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Old 01-11-2006, 01:13 AM   #1
Hyuuga Kaito
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Default Fire Country - Hidden Leaf Village

Hi no Kuni/Konohagakure


History:

An annotated, secular interpretation…

Konoha has, since ages past, been a village long celebrated for its line of exceptional shinobi. Since the founding of this village, legendary exploits have not been found wonting within Hi no Kuni, and for the sole reason that Konoha has produced men and women capable of them. Even its origins, drenched in allegory and myth, cannot fully encompass the greatness that Konoha has forever boasted.

And yet we find ourselves at this junction, dictating a history so rich and yet so clouded. The only method of retelling a story this grand with any sense of brevity would be to detail the accomplishments etched upon the infinite granite slab of time that still remains timelessly preserved today: The Hokage Monument.

In the beginning there were two. Shodai Hokage and Uchiha Madara. It is unknown to us how they had settled on who would be considered the Founding Father, but it is known that Madara is very seldom mentioned in any way, written or otherwise, and Shodai Hokage (surname Senjuu) has always been referred to as our rightful forefather. Madara remains a shadow of that distant past, and the only commemoration we possess of their once mighty union is the landmark known as the Owari no Keikoku (Valley of the End). Chiseled into the very rocky precipice that sits on either side of that wide-mouthed waterfall, monuments of their greatness stand in opposition, just as they had all those years ago.

What came of their struggle is a foundation steeped in lore. It is for this reason that we may not tell fact from fiction in regards to our true creation, and gives a further mystical quality to our heritage. In effect, we have always been a nation of men and women on the verge of good and evil. The relationship between these two men has taught us that we are, in equal amounts, a people capable of both great and terrible deeds that can and will shape this land and those who dwell on it.

Decades later, a man named Sarutobi would inherit this mantle of excellence as Sandaime Hokage. One of the most revolutionary leaders of his time, he faced a series of trials which plague Konoha still. First was in his tutelage of the lengendary Sannin: Jiraiya, Tsunade, and the vile Orochimaru. Second was his claiming Minato Namekaze as his successor. The events that transpired from this decision are numerous, but none are more important than the fact that Yondaime unfortunately came to his end early on and Sarutobi had to reclaim the position as Hokage yet again in his old age.

What followed is a mangled tapestry of dramatic ironies and mayhem on the scale of mythology. Perhaps the only resounding truth of this chaotic era is that, at one point, Konoha’s mighty defenses had been rent asunder, and the assassination of Sandaime on home soil was the deadliest hand dealt. This affected not only Konoha, but all major shinobi villages that operated during that time. It was a blow that Konoha has yet to truly recover from.

At this point forth it would possibly be more interesting to name the successive Godaime Hokage (the Sannin Tsunade), for anything else would be difficult to discern in terms of reliability. At her behest, Konoha reformed and reinforced itself from the outside in. Further establishing the need for competent medical shinobi and placing a heavy emphasis on development, she helped to rebuild Konoha during this time of uncertainty. She is heralded as one of the greatest kunoichi of all time, but as her passing has shown, the benefits of her reign fell slightly short of her reputation.

It would not be until Gyousou Hiobi (Hachidaime) that any further progress would be made on the security of Konoha. For above all else, Hiobi was a prudent man; slow to action, and meticulous in his approach. As a man who dreamed of the past and wished for the future, he was an idealist who celebrated the former glory of Konoha. In doing so he raised a generation of shinobi with strong moral compasses and fostered an unwavering sense of unity among them. To all he was more the spiritual leader than military leader, but he served the role of both. To all the villagers who knew him, he had been the very rekindling of the ‘Will of Fire’

In effect he bred a successor in one Moshou Kintaro, who would take his charge with much chagrin and forged a much different path for the village. As his student, Kintaro had grown up assuming that he knew the ‘mistakes’ of Hachidaime all too well. And so, self-professed as he was, he sought to cleanse the village. However, he was a man weak in politics and employed six officials to perform the tasks of what the Hokage was traditionally held responsible for. Commissioning three Centurions amidst his own personal Council of Elders (which has existed in some form since Shodai’s age as the bureaucracy), the role of Hokage was essentially split seven ways, of which the most important was still left to Kintaro: the ability to declare war.

It would soon be found that Kyuudaime was a wily leader, and was unfit to sit in office and guide the village lawfully like his predecessors before him. Having forgotten the true role of Hokage (and having allocated his duties), he grew wearisome of his position and took off into the wild to combat evil where none existed. During this time, the ever-mounting social spheres between Konoha and Yuki were wearing thin and all-out war was becoming inevitable. With the Hokage missing-in-action, the Council had no other choice but to seize temporary control of the village to ensure its safety, and so began the Shattered Silence.

Konoha has existed in many forms throughout the ages, and combated foes of every type. From those who wished the explicit destruction of their village and way of life, to those who sought merely to extend their military might: Konoha has faced these all on the cusp of justice. However, this war with Yuki was the first time in history that marked Konoha’s active involvement in a war it had itself started. As a means of prevention, it was justified, but from its typical stance it had strayed far from the mark.

Konoha was been given new life thanks to the efforts of the Council. Moshou Kintaro was never to be found, and it is assumed that he met his fate far off on a distant battlefield. After Kintaro's disappearance, the Council toiled endlessly to bring stability back to the region and had succeeded, at least for a time. A new government was abruptly set in place, one that was far more radical than any other village practiced. It allowed for a seamless integration of power from the hands of the executive, to that of the people. By this, a further sense of camaraderie was awakened within Konoha, and some have gone so far as to claim the new establishment a ‘republic’.

A strange enemy appeared in that time while Konoha's new regime was establishing itself, and it shook the village to its core. Mystery swirled around the group, their super-human abilities, and strange movements within Hi no Kuni. By the time it came to light that these enemies had distant ties to the Sanada clan, destruction was knocking on the very gates of Konohagakure. ANBU, having been exiled in the aftermath of the war in Yukigakure, made a swift return to aid the village in fighting off the enemies that had infiltrated the walls.

Though the new regime had been discovered to be somewhat corrupt and certainly seemed to contribute to the near-downfall of Konohagakure in the invasion, the camaraderie and pride that awoke as a result of the change was worth keeping. Currently, the Hokage and once-rogue Centurions are working together to rebuild the village and re-establish leadership within the village. While the Hokage and the Centurions do not see eye to eye on the most recent events, they've vowed to one another to work together as long as the health and well-being of the village is top priority. Though the physical structure of Konohagakure has been shaken, the newly-discovered spirit of the republic remains and will likely bolster the village to new, astounding heights.


