off to take care of Richard and is decapicated by him. Richard finds himself amazed to find help in the most unlikely of places, Bruce, his new wingman. They fight off attackers all the while, Richard is making his way to Kahlan. When he finally reaches her and Nicci, he is separated from Kahlan who is abducted by Samuel, the new Seeker of Truth, former minion of Shota, and new lackey of Six. Richard commands Samuel to use the sword to cut Kahlans Rada'han off before him and Kahlan escape in the chaos. Forced to leave her and focus on staying alive, Nicci, Bruce, Richard are able to escape with the unexpected aid of Adie. They make their way back through the tunnels that Jagang discovered and with the help of Nathan are able to close off the catacombs. Now that Jagangs plans to infiltrate the Palace have been thwarted he arrives in a soldiers mind and gives Richard until the full moon to surrender, Jagang then walks off the side of the plateau the Palace is on killing the solider he arrived in.
End of the War
Richard and company now back in the People's Palace, with the aid of Nicci as his guide travels to the underworld to retrieve everyone's destroyed memories of Kahlan from Chainfire. He finds the spirit of Denna there but also encountered the Beast conjured by the Sisters of the Dark. Richard releases a small amount of additive magic into the beast while in the underworld, where additive magic cannot exist, and destroys the Beast for good. Richard is then rescued by the Mud People who were performing a gathering waiting for him because of the help of Shota who told Rachel to go to the Mud People on a dragon to warn them of Richard needing to be rescued from the underworld. Back in the world of life now, Richard races to Tamarang to retrieve the book 'Secrets of a War Wizards powers' that he hid there when he was captured by Six. He finds Samuel and Kahlan on the way. After finally being with her again, he is also heart broken to find out that Samuel has told her of their marriage as a 'sterile field' is needed to restore her memories because Kahlan used her power on Samuel. With the sterile field ruined in his mind, Richard is afraid to tell her anymore of their relationship and past so he carves her another small statue of 'spirit' and they move on, Kahlan believing Nicci is his real love and their marriage was an arrangement.
Arriving in Tamarang in search of 'Secrets of a War Wizards power' he hid there, Richard sneaks his way in with Kahlan and encounters Chase and Zedd who have been captures by Six. Richard finds his book that was hidden there but it is still empty of text even with his gift restored. Richard is baffled by this at first but then interrupted by Six arriving. Before Six can harm any of them, Shota arrives as Six's mother and distracted by such a sight lets her guard down and Shota rips her skin off her body, killing her. Shota has been aiding Richard behind the scenes this whole time by appearing as characters mothers and guiding them in ways to help Richards cause.
Richard and company are able to fly to the People's Palace on the back of Gregory, a young dragon and son of Scarlet, Richards friend. Richard saved Gregory when he was an egg so Gregory has a debt to him and agrees to fly everyone to the Palace. Back at the Palace Richard now knows that he and Jillian can use her power of casting dreams, as she is the same people and descendant of Dream Walkers. Richard helps Jillian to cast nightmares to the Imperial Order army and Jagang with the aid of her pet raven who flys over the army and lastly lands on Jagangs tent. Richard is able to plant specific dreams of Nicci into Jagangs mind to haunt him.
As the full moon finally approaches, Jagang, his guards and the Sisters of the Dark arrive into the Garden of Life, escorted by the First File at the command of Richard. The Garden of Life is a containment field that is needed to open the Boxes of Orden. Jagang and his Sisters of the Dark begin the necessary prerequisites to open the Boxes. With the Sisters there to do the work for him, Jagang, haunted and obsessed by his dreams of Nicci, impatiently demands to be taken to her who is being held in a cell in the dungeons of the Palace. When Jagang arrives the guards open the doors for him. Jagang embraces Nicci and then she unceremoniously snaps a Rada'Han around his neck before he has time to react. Together Nicci and the collared Jagang make there way back to the Garden of Life. Jagang's guards and Sisters are unaware of what has happened to him.
