A Wayward is a rare type of Mortal who "marks the path" or "guides" others to find the right path to take in the Caster world. They guide the way Casters are meant to be and destined to take. Waywards are said to come along very rarely, maybe once every 100+ years, and even then, they are usually not found. It is revealed that Waywards are much more common than previously thought, but they are usually killed off by Keepers in the Otherworld before being able to find the Caster they are bound to.
Waywards are said to be mortals that hold "great purpose" in the Caster world similar to that of a caster. They exist to guide specific Casters who hold "great meaning" and to help them find the path they are meant to take, but cannot do so on their own. Each Wayward is individually connected to a specific caster in the most powerful of all ways and are meant to guide and lead them (the Caster) to their destiny; the Wayward will then find his or her own destiny afterward.
However, Wayward fates (similar to Duchannes family casters) are sealed and already decided and they do not have a choice in what their destiny is to be. Waywards are born for a specific reason and hold great purpose in both the caster and mortal world; this purpose is to either be "Great" or "Terrible", as said by Marian Ashcroft.
Waywards are also shown to be familar with just about any place or location, even if they have never even been to that location before. They have also been known to have access to places (sometime even sacred areas) others are not granted, even if that person is a powerful Caster. This is most likely due to how Waywards "see" a path and are thus allowed through almost any entrance.
Powers and abilities
Waywards do not have any supernatural abilities like that of a Caster or any other supernatural being. Instead, they have mental powers and abilities that other Casters and supernatural beings do not have.
Waywards are best known for their ability to sense and guide themselves and others in the caster and mortal world with complete ease even if they have never been to the place before. They have a kind of "map" inside their heads and are the "bridge" between the Caster/Mortal worlds. They also "know" the way for Casters and help guide them to wherever they need to be. On this accout, Ethan is often referred to as a "human compass" since his Wayward mental power gives him the automatic sense of where to go in the Caster/Mortal world.
Since before the Crusades, Waywards have served. They have whispered in the ear of China's first emperor as he contemplated the Great Wall, or the loyal companion at the side of Scotland's most valiant knight as he toiled for his country's independence, Mortals with great purpose have always had those who guided them. As the lost vessels of Columbus and Vasco da Gama had those who guided them to New Worlds, they exist to guide Casters whose paths hold great meaning.
When Macon Ravenwood performed an extremely strong cast on his property so that no dark creature or being could come on his land, but was shocked that Ridley Duchannes could easily enter upon bringing Ethan Wate with her. This leads him to theorize that Ethan must have some type of power, despite Amma claiming she would have known if Ethan possessed any power, having raised him since birth. Macon doubts her word and is convinced Ethan is, in the least, no regular mortal.
When Ethan, Wesley Lincoln and Olivia Durand were lost in the tunnels and Ethan knew instantly which way to take, confusing Link and Liv with the way he was so sure of himself. When they got out and found the way they were looking for, they were further confused as to how Ethan knew the way in a place he had never been to before.