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If I want to curse my enemy I say the curse to him. As a result, he will become sick and have a lot of bad luck.

However, if he puts his fingers in his ears or uses some kind of earplug, I have to shout to make him hear it.

Personal experience tells me that even the best of earplugs are not perfect sound insulators. We are in a medieval type setting so no electronic noise cancelling is possible.

So, let us assume I meet my enemy and shout my curse at the top of my lungs. There is now a problem. The curse will affect anyone who hears (and understands) it.

Question

How can I focus my shouted curse on my enemy without cursing other people in the vicinity. (It is impossible to curse myself)

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    $\begingroup$ Not worthy of an answer but with magic. You can't really direct sound good enough with that tech level to have no collateral damage. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Mar 26 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ This is why us folks on nice, quiet Privet Drive want nothing to do with you loud, messy, magic-using hoodlums. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Mar 26 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ Send them a letter all in caps. That is socially considered a form of shouting. $\endgroup$ – Renan Mar 26 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ By saying their name.. $\endgroup$ – Dylan Mar 26 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have to be able to understand the curse yourself? Just imagining that Monty Python sketch where they create a fatally hilarious joke in German during WWII which anyone who does not understand German is immune to. You'd just have to know your target well enough to curse him in a language only he understands... $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Mar 26 at 20:53
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Say who the curse is directed to as a part of the curse, for example let's say you curse someone to step on a thousand Legos (or anything else, this is just a random and amusing example), you could shout

May you be cursed to step on a thousand Legos!

and anyone who hears it is now cursed, but you could include their name or some other way of identifying them such as

May you, John Smith, by cursed to step on a thousand Legos!

or

May you, that guy with the green jacket and blonde hair be cursed to step on a thousand Legos!

If this doesn't work (as in you can't put an identifier in front, it goes to everyone who hears it regardless) then there is a second way, I assume you can add a condition to the curse? Then add a condition that only applies to them like

May you be cursed to step on a thousand Legos, on the condition that at birth your name was John Smith!

or

May you be cursed to step on a thousand Legos, on the condition that you are the guy I am looking at right now who has a green jacket and blonde hair!

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    $\begingroup$ +1, This is where I was going to go with an answer. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 26 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ Or "May you be cursed to either step on a thousand Lego bricks* or not be named John Smith" *The "correct" term is "Lego brick" $\endgroup$ – Acccumulation Mar 26 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Acccumulation - There is actually a controversy about this. Even the manufacturers have an official position! - english.stackexchange.com/questions/10839/… $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 26 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea. But it's all stated awfully imprecise. The dark magic of the curses has so many opportunities to go wrong with this. So everyone hearing the curse will be forced to not only step on thousand Lego bricks, but after that, step on the condition too. And for the simpler variant, be named John Smith from now on forever. $\endgroup$ – avek Mar 27 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ This is the only reasonable way without going with crazy magic or situations impossible to happen. $\endgroup$ – Pierre P. Mar 27 at 9:16
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Audio spotlighting

If your magic user can somehow replicate this principle then in theory it is possible to send a concentrated beam of sound straight at your target like a laser. Now making the human throat emit a noise of that frequency might be difficult, but hey magic.

If you want a dark take on this, then surgically (as best you can with medieval tech) deafening oneself would be a great way to become immune to curses.

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  • $\begingroup$ I must say I'm tempted to remove the medieval restriction. This is such a great idea. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 26 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ Do the forbidden cursed laser! Laaaaser! $\endgroup$ – Nahshon paz Mar 27 at 9:20
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  1. You don't care. Yell loud and curse 'em all! After all, that's what they would do to you if they could curse folks.

  2. Wait until your target is alone and curse him then.

  3. Rassle him and when you get him down, whisper curse in his ear.

  4. Megaphone. Point it at your target's head and curse, curse, curse.

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questions:

  • What constitutes sufficient "hearing and understanding" of the curse?

  • Can you previously communicate with the rest of the guys in the area?

Imagine this scenario:

People who are listening to something else while you're speaking the curse can mitigate/cancel the affects of the curse. The rest of the people around you are people who know you and are on your side (e.g. your team mates/underlings), and they know that when you say "It's time" or "Let's get it on" or whatever, you're about to curse. You've instructed them that if they whistle to themselves/talk directly next to each other's ear while you're cursing, they'll be immune.

Viola! Curse and shout away, just make sure to drink lots of tea with honey afterwards.

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  • $\begingroup$ I suppose the problem is that your victim could also start whistling. If they don't hear the end of the curse it won't be effective. So, if whistling is effective, no-one gets cursed and if whistling is ineffective, everyone gets cursed. Of course you would have to be certain that everyone in the neighbourhood was on your side, otherwise they would warn the victim that whistling was the best defence. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 27 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @chasly added "are on your side" $\endgroup$ – Nahshon paz Mar 27 at 10:58
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Quite simple: The target needs to understand the curse's content and that it's meant for them.

Shout it at someone directly and they'll see it all right. Shout their name and they'll know even when they are in a group. Define them loosely and it'll do the trick ("big guy in red armor"). AoE curses are possible with this.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for answering but don't forget to check what others have said. Your answer is already covered in the answer by DJ Spicy Deluxe-Levi. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 27 at 10:09

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