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Curse candles were black in color and intended to be burned in ten-minute intervals. The longest-lasting candle that could be manufactured burned for ninety minutes. For evil mystics, this was the seventh type of candle they learned to make when studying candle magic. Neutral mystics could choose to learn to make this candle after they reached a sufficiently high level, but choosing this candle excluded them from ever trying to make the white purification candle.
After burning for the desired amount of time and then being extinguished (either by blowing, snuffing, dousing, or reaching the end of its wick), this candle permanently cursed its victims with one affliction for each ten-minute interval it was allowed to burn, up to a maximum of six (for the typical spectrum of curses). Bestowing the same curse twice had no additional effect.
Various types of curses could be infused into this candle, but the most common were those that ruined an individual's natural abilities, health, or appearance to others. Typically, the curse candle could make a strong being as weak as a young child, a robust person suddenly prone to illness and exhaustion, an intellectual become an imbecile, nimble and dexterous folk turn into clumsy oafs, normally wise people exhibit utter foolishness, and reduce the beautiful and charismatic to being ugly and scorned.
The victim(s) had one chance to resist a curse at the end of its ten-minute gestation. When the candle was extinguished, all curses that the victims failed to resist took affect immediately. Curses were permanent until a remove curse was cast by a priest of sufficiently high level, or by the remove curse ability of a purification candle. A curse could also be removed by a wish or other sufficiently powerful magics, but removing each curse required a separate casting of a spell or burning of a purification candle.
The victim(s) had to remain within ten feet (three meters) of the burning candle for the entire time it was lit and when it was extinguished or that application of the candle was wasted.