The Kyuumu clan resides in Kumogakure no Sato and possess a hijutsu called Kyoukou Kousai, or Murder Speech, which require the member to give up the eyes they were born with, in exchange the eyes of the rare Yatagarasuga are implanted and form the basis of their kinship with the black birds.
Kyuumu meaning a "Fleeting Thing" or "Ancient Dream" is a notion of respect and understanding for where they came from that being a place which they never seek to enter again; that dreams belong where they are created.
Throughout the decades of their line those of the secluded Kyuumu knew their place within the hierarchy within this world, understanding that never would their own line compare to the natural gifts of others. Instead of challenging this fact they accepted it and while the rest of the world sharpened their claws they sought to sharpen their minds and senses in order to bypass that gap. Those of the Kyuumu believe that knowledge will always overtake strength and that those who can obtain that knowledge the best become just that. In the countless years of war and strife guile, subterfuge, stealth, and knowledge become their weapons. Using what they knew to pin rival, larger clans against one another and eliminating pivotal solitary targets without a shift in the grass.
While they, as most other clans would, seek the betterment of their village and country they first and foremost see the success of their own kin to be that of the highest of importance. From these beliefs secrecy and loyalty became the most prized of traits among them while those who strayed from these were quickly dealt with. "Betterment spite belief" is a general saying among the clan which effectively means that even if the consensus says otherwise prove your own side for the greater good. The Kyuumu do not possess any sort of iron clad rule per say but one of the general unsaid ones is to never allow emotion cloud judgement and thus some seek to eliminate emotion from the picture all together. It is said that even Rogue Shinobi hailing from the Kyuumu clan still obey the wishes of their elders.
The entirety of the Kyuumu clan is furthermore broken down into three separate families being the Inshi, Yochi, and Outai with each one representing one of the legs of the three legged raven the spiritual guardian of the clan. While each of the families possess the same general goal of the betterment of the clan they disagree on the methods on how to ensure both it and future of the clan.
- The Inshi [Lit 'Recluse'] represented by the inner circle of the clan symbol look inward as the meaning of their name suggests believe that exposure invites downfall and as thus do not even condone Kyuumu shinobi working with non-clan members in any fashion as this allows outsiders to learn of them. As such Inshi are the most secretive and distrustful of the three families and make up most of the Kyuumu' internal investigations unit apply named CROW or in other words their own hidden version the village's ANBU that works well outside of village control or knowledge.
- The Yochi [Lit 'Foresight'], represented by the middle circle of the clan symbol, of the clan look outward to seek betterment through proximity, cooperation, and connection or essentially that in order to ensure success one must extend his reach beyond ones sight in order to perceive the future; this belief tends to put them at odds with the Inshi understandably and overall those of the Yochi tend to be the most diplomatic of the three families and most likely to become merchants, spies, or ambassadors. Because of their foundation beliefs it is rather uncommon for one to become a shinobi. Yochi are the most willing to work with their village/country and its leaders or even join their ranks.
- Lastly the Outai [Lit 'Lone'], represented by the outer circle of the clan symbol, seeking silence tend to agree more with those of the Yochi than with the Inshi on level of reach but disagree on methods and approach which apply make them more akin to Inshi as a consumed corpse speaks naught. Outai believe that the only way to ensure the future is to either eliminate or silence obstacles in the path and as thus tend to be the most likely to become village shinobi or ANBU and most apply to be assassins; Outai are seen as the balance between the two other families and tend to take on the darkest of the family duties.
