NOTE: YOU MUST ASK PERMISSION FROM Shingihoutai TO JOIN THIS GROUP.
The Puppeteers Guild (人形遣いのギルド, Ningyoutsukai no Girudo) is an organisation formed by Kumo to gather together any and all puppeteers in Sunagakure in loose affiliation. While there is no ranking system and no strict order in the Guild, it is generally accepted that a shinobi may be able to apprentice themself to an already-established member of the Guild and learn the art of puppetry, should the other members approve and should the shinobi manage to track down one of the elusive members. As a spiritual successor to the Puppet Brigade, the Guild is the definitive organisation for puppeteers.
The Puppet Technique was created in order to convert a form of entertainment into a style of combat. The technique utilizes strings of chakra extending from the user's fingers to control a puppet's movements. Those who can effectively use this ability are rare, but once mastered the user can hide in a safe location while his puppet does the work for him. Skilled puppeteers are able to manipulate multiple puppets simultaneously, with legendary puppeteers being able to use each of their ten fingers to control a different puppet. These chakra strings also allow puppeteers to manipulate other people or objects, controlling their movements to help or hinder their progress. The art of puppetry varies in usage from person to person, as puppets can be equipped with an array of different weapons and tools to make a battle easier. Puppeteers can also combine the abilities of their puppets to increase their effectiveness. Standard puppets, however, are limited to attacks not dependent on chakra, as soulless beings cannot utilize it. The Puppeteers Guild was made to keep track of all those who use this technique to fight.
As the Guild is a loose group of puppeteers, there are no official rules or contract binding its members. To be recruited, a shinobi must seek out one of the Guild's members (who are generally difficult to find) and request to join. They will be invited to attend the next Guild gathering and demonstrate their will to learn or any puppetry skills they may have already studied. All Guild members must come to a gathering if a new member is being proposed. The members then vote on whether they wish to accept the shinobi as an apprentice member of the Guild. Officially, the Guild is not affiliated with Sunagakure, but in return for the Kage turning a blind eye to their activities (particularly slightly questionable ones), they are expected in times of war to become the
Puppet Brigade (傀儡部隊, Kugutsu Butai). Their duties include forming two or three-man teams and fighting alongside regular ninja. The members are expected to keep secrets, particularly the secret techniques involved in Puppetry and are generally secretive people. They are also expected to keep an eye on each other, making sure that no other member betrays any Guild secrets.
As shinobi, puppeteers function like normal ninja and take missions. However, they often take solo missions or missions with minimal back-up, as with puppets in tow a puppeteer is often a one-man army. They may be sent on team missions if they have secondary skills which are needed, such as sealing jutsu or medical jutsu. Puppeteers are politely reminded not to use their puppets for trivial purposes within the village limits (such as tavern brawls) to avoid unnecessary destruction. Puppeteer duels are generally held just outside the city entrance or inside the Guild headquarters in the arena.
LocationAmong the myriad round hive-like constructs that make up the buildings of Sunagakure, the Guild use a medium-sized one not unlike the Kazekage's residence shown. The only way to gain access is by using a chakra string to reach through the ostensible keyhole and hook it over a lever. Pulling the chakra string forwards pulls the lever, which opens the door. Inside is a spacious cavern with a mezzanine floor. The mezzanine floor acts as a basic library, with books in about basic puppetry, other ninja skills and history. However, this is only the entrance hall. To enter the main body of the HQ, the blood seal which is attuned to the Guild members (it will not accept blood from anyone who is not a Guild member) on the back wall must be activated to reveal the secret door. This requires several drops of blood which can usually be provided by biting a thumb and smearing it across a rock jutting out of the wall, on which the seal is written in invisible ink.
The true HQ is a subterranean area that runs underneath the building and extends out under several other areas. There is a meeting room, a proper library, a dormitory and an arena for training members or for duels. There is also a treasury for spoils gained that would be of use to the Guild. There is a room for making puppets, a morgue for making human puppets and a room where unused puppets are stored, along with Sasori's scrolls that Kumo found previously. The puppet storage room is locked by another blood seal which is attuned to the Guild members- it will not accept blood from anyone who is not a Guild member. The HQ is used for meetings and when Guild members have need of resources stored there.
Long before even the Puppet Brigade was formed, the first puppet user Monzaemon Chikamatsu worked with several other shinobi to turn the source of entertainment into a form of combat. He finally created the Art of Puppetry as is known today, using chakra strings to manipulate puppets for combat. He created a legendary set of ten puppets that were reputedly strong enough to obliterate an entire castle through teamwork, with one wielded per finger. Through unknown means these were passed down to the puppet master Chiyo.
Third and Fourth Ninja War
It was in fact a puppeteer that caused the Third Great Shinobi World War. Sasori of the Red Sands, legendary puppeteer and grandson of Chiyo, kidnapped and killed the Third Kazekage before leaving the village. The lengths that Sunagakure went to in searching for their Kage caused intervention from other countries, sparking off a war and forcing Suna to give up and choose their next leader. Sometime after this war, the missing-nin Sasori came into conflict with his grandmother Chiyo and the Konoha ninja Sakura Haruno. After a long, drawn-out battle, various puppets that Sasori had used were destroyed and Sasori was killed by puppets he'd made in the shape of his parents many years previously. Chiyo herself would die saving the life of the Fifth Kazekage Gaara.
This left Kankurou of the Desert as the only living puppet-user. As a bodyguard of Gaara the Kazekage, Kankurou accompanied him to the Five Kage Summit, using his puppets to fight when the Summit was crashed by missing-nin. It was discovered that Kankurou had managed to salvage the dead body of Sasori and re-use it as his puppet (as Sasori had converted himself into a puppet previously). After the Summit, Kankurou returned to the Land of Wind.
Post-war to the present
Kankurou survived through the war and died of old age, storing away his puppets in an unknown place. With the death of Kankurou and the hiding away of the puppets, it seemed like Puppetry was an extinct art. However, vague references to Sasori of the Red Sands and even Chiyo remained in Sunagakure, and when Gingitsune Bakuni in his youth discovered these references, he began to research the lost art of Puppetry. After salvaging knowledge about it and managing to find some old notes on puppet construction left by Sasori, he studied and eventually became a Puppeteer. However, it was not impossible to construct basic puppets and this thought occurred to Kumo. After hearing tales of Chiyo the puppet-master and the Puppet Brigade, an old organisation for puppeteers, he decided to found a group to keep an eye on anyone else who could use puppets. The uses of this group would be manifold, as he could seek out allies, get the support of the government interested in conserving this Suna-exclusive art, steal ideas from others and maintain a cover for his more questionable deeds. He formed it on one condition from the Kage- that in times of war, the group mobilise to defend its village.
Kumo- Kumo of the Bloodstained Sands
Hibiki Odorite- Puppeteer of the Desert
Seishin Omocha- Seishin the Toymaker
Chisuna Maruichi- Chisuna the Craftsmen
Takashi Kosuda- Takashi of the Black Sands (honorary member)