The tale of a warrior is often the ink on the parchment of scribes, the grand tale of storytellers, the riveting song of the bard, and the inspiration of the young man who packs his belongings, hugs his mother, and sets out on his own grand adventure to become a hero.
As is frequently the nature of men, war often follows on the heels of selfish ambitions. With the lust for power comes war, and the death of many of these young men, leaving behind a trail of tears of those who loved them.
A quill dipped in blood scribes the great adventures yet again, whilst songs are sung of the grand battles that were fought, and the conqueror celebrates the great victory they have won by the lives of the fallen.
For the forgotten mothers, the regretful fathers, and the mourning widows, there is no celebration. They suffer in silence, weeping tears for the soldier that will never return.
When the broken bodies of war return to the dust from whence they came, not even a trace will mark the sacrifice they once made. These soldiers will fade into the shadows of time, soon forsaken.
For the storied few who are remembered, they will become the fabled warriors. They are the ones who have survived march after march, skirmish after skirmish, and battle after battle. They continue-on, bearing the scars of war, yearning for the innocence they have lost.
Yet another war comes again. The bards sing new praises, whilst scribes write of the valiant battles, and kings hail the heroes of the victories they have won. Meanwhile, young boys dream they are the fabled warriors of these legends, as their fathers tell of the grand exploits of war.
The heroes they speak of weave a very different tapestry than in the glorious tales. The threads they sow are of pain and loss, regret and sorrow, fear and anger. The blanket they lay upon, is stitched with the blood of the innocent and the sacrifice of the dead.
In the quiet corners of pubs and sleepy forgotten villages, the broken men of story tell somber tales. Some languish over the souls they have taken, others dwell on the brothers they have lost. Many of these forsaken men will linger, wandering fields painted in crimson, fighting a never-ending battle in their haunted minds.
When these legends of men find the hour has drawn near, their mind still lingering in the void of despair,
they will sometimes…
tell tales of the Phantoms of War.