Government:

Becoming entirely socialistic, the village’s basis of leadership and structure has almost completely been reworked. The title of Hokage is reserved (as traditions are hard to break) for the fiercest and most brilliant shinobi of Konoha. However, this position has specific powers and limits. For example, the Hokage now reigns alongside a successor at all times. This will both train a would-be Hokage in the arts of a position they were most likely to take as their own (for the Council could approve and disapprove a Hokage’s disciple) and also provided a failsafe in case the Hokage became incapable of carrying out their duty. Other than that, both master and student share the role and act as commanders-in-chief of the village’s shinobi. Also granted very particular legal powers (such as military discipline and justice), this has become a very limited position as opposed to what it once was.

Furthering the change, the Council of Elders remains intact but in a much more prominent form (the original three residing in a magisterial position). Now consisting of the Hokage and his pupil, there are twenty-eight other positions which are filled in by men and women who are over the age of 40. This age limit is used merely as a ploy to let the delude the people into thinking that, theoretically, any one person could join the Council; but like most governments, this position of power was only granted to those of prestige and considerable social standing. To be on the Council of Elders is a lifelong commitment, and they are elected only amongst one another. Its purpose is the near-absolute control of the village and it holds much sway over the people. However, there is another group within Konoha which, supposedly, keeps the Council in check.

The third stratum of society is known as the Assembly. It consists of all shinobi within the village, from Chuunin rank and up, and all other villagers ages 20 and up. They produce the backbone of the entire system and make it so the Council cannot practice complete dominance. Every issue set forth by the Council has to be voted on by the Assembly and is actually quite a speedy process. A vote of yes or no is asked of each member and the majority vote wins. However, the Assembly is not allowed to debate or amend the proposals set forth by the Council, only vote. But in turn, the Council is obligated to always present each and every proposal that asks anything of the village.

With this new system in hand, the village of Konoha has become an entirely new military foundation. The efficiency of the village now lies within processes that have stood for more than thirty years as laid down precariously by Kyuudaime-sama and the method of calling for war has been made economical, thus ensuring the people’s security. Furthermore, the administrative quality within Konoha has become quite a startling affair, for several methods have be enacted to ensure that only the most exceptional shinobi are produced.

All other stories and legends about what Konoha used to be are uttered only as an example of what the village as risen up from. That is to say, prior to this new constitution, Konoha is usually referred to as only half-complete or juvenile. Understanding this new system of government is key to estimating where the village hopes to some day be. And accepting this system is also the same as denying the ‘old ways’ and fashioning a further sense of identity amongst the villagers. The populace is content with what Konoha is now, though only the Council sees it for what it really is: a war-horse bent on dominance.

Village Layout:

Since it began as but a modest sapling toiling through the cracks of the earth, Konoha has become a magnificent tree that masks the very land with its outspread branches. Scholars maintain that the very foundation of Konohagakure no Sato was built by none other than Shodai almost over two hundred years ago, and that his legendary Mokuton began the grand design that would ultimately become its layout.

At the base of a mighty mountain – upon which later memorials would be carved into its rocky precipice – Shodai crafted by his own will a tower that would preside over this land he and his people would now call home. Initially using the midday sun against the cliff side to determine how far-reaching the village would endure, the perimeter of this initial boundary has changed little and remains so even today.

Konoha’s superstructure, though, has changed greatly with the times.

The vast city sprawl begins with the Hokage tower, poised ceremoniously at the foot of the mountain and around which the rest of the village is integrated. The tower itself is not only the private residence and office of the Hokage, but houses all the facilities relevant to such administrative details. Here, the Council now takes abode and uses the two pagoda-style turrets that rise up against the main tower. The tower itself remains the premise of the Hokage, though sees very little use these days.

Just west of that (for the rear of the mountainside faces north), the Academy is located within close proximity. Here Konoha’s youth is trained in those arts that will inevitably bear them the crest of the village, marking them as true shinobi. Taking up a considerable amount of space considering its actual usage, there is an informal juncture between the Academy and the Hokage Tower that is used to transport students during times of crisis. Beyond that, the Academy serves a very distinct purpose and also takes its roots from Konoha’s inception: it is both an institution and a monument. To add more content to this already historic site, just southwest of the Academy lays the graveyard, where any and all citizens of Konoha may be buried. Though a great deal of memorials lay here in their memory, the village itself is peppered with these commemorative tokens, giving testament to those who came before.

Traveling anticlockwise, the stadium at which the finals for the Chuunin Exams are typically held comes into view, though this too has not seen much use in recent years. As much a lottery as a matter of convenience, the Chuunin Exams have not visited Konoha for the sole reason that other host villages have been more apt to do so. Nonetheless, the facilities about it have been maintained, and this includes a fire station and even some sections lent out to residents and businesses. Surrounding the arena itself, several training areas can be found that are wide and expansive enough to house a handful of teams honing their skills on the natural courses laid there (not to mention dojos for the convenience of others). These, in comparison, see much more activity than the high-walled arena. Newly refurbished, though, this once illustrious vault of competition hopes to hear the din of battle once more.

Further south still, Konoha expands onto less urban pastures, revealing some of its innate, botanical beauty. Natural hot springs well near the center of this humble lake, which has seen to the construction of the Miyabi Spa. Outside this small ring, though, the water ebbs coolly and provides stark contrast to the edgy cement just outside its banks. Flowing into this lake and through a large portion of the village, the Heion River finds its origins tucked behind and around the lofty mountain. Nestled into the natural geography, some shrines lay about in honor of the countless who died safeguarding Konoha’s interests.

Following the path that the river strikes, Konoha’s inner structure is revealed. A mass conglomerate of uneasy streets and winding alleyways finds just as many residential sectors as businesses here; the bulk of Konoha’s impressive population resides in this inner-city. Most buildings don’t rise taller than three or four stories, though a choice few do claim the sky as their home. Split in half by the main street that intersects at the Hokage Tower, the eastern and western residential districts contain denizens ranging all social brackets, and accommodates them all with a plethora of mixed industries. From this central area, many outlets of Konoha’s emergency personnel make their careers, for a hospital and two separate fire stations man these heavily populated streets.

Directly south of this sector lies one of the two main entrances into Konoha. Affixed between the lofty sentry walls, two guard posts flank the wide opening and are eager to prevent unwanted guests admittance. From this exit, the Nakano River borders the paved road that leads away and out of Konoha, guiding travelers in the proper direction either way.

Spread out across the village border and even along the eastern ridge of the Hokage Tower, the architecture lends itself to some of Konoha’s more specialized manufacturing. The Blacksmith Rings of Konoha deserve special mention here, as they take advantage of the Heion River to help quell and rinse the luster of their metalwork. Stretching as far as the Miyabi Spa to the Southern Gate, the blacksmiths claim almost all the land here minus a few spotty vacancies which lend themselves to a public veterinary office and some other small businesses.

