The purpose of this is 1) to give Arabus some play time, 2) to remove him from having to save the party from bad decisions (he’s done it a couple times), and 3) prove the group can match and better their opponents if they are an equal match (if they cant, future encounters may need adjustment), on their own (without the GM saving them) and in a timely manner that won’t skew the campaign time table from too many long rests.
Assuming the party uses blunt force again, a formula of rinse and repeat – predictable behavior, they will likely end up dead – at least some of them. The entire idea of violence of action, surprise, and loud, unforgiving, fast tactics as put down by Icrane has been used up – the lords of the city have suffered through it and those remaining have reports on it all and wont make the same mistakes or underestimate the party.
Predictable tactics and character tropes; these can be used to lure the party away from the main goal, or even into continuing past the point where maybe they should break it off.
Chivalry ideal to distract – Corey’s character is a believer in absolute good, at the point of a sword
Expensive drinks he has never tried, alien stone work for Crad (difficult)
Scrolls/spellbook/magic items for pryk – he said to kill any wizard, bad or good
Shinnies/she deserves a better life (fine clothes, stuff) for Esni
Orderlessness/sacrificing common folk for Ferghus; Bragget has him on a short leash and gets some information from him, feeding it to the Shadow Magus.
Despoiling of nature/corruption/caged or hurt animals for yew-deep
Chance to hurt Medja = Silvas
Designed end of the enemy = They are relying on the party walk right into it (‘kill pocket’ w/fake runic altar) and try and overpower their way through it. The use of scouting, stealth and positioning is minimal and they are relying on that. Even if it is used, the guardians are relying on the party’s greed and dogged room-2-room destruction technique to whittle them down into a vulnerable state.
Is there a way to avoid the designed end?
Dont walk into it! Dont trust anyone! Leave, or, fight your way back out. Ultimately, the enemies of the party will be prepared in every way for them and trap them.