- For other uses, see Guardian (disambiguation).
The Guardians are sentient robotic units created by the Ancients whose purpose is to oversee the worlds and aid in colonisation projects. Heuristically capable, they are extremely notable for their influence over the course of the Might and Magic storyline, acting as a major link between the Ancients and the lost colonies showcased throughout the series. The original Guardian was the Destroyer, Escaton, who served as a commander long before the Silence.
"Guardian" is an umbrella term used to refer to several variants of the Ancients' servants. Generally, their only universally common features are their sentience and technological origin. Some are immobile Oracles - sentient computers capable of imparting great knowledge, but incapable of self-defence. Others, like Corak the Mysterious, were built to facilitate physical defence aside from other tasks - they resemble mortal races, and appear to scar and bleed when harmed.
Guardians are typically capable of tapping into the vast energies and information contained in The Wire, and are powered by crystal-like modules. Some forms of Guardian with specific directives and functions are classified into "personality modules" and duplicated, such as the CORAK and SHELTEM units. In elder days, the Guardians were also armed with immensely powerful artifacts and instruments capable of tapping into the Wire's power, such as the Staff of Blue Light.
Guardians were originally created to oversee and guide the inhabitants of colonised worlds, as the Ancients were too few in number to personally manage their distant territories. They were shipped along with mortal races to habitable planets in colonisation ships such as the Shikbath Zera and the Tomb of VARN. They also served as soldiers and Webstation defenders during The Great War - the first Guardian created, Escaton, acted as a battle commander. One Guardian is generally assigned to each planet, i.e. Melian to Enroth, Sheltem the Dark to Terra, et cetera.
When a fault in Sheltem the Dark's directives caused him to rebel against the Ancients, a CORAK was dispatched to apprehend the "traitor". The CORAK's failure to capture and subsequent pursuit of Sheltem the Dark sets the scene for the first five installments of the Might and Magic series. The Guardians are pivotal to the storylines of Might and Magic VI and VIII, in which Melian and Escaton play central roles.
Some unspecified Guardians also play a role in the backstory of The Dreamwright and The Shadowsmith - initially the caretakers of the Ancients' colonial races and overseers of the planet's Wire, they were expelled from the world following a long and brutal war against unknown combatants, leaving some Humans to obtain control over the abandoned Wire and become Wielders.
Characters similar to the Guardians
Alleron holds the title of Guardian of Ardon, though is a half-Human, half-Ancient, not an artificial construct. Carverax and Hardarken are artificial machines, but may not necessarily have served or been created by the Ancients.
It is implied that Verhoffin and his sister may also have been artificially created as Guardians for Axeoth, though this is ambiguous and left to interpretation. Likewise, it is uncertain whether Orango Seventeen and the Data Keeper are Guardians or otherwise.