NPC: I need you guys to create a distraction, so I can go search their cart.
*Whole party thinks up an elaborate plan to distract the enemy group with Thaumaturgy and firebolts that look like dragons coming from an obscure place in the forest*
Freya, the not-so-stealthy paladin, is caught hiding in a bush by one of the enemies, and he starts to make a scene in front of the civilians about how our party is nothing but a bunch of thieves.
Desperate to not rock the boat with this rather large group of people, Verya puts on the high-ranking robes of a leader from the enemy cult (Which were acquired by killing said high ranking cult member) /disguises self and convinces the cultist to go on an indefinite journey to find the rest of the group.
Verya is almost killed by Freya in the process, (Seeing this supposedly dead character out of the blue) but they just manage to pull the whole thing off
As the party re converges, and all take a deep breath and congratulate each other on a good job, the DM pipes up.
DM: You guys could’ve just say “HEY, YOU!” and they would have all come over to see what’s going on..