The Nue clan is both feared and admired for their kekkei genkai [Ningen Kiseichuu], which enables them to merge their own cells with those of both human and animals. Often, they are also medical experts. The Nue clan's loyalties lie with Yukigakure no Sato.
While some clans place emphasis on loyalty to the clan, some loyalty to the village or even just loyalty to some grand ideal such as justice or compassion. The Nue clan instills loyalty to the individual, more specifically the survival of the individual. From a very young age the Nue teach their clan members to do whatever they must in order to ensure their own survival; whether this be lying, cheating, stealing, betraying or killing; the clan members are expected to do any or all of these even if it only extendeds their life for just a few more seconds.
Some amount of this comes from the clan's relatively small numbers, with them only numbering a few hundred clan members, with only several dozen of those holding the actual bloodline of the clan. So naturally the clan wants to ensure that their bloodline will live on and continue to be part of the clan to help ensure the survival of the future generations. The large majority of this however comes from the clan's origins.
Specifically, it stems from the massive threats that members of the clan faced for so long while being forced to live in the no man lands dotting Kuma no Kuni. As they were all forced to live in such desperate conditions they were always forced to take more of what they needed to survive from those around them. While this most commonly were those not of their clan, it was not uncommon for clan members to turn on one another either.
While the Nue currently reside in Yukigakure they did not originally hail from the country. Initially the Nue lived a fairly quiet life near the Southern border of Kuma no Kuni living as farmers for the most part, scratching out a quaint living from the land. However like many idividuals during this time the Nue would not be allowed to simply live in peace.
At the order of the Daimyo the ancestors of the Nue were slowly pushed off their land, forced to move further and further South until they lived on the very edges of the poison filled chasms that mark Kuma no Kuni's borders.
Naturally such an environment was hard to survive let alone thrive in which is why it had been unihabited for as long as anyone could remember. The soil was toxic to most crops, wisps of the deadly miasma would occasionally push out of the cavern when the wind conditions proved just right to cause such and it proved near impossible to raise livestock forcing the people to rely on hunting what little wildlife was capable of surviving near the noxious gas.
The ancestors of the Nue were forced to delve deep into herbology and biology to mitigate the traces of poison they were forced to breath and ingest on an essentially daily basis. While the majority of their study focused on plantlife since it was in much more abudance than wildlife in the area, both were studied in how they managed to survive and in some very small instances thrive when the soil itself was toxic. For several centuries the ancestors of the Nue dedicated themselves to such research making many discoveries.
However these centuries found the ancestors of the Nue not just changing from the knowledge they gained, but changing on a more cellular level. Slowly they noticed that they were living longer, able to better handle the harsh conditions they were being forced to survive in. They saw themselves retaining their strength and agility further into old age. For better or worse they were becoming something inhuman, perhaps less than or maybe more than.
Regardless of whether they were less than or more, it did not save them from being forced off their lands once again. As the Daimyo of the world began to war among themselves more and more frequently the Daimyo of Kuma no Kuni wished to more strictly secure his borders meaning that he required the lands surrounding the chasms to be clear of civilians.
Not wanting to risk getting involved with the battles that raged in Hi no Kuni between some of the shinobi clans that were taking shape, the people were forced to flee to the North-West region of their country, coming to live at one of the larger port cities which prospered from the heavy fishing industry. While they had originally been many different families; having been forced to migrate twice now the ancestors of the Nue had started to see each other as a separate people for many generations by this point. It was during this move that their people got a name that referred to them all together which was the Nu [Unexpected], named so for their unexpected horde that was transplanted to this coastal town.
In this new home the newly named Nu netted new revenues by plying their skills as herbalists. Now in a proper city with a steady stream of information and wealth coming in from mending the broken bones, cuts and illnesses of the many fishermen and traders the Nu began to delve into ninjutsu which had become far more accessible while they'd lived in isolation.
Specifically the clan began to study medical ninjutsu and while they originally had hoped to just pair it with their understand of biology and herbology, they quickly discovered the unique properties of their bodies and slowly the research moved from pairing medical ninjutsu with what they already knew, to using it to unlock these new secrets within themselves.
For the first time in nearly half a millenium the ancestors of the Nue were able to live in relative peace. They tended their apothocaries while learning to extent of their abilities, developing their own unique medical jutsu over the following several generations. Like all prosperess times though it would eventually come to an end.
During one fateful day, one of the Nu provided aide to a sailor who'd been crushed unloading goods from the ship he served upon. While the trauma did not kill him, it was obvious that he was being kept alive by the pressure the cargo atop of him exerted. Seeing no other way to save the man a member of the Nu was forced to utilize one of the new jutsu that their clan had developed to save the man.
Asking for space to be made and coverings to be put up the Nu merged into the man's body, the clan member dividing his own cells and moving them throughout the injured sailor's body while multiple other clan members slowly shifted the large crate off the man.
