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 Post subject: Background & Lore
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Background & Lore

Read This

You should read, at least, the histories of the village your character is in, and their minor villages. If you’re a Konoha refugee/descendant, you should read the Konoha section. This will give you a handle on some of the broader aspects of the world, and give you a few hooks you can use to ground your character in the setting.

Table of Contents:
Timeline:
Below is a small timeline of certain events in history.
  • 463 CR - The First Mizukage refounded the first of the Great Ninja Villages. The others would soon follow.
  • 489 CR - The Tori Massacre and the beginning of the Shinobi World War.
  • 496 CR - The infamous Iwagakure attempt to take back Amegakure known as the Blood Rain happened in this year.
  • 499 CR - The Death of the First Kages, the signing of the Blood Peace, and the partitioning of Konoha.
  • 514 CR - Present Day.


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 Post subject: Re: Background
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Konoha - Otogakure

Konoha:

During the years leading up to the Shinobi World War, tensions were high between Konoha and the nearby minor Amegakure. After a terrorist attack leaving thousands of Konoha citizens dead (known as the Tori Massacre), the village had no choice but to go to war with Amegakure. The public outcry from the atrocity forced the Hokage to go to war, for his power was counted as first among even the great Founders. Wearily, he joined forces with Kirigakure, forming the Aoi Domei (Or Blue-Green Alliance) and went to war. Soon, almost all the villages of the continent were engaged in a brutal struggle for supremacy that lasted nearly 10 years.

It all went wrong when the Mizukage betrayed both his ally, the Hokage, as well as the other Firsts of the Konohanagi (The alliance between Iwagakure, Sunagakure, and Kumogakure.) The Mizukage walked into the palace of the Daimyo, and he and his demon ninja slayed the Twelve Guardian Ninja. Dragging the Daimyo to Konoha, the Mizukage claimed his head with the legendary blade, Samehada in front of the defeated populace, occupying the weakened village. When he invited the new leadership of the Konohanagi to peace talks, he left Konoha out of the proceedings; thoroughly spent after a decade of war, the people could do nothing but watch and hope. Peace was cheap - each nation got a piece of Konoha, a piece of the Land of Fire, and a blade from Kirigakure’s own seven swordsmen. A good deal for all, it was said.

Konoha is a captive in its own home. Iwagakure, Kumogakure, Kirigakure, and Sunagakure all control a quarter of Konoha, each jealously guarding their territory from other nations. Those Konoha shinobi that didn’t join these villages have by and large been eliminated in the 15 years since the war's end. Those who remember the war, who remember the Will of Fire, do what they can. Even though they have been allowed to join the forces of their recent enemies, they are viewed - by and large - with suspicion. Many of them only hope for the day they might get the chance at revenge for the Hokage.

Those of the younger generations are a bit more varied, however; many now born, entering into the services of these foreign powers, might have a variety of beliefs on the occupation of their home. Some will have families that integrated better. Some might be at odds with their parents on the matter. Remember that by and large, these are opinions the majority of people do have, not the opinions everyone would have. There will always be some variance, and this can be doubly true for player characters.

Otogakure:

Otogakure was once in Konoha’s sphere of influence. For reasons not entirely clear, the Mizukage chose to grant it total independence in the treaty at the end of the Shinobi World War. The Old Mizukage, as well as the newly appointed second Kage, agreed that the village should be free of “foreign influence”, a sort of repayment for being a satellite state of Konoha. The people’s dream for a strong village - and therefore a strong country - has been spoiled. Instead the government was infiltrated by criminal organizations that were themselves infiltrated by foreign governments. The thinly veiled corruption of the civilian council has led to the rise of several ultranationalist movements that seek to wrest control away (all, of course, funded by foreign powers). Unfortunately for those groups, the civilian government is backed by criminal money and can hire many rogue ninjas to defend it.


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 Post subject: Re: Background
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:15 pm 
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Sunagakure - Amegakure - Tanigakure

Sunagakure:

It was never confirmed by the Suna ANBU whether or not the terrorist attacks had been from Amegakure or if they had been a false flag attack, though this uncertainty was never admitted to the public at large. It hadn’t been important. As soon as word reached the First Kazekage, he knew there would be war. It did not take long for the Konoha soldiers to overwhelm Amegakure and move into the deserts, seeking the lifeblood of the sands - Sunagakure itself. What ensued was a guerilla campaign by the Sunagakure shinobi in a bloody war of attrition. Among the people it’s said, though rarely around the refugees, that Sunagakure suffered the worst out of those that fought against Konoha.

