The Hotaru clan is a relatively new clan, who strive to be the best they can be and have contributed with many dedicated shinobi to Takigakure no Sato. They possess the unique tattoo-related hijutsu called, Godai Myoo.
A relatively young clan with a recently developed Hijutsu and a new way of governing, the Hideaki are a group of shinobi still looking to find their place in the shinobi world. And as many pioneers, they wish to prove themselves to the world. This desire to prove themselves is what motivates the Hideaki into action. A clan of ambitious upstarts, the Hideaki are defined by their attitudes; proud, hard-working and eager to impress. They readily throw themselves at every task and tend to outdo themselves in an effort to impress others of their talent.
On the plus side, this means that they are hard-working and enthusiastic. On the downside, they tend to get overconfident and cocky.
Their feeling of being overshadowed by older, more well-established clans leaves them spiteful towards them. While they are not openly hostile towards them, they relish in every opportunity to outdo them and generally consider them rivals. The Hideaki are proud and quickly angered when that pride is insulted. Many consider them “jacks of all trades” due to their versatile Hijutsu. This is something the Hideaki make no effort to deny. On the contrary; they are proud of their versatility as they consider it one of the main strengths of their clan, something they will not hesitate to point out when someone uses “jack of all trades” in a negative term.
Among themselves, the clansman’s tattoo’s (which are also their techniques) are considered a status symbol with the amount of tattoo’s indicating ones power and rank. Clansmen’s tattoos are highly individual, with most members being proud of the tattoos and paths they have created themselves. Likewise, copying the tattoo and therefore technique of another member or using another member's idea for oneself is considered a grievous taboo. Breaking this taboo will even result in banishment.
A prime example of a group of people who started with nothing, the founder of the Hideaki was a wandering ninja by the name of Hideaki Makuran. He was once a civilian of a small village with a name long forgotten by the world. Little more than a small settlement, this village was home to a small group of shinobi who had been introduced to the art of manipulating chakra from a missing-nin named Yazou. Said missing-nin had been relentlessly pursued by hunter-nin from his village and had barely managed to evade their capture. After the hunter-nin left the area, having been lead on a false trail through a desperate last effort of Yazou, Makuran’s parents and a couple of other villagers found him, more dead than alive.
- A favour repaid
After being nurtured back to health, the missing-nin noticed that the small farming community had its own fair share of trouble. It was suffering heavily from bandit attacks, and with little more than pitchforks to defend themselves the villagers had been forced to strike a deal with the bandits, entitling the criminals to the majority of the villages’ crop, leaving the village with barely enough to feed itself. Taking pity on the small settlement, Yazou stayed with them until the day the bandits came to collect the new harvest.
The greedy bandits arrived at the center of the settlement, expecting to find the council of the village with the majority of this harvests’ bounty ready for them, as was the case each year. Instead, they found a single man standing against the dozens of bandits, standing calmly in the center of the settlement, seeming not even slightly intimidated by the large number of bandits. The bandit leader, a large man named Zaijin, stepped forward. A giant of a man with a large, red beard and a habit of filing his teeth to add to his fearsome reputation, Zaijin towered over the unassuming Yazou like a lion about to devour its prey.
”We came to collect what was promised to us.”
Zaijin rumbled with a voice like grinding boulders
”You have five seconds to turn around and get it for us, or I’ll take off your head!”
More beast than man, the towering Zaijin was used to people cowering in fear of him. Instead, Yazou looked up, meeting eyes with the man. Zaijin was surprised to find Yazou observing him with eerie calm and fearless clarity. And then he spoke;
”I have a better idea. I’m giving you five seconds to turn around and never visit this village again, or I’ll take off yours.”
Zaijin was used to getting what he wanted. He was known as a nasty piece of work in the best of moods and being denied something pissed the giant off something awful.
”Why you little-“ Zaijin began bellowing as he raised his kanabo over his head, ready to bring it down upon Yazou. Suddenly his words were interrupted. In their place came a bloody, rattling wheeze. Surprised and in pain, Zaijin looked down to see his enemy’s arm disappear into his stomach. Where it wasn’t covered in blood, a hard, black layer covered Yazou’s arm like a second skin. The missing-nin pulled his arm out, revealing a black, triangular blade had sprouted from right above the back of his hand, about two foot long, made of the same material as the armor covering his arm.
Body going limp, the kanabo slipped from Zaijin’s large, hairy hands and fell to the ground with a crashing sound. Dumbfounded, Zaijin let out an agonized grunt, blood dripping from his mouth. He bended over, hands grabbing at the deep wound in his guts. Yazou moved his bladed arm once more, this time taking Zaijin’s head clean off. The huge body slumped to the ground as the head landed right before the feet of the remaining bandits.
