After disengaging herself from a poor scholar that she tackled (upon Volz’s bad advice), Sareen decided things were dangerous enough that she should go keep an eye on the merchant’s house. Although she knew there were 2 doors, she didn’t ask for help. She camped out with a view on the back door and watched through the night but saw nothing suspicious.
In the morning, she tried the door and found it unlocked. Casually sneaking inside, she found a ransacked house and the body of the merchant hung from the rafters. She closed the door and set about doing a thorough looting. She could spend hours on this.
Valdorn hired a town crier to announce a new tax policy on library writs, and set the man to make announcements near the merchant’s house a few times during the day. Then he set about finding a tax collector who may be in for a little side shakedown, which brought him to Bernard. Bernard understood the score and rustled up a couple guards to help him. “When you go to collect the new tax, make a scene until he comes out and pays up — I know he’s in there,” were Valdorn’s instructions.
Volz and Brother Alford decided to try to find some way to get a library writ, and went back to seek the priest they spoke with the day before. They made the mistake of pretending to be interested in religion, and had a day’s worth of instruction for their trouble. In the meantime, they learned that the priest was also the Lord Steward — the very man they were seeking, and the one who could issue a library writ. He was interested in speaking with someone who actually knew Sir Guy, and as luck would have it they knew someone like that.
While they studied, Bernard and his crew interrupted Sareen as she finished pocketing some spare coinage after having thoroughly tossed the house. As they grew more insistent, she thought about trying to get away. She slipped into a corner while one guard entered through the back as the other pounded on the front. (Not on her — on the house.) Unfortunately, she was spotted and a desperate footrace ensued. She had to drop some of her cash to distract the pursuit, but she got away cleanly and raced back to the inn.
Valdorn was summoned to dinner with the Lord Steward and his companions. The evening went well, and he made sure to drop information about the merchant’s murder which set the Lord Steward’s security in motion. They went to close access to the library. Luckily, Sareen had decided to stake it out. Before long, Volz, Brother Alford and Valdorn were being escorted to the library by the Lord Steward.
Sareen couldn’t get her best viewing spot, as there was already a ruffian casually lying about there. She watched as the guards sealed the library and escorted everyone out. Unfortunately, she did not notice a parcel being dropped out the window. She did spot some of the other inn residents, in the company of the scholar she had tackled, as they met up outside and discussed something briefly. Eventually the four split into 2 pairs, with the lady and the scholar heading one way and the toughs heading another. She followed the men.
They circled back to the library and retrieved a package. She couldn’t afford to confront them, as they were well-armed and apparently skilled, but she continued to follow. Meanwhile, on the inside, Brother Alford enjoyed his unfettered library access and took the time to seek out the “Sorcerous Sites of Significance” that he wanted, rather than the tome on undeath that was crucial to the mission. Valdorn spotted a bench oddly moved under an oddly-open window. It was a puzzle, until Brother Alford realized that the one book we really needed had clearly been taken, and was missing from it’s spot on the shelf, oddly-near to the oddly-open window and oddly-moved bench.
Sareen saw as the villians met up again, and were stowing gear on a carriage, clearly preparing for a swift departure. She saw them stow the carriage, and as the thieves got underway, she stealthily hopped on the moving carriage and carefully cut away the chest that held the package retrieved from the library. She high-tailed it back to the inn.
The carriage passed out of the gates, only minutes before the Lord Steward’s orders came to lock down all egress from the city. The villains felt safely away, unaware that their prize was gone.
As she waited at the inn, palace guards came in and sought her out. Bernard managed to accidentally bribe his way into getting taken too. The party was given modest quarters at the palace as guests of the Lord Steward. Sareen filled in everyone on her exploits, and how she managed to save the day after working so hard to lose it. ;) She opened the chest and produced the book, and also found a set of lockpicks that she pocketed.
Her attempt was noted by Volz and Brother Alford, and both filed the information away for later use.