Their losses were compounded by the night of the Blood Treaty, when the Mizukage betrayed the Kage. Sunagakure’s extreme losses are a point of contention between Sunagakure and the other nations. This is doubly true for Kumogakure, who were supposed to have weakened Kirigakure while Sunagakure bore the brunt of Konoha’s assault. That Kirigakure could field enough power to defeat them all, even weakened in war and confused in the face of betrayal, did not bode well to either the competence of Kumogakure or their conviction in the alliance.

On the whole, the people of Sunagakure are resentful of the Konoha refugees. The focus of Konoha’s military strategy involved quickly shattering Sunagakure before moving into Iwagakure. Thousands died on both sides; in most ways, the hostility those in Sunagakure feel is often mirrored by the Konoha people who reside in Sunagakure controlled territory. It is an uneasy existence at best. Even those born after the partition are viewed with mistrust, often integrated into mixed nationality genins quads barring some obvious strategic consideration.

Sunagakure’s relationship with its allies are in tatters. It is hard to trust supposed allies who couldn’t win the war while their people died in great numbers to keep the leaf at bay. Iwagakure and Kumogakure are spoken of in the street with open contempt, even fifteen years later. The people know that Sunagakure has only two real allies, River and Rain.

Amegakure

Amegakure has historically been a country of strong shinobi. This was by necessity more than anything else; surrounded on almost all sides by potential foes and small states. This was only exacerbated by the refounding of Sunagakure and Konoha. Squashed between two vastly more powerful nations, Amegakure threw its lot in with Sunagakure for better or for ill.

Many people, especially Sunagakure ninja, say that Sunagakure got the worst in the war. Those people always forget to talk about Amegakure. The village was swiftly and decisively invaded by Konoha at the onset of the War. It suffered a brutal campaign that shattered its defenses. Amegakure would be under Konoha occupation for almost ten years as the war raged on. Not only would it suffer the atrocities that many conquered people feel, but it also suffered from the numerous attacks to liberate it from Konoha’s grasp.

Amegakure was not silent during the occupation, however. A group, calling themselves the Uteki, continued a guerilla war against the occupiers. They were branded a terrorist group by the Konoha government and the installed governor pursued a brutal policy of suppression. This, more often than not, carried over into the civilian - and innocent - population. Though by the start of the war few could say for sure whether or not Amegakure had been responsible for the Tori massacre, by the end most hoped that they had.

Amegakure’s relations with the members of the old Konohanagi alliance are strained at best. Sunagakure is held to be an ally beyond reproach; a bond forged by dire necessity and tempered in the blood of thousands.

Tanigakure

Life for Tanigakure has turned out alright despite everything. The war proved harrowing, due to Tanigakure’s location directly bordering Konoha on land and accessible to Kirigakure at sea, they suffered only slightly less than Sunagakure or Amegakure. Where they differed, to some extent, is the outcome. Where Amegakure still languishes in desolation, where Sunagakure seeks to rebuild itself back up, Tanigakure thrives. With a working gold mine and a direct path from Sunagakure to occupied Konoha, Tanigakure has set itself up into a preeminent trading power, having even been able to secure itself some minor trading agreements with Kirigakure.

Because of this, most people and ninja in Tanigakure are rather accepting of the Konoha populace. There they’re treated more like disenfranchised friends rather than a conquered people or bloody opponents. A large portion of the Konoha population resides here, which is agreeable to all three of the villages in the alliance.


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 Post subject: Re: Background
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:16 pm 
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The Land of Earth

Iwagakure:

It was announced to the public right before the onset of the war. According to the Iwagakure Anbu Black Ops intelligence, the supposed “Tori Massacre” had of course been a false flag attempt from Konoha - and what was worse, the people of Konoha had bought it. The Last Hokage immediately took advantage of the public outcry and marched his forces into Amegakure. Iwagakure was the first to join in Sunagakure’s defense of their ally. Long had there been a feud between the Leaf and the Rock, and this was the perfect chance for Iwagakure to right some of the wrongs that had been done to them.

