A Guard is an NPC programmed to patrol an area and to attack and kill any hostile if non-Human creature that appears in the area which have targeted certain Humans (usually players). Most guards take position in or around the cities or some of the smaller towns, though some guild halls also have guards.* The main role of guards is to prevent outside random creatures (other than Humans, again) from following players into cities and villages (they do spawn inside, but rarely).
Guards (if you say "guard," they respond with "Hail!") keep their area free of hostile creatures - to those they're already hostile-upon - "Red on you". A guard can often fight better than a player's character; and has much more h p. When fleeing from a hostile creature, a player might run to the guards for help. If the creature then continues to target the player, and later tries to flee from the guards, then the guards will chase the creature. After they defeat it, they typically disappear and then reappear at their usual location.
Creatures killed by guards do not drop any loot. One can imagine that the guard has looted the creature. This is a major incentive to players, to involve not any guards in a battle.
At least the following places have guards:
- The cities of Andris, Mirith and Marali keep guards at the entrances. Together with the city walls, the guards separate the city from the outside random creatures.
- The Fishing Village of Lerilin has a few guards at the main entrances and an occasional guard elsewhere near other entries, including the docking port by the bank.
- Port Gast has some guards, though not enough to prevent certain creatures from reaching the center of town.
- Some guild halls have guards. From the Guild Hall Procedure: Guards — Either one level 10 ranger or a level 7 fighter and 50,000 gold pieces.
(* = and Update, also in that area, so same link, should be: Guild Halls used to be able to have up-to about a dozen, all-Human, Guards, down to 1, or none. Now, with a level 10 druid, and levels 10-13 wizard, there are creature "guards," which in Tracking, sound, and action appear just like regular Human Guards. They in-turn cost 75,000 gold, each, and, any creature "guards," the new numbers of any guards being 0-1-2, must then-prevent there being Human Guards, or Vice versa - no co-habitation - of the Guild Hall. This new number is lower, and at least 1 of the (several of these are Poisonous, so more-effective attacking in theory, but still) creatures is a Bracken, unable to "chase" to present knowledge, and so likely to require extensive looking-for in the Guild Hall (not just more, there being slightly-less, of the guards, now on average), with the possible "final kill" of a creature depending on the other creature, being mobile, or else the Character(s) being pursued taking some action(s) in the combat. Less guards suggests less Protection, by a given Guild Hall)