The Earth Country is known for the many mountainous ranges that form the natural border with the other countries. The rocky and desolated ranges make it hard for the not initiated to find an easy time travelling. As one of the largest political entities on the western continent, the Earth Country doesn't have much foreign contact. This has led to many to believe that the Earth country is compromised of desolated rocky areas. It is one of the Great Five Nations on the western continent.
The Earth Country has like many other nations a history of strife and chaos. Predating the Warring Clans, there were enough conflicts going on in the various regions of the Earth Country. Around 300 to 250 BDS, the region was invaded by Chonobi who established the Sarutobi Kingdom, that consisted out some of the southern regions of the Earth country. There have been Earth clans who tried to establish a hegemony in the many areas of the vast land. In the Warring Clans three major clans managed to establish a power base.
In the north, the Hyuzu clan managed to claim a large dominion that was fueled by a strong economy. They used natural boundaries such as rivers and mountains to fend off any incursion into their land. They would be the most passive in the power struggle as the leaders of the Hyuzu clan during that period were more concerned with stabilising their land. Not to mention that the long period of raids, expeditions and attacks of the Hon that were targeted against the Hyuzu demanded a lot of attention.
In the south, the Miyake clan rose up. From the ashes of the Sarutobi Kingdom, the Miyake became their own rulers. Their aggressive expansion led to the bitter rivalry with the Koma clan, who ruled most of the modern day west of the Earth country.
The constant struggling between the Miyake and Koma clans eventually would weaken them. While they remained determined to face one another and being wary of the Hyuzu, they would be subdued at the end of the Warring Clan Era by an unexpected foe.
The threat for the Miyake and Koma clans came from the Anzai clan. The Anzai was a small clan that resided north of the Miyake clan and was an ally to the former. But due to the depletion and exhaustion of the Miyake, the Anzai saw the chance to launch an attack with a few other allies and aid of the Koma clan. In 345, the Anzai clan launched their attack and after twelve years of gruesome war, they managed to win the conflict. The Miyake had to cede land while also becoming a vassal of the Anzai. This made the Anzai one of the three dominant power bases in the region. The Koma now tried to uphold the Anzai that they would support an invasion into the Hyuzu clan to rid their northern rival.
As the forces of the Koma and Anzai gathered, the Koma clan would be surprised. The Anzai betrayed the Koma and launched a vicious attack that sparked another war in 362. For eight years the Koma tried to resist the Anzai's attempts to win the war but on the 18th of 368, the peace of Hengshu was signed. In which the Koma clan basically suffered the same fate as the Miyake clan.
Now the attention of the Anzai clan turned towards the north, to the Hyuzu clan. Who was more than prepared to make the Anzai pay dearly for any advances into their dominion. But while the inevitable conflict didn't start, the Anzai started to strengthen their grip on their vassals and allies. More clans were pressed to join the larger growing hegemony in the modern day Earth country. And at the end, the Hyuzu also bend the knee. Thus in 396 AD, the Earth Country was formed with the Anzai as the leading dynasty.
The Expansion Wars
The Expansion Wars were a series of small conflicts waged by the newly unified Earth Country against its smaller neighbors the Waterfall Country and the Iron Country. These wars saw a newly unified, untrained, undisciplined, and low morale Earth Country force quickly invade and subjugate the Waterfall Country. The Earth Country setup a puppet Government and went about rebuilding what they had destroyed in the invasion to only then fight a bitter almost ten year long insurgency against the conquered foe.
As well as conquering the Waterfall Country, the Earth Country would go on to engage the Iron Country in combat and would be routed by the smaller but far more disciplined and trained troops of the Iron country. The war came to a halt with the signing of an armistice deal and has technically not ended leading to a build up of military forces on the border of the Earth Countries puppet state of the Waterfall and the Iron Country in a tense standoff that has spanned generations.
A time of peace and prosperity came to be in the Earth country. While the Anzai had to deploy harsh treatment and restrictions on various clans and regions, the time between the unification and the Great War is considered a time of peace and fortune. It cemented the Anzai's right to rule and allowed the exhausted clans to rebuild their lands.
Expanding the military with more investments the daimyo managed to lay the foundation of a treaty with the Fang Country, which saw military access. However, the Wind country also managed to gain the same and this led to the confusion and incidents that sparked a conflict between the Earth and Wind country. The Wind country accused that the Earth country had sent a legion into their land - an accusation that the Earth Country still denies to this day. Shortly afterwards a detachment of the Earth Country fleet arrested a trading convoy from the Lightning Country. This led that the Earth country soon enough fell into war with the Wind and Lightning country.
Four years the conflict continued and the Earth country found an enemy in every direction. Losing ground to the Lightning and Fire country forces, the Earth country was forced to sign peace treaties that plummeted the economic progress it had made a few decades earlier.
The Decline of the Anzai Dynasty
After the Great War, the Earth country's policies shifted. Paying war reparations to both the Fire and Lightning country, the focus of the nation was in itself. Unrest was on the rise and many of the country's nobles demanding that it wouldn't be repeated. Riots broke out in various urban centres and clans refused to pay the same homage to the Anzai dynasty. In 467 the Treaty of Kofun the might and influence of the Daimyo was legally bound to a series of laws. Such as the decrees of new taxes and restricting the autonomy of various regions in which clans ruled and resided.
