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Old 12-11-2015, 06:09 AM   #1
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Default Non-shinobi Countries

Non-shinobi Countries



These countries lack a shinobi village. While they may still call on shinobi from neighboring countries to perform work, their lack of a dedicated village shapes the way that their culture and government responds to the world around them. Because characters may visit these countries, this thread details basic information that can be the outline for threads.

These information entries don't give every detail of the countries, because we want to leave a lot up to the imagination of the players. But what will be detailed is some History, the Geography with some landmarks, the Government and their rulers.

From there, the non-shinobi countries are under the direct control of the admins. So if you ever plan to do anything drastic enough that it would alter the information entries here, you should contact them or a Story Moderator.

The Non-shinobi Countries
Wheat
Coal
Swamp
Bear
River
Bird
Valley
Iron
Wave

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Old 12-11-2015, 06:10 AM   #2
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Mugi no Kuchi - Wheat Country - The Land of Burning Passion


Wheat is the closest ally the Fire country has ever had, and probably will have. For many, Wheat is barely a country of its own, and instead a small vassal state of Fire. This is from a long history of cooperation between the two countries, and the fact that anyone gaining access to Wheat, must pass through regions protected by Fire country's reach.

Overall, Wheat is a simple country that takes its namesake Wheat as its most serious endeavor. It is a country of farmers and bakers. Anyone looking to get away from it all, puts Wheat high on their list as countries where your greatest fear is what you want to eat for your next meal. While Wheat isn't perfect, and has its own amount of thieves and ne'er-do-wells, it lacks the spark of excitement that you see in other countries across the world.

Wheat, to put it simply, is rather bland.

Geography:

Wheat is mostly plains and coastline. There are some foothills near the northern edge of the country, but these aren't more difficult than a playful hike. The country's wide open pastures has lead to the center of it being nicknamed the Golden Sea, with Wheat fields and farmland as far as the eye can see. The Golden Sea is easy to traverse, and merchants travel through it daily to pick up and deliver goods from different farmers.

There is forest land on the south edge of Wheat, leading up to the coast. In the forest is rumored to be an old ruin, a village that no one ever visits. Inside the village feels like a ghost town, as if everyone packed up every piece of their lives and left. Some have said that the village was never used at all, built up and then abandoned before it was of use. No matter what it would have been for, it has high walls, and enough space to house a small town's worth of people.

The beautiful coasts of Wheat country are a tourists attraction, with locations like Koishi Kin beach attracting families just wanting to relax, and the rich with money to spend on resorts and locals. While the coast can be fun, it also lures in swindlers and cheats of all kinds, which local authorities take as seriously as they can.

But Wheat is mostly rural, and the people there like to keep life simple whenever possible.

Major City:Kyoji

The largest resort town in Wheat, Kyoji is a place where you can find action and excitement, if you have the money. The business people in Kyoji would never turn away someone with money to spend, but the town of spas, gambling houses, and drinking, can burn through pockets fast.

Even though it is the 'largest' resort in Wheat, it isn't all that big. When you arrive, a high vantage point can let you look across the whole town, and tallest buildings are the hotels, mostly out of necessity. Most buildings are still simple, as are some of the people living there. But there is an underbelly in Kyoji of business masterminds. The deeper one digs, the more they may realize that Kyoji's atmosphere is false, from the 'locals' at every business to the 'natural' beauty of the beaches.

Government at a glance:

Wheat has a government that other countries think their government is like. It is straight-forward, and runs slow. The leaders of Wheat are a council of advisers and elders who work for the Wheat lord, whose reign is hereditary. Different magistrates and nobles lead different areas at the behest of the Wheat lord, but the country is small enough that he does not need much more than law enforcers and a militia.

Wheat pays a lot to Hidden Leaf and Fire Country to ensure its protection. This agreement is likely as old as Wheat country itself.

Wheat Lord Domon
A charming gentlemen, Domon is a little more friendly and personable than you would expect from a lord who didn't have to earn his position. He is middle-aged, bombastic, and a bit of a public identity. He goes on many public romps, visiting the people of Wheat, and solving problems 'directly'.

Those who dislike Domon believe that he is in on a larger conspiracy. They say he doesn't really rule, and there must be some shadow leader behind Wheat country that keeps the whole place moving. That doesn't stop Domon from being a great public personality though.

