- Official motto of the Hon clan.
"Hardened by conflict and steeled by ambition and resolve, the Hon clan stands proud as one of the prominent clans in the Empire. While having endured many conflicts the pride and resolve of the Hon clan to strive forward hasn't withered away. Known for their disciplined and hardened warriors and the brutal efficiency of how their leaders are raised, sources for which the clan is both respected and feared for, by both foes and allies alike."
- 1 Traits
- 2 History
- 3 Members
- 4 Techniques
- 5 Traditions
- 6 Military
- 7 Relations
- Bigger chakra pool, but weaker chakra control.
Many shinobi from the Hon clan have been 'gifted' with a larger chakra pool. This isn't the case with every person within the Hon clan. The negative is that they are weaker in chakra control. It is speculated that this because it is harder to control a larger chakra reserve without a good amount of chakra training.
- Fast hand seal weaving.
Though it isn't a genetic trait inherited among the Hon clan, the shinobi of the clan pride themselves in being able to weave hand seals fast. Some shinobi who are educated and trained within the Hon clan even consider it a game, trying to outspeed one another.
- Lightning Affinity.
Most Hons have an affinity for the Lightning chakra nature.
- "White Hair" affinity.
With some prominent Hons having white hair, it was long believed that it was a genetical trait stemming from the clan. This is, of course, not the case.
The history of the Hon clan is lengthy and filled with strife, glory and despair. As befitting for a Great Clan, the Hon are quite proud of their achievements and honour their ancestors for their deeds.
From the sea, the Hon clan would invade the region known today as Framí together with many other tribes and clans of Chonobi descent. After some years, the Hon would march further southwards. Crafting a home for themselves at the cost of the native clans and people. With blood and steel, many of the native clans and people would be killed. Those that survived the horrors forced to assimilate.
In truth, there hasn't been much literature that has kept from the bite of time. Many sources seem to stem from legends and myths. And anything written that has survived the test of time, seems to originate from Hon writings only - which only provides the viewpoint of the victors. Leaving only speculation and wonderings left for scholars and historians on what people inhabited the lands before the Hons invaded their lands. Many historians and scholars do consider that the Hon clan invaded and migrated the areas south of Framí to seek more fertile soil. Not to mention space for realms for their own to govern. If the surviving sources of the Hon point out to something, there was little to no regret nor mercy for those who attempted to resist their invasion.
Over time, the conquered lands of the Hons would gradually form into various realms that could be considered into petty kingdoms - though similar in culture and religion, having a political plan of their own. It would become more common for the Hons to fight each other. As well their neighbours - all in a bid for glory, riches and land. In the end, a few major Honnic factions remained - some of which still ruled by the lineage that founded them back then.
The Clash of Brothers
For many years or even decades, the Hons thrived. Even with their aggressive diplomacy towards others and between themselves. Their population would swell, and their settlements would develop into strongholds, cities and places of interest. Any vestiges of hope to drive the invaders back to the depths of the sea seemed to be lost. With each passing year as the Hons continued to plant their mark on their claimed lands.
But from the north, a threat would appear at the borders. Historians judge that roughly fifty years before the death of the Sage of the Six Paths, a war broke out between the Sarutobi and Hon clan. The former ousted out of their once glorious realm. Forced to migrate south in hope to find some lands of their own. As a people of warriors and adventurers, the Sarutobi wasn't that much different from the Hon clan. Yet the initial contact wasn't with steel demanding lives. Cooperation between various Hon factions and the Sarutobi migration seemed to take place. The reason why the aggressive Honnic factions didn't launch an attack or enslaved their Sarutobi brethren lays in various factors, according to various historians and experts.
The first and dominant one was that the Sarutobi migration was one force. While they would dissect in various clans and political factions, they move unified against any other political entity that would be hostile. Another reason was the factor of hope. There were some Sarutobi that settled and increased the population of various Hon factions - allowing those different Honnic clans and people to learn from the Sarutobi. A less known factor was the concern that the Hons had for the Sarutobi. Being aware that the Sarutobi were looking for a homeland of their own, there were Hons that worried that the Sarutobi wouldn't mind taking a piece of land for themselves.
While the war wasn't a profitable prospect, it eventually occurred. The struggle was taking nearly six decades before it died down. Both sides would refuse to surrender, willing to defend their futures with forged steel and sacrifices of blood. Ultimately, there would be a treaty of peace between the Honnic clans and the Sarutobi migration. An assembly was held to settle various feuds and disputes between Hon and Sarutobi, to conclude the conflict. As the matter would be resolved between the Sarutobi and Hon, an agreement reached. The Sarutobi migration would continue further southwards to establish a homeland for themselves. For this, the Hons would support them with resources and troops.
Out for this cooperation, an alliance would rise that has remained steady as strong over the passing centuries.
