|Many heroes are born, arrive on the scene,
make their mark upon the world and then die either in a blaze of glory
or on their deathbed. Either way, their like is never
seen again. That is not soon for the centuries-old protector of the
Bandar tribe in the Bengali jungles of Southeast Asia. Many times he's
gone down in defeat, and his foes have believed him dead and gone.
Every time he rises again and brings his foes to total ruination. He is
The Phantom's true name is Kit Walker. By tradition the first Walker son is given this name, and as such becomes heir to the heroic mantle, taking up the cause and continuing on when his father, the Phantom before him, passes away. A young Kit Walker spends the years of his youth split between his father's home in the jungle and his mother's home in the Western world. He receives the best education possible, is both an athlete and a scholar, and often comes from the upper-crust of Western society. What he cannot learn from his Western schooling, he learns as the knee of his father in the jungle. The rest, usually, comes in the form of the *many* volumes of knowledge recorded by his forebears in books of the library maintained in Skull Cave.
Of course, no man is an island
and a true hero always has someone in his corner to help him and the Walker's
are no different. Traditionally, the chieftain of the Bandar tribe
is also The Phantom's primary aide. He is one of the very few people
who know the truth about The Ghost Who Walks. As with his Western
ally, the chieftain's son is also groomed to take his place. Should
the current Phantom die before the chieftain is ready to abdicate, his
son becomes his aide. (This was the case with the 20th and 21st Phantoms
in the early 20th century.) WIth the beginning of the British Empire's
expansion into Asia, another ally came in the commander of the local army
garrisson- the leader of The Phantom's "Ghost Patrol", a group of like-minded
folk who report to the patrol's leader. (The leader is the only one
who ever seen The Phantom.) Finally, the most reliable allies any
Phantom has is his wife (traditionally a Western woman met in his youth)
and his children (especially his heir).
The Phantom (a.k.a.
"I am The Ghost Who Walks."
Juncture: 1850 (Phantom XIX), 1999 (Phantom XXIII), 2056 (Phantom XXVI) In all cases, these stats represent each Phantom within a couple years of assuming his father's place.
Bod 7, Chi 0 (For 2, Fu 1), Mind 7, Ref 7.
Detective: 15, Guns: 13, Fix-It: 9, Info/Science: 9, Info/Sengh Brotherhood: 10, Info/Bengali Jungle: 10, Intimidation: 12, Martial Arts: 12, Driving: 8, Intrusion: 8.
Expert on the Criminal Mind (Type's Unique Schtick), Derring-Do, Hair-Trigger Neck Hairs x1, Lightning Reload x1.
Weapons: Colt .45 cal. M1911 automatic pistols x2, skull ring, wheel ring.
The 1850 Phantom has no weapons as standard. He uses whatever weapons he finds and discards them when no longer neccessary. The 2056 Phantom has Info/Sengh Brotherhood at AV 9 and adds Info/Buro at AV 8. He carries a pair of Buro 9As instead of the Colts.
The Phantom and the Secret War:
All three Phantoms are (or recently became) inner-walkers, which *will* play merry hell with the entire Secret War because (since the familial resemblence between generations is a strong one), yes, they all look a lot alike. GMs get the benefits of a mistaken identity subplot with none of the overly-hokey "evil twin" or "unknown clone" premises. This also means that they can (and will) team up to fight common foes and save each other's bacon.) A quick-thinking faction leader, especially one with similar beliefs, will move fast to recruit these guys and, without a doubt, each one will join the Dragons.
To the Dragons, this is a *great* coup. They get three members for the price of one, each with stable power bases they can base themselves from. (Skull Cave is a feng shui site. See below.) It seems too good to be true, and that's because it is. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about it unless the GM is merciful and/or the PCs are truly crafy bastards.
