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- Roberts: "The handiwork of men born and bred to protect this place. The Guardians of the Observatory."
- Edward: "How long have their kind been here?"
- Roberts: "Oh, at least a thousand years or more. Dedicated men. Very deadly."
- —Bartholomew Roberts and Edward Kenway, after seeing the remains of the Guardians' victims, 1719.[src]
The Guardians were a group of warrior natives, likely related to the Taíno people, that were known to live in Long Bay, Jamaica. Secretive in their dealings, they isolated themselves from other tribes and dedicated themselves to protecting an ancient First Civilization structure, known as the Observatory, against all intruders. They were tasked with its defense sometime during the mid-16th century by a Sage.
Guardians used stealth and secrecy as their primary tactics, hiding in foliage to remain undetected as they eliminated unsuspecting targets with their blowpipes and throwing knives. They were known to also hang their victims from trees above the trail to discourage intruders from making their way further into the jungle, or to execute and dismember any who made it within view of the Observatory.
Thom Kavanagh arrived at the Observatory sometime between 1670 and 1706, and was initially attacked by the Guardians until they recognized his face, perceiving him to be a Sage. Kavanagh then lived with the Guardians until his death, after which they buried him in a secluded spot in the jungle. Other than Kavanagh and the Sage who had first given them their task of protection, it is unknown if the Guardians came into contact with any other Sages.
When the pirate Edward Kenway arrived in Long Bay in 1719 with the Sage Bartholomew Roberts, he was forced to dispatch several Guardians in order to safely lead Roberts and his men to the Observatory's entrance. Three years later, when the Templar Grand Master Laureano de Torres y Ayala and his Spanish troops arrived at the complex, the Guardians fought back but were eventually overwhelmed. In the aftermath, the survivors were captured and the native village set ablaze. Kenway once again made his way through the jungle, this time freeing the Guardians along the way.