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Servants of the Shadow Lord

"Grey Guards, slavish servants of the Shadow Lord, appear human, but are monsters in the truest sense."
The Deltora Book of Monsters

Grey Guard
General information



Unknown, meat (possibly cooked), water, ale






Brutal, sturdy

Chronological information
First appearance

The Forests of Silence

Last appearance

The Silver Door

Grey Guards are the main foot soldiers of the Shadow Lord's army. They were initially created to replace the Greers.[1]


After the Battle for Deltora, the Shadow Lord spent its time improving on its Greers. It improved their intelligence, strength, and stamina, until they eventually became what the people of Deltora referred to as Grey Guards.

Grey Guards were once thought to be immortal, until it was discovered that, though Grey Guards never seem to age, they eventually expire and are called back to the Shadowlands to be replaced by an identical set of guards. The Guards that pass their expiration date will start to become defective and are thrown into the garbage mounds with what remains of their former comrades. Some of them start to decompose and may even be missing bodies, heads, or other limbs.

The Deltora Book of Monsters[]

Palace librarian Josef recorded Grey Guards in his book The Deltora Book of Monsters.

Under the Shadow Lord's rule[]

After the Shadow Lord's takeover of Deltora and the scattering of the gems, the Grey Guards became the Shadow Lord's enforcers. They roamed the countryside and made sure that all residents of Deltora obeyed the Shadow Lord's rules. Many smaller settlements were razed and their people either killed or taken back to the Shadowlands. The Grey Guards also sacked the city of Raladin, but were unable to capture any Ralads for the Shadow Lord due to their hidden underground city.

When the Jalis tribe refused to submit to the Shadow Lord's rule, it sent a large force of Grey Guards and other servants to invade their lands. Though the Jalis fought valiantly, they were eventually overwhelmed and either killed or brought to the Shadowlands.

Eight years after the Shadow Lord's conquest, a pod of Grey Guards found Jarred, Anna, and Jasmine's home in the Forests of Silence. They destroyed the house and took Jarred and Anna to the Shadowlands. Over the years, Jasmine would rob the bodies of Grey Guards who were offered by the Wenn as tribute to the Wennbar, and use their clothes to make some for herself.

Jarred was later chased by Grey Guards after he managed to escape from the Shadowlands. They tracked him down to Kinrest, where the Guards killed Doom of the hills, who had taken an injured Jarred in. Jarred killed the Guards in vengeance and took Doom's name as his own.[2]

The Forests of Silence[]

On Lief's sixteenth birthday he wandered through the city until after sunset, which put him at risk of being killed due to the Shadow Lord's curfew. Lief started to make his way home, but two Grey Guards came around the corner that he was heading to. With little hope to escape, Lief flattened himself to the wall, hoping for a miracle. At that moment Barda distracted the Guards and helped Lief escape.

Later, when Lief and Barda were paralysed by the Wenn in the Forests of Silence, Jasmine mistook Lief and Barda for Grey Guards because she thought only Grey Guards took the Wenn Del path.[3]

The Lake of Tears[]

A troop of Grey Guards captured a Ralad man named Manus, who had just escaped from the monsters Jin and Jod. They decided to escort him back to his captors. As they neared their destination, they decided to rest underneath a tree to eat and torment their captive before sleeping. Unbeknownst to the Guards, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine were hiding in the tree and decided to rescue the Ralad.

One of the Guards woke up and saw Lief and Barda escaping with their prisoner. The rest woke up soon afterwards and pursued the companions. Despite Jasmine's attempts to block their way with debris from the trees, they pursued the companions until they hid among patches of sweetplums. Though the guards could have easily caught them, they left when they realised the companions had run towards Jin and Jod's cottage.[4]

City of the Rats[]

A troop of Grey Guards arrived at Tom's shop to escort food from Noradz to the Palace of Del. Tom brought the Grey Guards into his shop for a drink so that Lief, Barda, and Jasmine, who were hiding in the carts of the Ra-Kacharz, could move to a better spot and escape.[5]

The Shifting Sands[]

While trying to sneak out of the Champion Inn after the 11th Rithmere Games, Lief, Barda and Jasmine were captured by two Grey Guards and loaded into a cart to be taken to the Shadowlands and fight in the Shadow Arena.

The two Grey Guards - Carn 2 and Carn 8 - were forced to shelter the companions when it started raining and soon fell asleep. Some time later, Doom helped the companions escape. The Guards were able to pick up their scent and followed them into the Shifting Sands, but the companions avoided them by hidding under Lief's cloak. As the Guards dug into the Sands in search of them, a terreocti appeared and devoured both Carn 2 and Carn 8 in front of the companions' eyes.

