Even as I assumed key figures in the capital were likely to be possessed by the entities we now call Aetherials, I reasoned that it was only with support from within capital that we could hope to thwart them. Any action that began outside the capital could be spun as a political rebellion and crushed with the empire's own forces before the truth could be exposed. Thus, I cast the dice and raced toward the heart of Erulan, trying to conceal myself as best I could.
Upon my arrival, I proceeded cautiously, booking a room at a squalid inn near the west gates in an effort to keep my arrival secret. Initially I sought out old acquaintances, assuming if I could detect some change in personality or behavior, it might reveal possession. A few awkward reunions made it painfully obvious that years on the road carrying out my duties as an inquisitor had left me out of touch and unable to discern whether any changes were the result of possession, or just the passage of time and faded memories. The only gamble left then was to report back to the citadel of the Luminari and see what came of it. I never made it there.
Waiting until the sunlight dwindled and crowds thinned in the streets below, I rose to leave but was quite startled to see that a shadowy figure had somehow silently breached my room, evading all of the wards set against intruders. This is how I came into cooperation with the First Blade.