Almost everyone in Tqladia and the other kingdoms in the Continent knew about the Witch of Tqladia City. It was like a fairy tale for them, something that people would tell at a tavern or one that an older sibling might tell a younger one to scare them. Or perhaps something that royals might tell other royals before laughing and saying, “Of course, the danger won’t come to us,” Some people even believed that what people were saying wasn’t true at all, and it was all just performed to make people scared. But unfortunately, they were very much wrong, and the “myth” was in fact very true.
Everyone also knew that magic existed, and people who practiced magic were called sorcerers. Sorcery was considered “good” or “neutral” and used magic to help or change something in a neutral or good way. However, some sorcerers had developed their magic in a negative way, and started practicing dark magic and witchcraft. These sorcerers were then known as witches or warlocks.
For longer than people could remember, a witch had cursed an entire city or town in the Continent every seven years on a random day. At first, they had no idea who was doing it. But then, people had sighted the witch who had done it: Virina Fhaeria, the Witch of Tqladia City.
People outside of the magical community hadn’t known Virina existed until the first time she cursed a town. People knew her if she was making deals with sorcerers or challenging them. People outside the magical community would only hear about her in rumors or from their magical family members. But when Virina started cursing towns, everyone knew about her.
The curses always ended when the next curse began, so there was only one curse happening at a time. People usually were able to adapt to life in the curse, or they would just move out of their town.
There was one curse that was different from all the previous ones. And it happened in a small village nestled near the edge of Tqladia.
It was a perfectly normal spring day in the Corner Village. It was the time of year where all the flowers bloomed and the grass was green and luscious. People walked around the village, greeting neighbors and friends and other people they knew.
No one suspected anything. No one saw a woman in a dark cloak stand in the trees near the border of the village. No one saw her raise her hands before it started glowing dark purple. No one heard her murmuring a sinister enchantment. And at first, no one saw the clouds above the village turn purple, but when they did, everyone panicked and ran into their houses. That’s when they realized what was happening. Everyone knew that when a town is cursed by the witch, the clouds always turn purple. Now it was time for this village to be cursed.
The clouds multiplied and grew bigger, and blocked out all sunlight in the village. Then a mysterious fog swept through the village, and no one knew where it came from. The vision in the fog was particularly cloudy, and no one could see anything, not even someone a few feet away. The people inside their homes thought they were safe, until the fog started penetrating the walls. Soon, there was nothing in the village the fog did not touch.
The experience that people went through when they were caught in the fog was truly magical, but was not at all pleasant. The first thing they felt was as if the fog was grabbing them all with thousands of hands, and grasping them so tightly that it felt as if they were squeezing out their blood. People were unable to move, and it was as if the ground was pulling them down, pinning them in place and choking them. Then, the fog released them, and they all fell to the ground, coughing and catching their breath. The fog was receding. But now, people could feel that things were different. They could feel a tingly feeling in their bones, and in their blood and veins, something that they had never felt before- power. The power of magic. Dark magic.
Chaos filled the streets. People were screaming and running. The witch had done something never done before- give every person in the village a unique curse that only they had. One person was cursed to be cold all the time. Another had a demon whispering terrible things in their ear, making them go insane. Someone else had lost their emotion and their heart, and they could never feel anything.
Everyone in the village was in shock. The previous curses had never been this powerful. They never imagined that the witch could pull off something like this. Everyone hoped for the year to go by quickly so they would lose their curses.
But the day never came. They waited patiently for seven years, telling each other every day, “Don’t worry, it’ll all be over when she curses a new town.” But when she cursed the next town, their curses didn’t stop. It just kept going. Then they realized that this was their life now, to be eternally cursed.
What was worse, their children were cursed as well when they were born. Because of this, people became insane and would do anything to end their curse. A clan of warlocks said that they could teach people how to control their curse and keep it at bay. In desperation, many accepted their help without hesitation. But they soon realized that in order to control their curses, they would have to practice dark magic, so many of the town citizens became warlocks themselves.
Those who did not go insane and turn into warlocks became accustomed to being cursed, and made it part of their daily lives, almost forgetting that it existed. It became normal to complain about curses, and people could never remember a time when they didn’t have it. It went on for years, the births of cursed children and people trying to adapt to their curses. No one thought anything would change.
That was, until Ktyra was born.