According to Hyberion, the members of the Spriggan 12 (dubbed "Shields") are extremely skilled and powerful Mages, all around the same level of power as God Serena: the strongest Mage from Ishgar. The Shields also appear to do whatever it is they please and roam about, being that it is extremely rare all twelve are in the same location. When Zeref asked member Invel to gather the other eleven members, he noted that such a task on such short notice would be extremely difficult due to some not able to attend, while some purposely deny the summons. Some also appear to operate independently of Zeref's wishes and act of their own accord, as Zeref said that the Alvarez invasion of Ishgar in X781 was due to one of the members of the Spriggan 12 not following his orders to stay away from the continent. In regards to His Majesty, the 12 hold a respectful tone but can be informal when addressing him, while some can hold him accountable for his own actions. Among the 12 the camaraderie is noticeable, with examples being the mutual friendship shown between each other to the respect level given to one another denoted by honorifics.
- Ajeel Ramal: An uncouth, dark-skinned antagonistic young man who goes by the title of "Desert King". He masterfully controls sand, befitting his epithet, and has a habit of referring to things he finds delightful or interesting as "sweet". He also leads his own squad within the Alvarez Empire, known as the Ajeel Squad, comprised of the warriors and Mages hailing from the desert regions of Alvarez.
- August: An elderly, bearded and gray-haired man who dresses in a stereotypical wizard's garb, accompanied with a staff, and speaks in cryptic undertones and is the general and de facto leader of the Spriggan 12. Due to his ability to copy any type of Caster Magic, he has been revered to have mastered countless types of Magic through history and is feared as the strongest of the Spriggan 12, with his epithet within the Alvarez Empire being the "Magic King", partly demonstrated by his usage of Magic of incredulous power and its extensive scope. He is the son of Zeref, the emperor of the Alvarez Empire.
- Bloodman: A very tall, extremely muscular Etherious with an overall macabre appearance; wearing something reminiscent of an oni mask, as well as a dark demonic breastplate, partnered with metallic pauldrons and a long cloak. Monikered as the very "Grim Reaper" himself, he massacred all who is in his vicinity due to his particular body, as well as possessing the supreme collection of all the Curses of the Demon-affiliated Guild Tartaros that he exploited at his discretion.
- Brandish μ: A scantily clad woman who controls a very advanced form of Magic that allows her to manipulate mass. She leads her own squad within the Alvarez Empire, known as the Brandish Squad, but seems not to care very much for her subordinates, as she has no qualms about sacrificing them to appease her apathetic, impatient whims. She also holds the epithet "Country Demolisher".
- Dimaria Yesta: A cynical war empress that can majestically control time as well as her blades in battle. The leader of the Dimaria Squad, she was blessed with great power by the God of Time, Chronos, her valor and reputation are so renown that Makarov Dreyar claims she has conquered many battlefields, earning her the title "Valkyrie" within the empire.
- God Serena: An exuberant man and the former holder of Rank 1 within the Ten Wizard Saints; he was regarded as the strongest Mage in the entirety of the continent of Ishgar. He defected from his country and the Saints, all to join the Alvarez Empire and Zeref, implied by himself to have been for the sake of locating and killing the elusive final Dragon: Acnologia. An exceedingly powerful Dragon Slayer, he holds the epithet "Hybrid Theory" as he has been implanted with eight different Dragon Slaying Magics.
- Invel Yura: A polite, snow-haired young man who embodies the very definition of decorum, he is very stiff and takes rules and regulations very seriously, not fearing to chastise even his fellow Shields for their inability to maintain respect and order. He controls a variety of Ice Magic to a powerful degree, ranging from Ice Slave which suppresses the free will of its victims to Ice Lock; Magic that traps two people together as their minds are controlled to Invel's whim. He holds the epithet "Winter General" with the Empire.
- Irene Belserion: A four-hundred-year-old Mage-turned Dragon renowned as the "Scarlet Despair;" she is reputed as the most powerful female member of the Spriggan 12. She dresses in a somewhat primitive outfit, the latter trait further accentuated by her staff, which is as tall as her and split into a pair of huge antlers covered with leopard-skin near the top. She also leads her own squadron, the Irene Squad, headlined by her top two underlings: Juliet Sun and Heine Lunasea. A High Enchanter, Irene has the ability to bestow and affix her Magic Power onto all things, including the atmosphere and the very earth itself. The only named Magic she possesses, Universe One, is a brand new kind of Magic that allows her to reconstruct an entire country's geography to suit her fancy.
- Jacob Lessio: A tall, middle-aged man of patronizing nature, regarded as a master at the art of assassination and a genius user of Stealth and Transport; Magics that can completely camouflage his presence and teleport his targets into an alternate dimension respectively.
- Larcade Dragneel: A rather tall, young Etherious with spiky hair, who is dressed in a kasaya; he is characterized by his peaceful and harmonious attitude, always in the mindset to protect his family and comrades. His Magics revolve around the three human desires: sex, hunger, and slumber to incapacitate the ones before him; even rivaled for it to be able to present a challenge to Acnologia himself.
- Neinhart: A defiant, effeminate man adorned in ornamental armor. He relishes being able to gaze into his opposition's hearts to seed out their historias, manipulating it against their will. He also leads his own squad within the Alvarez Empire, known as the Neinhart Squad, headlined by the Four Heraldry Knights.
- Wall Eehto: A jovial human-looking Machias, who created mechanized weaponry to exploit his enemies' weaknesses and shortcomings. He is the leader of the Wall Squad; his title within the Alvarez Empire was "The Adjudicator".
Convene at the Emperor's Side
- Status: Success
Fend Off Ishgar
The Spriggan 12 was assigned to fend off the resistance guilds, including Fairy Tail, upon their arrival to the newly-reconstructed guild hall's location.
- Status: Failure
- Originally, Hiro Mashima's editor only wanted 5 or 6 members in the Spriggan group, but Hiro was resolute on there being 12 since the number held some kind of meaning.
- Hiro Mashima designed all of the Spriggan 12 with the idea that they all would possess Magic that "cheats": every single one uses something generic that any author could come up with, but that destroys the framework of whatever story they are applied to, and are thus not usually used. Magics mentioned in particular that are grossly unfair are Âge Seal (Dimaria's primary Magic), Stealth (Jacob's primary Magic), and Historia of the Dead (Neinhart's primary Magic).
- The entire cast of women in the Spriggan 12 (Brandish, Dimaria, and Irene) are mentioned to be popular among fans, with Brandish being the most popular among the three. Likewise, the most popular male character among the Spriggan 12 is God Serena.