Lærdom: The Magic of Names

25. Gåte (“Enigma”): TN 20/40/60. The lost rune is Enigma, representing the riddle of creation. Enigma was a scholar, a learned man touched by Valhalla, who spoke entirely in deep, philosophical nonsense that alternately amused, irritated, or inspired his fellow gods. Hidden within his ramblings, however, were the fundamental truths of Vestenmannavnjar philosophy: perception (i.e., name) and existence were inextricably linked. As one’s name diminished, one’s very existence became threatened. As one’s name grew in power, one became more potent in spirit and more powerful in the physical realm. The quest for enhanced stature inspired the skalds to spin epic tales celebrating a hero’s prowess in battle, which in turn increased the power associated with that hero’s name. A Skjæren who embraces Enigma perceives the relationship between name, legend, and power…and it invariably drives him mad. That’s why Enigma took his Lærd and went into hiding in the first place; only a select few Skjæren are ready to hear the riddle of creation, and far, far fewer are prepared for the answer.

It is generally believed that the form this Lærd takes is lost. This is only partially true. Everyone has seen the lost Lærd—it appears in the national symbol of the Vestenmannavnjar people. However, no one knows that this symbol is actually the missing Lærd of Gåte. The deception was perpetrated by Enigma himself, in deference to one of the universal truths whispering in his mind: sometimes the best hiding place is in plain sight.

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: Gåte activates according to the rules for Lærds that add dice. While this rune is in effect, any Reputation awards the Skjæren earns are doubled.

Become Effect: upon becoming the rune of Gåte, the Skjæren casts aside mere, mortal existence and ascends to Valhalla. That character is removed from play (barring a major shake-up on the immortal plane), and has “won” the game.

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Gåte, the Lost Rune