Other Facts about Wheat:
- Wheat doesn't have a real navy of its own, just a few small ships for defense
- Wheat has amazing beer, but they are more proud of their breads.
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:10 AM   #3
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Sekitan no Kuchi - Coal Country - The Land of Black Fog


Coal uses what Coal has, and that is a country of resources and the traditions to extract them. As long as most can remember, Coal has pioneered in mining. The country is still covered in prospectors to this day, trying to find the next great coal mine, or better. Because of their coal mines, Coal has also lead the world in industries that use the resource. Coal has the means to make a sturdy land of iron and cement, smokestacks and factories. What the world needs, Coal will produce, and that is a right they will fight to protect.

But mining Coal is not easy on the populace. Men and women die daily in the deep mines that litter Coal. Whether they work underground, or in the factories that burn the black rock, the black soot permeates the people, leading to health problems that plague all but the elite of Coal. The skies of Coal cities are dark, the sun dimmed by the constant smog that visitors to the country can't help but notice. The people of Coal are hardy and dedicated.

Still, Coal has an output that other countries put to use. Many mass produced weapons and machinery are produced in Coal, and they are one of the few rivals to Stone in that regard.

Geography:

Coal shares borders with Rice, Leaf, and Swamp.

The country is mostly forested, low mountains that are dotted with mines and mining towns. The spine of the country, bordering the water to the East, holds most of the country's population. A major trade route from the center of Coal to the South-East tip is called 'The Factory Line' (Zhuangpeixian).

Coal is mostly mined in the Black Rock Mountains, a range that used to house the ancient population of Coal, and still holds the most ancient cities of Coal. The mountains are not tall or treacherous, and would be described as high hills by anyone from say, Stone. The mining towns pop up whenever a new vein is started, and some survive when the mine shuts down. Occasionally other veins are found, like gold, or diamonds, but it all goes down the line to the south-east.

The Cold Spring coast is where the coal is either refined, or used in factory work. Many cities along the coast dump their factory waste into the water there, making it unfit for any sort of swimming or fishing to eat. The coastline isn't half-bad in areas that lack a factory, but as time goes on those are few and far between.

The Southeast has less forests, with open plains and coastal towns that are kept relatively clean compared to the rest of Coal. These coastal towns serve as trade towns, with caravans leaving for Fire, back up the Line to go to Swamp, or overseas to go to Lightning and Water. These towns also work as tourist and market traps, with all the goods produced in the smog-covered cities of Coal displayed as glittering goods.

Major City: Sima

Near the bottom of the Factory Line, Sima is a giant of production. It is said that the city never stops churning, and visitors who try to sleep would agree. Sima takes in more than just the coal of other Coal cities, it also takes in precious resources to make specialty goods that the rest of Coal only wishes it could create. Because of this, the buildings of Sima often look unique, with strange smoke-stacks that look like odd art.

Sima is also the seat of power for one of the lords of Coal, and the amount of security in the city speaks to that. Sima Kao keeps a constant guard, not only to protect from invaders and outsiders, but to keep the workers of Sima in line and producing as an astounding pace. Distractions and complications during peak efficiency hours are not tolerated, and are met with as much force as Sima Kao deems necessary.

Like all Coal factory cities, Sima's skies are black with smoke at all hours. It isn't an aesthetically beautiful city, but it fills itself with art and great works to compensate.

Government at a glance:

Coal Country is ruled by a leading council of three, with a semi-elected leader. The council, ran through hereditary succession, chooses the 'Lord' from among their numbers. The council rarely fights against one another, but they take their regions and responsibilities seriously.

North-Eastern Lord Lu Bu
Ruling from the border with Swamp, Lu Bu is a military-minded man with a history of attacking first, end of discussion. His region is mostly used for collecting other raw materials, and defending from attackers that may come from borderlands with Swamp, Lu Bu's mindset has been shaped by his role in the Council.

He is young, and has a rough warrior stance that can make him hard to deal with.

South-Eastern Lady Sima Kao
The lord of the South-East is Sima Kao, who rules from the city of Sima. She is a ruthless business woman who has shaped the 'Factory Line' region of Coal. Living in Sima Kao's world requires thinking like a business executive, she works on strict schedules, and shapes the laws of her region based on what is best for business and trade.

She is reaching middle-age, and lives a life of luxury.

Supreme Lord of Coal Liu Bei
Ruling from the capital city of Luoyang, Liu Bei is best seen as a center point between the other two lords. He is ruthless, cares about business, and maintaining the land and order of Coal. He will do anything to make sure Coal continues to make as much trade as it does, and that includes destroying people who live in Coal without blinking an eye. Cities that have turned against the capital have been left burning, with replacement workers arriving the week after to get everything back on schedule.

