Death Curse

Prerequisites: Healing, Lesser Curse
This Invocation is never used lightly, for it often attracts the attention of the Grim Reapers (see Chapter Six: Supernatural). When successfully cast on a victim, the Death Curse slowly but surely dooms him. A succession of health problems weaken and ultimately kill the target of this Invocation. Only powerful magic, Necromancy or the removal of the curse can save the victim; any other measures only postpones the inevitable for a brief time. Even killing the Magician responsible will not do the trick; the sorcerer must be convinced or coerced into removing the curse.

Death Curse Effect

The cost of this effect is equal to the Essence Pool of the victim. This means cursing Gifted characters is much harder than cursing those who are Mundane. This Invocation requires a lengthy ritual that lasts ten minutes per Essence point spent. When the ritual is finished, the Focus Task is performed, and the Essence of the Invocation is wrapped around the caster (in the case of a group Invocation, the leader of the Circle takes the Essence of the curse). Gifted characters senses the malevolent energies coursing through the curse carrier. The Magician must then go to the victim, and be within sight of him, to release the curse. The target can resist with a Willpower and Constitution Test against the Focus Task. If the Magician wins, the victim is struck by the curse.

The Death Curse starts to weaken the victim, who immediately loses 1D12(6) Life Points and 1D10(5) Endurance Points. This damage and fatigue cannot be healed normally. Even Magic and other Gifted Powers will not work as usual — every 5 Life Points healed through any healing Power only restores 1 Life Point to the victim of the Death Curse. Things soon get worse. Every 2 hours, the victim loses a like amount of Life and Endurance points. The process goes on until death or the curse is lifted or dispelled.

Removing the curse without having the original caster lift it is not easy or cheap. A Necromancer with Death Mastery 5 might be able to break the hold of the curse on the victim. The Necromancer must spend twice as much Essence as was devoted to the original Death Curse, and use Necromancy and Willpower against the Focus result of the curse. If the Necromancer wins the Resisted Task, the victim is saved. Divinely Inspired characters can use the Touch of Healing (again, twice as much Essence as originally spent must be used to break the curse). Magicians may cast Cleansing, but they must spend three times the original Essence used in the curse, and they suffer a -3 penalty in the Resisted Task.

On a failed attempt at removing the Death Curse, it strikes the Magician or someone close to her. The Magician can remove the curse, but only after it has affected her and reduced her Life and Endurance points as mentioned above.

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