Warden Profession in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!


Behold the grim wardens and their gruesome guests...   In order to stop the spread of the Genesis Plague and keep Afflicted from re-infecting others, King Wuelro commissioned the construction of vast sanitoriums in the caves where ancient men weathered the Dread Winter eons prior. But the Afflicted refused to come quietly, lashing out in their madness. A single scratch was all it took to spread the disease, and King Wuelro could not justify putting them all down, nor would the gods sanction it. Eyurodin, Lady of Flames, presented a solution in the form of specially-crafted full-body armor made entirely of Deres' metal. Picking many from his personal guard and enlisting volunteers, Wuelro distributed this fabulous armor to any warriors willing to brave the embrace of the Afflicted clad in the armor of a god. The first such warriors became the wardens, and their solemn duty: to keep the Afflicted restrained, no matter the cost.



The first wardens came from the House of St'lur, hence the double-crescent insignia on their chestplates. While Eyurodin could provide the armor, the wardens had to be pitiless and merciless when dealing with the crazed Afflicted. Just as the armor fortified their bodies, they had to fortify their hearts: fear could not hamper them. The gods would brook no qualms about laying hands upon a fellow Thangien, even if they had degenerated into pustule-riddled flailing madmen.   As the demand increased, former Afflicted who had shed the disease volunteered to serve, both as penance and because they had first-hand experience of what the disease had done to them. The armor could proof them from harm, but did not necessarily impose great strength, so wardens had to be at peak physical condition and capable of going long hours between shifts.
Unruly Guest by Mardrena
Rough pencil sketch

Career Progression

There were no known ranks aside from those who had skill in Rait'huon and Rait'klak-the polearms-specific disciplines of martial skill. Senior wardens would dispense commands but there were no designated leaders or commanders. Their orders came from the Watch-Rider and the gods.

Payment & Reimbursement

Wardens were provided with ample food, drink, and of course their fabulous armor, but they served at the will of the gods. Former Afflicted who joined their ranks were promised absolution of their misdeeds.

Other Benefits

No one sings of the glory of the wardens, not even Khanphe, who can usually craft a song out of anything. Because of the controversy surrounding the nature of the plague and the House of St'lur's role in its creation, the activities of the wardens were kept under strictest secrecy for many centuries. Once the last plague victims were cured, the wardens were allowed to return home to their families after their long vigil and put the nightmare behind them. They were entitled to keep their armor, but most relinquished it to Eyurodin or buried it away in their estates never to see the light of day.



Simply keeping Afflicted incarcerated did not suffice. They had to be cleaned of their pustules, fed, and transported from cell block to cell block using the extensive hanging rail network throughout the sanitoriums on a daily basis.   Wardens neither fraternized with nor tormented the inmates. When an Afflicted regenerated and the caps fell off their joints, the wardens unbuckled their harness and escorted them to the entrance, allowing them to stagger out of the sanitorium, free at last.
Abandoned Halls by Mardrena
Made in Blender
Wardens at Work by Mardrena
Made with Inkscape and Paint.net
"Can you imagine thirty years in the Northern Ring? Beasts can't stand being that far up north!"
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian

Social Status

No heroes' welcome await them in Bainshaebo after the plague had been stamped out, and even though former Afflicted were granted pardon for their service, virtually none married because of the stigma associated with having had the illness. Retired wardens either whiled away their days or buried themselves in other vocations in the four corners, serving as clerks in Raaezen, orderlies at the Traedeskaton, stablehands at Mazzan, or plying their craft at Peirolyth. Roth established a monastery on the grounds of Thananagreia where wardens could continue their service without the burden of their armor.


The exact number of wardens at service during the height of the plague remains unknown. Theories suggest anywhere from several hundred to over a thousand kept vigil in the sanitoriums.


The Genesis Plague

Moving a Patient by Mardrena
Rough pencil sketch
Once the Traedeskaton unraveled the workings of the plague, shelter-in-place orders went out through the banner system, but this would prove insufficient to stop Afflicted from breaking down doors and attacking cowering families. King Wuelro could not abide this, but he knew the Afflicted no longer had control of their minds or bodies. Upon recieving Eyurodin's gifts, ranks of wardens moved through Bainshaebo, block by block, using packs of fyrhundi to search homes. Wardens went door-to-door subduing and restraining Afflicted, mercilessly beating them if they had to. Despite being nontransmissible to animals, pegacorns refused to carry them on their backs or in drawn carriage, so kirya teams had to be conscripted to haul great caged wagons to the Northern Ring.   Their job seemed simple at first: keep Afflcited incarcerated until the plague expired and they regenerated. They learned early on that no matter how isolated, Afflicted seemed to sense when one of their number regenerated and broke out of their cells, clawing and screaming trying to re-infect the newly-regenerated individual. Journal entries record dozens of incidents where a freed patient had nearly reached the exit of the sanitorium only for Afflicted to slip their bonds and pelt down the halls, flailing madly until they came close and lashed out with a single scratch. Dismayed, the wardens had to drag the poor victim back to their cell. After much deliberation and consultation with Wuelro and the Queens, the wardens decided on amputation.
  Blood splattered their visors as they chopped off arms and legs, which were later incinerated in the Basek de Rhakka as a precaution. Dererium caps were applied over the stumps and inmates hung from harnesses. And so the routine began of pulling Afflicted along the rails to be cared for until they regenerated. Due to the erratic nature of the plague, months became years, and years became decades, but the wardens refused to abandon their watch until the last inmate regenerated. When the last disheveled patient finally exited the sanitorium, the wardens pronounced their duty complete. Some relinquished their armor while others kept their suits as heirlooms, but no drinks were swapped of their exploits. Everyone wanted to forget the nightmare.  