Other Facts About Coal:
- There has been revolutionary uprisings in Coal, and they have looked to their neighbors for help.
- Sound has begun scouting efforts in an attempt to begin assisting Coal.
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:11 AM   #4
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Numa no Kuchi - Swamp Country - The Land of Broken Hands


Swamp is a feudal country ruled by a lord that lives off the wealth dredged up by his people. The land of swamp is difficult to work, with farmers across the country using specialized methods passed down through generations to meek out a small living from season to season. Even with the hard work from the men and women of Swamp, they typically only create just a little more than they need. Then that is stolen away from them by the cruel members of the Daimyou's royal family.

This is the dichotomy of Swamp. The peasants toil away in the mud and muck, and the lordlings steal it away from their manors on the hilltop. While revolutionaries would tell you it is all bad, life in Swamp is relatively simple compared to other parts of the world. Still, there are many necessities that get stripped away from the Swamp peasantry, due to the capricious rule of the daimyou, and the terrible laws he inflicts.

But times have been changing.

Geography:

Swamp is dominated by small rivers and swamps that dot the small country, and the lowlands that host them. The 'swamps' of Swamp range from controlled areas used to farm specialized crops, to murky runoffs full of impotable water and nasty animals. Trying to navigate Swamp without the help of locals can be difficult just because of a lack of landmarks and the swampland.

The many small rivers in Swamp have local names, but the most powerful river is the 'Gold Peak' river, sometimes seen as a 'road to freedom' since following it leads to mountain in Lightning country.

The worst swamp is a large central swamp known as The Murkland. Some parts of the Murkland are thought to be completely abandoned of people, and legends pass of unnatural creatures that live there and steal away anyone who wanders inside. It is a pool of terrible disease and vicious animals.

Major City: Castle Shirogane

The center of the Swamp government, Castle Shirogane is a multi-layered fort that legitimizes the power of the Ichikawa family. The outer walls are simple, and are mostly used to keep out the elements and any random thieves. After the outer walls you enter Shirogane city, a land of officials and counting. When the many taxes of Swamp are brought together, many pass through Shirogane because of its location in the center-south of the country, which gives it access to many trade routes by both the Gold Peak river and different roads around the country.

Shirogane also has many nobles that pass through, and the entertainment to fit their needs like nice restaurants and theaters. For the most part, peasants are kept clear of the city unless they are delivering goods. Even if they are inside, they can rarely afford any of the real businesses, instead using merchants that set up temporary shop during the day.

Castle Shirogane itself stands over Shirogane city, a white building coming to a peak. It is a fortress and administrative center, filled mostly with soldiers and nobles. In an emergency, the castle acts as a good fort, with different trick rooms, traps, and internal barracks with guards for the Swamp Lord.

Government at a glance:

Swamp Country is ruled by a Daimyou who has a history of controlling his people through military might. The daimyou also has a noble family built around him, that rule local dukedoms in his name, and exact his laws as magistrates. The Daimyou's position is completely hereditary, and said to be divinely inspired by the land itself, though few still believe that.

There is no real representation for the peasantry in the government of Swamp. The laws of the land are written with the nobles in mind, with taxes and levies to keep the ruling class living in luxury, and the army fed enough to stomp out peasant rebellions.

Swamp Lord Ichikawa Kin
Kin the Swamp Lord is a fat and immoral bastard, but he is the Swamp Lord. He derives his power from ancient lines that have rules Swamp since forever, and he uses that to make life for him and his family as easy as possible, without a second thought for those beneath him. The army of Swamp listens to his every whim, and are known to march into villages to extract taxes on the land by force.

Kin's debauchery doesn't just stop at stealing crops. He has been known to visit villages and take his pick of homes, people, and business for his own entertainment. He relies on the protection of his family to keep the people in line after his actions, and in return he keeps the country in line for them.

Revolutionary Leader Ota Yomiko
Yomiko isn't the first leader of the revolution against the Swamp Lord, and she is sure she won't be the last. A young woman who watched her parents work themselves to death for the Swamp Lord, she has no love for the government or the Ichikawa family, and she has dedicated her life to strikes and raids that destabilize their power. Her revolution has no stable location known, but they bounce from area to area as needed, looking for those in need, and for aid for their cause.

Other Facts About Swamp:
- Swamp Country is considered actively in revolution by countries like Sound and Cloud
- While called Swamp Country, most of the 'swampland' is from manmade control of the water

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Old 12-11-2015, 06:12 AM   #5
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Kuma no Kuchi - Bear Country - No Man's Land


A land of harsh terrain and unforgiving borders makes Bear Country a rarely mentioned land of mystery and ruins. Standing between Leaf, Stone, Grass, and Iron, Bear has a complicated history and few remarkable assets. Few countries have borders as unfortunate as Bear. Bear has been the battleground of countless wars. When the shinobi world goes to war, Bear's location means it feels the ramifications.

