Post by Dry-Gulch on Jun 2, 2017 21:04:33 GMT -5
[ AT A GLANCE ]
Age / Apparent Age: /28
Height & Weight: 32'8" & 12931 lbs
Hair & Eye Color: None. Instead, Dry-Gulch has a Hollow mask somewhat resembling the heavily stylized face of a snapping turtle.
- Easily angered
Loyalties: Nobody, as Dry-Gulch is not under the control of a more powerful Hollow or Arrancar.
- Born (Age 0)
- Got into boxing (Age 15)
- Participated in Phoenix regionals, got second place (Age 17)
- Joined the US Armed Forces (Age 18)
- Went to war (Age 21)
- Returned from war and got promoted for his efforts (Age 22)
- Resigned from the US Army (Age 24)
- Rejoined a boxing club (Age 24)
- Started boxing for national titles (Age 26)
- Killed in the ring (Age 27)
- Soul turns into a Hollow (Age 27)
[ ON THE SURFACE ]
Physical Description: Dry-Gulch's most striking feature is his mask, like with many other Hollows. Dry-Gulch's mask has the general shape of a snapping turtle's head, though with more angular corners and edges. The nose is wedge-shaped and pointy, forming the largest in a row of pointy ridges stretching from the nose all the way to the back of Dry-Gulch's mask. From his nose down, the mask is mostly one piece, consisting of a massive, square jaw. However, the jaw is split through the middle with a jagged line that functions as Dry-Gulch's mouth. Next to Dry Gulch's nose, swept backwards, are a pair of large spike-like formations. The lower half of the spikes is still directly connected to the main skull, and the base of the two facial spikes holds Dry-Gulch's empty black eye sockets. Four more such spikes protrude from the sides of his head, two on each side, giving an almost draconic appearance. As with most Hollows, his hole is located over his heart.
Dry-Gulch's physical body, like many Hollows, resembles an animal. In Dry-Gulch's case, he resembles a massive turtle, though one with a build more similar to a gorilla, with greenish skin, whereas the shell is a deep brown color with dull yellow along the edges. His hind legs are short and stubby, but his torso and front legs are massive, thick, and muscular. He walks much like a gorilla does, either dragging his knuckles along the floor or using his arms as another set of legs. Much like a gorilla, Dry-Gulch is also fully capable of walking on his hind legs, though the odd wobble makes it hard to take him seriously when he does it. His turtle shell is mostly smooth, but possesses a row of four strange holes at each side along the edge. Additionally, a single row of pointy ridges continues from his mask down the shell, ranging from the tip all the way down to his small, but muscular tail.
Motion-wise, Dry-Gulch is very feral, walking on his hands as well as his feet and possessing very little in terms of grace. However, his years of boxing experience have caused certain skills to become almost instinctual. Though Dry-Gulch looks silly when walking on his hind legs, it's not rare for him to do it and take a boxer's pose when fighting, subconsciously using things he learned as a human. Dry-Gulch can talk in a deep, guttural voice, but often clearly struggles to find his words. His intelligence is still somewhat lacking, and though it's near to how he was as a human, his bestial mindset means he rarely bothers with speech.
Spiritual Description: Dry-Gulch often exerts his Reiatsu before or during fights, as an attempt to intimidate his opponents. The aura is bright yellow in color, but otherwise unremarkable. Those in Dry-Gulch's vicinity will experience a vague sensation of intimidation at the Hollow's very existence, as if his very presence is frightening.
[ BEHIND THE EYES ]
Personality: As a human being, Dry-Gulch was always individualistic. Despite having Native-American roots, he never felt a connection with his native culture. His biggest drive was always to prove himself in some way or another, a way to set himself apart from the world. His greatest fear was dying and fading into obscurity. For this reason, he joined the Army, hoping to set himself apart from the world by becoming a war hero. During his two years in the army, his arrogance swelled due to his successful combat missions and praise from his fellows, but he never made that break he was hoping for. Upon returning home, his desire to rise above obscurity had been corrupted into belief the world owed him something, an unhealthy arrogance that eventually drove him into the grave.
Notable both during his time boxing and as a soldier was that Dry-Gulch, as a human, refused to stay down and admit defeat. While it made him a very driven boxing student and a deadly soldier, it also made him prone to misbehavior such as aggressiveness and insulting. Dry-Gulch often had issues with authority, and while it never got to a point where he was discharged from the military, he was known for being a troublemaker. If Dry-Gulch disagreed with something, he was vocal about it, but never refused to follow a direct soldier. He was famous for being stubborn and hard to move once he'd taken a certain position, both in a fight and in conversation. Nonetheless, due to his desire to prove himself overwhelming his irreverence, he often gave up in the face of a senior officer.