Call of the Sky King

When Eyurodin's attempt to reconnect with the Oldworld alerted her to the dread Enemy, Watch-Protector Memner set out a call to form a great war host to defend their ancestral world. Families descended from wardens pulled their ancestors' prize suits out of storage and offered to join the host. Eyurodin would repurpose her original design to create additional suits to protect from the cold of space. Even divine armor could not protect them from suffering horrendous losses-Memner included. Surviors fled through the Gate and Eyurodin detonated the orbital ring. The amount of remaining original suits only dwindled further.
Events of Neo Ronin
  With Mal Daggur's fleet in full retreat, King Torke dispatches riders to harry them, but lose sight of the ships near Jupiter's orbit. Azuro delivers the news to Ryo while wearing a more advanced version of warden armor. It is unknown whethere there is an intact original suit in the House of St'lur that belonged to one of Wuelro's relatives.
"It's unknown exactly how many 'original' suits remain intact after so long. It's rather ironic after so many centuries of being relegated to obscurity, wardens have seen something of a resurgance as sort of 'pop-culture heroes' among younger generations. Some have taken to spreading all sorts of fanciful tales of 'secret orders' that hunt the streets at night for any corrupt physicians, dragging them to the Northern Ring never to be seen again. Khanphe scoffs at these notions, these tales too fanciful even for him..."
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian
Events of Spacequake
  When the Four Queens make their grand debut to the Ronin, Eyurodin reveals that she created the Neo Armors personally. Their base structure is a pared-down version of a warden suit's sub-structure.



Solemn Sentry by Mardrena
Made with Inkscape
Eyurodin provided them with their armor, but Witheren, Maiden of Blood, insisted on additional armaments and suggested they be issued swords and polearms. Eyurodin found spears ill-fitting but compromised and developed a double-crescent head that both paid homage to the House of St'lur and could be used to hook into the restraining harness of an inmate. The swords were used only to amputate limbs, then once no more Afflicted could be found, saw no further use.   Their armor could be worn virtually around the clock thanks to its sleek design and interior padding. The face mask and codpiece could be removed for eating or relief, but only ever briefly since the wardens could not risk infection. If a warden needed to take a quick nap, they had to either sleep sitting upright or lie on their backs in full armor. Because the disease was not airborne, layered filters built into the collar allowed for circulation of air to keep wardens cool, dry, and comfortable during shifts.
"Coval keeps an heirloom urn in his office depicting wardens. He never speaks about it, and no one thinks to ask about it's meaning."
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian


Restraining harnesses had to be crafted on site from delivered materials and each had to be hand-crafted as needed. Farmers from the Lonesteads donated kirya hide at the request of the Watch-Rider. Eyurodin provided dererium clasps and trackwheels from Peirolyth.


Cold Corridors by Mardrena
Made in Blender
Geothermal activity from the Basek de Rhakka kept the deeper recesses of the sanitoriums fairly mild, but the outer tunnels proved dry and frigid. The armor protected the wardens from the worst of discomfort from the elements. Pegacorns refused to go inside, so all traffic had to be on foot. The sanitoriums were divided into many cell blocks as well as barracks, mess halls, infirmaries, and storerooms.   Each cell block had guards posted and heavy gates that could be shut at a moment's notice. The barracks were kept far removed, resulting in longer walks for shifts, but reducing the risk of a breach. Sound still travelled throughout the caverns, and wardens who removed their armor to sleep in bed had to wear earplugs to drown out the wails of the inmates. The atmosphere remained dour around the clock. Some tried to sing songs to drown out the inmates, but no cheer could be found.
Feeding the Patient by Mardrena
Made with Inkscape

Provided Services

Despite being in the peak of physical health and heavily skilled in arms, there was no demand in Bainshaebo for their services once their long vigil ended. Wuelro welcomed back his guard and kin, but former Afflicted remained shunned by all but the Queens.

Dangers & Hazards

Eyurodin's armor proved mighty indeed, but the worst dangers came from within. In the early days some wardens experienced fits of anxiety and would sometimes try to remove their armor, having to be calmed by senior wardens and escorted out of the cell blocks. Those who served the longest found it hardest to re-integrate to civilian life since they had shut out nearly all emotion. Ritho did what she could to soothe their pain, but for some the scars could not be healed.  

Spoiler Warning: Upcoming Content!