Bear is well known for danger. It is a land of bandits, assassins, and few safe beds. Without the stability of a shinobi village, Bear counts on its neighbors for protection, but Bear country rarely has the money to afford anything but the barest stability. Instead, Bear has become a land of banditry, with the townspeople hunting and farming, and bandits extorting or raiding them, in a ceaseless cycle. Because of this, the people of Bear can be paranoid, insular, but downtrodden. They count on old and sometimes esoteric ways to get through their lives.

Maybe it is because of this that Bear is known as a country of mystery. From strange assassin groups, and old scrolls with hidden knowledge, to monsters seen nowhere else, and ruins that don't seem to belong to any clan or village anyone has heard of. Bear has a history that lays under generations of rubble. While this would make it an excellent destination for treasure hunters and researchers, the geography and violence make that a dangerous idea.

Geography:

The West border of Bear is bordered by mountains that divide it away from Grass and Stone. These mountains run up the spine of the country, with gaps for passes that allow trade to flow into the few stable towns and villages. These mountains break into thick hills and forests that are almost unlivable, and difficult to navigate. This mountain forest is called Mother Bear's Den by locals, and is home to unnaturally large animals and deep caverns.

In central Bear the forest continues, with most towns cut out of the greater woods that surround it. This leads to a hard to travel countryside. Small settlements and villages dot the forest, sometimes springing up overnight with no one able to tell you exactly how long they've been there. This also means there are few roads through Bear. There are beaten paths from constant travel, but escorts are necessary to travel safely.

The Eastern border with Leaf is safer, with villages that have seen greater protection from hired Leaf shinobi over the years. The East fades into a countryside with sparser forests. Some denizens of Bear consider this land to belong to Leaf more than Bear, as it is one of the few areas of Bear that outsiders will visit.

Major City: Tentoji
More of a large town, Tentoji is nestled toward Eastern Bear. Tentoji is the seat of government for the Bear Lord, and the most stable city in Bear. Compared to the rest of the country, Tentoji is safe, easy to find, and surrounded by clear cut countryside. Still, it is made up of a bunch of wooden houses, and an old fort used in emergencies. Tentoji is fed by local hunting, and is known as a wonderful place to buy pelts and furs.

The town is occasionally attacked, but the Bear Lord focuses enough of the Bear Country militia in Tentoji that it hasn't recently been conquered by bandits.

Government at a Glance:

Bear Country is ruled by the Bear Lord, in concept. The daimyo has little control, few military assets to speak of, and has to spend money on foreign shinobi to enforce his laws. The lord keeps a hereditary line, but a history of coups and lack of heirs means that dynasties change often in Bear Country.

Bear Lord Tenka
Tenka is considered a coward by many. He has never left Tentoji in his life, and often rules from the fort there. Few have even seen the Bear Lord, as he lives a reclusive lifestyle that keeps him away from the bandits and assassins that want to become the next rulers of Bear. He is a younger ruler, and lives in relative wealth compared to his citizens. While these traits make it hard for the people of Bear to root for him, anyone still in Bear country is either fiercely loyal to the country, unwilling to leave, or unable.

Tenka has a wife, a son just reaching an age where he could take the title, and several daughters.

Other Facts About Bear:
- Has fought Grass Country, twice
- Is rumored to have had a Hidden Village once before
- Was home to the mysterious 'Chuku' Assassins that were hired in Hidden Grass
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:12 AM   #6
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Kawa no Kuchi - River Country - The land of endless progress


River Country is an economic powerhouse only limited by its lack of a dedicated shinobi village. River Country is an example of boundless progress directed by ruthless business. There are several peerless cities in River, first of which is Metsubishi, that have advanced to a point unheard of outside of shinobi villages. Reinforced towers dwarf brick and concrete buildings that bristle with activity.

In River the greatest worries are political and economic. Your average River Country worker is concerned with not being paid enough, and whether their representative is serving them in the government. The idea of banditry and violence isn't unheard of in River, but they are considered pocket instances that don't influence the day to day decisions of the people in River.

River has benefited from strong neighbors, and a lot of technological foresight.

Geography:

River Country is known for two rivers, the River of Purity that runs from the borders of Fire Country and Grass Country, and the River of Strength that comes from the mountains near the border with Wind Country. These rivers cut through the countryside, feeding the farms and plains that fill River, before meeting at Metsubishi Lake. This has allowed a lot of trade through River, with business moving up and down the river, bringing trade toward Metsubishi itself. Tributaries streak the country, feeding these two rivers before they create the lake. Then the rivers flow out to the ocean. River is made up of farmland, forests, and the small cities that are filling up the in between.