As a Hollow these personality traits have all carried over, but worsened. Dry-Gulch's hunger drives him more than anything, but in turn, his arrogance drives his hunger. Though he has no idea why, he feels like the world owes him. Lesser souls should feel honored they get to be part of his grand being. Dry-Gulch believes it's his birthright to become the strongest creature in existence. Much like as a human, Dry-Gulch never admits defeat, rising every time he's struck down until his body is broken and unable to fulfill his wishes. Dry-Gulch has let all of his inhibitions go, as most Hollows would. He's loath to allow anyone to control him, but he realizes that there's power in numbers. As long as a fellow Hollow doesn't try to establish their dominance over him, Dry-Gulch will gladly work together with them to hunt. Of course, a vastly more powerful Hollow would be able to control him like any lesser Hollow.
Dry-Gulch rarely worries about food, despite constantly hungering. While he does actively hunt, he delights in the chase as much as in the kill. With his power rising to the point where he mostly hunts mediums, he has found great delight in large-scale, active hunts for spiritually-sensitive souls. He is intelligent enough to use human media - upon finding a poster proclaiming the arrival of a psychic or something like it, he will try to use it to hunt said psychic down.
Goals & Achievements:
- Achievement: Survived as a Hollow long enough to start hungering for Mediums.
- Goal: Become the strongest.
[ GUARDIAN ANGEL ]
Aspect of Death: Arrogance. Dry-Gulch started off as a human desiring to set himself apart from others. Originally, he simply believed he could do better if he went into the world alone rather than letting his ancestral culture define him. However, over time, that confidence grew, until it finally turned into arrogance. He honestly believed he was better than those who let nation or culture define them for some time, before this arrogance grew to him simply believing himself to be better than anyone around him. He deluded himself into thinking that he was somehow superior to anyone trying to test themselves against him. It was this arrogance, combined with natural stubbornness, that made him unwilling to give up on anything. He was outspoken in his arrogance, often hostile, challenging fighters stronger than him during his time as a boxer. This eventually led to his demise, as he was killed in the ring by a massive right hook to the side of the head. Even now as a Hollow, his arrogance drives him to attack creatures stronger than him, but his honed survival instincts as a feral Hollow have made him somewhat more cautious.
Power: Dry-Gulch always did have an inflated ego, and his Hollow power makes him larger than life. Dry Gulch can expel a Reiryoku-laced, colorless, odorless gas during combat, which when inhaled, infests the mind with Dry-Gulch's own spiritual power. Those affected by Dry-Gulch's gas find themselves more afraid and intimidated by the Hollow. Those weaker than him freeze like deer in headlights, but those stronger than him can shake it off.
[ LEGACY CREATED ]
Origin: Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Dry-Gulch was originally a man by the name of Kele. Kele was the descendant of two Native Americans of the Hopi tribe, though his parents, and his grandparents before him had all not lived in the reservation, due to the tension between Hopi and Navajo. Kele never had a powerful connection with his ancestral culture, but it wasn't because he lived outside of the reservation. While his parents were very attuned to the Hopi culture, Kele grew up feeling like his identity as a Native-American defined him in the eyes of others. That, combined with the racial intolerance he encountered during his life, drove him to develop a fierce individuality and a desire to prove himself in the eyes of others.
Originally, Kele did this by joining a local boxing club, his fiery determination driving him to grow in the sport at speeds the club coach had rarely seen in the past. His physical and technical improvements were one thing, but the other thing that set Kele apart was that not once did he complain about how painful the training was. In fact, no matter what kind of hit he took or how hard it struck him, and now matter how often he hit the mat, Kele always got up again. This durability meant that his coach had great expectations of him, perhaps even to go professional. Kele became the teacher's pet, constantly showered with attention and praise, bolstering his pride. As Kele worked his way through a number of youth-level tournaments, eventually he found himself entering the Phoenix regionals.