Though the treachery of the Mizukage had been heinous the death of the First Tsuchikage, the Great Unifier, and a large portion of their military left Iwagakure in a precarious position. The village, with the wholehearted backing of the daimyo, accepted the peace that Kirigakure gave the other nations. Many of its’ people know that the village is in great risk. This is not the diplomatic position it might prefer itself. But they are not the same people they once were; their shinobi were all trained by battle hardened warriors, some of the most experienced among them nine year veterans for one of the most brutal wars in memory. They know that, backed with proper force, a diplomatic solution to the Konoha partition might be viable.

On the whole, the people in Iwagakure have given the Konoha people a good welcome. Those villages in Iwagakure’s sphere had been diplomatically integrated to the village not long before the war, so Iwagakure was well equipped to integrate a new people into its social structure - though, due to the nature of this integration, there are some suspicions remaining for those old enough to have fought against Iwagakure in the war, while the younger generations are generally treated as would any other member in Iwagakure.

Their relations with the Konohanagi members have soured since the war. Likewise, Iwa-Sunagakure relations have also soured. Few can forget the Blood Rain, a disastrous attempt by Iwagakure to take back Amegakure from the forces of Konoha. Not only was it unsuccessful, leaving the village in Konoha’s hands at the cost of many lives, it ultimately killed many hundreds of people in Amegakure, mostly civilians doing their best to live under occupied rule. Many of the surviving involved shinobi still - to this day - hold that it was their best method of breaking into Konoha proper. Kumogakure relations fair no better. For years following the war it was debated on whether or not the shinobi in Kumogakure were incompetent fools, or vicious Machieavellians, perhaps collaborating with Kirigakure the whole time. Some people still whisper that the Raikage was involved with the Mizukage’s betrayal. To them it seemed a likely explanation; three on two didn’t quite seem as befuddling as four on one.

Kusagakure:

A smaller political entity, Kusagakure quickly learned how to integrate diplomatically with the states around them. Chief among them was the smaller states that would eventually come to make up Iwagakure, as well as Amegakure, Takigakure, and Tanigakure. When the Great Unifier eventually solidified Iwagakure, however, it seemed only natural that Kusagakure would agree to join such a mighty coalition. Still, members of the village kept those close ties with those villages it had once counted as allies.

It was many Kusagakure ninja that were at the forefront in convincing the Great Unifier to go to war, all of them certain that the Tori Massacre was a ploy for Konoha to invade the smaller village. That would give it free access to Sunagakure and, more importantly, Kusagakure. A dangerous prospect for everyone involved. The village went from a tranquil place to the front of the war as Iwagakure fortified it against Konoha assault. Several major Iwagakure offensives (as well as the infamous Blood Rain) were staged in Kusagakure.

During the near decade of war, the stereotypically soft village went through a metaphorical hardening. Where once its ninja were thought of only as adequate enough for their leaders to conduct diplomacy, they garnered serious respect from their Iwagakure brethren. Their traditions in friendly diplomacy meant that they knew the terrain of Amegakure better than almost any of the native Iwagakure or Takigakure shinobi. It was often Kusagakure scouts that gathered the necessary intel the army needed to function.

Takigakure:

It’s long been said of Takigakure that it has never been conquered. Every time a foe threatens to overwhelm them, the Hero Water is used to repel the invaders and keep the village safe from all outer threats. At least, that’s how the stories went. When the Shinobi World War started, however, the Hero Water was still decades off. The people of Takigakure had to fight for their lives, their morale weakened by the knowledge that they wouldn’t have their legendary equipment. This was one of the few, minor villages west of Konoha that would see Kirigakure shinobi in the war, in a mad attempt by the Mist ninja to capture the Hero Water.

By and large, though, the village remained mostly fine in the war - at least, compared to somewhere like Sunagakure or Amegakure.


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 Post subject: Re: Background
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:16 pm 
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Kumogakure - Shimogakure - Yugakure

Kumogakure:

The Anbu Black Ops Intelligence determined that the Tori Massacre was a false flag attack from Kirigakure. Intelligence that was fitting, given that it was only Kumogakure that could contest Kirigakure’s dominance over the seas. It wasn’t hard to determine which side of the war Kumogakure was going to find itself on. Kumogakure and Konoha hadn’t been friendly in generations. The story goes a quibble ballooned into something all too bloody, dividing the nations.

