Shields are off-hand devices used to protect the user from harm in combat. Due to the way the game's mechanics are structured, shields are categorized together with weapons in inventory. They increase the wielder's Deflection against ranged and melee attacks, but slow down his attack rate. Heavier more cumbersome shields offer greater Deflection bonuses at the cost of Accuracy penalties. Small shields have no Accuracy penalty.
Large shields are used when a warrior needs the best protection possible, even if that means sacrificing some accuracy in exchange. Though they typically taper like an inverted "teardrop", large shields come in a variety of shapes, often emblazoned with heraldry.