The Sisters now believing they have done all that is necessary and have all the knowledge needed, open the right most box. Golden light flowed out of the box, enveloping the sisters. Unaware that their leader that enslaved them to do this was now under Nicci's control. As the sisters were lifted off the ground and bathed in the power of Orden the light suddenly darkened, the sisters began to rotate over the boxes and begin to scream in pain as the whole area begins to corrupt and crack with lightening. Richard finally breaking his silence walks near the sisters and begins to explain to them what they have done wrong. He quotes the first sentence in The Book of Life which is the instruction book for the Boxes of Orden, "Those who have come here to hate should leave now for in their hatred they only betray themselves". Richard then explains that Orden was designed to counter Chainfire, and those who created it came up with this safeguard. He explains that because of the hate they have for Richard and his people they disregarded the safeguard. He then explains how the Boxes of Orden cannot be the true key to the boxes because Magda Searus, the first confessor, was created after the great barrier was put up and the war was over for a time. The prosecutor for the trail of the Temple of the Winds, Lothain, was a traitor. Wizards Merrit then created the first Confessor with Magda to learn the truth of Lothain and his betrayal. He explains how the Book of Counted Shadows were just a trick and cannot be the key because it states to use a Confessor which makes no sense if they were not made until long after the great war and after the barrier was up. The sisters of the Dark are all sucked into the underworld as a result of their misuse of the Boxes of Orden. Jagang still believing this changes nothing and thinking the Imperial Order will continue his cause is denied any glory and killed by Nicci. Richard then approaches the Boxes and draws the Sword of Truth. He placed the sword on the center box turning the box and sword white. He then drives the sword into that box and the world turns white. In that place everyone was there and no one was there. He had the conscious awareness of every living person. With the power of Orden Richard creates a twin world for the Order and it's followers to go to without magic and cut off from the underworld causing all that die there to cease to exist. Jensen also says she would like to go to that world with her people to prevent magic from being born out of existence due to their pristinely ungifted trait. Richard states that the pristinely ungifted should not fear the Order in their new world as they are too small and insignificant to blame and that the Order will collapse in on itself due to its nature. Richard gives that world hope for the future stating that their children may learn the errors of their ways. Richard also send the Chainfire spell to that world to let it runs it course and remove everyone's memories of them. Lastly Richard believing that the sterile field that is needed to restore Kahlans memories of them is ruined but is surprised when she states that she loves him. She states that she fell in love with him all over again the first time she sees him again capture in the Imperial Order camp. She recalls getting married at the Mud People's village confirming her memories are back. Richard learned in the underworld that the only way to reverse the Chainfire spell was for her to accept her memories on her own free will, Richard placed all of her memories in the second statue of Spirit he carved for her, reversing the full effects of it when she accepted it. The world returns to normal and Richard is again standing in the Garden of Life surrounded by his loved ones. Zedd questions Richard on how he knew the Sword of Truth was the true key. Richard explains how having his hand on the sword protected him from that spell and The Boxes of Orden are the counter to the Chainfire spell. That gave gim the insight to know that the Sword must be the true key and everything else was a trick meant to safeguard the Boxes of Orden. The Sword has elements of magic that complete the constructed magic of Orden. Richard states that only the right kind of person, with the love of life and empathy for others would be able to turn the blade white. Only a true Seeker could use the boxes of Orden. Only compassion turns the blade white to use the boxes. Hate cannot be used with the boxes of Orden. Nicci reports that the Imperial Order that was station on the Azrith Plains is gone and the war is over. All in the room cheer with joy.
The Omen Machine
Personality and traits
- “I think Richard could find a way to make the sun rise at midnight. ”
Richard was a tall, well built man in his mid-twenties. He inherited the good looks of his father, Darken Rahl, though his were not the cruel perfection of a statue. He had deep gray eyes, a piercing raptor gaze, and coarse brown hair. He once wore the simple clothes of a woods guide, but was later known to wear the extravagant clothes of a war wizard. These consist of black trousers, a vest top and a golden cape. The outfit also included a golden belt and wrist bracers inscribed with runes that represent death. It was finished with a necklace that had the symbol of a war wizard.
Richard possessed unlimited patience, but little tolerance. He believed that it was the right of all people to be free and that they must choose to fight for that freedom, not rely on others to do the job for them. Richard is a very gentle person, but his righteous anger, kept at bay for most of his youth out of fear, is of unparalleled power, and can make him a dangerous person. Above all Richard values truth and life.
