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Isle of Flightless Birds

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Now is the climax to the story, that gives the demons and angels purpose.

They fly around around while we are walking, and mold our emotions just to please them.

 

-Twenty One Pilots: The Isle of Flightless Birds

 

Prologue

 

They have been called many names over the centuries. Seraphim, Malachim, Valkyrie, but in the beginning, they were called the Ōtsutsuki. They were created by the gods to protect and guide mortals until their lifeforms expired and they were returned to the ground. Once passed on, their spirits were collected and fed to the God tree which gave them power. For thousands of years they did this, and with every passing year, they grew in power. They served the gods peacefully and worked together in harmony, guided by the leader of their kind. His name was Hagoromo and he had two sons.

 

Indra was the eldest, and Asura the second born. While they grew up, they each had developed their own unique powers and with those powers, they chose to use them to guide the mortals through their lives in different ways. Despite their different methods, they loved each other greatly and spent nearly all their time together. It seemed the brothers would always be at the others side for eternity. But their bond of brotherhood was broken by a single decision. When the time came for Hagoromo to choose a predecessor, it was Asuma, not Indra, that Hagoromo chose to lead their kind. Seen as an act of betrayal a divide was placed between the two brothers.  

A bitterness grew in Indra’s heart and where it once housed love, hatred became its inhabitant. He began to rebel by sabotaging the work that had been bestowed upon them as he sought out power for himself. Unhappy with his actions, the gods cursed Indra and cast him from the heavens. In fiery exile, he fell down to the mortal world like a meteor. When he hit the earth’s surface, he broke through its hardened shell and when he finally landed, he found himself encased in the darkness that lay beneath the ground. His once white and soft feathered wings, began to mult, and turn into hardened leather. No longer did they resemble pure innocence of a dove. Instead they took on the form of the other winged creatures the lurked in the darkness of caves. It was there in the cold shadows that he dwelt. And it was there, in the damp darkness, his hatred festered.

 

Soon a war waged between the two brothers. Their posterity became their armies and the earth, being the space between the sky and the underground, became their battlegrounds. For thousands of years the war went on even after the two brothers themselves died in their feud. New powers developed as new branches of their posterity sprung from their blood lines. From Indra, the Uchiha and Hyuga were the strongest. And from Asura,stemmed the Senju and Uzumaki. There were many others on each side, smaller branches that had their own unique powers and names. While they were all of the same kind, they began to distinguish themselves from one another. The fallen or the blessed. The mortals identified them with many labels, but the most common became angels and demons.    

 

The Uchiha, inherited not only Indra’s cursed bat wings but also his Sharingan. It was his most powerful weapon and therefore, they ruled over the fallen. They seduced young maidens and poisoned the minds of men. Corruption was their goal for it was long discovered that if a mortal passed on with a corrupted heart, their souls went to the underworld, giving those descended from Indra more power, and power was what they thirsted for.  

 

The Senju, having inherited great healing powers that the gods believed was the greatest gift in keeping the mortals safe, were granted hierarchy over the blessed. Their goal was to save the souls of mortals in hopes that they would resist the temptations of the fallen seraphim and return to their creators.  

 

War began to sweep across the lands and in its wake, pestilence and famine. As a result, the mortals began dying before their souls could be claimed by either side. With fewer souls claimed, the seraphim lost their purpose and without a purpose, they would cease to exist. So it was fate that a certain angel and a certain demon crossed paths.

 

Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju grew up on the battlefield. Breed to fight and taught to hate the other, they developed a rivalry with one another but it was not made of the same essence that fueled the feud between their kind. It was a friendly banter between the two and as they watched their friends and family die wastefully in the war, they began to become weary of the amount of loss in their lives. So a truce was made and an agreement was settled.   

 

The night was given to the fallen and the day was given to the blessed. Each was given twelve hours to do as they pleased with the mortals. At night the demons crept from the dark crevices of the earth to the surface. They moved about the earth, corrupting and sabotaging any noble values that any human possessed. By day the blessed would descend upon the earth and go about healing and guiding the humans. They would attempt to reverse the darkness that the fallen had managed to plant within their hearts and strengthen those who were still pure in heart. It was a brutal game of tug of war between that the mortals had been caught in but it made them stronger and restored a purpose for the seraphim.  

 

Hashirama and Madara created a dwelling on earth that served as neutral ground between the two factions of seraphim. They called it Konohagakure and within the lands, the mortals flourished. Once a year they would met together in a council and renew their peaceful accords.

 

As mortals thrived, they spread out across the earth, they explored and built great cities in new lands. Over the centuries, the seraphim followed and formed a new city to serve as their neutral territory. They were worshiped and known by many cultures around the world. Some humans even proclaimed them gods and built great temples and pyramids in their honor. But despite the many centuries that paused in easy peace, it was short lived when compared to the thousands of years they had waged war together. For when the gods cast Indra from the heavens, it was more than just his wings that were cursed but it was also his heart. It would come to be known as the curse of hatred.

 

Despite the respite of war between the seraphim, the accords were fragile and trust was brittle.  Both Madara and Hashirama lost many of their family, but they each still possessed a brother that survived the war. And each seraph loved their brother greatly.

 

Some said it was an accident that had led to the death of Izuna Uchiha, but whether it was an accident or intentional, there was one fact that stood true. It was Tobirama Senju, Hashirama’s younger brother that had caused Madara’s brother to fall to his demise. And it was that fact, that caused the brittle trust to snap and Madara grew hungry for revenge. He demanded for the life of his brothers killer but when Hashirama refused they engaged in a great battle. Each fought with great ferocity but spurred by the curse that plagued his heart, Madara had come out the victor.

 

After Hashirama’s death, neither Madara or Tobirama, who took up his brothers place, were willing to go back to the old ways, so the accords were broken. But after the centuries of war that were not all that long ago, the numbers on both sides were few. Despite their hatred for each other, both leaders knew war would drive their kind to extinction. So the seraphim became dormant, only venturing out in small numbers during the safer hours of the day or night to collect souls. Occasionally they would cross paths, a brave angel trying to save a soul during the night or a greedy demon who ventured to corrupt even throughout the day. On these occasions,  without the accords between the two, only one usually returned to their kingdom in the sky or their realm beneath the earth. They lived this way for centuries with only one law to govern them, a soul was to be claimed, but a mortal life was not to be taken. In this and only this were they in agreeance.

 

It seemed that things would always be the same. But there was an unwritten law in the fate of mortals, that history would always repeat itself and it seemed that this law was not above the fates of seraphim. For it was not long after, that a single demon and a single angel chanced upon a meeting. They fought and rivaled against each other just as Madara and Hashirama once did. They became brothers and despite the feud between their kind, they met up over the centuries in secret. Perhaps it was coincidence or perhaps it was the fate of the gods in hopes that things could be mended yet again. Whatever the outcome that was to be expected, it did not happen. For down the road, in the time of the Greeks, the two friends chanced upon a mortal that changed everything that could have or would have been. Instead it set about a new course that would change their worlds forever in the far future.