The Child Soldier

A Legend of the Falaisia, along the border of the Throne and Sha’ra

They say that when it arrives in your town, it is heralded by the sound of ghostly laughter. It seems childish, at first, taking small, worthless items, moving objects, upending pails of water. And perhaps that is all it really wishes to do, for it was once a child born of the forbidden union of a Capacian man and a Shariqyn woman. But like so many children born on that border, so many lives caught up in that ancient struggle, violence twisted it into something darker. Its laughter turns to the guttural moans and screams of the suffering of war. It begins to remember what became of it, in its short, tragic life. Its parents driven apart by their families, its father killed in senseless fighting between his brothers and those of his love, its mother driven into the streets in disgrace for bearing a child outside of marriage, only to starve to death. Its own life of fear and deprivation, ended when it was forced into battle all too young, a soldier long before it was truly old enough to understand the war.

Childish pranks soon no longer suffice, for it was never really allowed to be a child, but a soldier. It turns its pain and rage on those it encounters, those still living, whispering thoughts of violence against the self and others into the ears of those it encounters. As violence and fear spreads, its power grows, and it begins to appear in a physical form, its face veiled except for its dark, sunken eyes. A touch of its hand can bring even the strongest man to despair, the sound of its cries are enough to cause even the most hardened soldier to quake in fear, for fear and despair are the only things it ever knew. It will lash out with hands that have been formed into razor sharp claws, rending the flesh of those that come near, for it learned not love, but only war. And wherever it can find those who stoke conflict for their own gain, it curses them, turning them more and more fearful and insane, forcing them to suffer as the victims of their wars suffer. And only when your town is utterly destroyed, torn apart as its home once was does it disappear, moving on to spread its pain and madness to the next town or village it sets its sights on.

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