Richard shapes his principles and actions around the Wizard's Rules, all ten written and the one unwritten. He can utilize them more powerfully than almost anybody. On the other hand, Richard is one of few people who sets little store in prophecy, despite his own ability to receive it and his constant presence in the predictions themselves. He prefers to believe in himself and his friends, as well as humanistic potential, as his interpretation of the world without magic reflects.
Being the Seeker, Richard was prone to asking questions with overwhelming precision. He had much experience in the role of the Seeker and had gained himself the respect of the people of the New World, not just because he was the Lord Rahl, but because he was a man with an honorable agenda.
Much of Richard's character is defined by his unparalleled love for his wife, Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor of all the Midlands. As the Mord-Sith Denna said, "to know Richard, is to know Kahlan." He considers life without her not worth living, and values her just as much as he does his ideals, as his statue Life indicates. He says to her, "When I found you, I found my life."
Powers and abilities
- “And the truth is that you are a bastard son, of a bastard son, of a bastard son! And all of those bastard sons, all the way back, had the gift. Worse, Zedd has the gift. You have the gift, but it is from two blood lines of wizards. You are a very dangerous person, Richard Rahl. You have the gift. In this case, I would be more inclined to call it a curse.”
Seeker of Truth
Richard Rahl is a Seeker of Truth - a true Seeker, named by the current First Wizard based on his inherent abilities, as opposed to pretend Seekers named arbitrarily by governments in the decades preceding the story of the books. As such, he has several unique character traits on the verge of magic: although he dislikes riddles, he is driven to always find the truth of things and is extremely proficient at it, apparently by instinct. Also, he has a temper that sometimes acts on whim. Since otherwise his personality is quite pleasant and optimistic, albeit impatient, the anger appears to stem mainly from his being a Seeker. Considering how the Sword of Truth, the unique magical weapon of the Seeker, works, anger may very well be called the primary characteristic of a Seeker. Without it, the Sword, and most of his combat abilities, which are linked to it, would be next to useless, even dangerous to its wielder. Aside from its main function, the Sword of Truth possesses other qualities, usually in relation to certain other powerful magics (like the ability to partially counter a Chainfire, for instance), hinting at it being likely one of the most powerful magical objects in the New World. However, as First Wizard Zorander had said, the Sword is not the weapon, the Seeker is. It is the unique personality and abilities, supported by the powers of the sword, that make a Seeker capable of influencing events at a grand scale. Accordingly, the Seeker is held in extraordinarily high esteem throughout the New World and granted complete independence from monarchs and governments.
Later on in the series it turns out that Richard is a War Wizard - one born with the Gift in its full form, both subtractive and additive magic. This made Richard the first person in thousands of years to be born with both sides of the gift, the way that it was meant to be. At that time it was thought natural that the gifted only possessed additive magic. The circumstances leading to Subtractive magic going next to extinct are the subject of the plots of several books in the series and are the doing of wizards in the distant past during the Great War. Being the only one to be born with both sides of the gift presents Richard with the challenge of learning to master an ability none other alive have or can truly teach him. He was able to receive some instruction from Nicci, a former Sister of the Dark, since she was able to acquire subtractive magic. To make things harder, a War Wizard did not use his han or magic like other wizards. Instead, his han was called through his need and usually through his anger; much like the Sword of Truth. As a result, despite Richard having the potential to easily be the most powerful wizard alive, the powers actually at Richard´s command are growing only gradually, making him still look up to his friend (and grandfather) First Wizard Zeddicus "Zedd" Zu'l Zorander as the more experienced, wiser and stronger one.
Understanding of Magic: Richard understood magic enough to master Wizard's First Rule, by doing so, he proved that he had the potential strength and ability of a Wizard of the First Order, add to that his War Wizard ability he could very well be the next First Wizard.
By inheritance of bloodline, being the gifted son of Darken Rahl, Richard is the Lord Rahl of the House of Rahl and the Empire of D'Hara. While that is not an ability in itself, there is the matter of the bond, or Devotion. The bond is an ancient spell created by Alric Rahl that bonds the reigning Lord Rahl to his people. Individuals with D'Haran blood are able to sense the Lord Rahl through the bond and determine his location through it. The purpose of the bond, however, was to counter the ability of Dream Walkers; those that were bonded to the Lord Rahl by giving the devotion meaningfully were shielded from the Dream Walker's ability to enter their minds through their dreams.
