Time Line

Time Line:

BF: The Clan wars era, culminating in to the peace accord that created the hidden villages. Prior to this, skirmishes waged across the land as clans would take up contracts in different countries and for different Daimyo. They were shinobi contractors that were organized based more on familial ties than any particular creed or way. Some of these clans would shun those who were gifted, showing abnormal abilities in their blood. This primarily occurred in the Land of Water where showing signs of a Kekkei Genkai could lead to parents murdering their own children out of fear. Even without this, such abilities were kept secret and hidden from all but the closest family in order to be used as an asset of war; trump cards held close to the chest. It was an era where the very young would be used and sacrificed in these conflicts for the good of clan survival and for the continuation of age old blood feuds. Eventually however, the shinobi world would have enough loss and chaos and move towards stability.

AF 1: All of the major hidden villages are created, but Kirigakure is lagging behind due to their country being tumultuous and largely having been in a form of civil war prior to the Great Village Formation. While officially they had been represented at what would be known as the First Kage Summit, Kirigakure had yet to truly organize due to resistance from their Daimyo and his distrust and hatred for the man who would become the first Mizukage. Iwagakure was created, but remained isolated and private, only showing up to the Kage Summit to solidify their claim. Sunagakure approached the situation cautiously, making sure that what ever happened at the meeting, they appeared neutral so that they could utilize that position in any way they needed to in the future. Konoha wanted to bring about peace of course as they were the driving force behind this structure and the stability it promised. Kumogakure however had other plans. Their participation at this event was to measure the strength of the other nations, and to see what resistance they would likely face when they continued to move their war machine. Unlike most of the other nations, their Shinobi had been part of the Land of Lightning's over all military forces for some time so while this idea of "Five Great Hidden Villages" was new to most, Kumogakure had the foundation for it and the backing for it earlier than the rest.

AF 2: Most villages had settled in to their positions and created their infrastructure and bases of power within their governing countries. Kirigakure had even caught up, though since they were late in obtaining their own stability, the effort to catch up taxed their resources heavily. The other reason was that while they were stable on the outside, both the Daimyo and the Mizukage had taken the time to prepare measures to ensure that neither one would be taken by surprise by the other. The Water Daimyo would allow for the creation of the Seven Swordsman of the Mist as guardians of the Land of Water. They ultimately would answer to the Daimyo and his court, and while they did work and operate within Kirigakure, they were secondarily there to intimidate the Mizukage in to behaving himself. Primarily, they were an elite shinobi fighting for intended to protect the interest of the Land of Water, which should and usually does, coincide with Kirigakure's own initiatives. Kaguya Mitsuo, the first Mizukage, had his own force created as well known as Death Hand. They were another elite force tasked with being capable of doing all of the things that Mitsuo himself was not able to publicly do. They were the shadows of the Hidden Mist and their loyalty was not to the Land of Water, but to Kirigakure and its Kage. These masked shinobi would eventually become Kirigakure's Hunter Nin and ANBU forces.

AF 3: Due to Kirigakure's economic decline from the start, one of the first initiatives that the Mizukage put forth, was to work with neighboring countries contractually in order to gain money and supplies for stabilization efforts. Thus they would be contracted by the Land of Waves for the purposes of border patrol and security due to the rather overt actions occurring from the Land of Lightning to the north. The Land of Lightning had a massive navy, and even though the Shinobi world had become relatively peaceful, they were going to take the opportunity to land grab those countries that were not held by one of the Five Great Villages. With their overwhelming power, even if there was a protest, the assumed that there would be no interference by the other villages due to the risk of both war and the lack of actual responsibility to these undefended countries. Kirigakure's blood thirsty heritage however did not have them balk at such a possibility. They were more than willing to fight another nations war to secure their future… and for the fun of it.

