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Curse (Beauty and the Beast retake)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:40 am
by Kappa
Curse is secretly a Beauty and the Beast world, but it's actually got a lot more going on than that.

The basis of the magic system is that every individual person in the world has their own magic system, with individual strengths and weaknesses and power sources and rules, suited to that person in some way. Different people have different degrees of access to their magic; it's possible, and even common, for someone to just never figure out how to use theirs, especially if they don't try.

However, there are a few basic underlying rules.

  • Individual magic systems aren't transferrable: you can't use your magic to make someone else able to use your magic. You can do magic to people, and even give them magical powers, but it's more like enchanting a magical artifact than like giving them access to the system itself.
  • Individual magic systems also aren't usually super powerful - nobody's going around dropping black holes on the planet or putting out the sun or mind-controlling the planet - but it's possible for a system to have the capacity to accumulate that much power, if it gives you a way to get more power and a way to store it.
  • Magic is limited in its ability to think and learn and react. You can't make a spell or artifact so complicated that it's essentially a person. Magic can create life, but it can't be alive.
  • ...except... if you have something you want to do that's going to be big and complicated and take immense amounts of power and need to get things right that you have no way of predicting and taking into account from where you're standing... and if you are very very dedicated to accomplishing whatever it is... you can set a high-level goal, and turn your entire magic system into a living spell aimed at accomplishing that goal. It won't be quite a person, but it'll have the discernment and problem-solving abilities of one, and you'll be satisfied with its judgment because its judgment will be approximately yours. Except you won't be around to comment, because doing this kills you.

Almost nobody knows that last trick. It can be done instinctively by just about anyone, but it takes a pretty high level of desperation to even begin to see the possibility. Anything less than that, and your magic won't offer to let you sacrifice yourself for it in the first place.

So anyway, there was an empire ruled by a Serg...

As you may be able to guess, somebody sacrificed themselves to get rid of him. They were expecting to kill him, and also wanted to kill anyone else in his court who might stick around and continue being horrible without him, while letting all the innocent people go. But they didn't stop to consider what might happen if their magic saw him more clearly and realized he didn't have to be this way. And they were the sort of person who couldn't kill somebody they saw a way to rehabilitate, and so their magic was also that sort of person, and the spell destroyed the capital city and killed half his court and then... couldn't kill him, and couldn't let him go, and so made him immortal and isolated him to stop him from hurting anyone else.

Also it turned him into a twelve-foot-tall lizard-man, because it seemed aesthetically appropriate.

Now there is a place known from the outside as the Cursed Valley, and no one can get into it from the outside, and many people have died trying; and inside of it there is a huge empty palace almost the size of a city, and a twelve-foot-tall lizard man, and a spell that's not quite a person and not quite not a person and is by this point getting kind of desperate to un-curse this poor lonely ex-Emperor. But it can't let him go until it's genuinely satisfied that he's not going to backslide, and that means giving him at least one positive interpersonal relationship, and its matchmaking abilities are limited because all it can do is check each person who wanders into the valley and see if maybe this one could get along with him, and then drag them in to meet him if they might.