Taylor Xiao Farretti (nee Chun)
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Archetype and Design
In design, Phantom was drawn from silver age era magic users and mystics. A little bit of Dr. Strange and a little bit of Son of Satan were the inspiration for the character. Originally intended to take on the Gatekeeper powerset from the Freedom City setting, she was instead developed as her own legacy. Her costume was drawn from the same era. The Cloak and Dagger designs of the 1980s as well as the same era Zantanna costume.
Current Role and Hooks
Phantom's role is to enforce the pact and keep things where they belong. Although she lives on the Earth of Freedom City's setting, she can - and has - been active across the multiverse. She has in the past filled in for the cryptic mystic role as her abilities tend to mean she's a good go-to when esoteric information needs to be uncovered. Phantom can be a good introductory thread for characters from another dimension as in setting, she has good reason to check up on them. These threads have run the gamut from hostile to helpful for the trans-dimensional character.
Other potential hooks for Phantom include her connections to the supernatural community, especially the vampires as her spouse is Jack Farretti and their son is a half-vampire, or dhampir. She's in the twenty-something/thirty-something group of parents with young families so characters with kids in either Claremont or its elementary school could easily know her.
Taylor Chun was a nineteen year old linguistics student when her Great Uncle entrusted her with the Eye of Heshem for safe-keeping. Despite all odds, or perhaps because it had always been intended for her, she was able to translate and pronounce the Atlantean inscription on the back. In the blink of an eye, she was given the power, and responsibility, of Phantom. Also known as the Chosen of Heshem, she serves to keep the balance of the multiverse, fighting from threats that might unravel creation itself.
She was trained by several mystics from various dimensions in the Dimension of Doors and, to her count of time, was there for at least a few years. During that time, she was not allowed to return home and had assumed time was passing in a similar vein for her family as she went through the process of grieving them. Taylor was disoriented when she returned to find that no time on Prime seemed to have passed at all.
Since then, she's gone on to make connections in the super hero community, fighting alongside various heroes and taking part in battles both large and small. Most recently, she's returned from a long absence from at least Earth Prime to resurrect her life once more.
Costume and Appearance
Taylor is a small woman out of her costume and her body was frozen in time at the moment she accepted the duties of her role. Although she is imbued with plenty of mystical potency, she was given no particular offensive skills and has to train for those as any mortal woman would and the tone of her muscles comes from regular practice and workouts. She favors kickboxing as her activity of choice. At 5'1", Taylor is short but her frame is compact and toned under her curves. Her speaking voice is in the alto range, the tone low and slightly husky. Her hair is black, long and straight.
As Phantom, she wears a long-sleeved, high necked purple leotard that includes a face-mask. She wears long leather gloves and leather thigh boots and over all of it a voluminous cloak that is tattered on its edges and when she lands, trails on the ground.
In either guise, she is never without the Atlantean amulet, the Eye of Heshem around her throat, the chain is old and thick, matching the setting of the Eye itself which holds a dark faceted gem of unknown origin.
The most obvious and casual manifestation of what Phantom is, is the fact that she flickers in and out of reality - not quite fully here unless she makes the choice to manifest fully. Taylor's ephemeral state is tied to her fight/flight reflexes and those who know Taylor well, are well aware that startling her will generally result in her phasing through whatever she might be standing near at the time. The magic she summons most often is made manifest with same white eldritch witch light that flashes across the Void and gives her eyes their otherworldly glow. There have been times when rage has fueled her powers instead and during those rare moments, her eyes and magic have been marked by the black of the Void instead. Unlike most casters, Phantom has no need of word or gesture to summon magic to her hands but when exhausted, she does fall back on those routes to help her focus.
Taylor Chun is the youngest of five children. Her father is Chinese American and her mother is Caucasian of mixed ancestry although she takes great pride in her various heritages. There is a running gag for Taylor's mother's attempts at making fusion dishes of the mixed heritage that are usually terrible. Both of Taylor's parents are doctors at one of Freedom City's hospitals, and her brother has taken on a similar career path. Her other brothers have all gone into various STEM career paths and Taylor has always been considered the 'artistic' one for her career in translation and the humanities. Taylor eventually confessed that she had an alter-ego and her family is somewhat bemused and dismayed at turns at the very different life she has from what they expected. That she vanishes for long stretches with no warning doesn't help.
