Real quick-like post here today, just wanted to make the map I cobbled together available to everyone before I forget to. If there are any existing or cannon maps of Nami no Kuni I’ve never seen any so I put one together to help me visualize Tsukuyomi’s country.

Like the palace I posted a bit ago it’s not the best design by far but it serves its purpose in helping me keep track of things. I tried to stick to the way I described things in earlier chapters (pre-136) when arranging things so hopefully everything still makes sense.

In 136-B Naruto is discussing the development of Nami no Kuni and sets certain areas off-limits. The various zones I scribbled onto this map here-

-Which is quite litterally just the other picture exported with an additional layer. Probably not easy to read because they were supposed to be notes for myself but if you’re really interested in the various areas I can either relabel them or you can match them up- roughly- to the descriptions in 136-B.

That’s about all I have for you today, I’ll see you all for the next Commentary.

I remain,

-Eyazahrid

While finishing off chapter 134 I found myself needing to sketch out a basic floorplan of Tsukuyomi’s palace so I could better visualize everything. Well, not the whole floorplan- that doesn’t really matter at the moment- but I at least needed the top floor of the palace which serves as Tsukuyomi’s personal floor and has everything he needs for his stay.

I only made one complete sketch (my very first start had the front of the palace facing the other way and I decided I didn’t want the face to be just a flat wall) which is shown above and it’s about as rough as you can expect. It’s a me sort of floorplan- so it doesn’t make much sense- but I did want to at least try to include a Japanese feel which for the most part escaped me.

I am most certainly not an architect in any sense of the word.

There’s a good chance you can’t read what I have on there due to both the size of the text and the fact that my handwriting is horrendous but don’t worry, I’ll clear it up further down.

In the last scene of 134-B I also introduced the idea that the Wolves were going to be trying to come up with a flag for Tsukuyomi. I’ll admit, I’ve had it planned for a while now and the sketch has been pinned to my board for the better part of the last few months just waiting to be used. I’ll include some of the reasoning behind the design in the coming chapter (Should just be in 135 for the most part, though it may make a brief appearance later too) but because I brought it with me to the kitchen table in case I needed it to finish off 124 (I didn’t) I also took the opportunity to snap a quick picture of it.

As you can see, this one was even more basic scratched out on a mini legal pad I picked up at a dollar store at some point. I had a basic idea for colors but I didn’t even know how they would look together. Naturally that meant I had to throw it into photoshop and try my new Drawing Pad in an attempt to justify such a pricey purchase.

My skills in photoshop- and art in general- leave much to be desired but I present to you a colorized version of Tsukuyomi’s flag;

I’ll be completely honest, too – I’m pretty sure this took me longer than touching up the floorplan did and I have no idea why. Like the sketch it’s pretty rough and if I were to do it again I’d probably lower the opacity to retain the traced sketch lines and make it feel less than a third-grade art project on Microsoft Paint but at least I get to see how the colors look together now. It’s not too horrible but I probably could have used better shades (especially the full black background, dark grey would have been better) and making the yellow circle (it was supposed to be gold and that was somehow the closest I managed) being bigger would have served as a good barrier between the elements of the flag and the solid background.

Personally I think it looks better uncoloured but that might just mean I chose bad colors. If you have better suggestions feel free to let me know and I’ll see if I can find the time to open this mini-project up again.

Now, I’ve already shown the first sketch of the palace floorplan but as I mentioned earlier I did go ahead and touch that one up first. Initially I just went over the lines and moved one of the lists (simplified because I only have so much room and it needed to be large enough to be visible) slightly. You can still see the original clearly as I only traced elements in the following picture but even just doing that seemed to improve it tremendously in my opinion, especially when it came to the front-facing picture in the bottom right.

And then because I could (and because I’ve been unusually productive today for some reason I daren’t question lest it escape me) I went ahead and colored it too.

Tried to keep it nice and simple so I didn’t fuck it up too badly and I think I did a semi-decent job at showing what I wanted to. You’ll note the numbers on the rooms now which allows me to list everything here instead of trying to write legibly on the picture itself and overcrowding the image.

  1. Tsukuyomi’s Private Chambers
  2. Tsukuyomi’s Private Sitting Room
  3. Tsukuyomi’s Private Library
  4. Tsukuyomi’s Office
  5. Prince’s Chambers
  6. Formal Dining Room, Private
  7. Servant Supplies and Workroom
  8. Upper Floor Sitting Room/ Library
  9. Kakashi’s Quarters
  10. Anko’s Quarters
  11. Hanabi’s Quarters
  12. Mai’s Quarters
  13. Sai’s Quarters
  14. Hana’s Quarters
  15. Tsunami’s Quarters
  16. Wolves’ Barracks

Actually had quite a bit of fun refining the pictures- or attempting to, anyway- so maybe I’ll start doing more side projects like this when I need to visualize something in the story or need a break from writing. If there’s something specific you’d like to see please let me know, though with how bad I can be at people I probably won’t even try to sketch any of the characters.

Until I next have your attention,

-Eyazahrid

It’s not often that I read a story in which Yagura sticks around long enough to develop a personality and with Sealkeeper’s recent arc in Mizu no Kuni I’ve taken the opportunity to platy around with his character a bit.

The first thing I had to do was determine what kind of person might do the things he did in cannon when Obito was no longer a part of the equation. There were several answers to that, of course, but one that just felt right was a man of order and control who is simply unable to cope with the chaos of the outside world.

That desire for organization and a focus on his thoughts about administrating the country he rules also served to make him similar to Naruto which I quite liked.

Reading chapter 96 and 97 I’m sure you can see that they are pretty similar but there is a very big difference that keeps them from getting along- how they deal with change and emotion.

Yagura is very steadfast in his ways, stubborn and unyielding. He has his own visions on how the world should spin around him and he does whatever he can to enforce his personal laws and beliefs upon everyone he can.

Naruto, in this case, is the exact opposite. Naruto is flexible, adaptable, and will not think twice about dropping what he’s working on to address something that pops up unexpectedly. It’s not neat, it’s not organized, and despite all his attempts to reign it in it’s best described as chaos.

Regardless of how similar they might be in their cruelty, administration, and willingness to go to any length for their goals the two conflict in how they react to situations and why they react.

Yagura only recognizes two emotions, irritation and satisfaction. He is a creature of habit and a being of his own twisted logic, an unyielding machine driven by a need for things to be ‘right’.

Naruto has the reverse problem, allowing emotions like fear, anger, love, loss, and his greatest weakness pride to control his actions. Whatever has the largest emotional weight at any given time is given first priority, everything else cast aside until it’s resolved.

Neither method is correct, and neither way of thinking is necessarily healthy. Naruto could benefit from being able to look at situations more objectively, setting aside feelings to determine what’s best for the future of his Wolves while Yagura would be amazed at how well things go for him if he managed to care for his village, his country, and the men under his command.

Both are, most simply, wrong and both see their weaknesses in eachother.

Yagura cannot abide the chaotic drive of Naruto who storms into Mizu no Kuni without warning to ensure his forces are safe and Naruto is unable to allow himself to be so restricted in his actions by personal choice that his Wolves become nothing more than numbers on a report.

Were their beliefs not so opposed on that one front than there is no doubt that the two of them would get along very well and the rest of the world would have great cause to worry. Because they see their own weaknesses and aspects they hate in eachother their similarities do little more than remind them of what they are not and what they never want to be.

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love it. Having them so similar but so incompatible that they could never manage to work with eachother for long amuses me greatly and provides excellent opportunities for the story.

Opportunities you may be seeing pretty soon.

Until I next have your attention,

Eyazahrid

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.

________________________________

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