Later, after Lief had been separated from Barda and Jasmine, he saw Grey Guards in his dreams. He also saw the skeletons of Carn 2 and Carn 8 when descending into the Hive.[6]

Dread Mountain[]

Two other members of the Carn Pod - Carn 4 and Carn 5 - appeared at the Dreaming Spring and captured Prin while she was playing hide-and-find with Lief. The Guards were searching for Glock, Neridah, and Doom, who had saved them from their captors. As they drank water from the spring, Lief made an attempt to rescue Prin, but she was startled and made noise that attracted the Guards. However, the Dreaming Water took effect and they transformed into trees.

Later, Crenn explained that, many years ago, Grey Guards used to be one of the dangers the Kin faced on Dread Mountain. While sleeping at the Dreaming Spring, Lief also saw two Grey Guards in his dream about his father.

While fighting Gellick, the companions learned that Gellick's venom was used in the blisters of Grey Guards.[7]

The Maze of the Beast[]

The pirates that attacked Lief, Barda, Jasmine and Dain on the River Queen recognised Dain as a member of the Resistance and captured him alive because Grey Guards would pay a large ransom for him.[8]

The Valley of the Lost[]

The pirates who kidnapped Dain docked at the rendezvous spot where they would hand Dain over to Grey Guards. However, a thunderstorm hindered them, and Lief, Barda, and Jasmine were able to rescue Dain before the trade could be made.

Return to Del[]

Tom served the Teep pod at his shop when members of the Resistance arrived to spread the word about the meeting at Withick Mire. One of the Guards - Teep 4 - told Tom that they had been ordered to go the west, where they were expecting battle.

On their way to Withick Mire, Lief, Barda, Jasmine, and Steven were detained by a pod of Grey Guards. Steven tried to distract the Guards so that the companions could escape across a field of grippers, but they antagonised him and tried to feed his horse Mellow to the carnivorous plants. This caused Nevets to materialise, slaughter the Guards, and feed their remains to the grippers.

After Dain had Ichabod disrupt the ceremony and fake his capture, the companions, along with Resistances members went to Del to save him. When they arrived, they quickly spotted the Bak pod tying Dain to a pyre in front of Gla-Thon, Zeean and Glock, whom they had captured earlier. The companions and Nevets fought their way through the Grey Guards to reach Dain, but Nevets was captured and Dain was revealed to be an Ol. After defeating Dain, Lief, Barda, Jasmine and Doom escaped to the Forge. A pod of Grey Guards arrived soon after and captured Barda, Jasmine and Doom, and brought them to the place of punishment.

At the place of punishment, Grey Guards were stationed everywhere to handle the crowds of civilians who had been gathered for the public execution. They held back the crowd when Lief arrived with the complete Belt of Deltora, and when he placed it on his body, it recognised him as the heir to Deltora and banished the Shadow Lord. The remaining Grey Guards attacked the celebrating crowd with blisters, but since their blisters no longer contained Gellick's venom, nobody was hurt, and soon the Resistance arrived to take care of the remaining Guards.[9]

The Shadowlands[]

Lief, Barda, Jasmine and Emlis arrived at the Shadow Factory while being chased by a wild Vraal. They climbed a garbage mound to escape the creature, and found that the mound was filled with the rotting bodies of dead and dying Grey Guards. Some of the Guards spotted Kree flying above Jasmine and shouted out that they spied the wild girl with her black bird.

The companions and Emlis were able to get inside the factory and hid inside of the room where Grey Guards were grown. A pod of Grey Guards investigated the commotion and soon started to battle the Vraal outside the Factory. Inside the Grey Guard room, the companions overheard Tira, under the control of the conversion project, and the Ol 3-19 talk about the development of the growing Guards.

In another room, they were eventually forced to hide on top of the cage of the Dread Gnome Pi-Ban. The companions hid underneath the tarp of the cage when Tira ordered the Bak Pod to escort Pi-Ban to the Shadow Arena. 3-19 ordered the Guards to leave the cage exposed but the Guards countered that normally a cage should be covered. In the tunnel of the Shadow Arena the Guards eventually decided to ignore his orders and cover the cage with the tarp. This exposed the companions, who were stunned by the Guards' new sparking rods and thrown into the cage alongside Pi-Ban.

In the Shadow Arena, Lief saw a number of Grey Guards sitting in the stands and guarding prisoners. When Lief, and later Emlis, blew on the Pirran Pipe, the guards took part in the battle against the Shadowlands resistance members and Deltoran slaves. [10]

The Three Doors[]

The Silver Door[]

In the alternate future through the silver Door, the Shadow Lord sent pods of Grey Guards to Dorne to oversee jell mining and act as enforcers over the slaves at the Diggings.[11]


Grey Guards are create in the shadowlands.