"The history of our clan, the Kyuumu, is not one out of some pretty book of tales nor is it a story of justice, victory, or vengeance... its the story of the escape from ignorance. In the age of the Warring States, the time of 100 small counties locked upon each others throats, those of us who know call our selves the Kyuumu were nothing more or less than a meager settlement of a few hundred souls. A settlement far to the north along the weaving coastlines that nowadays is nothing more than one more forgotten name upon the dozens that now make up our Kaminari no Kuni. You should understand that this... insignificant speck of a country was by no means rich, important, or even well known for that matter. It was a country placed upon a land with little sight of resources, life, or even beauty upon a coast known for nothing more than being more chaotic and unpredictable than the world outside of their borders. But despite the chaotic nature of the world around them their country was isolated from the ever brewing conflicts, isolated enough that there was rarely ever the need of those called shinobi. Never a need to create them from within or higher then from outside as the other nations around them saw them for what they were... a insignificant land of no value or importance. During these years they were content to let the outside world be as it was.- Re-Telling of the Kyuumu by Unknown Persons
Others may not of been able to see the gifts of our ancient home as they did not live within it nor they did not struggle to make a lively hood upon it; it was not a kind place that was more steep rock than flat soil. But our forefathers saw the glimmer of value that the land gave bestowed upon them, they saw that the large Ravens that lived around them were not as meek and dim as other avians a bird that they eventually formed a natural kinship with out of a shared desire to thrive. The ravens would provide them with fish, berries, small game, and even companionship while their human companions would provide shelter, security, medical care, and even help raise their young. It was in these early years that many discovered the true lack of dimness of these ravens as many found that, to their great surprise, that they could understand these creatures... somewhat and that these ravens could as well... also somewhat. Things would continue like this for more than a few generations with the world outside tearing itself to pieces and our ancient home nestled safely within its nest.
In what I would call as nothing more than the "Fleeting years of ignorance" the finial days of a land and country would come to pass. In one year what they saw as the same as the countless that came before they began to hear whispers of the outside world through their scarce trading partners that a great war was being raged to the east. Whispers that a bad year of harvest ignited a hundred lines of forgotten tensions sending all into a storm and in their content isolation they believed themselves safe from the these dangers as they thought "Who in their right mind could want these lands?" but what they did not understand that to a starving beast even the smallest nibble looks appetizing. As the final days approached those of the land began to hear a unease grow from within their raven companions of mocks, flutters, and coming fears as flocks of new unseen black feathered birds began to flock into their lands. As their own understanding of the ravens tongue was still limited at best they saw it nothing more than the unfounded fears of mere beasts as new similarly colored birds came in. But what the ravens knew that the humans did not, what they tried to tell their human friends and companions, was that these black birds followed only the trail of war.
In the final night no less than three separate armies descended upon their lands from north, south, and east each from their own lands seeking nothing but the scraps for themselves. As these three armies met and fought upon these lands our ancestors were caught in the middle left to be cut or mowed down either by intent or crossfire. Out of the smoke of the battle that engulfed their country overnight, out of over a few hundred souls, a mere 22 made it out with their lives saved and shown the path to safety by their feathered companions who stayed instead of flying away to their own safety as they themselves were seen as nothing more than a feathered meal.
Out of those 22 that survived that night only 14 would ever find their way safely into the lands of a prosperous and powerful land far to the south in a area that would soon be called Kumogakure. It being during this passage south that they discovered how so very apparent to the outside world that this doom would befall upon them... how they discovered that their lack of understanding and interaction with the outside world did not protect them but rather spelled their own downfall. These 14 souls being from a mere 3 families from their village of whom would make up the foundation of our clan. As they found their path to safety they would forevermore called themselves those of the Kyuumu, in respect for their feathered friends who saved their lives during the fleeting, vowing to never let their own blind ignorance to cloud their sight and as a show of intent the eldest of each of the three families cut out their right eye and fed it to their ravens as to be ride of an poisoned eye that could only see lies and in doing so trade it for knowledge; this practice becoming a custom among the clan as payment for failure. Now instead of blind contentment the Kyuumu sought to understand the intent of the world around them so that they could never again be caught blind to apparent doom. These changes, which you can see in our beliefs, many outside of our clan saw as radical though those that saw those sights could see those changes as nothing but necessary for the future and survival of their descendants.
It was around this time, shortly after the formation of Kumogakure, that one of the three one-eyed elders and her son the two most gifted practitioners of the medical arts whether by insanity or foreknowledge removed an eye from one of her dying raven companions and placed it within her own empty socket. After weeks of healing she eventually revealed her, what would be initially perceived as insanity and only later as genius, new eye telling to the other elders that not only was she capable of seeing through it but saw more within her raven eye than the one she was born with. It was through this that the true secret, the gift of the raven eye, of our clan was found... the Yatagarasu, the shared sight and tongue of our spiritual guardian the three-legged raven and kin."
