Kalad's Phantoms are an army of unconventional Lifeless created by Vasher (then known as Kalad the Usurper) during the Manywar on Nalthis. They were later hidden in plain sight as statues known as the D'Denir Celabrin.
Kalad's Phantoms are a version of Lifeless made of Awakened human bones encased in stone, in the form of massive warriors. Their stone bodies are larger than a human's, and they are faster and sturdier than other Lifeless. Most of them also have stone weapons and armor. They are very strong in order to move their stone bodies, and conventional weapons are virtually useless against them.
The Phantoms can be placed in stasis by leaving the bones Invested with just enough Breath to hold them together. Since they do not consume ichor-alcohol like other Lifeless, they can remain in this state indefinitely, and Vasher designed them to last a very long time. A significant influx of additional Breath is needed to animate them.
Creation and the Manywar
Vasher invented the Phantoms around three hundred years ago. During this period, Awakening was still a relatively new concept and the Five Scholars were regularly making significant breakthroughs that contributed to the beginning of the Manywar. Discoveries by Yesteel and Shashara led to nations building up huge fighting forces made of both humans and Lifeless. However, Vasher's Phantoms were so powerful that they could destroy larger armies while sustaining almost no losses.
The research of the Five Scholars eventually led to Shashara's creation of Nightblood, his "horrifying" use in the Battle of Twilight Falls, and Shashara's death at Vasher's hand to prevent her from sharing the secrets of Nightblood's creation. Vasher subsequently recalled the Phantoms from battle (presumably in Kuth and Huth) back to Hallandren. The presence of the Phantoms effectively ended the Manywar, and Vasher came to be known as "Peacegiver the Blessed".
After peace was restored, Vasher put the Phantoms into an inanimate state so that they appeared to be warrior statues. Hallandren lore holds that Peacegiver "commissioned" a large number of these statues known as the D'Denir Celabrin, ostensibly as memorials and reminders not to go to war. The oldest D'Denir–those created by Vasher–are in the D'Denir garden. The Returned continue to build more statues each year throughout the city to honor Peacegiver's tradition, although these are not Phantoms. The people of T'Telir often put colorful clothing on the statues for fun. Some statues, particularly those located in the Idrian slums, have been defaced or broken.
”D’Denir statues stood in a solemn line, arms upraised, weapons at the ready, as if in defense of the people.—Vivenna, visiting the D'Denir garden
Modern citizens of Nalthis do not know that Kalad and Peacegiver are the same person. The records from that era were all destroyed. Kalad is thought of as power-hungry and dangerous, while Peacegiver is believed to have defeated Kalad and ended the Manywar through diplomacy and negotiation, saving Hallandren. Hoid shows up in Hallandren and knows more about the true nature of Kalad than most, but even he does not know all of the specifics. Hallandren legends reflect the destructive power of the Phantoms; they are mostly thought of as mythical, although some people still believe that they are real. The phrase "Kalad's Phantoms" has entered the vernacular as a curse.
”"There are some thousand original D’Denir in the city,” Vasher said, “and most of them should still function, even still. I created them to last.”—Vasher
After Bluefingers betrays Hallandren and co-opts an army of Lifeless, Vasher reveals his true nature to Siri, Vivenna, and Susebron. He tells them that at least one thousand of the oldest D'Denir are actually his Phantoms, and gives them his security phrase. As God King, Susebron has over fifty thousand Breaths and is therefore able to reanimate all of the Phantoms; he then sends them to stop the Lifeless army from marching on Idris. The Phantoms easily destroy the army, and they remain in Siri and Susebron's control. Vasher is left feeling cynical about reactivating a weapon like the Phantoms.
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- Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A
— Arcanum - 2010-01-18#
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Big Smooth (talk) 17:16, 22 April 2019 (MST)
|Characters||Vasher · Vivenna · Siri · Lightsong · Denth · Susebron · Llarimar · Bluefingers · Blushweaver · Nightblood|
|Places||Hallandren · T'Telir · Idris · Kuth · Huth · Tedradel · Court of Gods|
|Magic||Awakening · BioChromatic Breath · Command · Drab · Heightening· Ichor-alcohol · Lifeless · Returned|
|Mythology and Lore||Endowment · Austrism · Five Scholars · Iridescent Tones · Manywar · Kalad's Phantoms|