Grey Guards are grown in pods of ten in the Shadow Factory. Each member of the pod is given a number, which is used in place of a name.

Carn Squad

Members of the Carn Squad as they appear in the anime

  • Teep Pod: The pod that appeared in the book Return to Del. Teep 4 talked to Tom about them being stuck where they were.
  • Carn Pod: The pod that was responsible for transporting captured finalist of the Rithmere games in The Shifting Sands.
  • Bak Pod: This pod guarded Dain in Return to Del.
  • Pern Pod: A pod that appeared in The Shadowlands.
  • Krop Pod: A pod that appeared in The Shadowlands and again in The Silver Door.
  • Carn Squad (anime): An elite pod that appeared in the anime to hunt Lief, Barda and Jasmine.


Grey Guards appear human, but they have smooth, grey hairless skin and flat eyes. They all dress in simple grey uniforms marked with the Shadow Lord's brand. They are armed with clubs, daggers, and slings used to hurl blisters.[1]


In the anime, Grey Guards are given a metal helmet with removable face guards. In the anime, when Grey Guards are killed their bodies seemingly turn to smoke or ash that seeps out of their uniforms, like air coming out of a balloon.


While blindly loyal to the Shadow Lord's will, Grey Guards do have minds of their own. They have a sense of community towards their fellow soldiers, and at times have also gone against the direct orders of their superiors. However, even this has its limits. Grey Guards generally only care about their fellow pod members, and are fiercely competitive for the Shadow Lord's favour.[10]

Though they look like men, they are not human in any way and are wicked and ruthless, cruel and sadistic, having no sense of compassion or mercy towards those they oppress in the name of their master.

Grey Guards are skilled hunters and deadly warriors. They are able to cover great distances without becoming tired and frequently hunt by scent. In combat Grey Guards posses enormous physical strength.[1]

The primary weapon of the Grey Guards was a small egg-shaped projectile called a blister. Blisters were filled with venom from the Ooze Toad Gellick, and would explode on impact to bring a quick, painful death. They were fired from slingshots.

Other weapons Grey Guards carried were clubs and daggers. After the Shadow Lord was banished from Deltora, it invented a new weapon called the Sparking Rod for its Grey Guards.[1]


In the anime, Grey Guards many weapons were longswords, daggers and tridents. Second handed weapons were cleaver swords, morningstars and short scythes. Their blisters were also changed from poison-filled eggs to explosive projectiles similar to hand grenades. But anime in the anime they were fired from wrist mounted slingshot devices.


In the game, Grey Guards carried execution swords, some have tower shields, but they all have blisters and fired from an blister plus launchers.


Grey Guards do have the need to eat and drink. On several occasions Guards are seen eating and drinking. It is unknown what they mainly eat but it is likely that Grey Guards eat meat, possibly cooked. In Dread Mountain two Grey Guards captured Prin and talked about eating her.[6][7]

Cloning technology[]

Grey Guards

Grey Guards as they appear in the anime

Grey Guards were thought to be human until Lief, Barda, and Jasmine found that they are manufactured in the Shadowlands Factory in bubbling grey-white pools of liquids in huge metal containers divided into ten parts. The companions originally thought that the bubbling pools were disintegrating bodies, then realised they were actually forming bodies. To keep the troops from deserting, the Shadow Lord's servants tell each pod that they are the only pod without a "fail date", even though each pod expires after roughly seven years.

Grey Guards Normal Card
Grey Guards Tower Shields

Grey Guards with tower shields



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Rodda, Emily. The Deltora Book of Monsters. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
  2. Rodda, Emily. The Valley of the Lost. Scholastic Australia. October 1, 2001.
  3. Rodda, Emily. The Forests of Silence. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2000.
  4. Rodda, Emily. The Lake of Tears. Scholastic Australia. May 29, 2000.
  5. Rodda, Emily. City of the Rats. Scholastic Australia. June 1, 2000.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rodda, Emily. The Shifting Sands. Scholastic Australia. July 1, 2000.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rodda, Emily. Dread Mountain. Scholastic Australia. August 1, 2000.
  8. Rodda, Emily. The Maze of the Beast. Scholastic Australia. September 1, 2001.
  9. Rodda, Emily. Return to Del. Scholastic Australia. November 1, 2001.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Rodda, Emily. The Shadowlands. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2002.
  11. Rodda, Emily. The Silver Door. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. April 4, 2012.

See also[]