Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF. We make a draw from the Deck of Fate, RPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.
This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the Aspect: Just Plain Cursed. So, another random draw from the deck with a pretty negative (-3) result!
Bottled trouble, so to speak. It's hiding right there in plain sight. The sign by the door says simply "Botanica." They say it used to be an apothecary's shop. But now it sells mundane magical supplies: herbs, folk medicines, candles, incense, holy cards, figurines of saints, a few self-help books on the power of prayer - and bottled waters.
There are several little displays of water-filled bottles around the store. The displays catch they eye; they're colorful. Each bottle has a label with the name of the natural source of water from which its contents were collected. Most of the labels are still legible, although several are quite old and rather indecipherable. Some are smeared, blurred. A few are written in a script that seems alive with quick motion, like a centipede's legs.
None of the bottles has a price tag. The owner says: "They're all special. Make me an offer."
Expect to haggle. It's a high stakes game.
Because these water bottles aren't the kind you drink.
Oh, no. You use this water to make a space sacred. Put a bottle in a window and let the sun will shine through the water. Sprinkle it on friends as a blessing.
The waters come from different sources. Local rivers, streams, ponds, lakes. Some come from farther afield: the Finger Lakes. The Amazon. The Nile. The Ganges. Lake Nyos. Places you've never heard of.
Most are completely innocuous. But mixed in with the safe ones are bottled waters that are just pain cursed.
Frackwater. Medusa's tears. Devil's bongwater. Snake well water. Roaches' spit. Ice water from cannibal glaciers. Plasma squeezed from pus-filled wounds. Water from a baptismal font where someone took a bloody leak. Farm creek runoff. One of the colored theosophical bottles of General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez.
You'll pay dearly for one of these bottles. Their owner went to a lot of effort to collect them. She promises they'll put a hurt on someone. You'll see.
Each water bottle is a one-use potion. The potion's target is affected by drinking some or all of the water in the bottle. Even a drop or two is sufficient to produce an effect.
The potion causes a Moderate or Severe Consequence depending on the nature of the potion. Consequences may be either Physical or Mental, and can only be removed through magical healing. A Heal or Purify spell may remove any of these Consequences.
(N.B., some of the lesser Healing spells (Cure Light Wounds, Cure Moderate Wounds, Cure Serious Wounds), only remove a Physical Consequence, or reduce its severity.)