Peace is an odd thing within a culture where warriors honoured- a culture where war isn't considered a crime. Instead, war is seen as a necessity for the good of the people and clan. And with the south secured by their Sarutobi brethren, the Hons started to seek out a fight. Both over land and sea, the Hons renewed their violence against neighbouring clans and realms. Their raids considered nothing more than mundane diplomacy to see which neighbour would be able to hold their ground. To simply pick out prey from worthy foes. All leading the Hons to the north, coming into contact with the Hyuzu clan - a people of Chonobi descent that got isolated from other Chonobi groups. The Hyuzu's wealth and prestige as a great clan in the north seemed to spark the curiosity of the Hon clans. Some departed on a journey, in the hope to find wealth and renown by offering their steel. Others started to form warbands and ventured out to take the wealth away.
These exchanges sparked a series of violent interactions between the Hyuzu and the Hon. Much blood would flow between both clans, but in the end, the conflict would wind down. Historians like to point out that this is likely due to the successful campaigning of the Hyuzu to offer land and coin for the Hon service - only in turn using their new Honnic subjects to bolster their fighting force against their regional rivals. And not all Hons would settle in the lands held by the Hyuzu. For many would return to home and hearth. With the knowledge from their service to the Hyuzu, that sparked many changes among the Hon clans.
By the year of 240 ADS, the violent raids and exchanges between the Hon and Hyuzu had ended. Violence transformed to trade and selling of services. Mostly the House of Dowhon and various Framí Houses continued to maintain a mercantile and friendly stance with the Hyuzu. Providing the Hyuzu with a steady flow of hardened and loyal warriors of Hon and Framí descent, at their service.
A Tokugawa Solution
The years would flow smoothly. The Hon clans continued business as they considered normal. They were raiding the lands of their neighbours as they continue to develop their properties. Slowly but surely, a considerable threat seemed to rise on the horizon. The Tokugawa clan started to consolidate their power. No longer shackled by their masters of old, the Tokugawa clan would inherit a vast region by rights of conquest and cunning diplomacy. And they were nearby of the Hon clan, triggering their attention.
The first contact was far from peaceful. The Hon began to raid the outskirts of the border of the Tokugawa eastern border. Their raids being fast and unpredictable, only to vanish whenever Tokugawa forces spotted on a hurry to the location of trouble. For a few years, this repeated until the Hons grew bolder. Only for the Tokugawa to adopt various measures and strategies to counter the raiding Hon warbands. While much blood would shed between the two clans, historians and experts on Chonobi-Taika relation are often fascinated by the shrewd diplomacy of the Tokugawa clan.
For many historians proclaim that the astute diplomacy of the Tokugawa allowed them to befriend the Hons. To the point that they would be able to persuade the Hons to fight underneath the Tokugawa banners, in trade for wealth and renown. This cooperation would lead to a halt of aggression from the Hon clans towards the Tokugawa, instead of inspiring more good relations between the two people. A stark difference in how many other Taika handled their relationships with the Hons before and after a conflict.
Various Hons have been raiding the lands of the Hanta, a close neighbour. For several reasons, the Hons never saw much reason to invade their Taika neighbour. One of the most prominent that it would cost too much and reap too little. Yet the constant raiding would lead to much frustration and anger among the Hanta. To the point that the Hanta started to assemble raiding parties of their design, to retaliate back at the Hons. This response only led to more violence and intensified the conflict to the point that the Hanta assembled an army and marched into the lands of the Hon.
This action rallied various of the Hon clans, unifying against this foreign threat. Not taking the Hanta as a dangerous fighting force, this would allow the Hanta to score a few minor victories. Suffering few defeats, the Hon decided to form a plan on how to punish the Hanta clan properly. Splitting their available forces, the Hons would send one part to invade and raid the Hanta heartlands - which would also start to disrupt the supply lines of the Hanta forces. The other army would be forever present as an imminent threat - not engaging the Hanta in a vital battle, preventing the Hanta army from advancing far or laying siege to essential sites.
Knowing that they had to fall back, the Hanta clan soon signed peace after various bloody fights. The treaty of between the Hanta and the belligerent Hon clans saw to peace but also tribute being paid annually to the Hon clans.
The outcome of the war with the Hanta gave rise for the Tokugawa conquest. Though the Tokugawa had better relations over the Hanta, due to the improving ties between Tokugawa and Hon, the various Hon clans weren't that intrigued to join the fighting. But once the Tokugawa stated that the Uchiha clan had moved to aid the Hanta clan, the tide turned.
Many just consider that the various joining Hon clans wanted to test their mettle against the Uchiha clan. But the reasons why the Hon decided to join the conflict are much more complicated than that. While there were an intense rivalry and desire from the Hons to compete against the powerful Uchiha, it was also considered a chance to establish proper Honnic hegemony over the region. The defeat of the Uchiha at Hon steel and courage could lead to other Taika clans giving in easier to demands. Not to mention that the Tokugawa continued to use their diplomatic skills to coerce the Hons to favour joining the conflict over waiting it out.
Despite suffering several setbacks and defeats at the hands of the cunning Uchiha, many of the Hons that ventured out would return as heroes. The loss of the Uchiha clan saw to the Hanta paying war reparations to the Hon clans. And while it wouldn't lead to the desired hegemony as some Hon leaders had hoped for, it continued to set the tone for the Hon-Uchiha rivalry for the next few centuries. The Tokugawa also continued to use the conflict to improve and ease their interactions with the Hon clans, allowing them to set up more beneficial exchanges between their people and that of the Hon clans.
