Tales

The Many Uses of Seeming

Posted on January 18, 2019

My favorite character, Zook Waywocket, had a conundrum. Our campaign had recently (and temporarily) become political, having found and rescued a group of dwarven ambassadors from Mirabar. Veit Holderhek, a native of same, wanted to parlay that rescue into aid for our party, which was recently forced to flee after taking on the entire Fire Temple at once (a great story in and of itself, involving a tense standoff and the Paladin Sariel Moonbrook saving Zook at the last instant from being hurled into a lava fall).

What Veit did not understand was that the Marchion of Mirabar was a) not a dwarf himself; b) technically unable to send the city to war with a cult 500 miles away; and c) not at all willing to do it anyway, fearing that the resulting resurgent dwarf kingdom would be another Gauntlgrym. Veit left his meeting with the Marchion incredibly frustrated, and for once decided to use his bardic performance abilities to be inspiring rather than irritating.

His blood-red cape fluttering (with the aid of an unseen servant) and his voice booming over the populace, Veit told the humans and dwarves of Mirabar that their Marchion was denying them their heritage. He exhorted the common man to rise up against the evil elemental cults, drive them out of the ancient dwarven city to the south, and retake what was rightfully theirs, no matter what the Marchion had to say on the subject.

Which leads us to Zook's conundrum. Zook needed a way to demonstrate his support, while simultaneously ruining the Marchion's day—after all, the Marchion had said unkind things to his minion, an insult Zook would not abide. Zook had recently picked up the spell Seeming. Zook had a save DC high enough that most commoners would have to roll a nat 20 to beat it.

Zook was standing in the middle of a crowd of commoners. At the climax of Veit's speech, screams and shouts of confusion rang out. Dozens of people suddenly looked like the Marchion. A few seconds later, dozens more suddenly looked like him, too. Realizing that the illusion was spreading through the crowd, the people scattered in a panic. Seeming takes 8 hours to wear off, assuming that there isn't someone handy to cast dispel magic.

For that 8 hours, 122 Marchions of Mirabar stampeded through the city. The real Marchion of Mirabar found out about this later. After the city guards finally found him, stripped naked and shaved bald, buried to his neck outside the city walls. And, to break character for one last moment, I now have a gentleman's agreement with the DM to never pull a stunt like that again.

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