When man first began to tell tales of magic, “the curse” was one of the most prevalent legends ever told. Mortals burdened by the weight of their sins and mistakes all accumulating in a literal and magical effect. Typically they are bound to a specific item, such as an amulet, ring (perhaps just one ring. Or three. Maybe seven? I’ll settle on nine. Ah screw it,) or perhaps even a suit of armour. But really, powerful magic items aren’t as cursed as the seemingly normal ones. Demons armour? Boring. Shoes of dancing? Exhausted. So, let’s see some absolutely wicked trinkets and baubles for all you vagabonds, ne'er do wells and villainous folks out there. (All of the following curses can be removed with a remove curse spell using a 5th level spell slot or higher.)
1) Sigurd’s Mace
Sigurd was a relatively kind soul, a hunter in the cold, bitter north. As such he had to be away from home for many, many months at a time to actually find game. He hunted with his longbow, but arrows were scarce, so for protection, he carried a mace in case he was jumped by bandits or waylaid by a pack of rabid wolves. One lucky afternoon, as he had just left only hours ago on the hunt, he stumbled upon a family of elk. He managed to get three down before the rest escaped him. He thought about chasing the last two down, but three elk was better than he had done in years. He started to drag them back, ecstatic at the prospect of showing his wife his freshly caught game, fresher than she had seen in a long time. He walked through the front door, trying to track her down, and found her in the bedroom. It was a mess. Clothes were strewn about and his best friend was lying there naked beside his wife. He stood, stunned above their nude forms. They stared back at him. Honey… I can explain… That was all it took. He drew his mace and beat them both to death. After breaking their knees to stop them from escaping his wrath, he proceeded to destroy the rest of their limbs. He caved in his wife's chest, and as the last breath escaped her lips his old friend looked to him. I’m sorry Sigurd. I love you like a brother. Sigurd pushed him off the bed, onto his back, and sat atop him. He pressed the haft of his mace against his throat, and forced the life out of his friend. He stood over the two lovers’ mangled forms and realized his sin. Sigurd took the pointed tip of mis mace and jammed it through his skull. But there’s no rest for the wicked…
Sigurd’s Mace, also known as Cripple, is a cursed mace. It's a black iron mace with a 5 inch protrusion at the top used for stabbing, which is always wet with blood. Once attuned to Cripple, the wielder cannot unattune until a proper remove curse spell or similar effect is used on them. While attuned, you have a +3 to attack and damage rolls, and a +5 if attacking a creature who is or was friendly towards you at one point or another. However at dawn each day you must roll a DC 18 constitution check or begin to attack your closest friend, believing they have betrayed you. You can reroll the check whenever you take damage, or every minute the effect lasts. If you have failed the check three days in a row, roll on the long term madness table in the DM’s guide. You also have a +2 on rolls to track animals while attuned to this mace. Cripple seems to get warm to the touch whenever near someone the wielder cares for.
2) The Witches’ Coin
Deep within coves and hobbles lie witches. Witches crafting spells. Witches cursing. Doing more… witchy stuff. The point is they make a lot of little trinkets and whatnot. One of the most prized is the witches’ coin. Crafted with clove, cinnamon, clear quartz, smoky quartz, a topaz, an opal and rosemary, all casted upon in an elemental circle with a single coin of any value within. This enchantment has been known to be put on gems, but that is a significantly more expensive and less versatile idea. Many an empire has risen and fallen thanks to these simple coins bound to witches and their strings of fate.
A witches’ coin is bound to a witch. If a witch gives you this coin, you fall under the curse. While cursed, the witch always knows your general direction, can cast Scry on you whenever they want without expending a spell slot and cast Hex on you without expending a spell slot. When the coin is flipped, the witch can choose weather it lands on heads or tails or its side. You cannot rid yourself of the coin, if you try to throw it away or dispose of it in a non-magical way, it simply reappears in your wallet or coin purse the next day. If the attunement with the witch is broken a wizard of the necromancy school or a warlock of 5th level or higher can attune to it. While attuned to the coin, you have a +3 to arcana checks. Additionally, you learn one cantrip of your choice on the warlock spell list. You also gain one extra first and second level spell slot, and can choose how it lands when it’s flipped. If you give the coin to another creature as an action, you can curse them. While they are cursed, you lose all other bonuses the coin grants and the curse as described above passes to the other creature.
3)The Cat’s Eye
The Rakshasa are a dangerous and mysterious style of fiend. In and of themselves they are powerful, but their real power lies in their influence. A hundred years ago a legendary but forgotten adventuring group faced such a creature. They fortunately managed to wound it; the warrior gouging out its eye before it shifted planes and disappeared. The wizard jumped at the chance to experiment with such a magically infused component and eventually made The Cat’s Eye. This amulet was a powerful magical artefact for a long time, but the cat came back. He spread his influence to the bearer of the amulet and made the wizard kill his old allies. He slowly became more and more enthralled by the Rakshasa, until he was but another slave to its will. The Eye was lost to time for ages, and has only recently resurfaced.
The Cat’s Eye is a Legendary Magical Amulet. The second it is equipped it begins to affect the user. Each day the bearer must succeed on a DC 1+X Wisdom saving throw or instantly change their alignment to Lawful Evil and serve a Rakshasa’s wishes. (X is the number of weeks the amulet has been equipped.) When equipped the bearer gains limited magic immunity to spells of third level or lower. They can also cast Detect Thoughts once per day without expending a spell slot, as well as cast Disguise Self at will. The Cat’s Eye grants advantage on all Perception checks that have to do with sight and gain darkvision out to 120 feet.
Curses have always been the bane of adventuring parties and always will. Because the simple fact is, people are greedy. Greed after all is one of the seven deadly sins, and don’t sins seem to lead to curses? Meh. Maybe I’m just slowly going mad from repeated exposure to the visage of hell. Anyways, till next time: don’t die.
Jarod Lalonde is a young roleplayer and writer whose passion for both lead him here. He’s often sarcastic and has a +5 to insult. Dungeons and Dragons is his favorite platform. Although he’s not quite sure if it’s Cthulhu whispering to him in the small hours of the night, or just persistent flashbacks to the Far Realm.
Picture Reference: https://xcentury.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/sviatopolk-the-cursed-and-the-varangian-from-bodzia/
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.