Following the perimeter once more, this area of Konoha is instead dedicated to the more wealthy citizens of the village. Mostly, the aristocracy find themselves attracted to the more prestigious layout of the grounds. What’s most noteworthy, though, is Konoha’s Public Library, which houses much literature from all around the world. Privy to even some material concerning foreign villages and cultures, it is a site often visited and heavily guarded.

Northeast of this area, Konoha makes way for further governmental landmarks, of which the most pressing is the KSPD. Much evolved and improved upon from their original state and ownership, two grand buildings make up the official headquarters of the task force. Rising ten stories high, they literally tower over almost every other structure in the village besides the Hokage Tower. Their design is meant to give the impression of omniscience, for from their lofty windows the KSPD give spectacle to the entirety of the village. Encompassed within an entire city block, it is surrounded then by a much more interesting chapter: the Science and Health Department.

Granted a territory all their own, the Science and Health Department heads a great deal of Konoha’s technological development. Spanning medicinal to mechanical, much of the village’s most talented minds often find themselves here. Aside from cradling the most impressive medical facilities within all of the Hi no Kuni, the actual School of Medicine presides here as well, training eager minds in the art of healing and restoration. Much of Konoha’s longstanding arms race against its fell competitors originates from the off-white walls of these bleak structures, and many more groundbreaking innovations are sure to follow.

The Main Gate of Konoha stands proudly by these facilities, and is typically surrounded by scattered apartment structures (usually left for medical students, but sometimes lent to less privileged tenants). Once more set between two imposing battlements, this marks the entrance point which claims the most traffic. From here, a straight path may be set out to the Hokage Tower, where incoming shinobi may report the status of their missions with haste. Also, the positioning here is strategic as well as convenient: KSPD and medical facilities are forever on standby for any and all emergencies, not to mention the reserve fire station positioned snuggly between the research buildings.

North of that, facing directly east, the Eastern Gate sits mostly idle. Though it sees incoming pedestrians all year round, the Main and Southern Gate see much more activity. The main usage of this gate, though, is to allow entrance to the more brutal training courses of Konoha which, of course, includes the infamous Forest of Death.

Well-known for its landscape and treacherous ecology, the Forest of Death has earned its moniker a hundred fold by the sheer number of victims that trespass its boundary. Of those who enter below the jounin rank, only one of five are said to survive. The remarkable conditioning required of this course has shaped and molded excellent shinobi all throughout Konoha’s history.

And finally, directly adjacent to the Hokage Tower, lies yet another residential district, this one instead accommodating the many travelers and patrons of Konoha (though it, too, has also been known to lend itself to citizens). Konoha’s most important clients take abode here, though most tend to stay only temporarily. The Daimyo himself has been known to take these quarters unto himself, and where better indeed than just next to the most powerful man in the village/country. The accommodations of this area are well-suited for such enterprises as well, catering to the affluent nature of the clientele.

Occupations/Businesses:

The main occupation within Konoha is, obviously, the shinobi populous. Accounting for approximately 70-80% the village’s total income, they are seen as much as investments as they are capital. An extremely important facet of both country and village, their presence has been thoroughly implanted into society at large and the word ‘shinobi’ has become synonymous with ‘power’. Viewed as the country’s own private military force, they are also a freelance agency dedicated to self-preservation. Under the current administration this seems a particularly astute observation, as more and more Konoha has had its own interests in mind as of late.

Further in the village we may witness a rather extensive divide in the workforce, for though shinobi encompass the vast majority of the village’s earnings, they comprise only a little over half its population. The remaining population is set in a variety of professions and lifestyles. Prominent amongst them, though, are the very people who make certain that the shinobi are outfitted and thoroughly prepared to face certain adversity outside the safety of their home: the blacksmiths of Konoha.

Especially punctuated by the fact that Konoha is one of the few villages that practices this ancient vocation, the hammer and anvil belong to some of the most respected members of the commune. As opposed to the manufactured products of their competition, the blacksmiths of Konoha produce all their work by hand, expressing their wish to defend home and state with each creation. Through their hard-earned labors and exceptional craftsmanship, Konoha is never for lack of blade or armor.

Another major market is in technological development, which spans two methodologies: practical and experimental. In the first sphere, the engineers of Konoha explore the current modes of technology and how to apply them to the different facets of life. An example and more recent advancement has been in the public sector, where imitation bioluminescence has been embraced and put into large-scale production for use in conserving energy in areas where high-output lighting fixtures are now considered outdated and wasteful.
In terms of experimental, we find that the emphasis is placed more on weapons development. Long heralded for their impressive advancements in this field, the scientists of Konoha continue to seek the perfect union of form and function. In this age especially, the service of prosthetics have seen significant progress.

In both these instances, continual innovation has been due in large part to the spoils of conflict. Namely, the Shattered Silence (a title used to represent the eerie events that transpired during the war with Yuki) provided Konoha with much of Yuki’s former technologically-sound culture.

Furthermore, discussion on Konoha’s occupational demographics would not be complete without the mention of its illustrious medical career. Instituted by Godaime, the field has grown in leaps and bounds due to the value placed on human life that is instilled within the villagers from a young age. Since medical-nin are required in every specialized team, it has since been extremely important to further this discipline. And by including a much more arduous acceptance rate, demanding training regiment, and challenging testing methods, the improvement here has been nothing short of astounding.

Finally, there are a variety of miscellaneous businesses that cater to the rest of the populous. They include marketplaces, clothing stores, florists, and many different restaurants. These establishments, however, serve Konoha almost exclusively and earn their living through village stipends which are allotted to each. This was enacted by the Council of Elders to show that all who contribute the village’s well-being are justly compensated.

Festivities/Holidays:

The only holiday or festival widely celebrated is one called “Passing of the Flame” (Enkou no Jun'okuri). Every three years or so, jounin who have passed the age of 50 are considered to be retired (or simply those who do not wish to pursue active duty). But their mantles of pride, honor, and success are passed down to those who will take their positions in the village. In a special ceremony, new jounin are presented to the Hokage by the elder ones who will be stepping down.

This all occurs at the top of the Hokage monument, a large flame protruding from the Hokage tower itself. When the ceremony is completed, badges and tokens are given in honor of the now retired jounin. Then, the village is able to bear thanks and celebrate alongside the newly promoted shinobi in a festival of sorts that lasts a little over two days. This is both to commemorate the momentous occasion in the shinobi’s lives and to honor those who have served Konoha into their old age.