Their side in the war was chosen for them, not long after the Tori Massacre, when Kirigakure launched amphibious assaults all over the Northeastern area of the Land of Lightning. Meanwhile, Konoha sent a small invasion force towards the smaller villages to Kumogakure’s Southwest. Thankfully, with Konoha’s attention focused elsewhere, this two front war didn’t prove to be untenable for Kumogakure. They were able to keep the Mist shinobi from gaining ground, but at much cost to both sides. At least, so it was reported. Investigations into whether or not certain commanders were bribed to report different casualties (or whether or not those commanders were impersonated) proved inconclusive.

The betrayal from the Mizukage shattered much of the confidence of the village. The First Raikage, known to the natives as the Lightning Conqueror, had founded the village primarily on her personal skill and bravery. To be defeated in treachery, at a supposed peace table, was something no one in Kumogakure could stomach. That their leader hadn’t been given a proper battle at all was a disgrace, and following the tragedy, the village went into a 40 day period of mourning.

They welcome the Konoha refugees, civilians and displaced soldiers alike, so long as they carry out their duty as citizens and soldiers. They were honorable opponents in the war, and as such would be treated with as much respect as the refugees gave in loyalty and fierceness in battle.

Their relationships with their allies in the now defunct Konohanagi alliance may well have been better had Kumogakure sat out the war entirely. They view Kumogakure as either complicit with the Mizukage or wildly incompetent; it is hard to say which perception would be more favorable for a village. Due to Konoha’s relative inactivity in the region, the minor villages have even come to prosper after the war, even if Northeastern Kumogakure suffers. Thankfully for Kumogakure, they have few neighbors to worry about in terms of an immediate threat.

Shimogakure:

Shimogakure was, perhaps, the village least touched by the war - even Kirigakure suffered from significant shipping losses, between Kumogakure and Tanigakure operations. Shimogakure never suffered a casualty - foreign or otherwise - in their land, and contributed an acceptable amount of manpower to Kumogakure. Though many shinobi that returned home had horrific stories of the war they had seen, many of them chose not to share them with the people around them. This has led to many of the younger generation growing up comparatively idealistic to the majority of the continent.

The Land of Frost is beautiful - many older people note that, inexplicably, it almost feels as if the war hadn’t happened here. There’s a sort of tranquil peace that radiates through frost covered trees, snow capped mountains, and cozy cottages that dot the landscape. The people here tend to be welcoming, and always willing to host travelers - foreign or otherwise.

Yugakure:

As with all villages, Yugakure remembered its ideals. “The Village that had forgotten war.”

A terse missive from the Raikage was recieved, warning the people that the Lightning Conqueror had thrown her lot in with Iwagakure and Sunagakure. The people that had forgotten war were suddenly set to be one of the frontlines of one of the worst in living memory. The people debated at first. They had subjected themselves to Kumogakure to maintain their autonomy (for all who tried to stand against the Lightning Conqueror had found themselves totally absorbed), as well as for protection. Being roped into a war that involved all of the Five Great Nations was not what they had signed up for.

After the first of the police forces that Yugakure mustered were obliterated in a shameful defeat. The remaining Yugakure police force instituted a coup and began to train its own shinobi. With Kumogakure’s backing, the village that had forgotten war suddenly found itself not just remembering - but thriving. It’s not an overstatement to say that Yugakure’s willing participation significantly contributed to Konoha’s inability to make gains in the East.

After the war, the village could never forget war again. Would never forget war again. A debate has ensued, however, with two broad schools of thought through the Yugakure people. One is that they need train only to defend themselves; after all, if they had been prepared for Konoha’s first advance, they might have avoided much of the devastation that ravaged their home. The other side opines that they need a more aggressive policy - there are plenty of chances to take land from the Land of Rice, or even convince Kumogakure to cede them parts of the Land of Fire. But Kumogakure doesn’t respect weakness; more than many others it was a village that valued aggression. If the people of Yugakure could meet them at the bargaining table with a position of strength (relative to the positions of other minor villages, of course) such concessions would be far easier to win.


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