Virtutis Umbra is the Aeternan patron of spies, watchers, and guardsmen - those who must work, perhaps without recognition or thanks, and watch to ensure that the empire remains safe.
|Region||The Empire Aeterna|
|Portfolio||Law, Darkness, Charm, Inquisition|
|Pantheon||The Aeternan Circle|
<i>"Virtutis Umbra, Shadow Amongst Shadows, Hidden One, cloak me in your shadow, so that my presence should go unnoticed, and lend me your eyes, so that I might see what must be seen; Let me be as you are, a Shadow of Virtue, to follow in Virtue's footsteps and ensure it stays strong."</i>
Virtutis Umbra is almost always shown as a human shadow, with no defining features whatsoever, except two glowing, watchful eyes. The assumed gender of the god is variable and ultimately unknown, although in most places it is assumed Virtutis is female. Her Ouroboros is black on dark grey, the features of the snake invisible - simply the shadow of the snake. Some, more detailed crests include either a single large eye, or pair of eyes, within the circle; or more simply the eye of the snake being visible and contrasting when the rest is shadow.
Virtutis Umbra, the Shadow of Virtue, teaches its adherents to always watch and be suspiscious of everything around them - to be alert is to know, to understand, to be prepared.
All guardsmen are expected to pay tribute to the Shadow Amongst Shadows, that they might keep the lands of Aeterna safe from threats within and without; but it is the darker side of the Hidden One's religion that most civilians know and fear. The secret police of Virtutis Umbra are a cause for terror in the night in many places in the empire. One is never sure where or when they may be listening, and it is suspected that they might have saved many key cities within the empire - perhaps the empire itself - on more than one occasion.
All who have reason to keep watch in the name of the Empire may say a prayer that their senses be sharp, and that they might be in the right place at the right time. Beyond that, most merely plead with Virtutis to recognise that they do no wrong, and should be protected - although whether they truly seek protection from the guards or those guarded against varies significantly.
Like much of the Aeternan Circle, Virtutis has no truck with thieves or outlaws. Amongst such groups, there are horror stories told of those foolish enough to call to hide their steps or turn the eyes of guardsmen…