Other than this, though, Konoha finds itself far-set from the normal festivities of the rest of the continent. Not so much out of a feeling of superiority, but because the village’s ideals have changed somewhat throughout the ages. Even though the prominent feeling of community remains, perhaps even more so now than before, there is still a very secular take on the world as a whole. Humanism plays a fairly large role in society as well and this only furthers the state of mind that many youths have taken up. In short, a majority of the villagers do not feel obligated to share in holidays that seem to celebrate unity only when it is convenient, but prefer to be grateful for it at all times.

Climate and Location:

Konoha possesses moderate seasonal patterns. There are the traditional Four Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. They begin in that order, starting from the month of January, and ending December with Winter once more. Snow is quite common during the winter, often times masking the entire village/country. In the Spring, Sakura's bloom within the village and give off a nostalgic affection in the air, intoxicating many shinobi during this time. In the Summer temperatures are never higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the record being at 90.4. General temperatures range from 45 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The rest of the Hi no Kuni is similarly contained as well.

To the northeast there are some outlying mountain ranges that though not entirely perilous, do provide a buffer from which invaders must either move around completely and risk detection by the outposts on either end, or travel through the range and take twice as long as need be. Other outposts take position all around Hi no Kuni, two major ones encompassing the northwest just between the country that separates Iwa and Kusa. It is also there where the above mountain range begins, and then travels east along the borderline almost perfectly.

Several smaller stations are positioned following the edge of the eastern border flowing south near the coast, each about 100 or so miles away, stretching about a 500 mile distance. Further south are about 6 fairly-sized outposts, each about the size of a very small village, that also patrol the borders, one almost touching ground with one of that belongs to the Kusa no Kuni. These outposts are used mainly to intercept envoys and such from the Suna and Iwagakure.

There are also secret ANBU/research stations littered near and around the vicinity of Konoha itself. After past invasions, these were created to dispatch shinobi from the outlying areas of the village to better defend against attack. The research stations are used as bunkers, also, for those who are fleeing the village. Information on these particular stations is classified, but it is common knowledge to most chuunins and jounins that they exist.

Konoha itself is located toward the center of the Hi no Kuni. More closely situated to aid rather than harm, they are comfortably placed in a position where if attacked from any direction, they can react with quick mobilization.




Important Places

Himoto

- The priceless jewel of Hi no Kuni is located near its center, within close proximity of two other major points of the map, and of which Konohagakure is the most important. Direct telephone lines connect these two major political scenes, and there is even a recently implemented metro system to further adjoin them.

As the capital city, it is a symbol of power within Hi no Kuni that boasts this status at every turn. Ancient cobbled paths lie interspersed between meandering streams and low bridges, pointedly affixed around breathtaking gardens all around. An escalating city, its outer rim is set at about sea level and with each progressive circle, it rises. Altogether there are seven rings, each representing a different sphere of influence.

At the very bottom we have the local patrons, who supply the city with its domestic amenities but serve no other purpose. In the second and third tiers, we have those wealthy businessmen and women who have made generous prospects for themselves through various manners. At the four and fifth, we find our governmental positions filled, of which is also includes the customary shoguns who had once upon a time ruled this land as their own. As for the sixth ring, we have the royal quarters in which lineage proves the most important facet; it is here that the descendants of former Daimyo’s find themselves. And at its very pinnacle, only the Daimyo and his entourage remain, a wide expanse of the mountain’s face dug in to provide residence (a marvelous castle that has withstood time and strife for ages and ages).

Embellished in the traditional architecture of their forefathers, the city is lavish in its expenses and it is often a symbol of power to possess the most aesthetically pleasing estate and not necessarily the largest. Home to the richest and most successful businessman, as well as provincial lords and government officials, they reside over their ancient paradise in complete harmony with nature. In fact, so reverent are the citizens of Himoto of nature that they strive to preserve it wherever they may, and consider it vital to the peaceful climate attained here.

Denizens of Himoto are far from impoverished, obviously, and this has been embellished more so by the fact that it also boasts the lowest rate of crime in all Hi no Kuni, as well as being the cleanest city. In all respects, it is a pristine haven and suitable only for the most powerful men in the country.

Atsumi

- The largest port city in Hi no Kuni, it is located just across the sea from the closest island that belongs to the Nami no Kuni. Connected by the Great Naruto Bridge, this port city has seen such great improvements in both living conditions and its shipping yards that it has become the second largest city in Hi no Kuni and also the second largest grossing in its economy. Importing and exporting from all corners of the known world, there is never a lack for novelty and business here. Able to fulfill all the needs of the eastern seaboard, some cities even outside Hi no Kuni have come to rely on the port city for trade and commerce.

Delivering to all reaches of the world, this port city is equally known for its delicacies, and many come far and wide to sample what the many fine chefs that reside here concoct. Due to its location, a plethora of culinary masters have taken to refining their profession here, owing mostly to the sheer amount of trade that comes through here. Indeed, without it, Atsumi might seem a tad less impressive.

People who live here often find themselves living longer lives due to the cool sea that breathes into town and keeps everything mildly pleasant year-round. Opposite to the expectations of a port city that sees as much traffic as this, the community has seen fit to make their city as welcoming as possible, and this in turn led to the unifying of many organizations to that cause. In effect, Atsumi is highly regulated with a battalion of armed guards as well as a tightly knit urban development group whose main concern is keeping the city clean and safe to live in. What with the yield of the city’s harbors, and the countless traveler’s who use it as a hub, this has been deemed their highest priority.

Owari no Keikoku (Valley of the End)

- The literal border between the Hi and Oto no Kuni, this is a setting from which much speculation has arisen. A serene lake spreads wide across the otherwise dense forest area, produced by a magnificent waterfall at its crest. Tall cliff sides arc around the waterfall, but not before giving way to two monumental statues that tower in opposition to one another at the river’s mouth. Divided by the landscape, their piercing stares and battle attire suggest the hostility both physical and symbolic here, as legend further explains the significance of each.

Imposing in their glory, the two founders of Konoha stand here as testament to a time long past: a time in Konoha’s infancy, when there was not a single certainty in this world. The edges between right and wrong were consistently faded together, and it was said that these two great men designed peace from the chaos their own natural abilities represented. It is unknown exactly who the man opposite Shodai is, except that he was there at the village’s founding, but many claim that he is the legendary Uchiha Madara of whom was rumored to be the most powerful Uchiha in existence. Again, though, we may only draw from our myths and the truth evades us as ever.