While it took a few hours the damage was undone through a long process of the clan member killing off damaged cells before moving them out of the body to be replaced by newly divided cells from his own body. With the procedure over the clan member separated himself from the sailor, but rather than gratitude the man simply stared in disbelief before walking away. It did not take long for the tales of what happened to spread after that and in turn it was not long before those tales caused the people of the town to drive what they saw as unnatural monsters out of the town, the Nu having to flee aboard a group of trading vessels just to escape with what little they could carry.
Due to the bitterness that many of the Nu held for those who had drove them from their new home, the clan began to cultivate a new ideology. Slowly, but surely children were taught that helping others out of kindness was idiotic at best and life threatening at worst. As many seethed over what they viewed as a betrayal an idea of looking out for one's self first and foremost began to take root. This view on the world was only solidified when the clan landed in Yuki no Kuni and was turned away from village after village.
Eventually with no home to call their own the Nu were forced to traverse the wilds of Yuki no Kuni, surviving by nomadically travelling the snow filled tundra and merging with local wildlife that could survive the bitterly cold climate whether that was bears, elk or other creatures. This simoltaneously weakened and strengthened the clan.
While it forced the clan to fracture into smaller groups so as not to strip bare whatever area they were in, it strengthen the mastery of their abilities as well as the desire to see their clan not only survive, but flourish. In the coming decades the Nu's name slowly changed as sightings of their unnatural parasitic relationship with the wildlife was spotted from time to time.
Stories slowly arose of the clan members leeching off of not only beast, but of man as well. At some point the name Nu which the clan had gone by for nearly two-hundred years slowly changed into Nue to give the monsters of the tundra a more fitting and terrifying name.
With their name changed to some more appropriate for a monster and the stories of their abilities becoming more twisted and exaggerated the Nue found themselves made into the boogeymen of Yuki no Kuni. Stories of them would be told to children, teaching them if they were not good boys and girls that the Nue would come and drag them out into the night to be fed upon. This of course led to a hatred and distrust for the newly named Nue and in turn fed into their views which placed their own needs above others.
Essentially cut off from the cities, towns and villages of the country the Nue delved more deeply into their abilities as well as reached back to their roots by studying herbology and biology more in-depth their understanding of such things eventually moving to near legendary heights.
It was for this and only this reason that eventually, the clan was contacted by the Daimyo of their nation. The man desired to artifically make another Kekkai Genkai within the country, one he hoped would be more beholden to him than their own. Needing someone to head this project, the Daimyo made contact with the Nue and brought them in on the project.
Naturally the Daimyo did not trust the Nue very much, but as stories of their monsterous nature had spread, tales of their understanding in medical matters and ability to heal also had spread albeit to a far less degree. So the Nue had only two jobs in this project. To provide consulation and most importantly to help keep casualities from the eventual experiments to a minimum.
While few of the Nue showed up to help the project, it was enough to prevent many deaths in the experiments. While the Nue felt it was a somewhat wasteful project with low returns on the investments they kept their mouth shut and did the job. They did not care how much the Daimyo wasted so long as they got what they were promised. What they were promised was supplies and land on the coast.
While they were given what they were owed, the Nue found themselves in poor fortune as within a few years ships landed on Yuki no Kuni and within a few more years they found themselves more or less subjugated by shinobi from Kuma no Kuni. Forced to give aid to the men, the Nue began to harbor a resentment towards them. Once again they were being taken advantage of, but they knew overly well that none in their clan were true warriors. While they could fight, they fought best indirectly; from the shadows or from within their opponents.
So they played their part and waited for their moment to strike. However, that moment was put off when their overlords promised a reward for loyal service. Being from Kuma no Kuni their oppressors were quick to connect the Nue to the people that had once been called the Nu. As such they gave them a promise that the Nue could not resist.
In return for their supplies and diligent service as medics for their military they would not only sack the town that had driven the Nue out, but would raze it to the ground and salt the earth. The Nue accepted on the condition that they be allowed to raze it themselves after it was conquered. Such was how the former boogeymen of the frozen tundras came to be part of the military encampment that eventually came to be called Yukigakure no Sato.
The Nue did as was demanded, giving supplies to the shinobi and helping them to adapt to the cold country before eventually traveling with them to invade their former homeland. With the Nue acting as medics on the battlefield the shinobi that made up Yukigakure unleashed a fast paced assault on numerous cities within Kuma no Kuni, the Nue patching up wounded at speeds that allowed them to push on in the campaign faster than the enemy could have predicted.
During the invasion the promise made to the Nue was made good upon, with the entirely population of the town which had driven the Nue out being slaughtered and the village razed. The ground was treated with a unique mixture the Nue put together which killed any chance of the soil holding life for centuries to come.
Still even with the advantage of a surprise invasion, the medical prowess of the Nue and the signifigant strength of the shinobi who fought under the first Yuki Lord the invasion would eventually fail and with it's failure the invasion force was thrown back into the sea on their ships, returning to Yuki no Kuni defeated.
