The Great War in a large summary. It is a conflict that left its mark on a lot of clans, regions and people. While some see it as the conflict that would herald the start of a more unified and organised system for the participating countries - both in terms of military and economic organisation - it is widely considered as a dreadful time. Not very surprising seeing that on each participating side many losses were sustained.
The beginning of what was to become the largest conflict in history. The Great War did not suddenly ignite from a rapid series of events. Rather, it began slowly. Tensions rose as skirmishes between rival territories broke out along the borders. Trade dispute across nations was the first spark of the fire, and soon territory rights were dragged in. Political disputes boiled over into military action. The first formal battle of the Great War was seventeen years before the Roleplay's date started when Wind country scouts encountered a legion of the Earth Country within their border. Surely, the other nations were dragged in one way or another. The Fire Country, led by powerful figures such as Daisuke Uchiha, Jinkama Moto, and Elder Koi, moved their forces along the border to prevent the spread of the Wind-Earth conflict from spilling onto their land. This was misinterpreted as a sign of war, causing both sides to advance upon the nation. The Lightning country's military, led by the mysterious Genmyou and the eclectic Waki Sanosuke, took advantage of the distraction to move forces on the Earth Country, their long-standing trade rival. The Water Country was the final nation to enter the war, led by Shouji Suzu and Fumiyo Nagano, entering the war as an attempt to expand territory, though they were initially short of the Seven Swordsmen due to their eradication prior.
The early battles had mostly consisted of small formations of squads fighting over a key road or strategically important village. By now, however, most key locations had a "permanent" owner, so the scale of warfare began to grow. After all, the attacking force would need larger numbers than the defending. It was around this time the war started to get particularly bloody. The Fire Country was fighting a three front war, defending from nearly all sides. This kept their line from shifting as they had to focus solely on the defensive. As well, two generals were lost around this time, leaving the Fire Country's situation looking rather grim. However, a young Zakito Hon and Nakashima Senju began making names for themselves at this time. As well, the Lightning country began to see a rising star in Jinyaru Sanosuke. Speaking of, the Lightning country began to put into motion the early stages of an alliance with the Fire country, as the two nations were the only ones not combatting each other and had common interests. The Wind and Earth country began to lose their steam around this time, with the Wind being battered by the Fire and Earth country, while the Earth started being battered by its three neighbours. On the other side of the world, the forces of the Water country had begun to make great strides in their campaign, with a new gathering of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist and plenty of victories over their primary opponent: the Fire country. Around this time, the Rain country began to form it's own military force as an attempt to pitch its territory from the warring nations around it, as recently they had begun encroaching upon it's territory. Though, its military was in only in its baby stages and stood next to no chance against any larger forces that wanted their way with the neutral Amegakure.
462 - 463 ADS.
The winding down of the war. The Wind was the first nation to resign from the war, having taken unsustainable losses and electing to avoid further. The Earth country was losing a war as well, with the allied forces of the Fire and Lightning country closing in they stood no chance but carried on. The front between the Fire and Water country had recently hit a stalemate at the siege of Magnhild, as the defending nation of the Fire finally got the chance to redirect the necessary forces. In this particular year, the First and Second Kazekage were killed, the First Tsuchikage was killed, the Second Hokage was killed, and the First Mizukage was killed. Many high ranking members on all sides met their ends, but no party was left leaderless. The Second Mizukage had been in charge since the start and continued with his plans, while a new Hokage and Tsuchikage were appointed. A new Kazekage was not appointed for another year. The Third Hokage, the young Zakito Hon mentioned before, was not formally inaugurated until after the war, so Jinkama Moto took control of Fire country's forces with the passing of the Second. With new leadership, the aggressive efforts of Jinkama Moto and Zakito Hon pushed the invasion forces of the Water country back into its own territory while their allies in the Lightning forced the Earth country to resign from the war.
The conclusion of the Great War. Every country but the Fire and Water country had resigned. The last few months of the war consisted of Fire country forces overpowering that of the Water country over and over again, beating them back to Kirigakure. The final battle of the war took place less than five kilometres from Kirigakure itself, where the Second Mizukage was killed. The war was now officially over with the resignation by Water Country, leaving the world a battered place. Many small villages had been destroyed in the process, and some of the major cities had even seen the damage. The loss of human life was incomprehensible at the time. Thousands had died over the four and a half years of war. The Third Hokage was formally brought in and a Third Kazekage was finally chosen. The balance of power had since shifted since the beginning, however, with the Wind country losing some of its territory and the Fire country asserting it's trading rights over other nations. The alliance with the Lightning country remained in place, making the two nations combined, a superpower of the western world. It would be over a decade before the alliance would be broken, which would cause another shift in the political landscape.
Around this time, an organisation known as Dragon Lotus began to take root. Initially formed by the deceased Second Hokage years ago, the group began recruiting veterans of the Great War almost immediately after it ended. The few who knew about the organisation before now didn't know who was in it anymore, due to the war altering its roster drastically due to casualties. It would be years before they made any notable acts, but this was the beginning of the modern group. As well, the new Hokage in Konoha formed a clandestine organisation of his own personal contacts known as the Hokage Guard. In Kirigakure, the beginning of an inwardly bloody feud across the city began, and their infamy of assassination business began to skyrocket following their defeat. The military of the Rain country has finally been properly established, allowing it to be capable of combatting its large neighbours, though it was too late to actively participate in the Shinobi World War itself.
Tensions had mostly settled by now. Though bitter resentment remained from the losing countries toward the Fire/Lightning country alliance. The Daimyo of all the nation gathered twice this year. The first time was to formally set up all agreements, to help prevent further warfare. Though, the meeting ended up becoming a heated debate and the results can be argued to be nonexistent. The second time was organized by an outside party in the form of Shoji Hakouten. Another attempt at patching up relations was made, as well as an attempt to head total disarmament from all parties by Shoji, but the negotiations ended the same as before. No progress was made, but at least things weren't made to be worse. Economies had begun to rebuild, and the various territories that managed to avoid the war were seeing the most of the profits being made. Particularly the Land of Iron. On the other end of the scale, shinobi dissent became an all-time high, with many shinobi leaving their villages from regret over the war. Though the rate was still marginally low, it was the highest it had ever been up until that point.