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Glam Dicinn

The Glam Dicinn (or Glamdice) is the supreme curse that a bard can pronounce upon someone.

Celtic Druids and the Tuatha de Dannan

By Dominique Crouzet


Level: Bard 6, Satire 6
Components: V, S, F/DF
Casting Time: 1 full round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5ft./2 levels)
Target: One living creature
Duration: Permanent
Saving Throw: Will negates or None
Spell Resistance: Yes

The subject of this spell suffers from ·the three furuncles of disgrace-: shame, blame, and disfigurement. The resulting effects are mainly societal and political, with the subject being despised by others, dismissed from his position, and even banished from society.

This spell has a traditional cultural importance, and is almost never cast lightly. It is normally used to condemn a character whose behaviour somehow wrong the other members of the society he lives in. Evil bards may cast it on those who offended them; but in any case it cannot be used as an offensive spell (for instance to curse an enemy during a battle). In fact its typical use occurs as follows: A great bard was received poorly by the king, despite his excellent performance and praise. Such event is not simply a matter of the bard feeling insulted and getting the moral right to avenge himself. It before all means that the king doesn’t abide anymore by a very important custom of the Celts: generosity and hospitality.

From the Celts· point of view, the king is symbolically an embodiment of the land. Henceforth, if he ceases to be generous, so will cease the land, and famine may well ensue. However, the king’s subjects having pledge loyalty to him are probably not going to cast him down. This will typically be done by a bard who, through his satire, will somehow expose to everyone the king’s inability to continue his reign. Then, there is a Celtic law which states that for a king having the right to rule, he must be whole of body and fair of aspect. (For instance, Nuada could not be king anymore when he lost his hand, even after it had been replaced by a silver one. He could resume his kinship only when he got back a true hand of flesh.) Hence the disfigurement, in addition to the blame, inflicted by the spell. Anyway, this satire is by no way restricted to rulers. It may be inflicted on anyone with the relevant result, although there is usually little point on casting it on simple commoners.

This spell is a little complex, and produces several different magical effects at once. First of all, it cannot be cast discreetly. On the contrary, the caster must have the attention of a group of creatures. So the spell basically works exactly like an Enthrall spell (see core rulebook I), enabling the caster to maintain the attention of the audience during all her revelations.

Then the bards pronounce his anathema upon the target in verse and rhymes. The subject of the spell is entitled a Will saving throw to escape the effects of this spell only if it is unjustly cast at him. If he deserves to get this satire (GM determination), he is not entitled to a saving throw. The spell incurs the following effects:

  • The subject’s visage is disfigured in a particularly humiliating way, putting an effective decrease of 6 points to his Charisma score (minimum 1).
  • The enthralled audience get an immediate dislike of the target. From that time on, as long as the spell continues, they will automatically have their reaction rolls concerning the target shifted two factors closer to a ·Hostile Attitude· reaction. Note this is independent from the loss of Charisma points due to the spell, and adds to it.
  • If the target was a ruler or military leader among the Celts, he is ·suggested· (as per the suggestion spell) to abandon his position.
  • This spell being a sort of curse cannot be removed by a Dispel-magic or similar spell. It requires either a miracle, Limited-wish, Unveil-the-truth, or Wish spell to dispel it if it was unjustly cast; or a miracle / Wish spell to dispel it if the subject deserved it. Otherwise note that a character may use some magical disguise to conceal the effects of the spell if he cannot remove it.

Material Components: none per se, but the bard must have his Musical instrument and play it, to be able to cast the spell.

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