The Devil’s Riddle, Interlude: The Blademaster’s Secret Part I


Last session left me with an unanswered question; what the hell is up with Rufus?  

To answer that and to flesh out the details necessary for a good flashback I’ve decided I need to ask the GM Emulator six questions: who, when, where, why, what and how? This is an opportunity to work with the Detail question side of the Emulator rather than the normal Yes/ No part, and to indulge in some fairly freeform word association. Here we go…

Q: Who is involved in the flashback? The Answer involves an Incredible Display of Oldness.

Well that’s obviously the last (Donjon name generator to the rescue) Chamarand of Valonde. I’m thinking the last surviving member of a legendary order of weapon masters, that seems to fit with Rufus. 

Q: When is the flashback set? The Answer involves A Small, Notable Example of Humility, and might also involve Jeden.

I’ve decided that these events are set in the world Rufus and Lisandra came from, so the new companions they have met since the start of the campaign will not feature. But I can still use them as sources of inspiration. This answer suggests to me that the events take place at a time when Rufus has experienced a moment of lucidity or clarity following hubris; he has been prideful or arrogant and now recognises his error. Perhaps this is a time in his life when is seeking atonement, and has stripped himself, or been stripped, of his previous status. Maybe he has gone from being a noble to a common man, like Jeden.

Q: Where is the flashback set? The answer involves Fascinating Love, which might affect Tomas

We’ve established Tomas is from a mountain tribe. And fascinating love suggests worship; this flashback is set in a temple dedicated to the Source, perched atop a high mountain peak.

Q: Why is Rufus here? The Answer involves A Complete Lack of Masculinity.

Chercher la femme! A woman is involved, and a very feminine one at that. Sounds to me like Rufus is in love. Or was, perhaps.

Q: How does does this moment change things for him? The Answer involves Genuinely Good Authority.

Well that feels like it takes us back to our ancient weapon master from Question 1. Rufus comes to the temple, humbled, suffering from a lost love, or a love gone bad, and is redeemed by the last Charamand.

Clearly there was peril inherent in Rufus’ predicament, or Lisandra wouldn’t have been so concerned. So we need to introduce more of a challenge or threat to this setup. The most obvious variable seems to be this lost love. Let’s see who she is, using the NPC Generator.


Andromeda, eh? Interesting. This says fey to me; Rufus has fallen in love a fairy power, perhaps. Or more likely she has fallen in love with him. Let’s pick out some key aspects from this NPC:

  • Goal: Something Lost: Her immortality.
  • Motivation: Vow: She has sworn she will recover her position.
  • Conflict: Conflict of interest: her love for Rufus is at odds with her motivation.
  • Vice: Obsession: her love for this foolish mortal.

So, a queen of the Fey courts fell for an arrogant young noble, and that love stripped her of her immortality, allowing her rivals to claim her dominion. Despite her obsessive love for him, she vowed to slay her human lover and reclaim her birthright.  

The irony? The man she fell in love with was weak and unworthy. The man who fled her wrath found himself and was reborn in the Sky Temple, a far purer and stronger man, and far more worthy of her love.  

Next it’s time to find out how this setup plays out.


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