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My players let them selves be captured by hobgoblins after messing up, need some help

Content of the article: "My players let them selves be captured by hobgoblins after messing up, need some help"

this is going to take some set up so TLDR at the end, first 7 paragraphs is explanation

so back at session one my players accidentally stole a metaphysical godly artifact from a hobgoblin Khan. (for once it actually was an accident and some DM Fiat to get the campaign going)

From the beginning they have been hunted across the world by a warband form this Khan's Tribe in an attempt to capture the Players so that they could sacrifice the party to their Khan to regain this artifact. The Players mean while have been on the run trying to find out what this thing is they absorbed, and after getting on a ship on a port town to a place called the Isle of Oracles they found out what it was.

it was a divinity shard, a piece of one of the dead gods that if absorbed gave one a igniting spark that could lead to godhood if cultivated. the Hobgoblin Khan, the Horned Lord, as they knew him, was going to absorb the shard and become one of the first new gods to ascend to the heavens so to better lead his people. The Oracles had forseen this possible outcome of the future and knew that if he was allowed to ascend uncontested with no other gods to stop him, the Hobgoblins would conquer damn near the entire continent as they would be the only nation with a god at their back cheering them on.

forseeing this the Oracles had sent a agent to steal the shard the Khan had and bring it to the island were it would be safe (the Hobgoblins are based off the mongols and as such have zero navy or sea fairing skills to speak of) the plan back fired, there was a struggle and the shard was absorbed by the party when the shard was broken at their feet.

the party now had a choice to make. since they were his ticket to godhood the Horned lord would not stop till he had them. killing him was an option, or just ascending first, but that would require a lot of work that would put them in constant danger of being taken, as well as a natural death, and those take a while.

another big this was that they, respected the Horned Lord. While they had never personally talked to him, while being hunted they had tons of interactions with his men. And all of them so far have been respectful and willing to end things with as little blood shed as needed and not being the monsters the MM makes them out to be. in my world the defining alignment of Hobgoblins is Lawful all of them are duty and honor bound in some way or another and will always keep their word.

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after talking my players decided that while the Hobgoblins first god should not be a deity of war and conquest, they did deserve a god. so they sailed to the main land and made plans to make their way back north to the steppes were the Hobgoblins made their home. The Plan being to either try and talk down the Horned Lord, or find one that they deemed more suitable for godhood that would not be as keen on War.

And on the way there they made a mistake

still on the run they came across a town on their way north that was holding a wedding ceremony (random travel table, nothing to fancy) they have been laying low with a trade caravan and the leader of it decided to stay for the festivities. This gave the Hobgoblin scouts looking for them time to catch up and inform the other bands in the area.

the players Knowing the Hobgoblins were on their way decided to use some perfume they had gotten in another town (thats a whole other story) to cover their tracks. they covered some of their stuff in perfume and made a fake trail out of town with splashes of it to make it seem they ran in the opposite direction they would be actually heading. they then had the druid cast past with out a trace and loop around to camp outside of town in what was hopefully a place they wouldnt look once the hobgoblins found the fake trail.

they rolled well (had them do a Wisdom deception check) but the, party made some mistakes

1) the party had Lied to the caravan leader about something chasing them to be able to stay with the caravan

2) they had Some Npc friends they had picked up over the sessions that the hobgoblins knew about but had never had a interest in. these Npcs were left in town to keep an eye on things and try and keep the town safe if the Hobgoblins tried anything, as the players were a couple miles away watching everything through a telescope

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3) The Wizard didnt think anything of it to give the exact same perfume they used to hid their tracks as a present to the Bride & Groom

So the Hobgoblins arrived, their wolves began to sniff at the clothing they left behind soaked in perfume, the wolves and the Lead scouts Saber tooth tiger mount could smell the perfume on the Bride & Groom as well as smelling the fake trail. this causes the Hobgoblins to stay and ask questions instead of just chasing down the path, and the caravan leader being pissed that they were lied to and were now being held up by some hobgoblins were more and happy to point out the Player's NPC friends. who were quickly subdued from sheer numbers,

the players plan had backfired and they were to far way to jump in and save the day for their friends that were now being held hostage.

after much debate a message was sent via Sending to offer surrender.

the Party are now locked in a cellar of the town that the hobgoblins have for now taking a post their while they wait for the main for of the Warband to arrive their weapons and magic focuses taken. the all the Players besides the Wizard who used the perfume and the Monk who couldnt make the session now plan to be taking North to the Feet of the Horn Lord.

I would like to not just have my players sacrificed, and plan on giving them some means of escape and to plead their case to the Horned Lord himself as to what their plan is and was wander if anyone had any Ideas what I can do to help keep things interesting? the players dont hate the situation they are in (far as I know anyway from the reaction I got) and seem to think its a interesting twist so I want to keep the ball rolling in terms of interesting developments.

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the Wizard can still cast some spells, the Druid manage to lie his way into keep his "family heirloom" (aka Druidic focus) the Barbarian is still a massive pile of hit points and the Monk is a weapon so they could punch their way out of this if they wanted. but the hobgoblins have them under guard 24/7 and their friends locked away in a giant Brick Kiln on the out skirts of town. a single peep of trouble from them and the Kiln gets ignited with their friends still in it. so they cant have a full on brawl with out risking them.

TL:DR
Players made some mistakes and got captured by a Warband of Hobgoblins need some ways to make it interesting while not to easy to just escape. as well as some interesting court intrigue for if they arrive at the Hobgoblin Khan's Court

Source: reddit.com

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