Phantom: Revenge (PhR) is a short story written by American author, Brandon Somerville. In the first series of fourteen novels, PhR is the second released novel and the first novel of the timeline. It takes place, as all the novels do, in the fictional universe known as the Anaxverse. It was originally published on the 31st of October 2016. It was given a quality of life update, including character logs, on the 31st of October 2017.
Title and Publication
Mr. Somerville originally published PhR as a visual novel with adult elements. In the future, he will be writing all the novels as ebooks. In the original versions, they are written in a second-person perspective as the author felt it worked best in a "choose your own adventure" setting. However, in the ebook form, the novels will be written in the third person allowing for far more insight and exposition. While this publication was not as widely received as some of Somerville's other novels, the length of it helps introduce newer readers to the style of story to be expected of the other novels.
The Anaxverse series of novels can be read in any order, even though they follow a certain chronology. But, because the novels overlap and the stories are all interconnected in meaningful ways, it does not matter the order they are read.
Phantom: Revenge starts from the perspective of Dagan Erebus. Dagan is on death row, about to be put to death for the rape and enslavement of women, and for leading a cult. At this showing is Amelia Williams, the district attorney whom helped convict Dagan. Dagan recalls how he got to where he is, recalling a tome he found as a construction worker. This tome (Codex Gigas) let him strike a deal with Aka Manah, a demon whom promised Dagan the power to enslave women by selling his soul. Dagan did so, and started forming his cult. Eventually, he garnered money and power, and he started his own business. He erected the Erebus Building. Eventually, a trail of evidence points towards Dagan. An entity known as The Librarian appears to ask for the tome back, but Dagan refuses. She leaves, and Dagan is shortly later convicted. Just before his execution, Dagan corrupts his own lawyer, orders her to release his other cult members from their asylum, and details a back-up plan to his goons on how to escape his execution. Dagan promises revenge on Amelia. He is then executed.
Dagan’s spirit meets Aka Manah, meant to consume his soul. Dagan stalls for time, and soon his spirit is pulled away from the realm, Aka Manah shouting in the background. Dagan materializes to see two of his henchmen, Doc and Weasel, having completed a ceremony Dagan had ordered them to perform on his death. Dagan had returned as a phantom. Dagan states his want to turn Amelia into his fetter. He reaches Amelia, and merges with her body. When she awakens, Dagan can feel her vitals, but it feels distant. He bides his time.
Over the next few days, Dagan slowly corrupts the woman by performing subtle influences. He begins to understand how Aka Manah was able to twist his victim’s souls, and does the same to Amelia. She fights with great resistance, but over time that resistance is weakened more and more. Dagan finds he is more powerful at night, so subtly influences her subconscious while she sleeps. Dagan begins to influence her to accept him as her master. With the help of Doc and Weasel her corruption quickens. By smoking, one barrier is removed. By inducing masochism, another is. The emotional scarring and eventual murder of her husband is the final break.
When Amelia has only the smallest flicker of light left as a soul, Dagan confronts her. He confirms his presence within her, and reminds her of his promise to seek revenge. As Amelia stands in defeat, Dagan sends one final onslaught. Amelia relents, accepting herself as a slave to the master that Dagan is. She is told she will be the leader of his new cult. Her skin grays, and her eyes glow. She is reborn as the first Haunted.
It is then revealed Dagan’s new base of operations is in Amelia’s office. Through her, he started working on getting hold of the police, the courts, and other powerful positions in New York City. Through the power taken from consuming Amelia’s soul, and an incantation she reads from his tome, Dagan is able to manifest as a phantom again. The two are ready to begin his cult anew.