Content of the article: "DMed myself into a corner here; how can I get out of it?"
Hi! Quick background to this question:
My level 6 party of 4 is in a sci-fi campaign centered in a megacity. They've been working for a number of different groups, two of which are relevant to this arc: Mae, an Archdruid who secretly mass-produces potions on the Elemental Plane of Earth, and the Whispers, a smuggling ring. A while back, they accepted a job from a third party to find this mysterious drug called Shalestone and research its effects.
Little do they know, Mae has been secretly producing Shalestone and hiding it in her potion shipments. It saps the user of their volition, allowing Mae to create an army (she "wants to eliminate all war", going to crazy, unrealistic extremes to do it.) Long story short, the party, along with some members of the Whispers hijacked a potion truck (not knowing it was Mae's truck specifically) and found the Shalestone along with it, splitting the samples with the Whispers.
Now, here's where I fucked up: Mae is paranoid. She casts Foresight on herself every day, scries on the party and her rivals constantly, and makes a point to know everything that's going on. So once the party got the Shalestone, she found out her truck was hijacked, scried on it, and saw the party, immediately contacted them and ordering them to come to her lab – right at the end of last session.
Now, Mae's a CR 14 Archdruid. OOC, they know she's probably the strongest single creature in the city (that they're aware of.) The party would get immediately stomped by her. I'm trying to figure out a scenario where this doesn't end in combat, but I can't really think of any, and I'm trying to avoid combat here if at all possible. Do you guys have any suggestions for how I can have this end without needing to roll initiative?
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