Others theorize that this was the final resting ground of the gods of old, who upon crashing down from their destroyed, heavenly thrones, carved a literal memorial to their fallen grace. Indeed, from the aerial, Owari no Keikoku seems almost a massive crater, manufactured as both warning and tribute of nature’s splendor and wrath.

Fukou

- A pivotal city in the economy of Hi no Kuni, Fukou remains a town heavily steeped in the origins of this fair country. Possessing the largest gross profit in the country, and quite possibly outside it as well, it’s no wonder that its perimeter is closely guarded and regulated by a constant slew of shinobi from Konoha. And even so, any raid made upon the mining town (from within or without), has been dealt with swiftly due to the main rail systems and other transport methods that link this city to the rest of the country.

Located in the southern regions of Hi no Kuni, directly south-west of Atsumi, it was a mining town originally slated to only last about 100 years due to various complications. Currently it has expanded much past its original bounds both outwardly and in depth, proving crucial to the wealth and stability of the region (if not the country). Even today, silver, gold, iron, and many other precious ores are mined here in an absurd abundance. As to why such metals are plentiful in this deep gulch remains to be certain, but an outlying research facility claims that there used to be mountains where the current mine now stands that was turned to rubble countless ages ago. It was within this mountain that the ores were actually quite plentiful (again a reason evades them), but when it collapsed it allowed miners to take advantage of the unusually large supply of minerals buried deep within.

Further along the lines of security, Fukou has also been known somewhat to dabble in the defense department. Due to its abundant supplies, scientists and keen minds from all around have come to remodel several staple commercial products. But more importantly, they helped to develop revolutionary weapons which, in turn, help ensure the safety of this essential industry.

Yokuchi no Kagarinai

- A vast expanse of lush farmland, it is, as its namesake begets, an oasis of abundant life. Countless farms and produce facilities exist here for the sole purpose of providing Hi no Kuni with its exorbitant amount of food. Adding to the land, hot springs exist against the cascading hillsides, further enhancing the agricultural design. Encompassing an entire region of the country, the quality of vegetation that derives from these lands spreads the entire gamut. Be they domestic or exotic, all sorts of life may thrive here by virtue of the environmental factors that are inclined to this growth.

Located due west of Konohagakure, it begins merely as lengthy grassland that then divides into hillsides interspersed with forest. The elevation soon switches as well, flowing upwards and downwards, giving the landscape a roaming, terrace-like feature. Here or there, certain marshlands arise, a prequel to the hot springs that well up further west, and then give way to the semi-tropical forests that eventually blend into Kusa.

The weather in this region is nothing short of nominal, prime for growing conditions year-round, resulting in harvests that are typically bountiful. As one might assume, a good majority of Hi no Kuni’s crops are located here, but not all. It is simply a greater portion of it, and in case of emergencies a healthy surplus is stored in depots all across the country.

Hakushaseishou (abbrev. Hakusha)

- One of the only major cities located on the furthest southerly regions of Hi no Kuni, Hakushaseishou lies on an outlying shorefront just before an archipelago. Nestled here in isolation between moderately-sized mountains which provide picturesque scenery amidst its redwoods and pines, the city lies just further east and has been known as a prime holiday attraction for people all around the world. On the brink of endless white-sand beaches and further enveloped in glades of evergreen foliage, this city sees visitors all year long and cater to their every needs.

Next to Himoto, Hakusha is likely the second most prominent city in Hi no Kuni, but only by means of tourism. Boasting none of its rich culture and heritage, Hakusha is merely an escapists paradise and, for all intents and purposes, is beautiful for sake of being beautiful and nothing else.

Metsubushi

- An interesting prefecture by alliance, this is the only major city of note located well outside of Hi no Kuni itself. Located in the River Country, Metsubishi is a thriving metropolis that represents the ever-expanding ideals of the ambitious. Monstrosities of cement and human ingenuity, it was heralded as one of the most technologically advanced cities of the era and is still thriving amidst the alleged crime present taking home here.

Linked together via tightly engineered metro stations that even dare to hover above the surface, Metsubishi is a city that signifies all the new ways of the world in a radically excessive manner. A city as much of decadence as progress, it is a stronghold of some for the most conniving entrepreneurs and notorious gangsters who rule its economy with an iron fist. Known even to employ shinobi outside of Konoha to do their work, Konoha’s only stake on this pivotal developing city is through binding contracts that ensure the city’s safety from any expansion or hostile takeovers.

Otherwise, Konoha leaves Metsubushi to its own machinations and sometimes recruits from its hard streets or eager academies.

Hi no Tera (Temple of Fire)

- Little is known of Hi no Tera other than that the holy monks of Hi no Kuni practice their sacred rites and sacraments here. Not necessarily secluded, its position is such that it may resort to the aid of those around it, or perhaps even act as a resting stop for weary travelers. However, Hi no Tera has not needed such reinforcement in well over a hundred years as the monks of this particular temple are finely honed in to battle, boasting a specific discipline unique only to their shinobi brotherhood.

Again, this practice is unknown to anyone outside the temple, and it is a secret guarded even more closely by Konohgakure. Usually, this sanctuary keeps to itself minus the sole stipulation of keeping one of their elders close by the Daimyo. This helps to provide the necessary spiritual medium by which the Daimyo may communicate to his subjects across the entire country, as well as provides a stout bodyguard within his inner circle.

Outside Konoha (and notice that this is the sole exception), the rumor of Hi no Tera is that it is simply a temple of those who worship the life-giving flame. None know of the prowess of these holy monks, and even less can attest to their might. In all respects, it is an organization forever engulfed in mystery.

Places of Note:

Yonkansetsu (Four Snowy Peaks) – A successful ski resort near the border of Yuki no Kuni, it has since its inception attracted many a young and old to its icy slopes. As per the tradition of naming locations by their blatant geographic features, the small city takes the name of its four impressive peaks. Noteworthy if only because it is the only one of its kinds that resides within Hi no Kuni, it is nothing more than a popular tourist location. As a point of note, though, some shinobi tend to prefer this mode of relaxation as it tests their superb reflexes and keeps their adrenaline even during off-time.

Nieyu – A small town based northeast of Konoha, it is nothing more controversial than a simple settlement that prides itself in its tea-making. Generations upon generations of tea brewers hail from this removed part of the country, and each has been more distinguished than the next in providing the most wholesome and delectable tea around. Even the Daimyo has, on occasion, invited such brewers to the royal palace to showcase their skills.

Teitetsu – This legendary town has produced some of the world’s most famous (and infamous) blacksmiths. Located conveniently near Fukou, the denizens of this quaint district of Hi no Kuni have been partaking in those bountiful ores for ages. The forges of this place have been known to create the most exquisite pieces of metalwork. The undeniable quality has even, on occasion, been marked as supernatural. Indeed, the shinobi of Konoha take great stock in any weaponry or armor that comes from the blacksmiths who reside here, for there is no substitute for their exceptional craftsmanship. And likewise, the blacksmiths of Teitetsu pledge their skills only to those of Konohagakure.

