Once upon a time, there was a prince who was born in the shape of a donkey. He was the most beautiful, delightful, lovable little donkey in the world. But he was the saddest little donkey, too, for his greatest wish was to become a real human prince. Though he did not know it, there was one way he could become a human prince. But would he ever find the way?
The reason he was born that way was his father hired a wizard to help the barren queen give birth. When payment came due the king put copper at the bottom of the sacks of gold and the wizard smelled the different. Then the wizard cursed the child.
Outside of Scott at Huge Ruined Pile I don’t see a lot of OSR people taking a lot of deliberate inspiration from fairy tales (this particular one is found in Grimm among other places). I don’t know if Matt did here, but certainly his spell reminded me of a fairy tale (and wistfully…this particular comic was a favorite as a child).
Perhaps as much as Howard and Lovecraft we need to look at Grimm, Anderson, and Lang.