he Seventh Phantom's adventures were responsible
for the additions of several important traditions in the lives of the
Phantoms. These came about largely because of his friendship with two powerful
men. Because the Seventh's mother was French (the
Sixth had married Natala, Queen of France), he was sent to France for his
education. There he met and became friends with the Crown Prince Arami of
Timann (a district in India). After school, each returned to his own country,
not sure if they would ever meet again.
When the Seventh began to dream about his childhood friend, he decided to
travel to India and see Arami once more. Fortunately, he arrived just in time
to save his friend, who had been kidnapped by Sengh pirates. He also recovered
from the pirates many stolen treasures including a unique artifact, the White
Horseman. This small statue can supposedly can reveal the future, and it is
considered valuable beyond price. In gratitude for his rescue, Arami gave the
Phantom the statue to take back to Bengalla, where it rests to this day in the
Treasure Room. It is one of the Phantom's most valued possessions, one which
he has had to defend especially against the Sengh, who prize it highly.
Some time later, the Seventh encountered another ruler closer to home. This
was Emperor Joonkar, the young monarch of the vast empire of Nyahpura, which
once stretched from the seas along Bengalla's coast all the way into the Misty
Mountains. The feared mountain princes were, in fact, vassals of this great
kingdom. In the seventeenth century, when the empire reached its zenith under
the rule of Joonkar, Nyahpura boasted a palace and gardens to rival
Versailles. Joonkar imported culture from as far away as Europe, and his court
displayed a wealth and elegance unsurpassed in the world.
Joonkar himself was considered a wise and compassionate ruler, and was
renowned as a hunter. After years of bachelorhood, he finally fell madly in
love with a beautiful princess named Sheeba, from a distant country called
Adzahbadar. Their marriage was arranged, and Sheeba set sail to Joonkar's
While awaiting her arrival, Joonkar went on a hunting expedition which
eventually took him into jungles that neither he now his entourage had ever
entered before. Joonkar was a courageous sportsman who preferred to hunt with
a crossbow and a small lance (to the horror of his protective court.) The
hunting has bountiful - not surprising had Joonkar known that he had crossed
into a jungle under the protection of The Phantom, who had made these lands
into a wildlife preserve. The Phantom had forbidden hunting to all but the
natives who needed to hunt for their meat. Joonkar had shot all manner of
game, but was caught by surprise when his beaters accidentally flushed a
lioness and her cubs. The great cat charged Joonkar before he could ready a
weapon to defend himself. As the lioness leaped, and the emperor prepared for
death, a strange masked figure dropped from an overhanging tree right onto the
lioness' back. The lioness twisted in midair to slash her attacker, but the
Phantom managed to drive his knife into her heart in time.
When the young hunter thanked the masked stranger, the Phantom told him he
was welcome to the rescue, but informed Joonkar that he was trespassing, and
that hunting was not allowed in these woods. Joonkar assumed that his rescuer
simply did not know he was addressing the ruler of this and all other land
within many days travel of the spot on which they stood. But when Joonkar
revealed his identity, the Phantom did not change his attitude, but still
ordered him to leave. Joonkar became angry, but the Phantom would not be
cowed. The tension escalated. The Phantom's tribal allies showed themselves,
surrounding Joonkar's armed guards and holding them at bay with their lethal,
poison-tipped arrows. The impetuous emperor became increasingly angry and
humiliated in front of his men, to the point where Joonkar drew a knife and
rushed the Phantom. The Phantom managed to subdue him without harming him,
using a pressure-point to render the emperor unconscious.
When he awoke, Joonkar acknowledged that the Phantom could easily have
killed him but didn't, and admitted that he had behaved badly in return for
the masked man's help. He pledged his friendship to the Phantom from that day
While he awaited his bride, Joonkar entertained the Phantom at his court.
But she was taking an unreasonably long time, and finally Joonkar found out
that she was not simply delayed: her ship had been captured by pirates. They
were anchored a mile offshore, where they displayed their prize with a
terrifying boldness: the princess was locked in an iron cage, suspended high
up on the main mast. Hanging under it was a barrel of gunpowder. The price of
ransom was two million pounds of gold, and rising by a million pounds an hour!
The pirates also demanded that Joonkar give them that coastal land and its
harbor for a pirate city.
The Phantom advised Joonkar to stall for one hour, and sent the pirate's
emissary back to his ship with that word. The pirates, convinced that the
emperor was about to pay them a fabulous ransom, began to celebrate wildly,
just as the Phantom had hoped. While they drank and caroused, the Phantom swam
to their ship, boarded by climbing the anchor chain, and quietly made his way
to the suspended cage. He freed the princess and lit the fuse on the barrel of
Phantom and Sheeba slipped into the water just before the ship exploded
with an immense blast. The pirates who survived the explosion leaped into the
water to save themselves. Joonkar, watching from the shore, believed that the
Phantom and his bride had perished, and ordered his soldiers to kill
everything moving in the water. But the first swimmer to arrive at shore was
the Phantom, carrying Sheeba in his arms and looking, to the soldiers, like a
man who had returned from the dead.
The emperor married his bride and took her to honeymoon at the most magical
place in all his vast kingdom. He owned a fabulous beach named Keela-Wee,
where the sand shown in the sun with a dazzling golden shimmer because it was,
in fact, almost half gold dust. This beach was strictly guarded by the
emperor's soldiers, and none were allowed to trespass there. On it, Joonkar
built his bride a honeymoon hut carved from pure green jade, the fabled stone
prized even higher than gold throughout the East. It was a magnificent
creation. As they lay within, the delicate, sculptural lattice cast a
sheltering lace coverlet of shadows and moonlight over the happy lovers.
But the happiness of Joonkar and Sheeba, unfortunately, was not destined to
last. One year later, she died in childbirth. Joonkar was devastated. He
mourned in seclusion for a full year, and never returned to the beach or the
hut in his lifetime, for the pain of his loss was too great. Instead, he gave
Keela-Wee and its jade hut to the Phantom and his heirs "forever and a
Since that time, every Phantom has spent his honeymoon night with his bride
in the jade hut on the golden beach. No one else is allowed to enter the
secluded beach except the natives, with whom the Phantoms share it solely for
their yearly mass wedding ceremonies. When the couples are joined in marriage,
they run into the water, then roll on the sand and coat their bodies with
shining gold. Then each couple walks through the jade hut before dashing
together into the woods.
Over the years, strangers have sometimes tried to loot the beach or steal
the hut, but they have met unhappy fates, thus proving the truth of the jungle
saying, "He who comes to Keela-Wee Beach without love, dies."
Joonkar never remarried, but his friendship with the Phantom became a
lifelong one. Years later, the emperor decided to commission a monument to
this mysterious man who had done so much for him and for his country. He
decided that nothing less than a mountain would be appropriate. So he
commissioned an Italian sculptor of the school of Michelangelo to design the
Phantom's head on a stone peak, and hired tribes of natives to do the carving.
The eventual result was Phantom's Peak (or Phantom's Head), which still stands
today, an eternal tribute in stone to the Man Who Never Dies.