Wards are placed on the outskirts of important buildings and homes. The ward is made with four of the elements: fire, air, earth, and water. A ward keeps out the undead Strigoi and ghosts. Wards can be broken with an enchanted silver stake. Strigoi cannot touch a silver stake but throughout the series, the guardians learn that humans are working for the Strigoi in hopes of one day being turned. The humans can touch silver stakes, and when a silver stake is driven into the ground where the ward is, the ward is broken and the undead are able to enter the area that was once shielded with a ward. St. Vladimir's Academy and the Royal Court is protected with wards.