The stench of death hangs in the air; across the battlefield, countless bodies litter the once pristine landscape. Arrows cover the ground in all directions looking like the back of a porcupine. Two men walk among the carnage; each man carries a sword in his hand and a bow and quiver upon his back. They are friends and have been through many battles like this before. Each has received wounds in this fight; Rothgar still has a broken arrow shaft sticking out of his shoulder but remains vigilant of the task at hand. A good warrior and longtime friend has fallen in the battle. His name is Darian and the two warriors search among the dead for their fallen comrade. They find his body lying where he fell, arrows stick from his flesh and his lifeless eyes stare at the grey sky overhead. Four enemy warriors lay at his feet each slain by his matching short swords. Titus reaches down and closes his slain friend’s eyes; there are no tears or words of praise for the fallen. Only a moment of silence from two friends who have fought and bled with Darian.
Two months later deep in the highlands, Titus and Rothgar stand before the family of their fallen friend; they present his weapons and few possessions to his widow. The last two months have been plagued with starvation and battles as the warriors fought their way toward this high mountain retreat to fulfill a promise to their friend. Once the promise is fulfilled they shake hands, look one another in the eye with an understanding few could know and begin their separate journeys back to their own families.
The strengths of a true friendship may never be fully understood, what is it about these relationships that allow us to stand in the face of adversity, to go beyond the scope of everyday heroism and through the ages even face death willingly for a friend. I am fortunate to have a few friends who will remain part of my life until the creator comes calling; these select few have proven their valor and commitment to our friendship throughout the years, not in bloody battles or heroic acts of bravery but through friendship nonetheless. I have no doubt that should we be forced to stand on some battlefield together, our swords would ring as one while our enemy’s fell. This post is for all my friends, you know who you are and why I am honored to call you my brothers and sisters.. Keep to the good red road… Hawk a/ho