I'm going to take a strange stance and make the case for Wards being a Minor Focus.
A Major Focus is something which is, supposedly, "slightly smaller than a single Art"
A Minor Focus is something slightly smaller than any combination, or a sliver of a Single Art.
Let's take Rego as our starting point: Clearly Wards fall under Rego, generally.
However, I'd argue that its way to small to be a major focus. Rego moves or changes things in ways that are natural. For example, some of these would be Major Foci:
1.) Telekenisis (the Movement of objects in their natural forms through space)
2.) Mastery of motive (the Control of Minds of Humans, Animals, beings with might scores and any other thing able to be persuaded, in so far as communication is possible.)
3.) General Directionality has multiple possible foci: Repulsion (Moving things "away" by either of the above), Attraction (Bringing things together, the same.), Teleportation (self explanatory)
4.) Unnatural Growth - speeding or slowing processes of growth and change in a way that suits the caster (i.e. forcing a tree to grow in the shape of a serpent)
5.) Changes of State (Ice to Water, Sleepfulness to Wakefulness, other changes of state of mind, etc.)
Let's take Directionality (3) as our next point. As a subset of this, let's take Repulsion, (Move "away")
Repulsion has several potential operational powers:
Force a mind to move away (through fear, disgust, or even subtle confusion, like "the Shrouded Glen")
Banishment (the supernatural transport of a being to another realm, or to a greater distance i.e. A Seven League Stride: R: Voice, done on someone else)
The physical pushing of an object away from another point, i.e. a spell that flings an enemy against the far wall.
Now we're two levels down: A Major Focus and subsets of a Major Focus.
Wards are one level down still. Within Repulsion, we've notices several motive forces. It is in the subsets of these we start to find Minor Foci:
- Within Repulsion of Mind and Instinct: Fear, Disgust, Confusion - all Minor Foci.
- Within Banishment: Banishing Supernatural beings, Teleportation, Banishing natural objects etc.
- Now within physical pushing - We can have Levitation (movement up), Sticking (holding together), Flinging of objects etc.
Within this subset we could imagine a category where things are forced to stop at a certain point. Simply stop. Not move further away, not redirect. Its about ceasing motion at one point, and is further limited to R: Touch maximum.
This meets all the criteria for a Minor Focus:
Art -> Major Focus -> Intermediate Subset -> Minor Focus
To qualify as a Minor Focus, Wards would have to be restricted to "Material" Wards - that is, an effect which stops a "thing" with a magical replacement to a physical barrier.
Shrouded Glen does not apply, because it "motivates" people to move away, it does not force their substance to stop at a point.
Aegis of the Hearth, though spoken of as a Ward does not qualify, as it does far more than stop beings, it dampens spells as well.
Circular Ward v. Demons counts, as it stops a "thing" (a demon) at a magical replacement for a barrier - a line.
Ward against Mud counts because it stops mud from crossing a magically defined barrier.
It cannot otherwise force the movement of these objects (you cannot use a Ward to hurl stones; stones do not "rebound" off of wards in any harmful way.)
I therefore submit that this is a minor ward, simply a far more useful one than many others, classifying it with those wonderfully useful minor foci like Telepathy, Human Illusions (Illusory depictions and manipulations of people), Cold, Fire Crafting, Healing, Iron, Ageing (which, by the way, affects non-animate things like wooden structures, which age as well), and "Emotion-Crafting" (The Creation of Emotions within a mind) or "Memory Crafting" (as before).
Just because these are way, way more useful than a focus in "Spring Flowers," or "Moonlight" does not make them invalid.
The author of Bjornaer deserves an "atta-boy" for recognizing the great potential of this amazing minor-focus.