Art Shadow

"A long time ago, before time was recorded, a large tribe lived in the great forests of the land." Ayano is a carefree young girl born into a quiet tribe living on the edge of the Land of Fire, where Art is everything, and everything is Art, and born to the leader of their tribe, making her the heir to the title of Atokage. But, as with the lives of most shinobi, her path is far from smooth - discovering who she is is not easy for her. But when the secrets of her past are finally unveiled, will she choose the path of hatred, or forgiveness? |Cover by C.H. Cover Store|

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1. Prologue - A Historical Record

A long time ago, before time was recorded, a large tribe lived in the great forests of the land.

Back then, the land was simply known as Gurētorando, meaning “The Great Land” in the English tongue, by the people native to the land. The Five Great Nations that are known now didn’t exist, and neither did the Shinobi.

These native people used the land’s natural resources to make a living: houses made from wood and bark that came off trees, eating food given to them from the land, making weapons from wood and stone and making cloth from the animals they hunt.

Yes, they lived off the land, and they were happy. They survived on the bare minimum, which taught them how to be strong, and how to live.

The best hunter of this tribe was a powerful man, who was given a gift from the figure we now call our God and Saviour, who has no known name, at birth. He was the first to be born with the different coloured eyes: one was bright gold, the other blue like the night sky. But it wasn’t just the eyes that he was given, it was the power that came with them. For this man had the power to move and control the pigmentations of things. He could take the colour from something and use it as a weapon to destroy, or as a tool to build. When he took the colour, it often swirled around him like a ring, waiting for his command. He made combat, building, and the lives of the tribe into art – he was the greatest artist our land has known. He had great power.

But colour is not expendable: you must put it back, or it all goes wrong. Things need colour, it’s the natural order, just like life and death. Colour is used to bring life and happiness to things.

The man grew arrogant as time wore on and the tribe’s ways continued to evolve, and he thought that he could control the power of colours beyond what he was taught by God. He took the colour from things, but stopped using it to build. He started using it to threaten people, and he made himself a throne of the dead he killed when they would not bow to him.

Most of the tribe stood against him, except for his immediate family, including his wife, who was pregnant with his child. So he took the colour from their clothes, their hair, and used it against them. And so, he proclaimed himself the official leader of Atotoraibu, the Art Tribe.

The man’s daughter was just as arrogant as her father, and continued to misuse the power genetically passed down from her father, taking over as the leader when he stepped down. However, in comparison to her father, her powers were weaker, and did less damage. But this angered her, and she lashed out harsher and more often. She continued to kill those who stood against her power, and their God did nothing to stop it.

Until her daughter arrived, who was simply known as Chie to her people. She was different, and walked among the people of her tribe as a friend and an ally. She, too, had the power genetically passed from her mother and grandfather, but she chose to use it for good. Her powers were also weaker than her ancestor’s, but that didn’t change her. She used the colours of the environment to help her tribe, to bring the animals they needed to eat. Chie used her power to create, rather than destroy.

When Chie took over as the leader of the tribe, she changed everything. She slowly rebuilt the trust the people had with her grandfather to begin with, and she prayed and payed tribute to her God at the tree that sat in the middle of the tribe’s small settlement. There were less fights, and less kills, and people got along for the first time in many years.

This continued for many years, this peaceful truce between villagers, until came the coming of what are now known as shinobi, and the villages that came after. Atotoraibu mostly stayed out of the wars, flitting from place to place if need be – with a small tribe, it was easy to go mainly unnoticed in those times.

As more and more shinobi villages grew, the tribe slowly built alliances with each of them, great or small, from Konohagakure to Kori no Mura. However, they refused to fight in the Great Shinobi Wars, and were called weak and afraid as a result. And, in a small act of retaliation, the leader of the tribe at that time decided that the men of the village would learn the ways of the Shinobi, so that they would be able to defend themselves in the wars if they were ever forced to fight. A few women were taught, also, but most women were content with the old ways.

As a result of learning the ways of Ninjutsu and more, the tribe leader’s power over colour and art became known as the Art Style Jutsu, and was unique to only the leader and their child.

And so, the leader was known from then on as the Atokage of the small Atotoraibu.

 

As I am writing this record, there have been six official Atokage, since they were named so. The current Atokage, the Sixth, is known as Koryu. The next in line is his little daughter, known as Ayano.

 

This is where our story continues.

 

Written by Ashikeyo, in the rein of Koryu.

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