I am a Warden of the Spirits
I am the Ward of the Hunter God
I am the Watcher of the Wild
I am the Hand that shelters the Wood
I am a Ranger of the Cave
I am the Ward of Brother Bear
I am the Strength of the Earth
I am the Stone that sharpens the Sword
I am a Scout of the Vale
I am the Ward of Sister Falcon
I am the Vision of the Sky
I am the Wind that guides the Arrow
I am a Stalker of the Lair
I am the Ward of Brother Serpent
I am the Cunning of the Deeps
I am the Bile that poisons the Spear
I am a Warden of the Spirits
I am the Ward of the Hunter God
I am the Watcher of the Wild
I am the Hand that shelters the Wood

Allied with the Druids and spirits of Nature, Wardens serve as peerless scouts and woodsmen. Their bow skills are unmatched and special totem magic enhance their natural affinities. Wardens are also able to temporarily share their totem gifts with others. Wardens learn their skills through special vision quests during which they build a rapport with one of the three Animal Lords; Bear, Falcon, and Serpent. A warden must choose his primary secondary and tertiary totem paths and his skills will change according to his choices. While all wardens have a basic understanding of all three totem paths, the highest powers are closed to those who do not specialize in that specific line. Thus a warden who is closely allied to the Totem of the Bear will wield quite a different set of totems than one who has forged a closer bond with the Totem of the Serpent. This diversity is one of the greatest strengths of the Wardens as a whole.

Wardens have pledged themselves to a battle that has been going on for hundreds – if not thousands – of years. Wardens continually search for signs of the dwindling lycanthropic race known as the Changers. While the mystery surrounding the origins of the Changers endures, the threat they pose to the mortal world is a well-known reality. Changers slaughter mortals (whom they call Namers) wherever they find them. Wardens believe that they were founded to be the first line of defense against this implacable foe.

The Feral World

You have come to hear my tale and under the hunter star I shall now tell it. Come – share my fire and know my words. Some will call my story false, and perhaps it is so. Yet it has guided me these many years and I have seen more truth in the heart of the Wild than in any court of kings or historian’s dusty tome.

Terrasque, the Dragon of Earth, was long ago charged by the Dragon to become the body of Aeryn. Wild and dangerous is the Earth Father, more now since the coming of the Demon Lord. But everything good and growing owes itself to him, and to Grandmother Dragon who bid him to it. Upon the back of Terrasque was born the god Ferin and the Goddess Faolan. Ferin is the Wolf-brother, the beast lord. He wandered the world for many centuries keeping balance on the Dragon’s back with his sister. Finally, he scooped up a handful of clay from between the Earth Dragon’s scales and began to shape it. When he was done, he breathed life into what he had made. Pleased with his work, Ferin began to make more creatures until there were too many to count. This is how the first animals were born, and Ferin became their Father and Protector.

But Ferin was dismayed to find that his creations perished very quickly. The sun beat too hot and the wind blew to fierce to sustain them for long. Ferin pleaded with Grandmother Dragon for aid. Eventually, she relented and tasked her son, Forge, to create a companion for Ferin. Thus was born the Goddess Aine, the Green Woman.

Aine immediately threw herself into creating something unseen in the world. Using the same clay as her brother, she created the trees, flowers, ferns and forests. Said she, “Good Ferin, My creations shall cut the wind and cool the earth. In their shade and through their sustenance your children will flourish.”

So, Ferin again set to creating the many diverse animals of the world. Sheltered by the forests and sustained by the grasses, they were successful and multiplied. The Father of all Animals was pleased.

Time passed – and it was not until several Ages later that things began to change. New races appeared on the world. Known as the Namers, these Gargoyles, Khunari, and Humans sought to create through destruction. Aine wailed as her forests were turned into timber, and Ferin seethed as his children were “domesticated” and driven to slaughter. Finally, the Beastlord could bear the assault no longer.

Throwing himself suddenly to the Sh’ddar gods, Ferin summoned several of his children to his side. Many were afraid at the rage they saw in their father’s heart and stayed away, but the curious came to hear his words. Of the four Animal Lords – Bear, Wolf, Falcon, and Serpent, only Wolf answered Ferin’s summons.

