The party had retrieved the map of the palace and studied it, marking key areas. After looking at the map for some time, the group decided to head to the palace to get some reconnaissance on the number of guards in the publicly accessible areas. They wandered wherever they could without being stopped by guards, and took care to note their positions and how many there were. As they approached the throne room, they overheard a conversation going on between a distressed dragonborn woman and the Emperor. The woman was complaining about taxes being too high and after a brief pleading of her case with the Emperor, left in a hurry. On the way out of the palace, Morg and Obsidian stopped her. Obsidian, lying about being a local artisan, suggested that the woman start a protest rally with her fellow workers next to the palace. The woman was riled up by the conversation and left to arrange for the protest. The party now had a potential distraction to use for breaking in to the palace. When they left the palace, Obsidian had a confrontation with Shale. Obsidian told Shale that she had successfully killed the Emperor and was now leaving the scene of the crime. Shale remained skeptical, but took her word and left Obsidian alone. A short while later, Obsidian told the same lie to Marble.