A taege is an Anharan curse, often cryptic in nature, with many possible meanings. These are given either at birth to an individual, or against the offspring of an individual. If taken literally, these curses came as the result of ancient magic, during the Era of Legend. However, some believe them to only be literary devices, serving either the plot of myths and legends or a play on the flaws of characters.
Rural practitioners of the surviving Old Ways - a general term for those practicing ancient rites and the worship of the primordial Natural Gods - still claim to be able to place a taege.
Spectrum of Curses
The magic of curses changed forever with the Crossing Over
. When the gods left the world, magic became more difficult, and divine intervention dramatically decreased. Oaths, an aspect of life predicated on divine oversight, continued to work because of their consensual nature. Both parties' permission allowed their preferred deity to breach the Veil
and oversee the oath.
Curses are, by nature, not consensual. Some curses are called dooms, the easiest for gods to enforce, for they twist their recipient into consenting. The Anharan variation is the taege. A sort of magic contract, they take the form of conditions that may not be violated, or must occur, for the curse to take effect or the individual to be released. The permission, allowing divine enforcement, comes from the cursed stumbling their way into the curse's wording.
Varieties of Taegi
The most common taege is a form of tragic irony in Anharan literary work. Those who are cursed carefully strive to avoid fulfilling their conditions. In doing so, they manifest or stumble into them, completing the curse. In literature, these served as comeuppance for villains or a tragic end for heroes.
"Taege upon yours if you strike me down. The waters shall recede until even the rivers are cowering before me, babbling children will be all who inhabit here." - Engirim Sanguinaire to Cyldaan Cyrton
In legend, taegi more often take two forms. The first are curses by wyrdwomen, or rural witches. These worked either in the traditional method of a taege, or instead through solicited prophecy, thereby creating consent. The second is in the form of a deathknell, a curse whereby the condition is killing the curser.