- “Who we are, what we are, what we can be, is moment by moment disintegrating. The vortex of that spell grows daily. The damage is multiplying on itself. We are unaware of the full extent of all we have lost already while day by day we lose yet more. Our very minds, or ability to think, to reason, are being eroded by that vile spell.”
- ―Nicci, on the Chainfire spell[src]
The Chainfire spell is one of the most powerful spells of all time, causing what is known as a Chainfire event. It uses Subtractive Magic to remove all traces of its victim from existence, from other peoples' memories of them to physical evidences like tracks. Its effects are so extensive that Chainfire has the potential to unravel reality.
There is a book of the same name that instructs on the use of the spell.
A Chainfire event has the following effects:
- It removes all memories of the victim from everyone's mind, except someone touching the Sword of Truth at the time of the Event, or involved in the creation of the Chainfire event.
- It replaces memories that deal with the victim, making it seem as if similar events occurred without that person's presence (Example: instead of Nicci using the Maternity spell on Kahlan to capture Richard, she remembers it as her simply overpowering Richard on her own). In situations where the victim's absence would have made the event impossible otherwise, the others simply don't remember the event (Example: Cara has no memory of how Richard got to the Temple of the Winds, or why they went to the Mud People at the end of that book).
- It erases all text in Prophecy mentioning the victim.
- Because of the contradictions between reality, it begins to unravel life and reality, causing the eventual destruction of reality.
- The Chainfire event also acts as a mind-influencing effect, causing anyone who sees the victim to immediately forget them.
- As revealed in Phantom, those who are the victims of Chainfire have their own memories destroyed as well; in the case of Kahlan Amnell, this means that she will never be able to remember who she is or who Richard is ever again.
Only two counters to a Chainfire Event are known:
- Anyone touching the Sword of Truth when the Event is triggered is immune from the effects. Likewise, it interrupts the ongoing effects of the spell to anyone who touches it thereafter. Memories lost or altered because of the spell are not restored by touching the sword, however.
- (Example: In the book, Richard mentions that Samuel now remembers Kahlan because he was given the Sword of Truth, even though he was not in possession of the sword at the time of the event. But Richard, having lost the Sword, does not suddenly forget Kahlan either. Kahlan herself, upon touching the sword, still does not have her memories back, but she remembers being a Confessor again.)
- The magic of Orden was created as a counter to a Chainfire Event, and only through the use of it can the Event be stopped from unraveling life and reality. Also, Orden is the only thing that can restore lost and altered memories.
Still, the witch woman Six was not affected by the Chainfire event and can remember Kahlan. Also Jagang was protected from Chainfire by being in the minds of the Sisters of the Dark when they performed the spell, as their bond to Richard failed to protect them from his powers as they did not truly devote themselves to him.
Pristinely ungifted can have their memories erased by the Chainfire Event, because it is triggered with the use of Subtractive Magic. However, due to contamination of magic by the unleashing of the Chimes into the world of life, the Chainfire spell cast over Kahlan Amnell is faulty and has produced several anomalies who are unaffected by it, such as Orlan and Jillian and several Imperial Order soldiers.
Although Shota could not remember Kahlan or any events likewise related, it was she who was able to give information surrounding the Chainfire Event.
Chainfire has only been used twice. Once on Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor of the Midlands, in the 40 ACBs. It was placed on her by the 'free' Sisters of the Dark; Ulicia, Tovi, Cecilia, and Armina. It was used again by Richard Rahl; upon banishing the spell to the world without magic, he used it on the world with magic in order to make the world without magic's people forget their origins.