The Hon would be called into another conflict. Several years after the Tokugawa conquest, a massive confrontation seemed to brew between the Cho and Senju clan. At first, the Hon clan didn't seem much interested to join the conflict. The centre of the war was far south and wouldn't reap many rewards for the Hon clan. When it, however, became clear that the Uchiha clan was rallying to the side of the Senju, various Hon clans would respond in kind.
Rallying their warriors, the Hons would defend their northern borders firmly - in case the Hanta considered an attack on the various mountain passes. Another portion of the Hon forces was mobilised. And this force kept at the ready to travel either to the Tokugawa aid. Either to the Tokugawa's defence or invading once more the Uchiha and Hanta heartlands. Though the conflict was substantial, there wasn't much fighting for the Hon clan. Situated, the Hons deployment and involvement prevented the Hanta from doing any harm. And at large, impeding the Uchiha clan to risk an attack upon the Tokugawa heartlands.
As the war came to an end, the Hon clans were slightly disappointed, for no glory or wealth concluded. But the conflict did increase the interaction between the Hon clans and various of their allies. The fact that historians like to point out that the idea of a unified Hon clan started to rise at the late stages of the Cho-Senju conflict.
The Hon clans have been unified several times in history. Those rare times were simply due to some external threat - forcing the Hon clans to set aside their feuds and differences. The idea of one leader and a unified Hon clan wasn't anything new. Several attempts were made but none, the families, were able to dominate another for long. Political intrigue and rivalry made it near impossible for the Hons to unify themselves.
The growing interaction with several other clans continued to feed the idea of a unified Hon clan. The mere fact that it worked for clans like the Cho and the Tokugawa seemed to inspire various influential individuals among the Hon clans. Many historians overlook the fact that the individuals that eventually caused and played a massive part in the Hon unification crisis observed clans like the Cho and Tokugawa. To understand how to keep a vast region, divided among several noble houses, united underneath one's rule.
Slowly but surely, the various Hon clans rounded up their resources. Fragile alliances forged together, creating rifts between the Hon clans. Ironically, the network of alliances prevented bloodshed from occurring. But it couldn't halt the friction that kept festering. At the fateful year of 329 ADS, the unification war exploded. The significant contestants were the Houses of Magnhild, Ecla, Rachon and Rawon. Both the House of Daell and Dowhon largely abstained themselves for reasons, only known to them. There are some sources that the House of Magnhild did contract warriors from the House of Dowhon, to partake on Magnhild's side.
The battles were fierce, and victories would seem to be stalked by setbacks. For years, no House appeared to reign supreme. All the while lives squandered in the heat of the conflict. Eventually, the House of Magnhild would start to gain victory after victory. Graced with competent leadership, the leaders of the House of Magnhild appeared as magnanimous victors. They spared the lives of their opponents and refused to punish their conquered foes harshly.
After nearly a decade of strife and loss, the Hon clan became unified. Underneath the banner of the House of Magnhild, the clans became reformed. An assembly, a Greater Thing, was held. Not only were feuds settled among the various families. But so would the rulership decided. With inspiration from the Tokugawa and Cho clan forms of management, the Hon clan came with a design nearly unique to them.
The Submission to the Fire Daimyo
After the unification of the Hon clans, peace seemed to make a return. Prosperity would replace strife and loss. And once more, the Hon continued as they did before, with various adjustments. A notable change dawned upon them when the Hanamoto dynasty seemed to rise in the south. Not strangers to see clans and petty kingdoms rise and fall, the Hon leadership became a tad nervous. For the rapid expansion of the Hanamoto seemed unstoppable. And by the time that the influence of the Hanamoto dynasty reached the borders of the Hon clan, war seemed inevitable.
The Hon clan readied themselves for a dreadful conflict. Even as years had passed, they had yet to recover from the severe damage sustained from the unification conflict. Calling upon their Cho and Sarutobi allies, it briefly seemed as if the Chonobi clans were willing to take upon the Hanamoto and their vassals. Brave and eager for a glorious war, the Hon clan leadership did realise that it could lead to a devastating defeat - one from which they could never recover.
A difficult decision followed as a result. Much to the joy of the Hanamoto dynasty, the Hon bend the knee. This action would forever be known as the Day of Disgrace. An act that nearly splintered the various Chonobi alliances and foundations, out of sheer disgust that they had to kneel.
Various revolts nearly broke out. But in the end prevented by their Hon leadership, who managed to keep the peace. Unhappy with being vassals, the Hon clan remained silent. The taxation and constant threatening of taking away their privileges created a tense atmosphere whenever the Hanamoto dynasty and Hon nobility interacted. It is a reason why many experts claim that the Hanamoto never set foot in Hon territory - fearful for the retaliation and wrath of the clan's residents. In this same period, the Hon clan became prohibited to raid their neighbouring clans. It even became decreed by the Hanamoto dynasty that no Chonobi clan was allowed to raise and organise a raid unless the Hanamoto dynasty commanded it. Unhappy with the decision the Hon nobility decided to hold up a facade. They continued to raid several different coasts while lying to the Hanamoto agents about it. A strategy that seemed to work for there were few willing to operate on the Hanamoto's behalf within the territory of the Hon. If being lynched by the local population didn't kill some of the job's charm, then vanishing in the night certainly did.
