TraceHyde, reporting for duty to portray the role of Umiko Cliffcrush
, energetic adventurer, bearer of a great warrior tradition, and freestyle rap enthusiast! I'll stick to my signature Blue
for spoken text. By the by, found this class
. Don't think it will be approved, but it would make a cool gestalt...
Basic Backstory (part one of infinity)
The Cliffcrush 'family' is run in a way without much in the way of gender politics; rather, it is a case of might makes right, and the strongest of a couple always pass on their name to the next generation as the dominant identity. And out of the Crushing Valley clans that worked that way, Cliffcrush was most popular simply due to their will to never lose a 'marital battle', an odd ritual in which the happy couple thought it out to knockout. Thankfully, this is the sort of demi-setting where violence is casual and cartoonish for the most part - where continent destroying fights are just ways to settle arguments. However, there was one travelling representative of the Kenpachi clan, known for the strongest warriors and swordsmen in the entire world and owner of many honourable generals, one particularly badass individual of a man by the name of Zukri Kenpachi; one day he came upon the Crushing Valley and became quite smitten with oen of the residents, one Abigail Cliffcrush - the town 'mystic'. She was known as one of the 'weaker' for the Cliffcrush clan, simply because she possessed an ability to read which, while making her a freak, in no way opposed the full extent of strength. After a bit of 'courting' - dating etiquette is a bit weird in the Valley, you don't want to know, the rather brutish Zukri found the girl to be pleasant enough to complete him, but strong enough to not be boring to him, and decided to tie the knot. Now, let me be clear, the man wasn't weak. In fact nowadays there's an army in the tens of thousands he leads - and by 'leads' I mean he mostly just kills half of any given fight with his own high fantasy sword play (see Roranoa Zoro) and lets his army clean up what's left. But upon that day, Abigail set their marital battle with a single technique that we in the old country like to call a 'Glasgow Kiss'.
They had but a single hild together, one Umiko. Though even after his emasculating defeat, Zukri stuck around for a while, proud of his daughter all the same, yet eventually teh real world caught up with him and he had to return home, leaving the Valley forever with little in the way of means to return home. Whether he told anyone of the valley or his daughter remains unclear, but he did leave her a trinket - his family seal, an amulet she could use to get by in the 'human' lands if ever she thought to seek him out. No one would dare cross someone that bears a mark of Kenpachi, after all. Years would go by however and Umiko would learn little of her father, being to young to remember much of him in the first place, and knowing little of him other than teh fact he was apparently a total weakling. That, or her mum was every bit the badass she looked up to her for being, because in all of her stories, no matter the spar or brawl or fight to the death, he never seemed to win any of them in the Valley, least of all against Abigail. (a 'fight to the death' is a local slang for a contest of who can knock the other further way with a single blow - there's a vertical varient where they see who can be sent furthest flying - which her mother holds the record for - remember that, it's important for later)
Here, have a typical scene from the every day life of 11 year old Umiko growing up in the Valley. Wake up at 5am sharp to the sound of the neighbour's porch exploding. No police report filed. Try and go back to sleep, only to have mother shake her awake - by punching the ground so hard it causes a an impossibly localised earthquake. School hasn't started yet - get breakfast of raw mammoth meat and our heroine is sent off to run laps around the nearest field for the next 3 hours. Go to school. Mum is teaching the class today, just like 90% of the time. Get taunted for being teacher's daughter. Abigail punches taunters through wall. They seem fine. Umiko is openly scolded for not punching them herself. She explains she wanted to try using her words, like she said to. Abigail tuts and shakes her head at the naive girl, explaining that 'words are for those who listen'. No one ever found out that Umiko was taught how to read (by her mother) - none of the other kids are very good at speaking; they couldn't even tell when Umiko was insulting them. After long day of school (2 hours) goes home, punches favourite rock a few dozen times while mother tells her of outside world. A boy pulls her hair as she goes to get more mammoth; she punches him to the ground and he kicks her through a tree. They'd call it love at first punch later, though the cute relationship would only last a week before they found someone they preferred fighting better and he ran off with some musclebound hussie. Sparring with mother; opens fight by pouncing on her from nearby cliff without warning; halfway through freefall kick, her mother remarks that she could easily use 'that' technique from this position, Umiko freaks out in the bizarre game of chicken and settles for being slapped into the cliff face. Wake up 10 hours later, repeat.
One day Abigail declared it was time. She told Umiko, while outside, of the true nature of the Cliffcrush clan. None were heirs by birthright but by determination; in their earlier days they would selectively adopt the strongest orphans to carry on their family name, a practice that her mother was the last to experience, it being very rare even in her day.
"Long story short, you have to prove you're strong without us"
"How do I do that, mum?"
"Simple. By not dying and finding your way back here. There's at least one man I know that managed to find this place, why don't you go ask him?"
"You mean dad? But I don't even know hwat he looks like or where he lives or..."
"He has seven fingers."
"Oh. Yeah, that does narrow it down. Wait, do you mean 7 on each hand or..."
"Goodbye, Umiko Kenpachi."
"You're no longer my daughter. When an individual - who is perhaps you, returns here some day having found their 'strength' in the world, they shall be my daughter. And get everything in your room."
"See you around, kid. Come back when you find your role in life, or not at all."
"Wait, at least let me pack, I-"
Abigail picks her up by the head, tossing her into the air like a shuttlecock she's serving, bringing her leg back triumphantly.
"Cliffcrusher Hidden Technique..."
She jumps, kicking out as hard as she can at her daughter's centre of gravity
By the time she cam to, Umiko was in midair, flying over the mountain ridges that surround her valley. Did I mention that? Yeah, the valley itself is about sea level, but teh surrounding cliffs are a cross between the Alps, Everest and Mordor, impossibly all enveloping, tall, and filled with natural and magical hazards; completely insurmountable from either direction to her knowledge. As she watched her home drift by, she was thankful that at least her mother's kick didn't hurt. Though she wasn't so sure about the fall.
So it came to pass that Umiko, at the age of 15, was punted into the world on her own forced pilgrimage of enlightenment,to put it in non-insane terms. What she was supposed to do or where her path would take her, she knew not; all she knew was that by the time she landed, her mother's technique had taken her perhaps a thousand miles form home. In what she could only assume was the wrong direction, no less, as no one within a hundred miles of wwhere she landed spoke the language of her father. Perhaps as a trial or a prank or absent minded mistake, Umiko was left with the Kenpachi seal, which she scarcely used, but her mother never once EVER told her her father's name. If she wasn't so strong, so charismatic and so bred for adventure, the poor girl would have probably died in those few months when she first set out to explore the world. Thankfully she took quite well to her new lifestyle. In fact, several months at a time can go by where she seems to forget her task altogether and just enjoys herself and whatever company is available. Though, and this is an angle she probably never considered herself, perhaps that too is a part of her pilgrimage.