Sleepy Little Township
Magical Amulets Talismans and Fetishes
Magic always comes at a price. This price may not be immediately noticeable, and yet at other times it is immediately devastating. With this in mind, magical items should be both handled and used with great care – none should be used casually and without concern. Furthermore, those items that seem most harmless should be greatly feared and handled with extreme caution.
Some items require that a price be paid for them to function properly: the user’s blood applied per each use, the weekly sacrifice of a small animal, etc. Some such items maintain a consistent cost, while with others the cost slowly escalates into unmanageability which forces the user to eventually abandon the item. These are the most benign of magic items, as the cost is paid voluntarily and rarely transitions into involuntary costs.
Some items seem to have a sort of intelligence within them. They will typically automatically provide a service, for some short period of
time. Then, when the user attempts to use the item again, voiceless negotiations begin. The user may sense these as premonitions or random thoughts that must be acted upon before the service will be provided. If ever this attribute is discovered, the item should be abandoned immediately and locked away where no one can find it.
These are extremely dangerous items that are not to be trifled with, for they most certainly contain the imprisoned soul of a most powerful entity. The entity is usually bound into the item until such time as it fulfills the requirements of the enchantment. This typically involves providing a specific number of services to a user, or coercing him to take some specific action. It is important to understand that the entity was bound into the item for a reason, and was so powerful that it could only be bound conditionally. Therefore, release of the entity would certainly bring horrific consequences to a great many people, if not all of mankind.
Some items are meant to be helpful charms for improving charisma, maintaining youth, enhancing beauty, boosting vitality and health, or providing protection from harm. But such gifts cannot manifest from nothing. Such is the class known as cursed items. In many cases, the cost is paid by those closest to the user. As the user becomes more charismatic, one or more of his friends or family members becomes brash and unappealing. As the user maintains his youth, others close to him begin aging more rapidly. As time goes on, these costs increase as the user benefits while his loved ones are despoiled. While he could always choose to abandon the item so that the others stop paying the price for its effects, the seductive nature of fame and everlasting youth is often too powerful for human nature to overcome. As a result, his soul is both darkened and tormented as he watches the gradual decay of those that he loves most dearly.
Some cursed items are even crueler,
and purposely designed to slowly devour both the user himself and those he loves. There is typically a choice involved, for the curse is meant to be a trick played upon the unsuspecting victim who makes a conscious choice that activates the curse. These items typically behave like the useful charms described above, providing a benefit for the user for a price that is paid by their loved ones. But over time, the item connects to the user’s loved ones and bonds with the user himself. This process can take up to several months, or happen in a matter of minutes. Regardless, once attached, the user becomes the victim and the item begins to behave in the opposite. The charismatic victim begins to stammer and stutter, stumbling on his own words and contradicting himself; the youth and beauty turns to lethargy and deep wrinkles; the protections previously provided suddenly cause greater damage and pain than would be expected. As time goes on, the effects of the curse grow. Once the cursed item is attached to the
victim, ultimately he fatally succumbs to the power of the curse – either physically or mentally.
Some occult texts describe methods that can remove a cursed item from its victim. One radical method suggests that the simultaneous murder of all the companions it has connected to will break the bond and allow the item to be removed – although there are no documented cases where this method succeeded. Another text suggests destroying the object while it is attached to the user. Regrettably, the steps necessary to destroy such items are either impossible to perform or so extreme that they would destroy the wearer, as well.
Fortunately, there are documented cases where a cursed item has been successfully removed from the victim. In documented cases, the key was to enlisting the help of supernatural beings. Such beings have a presence outside the realm of humankind, from which they can act to remove the cursed item from the