And thus, an uneasy relationship continued to exist between the established Fire country and the Hon clan.
The Great War would be an exciting prospect for the likes of the Hon clan. A people more willing to shed blood for glory and to appease their gods, the conflict didn't sit well with the Hon clan. Historians point out that this is due to the relationship that existed between the Daimyo and the Hon nobility. Where the Fire daimyo hoped that the 'savages' rushed to fight and die, the Hon nobility flat out refused to contribute to the conflict. For the first year of the Great War, the Hon clan kept their forces at home. They jealously guarded their borders against both Fire as foreign forces. It nearly led to a civil war as the Hon clan didn't allow military access to almost all.
But the fires of war found their way to the borders of the Hon clan. From the south, a large force of the Water country invaded. The Hon clan warned the leadership of this invasion force that they shouldn't count on forgiveness for their transgression. But instead of heeding the warning, the Water country continued their invasion.
This invasion forced the Hon to fight back. While lacking the numbers to engage with the large foreign force in a straightforward battle, they undermined their foes. Supply lines were harassed continuously. Scout and patrol parties went missing. And whenever the foreign troops moved in on a village, they were met with silence. Desolated and void from supplies, the invasion didn't achieve its expected success. And while the Hons suffered for their radical actions, they were willing to continue if it meant the annihilation of the foreign force. When the desperate Water country forces decided to lay siege to the political capital of the Hon clan, the Hon clan gathered their might. Banners rallied, weapons sharpened, and courage mustered. Knowing fully well that this could lead to a defeat, the entire Hon clan force assembled to relieve the siege at Magnhild. Much to the surprise of both the Hon clan as the Water country, reinforcements arrived. Flying the banner of the Fire country, the combination of Fire and Hon troops managed to drive and annihilate the invasion force.
After the defeat of the Water country forces, the Hon clan continued to abstain themselves from the war. Even if one of them rose to the rank of the Hokage, many of the Hon nobility were displeased. Many of the Hon nobility still viewed the rule of the Fire daimyo with disgust.
The Rise of the Wolf
The end of the Great War wasn't the end of problems. Recovering from the damage wreaked upon their people, the Hon leadership focused their resources. All the while, their influence started to grow. Upon the day that Zakito took the command, the clan ushered into a new period of prosperity and order. Even the likes of the rise of Shoji's influence did little to dampen the growth that the Hon clan enjoyed.
This growth seemed only tangible upon the ascension of Kiyomi Homura, the first Empress of the Akinian empire. The new leadership saw many changes, allowing the Hon nobility to regain loyalty in the realm. Being allowed to exercise their traditions and privileges, the Hon clan would steadily become one of the most loyal Akinian clans to the throne.
The Hon clan has many lineages, but the line between nobility and not is very subtle. One must know and learn that the Hons consider nobility different than many other clans. Instead of just following somebody who has inherited a bloodline or lineage which has some prestige to it, they praise and are loyal to leaders who have proven their worth. A true leader in the viewpoint of the Hons is those who dare to lead the charge or do what is best for the people. Those who risk their own life first before asking the same of their subjects and kin. This creates together with their succession way, an interesting situation where those who can be considered 'low born' have more of a chance to rise in the ranks. Or even be successful enough to lay claim to success to a leadership position. But for any ambitious person in the Hon clan, this isn't an easy task. Challengers are more often than not being put down if they fail. Yet it isn't an easy task to be a leader. Those who are considered weak can expect the number of challengers to rise and will eventually succumb (often in a way that involves bloodshed). As some people have put it, the political play in the Hon clan is how a wolf pack functions. This all is considered a tradition that runs as deep as stone in the Hon clan.
Troublesome and inefficient as it might sound to any outsider, the open succession and tradition of leadership have kept the Hon clan sharp. Capable leaders have often risen to power, making the Hon clan prosper. Even during times of conflict or peace - as much as the Hons have known peace in their history.
Once this is understood one can start to dabble into learning how the large politics within the Hon clan works. As they consider themselves an old clan with traditions of old, the clan doesn't work in a way that the clan leader is the only one who can call the shots. The entire land of the Hon clan is divided into 'houses', factions that are being led by a family or lineage who hold their position with often an iron grip - not wishing to part with it without shedding blood. Each ruling jarl or jarlynja is oathbound to follow and obey the clan leader, but if the respective clan leader shows too much weakness then according to the traditions of the Hon clan, it is only considered just that the jarls are free to challenge the said clan leader's right to rule.
Another important factor is that lineages are in general considered personal. Not many of the Hon clan desire to share their ancestry or lineage with those who aren't familiar with their manners or traditions. Yet within the Hon clan, there are lineages who are well known and have a certain prestige and can demand respect from others. Some even use it to use it in public, announcing their name and lineage, as it is a custom that others should repay the gesture of respect back with announcing their lineage or just to boast. Those who lie about their lineage awaits a dreadful fate, for it is seen as a grave crime for the ancestors to lie about your ancestors. Even if your life depends on it.
