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Abandon all hope, ye who reads this index, for all the things within are cursed! Or curses...or just really bad things to have happen to you. But still! Beware...despair...and do other things that rhyme with "air"! Booooo...
The idea of a curse comes to us from some of the earliest writing, and possibly from before that. In popular imagination, a curse is a powerful form of Functional Magic, cast by a god or a person with extensive knowledge of the arcane and willingness to make a deal with a devil, placed upon an object, place, person, or group, and used to punish the caster's enemies with misfortune ranging from epic tragedy to biblical plagues to a series of minor annoyances. The term has also been used simply to describe a series of misfortunes that may be unrelated, or to highlight a downside of risk to an otherwise advantageous endeavor. While in the 'traditional' sense, curses have been largely relegated to Speculative Fiction, they also show up in works on the realistic end of the Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic, religious texts, and, allegedly in Real Life.
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