Sekou – As a central hub that connects roads between five different landmark locations, Sekou is in prime position for the exchange of information from one hand to the next. Important in that respect, Konoha tends to keep a certain number of operatives in the vicinity to catch wind of any rumors being passed about. The capture of nuke-nin, prevention of assassinations, and other such benefits have come from this involvement, but not all rumors are reliable and must be handled with caution.

Kousai – A mercenary town if there ever was one, Kousai operates in the far reaches of Hi no Kuni. Non-shinobi mercs are often the best suited for infiltration both within the country and outside it as well, as their unorthodox tactics are nigh impossible to trace back to whatever respective party hired them. Furthermore, people or groups who cannot afford the increasingly steep prices of Konohagakure tend to come here for all their henchmen needs. Sometimes, even nuke-nin have been found to operate out of this haven, but there is little proof to this. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this town is that it operates an underground arena of sorts, in which even shinobi have been seen to participate for monetary prizes. It is surely an illegal operation, but one that is practiced nonetheless.

Morimura – A unique settlement tucked deep into the wilds of Hi no Kuni, the most remarkable feature here is that every dwelling has been by some art grown into the very redwoods. Escaping logic and reason, these intricate homes have been woven seamlessly into the canopy of these forests, and its denizens are skilled at maneuvering these lofty heights. Rumor has it that this was the legendary home of the Senjuu clan, though again there is nothing too definitive towards this end. Regardless, the people of these lands are quite adept at their chosen lifestyle and guard the secrets of their culture fiercely.

Special Forces:

ANBU
Roots



Village GM:
Primary - Will of Fire

Thinking of making a Leaf character? Consider some things carefully!

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:29 PM   #2
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The Academy: An Institution Under Review

Policy change as of 7/5/2010: Academy student status is no longer required. All registering genin should fall under the same age requirements and rules. Making mention of the following academy student events and assignments is an excellent addition to a character biography. Hint hint!

It has long been considered by the most profound of our establishment that the declining standards of the Academy have been, by and far, an affair that cannot be left to its own devices. Previously, the Hokage had set the standards himself, emphasizing somewhat rigorous physical conditioning as opposed to mental aptitude or preparation. His idea of a model shinobi was one who was healthier of body rather than keen of mind.

Be it by little or no consequence of his subsequent departure from the village, it has been since thoroughly re-established to include new strictures of conduct and behavior. One benefit of universalizing this system is that the Academy is fully supported and funded by Konoha, whereas previously it was common to pay a minimum tuition that scaled to income. No longer applicable, this has instead been replaced with a review of not only the child who wishes to attend, but also of the parents and their ability to enforce the new values applied.

The standard acceptance age will now be lowered to 5 as opposed to 7 in previous incarnations. It has been found that the skills so required of shinobi in service to Konoha are seen most prominently in children who began their studies at a younger age. Older students may still be accepted, but we may ask more of them in light of the crucial lessons they may have missed already.

Subjects taught at the Academy will mostly remain unchanged, but a greater emphasis will be placed on preparing students on the reality of being a shinobi. Understanding the choices between life and death rather than glancing over the concept will be key in the learning process for all years. Genin are expected to be able to competently deal with the extreme conditions that come with their chosen path. The standard regiment of conditioning as well as a theoretical approach to strategy will also be enhanced through increasingly difficult levels of assessment.

Graduation will also be standardized to include a more mentally and physically arduous testing method that will be employed immediately. At the age of 11 all students will be required to submit a portfolio of sorts, detailing what they’ve learned thus far in their short careers. Most importantly, this portfolio will contain their grades throughout all six years (or less) in the Academy and they must also provide two recommendations from their chuunin-sensei’s.

In the case that a student fails to produce an adequate portfolio, they have only a year after that to prove their worth. If within that year they are once more unable to produce appropriate results, their career as shinobi ends. There will be no exceptions to this.

In the case that a student fails to pass the more intense testing areas, they have instead two years to improve their standing. However, as with the portfolio, attempting and failing after these two years have finished will once again result in the student unable to pursue this profession.

The test in question will remain classified to prevent any sense of academic dishonesty, but the fact remains that it is already being implemented. Extensive work to the Academy grounds has also been applied and we have incorporated a fair few more classes to help differentiate students as well as to help them explore alternative branches of expertise. As a matter of interest, children who display a superior talent than others will be absorbed into a more prestigious program, though this will be heavily monitored and shall remain confidential as well.

The new Dean of Studies at the Academy has also changed hands to a person whom we feel is most reliable for the task of forging Konoha’s future. We trust that through his guidance, all students who graduate from the Academy will go on to produce exemplary results for Konoha.

Last edited by Will of Fire; 07-20-2011 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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Chuunin Promotions: An Elevated Standard

By and large, chuunin have been a fairly underrated and undermanned rank within the village. Whereas most would consider it a simple transition period between youth and adulthood, the rank of chuunin is anything but adolescence in action. In an act meant to further establish their role in the village, the promotion from genin to chuunin will be somewhat more common outside the Chuunin Exams.

Emphasizing leadership standards and a certain knack or approach toward being a shinobi in general, mission content will also be reviewed. Come the age of 15, if not already promoted, a genin will be undergo a series of trials to ascertain whether or not they are fit to become chuunin through various means. Whether it be specific missions or conducting classes at the Academy, these trials may encompass all facets of being a shinobi and generally vary from person to person.

Chuunin are expected to be mature, responsible, and above all loyal. If a person does not display or practice these traits, there is very little chance that they will be promoted. Regardless of whether or not their skills warrant otherwise, Konoha has come to realize that chuunin is not just a filler rank and that a great deal of duty will be set on their shoulders.

Even given as a reward for particularly excellent performances in key missions for the village, the rank of chuunin will cease to be that of the sub-standard shinobi. It will instead be a mark to be proud of, and produce the greater part of the village’s backbone.

Genin who do not meet the requirements of chuunin by the age of 19 will become ineligible for promotion entirely. Their opportunities as shinobi from that point onward will be capped.


Notes: What does this mean to you?

