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Wards are only featured and mentioned in the novel, Between Worlds. One Ward generates a grouping of portals throughout an entire city, and serves as doorways for the dead. The Ward has specific places where the portals are located, and spirits must go through there to travel to and from the realm of the living. If a Ward is destroyed from the realm of the dead, the portals will be opened permanently, allowing mortals to walk through as well. However, if it is destroyed from the realm of the living, the portals will completely shut down and any spirit visiting the realm of the living will become trapped.

History

The evil wizard Malvolio De Vermis controlled a vulnerable witch to destroy the Ward, which would destroy the portals and all ghosts on Earth would be unable to return to the afterlife, and eventually turn violent against the living.

In the end, Malvolio's twin brother, Mileager De Vermis, was able to persuade him to let go of his anger, and together they healed the Ward in San Francisco.[1]

Book of Shadows

Ward

WARD: A grouping of portals or doorways through the energy barrier which maintains the balance between the realms of the living and the dead. While individual portals occur throughout the world, Wards occur only in places of significant psychic activity. For this reason, they are particularly important.
Though the function of portals is universal, to act as doorways, they operate differently in each of the two realms. For the dead, the portals are permeable. The dead may pass through them, particularly if invited or summoned. But except for certain times of the year—
For the living, portals are not permeable. They are closed. In this way, the dead are permitted to visit the living when the time is right, but no living person may enter the realm of the dead before their appointed time.
Portals may be damaged by psychic energy. The type of damage depends on the realm of which the attack occurs. Damage from the realm of the dead will result in a portal being open to anyone, living or dead. Damage a portal in the mortal plane and nobody gets through at all. Any dead who happen to be visiting can't get back home.
Particular concern should be paid to damaged Ward portals. If too many portals in a Ward become damaged, the entire Ward may fail. This in turn may cause the permanent disruption of the energy barrier which maintains the living/dead status quo.
Destroying Ward portals from the dead side will leave the energy barrier open to the living and the dead. Destroying them on the living side will seal the barrier closed.

References