Ladies and Gentlemen,
Path of Shadows, Path of Lights
A Naruto Story
Konohagakure, the Village Hidden in the Leaves. For seventy-five years, it has stood strong since its' foundation by Hashirama Senju and his enemy-turned-rival-and-friend Madara Uchiha.
In the reign of Hashirama, its' first Hokage from the years 0 - 10 SG (Sengoku-go; literally "After Warring States Era"), it survived the tumultuous addition of several powerful clans in the decade after its' foundation. The First's Era would come to an end after Madara, who had left the village after a falling-out with Hashirama, returned with the hypnotized Nine-Tailed Fox Beast under her control and laid siege to the village. Hashirama emerged victorious after a battle against Madara that carved away mountains, rerouted rivers and permanently altered the geography of Northwest Fire Country. After killing his rival, who was rumored to be the only woman he had ever harbored feelings for, Hashirama abdicated to his younger brother and soon afterwards died in a border skirmish; rumor has it that he was but a dead man walking by the time he was slain, and may have even died intentionally.
Under the Second, Tobirama Senju, Konoha was rapidly modernized. For a while, all seemed well despite the deaths of both founders. But then a war broke out between the Five Great Shinobi Villages after Kumo's economy declined due to Konoha's modernization, prompting them to attack. After fifteen years as Hokage, Tobirama died in battle against the Gold and Silver Brothers of Kumo in the year 25 SG, but not before nominating his student Hiruzen Sarutobi as the Third Hokage.
In Hiruzen's reign as Hokage, Konoha recovered from the First War (which ended in 27 SG), only to plunge into the Second a scant twenty years later. By this time, Hiruzen had trained a team of three ninja himself - one of them the granddaughter of his sensei, Tobirama. During this war, the team faced off with and survived Hanzo of the Salamander, leader of Amegakure - a small nation that was caught in a three-way war with Suna, Konoha and Iwa - and were dubbed the "Sannin" - Tsunade Senju, Orochimaru and Jiraiya. A country called the Land of the Sky also emerged at this time, but they were destroyed by the other warring nations, who settled for peace shortly after their alliance against Sky ended.
Once again, peace lasted, but just as Hiruzen was considering stepping down, war broke out again, this time between Suna and Iwa. Before long, all five nations were drug in again, with Iwa, Kumo and Kiri on one side, and Konoha, Suna and a handful of smaller villages on the other, including Uzushiogakure, which was crushed by the Kumo-Kiri-Iwa alliance and a smaller village known as Nami. Konoha retaliated shortly afterwards, and Nami (as well as the entire Land of the Sea) ceased to exist.
During this time, a number of new legends were created - Man-Mountain Kitsuchi, Steam-Armor Han, Red-Beard Roshi and Blast-Fist Gari from Iwa, Byakugan-Killer Ao and the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist from Kiri, Red-Sand Sasori and Gold-Dust Rasa from Suna, the A and B Brothers from Kuma, and Copy Ninja Kakashi, Yellow Flash Minato and Body-Flicker Shisui from Konoha, to name a few. The war ended after a ceasefire with Iwa after a thousand shinobi were singlehandedly slaughtered by the Yellow Flash, making blonde the most hated hair color in Iwa for generations.
Six months after the war's end, in the year 60 SG, Hiruzen stepped down and named Minato Namikaze as the Fourth Hokage. The three years that followed hosted a baby boom and a mass rebuilding effort - the war was finally over! And then tragedy struck.
In October of 63 SG, the Nine-Tailed Fox attacked Konoha again. During its' rampage, four thousand people died, including the Fourth and his wife. But the fox was sealed away into a child, who grew up wild and rambunctious, despite his background as an orphan and the general hatred or apathy towards him thanks to his occupant. Naruto Uzumaki may have been an orphan, but despite the odds he still had a heart of gold. After the Kyuubi attack, things seemed well again for a few years.
Then, another tragedy. Almost the entirety of the Uchiha clan, one of the two clans that founded the village and had been present since the beginning, was slaughtered by a single member in one night in 71 SG. Her name? Itami Uchiha. The only member left alive was her younger sister Satsuki, who awoke the next morning in a puddle of her parents' blood. The orphaned girl was immediately placed under protective guard as one of the only two Uchiha left alive, and the only one not to be a traitor to Konoha.
Now, it is the year 75 SG. The past four years have been rather quiet, which has spooked a number of more nervous shinobi, despite the general public opinion. Who knows what will come next? Will this peace remain, or will it shatter even more violently than previous periods of peace? As the grindstone of fate turns, this story as old as memory itself unfolds...on both a path of shadows and a path of lights.