There are no scrolls in this world, but there are crystals of various sizes, colors and qualities. Every spell has a requirement on the amount and characteristics of crystals that must be held in order for the spell to be cast, crystals which would shatter should the cast be successful. Now picture a land where crystals are scarce except for high concentrations of them in specific spots throughout the land. A number of scenarios could occur, such as benign companies selling the mined valuable for cheap, a region in constant magic-intense war zone, an area of crystals in the quicksand, or an undiscovered patch next to a town...
Magical curses are rarely cast, as if cast on someone for fun or purely maliciously and the person cursed has not done something seriously wrong, it tends to ricochet back on the curser. Therefore the few who do get cursed are shunned by most people as genuinely guilty,and few will help them.