The ensuing silence lasted for several seconds until the bandits finally realized the danger they were in. Mumbles turned to cries of fear and yells of “Run!” and “Let’s get out of here!” Then suddenly the group of bandits broke and ran for the mountains they had come from.
Thus Yazou became a celebrated hero within the settlement. He had liberated them from the bandits. But he knew he couldn’t stay forever. Word of his presence would soon reach the hunter-nin that were pursuing him. As a final gift to the people who saved him, he decided to teach the settlement the secrets of manipulating chakra as well as the secret technique Yazou had developed; the Godai Myoo. Leaving the settlement with this knowledge, he vanished, never to be seen again.
The settlement soon became host to several families of shinobi, who protected the settlement from future bandit attacks. Having learned of Yazou’s departure, Zaijin’s old group soon showed up again to force their claim only for the settlements’ shinobi to ruthlessly kill whoever tried attacking the village, sending the rest fleeing into the mountains once more.
Soon, however, the settlement would face perils greater than just bandits. War, between the shinobi nations broke out, and the settlement soon found itself in the unfortunate path of a rampaging ninja army. Mistaking the settlement for an enemy outpost, the shinobi slaughtered the villages’ inhabitants. While the few shinobi families put up a good fight, they were heavily outnumbered. Makuran, at that point, was head of the village, had no choice but to escape with the remaining survivors.
Travelling the land looking for refuge from the relentless battles that were fought all over the world, the Hideaki travelled across half the continent before getting hopelessly lost in the Land of Basins. The hostile terrain almost became their undoing, before a group of Taki-nin ambushed them, believing them to be an enemy scouting party. Initially wanting to take them prisoner, when they realized what the Hideaki were they instead took them to the Lady of Taki. Realizing the potential of the Hideaki’s Hijutsu and being glad to accept any new soldiers the village could get, she offered them a place among Takigakure’s ranks.
- A new home
The Hideaki were grateful for this. The village of Takigakure proved to be an open-minded community that was very accepting of the outsiders that were suddenly among their ranks as long as they managed to contribute to the cause. And they did. Soon Makuran became a respected shinobi, leading to an increase of the Hideaki’s reputation within the village. After the war, the Hideaki finally settled down and began working on properly developing their Hijutsu, being part of a Hidden Village that was more experienced in handling chakra allowing for better knowledge on the subject. What set the Hideaki apart were their rather new way of handling things; instead of the traditional method of ruling a clan, the Hideaki opted to do things as they had done in their small settlement; through council and democracy.
It was obvious the Hideaki were eager to please; needed an extra shinobi for a mission? The Hideaki were more than willing to provide one. Needed a clan to represent the village towards another organisation? The Hideaki would volunteer. More importantly, perhaps, the Hideaki also began helping out the common civilians of Takigakure in order to gain support from the people. For better or for worse, the Hideaki became well-known in the village. Eager and upstanding shinobi to some, professional buttkissers to others.
Makuran himself died four years after founding the clan. His experimentations that lead to the Godai Myoo helped establish one of its most important rules: no more than five tattoos. His apprentice, Hideaki Ambai, succeeded him as the clan head before the new elections gave rise to a new leader, Hideaki Daimaru. Under Daimaru the clan currently continues its mission to gain the respect it deserves and, with some luck, set an example for a different type of clan.
As mentioned before, the number of tattoos one has indicates ones standing within the clan. The clan is lead by a council consisting of six elected members, with one of them being the official clan head. Each member with at least three tattoo’s can put themselves up for election. The clan head is the member with the most votes. He or she leads the meetings, represents the clan to the outside and has the biggest sway. Councilmen meet once a month, although in the case of important events the clan head can call together an extra meeting in light of these events should he consider it necessary.
Each council member directs a different part of the clan. The positions within the council are as followed:
Clan Head – Official leader of the clan. Outwardly represents the clan, calls and regulates meetings. Can overrule decisions made by other councilmen.
Vice Clan Head – Takes over the duties of the clan head should the clan head be unable to do so. Also functions as the clan heads’ bodyguard. The clan head and the vice clan head usually have fighting styles that complement one another.
Treasurer – Manages the clans’ finances and oversees the trade relationships with the village, other clans or other organizations.
Master of Law – Deals with disputes among individual clansmen, and sees that clansmen who have broken the rules/taboos of the clan receive the appropriate punishment. Tends to have a small group of enforcers working under him/her.
