The Emperor and the Assassins is a main plot quest in Chapter 3 of Jade Empire. It covers the infiltration into the Lotus Assassin Fortress within the Imperial City's Necropolis. It is coupled and linked with the main quest, Infiltrate the Lotus Assassin Fortress.
To gain access to the Imperial Palace where Sun Lian said that Master Li was taken, the Spirit Monk must complete a task for the Heavenly Lily first: find out why her father, Emperor Sun Hai, has nearly abdicated the throne to the Lotus Assassins and implicate Death's Hand to this effect.
To begin with, the Player must have at least completed one of the following two quests: The Inquisitors or The Executioners. Once the Player receives either the favors from the two recruiters, they are told to travel into the Necropolis and enter the Lotus Assassin Fortress.
If finishing The Inquisitors: Entering the party camp area (at least five steps past Bai the Outcrier) will trigger the loss of Sagacious Zu as a party member.
Regardless of which you finished first, you may either proceed onto the quest or finish the other faction's questline. After the conversation at the party camp, take the time to finish up any other business you have in the City (Black Leopard School, bounties from Captain Sen, the Imperial Arena, etc).
Don't forget to accept and finish the quest Jinlin in the Necropolis to gain some extra XP and a powerful gem.
NOTE: Entering the Lotus Assassin Fortress is equivalent to beginning the chapter's end game. You will not have the choice to explore any more.
Accepting the Dark OrderEdit
In the Necropolis, proceed to the entrance of the Fortress in the Northeast. Once you near it, a cutscene will begin in which you see Zu entering the palace. Regardless of whether you have them as your companion or not, Dawn Star and Silk Fox will then approach and have a conversation with you. Speak wisely, for not taking care can lead to a failed romance plot.
Once your choice has been made, enter the Fortress by interacting with the Blessing Board inside the pagoda. You will meet the Watcher and have a conversation that outlines your next step: To accept training from Master Gang on the other side of the Hall of Induction. Watch out for the students, though. For instance, Lotus Acolyte Du Gah will approach you as you enter the main hall.