Kele entered the regionals and came quite close to winning, losing on points due to weathering numerous harsh blows. However, during the tournament, he had no longer felt 'special'. In his own club, that desire to set himself apart had been satisfied by his natural talent outshining that of his peers. During the tournament he had just been one talented youth among dozens. More than that, he felt like he'd been cheated from his victory. Had the match gone on for a little longer, he could've beaten his opponent. It was the first time Kele had been denied his victory, and it was an event he would carry with him all his life. Kele decided he needed a break from boxing, but the first seeds of his moral corruption had already been sown.
After finishing high school at 17 years old, Kele signed up for the Army. Almost a year later, Kele finished military training. Kele was a top-notch student, often earning him the praise of his peers and his trainers alike. He grew to see himself as better than his fellows, and though it rarely manifested, he got a reputation for being self-absorbed. While eager to get deployed, it took another three years for him to get sent out.
Kele was deployed in Afghanistan, expecting exhilarating combat and plenty of chances to lead his squad to victory. What he got instead was guard duty, the constant risk of stepping on an IED, and sand in every imaginable place on his body. Kele became more and more disillusioned with the perceived glories of military activity. Again, he had expected recognition to be handed to him on a silver platter, and he hadn't gotten it. Towards the end of his service, he regularly got into arguments with superior officers. In Kele's eyes, they were cowards. In their eyes, he was reckless. Arguments never came to blows or insubordination, though, and his performance continued to be top notch. After being deployed for 9 months, he was sent home, where he was promoted to an officer's position. Kele continued to work at the army for some time, but after two more years, decided to resign.
His search for glory now grown into something of an obsession, Kele was changed as a person. After being denied his step up to national fame in Phoenix and then his chance at becoming a war hero in Afghanistan, Kele felt like the world owed him something in return, an apology or another chance at fame. He felt like being famous was his right, that he was better than the cattle crowding the streets below his apartment. Deciding to pick up boxing again, Kele moved to New York, the city where dreams come true. He joined a boxing club, where he vied for success with his fellow students at first. In his arrogance he regularly boasted about being stronger than his fellows, behaving respectful both in and out of training. However, it quickly became clear he had a serious shot at becoming a big name in the industry, so the club kept him around.
During the two years that followed, Kele became infamous in the boxing world for challenging higher-ranking boxers. As in the past, he often won through sheer durability. Now, however, his coach had heavily trained him in using it to create an opening to strike back. Though Kele often spent days if not weeks being treated for his injuries after some matches, he kept raking in the wins. However, it was only a matter of time before Kele, now a big challenger on national levels, bit off more than he could chew. During one of his press conferences, he boasted he could probably take the national title for his weight class right there and then. He insulted the champion in every way possible, while describing himself as if he was somehow almost godlike. This was the kind of talk Kele was known for, but he'd never targeted someone like this. The media gobbled it up like delicious candy, and before long it was plastered across numerous sports magazines and newspapers.
To Kele's delight, the current champion accepted to fight him. As Kele was technically within range to become the national champion, the boxing federation approved the match. All the predictions were for Kele to lose. He might've been allowed to challenge the champion, but he was considered to be nowhere in his threat range. Kele's taunting had worked, though - the champion was reported to be furious, and was going to give Kele his comeuppance. The big night came incredibly fast and incredibly slow at the same time in Kele's eyes, but he had trained extensively to be ready for the fight. Indeed, as the bell rang, the two gave it their all, and while he took a number of nasty blows, Kele's ability to get up from them continued to mesmerize the crowd. However, as the rounds started to drag on, the match took a dark turn.
Having already taken several hits to the head, Kele found himself getting sloppy. Still, his opponent wasn't looking amazing either. While the champion was actually still in good shape compared to his opponent, in Kele's eyes they were about on equal ground. Kele noticed the champion trying a trick he'd used before in the fight. A left jab, but by the way he twisted his body and wrist, a feint to be followed up by a devastating right hook. Swaying out of the way of the left jab, Kele prepared to counter the hook with his own left.
His fist never hit home. Unbeknownst to himself, Kele's dazed state meant he wasn't nearly as fast as he expected. Rather than countering the blow, Kele swung his entire body weight right into the right hook. Not only did the champion hit Kele in the side of the head with his own brute strength, Kele's own full-body physical power slammed him into the champion's fist in return. With a sickening crack, Kele's neck broke, and his lifeless corpse sank to the mat.
