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Monday, May 4, 2009

Grim Monday: Curse of the Disputed Way

I just realized I failed to post up a Grim Monday article this past week, so I'm focusing on writing up and scheduling out a few to insure this doesn't happen again. I usually try to keep a half-dozen articles in the queue, but I've been slacking off the last couple weeks as the weather turns nice. Nose back to the grindstone!

The Curse of the Disputed Way draws obstacles to the victim the way sugar draws flies. Any time the victim travels, be it a long journey through perilous country or a simple trip across the bar, this curse will manifest as an obstacle or obstruction on the journey. These obstacles don't necessarily prevent travel, but they do make it trying. This curse is subtle, so detecting it requires a Great test of divination magic. Once discovered Good protection magic can remove its effect, though previously created complications might remain to be dealt with.

Typical obstacles / effects of the curse include:
  • Casual blockage - The slowest walkers always step in front of the victim, pausing often to chat or shop. Stepping around the blockage usually results in a collision with oncoming traffic. Even a casual trip to the washroom can result in a collision with a mug-laden waitress or drunken patron.
  • Official diversion - Guards and watchmen will pore over documents or travel papers, slowing the victim's progress. The tiniest irregularity in their papers will draw the full attention of the bureaucratic process.
  • Bad luck - A broken shoelace, a lame horse or a twisted ankle. Misfortune always dogs the victim's progress.
  • Weather delays - The curse magnifies the effects of weather along the victim's path, flooding fords, filling gutters and collapsing canopies. The victim and their travel companions are assured of arriving scorched, soaked, frost-bitten or sand-blasted depending on the circumstances.
  • Unwanted attention - The victim draws the attention of highwaymen, predators, and other unsavory characters as they travel. All will be convinced the victim is the ideal target for their predations.
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