After the formation of the village those of the Kyuumu, with their new foundation and abilities, quickly cemented themselves into the village to ensure their foothold and longevity. Over the many years since the village foundation the Kyuumu proved themselves invaluable in unseen dealings and movements of the village's power struggles both within and outside of the village's influence all the while keeping themselves isolated enough to prevent village issues from effecting their own. In the more recent years during the calamity of the plague that ravaged the village the Kyuumu themselves remained primarily unaffected by the outbreak; loosing less than 5 members. The clan itself publicly attributing it to their natural secrecy, vast information network, and buffer between themselves and the village though in the eyes of the villagers this result only brought suspicion upon them.
The entirety of the Kyuumu clan is made up of 3 separate and distinct, in belief, families those being the Inshi, Yochi, and Outai. While varied in specifics all together there are around 28 true clan members and at least 60 more official ones who, while they are not usually gifted the Hijutsu, are still considered Kyuumu and under its rule. Each of the families works in an patriarchal structure by meaning of a family elder who is generally the eldest among the family members and most likely the wisest and loyal followed by the successor or heir. While these elders have the final say within their own family, including succession, they also have the final say within the entirely of the clan assuming that there is a complete agreement between them. The successors of each family are those who are allowed to obtain and learn the highest techniques and secrets or most importantly to become the official bloodline of that family within that generation. All of this effectively means that the Kyuumu clan possesses 3 Leaders and Heirs.
Power and succession within the clan fall hand in hand with it being rare to not chose the best of a generation as either the successor or elder. While Shinobi tend to be the majority in terms of successors and elders is is possible for one outside of its ranks to be chosen and if they are they tend to be those of esteemed rank and profession; such as doctors, merchants, or diplomats. In the event of the child of a non-successor is seen as the prodigy of a families generation the successor has the authority to claim them as their own as to ensure that the line is only passed down to the most gifted with even cases of Shinobi who have been deemed as Missing-Nin by their village being named as a successor and later as an elder. There are even many instances of children being claimed by those of separate families entirely, which tends to be far more complicated understandably, creating a rather convoluted and inner woven line of succession in between each leg of the family. While it is not by clan law but traditionally successors are personally trained by their family and elder while the rest, while they are privy to many clan techniques, are sent to the village Academy for their training.
Kyoukou Kousai is the name of the hijutsu of the Kyuumu clan, also known as Murder Speech. An old, and by some accounts barbaric, ritual where the eyes of of the newborn are surgically removed from their sockets and replaced with those of a rare species of giant raven apply named the Yatagarasugan [Lit 'Eight-Span Crow Eye']. This ritual forms the basis and foundation of the kinship they hold with the black birds they exist with though extends to deeper levels than mere kin. At the most obvious of levels their eyes are capable of resolving rapid movements better than human eyes at such a rate that they are capable of easily following agile prey through dense areas while avoiding all obstacles. These actions would only seem to be nothing but a unfollowable blur to human eyes but with theirs they are easily capable of this and able to discern minute details and objects at distances far beyond normal human sight.
Strangely as a result of this members of the Kyuumu clan have a natural dislike of many types of artificial light as they are capable of seeing the light bulb's oscillating. Furthermore their eye sight is incredibly effective both at night time being able to almost see normally with the smallest amount of light. Though generally unknown another lesser known side effect of these eyes is their ability to "see" magnetic fields which literally makes them living compasses, always knowing which direction is north and discerning other field sources or disruptions, though this ability is light dependent meaning that if there is no light source their ability to see this is negated. Due to the very nature of their eye, being constantly apparent to those outside of the clan as to what it is, many members took up long ago into hiding or masking them while outside of the clan grounds to shroud their identity. In more recent years colored contacts became the most popular choice.
While, generally, not stemming from any sort of formal teaching but rather from a life time of kinship members of the Kyuumu clan are capable of understanding the speech of birds especially those of the crow, raven, or rook genus and understandably are just as capable of speaking to birds as well. All of which to a point where some would say that even the sound of 100 cawing crows around them is as easy to understand as the words on a page while not a literal comment but would at least say that skilled members can easily pick out the important words from the birds and filter out the rest. Whether it being from their kinship or their eyes it is unknown but birds seem to naturally trust and obey them thus perform tasks under their guidance at will. Due to these abilities members of the Kyuumu clan became naturals at gathering intelligence, tracking, and even corpse-disposal methods.