The Houses of the Hon clan
The clan leadership of the Hon clan is inherited often from parent to child. The Hon clan, however, doesn't follow any succession law as most other clans where the children of a leader are set to become the leader. It doesn't happen often that the succession is being challenged, but with the open succession, many other Hons can potentially claim the leadership over the clan.
There are various 'rules' to claiming the leadership of the clan. The easiest manner is to be elected by the previous clan leader to become his or her successor. So far the Hons don't see to either favour male or female above one another, but just the person that has the most right with being the most capable. It is decided often who has the most right with simply going by looking at achievements. With the militant mindset and uprising that many Hons have enjoyed, it isn't a surprise to learn that many - if not all - leaders of the clan in the past were veterans of battles and war, managing to distinguish themselves in some way to their kin. This hasn't always been the case as there have been several leaders elected and backed by the majority for their capability of leading without being distinguished leaders and veterans of war.
The rules that are applied to the open Hon succession law:
- The person has to have nobility Hon blood in them. Being married or being adopted into the clan doesn't make one eligible for the clan's leadership unless the person desires to have a lot of unruly subjects.
- The person has to be older than twenty years old and at the start of their tenure younger than forties years old.
- If not appointed by the previous clan leader the person hopefully has the backing of the majority of the Hon nobility. If not, the person likely is going to face the punishment of being exiled or worse.
- If there is a threat of a succession war that can't be ended quickly, it can be decided with a duel to the death. This rule does state that both participants aren't allowed to use anything else but a knife. While the opponent is promised that they will be honoured with a proper funeral, this rule hasn't seen much practice.
In practice: In the past, the Hon clan has seen a lot of in-fighting, which some happened thanks to the open succession being held in place. Many do claim and believe that this kind of succession is what keeps and makes them being led by a leader that is capable and strong, knowing what it takes to be a leader of a strong people. It has also led to uncomfortable situations where promising leaders would find their end because a more cunning opposition decided to end their lives before the respective clan leader would die of old age or abdicate their rulership. A lot of past clan leaders also would alarm those who they favoured of that they would stand down or that they wouldn't probably live for much longer, enabling them to be capable of proclaiming themselves the clan leader before the previous leader's body would even be cold. It didn't do much to prevent the risk of succession wars and the intrigue as bloodshed. In the last hundred years, there haven't been many problems with the succession of the leadership. The last 'troublesome' succession was that the position was being taken over by Katsuro Hon, who was at Magnhild to proclaim himself the leader as Zakito wasn't twenty years by then - even while some did prefer the younger Hon above Katsuro.
To use the hidden techniques of the Hon clan, one must learn the secrets that is being called 'The Knowledge of the Wolf'. Assuming the history, it has been said that Hisho has been the one who had invented the techniques that managed to increase the already strong Hon nin to become even stronger. But due the capability and power that these techniques can offer, not many are taught the secrets. There are a few who managed to learn the secrets without somebody teaching or passing them over.
It's however a wrong assumption to think that everybody that has been trained or is training in this secret way of the Hon clan that they will gain access to learn the Hidden techniques. Other than that the user needs to know the secrets of the techniques, there are also other requirements that enables or disables one to master the technique. But even so, the way of this old training offers more than just these deadly techniques. It offers mostly a person how to manage to understand themselves better and thus can't only be considered useful for just combat uses.
As with having their own stronghold and place, the Hon need to defend it with their might from any potential enemies. The clan has been known before the foundation of the hidden villages to be a fierce clan, taking up arms against other strong clans and managing to drive some away or raiding them on occasion. This history and the feats of the clan brought forth a great sense of pride in many of the Hon clan members, which is still present in the majority of it's members and their culture.
While the Hon clan doesn't hold honour in high regard, they view loyalty as one of the most important virtue. Even while they are often more self-focused, in the clan it is a grave thing to break one's word of loyalty to another. It is part of how Hon's are being raised. During their youths, they aren't directly inspired to praise the individualism but are learned that the group can be stronger if an effort is put to work together. This doesn't mean that the Hon culture disregard individualism as a bad thing. In fact, they do encourage self-focus, as long it doesn't hurt the bond the 'pack' nor bring it a bad spot. From this virtue, it has led that many Hons were more fond of dying at the side of their leaders than to yield. Of course, this is just in general. There are always a few who take it either too far or simply don't view loyalty as high as the majority of the culture and clan. There are various stories and myths on how those who broke their loyalty would face their end with their own weapons betraying them - by breaking for example, and with a big chance of not being allowed into the halls of the ancestors.
The carrier of the White Blade, a blade that is passed down the clan from father to son, is regarded as an honourable position in the clan. Previous owners of the White Blade are known to be fierce and brave protectors of the clan's name and honour. The blade is seen as an heirloom of the whole clan, making it pass down another if the previous owner of the White Blade had no children that were trained or interested in becoming the next. It is considered an honour to be the carrier of the White Blade as many see the person who wields it as a promising defender of the clan and culture of the Hon. There are some stories who state that as long as the blade is carried and used by a Hon, that there will be always some hope.