AF 4: Meanwhile, as the world shifted and changed due to the emergence of the hidden villages, secret meetings and ploys would still be occurring. Seeking opportunity as it developed, a rogue band of shinobi known as the Takokujin would begin to strike a deal between Sunagakure and Kirigakure. If there was to be a war, Kirigakure would need to have a steady stream of new supplies to keep them going, and Sunagakure being almost entirely surrounded by other shinobi nations and sheer desert before that even became a concern, had only the sea to assist their desire for more economic growth. However, the Land of Rivers was consumed by pirates and outlaws who controlled the river and the sea south of it, making trading routes through the area nearly impossible or far too expensive to bother with. The Takokujin had a proposal. They would secure the trade route for the Land of Wind and allow for them to trade with the Land of Water, bringing in many necessities each of the nations lacked. Only two things were asked for: The continuation of their contractual arrangements after the fact, and for trade to be done with the Land of Rivers itself. At the end of the negotiations, neither country had anything to lose and much to gain if this rogue band was successful so they agreed in turn. The Great River ran red with the blood of countless pirates soon after, and the trade route was clear and capable of sustaining high traffic trade in both directions.

AF 5: The trade route established, Kirigakure now had something to sustain it's war machine in defense of the Land of Waves. With Kumogakure's forces closing in, they had established multiple outposts and a command center within the country. One of these outpost was a check point at the Land of Waves end of the Great Bridge that connected it to the Land of Fire. Due to this apparent blockade, Konoha sent a team to investigate what was happening within the Land of Waves. They were stopped at the bridge, and after some heated words, would back down from pursuing things further. This did not last long however as the team would come back not long after, in secret. They infiltrated the country, and assaulted one of the coastal outposts in order to steal information about what was actually going on. They were almost successful, but word got out and they were halted by the person that was leading the defense of the Land of Waves. Their lives were spared, but Konoha had earned the ire of Kirigakure from that point on. Konoha's forces were pushed back to the other side of the bridge, and Kirigakure was informed that the element of Konoha that had acted had done so without permission. This lack of conviction in their act didn't do anything to help their relationship with Kirigakure, and the war was about to heat up as Kirigakure would have to concern itself with two fronts. Time had run out for that concern though, as Kumogakure had all but arrived.

AF 6: The massive fleet would attempt to send a volley of destruction upon the shores of the Land of Waves, Kirigakure's forces awaiting them without hesitation. Kumogakure was clever, knowing that the water would be to Kirigakure's advantage, so they attempted to move their fleet to ground as fast as possible. However, they underestimated the ferocity of Kirigakure, and in the attempt lost a great deal of their fleet to the landing alone. Even so, eventually Kirigakure was pushed back from the shore as Kumogakure were capable warriors in their own right, particularly when they actually got off of their boats and touched ground. Sunagakure would keep an eye on the situation, remaining neutral in their interactions, aside from the secret trade route that was established. While they did not fight from the front, they certainly assisted Kirigakure's longevity within the conflict, and even provided timely intelligence when possible. Konoha was struggling with the moral issue of involving themselves in the war. They did not like that such a conflict was happening so close to their borders, but they also did not want to be involved in war once again.

AF 7: The battle between Kumo and Kiri would continue to escalate now that the war was on ground. Front line bases were established and skirmishes and battles happened daily. Veteran shinobi would be deployed regularly among less seasoned warriors, as well as fresh recruits and the death toll would rise. But Kiri held it's ground and its contract well. While Kumogakure's shinobi were well versed in the art of war, Kirigakure's forces were more than used to actually fighting them constantly. The Death Hand also played its role, taking on some of the strongest in Kumo's forces and even seeking to eliminate their Jinchuuriki when they revealed themselves. Combined with the Seven Swordsman, Kumogakure's forces simply didn't have an elite core to change the tide of the conflict so much as Kirigakure did and it started to wear their offensive thin. Konoha remained reserved, not choosing to help the Land of Waves or in any other way get involved officially. A few of their forces did every now and then perform guerrilla style attacks, but no official decision to join was made. The same can be said of Sunagakure aside from their secret aid that continued throughout the conflict.

AF 8: Kirigakure's war effort would eventually push Kumogakure back to the Land of Lightning, where the fighting became most intense. It was an unprecedented happening that Kumogakure did not foresee. The blood lust of Kirigakure was out of control, and were it not for their actual mission to protect the Land of Waves, when Kumogakure retreated from their plans to take over new territory, Kirigakure may have kept charging forward. However, perhaps out of respect or out of responsibility, Kirigakure did not press Kumogakure further in to their borders. Now Kirigakure's eye was on Konohagakure for their interference and the killing of their shinobi simply to find out things that were none of their business. Thus would begin the first conflict and continuing rivalry between Kirigakure and Konohagakure from that point forward.

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