To you few who have come – a gift of my power to you and your descendants.
No longer shall you suffer the bow of the hunter or the lash of the farmer.

And Ferin touched each of those who had come and endowed them with the ability to change their shape from beast to man. Along with this wondrous gift, they were given the taint of their father’s feral madness – the instinct to survive at any cost. The Namers were a threat that all immediately recognized, and they would stop at nothing to see them wiped from the earth.

Thus were born the Changers, and they were broken into many clans. Wolf, sparrow, hare and stag. Fox, spider, horse and mouse. But all the many clans were bound to a single goal – the complete destruction of the Namer races. A dark time fell as the Changers pursued their goal. The time of the Feral Wars had come. The wilderness seethed and the bestial hoard consumed without mercy. All the Namer races were condemned to death. Every nursery tale about wolves who eat little children has an origin of truth from the time of the Feral Wars.

Kernos – God of the Hunt

But all was not lost. In the heart of the Wild, Kernos, Lord of the Hunt, awoke from a great slumber. Ever had the Hunter God slept, slow to stir until the unbalancing of Nature required his attention. Indeed, did Ferin’s actions cause a great unbalancing, for the creatures he created were forbidden by the powers of the sky lords. The balance of nature had shifted, and Kernos was pledged to set things to right. Lord Kernos went at once to the Namers and from them he selected 50 great hunters. It was at this time – in the quiet of some forgotten valley, that the first wardens came to power. Fighting fire with fire, the wardens used the unknown power of totem magic to turn the tide of the Feral Wars. Allied with the free Animal Lords – Bear, Falcon and Serpent – they hunted the Changers wherever they found them. Slowly, order returned.

But the Feral Wars never truly ended. Though much diminished in number, the Changers remain and their anger grows with every passing season. This challenge is met by the Wardens – the descendants of Kernos’ Wild Hunt. Of Kernos there can be no further telling of the tale. For it is known and passed among many fires that the Hunter God is no more. His bright flame passed from the world somewhere in the deep of the hinter lands where he went to do battle against Erebus. How it came to pass is not told, but the Lord of the Hunt does not speak to us any longer. Only through us – his wardens – does Kernos endure. We shall not forget him.

The Namers

Because they are such a private order, the organizational structure of Wardens remains mostly unknown. It seems that wardens group themselves according to the Animal Lord to whom they feel the strongest connection. Those wardens that join with the Cave of the Bear are known as Rangers. Those who foster stronger relations to the Vale of the Falcon are called Scouts. Finally, wardens who are most strongly tied to the Lair of the Serpent are referred to as Stalkers

Wardens share a kinship with druids, and the relationship between these two orders is as old as nature herself. Many wardens guard the druid Isles and it is believed that the Vale of the Falcon is located on the mysterious Isle of Apples. The Druids long ago committed themselves to aiding the Wardens in their war against the Changers and have never faltered. The only point of division between the orders is in regards to the superiority of the Dragon over the Hunter God, Kernos. The druids believe that the Dragon created Kernos, while the wardens maintain the belief that Kernos is an equal to the Dragon – a partner force that has existed since time immemorial. Both sides, however, agree that the goals of the Dragon mirror those of Kernos. Wardens have also fostered a strong relationship with the Armsmen whom they aided during their legendary Long March. Wardens are considered honorary members of many great Arenas.

The Changers

Wardens enjoy the unenviable task of being the target of a double pronged assault. While their commitment in the war against the Demon Lord is unquestioned, they are also beholden to the ancient Feral Wars. Twisted by the torment of their own creation, the Changer races seek at all times to end the dominion of mortals. There is no questioning this inherent quality of their nature, and those who believe that a peace can be forged with the Changers are considered the easiest prey. Changers are broken up into different families – each grouped according to the animal shape they are able to assume.

The Changer races are thought to be mostly extinguished and reports of lycanthropes have dropped significantly since the coming of Ixiel. The Wardens however, are slow to dismiss their age old enemy and are confident that one day soon the Changers will re-appear to continue the Feral Wars.