The Dance of Sashes
Many girls that come of age - around eighteen - in the clan start to wear a sash around their waist. Around this age, the youngsters often venture more out to taverns and such establishments. When a Hon is interested in another, they approach the young woman and slowly reach out for the sash. This is silently requesting a dance. If the young woman doesn't accept, she takes it away from him. And he has to go away, for it will be a grave incursion to keep holding on. If she allows the person to keep holding the sash, this means that she doesn't mind to share a dance or admits her interest in return.
Rite of Age
The Hon clan has several ways on how a member of the clan can become seen as an adult or one with the wisdom or such traits of an adult. This includes battle prowess. Seeing that the clan has the Wolf as a mascot and that most are born with the affinity for Lightning jutsu, one of the rites of coming to age is the Lightning Release: Running Beast Technique. There are other ways to go about. For example, when a member of the clan can impress the leader it's not strange that they can pass the rite of age, by being called Wolf by the current leader.
For the non-shinobi, it's often the age of 18 and able to take care of themselves when they pass the Rite Of Age.
In the past, the clan had a far more grim, crude and cruel rite of Age. Though the Hon clan sees the Wolf as a strong, cunning and worthy animal as the symbol of their clan, there was once in the older days where a young member could put to the test. This test was where one would be thrown literally into the wilds. With nothing more than a knife they were tasked to find, hunt and kill a wolf. Then to bring the canines of the fierce predator back to their parents to show them that they were worthy of such a trophy.
Though it sounds easy for a trained shinobi, the person isn't allowed to use ninjutsu or anything else but his own skill, wit and that knife. In order to make sure that the person doesn't cheat, they are often watched by an experienced Hon. In case one cheats, they will be condemned by it for quite some time.
Old Warrior Greeting
Though only used mostly by good friends and comrades in arms, a Hon that doesn't greet with a handshake but by grabbing the person's wrist. Doing so, they acknowledge the other person's strength and ability, as well respecting them enough to make such a gesture. It is an old warrior tradition of the Hon clan that isn't much used in these times.
Gaining a Direwolf
A dire wolf raised in the Hon clan are high valued by the members of the clan. They aren't many in numbers but are the living symbol of the clan. Although fierce combatants, a dire wolf companion is shown to be a highly sociable animal, and though not capable of speech, they can clearly respond to speech with growls, whines, barks and several other actions that demonstrate intelligent comprehension. This led to the saying that they are smart enough to listen but wiser to not speak. They are the embodiment of loyalty and crafty fighters. There are more than enough tales the describe their loyalty to their masters, some even telling how one would avenge their masters years after they passed away. Thus, they can either be a great ally or a dangerous foe.
Once a person has proven him or herself worthy, they are being allowed to gain a Dire wolf. This is a relative easy thing to do. All one needs to do is to visit the 'Den'. The place where the pups of the Dire Wolves are being raised and sheltered. The person that is allowed to have one doesn't just pick one. Instead they are being brought in a hall of the Den, where the caretakers will release the pups. There, the person is meant to kneel and wait for one of the pups to sit in front of him and stay there with the person. If the pup stays long enough with the person, then it will be acknowledged that the dire wolf pup has chosen the person to be it's master. This process is called imprinting.
While there are various and different clans who consider nobility quite different from leadership, the Hon culture views the two 'concepts' more or less the same. A leader that inherits leadership without providing skill or capabilities to lead isn't a leader in the eyes of the Hon. A leader is somebody who can, like say, lead the charge. Who tackles the problem(s ) of the people. If a leader in charge isn't capable of this then it is believed that his people are justified to overthrow that respective leader, even if it requires shedding blood. While there are a few lineages that are considered noble, a leader in the way of the Hon clan is somebody who has proven himself other than just being born into the leadership.
Titles and Ranks within the Clan
Within the Hon clan, there are various ranks, which details the place of the person who holds the certain position or title.
While the Hon clan was officially grouped together under the leadership of Hisho Hon, the clan does have a long history and the scattered groups of Hon Houses had overall the same folklore and myths that made it possible for them to unite as one big clan. Though some myths and legends might have some meaning or a historical truth behind it, most are told to give away on how to explain certain things. Such as how night and day came to be and other yet unexplained phenomenons.
The Hon culture is one where ancestors and revered heroes of the past are held in high regards. Though they don't worship or pray in general to these figures. They hold them in high respect and often show them an homage, that can vary with each family and even on individual base. The folklore and myths are simply used as to explain how it is important to be patient or follow some virtues or in other cases explaining how the world they live in came to be. In terms of culture, the Hon are often a proud and distant people. They often 'demand' somebody to show that they are worthy of respect, causing those who don't either know them well enough or having a bad opinion that they are an arrogant folk. But once gained their respect, most Hon's are quite loyal and great allies.
The Hon clan isn't mainly focused on bringing forth the best shinobi. As always they have been quite focused on bringing forth capable people in all kind of fields in the military, but mostly warriors and soldiers on foot that are eager to prove their worth and valour. With a long history of conflict with various other clans and factions, it's not a surprise to see that the Hons eventually started to adopt some methods and manners of old rivals and foes in order to ensure that they would continue to survive in this grim world. The clan does take a certain pride in their arms and armor, which has been boosted as quite prestigious units such as the Sworn Sword have adopted some of the designs used and made by the clan.
