Jimmy Lee Barnes learned to swim before he could walk. As soon as he was old enough, he learned to paddle a canoe. After his older brother taught him the joys of kayaking, Jimmy spent every available moment practicing his skill at riding the whitewater rapids. With his father and brother, Jimmy spent many weekends camping in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, not far from their home in Oneida, Tennessee. In between the hours spent paddling and kayaking along the rivers that lay deep within the Big South Fork, Jimmy listened as his father talked about his own boyhood and told stories to entertain his two sons.
Jimmy's favorite stories were the ones about his mother, who died when Jimmy was born. Like the son she never knew, Lila could swim like a fish and ran the rapids with the best of them. The discovery that his mother was a full-blooded Chicksaw awakened in Jimmy his other passion: Indian lore.
As he grew into adolescence, Jimmy developed a prankish streak. His jokes were never malicious, and he usually chose his targets carefully. On camping trips, litterers and people who failed to respect the wilderness came under attack, fining their trash piled up inside their sleeping bags or discovering their backpacks crammed full of their carelessly tossed aside cigarette butts. Jimmy couldn't explain why he did such things; he only knew that it felt "right" to do so.
When he was 15, Jimmy went camping by himself, biking to his favorite spot on the Big South Fork. During the middle of the night, he awoke suddenly, hearing the sound of water crashing all around him. Then hs heard a voice call out to him, filled with the rushing noise of the river. As if in a dream, Jimmy walked the half mile to the nearest riverbank. While he stood, looking out over the cascading water, he seemed to see shapes in the darkness, illuminated only by the moonlight glinting off the swift-moving stream. Touched by the Glamour of the moment, Jimmy entered his Chrysalis.
Taken by the yunwi amai'yine'hi, the water people, to their freehold of White Foam deep within Big South Fork, Jimmy spent several glorious days and nights becoming acquainted with his Nunnehi self; his true self. At the end of his camping trip, he went home to his father and brother. His father took one look at him and said, "I see you've found your mother's people."
From then on, Jimmy spent more time with his newfound Nunnehi family than he did with his mortal kin. Calling himself Leaping Waters, ha has become one of the water people's most vigilant and inventive wilderness protectors.
He is an expert swimmer and boater. In addition he knows general wilderness survival and excels at concealing himself in order to pull off his most successful pranks. He has a good grasp of Chicanery, Legerdemain, and Wayfare and has begun to learn the Nunnehi Art of Spirit Link.
Jimmy is a slightly built young man in his mittens, with shoulder-length black hair, prominent cheekbones, and eyes that smile even when he is angry. He dresses in hiking clothes in his mortal seeming. In his fae mien, his body becomes more slender, his eyes grow larger and darker, and his skin acquires a fine coating of silvery speckled scales; like the trout whose form he has learned to take.
Jimmy still cares for his mortal family, but the water people are his real kin. Being in the water, on the water, or near the water makes him feel alive. He only wishes other folks could understand just how precious the rivers are. Somehow, he'll find a way to teach the worst offenders proper respect for nature... even if it kills them.