So, what's the catch? For the 1850 and 1999 incarnations, it's the influence of another faction: the Ascended. Early on in the history of The Phantom, after one of his early victories over the Sengh Brotherhood, the Lodge (through its Pledged eyes and ears) learned of this man. They tried and failed to eliminate him, so they used another tactic; they used love to control him. For centuries, the Lodge ( through the Order of the Wheel) arranged a Pledged woman to court and marry the young Kit Walker. Using her,and her family, they prompt him to do what they could not or would not accomplish by other means. Wanting to retain him as a pawn, the Lodge doesn't ask him to do wetwork or other villianous activities (although sometimes he's used to take down an errant operative, Pledged and Lodge alike.) As of yet no Phantom has ever realized what has been going on, but now that are two of them who have joined the Dragons the Lodge walks a very fine line. It could shake the Unturning Wheel to its very hub, should either learn the truth,
Usually, a young Phantom is watched and guided by his Pledged mother while he lives with her. It is she who arranges her son's future marriage, and although the method in which this happens is often different, a mother has never failed to marry her son off to a young Pledged woman. Nor has a Lodge member married into the bloodline; every member who's tried over the centuries felt the wrath ofthe Unspoken Name. (One had to die at Draco's hands.)
In the case of the 2056 Phantom, there is no Lodge to manipulate him. Instead his problem is that he is a known and hunted outlaw. (After the Jammers, he's one QUITE wanted man.) The Prof recruited him on her way to the Netherworld, filling him in as repayment for his father's previous intervention on her behalf. What none know is that this Kit Walker is actually the black sheep of his extended family: he is related to Dr. Boatman through his mother; his mother died in a political purge and hisfather fell before a Buro assault upon the 2056 Bandar tribe. (The tribe fled to Skull Cave.)
Skull Cave, as mentioned above, is the traditional HQ of The Phantom. It is also a feng shui site of no small significace. This cave is vast. It contains a great treasure vault filled with all sorts of artifacts. One cave has the complete written history of the Phantoms of the past. In 1999 and 2056 a communications station exists. There is ample housing for himself, his aide and a handful of guests (like a group of PCs). However, the most powerful side cave is the crypt where all Phantoms are buried. Each one has his number (I to XXV) and the years he lived written in stone. The site, and all around it for 5 miles/8 kilometers has a juncture modifier of 0. Past allies, one of whom was a student of Dr. John Dee, placed an enchantment to prevent hostile magicians from coercising the dead to serve them. Any attempt to summon them will fail automatically. Anyone with Info/Geomancy or the Fertility schtick will (w/ a check against a 7) deduce that this site's chi is *very* strong. Finding it is impossible without the help of a Phantom to guide you. (Yes, that means Difficulty 25. Geomancers have it a little easier: 20.)
To attune to this site one must befriend the current Phantom. Those attuned to any Skull Cave recieves the usual benefits. In addition, they also gain one other benefit: they may add one additional positive to any *one* roll, once per session, and this may be cumulative with a spent Fortune die. Additional Skull Cave attunements do not grant additional dice. Instead, they grant more experience points: 8 pts. for two, and 12 pts. for three. Now you know why those Phantoms are so hard to kill. Should your PCs be so bold & lucky as to burn this site, they get 7 pts. instead of the usual 5 XP.
In any event, the Eaters of the Lotus have decided to co-opt the Sengh Brothers in all three junctures. In each juncture the current Sengh has a Lotus sorceror as an advisor and has no problems with using that power to achieve the Brotherhood's ends. In return, they assist the Lotus in seizing sites in their juncture. (Many consider granting their Sengh the same "gift" Big Brother Tsien received, thus allowing them to use their magic to control them.)
The other factions haven't a clue about what to do about these costumed do- gooders. The Hand occasionally allies with them, as do the Jammers. The Four Monarchs ignore him, and the independants' opinions vary greatly. (Death Shadow occasionally thinks about courting the 1999 Phantom.) Most of the time, they assume it's all some Dragon plot and act accordingly.
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