“To what extent in war when killing the enemy is not enough? When the way you kill is considered for the better, yet seems wrong and bound to threaten the souls of those responsible with damnation? When you kill your enemy but use their spirits to infiltrate their old homes only to kill more of their kin. There is a saying, treat your friends and family with love, but treat your enemy with compassion.
What is left sacred, when humans can murder our kin and parade around in our homes looking like us? For that, let the mountains fall on their spirits and deny them passage to the Hidden Valley I tell you, there is no compassion in what they do. This is not war, it is mass murder. The Gods will cry before this is finished.”
Maugmura - General Elite of the Fifth Column of Stone
Have you or anyone you know ever been accused of a crime you didn’t commit? Been sent to the Hangman knowing you were innocent? Have you ever welcomed the noose to prove it?
When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.
To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.
It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.
The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.
It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.
GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).