The 1st Phantom, known as Christopher Walker, is the first person to assume the mantle of the crime fighting hero known as The Phantom, the legendary 'Ghost Who Walks'. Over 400 years ago, the young Walker was sailing on the seas of Africa with his father, when they fell prey to an attack by pirates. The pirates slaughtered the ship's crew, but not before his father, the ship's captain, blew up his own ship. The only survivor was young Christopher who washed up onto the golden beaches of Bangalla. Finding the pirate lord who killed his father, the young man swore an oath over the skull of his father's murderer - that he and his descendants would devote their lives to "...the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice..." This oath would become the basis of The Oath of the Skull, the sacred pledge taken by each successive Walker that assumes the mantle of The Phantom. Thus, originated the 1st Phantom, and from him, an unbroken line that stretches down four centuries of history.
The First PhantomEdit
Christopher Kitridge Walker was born in 1516 as the son of Captain Christopher Standish Walker and Mary Walker of Plymouth, England. However, he himself states he was born in Portsmouth. He spent much of his childhood with his cousin Simon Walker. In 1527, he visited Rome, Italy with his father and discovered Caesar's Golden Laurel - a simple golden coronet in the shape of a laurel wreath that was the crown worn by Gaius Julius Caesar, the famous military general, politician and Dictator of Rome. According to legends it was gifted to him by Marc Antony in the Roman market place.
From 1530 to 1536, he served aboard his father's ship. There were few advantages in being the Captain's son. He started his nautical life as a shipboy. He would end it as first mate, fighting and dying at his father's side. It was on the last journey before his father's retirement, that events put in motion would have a lasting impact on the fate of young Christopher Walker and his descendants. On 17 February, 1536 Captain Walker's ship was moored of Bangalla's Golden Coast. His ship and crew slumber upon gently rolling waters after sailing a stormy sea. During their respite, they were suddenly set upon by pirates of the Singh Brotherhood, led by Captain Pava Singh. From the Barbary Coast 'round the Cape to Africa's horn, no standard was more feared than the flag of the Singh Brotherhood - bloodthirsty curs every one, and the Singh outnumbered Captain Walker's crew five-to-one. This brigands did not trade in slaves. They did not take prisoners of ransom. The Singh were a plague upon the seas, which turned to blood wherever they sailed.
Despite their valiant efforts, the loyal crew were quickly subdued by the pirates. Captain Walker conceded, and bowed before the pirate commander, and yielded his ship. Young Christopher yelled in frustration, unable to comprehend his father's willingness to surrender to the brigands. Unaware of his father's true intentions, he begged the Singh commander one last request to a dying foe - to reprimand the insolent youth for his hasty words. Pava Singh gave Captain Walker a dagger and allowed him to take matters into his own hands. The Captain stabbed his own son in the side, but as he did so, he pulled young Christopher towards him, a told him it was but a flesh wound. He then quickly enlightened his son and told him that he had not planned to give in to the pirates. Before he was killed, he told young Christopher to avenge him! Captain Singh quickly subdued the first mate with the pommel of his sword, knocking the youth unconscious. He then had him thrown overboard, an act that would save the young man's life! Before he died, Captain Walker told the pirate commander that he would have vengeance after death...as a Phantom. With these final words, Pava Singh cut off Captain Walker's head. Exalting in his victory, the pirates were unaware that Captain Walker had sent one of his men below decks, to aim a cannon directly into the hull, where the ship's main magazine was located. With a thunderous explosion, Captain Walker's vessel exploded spectacularly, killing all aboard.
The young first mate washed up ashore on the Golden Sands of Keela Wee. Captain Walker went down with his ship like a good captain should. But he made sure to take the Singh Brotherhood with him, both vessels reduced to so much flotsam and jetsam and scattered on Bangalla's golden beaches. In his own sacrifice, Kit's father bad him to avenge him. He left little else. From bow to stern, the ship was their fortune. The Walker family heirlooms were few, of sentimental worth only. This included a pair of British naval flintlock pistols that had washed ashore, still in their case. As Christopher explored the wreckage along the beach, he came upon the half drowned form of the pirate captain - Pava Singh! Seeing the young Walker boy alive, he told the young man that his back was broken. He demanded that the lad fetch him some water. Christopher believed that fate had delivered Pava Singh to him so that he might fulfill his father's last wish. He told himself this as he made his way into the surrounding jungle of Bengalla, thirst burning his throat, looking for a source of something to drink. Finding some local berries, he sampled a few, but immediately spat them out, as they were bitter and more than likely not fit for human consumption.
Christopher quickly discovered that the juice of the strange berries stained the skin a dark purple. Collecting a bunch of the berries, he took of his tunic and utilized the berries to daub the juice across his torso and face, making tribal striped patterns across his body. This granted him a feral and imposing appearance. Making his was back to the prostate form of the pirate captain, Pava Singh woke to the frightening appearance of the feral looking young and asked what exactly he was, in which the young man replied - a phantom. Pava Singh begged the phantom to take him to paradise and not leave him to the mercy of the carrion birds. The Phantom agreed to the pirate captain's request and granted him a final boon - he wouldn't leave him for the vultures, instead he left him to tender mercies of a gathering throng of sand crabs.
Death came slowly and righteously to the wicked and profane pirate captain, as the crabs slowly and painfully stripped the pirate captain's flesh from his body. Only after the flesh was consumed did The Phantom make his way to the corpse of Pava Singh and reached down and plucked his skull from the corpse. He then sword an oath upon the skulls of the man that had murdered his father, vowing to devote his life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice, in all their forms. He also vowed that his sons and their sons would follow him in assumed this sacred vow, which would become the basis of The Oath of the Skull - which would be taken by every subsequent first born son who assumed the mantle as the new Phantom. To walk the path of vengeance as a ghost among the living, one had to leave their soul behind. Kit Walker accepted this unalterable truth the day he died and was reborn as the first Phantom, for a soul weighs down a Phantom as if it were an anchor. Dropping the skull to the ground, young Christopher then stopped upon it, shattering it into a thousand pieces.
The young Walker lay on the golden sands of Bangalla's shores, starving and slowly dying of thirst. Fortunately, he was discovered by local inhabitants of the pygmy Bandar tribe. Showing pity to the dying outsider, the Bandar nursed the stranger that came from the sea. Though short in stature, the Bandar's charity for lost souls made them giants in a forbidding a place - the Deep Woods - Christopher Walker's new home and the country of his sons and their sons forevermore. When he finally awoke from his long slumber, he met the Bandar's chieftain, Turan, who miraculously, spoke perfect English. The Bandar were indeed a charitable tribe. But upon closer inspection they were also pitiless. They did not handle Christopher's wounds with a soft touch. But despite their unsubtle ministrations, the young man's wounds slowly began to heal. And so, he lived with his Bandar hosts, a small tribe of pygmy warriors, and despite the gardens of plenty availed by these Deep Wounds, Walker witnessed no marks of plague and no tales of famine. But he could sense the presence of ghosts, souls that once haunted their village. As Christopher's wounds healed, he found his old life awash on the Golden Beaches from the wreckage of his father's ship. His new life commenced with acquiring the foreign tongue utilized by the Bangallan tribes, which consisted of spoken words made of clicks and clacks and whistles. A new tongue to describe a jungle cat, or Walker's Bandar friends, or the dreaded giants they feared - the Wasaka.
This fierce tribe were paragons of the Deep Woods, and as cruel and unjust as any pirate of the high seas, making slaves of Bandar. But Christopher Walker had swore an oath after all. Following a raid by the Wasaka in which they took several young Badar children as slaves, Walker could not sit idly by, as he armed himself with his recovered flintlock pistols Enraged, he turned upon Chief Turan and asked him why they didn't fight the Wasaka. He had seen his men stalk panthers and knew that the tips of their arrows were dipped in a potent poison. Angrily, the diminutive chief struck the larger man in the face with his stick. He informed younger Walker the reason they did not fight was because of prophecy. Walker was the prophesied one that had come from the sea to free the Bandar - 'The Ghost Who Walks'. Walker replied that he was a Phantom. Turan then told The Phantom they he should know when it was time to hunt and when it was time to haunt. Nodding in understanding, Walker told the Chief to gather all his remaining tribes, and to tell him everything he knew of the Wasaka.
Uzukl the Demon GodEdit
The next day Walker, in his Phantom persona, confronted the Wasaka chieftain and respectfully requested that he release the captured Bandar tribesmen that had been forced into servitude. The chieftain joked that they were bigger and the Bandar were smaller. It was the first rule of the jungle - the highest tree cast the longest shadow. Thus, The Phantom was forced to go above the head of the tall king, and petitioned their deity - Uzukl, the Daemon God. But the king refused, as he was the only one allowed to speak to the demon god of the Wasaka. The Phantom asked the chief if he would mind delivering a message. When young Walker was brought to the shrine of Uzukl, he saw that their so-called 'god' was nothing more than the remains of a long-dead warrior of the Knights Templar enthroned upon an elaborate ceremonial seat made of human bones. At that moment, as The Phantom gazed upon the skeletal knight, he saw that they were kindred spirits, strangers in strange lands - Ghosts Who Walk. No longer amused by the interloper's presence, the Wasaka chief took the longsword from the dead knight's grasp and prepared to strike The Phantom down.
However, Walker was prepared and threw a bag containing the Bandar's magic at the attacking tall king, which exploded and temporarily blinded him, allowing Walker to pick up the fallen sword. Surprised, the Wasaka chief asked The Phantom why did he care so much for these ants, and what did he gain in waging war on the mighty Wasaka? Just before he took the chief's head from his shoulders, The Phantom replied that he cared, because the tall king was cruel and unjust, and he had sworn an oath. With their chief slain, The Phantom called upon his Bandar allies to reveal themselves, and to show them how an army of 'ants' could fell a tall tree. The Wasaka learned that day in the Deep Woods. The Phantom fears no demon, for he had embraced the mark of the skull and made it his own. Before departing the village, The Phantom took the suit of chainmail of the long dead knight and wore it as his own. He then burned both the remains and the ossuary throne it had sat upon for centuries. The second rule the Wasaka learned that day was this - to avert one's eyes, for to look the 'Ghost Who Walks' in his eyes was to see death itself. Thus, the legend of The Phantom was born - a measure of ear, whispered in an ear - or equal parts hope, passed on in story. The Bandar would go on to help The Phantom find a new home - the legendary Skull Cave in the Deep Woods - where every generation of Walker would be born, raised and die.
In 1538, Christopher had a vision and saw his recently deceased cousin Simon Walker (though he did not know that Simon was already dead at that point), who asked him to clear his name. He then traveled to Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. Upon his arrival, he quickly discovered that Simon had been part of a mission to retrieve lost treasures which had been captured by Arab thugs. Simon had been accused by the only knight who had been let go his captors, of having been broken down by incessant torture and revealing where the treasure was hidden. Simon's servant Drago, who had also been let go by his captures, told The Phantom that it had been, in fact, the knight who had betrayed the location of the treasure. The 1st Phantom managed to clear his cousin's name and was for the first time called 'The Phantom' by the Ottom Sultan Suleiman, who believed it was Simon Walker returning from beyond the grave. He was then made a knight of the Order of Saint John (better known as the Knights Hopsitaller] at Malta.
The Skull RingEdit
After his adventures in Malt, The Phantom traveled back to England, and through a sequence of events he was given the famed Skull Ring from the Swiss scholar Paracelsus, who handed it over to him shortly before his death in 1541. There are many conflicting theories as to the true origins of the Skull Ring, but it is generally believed that this ring is far older than the legendary Phantom. There are several conflicting theories about the origins of the ring, but as much is certain that it once belonged to the Roman Emperor Nero and was used as a key to a special vault located in the catacombs beneath Rome, which was said to contain a fabulous jewel. Speculation persists that this jewel might have been the fabled Apple of Nero's Eye, a large emerald that was utilized by Nero as an eyeglass.
Son of The PhantomEdit
In 1542, The Phantom met Gabrielle de Montmorency in Paris, France. She was the cousin of the monarch of France, King Francis I. The queen had received news of a plot of treason and sent Gabrielle to warn the king. Together with the 1st Phantom she saved the king from being murdered. The Phantom left her in Paris the day after they first met. Thirty years later, in 1572, the 2nd Phantom received a visitor in The Skull Cave who brought a letter from Gabrielle to the 1st Phantom informing him that their son, René de Montmorency, had been imprisoned in Paris. Unknown to anyone, the 1st Phantom and Gabrielle had a brief tryst, which resulted in her becoming pregnant with his son. The 1st Phantom never knew of his son's existence. Ironically, the 1st Phantom had met René in 1563, but both were unaware of their relationship. The 2nd Phantom would later travel to Paris in 1572 where he met his stepbrother René and Gabrielle.
The 1st Phantom courted and later married Marabella of Maravilloso, the granddaughter of famed explorer Christopher Columbus in 1545. He would later have a son with her, whom he would name Kit Walker, who would go on to become the 2nd Phantom.
Siege of Malta and DeathEdit
In 1565, the 1st Phantom would participate in the defense of Malta against the Sultan Suleiman, when the when the Ottoman Empire tried to invade the island of Malta, then held by the Order of Saint John. Receiving word from his fellow knights, both the 1st Phantom and his son, then a young adult, made all haste to the besieged island. The Knights, with approximately 2,000 footsoldiers and 400 Maltese men, women and children, managed to withstand the siege and repelled the invaders. Wearing a suit of armor provided by his fellow knights, the 1st Phantom took part in the defense of Malt but was badly wounded in the process. After the battle, the 1st Phantom and his son then returned to Bangalla, but at that time, the means of traveling were not as advanced in those days, so they didn't arrive in the Skull Cave until February 1566. By then, the 1st Phantom was so weak that he quickly succumbed and died of his wounds shortly after his son, who by then was 18 years old, had sworn The Oath of the Skull and assumed the sacred mantle as the 2nd Phantom.
- Olympic Level Athlete
- Animal Control
- Escape Artist
- Expert Tracker
- Expert Marksmanship
- Unarmed Combat
- Weapon Master
Weapons & EquipmentEdit
- Phantom Suit - Originally, the 1st Phantom utilized a set of chainmail taken from the body of a fallen Knights Templar knight. He would later make the trademark dark purple outfit, whose colors were inspired by the color of the juice from the Bangallan berried he discovered when he first washed ashore on the Golden Beaches of Keela Wee.
- Domino Mask - Initially, the 1st Phantom daubed black paint around his eyes. Later he would adopt a domino mask, a small rounded mask covers the area around the eyes and the space between them.
- Skull Ring - The 1st Phantom received the skull ring sometime in 1541, and since then has utilised it as a means to leave a bad mark (known as a 'Skull Mark') upon a criminal, to permanently mark them as an unsavory person.
- Leather Belt
- Pair of British Naval Flintlock Pistols
- Dagger - The 1st Phantom also used a dagger which was hidden in his boot.
|21st and current Phantom|
The Past Phantoms