Besides the rivers, River country has many forests near its North-east borderline, that turn to plains as you head South-west. The country has a lot of grasslands that make it perfect for pastures and orchards.

River also has a massive coastline that sends business out across the seas to Wheat, Water, and sometimes as far as Lightning country.

Major City: Metsubishi - Vassal of Leaf
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 taking home there. Almost a small nation in itself, Metsubish thrives based on an old agreement with Hidden Leaf that protects it from outside invasion. A fact that criminals and entrepreneurs take advantage of when using violent tactics to get what they want.

Mestubishi's technology level is beyond what is seen across the world. Tall buildings of cement show on the horizon, public trolleys take citizens through the city, and entertainment centers play simple movies in the best theaters around the world.

Government at a Glance:

River Country is ruled by a Daimyo, elected from lesser lords. These lesser lords divide River Country into counties, and rule from their own lands. The lords serve for life, but the new one is elected when one dies or retires. Law is created by a house of lords that meets in Metsubishi to discuss ideas and form law. This creates a powerful system that can create local corruption and violence when a lesser lord isn't serving their county well. On the other hand, lords who don't serve their constituents have been known to find themselves forced into exile.

Metsubishi the city is ruled directly by the Daimyo.

River Lord Hokichi Ryu
Ryu is the current Daimyo of River, and is loved by the people. He has ruled through several disturbances to River, including internal conflicts among the lords, and a short war with Hidden Grass. He is middle-aged, but puts off a youthful persona and a voice of progress. The people of River generally like him, though he has been known to go too far to protect the 'freedoms' of River citizens, including allowing acts that many consider criminal or dangerous, like experimentation and manipulations of tax codes.

Those who dislike him note that the last Daimyo died after disagreements with mob elements in Metsubishi, and then Ryu swept into power.

Other Facts About River:
- Creates various alcohols and spirits
- Fought a short war against Grass
- Hires many shinobi
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:13 AM   #7
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Mokin no Kuchi - Bird Country - The Land of Warlords


War has ripped Bird to shreds, and no one has ever denied that. Bird country is a land of chaos and barbarism that morphs month by month, with new leaders popping up around the country and making claims to a right to rule that cannot possibly be legitimate. The pockets of stability through Bird are often just enough to get those passing through out the other side as fast as possible, because if there is one thing Bird country hates, it is outsiders that linger.

The shinobi wars hit Bird hard, leaving crater-marks from techniques that were flung between great shinobi that died ages ago. The ancient government of Bird was obliterated for offenses long forgotten, and the idea of retaking that old throne as the Daimyo of Bird has lead to nonstop war between Warlords.

Bird has few ties to its neighbors, and this is generally accepted by the world community. It is less a state, and more a geographical boundary to a place that no one wants to rule but the people of Bird. Still, it is a critical location between Wind and Earth.

Geography:

Bird grows harsher the further East you travel. With plains and plateaus to the west, the land becomes mountains and steep cliffs along the Eastern edge. It is an easy to navigate land, with a well worn trail through the East edge that leads toward the center, and then splits at a legendary fork in the road called 'The Winged Divide' that leads South to Wind and North to Earth. The divide is marked with a massive group of boulders that seem out of place in the area that is otherwise an open plain and dirt road.

In fact, the problem in Bird is that it is hard to hide once you get out of the mountains. The wide open areas mean bandits and warlords have an easy time picking off caravans that aren't properly defended. Warlord camps dot the road toward the divide, using it as a chance to force tolls on everyone that passes through.

A town has grown around the divide, and it is one of the few that merchants stop at. It has been named Tochu, for being halfway through the journey out of Bird.

Major City: Tochu

Tochu is small by most standards. It is more like a frontier town, with wood buildings that look like they popped up overnight, and no real government to speak of. The rule in Tochu is based on whatever Warlord controls it at the time, and that can change month to month. When no Warlord has enough power, walls tend to make visiting bandits angry, so the city also has no walls.

It is a trade town, with merchants passing through using it as a chance to get supplies they suddenly need. There are many inns and rest areas for those that want to get back on the road, and few places to permanently settle. The city's peace is kept by a sort of mob rule, with merchants knowing to defend those that cry out for trouble, and circling the wagons if a group of raiders become too violent.

Government at a glance:

There is no greater government in Bird. The warlords rule, with dozens of them existing at any time. They can be impossible to keep up with, though you can often spot them when someone takes the surname Kintori. The Kintori dynasty was the oldest in Bird's history, before the shinobi wars wiped it out of history.

