The Division 2: Warlords of New York – Who is Aaron Keener?


Recently released as the first major expansion for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, “Warlords of New York” takes players back to Manhattan in their biggest mission yet: Take out Aaron Keener and the Warlords that helped him take over the Windy City itself.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York, is preparing to take Division agents on their biggest manhunt yet as they hunt down the Division’s rogue Agent’s that have sided with the madman Aaron Keener; the man behind the Green Poison incident.

However, we know that Aaron “Vanguard” Keener, wasn’t alone as a member of the First Wave Strategic Homeland Division that had gone missing after the first wave went in shortly after Green Poison disrupted the every-day life of this of the world. In the expansion, you’ll come across multiple disavowed agents, each having gone rogue for their very own reasons. But to really get acquainted with the forces that await you, you’ll have to get to know those behind the events that are unfolding before your follow Division agents. To get started, let’s meet the man we’ve been hunting since Tom Clancy’s The Division launched in 2016.


Aaron “Vanguard” Keener’s Backstory

For those unfamiliar with Aaron Keener and they have only recently come to enjoy the story of what Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 has to offer, you may have not yet had a chance to become well acquainted with the manhunt for the very man that helped organize the First Wave of agents who would go rogue and disavowed The Division and turning his back on helping rebuild the very world agents swore to save.

For those looking to know a bit of his backstory, Keener was, as stated, a part of the First Wave of Division agents activated when the outbreak of Green Poison reached critical levels. His and his fellow agents were sent in to contain the infected population, securing what would become known as the Dark Zone, an area that CERA and the JTF would lose control of just as quickly had been established.

The loss of their foothold there would force CERA, the JTF, and the First Wave of Division agents to withdraw, forcing them to leave their equipment, technology, and their hope of ever regaining a foothold in the DZ again. However, Keener’s reasoning behind his disavowing the agency runs deeper than his seeming disgruntlement with The Division as far as we’ve seen it.


Why Keener became a Rogue Agent

During their withdrawal, Keener was tasked with leading a group of civilians from the Dark Zone itself. On their way out, Keener sheltered the group of civilians in an apartment building, fending off the seemingly endless numbers of Rikers that ambushed them. Unfortunately, one of the Reiker’s was able to toss a Molotov into the building, setting it on fire, killing everyone inside, except for Keener himself, who had requested for reinforcements by the JTF but was ultimately left out in the dark.

Unfortunately, Keener would see this happen more and more, the JTF and other forces turning their back or becoming overwhelmed and incapable of defending those in need. As his perspective regarding the federal government began to change, Keener found his once unfaltering faith in the countries leaders begin to waver, leaving him to feel betrayed and angered by their actions.

These events would later lead Keener to become one of the first rogue agents within the First Wave, causing him to gather other agents, forming a unit with them for future operations, leading specific agents that would later become the Warlords of New York to fall within his ranks, namely agents Vivian Conley, Javier Kajika, James Dragov, and Theo Parnell.


Keener would be the catalyst that led to the second wave of agents to be deployed

Those who failed to turn rogue with Keener would be executed in cold blood, leaving the second wave of agents to be deployed, forcing them to investigate the root cause behind the agents having gone M.I.A. according to Isaac’s systems.

During the events of Tom Clancy’s The Division, agents of The Division would eventually encounter a man by the name of Charles Bliss, the commanding officer of the Last Man Battalion, a private military force, similar to the Black Tusks, who would find dominance in New York with the use of Keener’s Shade tech at their disposal.

During the events of that period, Keener and Bliss would launch numerous operations against their foes, namely the JTF, The Division, and the warring factions of New York’s boroughs.

Keener then met Charles Bliss, the commanding officer of the Last Man Battalion. Keener wanted to make use of the Last Man Battalion to establish dominance over Manhattan, while Bliss wanted to take advantage of Keener’s Shade technology to get an advantage over other factions controlling Manhattan. Together, Keener and the Last Man Battalion had launched many operations against belligerent factions, including the JTF.

One of their most noteworthy assaults led to the SHD Osprey carrying Second Wave agents into New York City alongside Faye Lau, which resulted in her trademark injury, requiring her to wear an eyepatch from then on. Players encountered another major incident, which was the tasking to save Dr. Vitaly Tchernenko from the Russian consulate being taken away by Rogue agents for Keener to work with later. However, Keener is clearly not done as he prepares another assault. One requiring Keener to head into Doctor Amherst’s labs, steaking virus samples, using a 3D DNA printer, as well as various notes left behind by Amherst.

However, from there, it is later revealed that Keener has disappeared despite his being placed on the most wanted list by both the United States and Interpol for high treason and possible bioterrorism.


Keener reappears in Washington D.C. six months later during the events of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

When agents find their way to Washington D.C., it’s discovered that Aaron Keener was able to escape the New York City lockdown, forcing him to begin his work in D.C. This time, it is revealed that he wasn’t done there, pulling every string he can in order to create a brand-new lethal chemical agent with the assistance of Dr. Vitaly Tchermenko, which leads to something much more dangerous than Green Poison.

His work, however, ended with Keener leaving him with the Black Tusks over the course of The Division 2, but with a meticulous plan to once more double-cross them. This event ties him into Vivian Conley, a former First Wave agent having gone rogue turned leader of the Cleaners being tipped off about Tchernenko’s whereabouts.

Orchestrating even more of his plan, Keener forces Conley’s hand, allowing her to seek revenge for the death of her family who died due to Green Poison. Due to the Cleaners, Black Tusk and The Division agents duking it out in Washington D.C., Keener was able to once more flee, finding refuge in New York City once again, but this time, with The Division hot on his tracks. This time, aware that he and Vitaly Tchernenko engineered a new virus, one much more lethal than Green Poison itself. Leading into the events of The Division 2: Warlords of New York, which leads to Keener teaming up with Vivian Conley, Javier Kajika, James Dragov, and Theo Parnell.

After the events of his return to New York, he was able to lead an attack against the Division’s Base of Operations in Lower Manhattan, killing some of the highest-ranking Division agents using the remaining two factions in New York: Cleaners and Rikers.


Aaron Keener’s war against The Division

It is later on revealed that when he had Vitaly Tchermenko in his custody and with the possession of Dr. Amherst’s notes of the Green Poison, he engineered his own deadly biological virus and along with his other fellow four Rogue Agents he attacked The Division’s Base of Operations in Manhattan killing top Division agents and Analysts. He then went on to take control of four districts in Lower Manhattan and each of the four districts are given to his four Rogue Agents. He managed to secure an understanding between the Cleaners and the Rikers. The two factions now serve as allies to him and his band of Rogue Agents.

As of the time being, Keener has already launched a multitude of attacks against JTF and Division facilities, including the memorable New York City Hall that Division agents had originally called headquarters. Due to the attacks and the trail Aaron Keener has left behind, it’s up to Second Wave agents alongside Faye Lau and Agent Kelso to hunt down Aaron Keener and put a stop to his deeds once and for all.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York is now available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

About the Writer(s):


Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable.  You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook where he interacts with his followers quite a bit!

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