The Emperor's Shadow Organization in Orlos | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

The Emperor's Shadow

The man of many faces and names bound Aust in cables so tight that even his nimbleness could not escape them. He took Aust back to the secret halls of the guild and, in the dark room in the center of the vast spider’s web he gave sentence: Aust was to die for his betrayal to the guild and emperor.
Aust Two-stabbed,
part of Earnest’s 12 Bedtime Stories,
forbidden literature in the Amiro Empire

The Emperor's Shadow is a spy network spanning the continent of Tangearin that works to protect and serve the Amiro Empire.


When your quarry twitches at every shadow he won't know which one you are in.

Teachings of the Masked One

The Emperor's Shadow works directly for the emperor of the Amiro Empire. They exist to ensure that his commands are carried out to their fullest extent and that order is maintained within (and outside of) the empire. This could include 'removing' particular trouble makers, neutralizing political opponents or extremes, planting evidence, or financially crippling merchants. It is the ends, not the means, that matters. The empire must be united.

Many of the Emperor's Shadow more elite members are tasked with the defense of the emperor himself, his inner family, and the central palace. In these rooms only members of the hand picked guards and members
by Ioana Cristiana
of the shadows can be found. This privilege has been bought on numerous occasions with the blood of the order in defeating rivaling assassins and monsters released in the palace's boundaries. Few know the extent to which the shadow serve in this facility.

Finally, many of the order can be found among the courts of the warlords of the empire. They keep close tabs on the internal politics and ensure that the warlords never know exactly who to trust in their more shady dealings.


To know many is to threaten many.

Teachings of the Emperor's Shadow

Most members of the Emperor's Shadow only know a handful of other members. They primarily work in teams of two to five, possessing a variety of skills to allow them to accomplish their missions. This both protects the Shadows from external spies but also trains them to rely on and get to know their team even better to more fully understand their intentions. This can sometimes backfire though when teams are composed of incompatible personalities.

The leaders of the Shadows tend to possess more 'people skills', navigating the higher waters of society. They keep their interactions with the lesser Shadows to a minimum, to the extent that many have never met the teams they are commanding. The leaders are trained to maintain the secrecy of the spies under their jurisdiction and often have multiple identities to navigate between their different groups.

At the top of the hierarchy is the Man of Many Faces. Few can claim to have certainly met this person but, as his title suggests, if you do not know his face how would you recognize him?


Weakness is a sign of prey.

Teachings of the Emperor's Shadow

The ends justify the means. To achieve their ends, the Shadows employ every type of mean. This include blackmail, bullying, assassinations, forgery, and other types of intimidation. More then one person, previously a high standing member of society, has, overnight, been completely undone by unknown persons. Everyone knows the cause though. To stand against the emperor is a foolhardy decision and quick road to the grave.

The most extreme method used by the Shadows though are the drones. Occasionally, people who have vanished have reappeared. They are found in mines and quarries, areas outside of the normal realm of activity. They have no memory of their previous life. In fact, they have no memory at all. They are often used for tasks that need little attention or have high levels of danger. The casualty rate is high. Although this has yet to be 100% linked to the Shadows it is common (if unspoken) knowledge that they are the cause.
by Ananya Mittal


Counter Organizations

A shadow exists only in the absense of light.

Saying of the Knives of the Dawn

There are several groups that actively try to oppose the Emperor's Shadow to varying degrees of success. There are many spy networks in the countries adjacent to the Amiro Empire but most are underfunded and skilled. They nearly all disintegrate or are infiltrated by the Shadows prior to an invasion. Only the Knives of the Dawn have withstood the test of time - so far. Although composed of only a small number of members, they hold large amounts of influence within the northern half of Tangearin and claim to have actively stopped numerous attempts by the Amiro Empire to annex the Second Stonebrook Dynasty and City of Spores. The truth of these claims is debated but the fact they have not yet been shut down by the empire proves they have skills to be wary of.
by Arimel using Midjourney

Finally, there are a couple of religious groups within the empire that have had some success in withstanding the influence of the Shadows. All of these are on the fringes of the empire though and have temples of defenses of their own that they have fallen back on when they were challenged. Outside the walls they could not maintain their hold.



Does the shadow follow the person or the person follow the shadow?

Ramblings of the Mad

  1. The emperor does not really control the empire. He is just a figurehead maintained by the Shadows. The Shadows are then lead by a group of deformed brain eaters intent on devouring the world.
  2. The Emperor's Shadow does not really exist. A few people are merely using the title to cause mischief and spread fear. The peace of the empire is upset too often for them to be real.
  3. The emperor is the head of the Emperor's Shadows. It is how he escapes from the palace to spy on his people. It is also why the Man of Many Faces never shows his real face.
  4. The people who work for the Emperor's Shadows sign demonic contracts to gain entrance. Over time, they slowly loose their physical body and become like shadows themselves.

Eyes in the shadows

Founding Date
Government, Secret Service
Alternative Names
Shadow Guild, The Emperor's tools
Training Level
Parent Organization

The Masked One

by Ilya Plakhuta

Who is the Man of Many Faces? This is one of the most asked questions among his opponents. An answer would allow a target but the person remains a complete mystery. Is he a person, male, female, humanoid, or beast? Should one remove his silver mask would it even be him behind it or someone merely masquerading. What would prevent his next in line from picking up the title? How does one become the Man of Many faces? Is there just one or, with an empire the size of the Amiro Empire, are there many?

The questions go on...

This article has no secrets.


Please Login in order to comment!