Patriarch/Matriarch – Oversees the new members of the clan. Members that are ranked Genin or lower fall under the supervision of this person. He or she sees that they receive training in regards to the clans’ Hijutsu aside from normal shinobi training they would receive at the academy.
Head Scientist - Oversees the research of the Hideaki's Hijutsu, the Godai Myoo. This person is tasked with testing its limits, developing new abilities and perfecting the way all Hideaki utilize the Hijutsu. This is the only position that doesn't require the councilman to be a shinobi. Instead candidates are chosen based on their scientific prowess and researches.
Important decisions for the clan are decided by the councilmen who discuss these decisions and then pass votes on the most favourable decisions. The vote of the clan head counts double. The clan is very proud of this “revolutionary” way of leading.
Non-shinobi clansmen are few and in-between as clansmen that fail to contribute to the clan are at the bottom of the hieriarchy and lose their right to vote. Being a shinobi is considered by most to be the easiest way to contribute as the clan can always use new soldiers, however, some individuals find other ways to contribute. Examples include but are not limited to: doctors, hunters, traders and scientists.
The Hideaki clan’s Hijutsu is called the Godai Myoo, meaning Five Great Lords. This Hijutsu manifests itself through unique tattoos that react to the users’ chakra. These tattoos are created from special ink with that reacts to the user’s chakra, expanding and hardening once the user channels some through it.
How does this manifest into combat abilities?
Simply said, every tattoo has a predetermined shape that it grows into. Once activated, this tattoo begins expanding into this shape. The way it grows and whether it covers part of the user’s skin or extends from the body like an extra limb depends on the tattoo. What they all have in common is that it hardens until it becomes flexible and light, but with a skin with a hardness on par with iron. All of these tattoo’s act as an extension of the user’s body and can move as such for as long as the user infuses it with his/her chakra. This does mean that having these tattoo’s activated constantly drains some of the users’ chakra. When the tattoo is deactivated it reverts back to its original form.
An example of this could be:
- Name: Godai Myoo: Saru Sumiziki (Five Great Lords: Monkey)
Chakra Usage: Low, very low per post for upkeep
Description: When dormant, this tattoo is located on the right chest and is depicted as the kanji for monkey. Once activated, it grows across the right arm, covering it and creating a huge, black hand covering the user’s normal hand. As an extension of the body, it functions as a normal hand and can be used to form seals and hold weapons. Additionally, its outer layer is as hard as steel and can resist up to C-rank jutsu and basic weapons up to C-rank. This tattoo, as explained in the template, covers a large part of the users’ skin and expands around it. This second example is a tattoo that extends as a separate part of the body.
- Name: Godai Myoo: Saru (Five Great Lords: Monkey)
Chakra Usage: Low, very low per post for upkeep
Description: When dormant, this tattoo is located on the tail bone and is depicted as the kanji for monkey. Once activated, it grows from the tattoo, forming a tail that is about five foot long with a hand-sized claw at its end. This tail acts as an extension of the body and can be used to attack opponents through scratching or to grab objects. Additionally, its outer layer is as hard as steel and can resist up to C-rank jutsu and basic weapons up to C-rank. Users can repair damaged paths without hand seals. For example, if the nails of the claw of the aforementioned example break, the user can regrow the nails. This will cost the user a third of the chakra they originally spent on the technique.
Genin can start with one path but can train a second one. Chuunin can start with two paths and can train for a third. Special Jounin and Jounin can start with three. Special Jounin can train up to four, Jounin can train up to five. Any higher rank can start with five. Five paths is the maximum amount any Hideaki can achieve, hence the name "Godai Myoo", which literally translates to "Five Great Lords.", Those who do are greatly respected and exalted within the clan, and are generally very powerful shinobi. Shinobi can have one path that is one rank higher than their letter rank. The rest needs to be equal or lower to their own rank. Shinobi of any rank can only have one S-rank path and 2 A-rank paths. Paths can be removed by removing the ink through a special technique known only by the clan heads. The user can then create a new path in its place.
The reason shinobi of the Hideaki clan cannot use more than five tattoo’s is because the ink has somewhat toxic properties. As shinobi grow in ability, their resistance to the poison increases to the point where Jounin-level shinobi can have up to five tattoo’s without experiencing any negative drawbacks. Any more will result in the shinobi getting sick with a disease that will kill them in the span of 3 – 5 years, with the lifespan decreasing with even more tattoo’s. Because of this, the clan has forbidden the use of more than five tattoo’s to any members. Clansmen can still practice other types of techniques depending on their specialization.