Reason for Mother to Leave ONE Twin

I have two PCs who both chose red tieflings. Tiefling A’s backstory involves a mother trading Tiefling A’s life to save her twin sister who was born first, but not breathing. The mother calls the firstborn her “true daughter.” The twin was saved, and Tiefling A was left with the temple clerics. Tiefling B’s backstory involves growing up with just a mother who left her at and early age. I mean, come on, it’s my obligation as a DM to connect those stories, right?

My problem is finding a reason for the mother to believe the first born was more important. The mother could be a divination wizard who had seen a vision and expected only one child, but I don’t know where to go from there. I can’t have one party member destined to save the city and not the other, obviously, so it’s hard to make a prophecy that feels fitting. Any ideas?


It really is your obligation for sure.

With your dilemma of why the mother would choose one over the other, that could itself be the problem. A misreading of the prophecy of “firstborn/true daughter” being the wrong translation. And have the mother realise she made a mistake later in life, leading to leaving B(“true daughter”) in search for A(second and abandoned daughter). And end it with it’s the choice of the daughter(s) on who the prophecy applies to.

If you haven’t delved deep into the campaign proper, the PCs could also be nudged to play with their virtue names that tieflings tend to use (like Joy, Mercy, Jester etc). I personally love these given or chosen names, and have it somehow be the actual names or titles the prophecy refers to.

As to the prophecy proper, some ideas

  • some twist of “true daughter” to “the true one of your daughters/children” or even “the truth of your daughters will bring about change in the world”
  • 2 children, one will cause chaos/change other will cause growth/stability. The mother could have wrongly seen that as a threat and thought having only one child or the first child, who was appointed the growth one, to grow and prosper to be the best solution. Having to hide away or assume the other had died or given their life for the other (this being sort of a twisted way of seeing both of them live on in one life)
  • Temple giving wrong prophecy to get the child for their own needs or use, either through twisting the propechy to get the real chosen one/one of the chosen ones. Or a fully evil or wrong temple doing this on purpose for culty stuff

This really is a cool place to be in, and hope the PCs and you find a cool story out of it all. Do share with us how it goes in the future and what you finally come up with :v:t4:.

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Here are a couple of options.

Do have a prophacy that talks of the one. These two are fraternal twins so not identical. The birth or conception could be during a special event like meteor shower, solstice, planetary alignment etc. basically they are both two sides of the same coin and combined will be more powerful either for protection or distruction. “True” can mean sticking to an oath or promise or loyalty. Depending on whether the mum is Good or Evil this can put the sibs on opposite sides and the fight to remain true to oneself, one’s mission, one’s sister or mother etc is the trial. Give them each some seemingly innocuous item/token that based on how things go can awaken with different results when joined or destroyed or exchanged etc.

The moon high turned red from white
Born in twin share after a fight
A true daughter of the darkest light
A second to hasten the coming of night


Does Tiefling A know for sure that she was sent away because her sister was more important? Or was it literally just “must make both children breathe”?

I would suggest that the mother gave up one living child so that both her children child be living, and “true daughter” is her coping mechanism to deal with the guilt of giving away a child.

Leaving Child B might have been triggered by a realisation that she needn’t have sacrificed Child A at all, leading to a mental breakdown or a search for her other daughter.

ETA: Perhaps the prophecy was what made her leave Twin B, learning that they would only come together to save the world if she was gone from both their lives.


Oh!! I already have different dragon factions, it would be really easy to have the mom be on one side and get a prophecy about one daughter fighting on her side.

I LOVE your poem, do you mind if I steal those last two lines?


She said her character wouldn’t know why her mother chose the first born daughter. I like the idea of her leaving to find child B, it might be a good reason not to tell child A why she was leaving, out of embarrassment of revealing the truth in case she fails or something.

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I didn’t even think to play with their names, that’s so clever!! Each of them already picked their names but I am totally going to incorporate this into their patrons. Both of them chose to have secret warlock patrons (literally could not be more perfect) – I think giving them opposite names is a really fun way to play with that destiny/prophecy idea. The twin raised at the temple is playing a cleric to the temple god, but because of the deal her mother named she is beholden in a way to a mysterious patron. The other twin chose a normal warlock with a patron who gave her powers to survive on her own after her mother left, but because she was so young she thought it would be cool to know it’s a patron but not really know a lot about the entity who owns her soul.

Watching these two circle each other in the session 0 was so funny. If I didn’t know for certain that they’d written these characters independently I’d think they had to have collaborated!!

Thank you for your help!

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I’m glad I could help.
Go ahead and use any part of the poem or response you like.
It sounds like a wonderful game.

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