Ustalav is a nation steeped in superstitious, witchcraft, and things that go bump in the night. Powerful words and deeds have lasting effect within its murky borders: nothing is every forgiven or forgotten but the the peril of all.
Curses are a very real and present part of the world of Carrion Crown. In addition to cursed items or magical curses (as the bestow curse spell), there are places, names, even entire families within the Immortal Principality that bear curses of more sinister and difficult to detect kinds.
Some locations bear the scar of past misdeeds, suffering, and tragedy. These places are called haunts. Haunts contain the lingering ectoplasmic energy of the dead. This ectoplasmic residue can affect the mortal world to varying degrees based on the strength of the energy. Haunts usually have some sort of trigger than causes the energy to become active (usually this trigger is the presence of the living). Haunts usually behave in a prescribed or compulsive manner. The spirits that comprise the haunt, as with all but the most malicious and wicked spirits, always seek rest. Many, however, do so in ways that confound or horrify the living. More powerful haunts are deadly. Haunt effects usually reflect the unfinished business or tragic event that causes the spirit energy to become trapped in the location. Haunts can be permanently dispelled by laying the spirit to rest. This usually requires an extremely specific ritual or action taken in the curses location that appeases, captures, or releases the ectoplasmic energy.
Haunts can usually be combated with quick senses, strong wills, spells and items that destroy or ward off the undead, and thorough scholarship. The key to permanently dispelling most haunts is knowing their origin or knowing tales of other similar happenings.
Some spirits, usually Evil spirits, are bound to places, items, or other people. These bonds serve as anchors in the material plane that help the spirit manifest its ectoplasmic energy. Most bonded items, place, and so forth are cursed. They bend to the will of the spirit, and reflect the spirit’s compulsion or purpose. These bonds, however, can be potent tools in combating Evil spirits. Because they are powerful anchor-points for the spirit’s manifestation, bending a bonded item, location, etc to your own will can over-power the spirit’s will and drain its strength.
The Evil Eye
Words and deeds are powerful in Ustalav, a place where superstition reigns. The DM will be using a modified version of the Ravenloft Campaign Setting Curse rules to handle the consequences of hasty words, dying vows, and sworn revenge. PCs and NPCs alike all possess the power to curse the name of their foes. But in Ustalav, those curses tend to have more potency than they might in gentler lands.
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