Taylor began a rather troubled relationship with a fellow team-mate on the Knights of Freedom, Jack Farretti, not long after she joined the super-team. Despite the odds, their relationship survived both super-heroics and the revelation of Jack's true nature. They were married in December, 2009 and had a dhampir son, JJ, in short order - whose conception was a shock to everyone involved. The family now includes his teenage self from the future that Taylor is more than a little lost on how to handle. Huang, the elder version, is a student at Claremont and teen super-hero hoping to follow in his parents footsteps (but cooler!), and JJ has just started kindergarten at the associated elementary.
The Haunted House
These days, Taylor's home is the one she shares with her husband and their children, a rather older looking manor in North Bay that's up at the end of a long, winding drive. The Farretti home looks like one of the oldest houses in Freedom City, and it is. It's well cared for but thanks to countless movies, the older style victorian lines give it a more sinister look that isn't helped by the fact that heavy tree cover has been cultivated and in addition to the pool, the grounds also hold a not insignificant family mausoleum.
The house is hard to find if you don't know exactly where you're going. There's a mystical energy that encourages people to drive past the overgrown drive - which is why they by and large have mail sent to post office boxes rather than deal with a constantly lost mailman. To the more knowing eye, the whole area pulses with the magic that has been carefully worked over it, from the wards and runes that see to the protection, to the ghosts that populate the house. The haunters are largely happy and consider those living there, as well as properly introduced guests, family and respond to them. They are given free reign to scare away any who aren't welcome, and even encouraged.
There are certainly dimensions where there are versions of Taylor Chun among the near Earths but there is no duplicate of Phantom's particular bailiwick of any sort. When she accepted the burden, she was pulled outside of the fabric of Earth Prime to coexist in the Void. Technically speaking, she's no longer fully native to the dimension of Freedom City and the powers associated with that have no Near Earth counterparts. A hook has been left for there to be a counterpart to Phantom with similar rights and duties but imbued with light instead of the shadows, Dagger to her Cloak if you will if interest ever arrises in using that hook.
Allies, Associates and Enemies
- Avenger: Jack might be semi-retired from his crime-fighting these days, and busy with his role among his vampiric brethren, but Taylor has no doubts that he'd be there when the chips are down, her husband has her back. Despite her tendency to avoid getting involved in vampire politics, if there was a real threat, she'd be there.
- Fleur De Joie: In many ways, Stesha was the first real friend Taylor made after becoming Phantom. The woman has literally died to keep her son safe (she got better), and Taylor has never forgotten that.
- Ouroboros: The teen mystic is Taylor's own (if time-lost) son. Regardless of the oddity of his sudden appearance in her life, Taylor would fight as hard for him as she would for his five year old self. She's pretty darn unlikely to let him anywhere near a fight or call on him, much to the teen's eternal frustration.
- Grimalkin: The dark fae is an ex-Knight, like Taylor and her husband, and although her relationship with Grim has been strained at times for various reasons, she still one of the super heroes that Taylor trusts most with her many secrets.
- Wander: The time displaced powerhouse was JJ's baby sitter in her high school days. Taylor doesn't really keep in touch but she trusts Wander the most of that year of Claremont's graduates.
- Sandman: The inheritor of his wife's legacy, Taylor feels some responsibility to see that he survives cutting his teeth on the supernatural. He's not quite a protege but she's trying to keep an eye out for him.
- Set: A recent associate, but the displaced Egyptian god reminds her - sometimes unsettlingly - of some of Ouroboros' foibles and she's rather fond of his keeper, Sekhmet.
- Scarab: Although Taylor and Elena are friends, they are often at odds with the way to approach most problems. Their relationship has been a little strained ever since the explosion of the Knights.
- Zealot: One of the few people who has successfully gotten the drop on Taylor. Of all the enemies she's fought, many of them more powerful, she's least likely to be rational about this one.
- Dracula: Dude sent minions to crash her wedding and then showed up to try and steal or perhaps kill her unborn son on the day of his birth. There's not a whole lot of entities Taylor truly hates but he's on that short list.