So instead, there were ogres.
The greenhouse meeting was not exactly a trap. The party was told to subdue the ape in the room without killing it, as an 'audition'.
"So, the ape's somewhere in that garden over there?"
That drew it out of hiding, and the party was able to beat it down in short order.
The job, from what amounted to Sharn Special Forces, was to track down a rogue agent who'd broken into their vault and stolen a powerful evil artifact, and bring him back alive.
John: "Here's a picture we have of the culprit."
Zeffy: "Oh, so he's a vampire?"
Zeffy: "Well, he *looks* like a vampire."
John: "We don't have any reason to think he's undead. Here's a picture of the cart he's travelling in."
Heyyou: "That appears to be a vampire's conveyance. Notice the sinister black spikes and horns."
John: "He did show signs of unusual powers during the attack on the vault... mind controlling the guards, shrugging off fatal wounds, climbing up walls."
Silas: "Those are vampire powers, all right."
Zeffy: "Geez, and I thought I was joking."
Efnysien: "I don't think we're going to be able to bring him back alive. Is 'undead' okay?"
After verifying that, yes, undead would do -- as long as it wasn't a mindless undead like a zombie or something, since the key point was being able to interrogate him at length -- the party set out on magebred horses after the cart. "He's in a stupid cart, so if we push our horses we should be able to catch up to him around midnight."
Three days later, they were pretty sure that they'd never had the misfortune to chase after such a fast carriage. Pushing the horses was taking many charges from wands and all the party's healing to keep from killing them, too, so it wasn't an acceptable long-range plan.
It came to a head on day 7 (they hadn't been pushing for most of that time, but decided to push on day 7 just in case *this* time they'd catch him) when after draining all their spells healing the horses and fighting off centaurs during the day, they were ambushed by ogres at night -- they won, but most of the party was grievously wounded, and they had no healing until morning, which would mean no healing for the horses if they tried to push again... so frustrating.
"Plus it's not like we really *want* to catch him. I mean, he's a vampire, so he touches us twice and we fall over dead."
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