Warlord power waxes and wanes, with some holding barely a town, and others holding whole sections of Bird. They gauge each other's power based on how many men and towns they can hold, as well as the battles they have won, but have little thought for actually ruling well. Their goal is to be considered legitimate enough to be the next Daimyou of Bird, a title that hasn't been officially recognized outside of Bird since the second shinobi war over 100 years ago.

Warlord Kintori Gozan
A beast of a man, Gozan is one of the most powerful Warlords on the western front of Bird. He has been in power for some time, ripping through his enemies with a giant battle axe and techniques that many say must be chakra enhanced. Gozan has held Tochu many times in his lifetime, and lived a life longer than many expect of a Warlord. He has many sons that rule with him, and a few that have split off to become their own Warlords to the South.

What makes Gozan special is that he has shown some attempts to actually govern the sections of Bird he controls. He organizes town-building in crucial areas, tries to protect trade routes (as long as goods are coming to him), and he has even been known to protect a village or two without that village needing to be paying him at the time.

Still, Gozan wouldn't have made it as far as he has without being a cruel man, and he shows it every day on the battlefield.

Other Facts About Bird:
- A crucial economic gateway between Wind and Earth
- Has been known as a hide-away for the occasional Missing-nin strong enough to survive there
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:14 AM   #8
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Tano no Kuchi - Valley Country - The Land of Reverence


Valley country's position, far away from any strategic locations, nestled in a distant valley to the west of Earth and Wind country, has allowed it relative isolation compared to its neighbors. While Valley's neighbor, Bird, was ravaged by the shinobi wars, Valley country became a haven for knowledge and culture.

In Valley Country, time often seems to stand still. Idyllic villages with shrines to old gods dot the winding paths through the country. Ancient statues stand at landmarks so old that even the archivists of Valley country shrines can only guess who built them.

Valley is a land of monks and priestesses, sages and witches, with a spiritual landscape that has been cultivated through extensive research into what chakra, the power from within, truly is.

Geography:

The namesake valleys of Valley country come from a protective mountain range that runs along the East borders of the country. Valley must be entered through narrow passes, and the Mountains of Six are harsh enough to deter all but experienced travelers. It includes some of the tallest mountains across the world, and even where they are not the tallest, the weather atop them is volatile.

The valley itself though is massive, with beautiful rivers sweeping down through a forested valley that is shielded on all sides from any harsh weather but the occasional downpour.

An ancient statue, large enough to loom over a nearby cavernous mountain that shows hints of being man made, is called the 'Idol of Firsts'. A town called Tera sits in the statue's shadow, and serves to worship the Idol as a successor to basic spirit faith.

The Long Lake is a massive body of water fed by several of the rivers toward the Western half of Valley, and several villages have existed on its edge for generations.

The Mountain of the Moon is a special location toward the North border of Valley, where it meets Earth. It is said there are paths through the Mountain of the Moon to get to Earth without taking any treacherous journey over them, but no one has ever been able to map it. The Mountain of the Moon is full of precious stones, but instead of mining it, the mountain is protected by the Grand Abbot of Valley country.

Major City: Engetsu

Sitting in the shadow of the Mountain of the Moon, Engetsu is technically the capital Valley country's government. The massive city of worship is crisscrossed with beautiful old temples, shrines, and museums, of many different faiths and views. During the day, music echoes through the streets as different art forms are displayed at every square and corner. At night, there is a good chance a festival will be in full display with lanterns and shows.

Engetsu isn't perfect. The Grand Abbot and the warriors priestesses and priests keep tight control of who can and cannot enter. Because Engetsu guards the entrance to the Mountain of the Moon, which is considered a holy site, the forces of Engetsu also control who can and cannot enter there.

Overall, Engetsu is a cultural beauty, and a bastion of knowledge that could be lost over the ages.

Government at a Glance:

Valley country is a complex theocracy. For the most part, the many villages across Valley decide their own rules and customs. This allows them to hold to old traditions without heavy interference from some government.

A council of worship meets in Engetsu, leaders from the villages come together to discuss matters important to Valley. This group is lead by the Grand Abbot of Engetsu, who is elected specifically by the monks from the Tamashi faith, a group with a rather common view on ancestral and small spirit worship. The Tamashi faith is unique in their views on chakra, and their extreme reverence of the Rikudo Sennin (the Sage of the Six Paths). While the Tamashi are generally accepting of other views, rule over Engetsu and therefore Valley, is theirs.

The Grand Abbot rules for life, and is considered an absolute authority by the Tamashi faith. For world politics, he also serves as the Valley Lord.