Truly in Love With a Confessor
Again, this is not precisely a power, rather, a means of resisting one. Richard Rahl is deeply, unconditionally, and truly in love with the Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell and is thus completely devoted to her. The effects of the Confessor's touch originate in that it amplifies and directs the victim's capacity for love. Since Richard's love for Kahlan is already its fullest, Richard is essentially immune to her magic. As far as is known, this is the only way of resisting the Confessors' magic (unless the person is possessed by a dream walker or a slide). Nobody had been able to discover this since the original Mother Confessor and her wizard Merrit. Somehow, presumably in a book in the First Wizard's Enclave, Zedd had learnt of the secret, but was unable to tell Richard and Kahlan until they had worked it out for themselves. The knowledge could not be passed down since any foreknowledge would create a doubt and would prevent it from occurring. As a result, the couple would have to discover this on their own. As a result Richard and Kahlan were extremely happy and pleased with the discovery since they could finally be together without fear of her power destroying him.
- “To know Richard is to know who Kahlan is.”
Richard Rahl was, simply put, Kahlan's true love and soul mate. He was also her husband, Seeker, wizard, and co-ruler of the D'Haran Empire.
Growing up as a Confessor, Kahlan was denied the simple pleasures of having a friend. However, in 40 ACB, when Kahlan met Richard Cypher on her mission to find the First Wizard, she found herself exploring her very first friendship outside of the sisterhood of the Confessors. Richard and Kahlan's friendship grew throughout the Second D'Haran War, as they became unified in their quest to defeat the evil tyrant, Darken Rahl. During this quest, Kahlan found her feelings for Richard growing to the point of love; something she feared greatly, as she had been taught that Confessors were unable to love in the traditional sense without destroying the mind of her partner. Unknown to her however, should a Confessors' partner come to love the Confessor unconditionally, to the exclusion of all else, they would be immune to her power. Indeed, Richard discovered this during the final confrontation with Rahl, allowing the pair to love freely.
After the outbreak of the Imperial Order War Kahlan supported Richard, now the Lord Rahl of D'Hara, in the creation of the D'Haran Empire. Kahlan added her authority as the Mother Confessor to his, and together they acted as the chief opponents of Emperor Jagang and his horde, In the aftermath of the plague pandemic sparked by Jagang, Richard and Kahlan married in a private ceremony in the village of the Mud People. With the release of the chimes the magical precaution taken to ensure that she did not fall pregnant failed, and Kahlan became with child. However, she was viciously beaten by the underlings of Jagang's supporters in Anderith, and as result miscarried and nearly lost her life. Richard became so disillusioned by the attack on his wife that he temporarily withdrew from the war.
Later, when four Sisters of the Dark captured Kahlan and cast the Chainfire spell on her, causing everyone to lose all memory of her, Richard remained adamant that she was more than a simple fantasy. Ultimately, Richard was able to prove Kahlan's existence, and was aided by all of the allies they had amassed together, to undo the dangerous spell. However, Richard was eventually forced to take upon himself the power of Orden to reverse the spell and reunite with the woman he loved. Following the end of the war, Richard and Kahlan took residence at the People's Palace and began their lives together in peace.
- Seeker of Truth
- Lord Rahl of D'Hara
- More commonly "Master of the D'Haran Empire" and previously "Master of the Mord-Sith"
- Wizard of the First Order
- Commander of the gar nation
- Mate and husband to the Mother Confessor
- War Wizard
- Wizard to the Mother Confessor
- Master of the sliph
- Caharin of the Baka Tau Mana
- Mud Person (Richard With the Temper)
- Fuer grissa ost drauka (the bringer of death)
- The Pebble in the Pond
- The One
- First Wizard
Behind the scenes
- Wizard's First Rule (First appearance)
- Legend of the Seeker — beginning with "Prophecy"
- Stone of Tears
- Blood of the Fold
- Temple of the Winds
- Soul of the Fire
- Faith of the Fallen
- Pillars of Creation
- Naked Empire
- The Omen Machine
- The Third Kingdom
- Severed Souls