This, however, only slightly redeemed the Anzai dynasty. The majority of the unrest would vanish but the first nail was already nailing the coffin. Soon the rest followed with the Occupation of Shoji. The daimyo at the time was Ninsei II of the Anzai Dynasty. Caring for his nation, he decided that the best way to preserve his people from violence was accepting the terms of Shoji.
If it was really the intention of Ninsei or what his enemies said, that he was just trying to preserve his own political power and influence, is a debate that has been going on for some time in the Earth country. But during the Occupation the Anzai lost all of their popularity and support. In the year 472, the Anzai would find themselves forced to give up the leadership of the country. A civil war wouldn't really be the case as the majority of the clans and people in power were siding with the leader of the uprising: Tamotsu of the Hyuzu clan. Thus ended the Anzai dynasty and reign over the Earth country.
The rise of Tamotsu Hyuzu wasn't entirely without problems. The Anzai clan kept remaining around and is still considered one of the prime clans of the Earth country. Yet the county has returned to a state where its economy is thriving and the population isn't troubled by many external nor internal crises.
Earth Country's Military
As one of the Five Great Nations, it is no surprise that the Earth country possesses one of the strongest militaries in the known world. While having lost in the Great War to the Fire and Lightning country, the military of the Earth country isn't a joke. Being reputed to be ruthless and efficient, there are various departments of the nation's military.
First, is the royal army and navy. These are funded and kept up by the daimyo and state. The royal army and navy are its standing military and while not being the largest military department of the nation, it is considered one of the most prominent. There are also various detachments and organisations within the royal army and navy. One of the most famous is the Rock Guard. The elite of fighters and shinobi who are tasked to safeguard the life of the daimyo. A Rock Guard isn't allowed to have any ties to a clan nor even being married themselves.
Much like most other countries, the clan's in the Earth country have their own military force. The clans of the Earth country are restricted to various protocols, such as when they are allowed to mobilise their forces and they need to pay a certain taxation on the size of their force. It is considered, after all, pivotal for the security of the nation to not allow the clans to have no restriction on their military power.
The Avalanche Corps
The Avalanche Corps is the military under the command of the Tsuchikage. It is the shinobi military of the Earth country, which consists of the regulars, ANBU and Intelligence Division. While it is the smallest military organisation that serves the Earth Country, it is also the most independent military force from the Earth Daimyo.
A few prominent and renowned units of the Avalanche Corps:
- The Crimson Dead Unit
The members that are recruited into the Crimson Dead Unit are all dangerous shinobi. Operatives that have proven themselves countless times or possess enough promise. The discipline and ruthless efficiency with which the Crimson Dead works have brought many victories to the Earth country during the Great War and operations. Not to forget that the Crimson Dead have operatives possess the feared Explosion Release forms. Their appearance has been enough to demoralise enemy operatives, causing them to flee sooner than to fight.
- The Granite Guard
The specialised shinobi who have been tasked with patrolling and guarding the perimeter and interior of Iwagakure. Though they are compromised of ranked teams, they are the police and internal security force of the Tsuchikage and are allowed to perform arrests, interrogations and counter-intelligence to protect the Avalanche corps and the Earth Country.
The population in the Earthy country consist primarily of Taika. There are various regions and clans who have their own traditions There used to be small pockets of Chonobi culture after the collapse of the Sarutobi Kingdom in the south-eastern part of the Earth country. But after centuries, those traces have vanished. The Hyuzu clan, however, is a source of Chonobi culture in the north - that still can be found in the country.
The main language being used in the Earth country is Taika. There are some dialects that can be found in the more remote parts of the nation but that is about it. Chonobi as a language is being used by the Hyuzu clan.
The Earth Country holds a few prominent religions and beliefs. With a diversity in people, clans and regions, the Earth country has grown quite tolerant towards new beliefs and faiths. As long as they don't collide with the nation's laws and cause all kind of unrest, there is only a small fee that each religion is required to pay. This special tax means that each organised faith in the Earth country is known and followed. In order to sustain themselves, the organised faiths do request donations from their followers.
The top of the Earth country is occupied by the daimyo. Which is a position that is currently held by the Hyuzu clan of the Earth country. The daimyo of the Earth country has limited influence and power but it is still the most powerful person in the land. The daimyo's position and importance is followed by the Tsuchikage, who reside in Iwagakure. While the Tsuchikage is in theory bound to the will and command of the daimyo, the interesting dynamic is that the Tsuchikage has sole sway over their own military force.
This has led to various factions within the Earth country who perceive the Tsuchikage to be (or need to become) the de facto leader of the country while others oppose it, siding with the daimyo. Even while this subtle power struggle is present, it hasn't so far plunged the country into any civil crises.
Following the daimyo and Tsuchikage are the leaders of the clans, forming the nobility of the earth country. They have their own military, political and economic influence and power. Relative to their clan's size, prestige and such factors. The importance of the clan leaders is also noticeable with various administrative and high ranking positions granted to these men and women.