- Genin who have displayed above average activity and have proven themselves competent enough are able to send a request in to the Village GM to review their eligibility based on performance. Superficial criteria to consider are having a character who is statistically-equivalent (give or take) to a newly registered chuunin, for example.
- Missions taken as genin will translate into in-character grades that will be applied towards a person being promoted. Such grades are separate from thread ratings and instead are based on whether or not the objective of the mission was achieved in a satisfactory manner. This will be a loose assessment, of course, but a vital one nonetheless.
- Genin who are promoted to Chuunin will receive up to 30 points to distribute between their stats as they see fit, as well as 3 jutsu. This applies only to genin who have not met the abilities of a newly registered chuunin. Genin who are beyond this point and are promoted will be dealt with separately.
- In character chuunin promotion will be rare and may only be requested once. Afterwards, it is left to the discretion of your GM to determine your promotion.
- Characters registered as chuunin should try to incorporate at least some of this information into their biographies, though as always it is not mandatory.
- Any other standards are to be made and handled at the GMs discretion.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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Jounin Promotions: A Recognition of Excellence

The pinnacle of any shinobi career is liable to result from years of hard work, dedication, and an unwavering determination to serve your village to the utmost of your ability. For those handful of shinobi who have attained this mark, the rank of jounin is their reward.

Jounin are classified as the most skilled men and women of the village, set apart from the rest by their sheer ability. A chuunin that has achieved much in his life is eligible for promotion only when a jounin has passed on or retired, which has been tradition within Konoha for as long as anyone can remember. However, under a new treatise created by the Council, an addendum has been added to this sentimental keepsake.

Any chuunin who has been on active duty for at least three years will now be eligible for promotion. The criteria, however, are nothing less than staggering and young jounin are most assuredly a rarity. A career marked with successes is of course standard, but beyond that one must display an uncommon amount of skill and dexterity in the face of true danger. Activity within the village is a must, and a life led mostly in the shadow of missions is not enough. A chuunin who has performed markedly on 50 missions but has done no civil services will not be considered for the rank of jounin no matter how impressive their resume may otherwise be.

As with being promoted in the other ranks, recommendations are not only advisable, but are essential. Without the unbiased opinion of at least three other jounin whom you have worked with in a limited or prominent capacity, it is impossible to secure a bid for promotion. Such bonds are necessary when working for the village at this level, and true camaraderie can only be achieved through unflinching faith in the man you stand next to. Konoha prides itself in our strength and conviction to our fellow man, and we ask no less of our valiant warriors who are set with only the most impossible tasks.

Field promotions are rare, but not unheard of. Unlike with chuunin promotions in this respect, a jounin is much more than a single badge of courage. A jounin is the epitome of a life’s pursuit of work, supported and nurtured by Konoha; he is much less a badge, but more the armor upon which the safety of Konoha rests. Such considerations are brought upon a full panel of judges of which is no less than the Council of Elders. In order to secure this illustrious title, no less than 25 affirmative votes must be cast in favor of promotion. However, as mentioned, under the pressure of a more militaristic government, the rank of jounin may still be achieved under the most special of circumstances.


Notes: What does this mean to you?

- All this said, jounin are no longer allowed to be younger than 20. An extraordinary biography is required for anything less, and characters that claim to be 16 and at this level will not be approved at all. This, however, only applies to registered jounin and not those eligible for promotion. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
- Chuunin who have displayed above average activity and have proven themselves competent enough are able to send a request in to the Village GM to review their eligibility based on performance. Superficial criteria to consider are having a character who is statistically-equivalent (give or take) to a newly registered jounin, for example. Relevant, in-character criteria includes an exceptional amount of missions and social threads graded.
- Missions taken as a chuunin will translate into in-character grades that will be applied towards a person being promoted. Such grades are separate from thread ratings and instead are based on whether or not the objective of the mission was achieved in a satisfactory manner. This will be a loose assessment, of course, but a vital one nonetheless.
- Chuunin who are promoted to Jounin will receive up to 37 points to distribute between their stats as they see fit, as well as 4 jutsu. This applies only to chuunin who have not met the abilities of a newly registered jounin. Chuunin who exceed this amount will be handled separately.
- In-character jounin promotion will be rare and may only be requested once. Afterwards, it is left to the discretion of your GM to determine your promotion.
- Characters registered as jounin should try to incorporate at least some of this information into their biographies, though as always it is not mandatory.
- Any other standards are to be made and handled at the GMs discretion.
- Policy change as of 7/20/11: Any character intending to attain promotion from chuunin to jounin will have to endure at least one Survival Challenge.

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:30 PM   #5
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Sennin: Achieving the Impossible

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:30 PM   #6
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Missing-nin: A New Approach

In decades past we have seen the submission and betrayal of countless shinobi who thought to defy our village. Throughout all the ages traitors and runaways alike have attempted to flee with little gain, producing the title ‘nuke-nin’ for themselves. Originally derived from the saying “those who are lost”, it is the widespread belief amongst the administration that the meaning of this phrase has been forgotten and sullied.

In an effort to unify Konoha once more, nuke-nin will not longer be hunted down mercilessly. Surely some will not agree with this new ideal, but explanation is required to further establish why this stance is taken.

More so than a rotting corpse removed of all its identifiable features, nuke-nin represent a much more savage mentality. The will to dispose of your loyalty will not result in a swift death (though this may still be commonplace), but instead the first order of business will be to return them to the village. There are multiple reasons for this, though most importantly of which is interrogation. It has been our custom to find that nuke-nin do not operate alone, and will instead confide in other like-minded fellows and ruffians. Armed with the same knowledge that they possess, we can strengthen our relations with other countries by providing key information such as whereabouts, for example.

Furthermore, nuke-nin are to set examples for those of us who would even consider this blasphemous lifestyle. Whereas before they were disposed of outside of Konoha, a more generous method of teaching against the practice of abandoning Konoha would be to incarcerate them, or perhaps even resort to public execution.

There has never been a more relevant time than now to display to the world at large why Konoha is not to be trifled with, and it is our duty to provide the most straightforward means necessary. Some may say that this only makes us seem weaker by comparison, but it is our belief that apprehending and thoroughly punishing a person through all the extravagant means available to us is a far worse fate than death alone.


Notes:
- Missing-nin from Konoha are no longer allowed in the registry unless commissioned by a GM specifically.
- Missing-nin must undergo an in-character transformation that is legitimate and logical in order to achieve this rank. It can range from any reason you may conjure, but again, must be arguable and definable. “Proving my ability” is not acceptable, for example.
- Alongside a plausible reason to becoming a missing-nin, the character must physically flee from pursuers via threads set up beforehand under a certain post limit. That is to say, if you want to leave the village, you have to earn that right. Choosing the amount of posts and number/rank of pursuers is decided by your GM.
- There is a reward for this, however. On top of the thread being graded, missing-nin will receive a certain number of perks based solely on their performance, the degree of difficulty of the thread, how many participants pursued him or her, and many others. Based on these criteria, a score of 1 to 5 will be given, resulting in a concurrent number of AP to be spent on that character.
- If successful, the missing-nin will be classified as such and will have near or about three months to perform as many threads as they so please without threat of being “crashed”**. This, however, does not extend to other countries you may or may not participate in, but only within Hi no Kuni. Excessive behavior will of course be monitored, so this should be considered a grace period to instead allow yourself ample time to steadily increase your standing in preparation for being hunted and taken back to Konoha.
- This is currently a somewhat loose assessment of missing-nin for the time being, and further methods or ideas may be implemented at a later time. As with all things, all discretion on the matter is left to your GM.

**A thread intercepted by a nuke-nin does not fall under this jurisdiction. Only threads started by the character are ineligible, but those which they seek to provoke are not. Likewise, know your limits. If you conspire to attract attention, you’ll earn it.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:32 PM   #7
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Shoukin

Newly resurrected, Shoukin is a former penal facility that will now serve its former purpose as well as that of a mental rehabilitation center. Conveniently located on the peripheral of Konohagakure, safely removed from the law-abiding citizens of the village, it is a building long-forgotten in the recesses of our history.

Previously used a prison, its inmates consisted mostly of those commonplace criminals located far throughout Hi no Kuni, with shinobi acting as their jailors. However, as the years passed and the facility became overpopulated, several other similar stations were erected around the country, and guarded instead with cheaper forms of security. So in time, Shoukin was abandoned and left as a monument to the justice it once sought to uphold.

Ghastly rumors surfaced during its decades of operation, especially of an alleged crypt underneath the foundations where the most heinous criminals were kept and treated proportionate to their given wrongdoing. Acts of unspeakable horror were conducted on these most heinous of delinquents, and to be sentenced to this fate was far worse than death itself. However, the reader must once more be assured that these were misgivings of a time and age so deeply ensconced in superstition that such misgivings were likely a result of the time period and nothing more.

Currently, Shoukin presides over a large plantation, dominating approximately three acres of land, of which an entire square is proportioned to the facility itself. The other outcropping land has been partitioned for the safety of the jailors who live on base, as well as houses some of the more recreational pursuits for the inmates. Other smaller buildings scatter the layout, and those are mostly used for the storage purposes or are otherwise administrative in some other way. Self-sustaining in every sense of the world, Shoukin is a fortress of almighty concrete and steel.

Within the prime structure, six floors give way to its pyramid-esque design. At its very base, the main operation of the facility are conducted under strict watch around the clock, of which only surveillance cameras are a small portion. Separate specially-trained guards take position around all exits and causeways, making especially certain that the safety of all civilian workers is ensured. It is here that most resocialization takes places, with classrooms and therapy sessions set up for this strict purpose.

The second and third floor house the most varied assortment of inmates, spanning first to third-time offenders. Contained within nine-by-nine cells of reinforced steel, each inmate is served their full three meals a day and are allowed an hour of recreational time as they see fit. Showers and other such amenities are served sparsely, if only to remind those contained here that there are things outside these walls for them to aspire for. However, the guard here is somewhat lax in terms of containing the prisoners amongst themselves. All out brawls are not uncommon, and those positioned to prevent them instead take some delight in gambling on survivors. This is, of course, a slight detail left out of the public eye.

The fourth floor consists of a small guard bunker, which those from the second and third floor make frequent use of. A sick bay, depot, and resting area all in one, the fourth floor serves the purpose of resupplying and reorganizing the guards who spend all their time managing the unruly denizens of Shoukin. Also, it is an important safeway point between the bottom and top floors, in which quick recovery of any runaway inmates may be deployed.

The fifth floors secures the considerably more dangerous criminals of the facility, most of which consist of shinobi. Several politicians and other treasonous souls reside here as well, but these are few and far between as such men and women are treated far less kindly than those here. Once more, there is a certain sense of hospitality for those who take abode on this floor, though by any and all means they are restricted just in everything they are allowed to do. Denied the right to leave the facility under any circumstances, they are also further made to preside in their cells for large portions of the day, leaving only to eat. During these few social gatherings, they are not allowed to speak with other inmates in fear of physical disciplining, though they are allowed books and other such private endorsements for one day every month.

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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Kuchiyose no Jutsu: A Path

A rumor, a myth, a legend; the creatures that have stalked and guarded these lands echo throughout and beyond history. Origins unknown, it is said that these sentient creatures were set the task of guiding the world’s safety and ensuring the peace of all its denizens. For a time, it is said, they were successful in their charge. Having no reason to feud and possessing none of the selfish greed of man, they carried on in their ways for countless years.

And then a choice few discovered the powers they would all soon realize; the potential to dominate and enslave. Of these, nine in particular were rumored to be the most violent and malevolent spirits to ever roam these lands, and the creatures of yore rose up to confront this ungodly challenge. Their ancient war stretched into the time of man, shaping and molding the land with their very struggle all the while.

Within Konoha, the reverie paid towards these creatures seems a truthful representation of their inherent status among us, rather than an obligation to testify to their would-be superiority. No other relationship between shinobi has been stronger than or as long-lasting as those of the beings that take up claw or fang to defend home and country at our side. Most often, these creatures have even taken upon themselves the ancient stitchings that have since become our village crests and emblems, designating their unfailing allegiance.

Whatever about these mystical creatures that remains to be seen shall forever be shrouded in mystery, for even the age of man is but another ebb in time’s unerring flow to them, witnessed in a drop of rain and neglected just as soon. For all the intricacies of man and his design, these creatures seem poised to direct man towards the path of balance. Timeless in their wisdom and strength, they may have once been bestowed the sacred rite of defending these lands from chaos and destruction, but, with great anticipation, they have seen fit to lay this mantle of protectorate upon us.

Only the most decorated of shinobi are deserving of calling upon their aid in battle. Certainly only a handful in the village are even capable of it, the skill of such being far above the mediocre. Most importantly, though, it is to be noted that their support is not a right to be abused, but a privilege to be honored.


Notes:
- The means of obtaining summons will be decided on a case-by-case situation by the GM. Most often, though, there will be some sort of trial or measure to deduce whether a person is capable of taking a contract. The method and approval of such will be heavily regulated so that even undergoing the particular trial may still not result in obtaining a contract.
- AP may not be used to purchase progressive stages of a contract. Swaps, however, may still be purchased through this method.
- Swaps are not allowed at this time.
- Summon contracts are a reward and an opportunity; you may not, under any circumstances, ask your GM if you may have one. Deciding how, why, and who receives them is at their discretion.
- Summon contracts may be found here
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