|(竜親族 , Dragon's Kin)|
|Kekkei Genkai||Unnamed Nii'gata Kekkei Genkai|
| Rin Nii'gata|
| Breath of the Dragon|
The Nii'gata Clan (竜親族一族 Nii'gata Ichizoku) is a ritualistic clan with origins that predate the world of Shinobi, and are capable of molding chakra through their mouths without needing to use hand seals. The Nii'gata are a clan unknown to nearly all normal shinobi, as they have lived and operated outside of shinobi villages for the entirety of their existence. Their name has only recently become known as Rin Nii'gata and Masakaki Nii'gata have left the clan homelands, though their abilities are left to speculation.
The Nii'gata are devoted worshipers of a set of Gods that predate the era of shinobi. The legends and stories of creation are handed down to each new generation of Nii'gata to pass on to be passed on to the next. Their belief of creation begins with Xiuhcoatl, who is described as an Draconic Creature with apathetic views on the world. Xiuhcoatl is credited by the Nii'gata with creating everything that exists, including the two Demigods of peaceful and chaotic balance that are known as Coaxoch and Balerion respectively. They were created in his image as Dragons, though their appearance differed greatly. Coaxoch is described as a wingless silver serpent, while Balerion is depicted as a blood red wyvern. Although Balerion can be observed as malevolent or evil, he balances Coaxoch's peace with chaos, which creates the 'balance' that allows the Nii'gata to live in the way that they do. It's also believed that Balerion's chaos is where the Nii'gata's breath based abilities, as well as the creation of the Nii'shita. In contrast to Balerion's gifts to the Nii'gata, Coaxoch is believed to have gifted them with their scale related abilities.
From the beginning, Coaxoch and Balerion have been locked in combat. Before the age of man, the two Demigods were at constant war. The time of chaos and time of peace tore the world into ruin and forced Xiuhcoatl to bring rebirth. Despite the god's best attempts at providing equilibrium by using the Demigods as mediums, they had instead limited their views and believed that only they alone could bring balance. The other was unnecessary and only threatened their idea of balance. During this time, Balerion sealed Coaxoch into a crystal and set him into an indefinitely unconscious state. This lead the land into the time of true chaos and, eventually, lead to the creation of chakra. The Nii'gata believe that they are still enduring the time of chaos while Coaxoch is sealed.
Although it is not tradition, a large portion of both Purebloods and Followers will "pick a side" between Coaxoch and Balerion. Although they are not typically at war with each other as the two Demigods are, they do often quarrel and detest each other's views greatly. They follow the same ideals as the Demigod they follow. Coaxoch Followers tend to be rather peaceful until their arguments and debates with Balerion Followers begin. They also use more scale related techniques than Balerion Followers, who instead rely primarily on using their breath based attacks. Because of this, Coaxoch Followers tend to be much more defensive, passive, and submissive, while Balerion Followers are offensive, aggressive, and dominant. There have also been rumours of those who Follower Xiuhcoatl, though they are very rare and generally looked down upon by the other clansmen. Xiuhcoatl Followers are typically viewed as weaker, as they employ both scale and breath in their tactics. Because of this, it is believed that they cannot specialize in either and are thus weaker than those who do specialize. This has never been examined further however, so it is unknown if this is true. Xiuhcoatl Followers tend to be very apathetic, but can adopt traits of either Balerion or Coaxoch Followers.
When roleplaying as a Nii'gata, there are a few key things to be noted and taken into account.
The Nii'gata are a very secretive clan. They don't often reveal their abilities in fights unless they're confident that they can kill their opponent, and hardly ever talk to anybody that is not immediately affiliated with the Nii'gata bloodline. Speaking of any of their customs, abilities, or traditions to those not affiliated with the clan is considered to be the ultimate taboo amongst members. It is made known to members of the clan from a very young age that should any venture over the mountains that protect them, that they are not permitted to speak of their clan's customs or abilities until said person is sworn by blood as a Follower. Following Rin Nii'gata's banishment and exile from the clan, it has been taught that should any Nii'gata be dealt the same punishment, they are forbidden to speak of their customs and abilities, as well as teach them to others.