Grand Abbot Tenchi
A man of 80 years, Grand Abbot Tenchi is a knowledgeable old man with a storied history in Valley Country. While he was a simple follower as a young man, he became an apostate from his religion in his rebellious years. He actually fought the Tamashi leader before him, leading violent attacks that terrorized several villages in Valley. When many of his compatriots were imprisoned, he hid out in the deep forests of Valley, and is said to have a spiritual awakening while wandering the landscape.

When he returned he became an explorer, taking deep journeys into the many landmarks of Valley. He became a monk, and was eventually given permission to wander the Mountain of the Moon by the same Grand Abbot he tried to kill, Abbot Anki. When the Grand Abbot died, Tenchi was surprised to learn he was given the title.

Now he has a stern but fair rule. He allows few visitors to wander the landmarks of Valley, and only uses the warrior priests and priestesses of Valley to combat what he sees as blasphemy in the name of the Rikudo Sennin.

He is a serious man, ponderous, and doesn't have a sense of humor.

Other Facts About Valley:
- Is actually about as much mountains as it is valley
- Don't ask what is to the West of it
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:59 PM   #9
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Tetsu no Kuchi - Iron Country - The Land of Bushido

Iron Country is one of the most prosperous, and stands alone among nations by serving as a major player in continental politics in spite of—or perhaps because of—an obstinate refusal to rely on shinobi in their governance. Instead, they have historically relied on the power of their samurai. This has forged Iron into a very different kind of country than others across the world.

The Iron is ruled by the Bushido of the Last Legion, which has shaped it into a relatively egalitarian society. The rural population is scattered about the edges of the country and becomes more dense the close you get to the center and the city of kings. It is exceptionally rare to find a settlement in Iron without running water and electricity.

In the global arena, Iron exists as a neutral force. In a world full of shinobi liars and tricksters, someone needs to hold to honor and order in the name of civilization and peace. What's more, in spite of meddling by many villages, Iron remains a bastion of impartiality and is used as a neutral meeting ground by shinobi villages. Shinobi at war pass each other in the street with little more than dirty looks. Even missing-nin are welcome, if they have not broken the laws of Iron Country in particular.

Most non-shinobi countries use Sennou no Shi as an intermediary between themselves and the shinobi villages, and in doing so establish a powerful third party to keep either side from cheating the other.

Geography:

Nestled between Snow on one side and Stone on the other, Iron Country is enclosed by protective mountains on all sides, and is quite mountainous herself. A mountain range runs across Iron from east to west, bisecting the country into two halves. The famed Sennou no Shi is nestled in these mountains, connecting northern and southern Iron.

Southern Iron is largely concerned with agriculture, while northern iron acts as a fishing center and connecting port to those who wish to trade across along the northern ocean. The eastern segment of the country, however, is very cold, and sparsely populated except for where the Last Legion have established watchposts.

Major City: Sennou no Shi

A grim place, Shi is built almost entirely of bricks as tall and wide as a man. There are mountains on all sides of the city, and as the city expanded outward people have carved their homes further out into the mountainside. Power lines run out from the center of the city, spreading out above the street and up the sides of the mountains. The city streets were built in such a way as to help defend against invaders, and everything has been reinforced with steel. Though they are walled in on all sides, they are ready for anything.

The only convenient way to access the city is through the tunnels. Trains run through great holes blasted in the earth with an incredible abundance of explosives and release their passengers before starting again and running through another hole in the other side. The train is the only legal way into the city, and any who come by any other route risk death at the hands of the guards—be they members of the Last Legion or hired shinobi from all villages.

Government at a glance:

There is a royal family in Iron, descendants of the fabled Shinmen Doraku, from which the City of Kings earns its name, but their authority is largely ceremonial, and they have little say on the day-to-day policies of Iron. Instead, most of the power and authority in Iron can be found with the Last Legion. The current Lady of Iron is Shinmen Machiki, an aloof teenager of 17.

The true leader of Iron is the Taisa, or Elder Captain, of the Last Legion of the Immortal Guard. Chosen by a vote among the members of the Legion, and then formally given his title by the Iron Lord of the Shinmen family. The position of Taisa is both political and military, with the Taisa being capable of defending Iron from the strongest threats that may come upon the neutral country. Lieutenants are given tasks to perform both in the offices of the City of Kings, but they likewise must be capable of leading troops in the field.

The government of Iron doesn't have a complete aversion to shinobi. They hire many to perform jobs that non-shinobi wouldn't be capable of, like sensors to detect people using chakra to deceive or hide from the Legion. But Iron takes its laws of non-violence seriously. Spilled blood is met with harsh penalties, and death met with death.

