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The Hotaru clan is one of the founding clans of Takigakure no Sato, they are known for their unique bond and protectiveness of the fireflies native to the land. They are the owners of the firefly summoning contract and posses a unique clan trait referred to as; Glow.

Ideology

The Hotaru are loyalists. When they make a promise it will be kept or they will die trying. They believe that their word means something. Having given their word to the fireflies, they intent to do everything they can to make sure to protect them. A promise that has spanned generations and will go until the last Hotaru takes their final breath. 

This also means that the pledge they made to Taki is everlasting. Any Hotaru who attempts to leave the village for good will be disowned and stripped of their namesake. Now this doesn’t mean the Hotaru will blindly obey the village leader. They will only do what they feel is best for the village as a whole. If the option of the leader of the village is bad, they’d be just as willing to rebel as anyone else. 

It is because of their loyalty to promises they make that it can be hard to get them to make one. They can sometimes even be wary of making simple plans, fearing the commitment it may lock them into. 

Background

-Tough beginnings

The Hotaru were once a nomad clan without a name that was forced to travel during the night due to fighting that took place during the day. At the time they had no special abilities that would help them survive in a high-class shinobi fight. They wandered and wandered until they lost their way into the forests of Bonchi no Kuni.

Leading the clan was the man whose eyes had adapted the best to the dark. For three days and three nights, they walked the forest without finding an exit. It was then as the group was feeling dehydrated and hopeless that their leader took a stumble into a small gully. 

Suddenly the night sky lit up with the tails of fireflies. With little else to do at this point he led his clan down the path the fireflies travelled. It felt like a miracle when they happened upon a water source. Digging a gipsy well they drank heartily. 

It was only after they drank their fill did they notice the fireflies still lingering, providing light. Seeing this, the man made a decision. From then on the tribe travelled by the light of the fireflies. They wandered all over the forest the insects considered their home.  For three straight months, this went on before the bugs finally found them an exit. Yet by this time the man felt bonded to the fireflies. It was a spiritual connection he couldn’t let go off, they helped save his people after all. 

When he decided to keep his clan in the forest, something magical happened. The fireflies began to part their wall of light. Slowly they saw something approach from the darkness. Before they could tell what it was the area lit up. The light came from a huge insect hovering in front of them. None of them flinched as they had gotten well acquainted with the bugs they followed. This was just a bigger version of what they knew. The leader of the fireflies offered the man the option to sign their contract. In turn, they would keep the forests of Bonchi safe for the insects. With little debate, the man agreed. Together the two groups of humanoid and bug lived peacefully for many generations. The clan kept potential predators, mostly toads and felines, away and the fireflies were there whenever they needed them. 

- The founding of Takigakure no Sato

Then the biggest predator came. More humans. Building infrastructure over the fireflies’ habitat would drive them closer to extinction as the insects would sooner die then migrate. The clan confronted the group of shinobi beginning to build what would be Takigakure.

In the end, through civil conversation, they came to an agreement. If the clan became a part of the new hidden village, providing more workers, they would never build over where the fireflies lived. It was a hard decision, having to decide whether to give up living among the insects they had grown so close to, but they accepted. This would offer a whole village of protection for their lightening bugs.  While they had become part of the founding clans of Takigakure their presence was slight. They held no real power in the village. No one remembers them as anything much, not even realizing that their symbol is that of a clan. While often forgotten about, when they are noticed they are frequently thought of as inferior bug lovers. Good for transport and not much else. 

-The Rise of Lord Ryu

This didn't change much at all when Lord Ryu came home, but it did change something else within Takigakure. Many people supported him, hoping he would rise to power. As he had most, if not all, the support of the villages the Hotaru were quite willing to follow him. 

When Ryu took up the leadership mantle of their village the whole clan bowed before him in a show of their loyalty.  They were not the only ones to do so. As long as Lord Ryu is willing to keep to the deal Takigakure made with them long ago along with keeping the village prosperous, they will forever remain loyal to him. 

Clan Heirarchy

When they were a nomad clan they had little hierarchy. The person with the best eye-sight to guide them at night was the leader of their pack, man or woman. This also made it so that as the head of the clan aged, they were quickly replaced. No one stayed in power long and they all tended to be young people.

This all changed though when the ‘man with the eyes’ accepted the deal with the fireflies. Without a need for much wandering, he took the position as permanent head of the clan. From then on he kept it within his direct family line, passing it down to his children and then their children. The line of ascension was always handed down to the first-born. 

Over the generations, some of the clan have seen this as unfair as it was not their tradition. They felt cheated as many of their families had once been the head of the clan for short periods of time. It was no real ability that got the head family their line of succession.  Some believe that they should be stripped of this power. 

Clan Techniques

Firefly Summoning Contract

The firefly summoning contract is exclusive to the Hotaru, as was agreed upon when the clan decided to protect the insects who decided to live close to the humans. Every Hotaru is able to sign the contract as soon as they learn the summoning jutsu. The fireflies have an implicate trust in anyone who possesses Hotaru blood.  This closeness of theirs had enabled the clan to understand the fireflies that speak without words. 

Yet before a clan member has even signed the contract the fireflies bless the newborns with one of their own. A Hotaru always grows up with a firefly familiar and they tend to form very deep bonds with one another. They are able to release the familiar from their obligation whenever they feel like it, but few do so. The fireflies and the Hotaru are extremely protective of one another. 

Glow

An ability that was formed after generations of traveling among the fireflies. Their brethren rubbed off on them in a way that made them capable of lighting their bodies up as a firefly would. They can easy light themselves up for a long amount of time, but only if it isn’t that intense. For a more intense blinding light they are only capable of a short burst. The time it takes for them to recharge depends on how long they were lit up at a high concentration of light.

As far as unintended side effects of living with the fireflies go, this was the best one for their combat ability. On the other side of the coin was a more embarrassing effect. When a Hotaru clan member feels attracted/enchanted by someone in any manner, romantically or otherwise, their skin begins to lightly flash against their will. 

This pattern of glowing flashes sometimes accidentally lures female fireflies to the Hotaru as it is usually how a male firefly attempts to mate. While this often done intentionally by male members to preen for the opposite sex, rarely as a woman done this purposely. As per firefly culture it is the male’s job to attract their mate, not the other way around. 

Limits

Genin: 3 Seconds {Once a Thread/One post recharge for higher rank} Chuunin: 5 Seconds {Two post recharge} Special Jounin: 7 Seconds {Three post recharge} Jounin: 10 Seconds {Four post recharge}  Elite Jounin: 12 Seconds {Once a Thread}

Clan Techniques

Firefly Summoning Contract