Bitter winters and plentiful seasons, the two contrasting sides of Onmyō that exist alongside one another. Thousands of miles across vast oceans the island exists in seclusion, closed off to the outside world. Whether fables or tales of truth, many stories have been told about those who attempted to sail to the island in the past. Crews of capable warriors slain and ships turned to wreckage by what was said to be a formidable beast that carried an incredible amount of chakra within it. For decades Isobu roamed the coastal waters, defending his new territory from mankind so that he could be left in peace. Over the course of history nations sent their most capable fighters and the gifted amongst their ranks to infiltrate the island with not a soul returning among them. Isobu was merciless after witnessing the way that humanity not only had treated the tailed beasts but also how they treated their fellow man. The monster made its way to Onmyō with Son Goku and Kokuō, seeking to escape the hell they’d been put through by the ninja world. As the cries of war and inferno's of destruction desomated the nations of the mainland he ensured that their violence wouldn't befall his new home. However all must rest, the tailed beast himself has entered a deep slumber once again and opened the shorelines of Onmyō to those who dare to travel over from afar.
Despite being protected from the conflict of the outside world the island of Onmyō has had its own issues over the years, the main one being the division between many of it's clans who found themselves in conflict over resources and the clash of their ideologies. When the tailed beasts settled on the island Son Goku and Kokuō fell into their own slumber, very few in Onmyō taking notice of their presence as the chakra beasts dragged their wounded and fatigued bodies into hiding. Without any hindrance or interruption the clans on the island such as the Kazan continued their old ways and acted by themselves, desiring to strengthen their people's grasp on Onmyō's resources and rise to power so that they could ensure prosperity for their future generations. Other clans such as the Iburi and Hayabusa chose different lifestyles, staying secluded and keeping to themselves in order to further develop along their journeys to perfect themselves both spiritually and in their craft.
The Island nation's wide variety of clans and settlements were left to do as they always had prior to the arrival of the beasts, some fighting and others wishing only to survive in harmony with all who called the continent home. The Kamizuru clan found wealth through their farming and the Hagoromo lived a life of peace for some time, though not everyone had such luck. The aggression of the Fuma clan was felt by many as they formed an alliance with the Sarutobi, who only sought to develop structure within the Island for a more stable future. The promise of that chance from the Fuma was enough to manipulate the Sarutobi to play into their conquest, the end justifying the means. Together they drove the Hozuki clan from their homelands in the plentiful lakes of Onmyō's east to take it as their own and expand their territory. During this the Shimura and Kazan found themselves caught up in their own war, personal grudges between the leadership on either side and the opportunity for resources causing the two clans to fall into a violent cycle with one another. Winds of war spread throughout the land, fading in and out of the minds of those that called Onmyō home, though not all fell to the temptations it offered even if those who did caused chaos.
The lack of guidance had only allowed man to fall back into its natural cycle of starting wars for the sake of peace, the paradox that humanity finds itself cursed with pursuing. Conflict spread throughout various regions of Onmyō as alliances were formed between those involved. Eventually there came a time where many that were ruled by conflict found themselves lacking further tolerance for such a lifestyle.
The Formation of Ihaigakure
The war with the Shimura continued to weigh down on the Kazan Clan over time. Whispers had spread throughout the land, telling stories of how the Sarutobi and Fuma alliance had lead them to take hold of a substantial amount of territory. The Kazan clan themselves had kept their long-time alliance with the Kamizuru intact throughout the conflict which allowed them to take control of a considerable amount of territory as well. Though fighting was in their spirit the lava clan found no joy in meaningless conflict, desiring to resume a life of stability and peace as soon as possible. Further negotiations were made between the Kazan/Kamizuru and Sarutobi/Fuma alliances in order to come together and prosper under the banner of a larger village. The Sarutobi clans ideology moved the other leaders, their idea that the island nation required stability and structure in order for the entirety of its population to flourish made perfect sense to those who'd been at the center of the chaos that had lasted many years. An agreement was reached between the clans, the greater regions ruled by the Kazan clan becoming the center of their new combined territory with the outer regions being used for farming and resource mining.