The idea of relationships are rather lost on pureblooded Nii'gata, though they are well aware of the concept and are not against the idea. They are taught from a young age that their blood cannot be tainted through reproduction with those who do not possess the blood of Tatsuo, Hisashi, Katsuro, or Susumu. Followers are free to engage in relationships and create families as they see fit, as the pureblooded side of the clan do not typically mingle in their personal affairs. However, should a pureblooded Nii'gata ever reproduce with anybody of impure blood, their child will be labeled as Dsivach (meaning; Impure Blood), and both parents will be known as Hazukashii tsuihō (meaning; Shamed Outcast) or Watonanari (meaning; Dishonorers). The penalty for committing this act is typically death, though mercy may be given depending on the parent's standing in the clan.
There are no marriage ceremonies in the Nii'gata culture, and there are no priests or churches. Those who reproduce are considered to be unified until the child reaches adulthood. In the case of pureblooded Nii'gata, the parents are considered unified until the child participates in the Rite of Passage and succeeds.
Amongst their own kind, there aren't many general stereotypes that apply to their culture as a whole. However, many stereotypes exist for various worshipers of different demigods. Coaxoch followers are typically very timid, submissive, or regarded as "weak". The reasoning behind this is that to followers of Balerion or Xiuhcoatl, the followers of Coaxoch hide behind the scales as they are too weak to withstand the harshness of their culture without them. Followers of Balerion are often very brutal, aggressive, dominant, and more often than not, arrogant. Since followers of Balerion tend to rely more on breath based abilities, they consider their bodies hardened to the hardships of life. Followers of Xiuhcoatl, although a rare breed, are often regarded as cold, distant, indifferent, and even brutal in some cases.
To those outside of the clan, such as residents of Hikagakure, they would find that Nii'gata have a strong tendency to like hot and spicy foods. Though it is entirely a personal preference, Nii'gata are raised on the natural resources of the secluded clan grounds. There are many spicy roots and hot spices in their diet, as well as more meat and fish than vegetables, thus also giving them an innate carnivorous diet. In addition to this, any Nii'gata that have ventured outside of the clan grounds for whatever reason are typically uneducated on the ways and cultures of the outside world. Though this has nothing to do with their intelligence, they are simply just uneducated on foreign cultures, as they would never have been exposed to them beforehand.
Death in the Nii'gata's culture is not nearly as celebrated as it is outside of their territory. Nii'gata are taught from a very young age that death is a necessary part of life and that there is no need to fear nor seek it, as it will come when it is needed. Because of this, it is not common for Nii'gata to react to death in an expressive manner, though the death of those close to them are the occasional exception.
Nii'gata do not bury their dead, as they believe it to taint their soil that they grow their crops in with disease and death. Instead, for the deaths of those they wish to honour, they construct funeral pyres.
Nii'gata create all of their own clothing. While within their clan grounds, they tend to wear a lot of wool and leather, and many fabrics manufactured or worn outside of the clan grounds are not even known to exist. Since they have no need for the flexible shoe-wear that shinobi wear, the hunters of the clan typically wore leather boots. Going barefoot was also a popular choice, though some type of shoe-wear was worn when hunting. Undergarments are also commonly worn. The Nii'gata raised their own herds of sheep and bovine that they bred and slaughter for resources.
Tools and Weaponry
The hunters of the clan, who provide the members with most of the meats and furs that they wear, are typically equipped with very basic weaponry. Blacksmithing was very rarely used for weapons and armour, and the Nii'gata typically only had access to bronze and iron. These metals were all they needed to survive, and were primarily used for hunting and tools rather than weapons and armour designed to fight other humans. Most Nii'gata who were trained to hunt were also trained to use a bow and craft their own arrows.
The Nii'gata view all of their clansmen as family. Only those that they reproduce with are thought of as anything different than family, and two Purebloods are "wed", or unified, upon seeing the birth of their child. They stay unified until the child reaches adulthood by passing the Rite of Passage. Typically these two Nii'gata will stay together to death, but it is not uncommon for them to split and find other partners. Sibling rivalries are also very common, even though having many children in a single family is not.
The Nii'gata have very peculiar origins that date back to the pre-shinobi era. The Nii'gata began with Tatsuo Kana, a nomadic traveler and loyal follower to a forgotten religion. He worshiped Xiuhcoatl, the Draconian God of Creation. Present day Nii'gata religion recognizes this deity as the being that created everything that is known to exist.