  Spacequake Ch. 10
Trakar kept one fingertip pressed against a button on his headpiece as he tilted his head from side to side, light shimmering from his eyes. He removed his hand and looked to Tar, shaking his head solemnly. "Well if the Reptilloid is stumped, then we're equally screwed..." Tar grumbled and rolled his eyes. Trakar said nothing but turned to exit the infirmary, walking past Ryo as he entered.   "You said you wanted to see me?" he asked and walked over to the bedside where Cye lay with his upper body completely bare and only a thin sheet covering him from the waist down. He sweated profusely but didn't react to either of their presence. His eyes remained closed. "How's he doing?" Ryo asked anxiously.   "The good news is, his condition hasn't deteriorated. The bad news is, it hasn't improved either. His internal temperature remains at one-hundred degrees. Come over to this side, there's something you need to see..." Tar scooted over for Ryo to move close and reached out with his claws, gently catching the tips on the sideburns on the left side of Cye's head. Tar moved his claws up, lifting the hair, and Ryo could see something seemingly stuck to the skin between his ear and jaw.   "What...what the hell is that?" Ryo muttered and squinted to get a better look. Tar withdrew his hand.   "Near as we can tell, it seems to be some sort of chitinous growth." Ryo looked at Tar sharply, horrified. Tar fidgeted in place and moved his hands behind his shell, apparently struggling with words. He turned back towards Ryo and leaned down, looking distraught. "We can't stop the mutation!" he whispered hoarsely. "Whatever's affecting him is rampaging through his system at an alarming pace! We've tried everything: viral inhibitors, Richtho tea, chorinae cocktails, even mineral water. Nothing has had any noticeable effect! It's not rewriting so much as it seems to be redecorating. I've never seen anything like this before in all my years..." Ryo listened to Tar and stared down at Cye bleakly.   "Okay...we take him to the Traedeskaton on Thanged. Maybe they can-"   "The Tradeskaton would be of no help in this situation. They lack the expertise." Tar interjected.   "What? Why the hell not?!" Ryo demanded. Tar pursed his lips and averted his gaze, looking awkward.   "That is a sordid story best left for another day. Suffice to say they could have cured the pegacorn contagion by now if but for their deep-seated loathing of the field." Ryo clenched his jaw and braced his palms against the edge of the bed. "The Redali might know of a way to treat him, but by the time we arrange for transport, it would be too late."   "So you're saying there's nothing we can do...again?"   "All we can do is let it run its course and determine a method of treatment from there. Kayura and Shannon have already tried and fared no better," Tar lamented softly. Ryo said nothing for a few moments, only the beeping of the monitor breaking the silence. The lines appeared steady, but Cye hadn't moved position nor opened his eyes but his breathing remained steady.   "Can he hear us?" Ryo asked cautiously.   "We're not entirely sure...Michelle couldn't elicit a reaction with her arts either. I'm sorry Ryo...I truly am..." Ryo clenched his fists and squeezed his eyes shut, gritting his teeth in frustration.
A fully-armored warden standing watch
Solemn Sentry by Mardrena
“Hey Azuro…what’s with the getup?” Ryo asked, cocking his head to one side. Instead of his traditional combat uniform, or even a variant of it, Azuro wore armor that vaguely resembled the sort worn by llaudaun performers, except with metal instead of wood and thicker fabric. Azuro cradled a helmet with a transparent visor and an arching crest like that of a Roman centurion. A thick cavity apparently designed to lock with the lower rim of the helmet sloped down the back past the shoulders. Azuro’s long blue hair hung within the cavity. The chest armor looked bulkier, and a thick belt adorned with flickering lights circled the waist.   “Ah, this is armor fashioned by the High Forge. It is designed for deep-space combat. Maintaining an air shield for long periods of time quickly fatigues Pegasi, so riders wear this to conserve the strength of their steeds as well as proof against the cold of space.”   While Azuro explained, Cye kept glancing from him to the girl Ryo had brought back to the Roost with him. The back of his mind nagged about similarities between the two types, but so much cloth covered the joints and shoulders, Cye couldn’t tell for certain.
— Neo Ronin Ch. 2
Alternative Names
The Solemn Legion, Crescent Corps, Moon Soldiers
King Wuelro had seen for himself how strong Afflicted were and authorized the wardens to act with impunity, provided they did not slay the plague victims. The Four Queens themselves sanctioned their might, and any Afflicted who tried to protest or elicit sympathy recieved only the pitiless fist of a warden across their face.
Other Associated professions
Related Locations
Used By
Warden attempting to feed an inmate...and failing....
Feeding the Patient by Mardrena
“Um, Ryo? Azurotago is here. He says he needs to speak with you,” Miz Paufan said, poking his head out of the comm. room briefly. Ryo glanced at Kayura and waved, indicating he’d return shortly. Kayura nodded understandingly and proceeded into the comm. room while Ryo walked over to the exit tunnel mouth where Chi Chi Lina, Azuro leaned against the wall, clad in spaceproof armor used for deep-space combat. Azuro looked up when he saw Ryo approach and stepped away from the wall.
— Spacequake Ch. 3

Cover image: Warden Header by Mardrena


Author's Notes

Planned Content

The Genesis Plague has not been explicitly mentioned or encountered so far in Age of Defiance, but it will come into play in the future at some point.

Please Login in order to comment!