Rise to Power: One can imagine Kele's displeasure upon awakening as a ghost, dead before his time. Perhaps more importantly to him, dead before his fame. He ranted and raved about how for the third time, the world robbed him of his recognition. He could've won, he told himself. He could've beaten the champion and taken the championship in his weight range for himself! As he wandered as a spirit, though, he found a newspaper reporting on the event. They described it as a terrible accident. The champion, the newspaper said, had overwhelmed his opponent, whose dazed motions had resulted in a poorly-placed punch. Kele, the newspapers said, wouldn't get up from that one.
Unable to fulfill his dying desires due to being a ghost, but unable to move on due to his arrogance and regrets, Kele was doomed to wander the earth as a Plus, due to neither having a particularly strong connection to a place nor a person. For months he wandered, his chain having been long broken. Every so often he was overcome with waves of agony as yet another link of the chain was lost to Encroachment. Kele did not know what it meant, but he knew for sure it was bad. Still, there was little he could do about it. He sank into despair, knowing that he would never be recognized as 'the best' now that he was dead. Unbeknownst to him, it only sped up the process of Encroachment. Despite being in New York, a massive city and thus teeming with the souls of the dead and the occasional Hollow, Kele withdrew himself into the dark, unknown corners of the city as he languished, staying away from the well-lit streets and busy centers where Hollows could feast on careless souls.
As with any soul, Kele's time was finite. Encroachment entered its final state before he knew it, consuming the rest of the chain at a breakneck pace. The agony, the pain, it was unbearable... And then, Kele felt something boil up from inside him. The chain, at last, disappeared entirely. His body burst open into particles, reforming into a monstrous shape, topped with a screaming caricature of Kele's own face. The newly-formed creature vomited a disgusting white mess, which wrapped around its face. Kele was dead. Now, there was only Dry-Gulch.
Driven by instinct, Dry-Gulch soon joined his brothers in the feast. In a city like New York, many lingering souls flocked to places like Wall Street, Central Park and Times Square. There, many Hollows fed, though many too fell to Shinigami blades. Dry-Gulch soon learned to be a smarter hunter, sticking to roads and alleys connecting to the larger focal points. As his brethren dove in for the feast, consumed by their hunger, Dry-Gulch was a more intelligent predator. The crowds of souls always scattered quickly, and infighting often broke out among the Hollows. Sometimes Shinigami showed up in groups to hunt the Hollows. Dry-Gulch was always in the shadows, however. As his brethren's victims fled the chaos under the comforting street lights, he was there to catch them in the darkened maw of the night.
Soon Dry-Gulch learned to stalk the backstreets, recognizing the more criminally-infested areas of New York as perfect feeding grounds too. Back street robberies, gang violence, and other deadly activities regularly provided food for the patient hunter. While the Shinigami and the other Hollows used the more popular areas of the city as their hunting ground, there were far fewer Hollows in the gang turfs.
Call to Action: It was just a matter of time for Dry-Gulch, now a deadly predator, to reach a point where he would achieve the next step in his evolution. Now once more intelligent, at least to some degree, Dry-Gulch found his taste for human souls to grow more specific. The average person's soul felt like he was gargling soap. He needed something more... high-quality. By now able to sense Reiatsu within his area, Dry-Gulch started to seek out powerful signatures. Often, this brought him face-to-face with other Hollows. However, Dry-Gulch's personal power often kept them from lashing out at him. To the Shinigami in the city, he was just another Hollow. Besides, Dry-Gulch now knew their preferred hunting grounds in the city, much like he knew those of his brethren. No, the tastiest morsels Dry-Gulch eventually discovered were spiritualists. Spiritually-aware humans. Their surprised shrieks were delightful as they were suddenly assaulted by a massive monster. Sometimes Dry-Gulch sensed they were strong enough to fight back, so he waited for them to fall asleep or otherwise get distracted before he devoured them.
Soon Dry-Gulch started ranging beyond New York city, seeking out mediums in the countryside, where there were less Shinigami and less fellow Hollows. Often, though, he returned to the city, risking proximity to Shinigami to devour his risky but delicious prey. His boldness overtook him several times in the past, ending up in a clash with a Shinigami, but survival instinct always overwhelmed his arrogance in the end. The Hollow reasoned to himself that some more souls could never hurt if it meant an easier victory, never admitting he would've been overpowered. This is the point where we find Dry-Gulch now, at the start of our story. Will the hunter become the prey, or will Dry-Gulch manage to make it to the next stage in Hollow Evolution? Will he be able to satisfy his arrogance, will it be an endless quest, or will he learn to recognize and deal with it? Only one way to find out...