Week 6: Offensive Magic
What do angry witches and wizards do? Curse people! This week we’re looking at a series of spells that are likely to give somebody a really bad day.
You inflict an obsession on your victim by meeting their eyes, after the proper arcane preparations, with a well-timed wink. The object of the obsession can be almost anything you choose, but it must be within the victim’s field of vision even as they look at your winking eye, so the spell is commonly associated with young and foolish magicians using it on the object of their own affections as a sort of love-spell. Despite its relative ease of use, this curse is rare, because the caster must also take on a tic or obsession of their own for as long as it is in effect.
You thrust your hand into a nearby piece of ice and pull out an arrow, dart, javelin, or similar missile. Whatever this ice-bolt next touches will be struck by a wash of rising cold that condenses moisture out of the air, then freezes it solid, effectively bonding the two together. Legend claims that this spell was originally devised as a means of marking pathways, in some cold country, but now any such benign use has been subverted by the human lust for violence.
Through a grueling ritual you call all of the wind and potential precipitation from as far as the eye can see – from horizon to horizon – and direct it to focus on a single area. That locale suffers from a fierce blizzard, but everything else in sight enjoys a pleasant calm. This spell is one of the reasons why weather-wizards are so keen about living on mountaintops, but rumor claims that a true master can use it to sail at unbelievable speeds by carefully pacing the blizzard at just the right distance behind their ship.
This social curse dulls its victim’s ability to feel empathy for, or even pay attention to, others, while magnifying the seeming importance of small details about the victim’s own life and thoughts, resulting in a conversational partner who becomes increasingly aggressive and tasteless over time. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of this spell is that its victim quickly loses the capacity to notice their affliction, instead becoming paranoid and petulant as they shed acquaintances, alienate friends, and drive away family.
This double-faceted curse may be mistaken at first for a boon. On the one hand, it multiplies the power of its victim’s every motion in a manner similar to Greater Flick (below), effectively granting them superhuman strength. But at the same time, it removes their ability to sense or regulate the force with which they move. Everything the victim picks up risks being crushed or torn; every footfall is a floor-shaking stomp; objects casually tossed become deadly missiles; anything like a hug is right out. On the plus side, involuntary reactions such as hiccups or sneezes tend to be hilarious for onlookers at a safe distance.
This cruel but subtle curse does nothing more than plant a tiny seed of doubt in the victim’s mind. Every night, the primary focus of the victim’s dreams is infected, and the victim’s attitude on that topic becomes just a bit more pessimistic. If the curse is left unbroken for too long, the victim may come to see themselves as incapable of doing any good, paralyzed with regret over the past and fear of the future.
You create a tensed loop with part of your body – such as by bracing one finger against another in order to flick it – and magnify the potential energy the loop contains into a shattering concussive blast. This can place great strain on the body, and inexperienced users would be wise to only invest a little energy before using it to flick a projectile – such as shooting a marble at high speeds – but hardened physical-magic adepts have been known to release gale-force winds with a mere snap of the fingers.