The party are met at the Amran docks by a refugee from the empire and guided to meet with two invididuals: an elf named Elimelech and a gnome named Nadab. Elimelech explains that he has been in Amran as an intelligence officer for the Sunward Emperor for five years and Nadab has been working as a merchant, but also passing information to the imperial navy.
A lead takes them to a proto-industrial slum outside the city walls, near the river which, along with the sea port, is the other half Amran’s mercantile dominance. After a few days of surveillance, where they also learn that other, interested parties are also watching them, the party makes their move.
They’re a little late, though. Someone had been minting currency in the name of non-existent empire and using that currency to hide involvement in paying for the invasion of the Sunward Empire. Oh, and the ringleaders transform into humanoid snakes. So, there’s that.