Gens Kumari

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Gens Kumari
The Lords of Land and Sea

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The Kumari endured a tumultuous period after the Great Uprising, losing a majority of their warships on a quest by their current Maori, Kumari Asha, to chase Leviathan to the ends of Creation. But from those difficult pressures, coal was turned to a diamond, and the Gens Kumari's head became the Shogun.

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History

Kumari, the founder, was exalted by the Water Dragon on the eve of the Divine Rebellion. The head of a fishing family, Kumari and her three daughters; Abayomi, Kokumo, and Faizah, were each Exalted for their ferocious spirit and hard-headed nature. It was this trait, and their remarkable physical prowess, that drew the demon lord Gandiva from the depths of the ocean to them. Entering into a contract with the great beast- for it cared not for loyalty to it's family, but only for engaging in thrilling combat-, a master craftsman forged Gandiva into a sentient, living weapon, powered by the familial culture of the Kumari clan, one of the ten legendary Relics crafted from living demons to grant the side of the Gods the power to fight against their makers. Kumari herself never lived to see the weapon crafted, as she died engaging in a pitched sea battle, but Kokumo was the first wielder of the great trident after it was made, and from her it passed through the family during the war, always ready to be picked up by the next successor after the death of the previous one. As the weapon and the family became more intertwined, the stylized Kraken that had been scrawled onto ships and doors to represent the demon lord's cult became the sigil of the clan itself, waving defiantly upon the flagpole of warships. When the war was finished, it was Faizah who was holding the trident, and it was Faizah who was crowned the first Maori of the emergent gens Kumari.

The Kumari adapted well to navel structure, taking it the same way that they took to fishing boats, but they were known for being rambunctious to officers not of their own blood. It was at times frustrating to deal with for a newly formed naval power; that a fairly powerful and well respected family had issues with authority was not strange, but that they would uniformly only really listen to other Kumari made them difficult to handle. This tenuous situation reached a head in the Niborian Conflict, when the new head of the Kumari, Gamba, and his equivalent officer of a different naval unit, came to blows during a naval conflict. Even at the time, there was no ability to determine who was truly at fault over the issue, as the issue that caused the ships to turn on each other wasn't recorded. But it represented a significant moment in the Kumari History. Once the Nioborian Conflict was finished, the Kumari were put on notice for their actions, and would spend a good deal of time rebuilding a tarnished reputation.

The Kumari split came much later. The position of Maori became contested between the twins Zuberi and Zuwena; Zubei a powerful and cunning warrior, Zuwena a brilliant and wise leader and governor. There was no effective way to end their conflict; the two were so different in their capabilities that neither of the two- or their camps- would accept a contest, and the head of the family would not pick between them- a lack of spine that was rare and had been an issue to the Gens at the time-. Rather then drawing the entire family into a succession war, Zuwena took her camp and left the continent of Creation, retreating far to the West to the island holdings of the Kumari. Any members of Zuberi's camp were sent back to the Continent, and essentially two Kumari gens were created; neither would renounce the name, but they would have almost no contact with each other either. Because of this, the Kumari Culture was split; the more aggressive, warlike Kumari stayed on the continent as premier members of the Deliberative navy, while the cultural Kumari lived on the Western Islands, managing far off colonies and supply farms. It was during the tumultuous time that Gandiva was lost from the Kumari, as neither group was willing to concede the weapon to the other, eventually leading to it being lost at sea. This was a significant blow to the Kumari's power, and without the blessing of their patron weapon, began to lead to a slow decline of the Gens.

During the lead up to the Great Uprising, the Maori of the time, Asha, slowly grew to despise Leviathan. Her relationship with the Lunar became more and more strained as she was denied promotions in the navy, and she began to believe Leviathan had a grudge against the Kumari for a reason she didn't understand. The Lunar himself did little to challenge this perception  It was this growing frustration that assisted in making her support the Great Uprising, as the Kumari warships turned on the Lunar, while a different group of them, lead by Asha's mother, slew Gens Kenshi, who had refused to join in the Uprising. With the Kenshi manor in flames, the only remaining target of the Kumari was Leviathan, and when the Lunar fled the field, the Kumari chased, leaving only the barest skeleton of members on the continent, including her daughter, Kumari Nahla, who took the mantle of Maori with the majority of the Gens chasing the fleeing Leviathan.

Kumari Nahla took the reins in the middle of a time of great upheaval, and in the time after the Uprising, the world did not settle. With warlords vying for power and the machinations of a Dragonblooded who saw the world as being on the edge of catastrophe, Kumari Nahla found her gentle nature betraying her as individuals took advantage of her good graces. Even the return of the Island Kumari under Kumari Noh did not cease this, and after one too many betrayals, and the revelation of her grandmother's actions to the Kenshi by the only remaining member, Kenshi Fuuma, Kumari Nahla hardened her heart and became a relentless, aggressive ruler. She plotted her own betrayal, taking a number of high ranking gens members hostage, and forcing their families to swear fealty to her as Shogun, supported by the powerful land army of the Saibok Gens, the new Shogun cemented her power and authority by sweeping the North of the remaining Warlords and establishing an alliance with the powerful Southern Empire, creating a power base that allowed her rule to be solidified. During this time, she also retrieved Gandiva, empowering the Kumari Gens once more.

With Nahla as the first Shogun, she combined the two Kumari families by marrying Kumari Noh, as leader of the western Kumari, and began laying the plans for a land where the Shogun was the only ruler, and a land where she could be the villain overthrown for the unity of the populace.
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Appearance

Kumari are a dark skinned gens, with some having Asian features. They still primarily focus on water dominance and execution even after becoming shogun, meaning their clothes are often appropriate for sailors and captains. Their colors lean to blues, greens, and blacks, and their new wealth has led to a favoring towards rich, silken and furred capes and kimonos with designs of whirlpools and squids, inlaid with pearls and coral. The most significant visual of all Kumari Dragonblooded is their aspect markings, which form sinuous, tattoo-like lines across their bodies, growing in depth and complexity as they age and accomplish more. Their favored weapons are flame pieces, tridents, and the occasional sword, but the warfan has started becoming a new favorite after Kumari Noh returned to the continent with a cache of them.

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Culture

A significant rite of passage for Kumari is their first overnight sea voyage, always taken with their parents. On this night, the young Kumari learns the significance of managing rigging, cleaning cannons, and any number of other tasks required for a ship to function, the same tasks that will be required for the young scion when they are assigned as a cabin boy on their first ship in the coming months. This is also when the Kumari begin their ritual of storytelling, staying up all night and telling exaggerated, tall tales to each other treated with complete seriousness. There is a strategy to telling an exaggerated tale without it being too fantastical, or becoming uninteresting for being too complex, and it's a skill the Kumari start to learn from that day.

Kumari are, for all their culture and standing, still the same Kumari they have always been; they're prone to fits of anger or lashing out at individuals who draw their ire, it's just that sometimes this is through lacerating words instead of punching them in the face. It's simply not a reasonable idea to piss off a Kumari if you can help it, as even the most cheerful and cultured one may decide to shoot you in the face with a flame piece when sufficiently provoked.

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andrix
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This is such a cool write up and a great way to see everything from the game brought together, even knowing chunks of the backstory it's nice to go back and read over it. Can't wait to see some of the others written up too. If you don't end up compiling these in the games forum when they're done I'll do it for you 😀
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