- “He who cannot truly destroy, cannot truly create. ”
- ―Joseph Ander - about the gifted without subtractive
Subtractive Magic is one of two types of magic that can be used by the gifted. While Additive magic alters physical reality by adding magic to it, Subtractive magic removes elements of physical reality. The magic makes the elements disappear, by transporting them to the Underworld, where Subtractive magic originated.
Subtractive magic used to be common in those born with The Gift, but eventually died out, such that the gifted would be born only with Additive magic for centuries. This was caused by the actions of a team of one hundred wizards from the New World who used their magic to lock Subtractive magic away within the Temple of the Winds.
The leader of these was a very high ranking New World wizard named Lothain. Lothain, as the high prosecutor who sentenced the team to death, was selected to undo the damage done in the Temple due to his strong belief in keeping magic in the world. However to gain access to the Temple he was required to take the path of betrayal, leading him to betray his strongest belief, the continuance of magic.
Lothain, corrupted from the path he had to take, released magic stored in the Temple for safe keeping-the magic of the Dream walker. This would allow a person from the future to continue the cause that the current Old World wizards had been unable to accomplish. The person that would be born with the magic released by Lothain would be Emperor Jagang.
The First Wizard of the time, Baraccus, was sent to enter the Temple, after numerous other Wizards lost their lives attempting to undo the damage done by Lothain and the Temple team, upon realizing that Lothain had betrayed the New World.
Baraccus was unable to undo the magic of the dream walker being released to find a host in the future. Instead, he created a balance of sorts; he made it so that Subtractive magic would, like the power of the dream walker, be released and born into another person far into the future, to counter the power of the dream walker. This person would be Richard Rahl. Richard Rahl would be the first wizard to be born since the initial sealing of the Temple with both Additive and Subtractive magic. He would be born a War Wizard.
Discrepancy from Additive Magic
Subtractive Magic differs greatly from Additive Magic. It is devised to remove elements and place them in the underworld while Additive Magic adds elements. Destruction can be caused by either magic. Subtractive magic also allows someone to destroy shields created from Additive magic and directly kill Pristinely Ungifted people.
Combination of Additive and Subtractive Magic
It is most devastating when Additive Magic is combined with Subtractive Magic. An example of this occurs when a confessor activates the Con Dar or Blood Rage.
Those who possess Subtractive Magic
- Richard Rahl (By birth as a War Wizard)
- Kahlan Amnell (The opposing side of her Confessor's power, the Con Dar)
- Andolians (By birth, reason unknown)
- Cara (By absorbing the subtractive magic of an Andolian)
- Darken Rahl (Because he was an agent of the Keeper)
- The Sisters of the Dark (Because they were agents of the Keeper)
- Nicci (Former Sister of the Dark)
There are times that others with the gift may gain limited use of the Subtractive side. Those include the Sisters of the Dark, and those who pledged themselves to the Keeper, receiving use of it.