The Grey Guards were the main infantry of the Shadow Army, obedient minions of the Shadow Lord, and villains in the fantasy book series Deltora Quest and its TV anime series. While they were generally blindly loyal to the Shadow Lord, they are shown to have minds of their own, sometimes even going so far as to disobey the Shadow Lord. Though the Grey Guards do not seem to care about their comrades, they seem to have a sense of community, and have a certain level of regard for their fellow soldiers, including their high-ranking military soldiers called the Burgundy Guards.
In the early days of the Shadow Lord's reign and even towards the end of it, Grey Guards were thought to be human, though in series 2 book 3 The Shadowlands, it was found that they are manufactured in The Factory as bubbling grey-white pools of liquids in in huge metal containers spilt into ten parts as each pod has ten guards. Lief, Jasmine and Barda originally thought that the bubbling pools were disintegrating bodies, then realized they were actually forming bodies. The Shadow Lord's servants tell each pod that they are the only pod without an expiration date and that they should keep this quiet. This is a lie told to the pods so that they obey and do not run away. All of the pods do have expiration dates. In the anime, when Grey Guards are killed their bodies burst open with air whereas in the book it is now actually known.
In the time of Adin, the Shadow Lord had an army of Greers, but they were a fiasco; so at the Battle for Deltora, he enhanced them to become faster and stronger. The Grey Guards that he has right now have been made better so that they have enhanced senses, endurance, strength and speed.
In the old days, Grey Guards were believed to be immortal, before they found out though Grey Guards never seem to age, after a certain period of time, they are called back to the Shadowlands to be replaced by an identical pair of guards. Also, the guards that pass their expiry date will start to become defective and are thrown to the scrap mount where all of the old guards are placed. Some of them start to rot and may even be missing bodies, heads, and many more limbs.
They are always in groups of ten and lack names. Instead, each uses his pod name followed by a number.
- Teep Pod is the pod that appeared in the book Return to Del. Teep 4 talked to Tom about them being stuck where they were.
- Carn Pod or Burgundy Guards (in the anime).
- 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.
The Carn Squads, also called the "Burgundy Guards" and "Red Guards" by the fans, are an elite group of Grey Guards and they are part of the Shadow Army under the command of the Shadow Lord. They are villains in the Japanese anime series adaptation of the Deltora Quest book series written by Emily Rodda, however they do not appear in the original books. While the "Carn pod" of Grey Guards do exist in the books, with each of its numbered Grey Guards, Carn 1 through 10, the anime version is disticntly different from the anime incarnations.
The Carn Squad obediently served the Shadow Lord without question and will destroy anyone who defies him.
Carn 8 and Carn 2 were the guards who took Lief, Barda, and Jasmine away from the Rithmere Games. Later more Carn squad members chase Lief, Barda and Jasmine.