With luck it won't move crazyfar! The next few days ought to be a renewed search and the characters generally getting to know one another better.
And whilst I'm here, I may as well give you some details for those of you who WILL be on the hunt.
The Empress and her contingent are presently sat, coach, horses et al, at the bottom of a lake about four miles north of the mainland bridges. If they go to the inn for details (the furthest southern inn on the highway), all the innkeeper would be able to tell them was that six men died in their sleep the night before the Empress was known to be missing. He'd know a robed woman was with them, so it may be easy to assume said woman was the Empress herself. Feel free to NPC the innkeeper, but limit his knowledge to that alone.
The bodies of the six dead men would likely have been buried, but can be exhumed. They were dressed in black and light armour and their possessions consist of bows, arrows and an array of small, close combat weapons. They'd be identifiable as Tanperian citizens, but have no identification on their persons. They have no wounds and any apothecary or doctor questioned would probably assume they'd been poisoned.
That ought to leave you plenty to be doing once the search begins in earnest. Since Mereavus won't be joining you in looking, how you use the information you find ICly is up to you. Go with the logic of your characters. Findings would be expected to be reported to the Emperor, though if Vos isn't available to post, you can bring it to either the Crown Prince or Mer.
As far as interior castle politics go, I'll be throwing up a little drama in the upcoming days, once I feel we're settled enough with one another's characters to withstand it. We seem to have plenty of it with the arrival of the Diplomat and general unease anyway.
Prepare thyselves, ladels and gentlespoons, the drama will begin shortly. :3