As time passed, Tatsuo gathered followers. Others, like him, that also wished to be loyal to his God. He taught these followers of his about Xiuhcoatl. The God of peaceful balance, Coaxoch, and the God of chaotic balance, Balerion. He explained how Xiuhcoatl was both the God of Creation, as well as true balance. He created these two demigods to represent and uphold balance over the realm, because the Nii'gata believe in times of balance. They believe that at any one period of time, the realm can either be in a time of peace or a time of chaos. Xiuhcoatl created these two Gods to balance each other. Before the age of mankind, Coaxoch and Balerion were at war. Each side believed that they would only be successful without their other half, and because of their ignorance, the two were constantly at war. The time of chaos and time of peace tore the world into ruin and forced Xiuhcoatl to bring rebirth. During this time, Balerion sealed Coaxoch into a crystal and set him into an indefinitely unconscious state. This lead the land into the time of true chaos and, eventually, lead to the creation of chakra.
However, this is simply their point of view. The Nii'gata had been cut off from the outside world for a very long time. Though time has passed, the Nii'gata still cling to their ancient customs and traditions. Being worshipers of Dragons, these traditions typically involve fire. In fact, the Nii'gata are so naturally obsessed with fire, that they host annual festivals that include competitions such as self-immolation and hot coal walking.
Moving on from the religion of the Nii'gata, Tatsuo lead his followers to a mountain that was far away from the developing civilizations. Tatsuo and his followers were not particularly social, and thus, a solitary lifestyle suited them rather well. They lived within a secluded area that was guarded by treacherous and desolate landscapes. Through sheer luck, the Nii'gata went unnoticed, and still are primarily to present day.
Many years passed and Tatsuo slowly began to decay in his old age. He traveled to the top of the mountain that the group of followers had called home for the past forty years and meditated for two weeks at the peak. Very little is known about what happened at the top of that mountain for those two weeks, as the only stories passed from generation to generation are that the followers of that time claimed to have heard the constant roar of thunder on clear days, emanating from where Tatsuo was believed to be.
When he returned, Tatsuo had claimed to have walked alongside the gods and his faith bestowed a unique power to him, one that would only be passed on to his own blood. He titled this ability Ryū no iki (竜の息: translated to; "breath of a dragon"). It was very unique at the time, especially to the Nii'gata. The idea of chakra had not been common knowledge amongst the members, and in fact, those who knew of it could only call it their life energy.
The Nii'gata lived in solitude for generations, untouched by the growing civilizations. Tatsuo saw the creation of three offspring. Hisashi, the first born. Katsuro, the second, was born two years after Hisashi. Susumu, the third, was born four years after Katsuro. All three of his children carried his blood and were carriers of the Ryū no iki. Tatsuo died three years after Susumu was born, leaving nine year old Hisashi to lead the Followers. He had been thoroughly taught of the growing clan's belief and religion, and after being raised by the loyal followers of Tatsuo's time, Hisashi rose to be a great leader of his people.
Hisashi lead the freshly formed Nii'gata and their followers off the mountain, which was now both the sacred place for the “pure blooded” Nii'gata as well as Tatsuo's resting place. The three sons of Tatsuo had their own children, further diluting the Nii'gata blood. Hisashi was the first to unlock the ability bestowed upon his blood. It was powerful, his roars could crack mountains and his breath could throw fire hundreds of meters into the air. The Nii'gata lived peacefully in an enclosed mountain range, the peaks too high to climb through natural means and the surrounding environment much too treacherous for any sane being to want to travel through. Truth be told, there was no reason for the Nii'gata to be found. The only disputes they had were amongst themselves and were settled very quickly. Years passed and Hisashi passed from age. He was honoured beside his Father and Katsuro was chosen to lead the Followers. He traveled the top of his mountain, just as his father and brother had done before him, and was bestowed his blood's ability, just as they were. He too lead the clan through times of peace, and died the same as Hisashi.
This left Susumu, the youngest of the three Nii'gata brothers. He traveled to the mountain and learned the secrets of his blood through a period of meditation that lasted two weeks. He returned to his clansmen and lead them as they had been before. Susumu also taught the sons and daughters of his brothers, as well as his own son, about the Nii'gata. They would be the ones to lead the clan in the future, so becoming properly educated on how to do so at an early age would be customary. Susumu was different than his brothers, however. He brought all of the Three Sons of Tatsuo to the mountain and had them meditate at the very tender age of ten. Each of them unlocked their abilities so young, and Susumu began one of the most honourable and respectable traditions the Nii'gata clan would ever experience.
