Naruto: High-Priest of Aū

Warning – Possible Spoilers

The following post relates to an ongoing plot element in Sealkeeper: He Who Binds and may spoil future revelations within the story. If you do not wish to know the author’s thoughts on the matter please skip to the end where I will provide a brief, spoiler-free recap of this post.

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Figured I’d better get this done as soon as possible before I forget about it and have to rush last-minute. There has been some expression of confusion surrounding Naruto and his position as High-Priest so I thought I’d take a moment to go over it.

First, this is not a new thing. The Amulet of Aū was first seen in Chapter 18 ‘Hinata no Mikoto’ and Naruto first made us of it at the end of Chapter 29 ‘Child of Aū‘. The very first serpent he summoned to contact Orochimaru referred to him as High-Priest because he was the one in possession of the amulet.

So, what’s the story of the Amulet of Aū?

That’s a damn good question. It may take away from the experience, but the honest truth is that the recent chapters where I reintroduce the idea was simply a bout of inspiration I decided to follow. Sort of like Mai’s doubt but not universally hated.

I’m going to break this post down into two sections, what I know about the situation and what has actually been covered in the chapters. I’ll be doing them in that order too so that anyone not wanting to read spoilers doesn’t have as large a risk.

First, the Amulet of Aū is a legendary item, closer to Orochimaru’s Kusanagi than Mōryō’s Tooth in status. Aū’s High-Priest was given this as a show of status. Unlike the priestesses who all shared a bloodline the amulet was passed down at the High-Priest’s discretion. If they died before it changed hands Aū would decide who received it next.

As for Aū, he is the Golden Serpent God of the Sun- which is only somewhat ironic considering his High-Priest is using the name of the Moon Deity.

But Eyazahrid, Amaterasu is the Goddess of the Sun!

Aū is intended to be more raw and primal than the Shinto gods, a deity that has been around since long before any creation story and who would have watched them all play out. One might go as far as to say that Aū is above the other gods and that it is by his grace that Amaterasu is allowed to continue calling herself the Sun Goddess.

One can also say that Amaterasu is the goddess of the sun but Aū is the sun.

I kind of like that explanation, actually, considering the moon of the Naruto-verse contains the body of the Jūbi {At least, I think I recall that. I gave up partway into the Fourth Shinobi War and have only a very basic idea of what happened during and after}. It’s got a nice sense of balance to it.

But Eyazahrid, which is it?

Well, having just typed it up and rather liking it it’s now the second one. Like I said earlier I don’t really know the full story because I haven’t gotten to it yet. Until the last two chapters it hasn’t really mattered because Naruto had only used the Amulet once.

Even so, I do have some ideas for the amulet that may or may not end up official Sealkeeper Cannon- and isn’t that an odd concept?- that I’ll place here for you to look over. if you really like something let me know, it will have a better chance of not being scrapped when I second guess my ideas.

Aū and his children {The Golden Serpents} are not actually summons. Despite being summonable through the Amulet of Au they aren’t like the toads, slugs, or even the snakes of the summoning realm. Instead, like their father, the golden serpents are Kami, albeit far lesser spirits than their father.

As for the mother? At this point I’m thinking they were either spawned from sunbeams or that Amaterasu was their mother and carried the children of Aū in return for being allowed to be the Sun Goddess.

Oh, that sounds pretty good. I kind of like it. She already avoids her brother/husband after he slew her friend- I covered this at the end of chapter 85 ‘Amaterasu’ or you can look up the story of Tsukuyomi and Uke Mochi – so maybe after that happened she began to do her duty to Aū and gave birth to his children.

I’m really liking this. Hell, with her being ‘human’ I now kind of want to introduce Yuan-Ti to the Naruto-verse serving Naruto the High-Priest. Elder Children of the Golden Serpent? Sounds almost like a book on its own, or maybe a 5E Campaign Setting. Might have to steal that for my campaign, actually.

And yes, I’m just making all this up now as I write it down. You are seeing my thought process as accurately as it can be expressed in writing.

Lucky you.

