Untaxing the Poor

After you have fenced at least 50 gold worth of stolen goods, you'll get a journal entry telling you to go check with Armand Christophe to see whether there are any special jobs available. As it just so happens, there are. Hieronymus Lex, being a real law-and-order type, has decided that the people of the Waterfront District haven't been paying their taxes and decided to do something about it, like actually collect the taxes. The fact that it hasn't been done because the amount of taxes collected doesn't even cover the expense of collecting them is irrelevant. "Rules is rules" in Lex's mind.

Since the people of the Waterfront District are under the protection of the Gray Fox, your job is to liberate the tax rolls and money so that it can be returned to the people. Kind of a Robin Hood situation. Your first order of business is to find out where the stuff is. If you followed up on the "Sources of information" dialog thread with Christophe when you first joined, you'll already know that "beggars are the eyes and ears" of the Gray Fox and know just about everything going on. So find the nearest beggar (Puny Ancus should be sleeping nearby), work their disposition up and ask about Hieronymus Lex. You'll find out that he has an office at the top of the South Watchtower (that's the watchtower between the Temple District and the Arboretum).

You'll need one of two things to be able to complete this quest. Either you'll need a VERY good Sneak skill or you'll need good timing and fast fingers. Since the guards are always several levels above you, they will always have an advantage in detecting you in Stealth mode. You can compensate for this with spells, potions and items, but considering that the watchtower is fairly well lit, it's going to be a tough haul to sneak completely through this. So while good Sneaking will help, good timing and fast fingers will help even more.

Mid-afteroon is a good time since the night shift will mostly be asleep and the day shift (including Hieronymus Lex) is out on their rounds. Lex actually returns to the watchtower for lunch from noon to 2, but he stays on the ground floor.

The ground floor of the watchtower is safe territory (well, "safe" as long as you don't have a high bounty on your head). Above that, though, you are tresspassing. And you have to go three levels above it. So save your game before proceeding. On the ground floor you'll see a ladder going up. Click on it to get to the second floor. Immediately turn to your left and click on the next ladder. Then do it again - turn to your left and click the ladder. You'll have to pick a lock to proceed, but game-time stops while you're doing it, so take your time and do a good job of it. Lex should be in his room from midnight to 6. At any other times, he should be out making a nuiscance of himself. So hop over to the desk, pick the lock, and help yourself to the tax records and a few golds (about 50). Now hightail it out of there. Getting out is not going to be quite as easy as getting in, but it's not difficult - just move quickly and quietly. Remember that if you're caught, you'll lose the tax records (they can be retrieved from the Evidence Chest in the Imperial Prison) unless you feel like fighting your way out of a watchtower full of guards.

You might want to take a moment to read through the tax records. Everyone in the Waterfront District either came up with the tax money or got spanked by the guards except one. For some reason, Myvrynra Arano was exempted from paying her taxes. Hmmmm. Something odd about that. But that's irrelevant (for now). Time to get those records to Armand Christophe.

Report back to Armand after midnight. He lets you keep the gold (awfully thoughty of him) and promotes you to Footpad. If you have fenced at least 100 golds worth of stuff, he'll have another mission available for you. Remember to get out of the conversation and let your journal update before proceeding to the next mission.

Gray Fox information available during this stage of your career: