The notes the party have recovered from Rebecca’s desk indicate that the crown went missing at the university, where it was sent for verification; they are exhorting Anna Ferny on Zaszperezal’s behalf to recover it with all due haste.
Deciding to recover the crown themselves, the party find that the university has been sealed up, the front gate barred with vast, magical burning chains of iron. They fast-talk and intimidate their way into persuading the mage maintaining the wards to let them in, and find that the place has become a battleground between the three Orders of magic: the arrival of the crown, and the circle of accusations following its disappearance, has lit the touch-paper on several decades of bitter academic rivalry. Each of the three is convinced that another stole the crown for their own purposes; after investigative work, they are convinced that Simon Estarr was responsible and bring Anna Ferny to the office of Hermann Thay. Once they suggest handling the alliance between the two in Thay’s chambers, however, Thay becomes noticably nervous; they barge in with Ferny to they find the crown left openly lying around on a sofa.
At that point, a lot of things happen at once:
1. Thay hurls a volley of spells at Ferny.
2. Ferny responds in kind.
3. The undead revenant of Emperor Leder bursts through the window, being ridden by the ressurected form of Papan Tippani, and flanked by a squad of phantom bodyguards.