The Hon military is organised in the system of leiðangr. Each male that reaches the age of thirteen will be required to train at least three days in a week, for several hours. Not only in how to handle a weapon but also to build up finesse and stamina. Each warrior is oath-bound to serve their superior and rallied when the leiðangr is issued. Depending on the rank of the superior and other factors, the number of warriors rallied can vary heavily. A hersir will likely not be able to raise the same amount for his warband like a jarl will be able.
The leiðangr was once, in the early days of the Warring Clans Era and before, issued for seasonal excursions and in defence. Over the course of history, it became more of a staying conscription as it would be allowed by various developments - larger population, better farming technology and techniques and such. But much like in the old days, the leiðangr law forces nobility to keep a number of capable fighters underneath their command. The size of each warband that a place can provide depends on its size and resources but a superior can demand a certain amount, at any time.
Once the leiðangr is being issued, the various warbands will stick together. Led by their own leaders, there is usually a tight loyalty within the unit of the same place. Friends, kin and acquaintances from the same village or city fight together as a unit, often creating a strong cohesion that otherwise requires other fighting forces a long time to achieve.
he Hon clan is quite focused on military endeavours. From the time of the Warring Clan period, there have been many changes to the military system and troops of the Hon clan. Starting as raiders and pillagers, the majority of their soldiers and shinobi were more fierce than well armoured and armed. This started to progress to a more professional military system over time as the clan became more experienced in waging war and doing battle with and against other clans and factions. With their military becoming more professional, the Hon factions started to invest more effort into making their armour and arms better. The militant minded people started soon to gain success with their raids and even against other. Eventually, with the unification of the clan, the Hons started to focus on creating disciplined soldiers and shinobi. Most of the Akinian military enjoys influence from the Hon clan, both through their tactics, armour and weaponry designs as well leading officers.
- Armoured Wolves
A specialised unit that focuses on the use of weaponry while clad in heavier armour. The Armoured Wolves are a kendo orientated unit that has taken a more samurai kind of influence in their gear and weaponry. It is the only Hon clan unit that seems to specialise in weapons that require being wielded with two hands. Wielding swords and axes they are an excellent shock-troop that is capable of smashing through ranks of less disciplined foes in order to break their morale or give an opening for other troops. Often the members of this unit decorate their armour with a symbol of the wolf, as some believe that bring them a sort of luck. In the past, this used to be exclusive to the most wealthy Hons who could afford strong and reliable armour. These days it's more organised by the clan and supported by the state to field a good number of them.
- Dire Wolves
unit of Hons that fight together with dire wolves. Most members of this specialised unit are paired with one dire wolf, though it's not that strange to see a person with two or even three. There are stories of members who had even five, but most find that hard to believe to be true. The origin of the unit and the dire wolves themselves lie in the relation that the Hons have with the Inuzuka clan. Seeing how many of that clan uses hounds for combat and hunting, the Hons decided to try to use dire wolves for the same purpose due to their admiration and respect for the canines.
It took many generations and understanding before the Hon's were able to breed the beasts that are respected and admired today in the clan. Though the population of tame dire wolves isn't large, which means that not every Hon or family have a dire wolf in their midst. Most of these wolves can't speak, but are prized highly in the Hon clan for their intellect, cunning and strength. Some even say that they are smart enough to listen but even wiser to not speak. There are many a legend and myth regarding these fierce animals, often telling about their loyalty towards their masters to the bitter end. A known saying is that dire wolves are smart enough to understand what you say but wise enough to let actions instead of words speak. In battle, this unit is mostly used to harass the enemy light infantry or move in as support for the cavalry. Many members of the unit cover their dire wolves with kaddis. A special warpaint to create a scent that makes horses nervous and cause the creatures often seem more fierce and surreal, invoking thus a psychological fright into their enemies.
- Foot companions
The troops that form Foot companions are trained and drilled to become experts with the long pike called sarissa to form a phalanx formation. The phalanx is a rectangular mass military formation, designed to stop and combat both infantry as cavalry foes. The sarissa, made of tough and resilient cornel wood, is a very heavy for a spear, weighing approximately 5.5 kg (12 lb) to 6.5 kg (14 lb). It has a sharp iron head shaped like a leaf and a bronze butt-spike that will allow it to be anchored to the ground to stop charges by enemy soldiers. The bronze material of the butt-spike prevents it from rusting. The spike also serve to balance out the spear, making it easier for soldiers to wield, and can be used as a backup point should the main one break The sheer bulk and size of the sarissa required the soldiers to wield it with both hands, allowing them to carry only a 60 cm (24 in) shield suspended from the neck to cover the left shoulder. It's great length is an asset against other soldiers bearing shorter weapons, as they have to get past the sarissas to engage the foot companions. However, outside the tight formation of the phalanx, the sarissa is of limited utility as a weapon and a hindrance on the march. As such, it is usually composed of two lengths and was joined by a central bronze tube only before a battle. The Foot companions are usually armoured in heavy metal equipment as they aren't supposed and as a unit designed for rapid movement on the field. Most of them carry short swords or other one-handed armed in case they are forced to face an enemy up close or unable to use their sarissa - due to being too much damaged.