On the sidelines the Iburi clan watched as their home had suddenly become taken over by a larger military force. A spiritual people who had dedicated their existence to discovering the truths of not only their own Kekkai Genkai but the world itself were not one's who desired to enter a war they were sure to lose simply for the sake of what they saw to be trivial. Despite their expectations the Kazan and Sarutobi reached out to them and offered the Iburi an opportunity to rally themselves under Ihaigakure's banner. They would provide the nation with warriors, workers and spiritual leaders in exchange for the freedom to continue their lives as they previously had, it being clear that a harmonious existence was desired by both parties.
Ihaigakure was formed swiftly with the village itself being constructed as all the clans came together under one banner for the sake of a prosperous future. The Land of Ash established a military and expanded its borders over time in order to further solidify their hold on Onmyō.
As Ihaigakure was formed and took control of a large portion of the Island nation the Shimura clan were forced to back themselves away from the front lines of war, forfeiting their territory and licking their wounds after a heartbreaking loss to the Kazan clan. Seeking further strength they met with those in their allies, the Yuki themselves giving them reassurance that all was not lost. The Yuki clan had kept out of the conflict between the Shimura and Kazan for some time due to being neutral with the lava clan, the two separate groups of people trading in the past and remaining on good terms. Leaders amongst the Yuki clan moved to meet with those in the Kazan, the idea that they were uniting the population seeming to be a worthwhile initiative. As negotiations took place it became clear that those in Ihaigakure's leadership were unwilling to share any of the territory they currently controlled as the Yuki requested that some of it be handed over given the harsh conditions of the remaining unclaimed regions. There were many in Ihaigakure's leadership that truly wished to unite every clan on the island as structure was desperately needed, however their wishes were dwarfed by what the Yuki saw as greed when they were told handing over territory was not a possibility. For Isao Yuki, the leader of the ice wielding clan, this was a bitter hit to take considering he had always seen the Kazan's leader as a personal friend who understood his own desire for peace regardless of the conflict that had erupted around them. He was the sole reason that the Yuki had stayed out of the war between the Shimura and Kazan, the preservation of relationships that could benefit the future being something too great to lose. These events made everything all too clear, the Kazan's leader Saburo had forgotten his friend in the midst of war, his perspective being changed to one that only served his own people. Saburo only saw that Isao desired to take what he hadn't earned, expecting that the Kazan leader hand over land that he had already put to use in order to ensure a good quality of life for the population he had the responsibility of ruling over. Such decisions would only cause issues between Ihaigakure's clans and conflict within the village was not something he would allow this early in its existence. The strain of their currently limited resources being spread across even more clans would be too much. Structure and stability came above all, he had seen too much chaos and conflict which he desired to avoid to be swayed away from such an opinion, the idea of civil war or even Ihaigakure disbanding was not something he'd put on his people.
Different perspectives led to division between the two who'd once been on the same page. To Isao, his former friend Saburo would not do the right thing and help all of those in need, the starving families and shinobi that he watched over. He was ignorant about the fact that the rest of Onmyō was close to uninhabitable yet still expected them to live there. To Saburo, Isao had simply seen an opportunity to gain something without regard for the price others would have to pay, the Kazan leader finding himself unable to jeopardise the future of his own people. The already tested trust between the two was broken and two clans that had been neutral for most of history were divided.
Fire and ice were now enemies.
Resentment over the broken trust lead to the negotiations falling apart as conflict sparked between the Yuki and Kazan, however Ihaigakure was already too far ahead to be trifled with. They had formed a strong alliance and swiftly crushed those in the Yuki who attempted to launch revenge-fueled attacks on their border, the safety of their clansmen, families and new home being too high of a priority. Isao no longer had the desire to hold back those in his clan who hated the Kazan for how they had treated not only the Yuki but their allies in the Shimura as well.
The war did not last, if it could even be called such a thing given the massive difference in strength between the forces.
