When a ward was cast, it would usually remain invisible and virtually undetectable, stopping attacks aimed at the user.
There were two kinds of wards: ones created by magicians and ones created by enchanted jewels. The ones created by magicians were done by one person casting a protective spell on another. Enchanted jewels were simply worn.
Wards could also be used to protect people from mundane and arcane attack. An example of a ward against mundane attack is Eragon's wards on himself during the Second Battle of The Burning Plains, which cause missiles to stop dead ten feet from him. Arcane wards are more advanced spells used to block magic: he mentions that the war engines would be protected "from any conceivable spell."
However, wards have limitations. They draw on the magician's strength and will drain some energy every time a ward blocks an attack. No matter how many wards a person erects around themselves, they can still be defeated if their reserves of strength runs out. Wards that use enchanted jewels as their source of energy don't use the energy of the magician but their own energy reserve. This means that they can run out of energy but they can be recharged by a magician.
Role in the booksEdit
While in the dwarf city Tarnag, Gannel gave Eragon an enchanted necklace, which resembled a silver hammer, that contained a warding spell against scrying. Because the necklace didn't have an enchanted jewel, it drew upon Eragon's strength whenever it was used. This spell thwarted Murtagh's spells whenever he tried to scry Eragon.
After being released from Gil'ead, Arya created wards that would keep anyone from scrying her. Eragon bypassed this limitation by scrying the people Arya was with and noting their reactions to her, allowing him to follow her movements.
Eragon learned to use wards while being instructed by Oromis. After that, he used wards before every major battle to protect himself and even erected wards around Roran, Saphira, Arya, Orik, and Nasuada.
In Brisingr, one of Eragon's wards initially prevented Arya from healing him, as he had not given her permission. She stated that they would need to have a talk, as there are more elegant solutions to his problem.
Users of this magicEdit
Confirmed to use wards: