Gaia Volume IV
The Shield is the the temporal hand of The Divine. He is to the Divine as the Divine is to the Gods. He is responsible for protecting the empire and carrying out the will of The Divine. The Shield may step down, but almost always serves for life. The Shield typically names his own successor. If this is not possible, the Divine may appoint one. The previous Shield was Erwin Sironovich Mabetronov. He was on shakely political ground due to his failures to pretect the Silothreni from the Suul. When his house was attacked by raiders and destroyed, a new Shield was appointed.