The phalanx formation done by the Foot Companions would provide the scenario that an enemy had to deal five full rows of sarissa pikes, ready to be stabbed - meaning that if an enemy got past the first row, there were still four more to deal with. The back rows bear their sarissa upwards in readiness, which serves the additional purpose of deflecting incoming arrows.
While the Foot companions have been a great asset for the military of the Hon clan both in the past and present they have one glaring weakness. Their flexibility. Where they are a deadly formation when faced on, they will break and lose a battle pretty fast when being outflanked. For this purpose, the Foot companions need the support of other troops to safeguard their flanks while advancing or in battle.
- Wolf Guard
The elite of the Hon shinobi and soldiers. These are the most loyal and considered some of the smartest, most cunning and best fighters the Hon clan has. They can come from both the Noble as the common branch of the clan. This unit has as the most important task of protecting prominent members of the clan as well locations that are considered highly important for the clan.
The Grey Guards are in essence the Shinobi force of the Hon clan. While the Hon clan had shinobi in service and trained their own shinobi before the unification of their clan, the Grey Guards are the shinobi corps within the clan after Hisho's reforms. While somewhat obscure for those who aren't really close or familiar with the Hon clan, the Watchers have a clear reputation within their own clan. They are known for their silence - both in approach and literally not saying a word in public service - and discipline. Garbed in dark grey, they have worked in the shadow for the better of the Hon clan ever since their organisation has been formed.
Mixed, seen between as rivals and enemies of old. A clear modicum of respect is shown to the Uchiha at near all times.
The Uchiha's prowess in battle and politics is one source for the Hons to consider them both a threat as a source of worthy foes. The fame and skill that many Uchihas have and had in the past have always been a driving force for most of the Hon clan to try to combat it with their own - for better or worse. While there is some resentment towards the Uchiha, the majority of the Hons consider them to be worthy opponents on the field of battle - something that led that they were more than eager to join the war of the Tokuwaga against the Hanta and Uchiha clans. The diplomatic attempts of Daisuke Uchiha, the Second Hokage, to reconcile indirectly with the Hon clan and make them more open to supporting the Konohagakure administration during his tenure did remove some of the tension. Yet Daisuke did fail to remove the idea that the Uchiha are the number one rivals of the Hon clan or being a threat to the hegemony of the Hon clan over what they consider their sphere of influence.
- The Hyuzu Clan
Currently, there is a clear respectful and some sort of friendly rivalry between the two clans.
The history of the Hyuzu and Hon clan is one of long ago, but with clear effects on the present. In the older days when the Hon clan conducted raids on other clans and regions, they also clashed often with the Hyuzu clan. Being often the aggressors, the Hon clan attempted a few campaigns to bring the Hyuzu to heel. The results, however, weren't that fruitful as the Hyuzu kept them at a stalemate. From this, a certain warrior respect and rivalry came into existence that is still noticeable today.
- The Sarutobi Clan
Allies, seen as close as kin.
Due to a long history of cooperation (and some conflict), the respect that the Sarutobi and Hon have for each other seems almost natural. With similarities between the Hon and Sarutobi, it is no surprise that the clans are quite close.
Due to a long history of cooperation (and some conflict) the respect that the Inuzuka and Hon have for each other seems almost natural.
- The Nimatsu Clan
The Nimatsu and Hon clan history is one of bloodshed and conflict. Twice have the clans faced off against each other and while the most of the younger generation have no ill will against each other, there is some bad blood in the old generation. While the current leaders seem to respect each other and with the Empress declaring that fighting between clans wouldn't accept, the old conflict between the Hawk and Wolf seems to be over.
- The Cho Clan
Allies, seen as close as kin.
With the marriage between the Cho and Hon clan leader, the relation between the Hon and Cho's seems to prosper, like before. The clans are already interacting quite a lot due to trade as they also share a lot of similarities between one and another.
- The Hyuuga Clan
Most Hon's aren't bothered with the fact that the Hyuuga dislike them. Some even view it as a result that the Hyuuga are simply envious of the Hon clan as they can boast a same great amount of tradition and history, where they have brought forth more prominent people than the 'eye bulge'ers', thus not needing to view them as a rival.
- The Homura Dynasty
Stark loyal, viewed as kin.
The Homura dynasty is seen in the eyes of the Hon clan as a cadet branch. Even so, the Hon don't view themselves on the Imperial throne because of their connection to the dynasty.
- The Hanta Clan
The Hanta clan is a clan that doesn't bring much heated or another kind of emotions up with the majority of the Hon clan. They aren't considered in particular weak, surviving two wars and managing to control a large portion of their original lands, but they aren't considered friends or much as enemies by the Hon clan.
- The Yamanaka Clan
The Yamanaka seers that live and serve in various holds of the Hon clan have earned the Yamanaka clan a good name and reputation among the Hons. It has caused that the Hons never dared to raid or raise a weapon against the Yamanaka in order to preserve the right to have some of their seers working for them. While there are enough Hons who have some doubts about a Yamanaka, or at least a not-Chonobi, performing rituals or meddling in the affairs of the ancestors, there hasn't been any loud (vocal) resistance against the Yamanaka seers or relation with the Yamanaka clan.