The Formation of Shimogakure
Beaten and cast out the Yuki and Shimura met with those in the Hozuki who'd previously been forced from their homes in the Fuma clans conquest, desiring revenge upon them for the way they had taken their homeland. Regardless of personal feelings, the three clans needed to focus on their own survival for the time being, the horrifically harsh conditions that the remaining territories offered making a decent life only a distant dream. Rallying together they barely survived their first winter, making it by the skin of their teeth as many of their numbers perished from the cold and lack of food. Those who came out on the other end of the season weren't far off themselves, broken both physically and mentally by the uphill battle they seemed to constantly be facing without an end in sight. Isao had foreseen the suffering they now found themselves in, he knew all too well that if Saburo didn't agree to surrender some of his territories they'd be left with nothing. The winter was harsh, the food was scarce and his people were living in what could be described as an icy hell. The Yuki themselves managed with the conditions unlike most other clans, however the scarcity of food and resources meant such a thing made no difference.
Contact was made by the elders in the Hagoromo clan who'd adapted to the blizzard filled winters that the new alliance struggled with, their wishes to help coming in a time of desperation. The other clans were taught the ways of the Hagoromo after accepting the offer, their divine sense of duty to constantly better themselves becoming almost infectious, acting as the glue that began to bind the four clans together. The clans constant strive for perfection and improvement meant that the Hagoromo had many members who specialised in a variety of skills that had become necessary for survival. Within six months an agreement had been made and Shimogakure was formed, the four clans uniting under one banner for the sake of survival. Over time Shimogakure built up both it's forces and the village itself, now a warm light in the middle of the cold winters that faced its territories. Against all odds they had survived together and developed a sense of spirit that wasn't easily broken, despite the struggle they'd come out stronger for it.
Years later contact was made by the Hayabusa clan who had kept out of most of the islands matters, mixing themselves within the population aside from a main compound that was home to the majority of the clan. They expressed their distaste for the way Ihaigakure allowed others who called Onmyō home to live in such harsh conditions when they were in possession of so much. It became clear that the Hayabusa leaders couldn't understand Saburo's reasoning and strong desire to maintain stability even at the cost of others well-being. After a short period of time the Hayabusa also joined Shimogakure and moved the entirety of their clan over to the main village.
Ihaigakure and Shimogakure were both formed, those in the Land of Snow left to survive against an uphill battle, those in the Land of Ash keeping to themselves and working towards their greater goal of a better Onmyō.
The Present Day
Many generations have passed by since the formation of the two villages that reign over Onmyō, many old grudges have long been forgotten, although the current conditions that the nation finds itself in still allow feelings of resentment to exist. The mountains that divide the two are now traversable although remain perilous to navigate. On one side Ihaigakure lives a plentiful lifestyle due to sticking to the vision of their forefathers, the territories that their village has held continually supplying them with resources. They now lack nothing and have established themselves a home for future generations and beyond. The Land of Ash's culture is exemplified by largess and excessive shows of wealth, attempting to be the centre of attention and focus. Their leader is Hedonism personified, given to spending the wealth of his country for lavish parties and entertainment. Though they've lived a life of prosperity they haven't allowed themselves to grow weak because of it, the military force of Ihaigakure only having grown stronger over time. Ihaigakure’s shinobi are born into a lifestyle that provides them with all they need in order to become strong with excellent training and guidance in place from a young age, ensuring that the majority of those who become ninja are talented.
In their wealth and happiness the new leadership and royal family of Ihaigakure have paid little mind to those in Shimogakure despite the conditions which they live in. Out of sight, out of mind is the perspective one could say their leadership maintains as they neglect those who share their home. The majority of the younger generation in Ihaigakure remains unaware of the conditions that Shimogakure's population live in, the harsh winters something that they're unable to comprehend as they're rarely told stories about those across the great mountain range. Whilst a large amount of the neglect has been caused by the distant relationship between the two villages for so many years, a portion of it is due to tales of Shimogakure's greed being passed down by previous leaders. The stories of how Shimogakure's leadership selfishly demanded the land of Ihaigakure's people regardless of the price they would have to pay, causing many in the royal family and higher ranks to look down on those in the Land of Snow, deeming them to be savages out for their own benefit. From their perspective Shimogakure refused to work with Ihaigakure properly and viewed the risk of civil war and resources being spread thin in such delicate times as a minor matter when compared to their own gain. The image of battle-hardened warriors demanding the land that was occupied by families with children and clans attempting to settle as opposed to showing patience only causing further distaste for Shimogakure within their hearts.