Taisa Bennosuke Sanso
Leader of the Last Legion, Sanso claims lineage to the warrior woman who founded the the organization long ago. He has moved up in age, but his skill with a blade has never faltered, and his capabilities in combat are awe inspiring. More than that, he is considered level headed as a leader, and has lead the Last Legion through decades of prosperity.

He isn't without weaknesses. The reputation of the Last Legion asking for blood for blood comes from Sanso's own strict oath. He believes in Iron, and knows that if he ever falters the country would be crushed under the weight of the shinobi villages that surround it.

Other Facts About Iron:
- Iron hosts the Kage Summits, with all the Kage meeting in the country capital.
- Iron's northern port city has the capability to act as a naval port, but only does so in emergencies.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:59 PM   #10
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Daisanji no Yama - Calamity Mountain - The Cradle of Evil

The area of Calamity Mountain is politically distinct and independent of any of the countries of the world, shinobi or otherwise. It sits in the mountains, in western Valley Country, though the people there pay no heed to the guidance of the Grand Abbot.

The mountain is one of the most remote and inhospitable places in the world. At the top of the mountain lies the great temple of the Wardens who guard this place with their life, while beneath the earth a sinister evil festers and writhes. There is a duality to this place; the High Wardens that guard it are among the most esteemed and skilled miko in all the world. But they built their temple here to temper and watch for the rise of evil where it is at its strongest.

Geography:

The passes to the mountain are guarded at all times by the Wardens, who carefully interrogate any who wish to approach the mountain at checkpoints, leaving potential travelers no choice but to filter through the checkpoints under the careful scrutiny of the Wardens or scale the surrounding mountains in an attempt to get around them.

The foothills of the valley lies shrouded perpetually in an oppressive dark mist that turns high summer into dim twilight and turns the night into a lightless abyss. The valley is full of deep cavern systems, from which the black miasma rises, pushing out into the world from some dark hole in the earth.

The caverns are understood to be a hive of monsters, demons and witches. It is said that the door to Yomi lies somewhere beneath the earth, and that all evil beings in the world crawled from the caves beneath this mountain.

The Warden's home and sanctuary lies at the peak of the mountain, where the Miasma thins to nonexistence, here, the air is thin and the ground is covered in the harsh white of snow that was old when the first nation of the modern world rallied around their banners. It is here that the great temple-library of the Daisanji no Takai Kanshi rests.

Checkpoints:

Calamity mountain is surrounded by tall mountains, some of the tallest in the world. They form a natural barrier keeping what the valley and main mountain insulated from the surrounding landscape of Valley Country. While it is possible to scale the mountains themselves, it is generally understood to be too arduous to be worth the effort. There are two passes that lead to the mountain. The Wardens have occupied them both with checkpoints which all who wish to enter Calamity through normal means must pass through.

The corrupted valley is considered an unholy place, and much sought after by dark sorcerers as a place of dark spirits and powerful, wicked reagents. For this, and to dismiss unwise courage, the checkpoints do what they can to sort those whose intentions are sincere from those who mean ill.
Adzuma
The widest, most public entrance. Adzuma is like a little town unto itself. Travelers come to Adzuma to sell or donate goods and wares to the Wardens, who routinely carry it back up the mountain with them. Adzuma is a tall fort that takes up the entirety of the pass from one end to the other. This, as the 'main' gate, is the most heavily guarded. Purifiers man the walls constantly, and oracles are on the constant lookout for troublemakers. Most offical business with the Wardens is done through here.

Minami
However, if you go around, taking a remote, circuitous route through the high mountains, you can find the south entrance. Minami is a narrow, dangerous pass through the mountains. It is sparsely guarded, but those that do guard it maintain an array of powerful magical barriers that prevent passage unless your appeal to the guards convinces them to drop it.
Grand Temple:

While there are many temples all over the world, many of whom call themselves grand, it is the mountain home of the Wardens that most envision when they hear the words with no other context, because it is one of oldest, one of the greatest. A living legend.

The Grand Temple is a masterful arrangement of beautiful stonework and steel gates, with stone paths and rope bridges that lead between the high-turreted stone buildings all across the peaks of the mountain. Here, the Wardens spend their time deep in spiritual meditation or research. The libraries here are some of the most vast, full of ancient books of prophecy and mystic knowledge that the Wardens have gather the long course of their vigil over Calamity.

The outer rim of the temple is full of prayer rooms and residential areas where the Wardens live as they have lived for hundreds of years, without electrify or running water. The inner temple is a great library-tower, filled with floor after floor of books on all topics that one can imagine. Access to the library is controlled by the High Oracles, and all visitors must be approved by them.

The library is divided into various segments based on topics. Many topics, such as monsters or dark magic, are restricted, and require specific approval of the High Oracles to visit.
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