Generations passed and the “pure blooded” Nii'gata bloodline slowly became more and more diluted. Each passing generation grew weaker in the voice, but compensated for it through other means. Shinobi Villages had long since formed, yet the Nii'gata lived on, completely oblivious to the war and turmoil that raged on beyond their mountains of ignorance. There was no way for them to know, the last time they had taken an outsider as a follower was hundreds of years prior. But their lifestyle of tribalism went on. As technology advanced, the Nii'gata still hunted with improvised weaponry. As architecture came up, the Nii'gata still lived in animal skin tents. They entertained themselves through festivals and nightly bonfires. It was almost as if they lived in a state of halted development. Stasis. They didn't progress or devolve, they simply existed.
Since the times of Tatsuo leading the Followers, the clan has undergone many changes. The first and, arguably, the most noteworthy is that the Pure Blooded have officially split themselves from the Followers. Only those with Tatsuo's blood call themselves Nii'gata, whereas the followers are known as just that, Followers of the Voice. In addition to this, the religion of the Nii'gata has also been split down the middle. There are those who worship Coaxoch over Balerion, and there are those who worship Balerion over Coaxoch. Similar to the conflict of those gods, those who worship either side tend to believe that their side is what will achieve true balance. However, there is another, much more infrequent practiced religion. Although it is generally looked down upon, there are those who follow the guidance of Xiuhcoatl. They seek genuine equilibrium, but are not as consumed with their ideals as others are. While worshipers of Coaxoch tend to be more practiced in the voice and possess the ability to speak Nii'shita, those who worship Balerion do not. Instead, they focus themselves more on the rituals and traditions of the Nii'gata.
Nowadays, in present times, the Nii'gata still live in solitude, protected behind the walls that they hid behind for hundreds of years. They are now lead by Taiyu, a direct descendent of Katsuro and carrier of the Ryū no iki. She resides at the top of the mountain that her forefathers and ancestors are honoured and spends her days practicing the voice in an attempt to restore it's ability to the glory of their Ancestors.
The Nii'gata practice a new tradition to test the worthiness of new pure bloods. Their typical meditation routine consists of the pure blooded sitting within a circle of burning flames for hours, days even, with no food, water, or sleep. During this time, their body is set aflame, and if the pure blooded falters or breaks their meditative trance, they are not ready. Those who do withstand the flames for their duration are imbued with the clan's trademark, the unnatural burn scars that decorate their upper torso. They are also sent to the mountain alone to learn the voice from Taiyu.
Rin Nii'gata was the first pureblooded Nii'gata to ever leave the clan grounds after Tatsuo settled there. He was exiled for murdering several Followers in the night after the festival that was held in his honour for mastering the Ryū no iki, and was forced to leave the ring of massive mountains that they called home for hundreds of years. Masakaki Nii'gata was the second Nii'gata to leave the Nii'gata homeland, who was sent by Taiyu to learn from Rin order to test if he was still worthy to wield the Ryū no iki. Saiya Nii'gata later departed to seek out Rin and Masakaki for guidance, making her the third Pureblooded Nii'gata to ever leave the Clan Grounds. Approximately one year following Saiya's departure, Zakarī Nii'gata wandered out of the Nii'gata homelands and managed to find his way to Hikagakure.
LanguageNii'shita grates on the ears of other creatures and includes several hard consonants and sibilants. It employs sounds that most describe as hissing (sj, ss, and sv), as well as a noise that sounds like a beast clearing its throat (ach). Nii'shita words have emphasis on the first syllable. Speakers of Nii'shita express important ideas or tones by emphasizing the beginnings and the ends of words. Writers mark important words with a special symbol of three lines radiating outward to the right of the word, to symbolize emphasis and breath.
Because this language has never left the clan grounds before the current generation, and because of unique way the language is spoken, Nii'gata who speak Nii'shita fluently tend to have a very foreign sounding accent when speaking other languages. Speaking Nii'shita fluently is a very uncommon occurance in the clan however, as the language has been replaced with the normal language of the continent, as it is easier to speak. Speaking Nii'shita is only practiced regularly by a select few members of the pureblooded side, and it's only taught to the individual when they travel to Mount Iki for the clan leader's guidance. Very few Nii'gata are capable of speaking the language fluently enough to hold a conversation strictly spoken in Nii'shita.
- The name "Nii'shita" is a play on words. While Nii (ニイ) has no literal meaning, Ni (ニ) translates directly to "two". Shita (舌) translates directly to "tongue", as in a dialect or a language. Together, the two form Nii'shita (ニ舌, literally meaning "two tongues"). This is a play on words because "two tongues" can refer to how Nii'gata are taught to speak in two different languages, both Nii'shita and Japanese. Typical Dragon lore depicts Dragons as having forked tongues, also giving rise to the name "two tongues".