Danrick was an old wizard. He was so old, he actually wasn’t a wizard any more. Only his grandson knew it, as he worked magic for Danrick, so that he could retain some semblance of dignity in his declining years.
Danrick had the respect of the court, and wasn’t expected to attend balls and such anyway, but when he had no polite way to excuse himself from attending court, his grandson Jerrith would accompany him and work Danrick’s magic in secret if needed.
Jerrith was found out one day, by a guard who mistook him as an assassin trying to ensorcel the king, and slayed him.
Distraught and vengeful, Danrick sought out a contempory to make him his staff. Three years to the day later, three years after his grandson was murdered by a ignorant buffoon, Danrick returned to court for vengeance.
It was the king’s birthday once more, and Danrick appeared in the throngs of the court once more, beaming smiles from his cheerful robes. He bid the king health and long life, and gifted him with a blessing from the touch of his staff, to ensure the worries of his kingdom did not trouble him. Danrick granted the same blessing to a seemingly random guard.
Shortly thereafter, He died. The king and guard continued on in their lives, but were beset by hardships. One of the kings children became ill, and while not fatally so, she was left wan and paralyzed. The guardâ€™s house burnt to the ground and the damages left him penniless. The things they held dear to them were fouled, almost cursed. Their lives were wounded. The guard’s suffering was cut short when another beggar slit his throat for a moldy crust of bread, but the king, with the aid of his physicians, live to a miserable old age.
Those struck by Danrick’s Sword have their lives injured. They are cursed. It’s not immediate or dreadful, but it is inevitable. Their lives can be healed, but it will take the powers of someone capable of healing spirits. Otherwise, like an open wound, it will continue to fester and bleed. Life is all downhill, untill they die.
Note that the kingdom didn’t fall to this. While important people affect many others, the other people aren’t wounded. Those close to the injured may suffer, but the population at large is unaffected.