Journal of Inquisitor Creed - 8th Entry
It was known that anyone of significance who fomented discontent or posed a real threat to the rule of the emperor might be visited by the First Blade. I had never stirred such controversy but I always imagined, if such an encounter took place, I could put up a respectable fight. I never got the chance. Taken unawares, I was disarmed before I even knew what was happening. Had he sought my death, I would not have even witnessed the killing stroke fall. However, he seemed more interested in answers instead and, in turn, provided me with an account of his own events that confirmed my worst fears.
The First Blade revealed that, only days prior, he had been forced to turn his knives on the Emperor himself, by his own command. Despite the myriad safeguards protecting the Emperor, both mundane and arcane, he had become host to an Aetherial. Through strength of mind, he had usurped his possessor long enough to summon the First Blade, command his own execution and charge the assassin with ensuring that his son, the young prince, survive to reclaim the throne.
His last commands issued, the Emperor's consciousness slipped once again under the control of the Aetherial and a desperate battle ensued. The First Blade reported that he believed the Emperor and the Aetherial within him slain but, given his inexperience with the entities, could not say anything for certain. He relayed that he had secretly taken the prince and put him into hiding but declined to elaborate. The First Blade said he intended to retire his imperial title and had chosen the name Ulgrim, which made me curious as to whether it was an intentional reference to the mythic character.
A final troubling detail was that no proclamation of the Emperor's passing had been issued. Not only did this demonstrate the Aetherials had sufficient control of the palace to conceal the death but, given that they couldn't hope to hide the Emperor's absence for long, it suggested the next phase of their operation was imminent.
I strategized with Ulgrim long into the night, formulating a plan to counter the Aetherials, but ultimately we agreed that we could not defeat their conspiracy in time. The only course left was gather whatever people and resources we could, go to ground and weather the coming storm; then find a way to counter the invaders.
We agreed that the Black Legion would be our best hope in securing allies. As a conscripted army of criminals, debtors and political dissidents bound to service, it seemed unlikely that the Aetherials would have any reason to infiltrate them when they could control them indirectly through the military high command. The next step was to discretely make contact.