To many in Ihaigakure’s royal family, their former leader had offered the clans that would later form Shimogakure a chance to negotiate and work with the Land of Ash at a better future only to have it thrown back in his face when they were unable to have their demands met that would surely cause unrest within the developing village. He attempted to help them whilst avoiding his new village falling into instability only to have them violently strike at his people when they didn't get their way.
Over the course of these years Shimogakure have made a home for themselves in the blizzard filled Land Of Snow, their struggle being lessened by a great degree as they've grown in strength even if it still remains a hardship. They have continued to soldier on for decades and have worked hard just to put food on the table, developing entire hunting and agriculture units simply to ensure they collect enough food to last the winters that come every year. A silver lining to the harsh lifestyle is how it has strengthened their population over the years both physically and in spirit. Whilst Ihaigakure has all the resources it could hope to need they lack the intense survival instinct that those from Shimogakure have grown up with from a young age, it being drilled into them by their forefathers who fought with their lives to build the home they live in today. Shimogakure's shinobi are no strangers to enduring, their entire existence being dedicated to ensuring they continue to move forward. Despite the life that they live, those who reside in the Land Of Snow have a sense of unity that is everlasting. The many years of surviving together under a single banner has brought the clans close due to having each other when there was nothing else.
There are some elders in Shimogakure who find themselves filled with resentment for Ihaigakure despite the many years that have passed, particularly the Yuki clan for the way their ancestors were treated after being told about how the Kazan's leader cast out their own. The leader of the Yuki remains bitter after the tales his father told him about the Yuki leaders many generations ago, the way that those in Ihaigakure had simply turned their backs on them and his people being something he found himself unable to look past.
To the leaders of Shimogakure, their former leader made a desperate plea to the leaders of Ihaigakure to take his people in so that they wouldn't face the hardships of Onmyō's colder regions, seeking only to protect them and unite with the clans that were already under Ihaigakure's banner. However those in the Land of Ash turned their backs in response and cast both him and his people out to die in the frozen regions that remained. Despite this many within the Land of Snow have grown up being content with what they have, grateful for the life they are able to live even if many have distaste for the riches those in the Land of Ash possess.
The State Of The World
The leaders of each village struggle with both the events of the past and the goal of a better future whilst the younger generations continue to try and find their way. Although there is a history between the two villages there are many who don’t bare hostility to the other. The passing of time has allowed many generations to form their own opinions even if bad blood still remains for some. Some find themselves desiring to reach out to the rest of the island, others desiring to keep to themselves. The new generations know little about the conflict of the past due to the majority of the information aside from rumours and diluted tales being kept within the royal families of each village, meaning the majority of the resentment some hold is a consequence of the current circumstances in Onmyō. To the majority in Ihaigakure those across the mountain range are a vague rumour that isn't in their focus, to the majority of Shimogakure those in the Land Of Ash are wealthy people who have not been in contact. Either side is somewhat of a mystery to the other when it comes to those who find themselves now joining and rising through the ranks of each village.
Nevertheless both sides of Onmyō have come to exist together even if they remain distant. Isobu has grown tired from the many years of protecting his home, the beast now taking his rest as the shorelines of the nation are opened up to ships that make their way over. Son Goku and Kokuō are still yet to awaken from their deep slumber although have been discovered by each village. With the shorelines of Onmyō now unguarded it’s only a matter of time before foreign shinobi, arms dealers and other groups make their way to the nation for their own reasoning. Many will desire to help the villages and further their knowledge, others will simply wish to observe from a distance and learn. Some will attempt to use the island for profit, selling their artifacts and weaponry to fuel conflict and line their pockets as a result. Then there are those who will desire to conquer the new land in order to use it for their own people.
Will Ihaigakure and Shimogakure continue to exist at a distance or will conflict once again break out between the two? Are the two villages finally going to come to an agreement or will the fight for resources and survival outweigh the desire to coexist? Is it possible that clans will separate from the main village due to a difference in ideologies and find other places to reside? Will the different beliefs within each village cause civil war or will the issues only further unite them?
Despite having worked towards it Onmyō has still not yet reached a state of true peace and stability.
Whether or not it will, only time will tell.