Continuing on, with these serpents being spirits it does support the sense of divinity Naruto has been building up around him. When he uses the Amulet of Au he is a vessel for divine powers, powers that haven’t been evoked in a very long time.

What will this mean for Naruto in the future? I’m not sure but it’s going to be a lot of fun finding out. Hmm, Wolf Cult, Sheep Cult, and now a Serpent Cult? I’m detecting a pattern.

The Great Elder Serpent Koshi Nii-sama, featured in chapter 93 ‘Double ‘, is actually one of Aū’s children and the progenitor of the Snake Summons. His name- Koshi – is a reference to the Yamata no Orochi which was called the “eight-forked serpent of Koshi” in the Orochi myth.

For those wondering where Aū’s name comes from, Au is the chemical symbol of gold. I just added the fancy ” Ū ” at the end.

We’ll leave those ideas alone for a bit and move on to what has been covered already in the posted chapters for those not entirely sure.

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The following section is certified as Spoiler-Free by the Eyazahrid Enterprises Quality Assurance Team to contain only material already covered in publicly released chapters of ‘Sealkeeper: He Who Binds‘.

The EEQUAT is not responsible for your curiosity getting the better of you and forcing you to scroll up to non-certified sections of this document.

Alright, to clarify matters of Naruto’s status as High-Priest I’ll be including things that have been covered in the story so far below. If you were curious about other aspects of Aū and his children in Sealkeeper: He Who Binds you may scroll back up, though you risk spoilers if you do.

The Amulet of Au first appeared in Chapter 18 ‘Hinata no Mikoto’ .

It was first used in Chapter 29 ‘Child of Aū‘.

The serpent summoned at the end of Chapter 29 first addressed Naruto as “High-Priest”.

The Amulet of Au requires blood to be rubbed over its surface, much like the Kuchiyose no Jutsu. The blood is absorbed during the summoning. A secondary requirement for the summoning is that the light of the sun must shine on the amulet. <S:HWB C22-TPM>

In addition to allowing one to summon the “Children of Aū” those who wear the amulet are safe from serpents, even those commanded by a snake summoner. <S:HWB C22-TPM>

Naruto’s second summoning of a golden serpent – Chapter 91 ‘Purple Pineapple’ – lead to him learning that Aū had been watching him and was eager to see what he was going to do.

Naruto received the Amulet in Chapter 22 ‘The Pieces Move ‘ and does not fully understand what it is. Orochimaru, while slightly more informed due to their dealing with the Snake Summons, also does not know the full weight of the gift they gave Naruto.

The Snake Summons hold a deep respect for Aū, his children, and his High-Priest as shown by Koshi and, in a way, Manda. Manda does not believe that there is a High-Priest and instead thinks Orochimaru is trying to deceive him.

Despite that, we learn from Manda that the original bloodline of Aū’s priestesses – which we can assume was originally a hereditary position – was lost long ago and the priestesses afterwards ended up falling away from the faith. There has not been a High-Priest in a very long time. <S:HWB C93-D>

Due to the original possession of the Amulet of Aū, it is quite possible that Orochimaru’s previous body was a descendant of either the original priestesses- the bloodline found- or one of those who abandoned their duties. Even Orochimaru would not know which it was, if they had any relation to the priestesses at all. <S:HWB C18-HNM>

It is entirely likely they just came into possession of a pretty piece of jewelry.

The only one who would be able to say either way would be Aū himself, but they have yet to make a direct appearance in the story thus far.

I hope that by bringing the details we know about Aū and his children into a single document it has helped paint a clearer picture of the situation and has prompted you to consider all the ways it may factor into future chapters. I have found myself rather excited about all the avenues we might explore going forward and am eager to try implementing some of them.

If you like any of the ideas I’ve mentioned here and wish to use them- specifically those dealing with Aū as mentioned in the non-cannon section- you are more than welcome to so long as you give credit and let me know so I can check your story out.

I’d love to see how you make use of Aū and his children in the Naruto-verse.

Or, perhaps, even in other fandoms.

Until I next have your attention,

Eyazahrid

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