So, my last session ended with every player unconscious (but stable) in Altaerein's Vaults (Chapter 3 of Hellknight Hill... they aggroed more than intended and were ultimately defeated by the boggards and charau-kas from areas B6 and B7).
The decision was made to roll an all-new team that would be contacted by Helba, Warbal and Greta to go investigate the missing first party. The idea was that eventually the second party would rescue the first and then each player would pick between the surviving pool of PCs to make a new party.
But the question is... what happened to the first party after they were defeated? I don't want them just killed off, nor do I want them to be found bound and gagged right where they were defeated. That's too easy.
Where would you all recommend the second party find the first?
My recommendation is that they find them
Book 1 Spoilers Below:
If you reason that the cultists now know of an exit, then the cultists could escape as previously suggested and party 1 ends up with Voz. But I would think the Bloody Blades would kill the cultists on sight. The Cinderclaws and Voz are linked by an intermediary, the Scarlet Triad, but I don't see any direct connection or knowledge that the two would have of each other, your mileage may vary. I think that if Party 1 is moved out, then they would be entered in the nearby forest, but I wouldn't place them with Voz. Might call for a little homebrew or the use of a flipmap.
I think then you have an opportunity to examine what these cultists would attempt to do when they have freedom but cannot reunite with allies or return to their homes. Do they attempt to form a community or do they become raiders and try to sack Breachill?
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Helba would of course immediately report this news to Warbal, who would let Breachill council know immediately. I imagine they would convene an emergency Call to Heroes for your Party 2. This could also be a fun opportunity for Pibb & Zarf to also escape and respond to the Call, whether as Alak-style escort NPCs or handed over to the PCs for control.