The moment the returned to Yuki no Kuni and Odo's downfall became aparent the Nue turned on him, the majority of the clan throwing their support behind Odo's opposition. While many in Yukigakure turned on Odo, the Nue turning on him so decisively was a strong reminder to some of Yukigakure's population that the Nue only cared about themselves and would turn on anyone if needed.
This of course made some wish to purge the clan from the village, stating that they couldn't be trusted when push came to shove, but the truth of the matter is they were more trustworthy to the second ruler of Yukigakure than most because they were at least open about their own self interests and so long as Yukigakure offered them things they needed the would continue to provide excellent service to the village.
And so the Nue remained in Yukigakure no Sato, the majority of the clan either working as medical shinobi or working as herbalists with the Nue operating several greenhouses where medicinal herbs are grown. While there is still much suspicion directed towards the clan they've proven since the first war to be reliable enough.
Officially, the Nue clan is led by a single individual who is responsible for deciding his replacement beforehand. While this individual will often make public appearances and may even makes statements as if they had the entirety of the clan behind them, the truth of this is that the clan has no true ruler.
Every member of the clan decides their own fate through making their own decisions. This stems from the teachings of the clan to always ensure your survival and due to one individual's survival potentially putting another clan member's survivial at risk, it makes it nearly impossible if not entirely impossible for the clan to unanimously agree on courses of action.
Were one privy to the history of the clan, they would see that this position of the clan's "leader" was not one of necessity or desire on the clan's part, but rather the desire of a clan member without the clan's ability to ensure their own survival. By trying to make themselves appear more important and useful to those outside the clan, they increased their own odds of survival.
While this position does increase the chance of survival for some talentless clan members, it has also proven to decrease their chances if they're not strong enough with clan leaders having changes a dozen times in as many years at some points in the clan's bloody history. As such it has become almost a given that the individual holding this position while not having the clan's bloodline, will have shinobi training to some extent.
- Ningen Kiseichuu
- While seemingly the most mundane ability of the Nue clan, it is from this trait that the clan established the foundation of their power. As for what the ability actually does, it is quite simple. While there is a universal blood type which allows a human to be compatible with all other humans, the Nue's ability takes it leaps and bounds further by making them compatible with all animals. Anything from bears to snakes and of course all humans.
This in turn makes it possible for the Nue clan to become experts in the medical ninjutsu field like few if any others can. Due to this ability they are capable of entirely negating transplant rejections and as such can effortlessly experiment with their own bodies (or the bodies of others) as well as being capable of effectively grafting their entire body into the body of another.
The later of these abilities was truly embraced when the Nue traveled to Yuki no Kuni as it allowed the clan members to easily survive in the sub-zero temperatures experienced in some of the country's most desolate regions. It is not an overstatement to say that without this particular ability the Nue clan would likely not even exist at this point let alone wield the power and influence they do.
Unlimited Cell Division
- While not as impressive as some clan abilities and even being somewhat replicated by other clans, the Nue's capability is indeed superior to those that are similar. While the Kaguya might be able to quickly create more bone or certain medical jutsu can divide cells at a quickened speed to heal fatal injuries there are two key differences between the cellular division of the Nue and the cellular division of clans like the Kaguya or caused by certain medical ninjutsu.
The first is that the Nue are not restricted to a specific type of cell. While the Kaguya can replicate bone, the Nue can replicate bone, blood, skin and any other cell they wish albeit not at such a fast rate.
The second is that while they can not divide their cells as quickly as the Kaguya or some medical techniques can, they can divide their cells as much as they want without any drawbacks. More specifically they do not suffer the consequence of shortening their lives by forcing their cells to divide like other medics do. Quite the opposite, by their cells being capable of dividing an unlimited number of times the Nue effectively stop aging once they fully mature. (This generally being some time in their twenties.)
This also means that when combined with their ability to donate cells or organs with any other human they are effectively a walking talking set of spare parts, capable of regrowing their limbs, organs, eyes and so on at the low cost of time and some chakra.
- The most deadly ability that Nue clan members with the bloodline are capable of utilizing; the ability to control apoptosis is more or less the ability to flip the built in kill switch that all living cells have. The only requirement to utilize this ability is that the clan member can only control their cells they are connected to. While this would generally mean only being able to affect their own cells, given the clan's ability to flawlessly attach themselves to hosts and by doing so make those host's cells part of their own bodies it enables them to kill the cells of any being that they merge with.
The process of cell death can be extremely painful depending which cells the Nue clan member targets. If they just are killing skin cells then it may constitute irritated skin until the clan member kills all the skin and exposes muscle to air. If they were to target a major organ like the kidneys or liver though it could cause so much pain that the target is incapable of much movement.
Additionally the speed at which a Nue may kill cells depends on their skill. While genin might take hours to say destroy all the cells of an arm it might take an elite jounin just a few minutes of being merged with their target.