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Monday, March 16, 2009

Grim Monday: Curse of the Mistaken Face

As I mentioned in my post on Saturday, I'm going to be dedicating Monday's articles to curses, tricks and traps, suitable fodder for this day's 'back to work' nature. Welcome back, hope you enjoyed your weekend, here's a curse to start the work week off right!

The Curse of the Mistaken Face is fitting punishment for lies and deceit. With no obvious manifestation the victim may not realize they are afflicted by a malediction for many days, making this curse popular as a means of anonymous or secretive revenge. The subtle nature of this curse makes it difficult to detect, requiring a Great test of divination magic to identify and a similar test of protection magic to dispel.

The victim of this curse suffers a subtle loss of identity. The curse first affects interactions with those who know the victim slightly or not at all. It's power grows over time, eventually affecting the victims closest relationships. The manifestations of the curse are:
  • Witnesses to the victim's positive deeds will attribute them to someone else. Thanks and rewards will be given to others. Other names will be used in stories and tales.
  • The victim will be fingered as the perpetrator of any negative deed carried out in their presence. They will be mistaken for the fleeing thief or the instigator of the tavern brawl.
  • Casual acquaintances will forget the victim over time. Past deeds and associations will be forgotten or attributed to someone else. The friendly bartender will treat them as a stranger, the priests of the local temple, cultivated with offerings, will forget their face.
  • The victim's name will be misspelled in any written document or publication. Legal documents will be challenged and reports misattributed.
  • Messages sent to the victim will be lost or delivered elsewhere (including messages sent by magical means). Meetings will be missed, opportunities lost.
This curse should manifest itself at least once per day, either directly (as a reaction to the victim) or indirectly (as an effect on an associate or acquaintance). Each week the effects should strike closer to home. After a month the victim and their closest friends and allies should be thoroughly confused and befuddled by the curse.

If the curse is lifted relationships return to normal, though stories, complications, and documents created while the curse was in effect remain.
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