Fourth Great Shinobi War

The Fourth Great Shinobi War, also known as the Akatsuki War, was the briefest Great Shinobi War. While it officially was declared in April 83AF, most historians place the beginning of the war four months prior in December 82AF when Akatsuki attacked Suna to kidnap the Gondaime Kazekage Gaara. The war was officially declared by Madara Uchiha, a long-thought dead ninja that led the organization Akatsuki.

Akatsuki

Akatsuki is a shadowy criminal organization where all members are A-rank or S-rank. There were originally only nine official members, and members were designated by unique rings they wore. One ring was lost when Orochimaru left the group and took the ring with him. Later losses eventually caused the group to relax membership requirements a bit to get new members. The leader of Akatsuki was originally thought to be a man named Pein, who was a Rinnegan user. As the organization dwindled, it became known that the real leader was Madara Uchiha, who had been masquerading as Tobi.

Events

Kazekage Kidnapped

In December 82AF, Akatsuki members Sasori and Deidara invaded Suna, engaging the Kazekage. The Kazekage, also the jinchuuriki for the one-tailed biju Shukaku, lost the fight after spending most of his remaining chakra to protect the village from Deidara's largest attack and was captured. Requests for assistance were dispatched to the other major hidden villages, but only Konoha responded with aid.

A Suna Jounin pursued the Akatsuki duo and, though losing the fight and getting badly poisoned, managed to retrieve an item that could be used to track the pair. Konoha forces along with Suna elder Chiyo followed the trail, eventually encountering two more Akatsuki members - Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki - and were forced to battle them. Defeating the two revealed that both members had been possessing two other ninja. Continuing on, they found the extraction site and breeched it. Chiyo and Konoha nin Sakura Uzumaki (nee Haruno) fought and killed Sasori. Unfortunately, the extraction was completed and Gaara died. The elder used her chakra to revive Gaara, but died from the jutsu.

Retaliatory Strikes

Following that battle, Akatsuki pairs tracked down and captured many of the other Biju and jinchuuriki including Kumo Jounin Yugito Nii. Kumo attempts to locate her, but fails to find her. Konoha formed a task force to hunt down and eliminate Akatsuki within Fire Country in January 83AF. The force quickly located the pair of Hidan and Kakuzu. Konoha forces managed to kill Kakuzu, but Hidan escaped after killing Konoha Jounin Asuma Sarutobi. Hidan did not survive his partner long, as a small group from the force tracked him down and destroyed in revenge for Asuma's death.

By this time, Sasuke Uchiha was searching for his brother Itachi so he could kill the man. He encountered Akatsuki member Deidara in February and attempted to get the information out of him. The two fought and Sasuke barely avoided dying to Deidara's suicide jutsu. Further searching and an encounter with Itachi led Sasuke to an old clan fortress where the two fought while Kisame kept the rest of Sasuke's team away. Itachi dies and Sasuke meets Madara Uchiha for the first time.

Konoha's Jiraiya of the Sannin learns that Akatsuki is based out of Ame and goes to investigate. He ends up battling the pair of Konan and Pein. Despite defeating several of Pein's bodies, Jiraiya is eventually killed though Jiraiya manages to get critical information and one Pein body back to Konoha first.

Akatsuki Offensive

Madara convinces Sasuke to join Akatsuki, and in March Sasuke's team leaves to capture the Hachibi jinchuuriki Killer Bee. During the intense fight, Bee substitutes part of a tail as himself and leaves to take a vacation. Sasuke takes the fake-Bee to Akatsuki before having his team recover from the battle. Once the deception is uncovered, Madara sends Kisame to capture Bee.

At the same time, Pein and Konan leave Ame to personally capture the Kyuubi jinchuuriki Naruto Uzumaki. They invade Konoha, killing many of the ninja within in the search for the boy's location and eventually demolishing much of the village with a single jutsu. Naruto returns and uses his Sage techniques to defeat Pein's bodies and convinces Pein to change. Pein uses the last of his chakra to revive those killed in the attack. Konan drops out of Akatsuki and returns to Ame with his body. The attack on Konoha left the Gondaime Hokage Tsunade in a coma from chakra exhaustion and the decision is made to nominate a new Hokage. A warhawk named Danzo manages to get the nomination through possibly dubious means.

Internal Strife and Military Alliances

Following Pein's death, Konan ascended to become the leader of Ame. She met with the country's daimyo and the two declared neutrality in April for both Rain Country and Ame. Ame nin were seen supporting Naruto Uzumaki during the remainder of the war.

At the apparent loss of the Raikage's brother Bee, the Raikage calls a meeting of the five Kages in April to discuss what to do about Akatsuki. The five meet in Iron Country with the Daimyo of the country acting as moderator. Some of Akatsuki's history is revealed and a call is made to form a five-village alliance to battle Akatsuki. Initially, Konoha was decided to lead the village, but one of the Gondaime Mizukage's guards revealed that Danzo had a Sharingan implanted that could do mind control. Danzo is later forced to flee when Sasuke Uchiha arrives in the building.

Sasuke appears in Iron Country on his hunt to kill Danzo, and his location there is revealed by Zetsu. The Raikage and his guards go battle Sasuke's team, quickly taking out Suigetsu and Juugo. The battle between the Raikage and Sasuke continued until the Kazekage and his guards joined in the battle. Sasuke and his remaining teammate are forced to flee and arrive in the meeting room where the Mizukage and Tsuchikage are waiting. Zetsu is forced to use a jutsu he prepped earlier to save Sasuke from the Mizukage, and Madara has to step in to save Sasuke from the Tsuchikage.

With all four remaining Kages back in the meeting room, Madara outlines his grand plan and requests that the remaining two jinchuuriki are handed over. The Kages refuse and Madara declares war before vanishing. Iron Country's Daimyo suggests the Raikage as leader of the alliance and the others agree.

Having been revealed as manipulating a daimyo in a power play, Danzo loses his Jounin Confirmation Vote in May. He attempts to take power by force using his Root ninja, but the attempt fails and Danzo is executed along with his men. Tsunade manages to awaken from her coma and beings taking on the duties on Hokage once again while recovering.

Endgame

Kisame tracks down Bee and begins battling the jinchuuriki, making extensive use of his sword to drain Bee's chakra. Unfortunately, the sword decides it likes Bee more and refuses to obey Kisame. This shift allows Bee to recover enough to kill Kisame. Bee was later recovered by Kumo nin and brought back.

Joint operations by all the villages begin to hunt down the few remaining Akatsuki members. In September, Zetsu was caught doing reconnaissance by Iwa nin and forced into a running battle that ended when ninja from Kumo, Konoha, and Kiri joined in the fight assisting the Iwa forces.

Having lost all members but himself and Sasuke, Madara came out into the open in October to draw the remaining jinchuuriki out where he could capture them. The ensuing battle results in Sasuke's capture and Bee narrowly avoiding capture. Several more battles occurred and in late November Bee was finally captured by Madara. With Konan's aid, the village alliance struck Madara's base of operations and killed him before he could extract the biju.

Aftereffects

Due to the need for cooperation and a five village alliance, relations between the major villages became much improved and tensions were lowered for several decades after the war's end. Also, Sasuke Uchiha was rehabilitated by Konoha and began rebuilding his clan. That topic became a source of contention between Kumo and Konoha that was only dropped in the last few decades.

The war also allowed Konoha to finally eliminate the rogue group Root and Danzo, causing greater stability and increased ninja levels due to children not being funneled into Root. Naruto's actions during the Invasion of Konoha increased his popularity enough that his eventual ascension to Rokudaime Hokage was assured.


Great Shinobi Wars
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Konoha Conflicts
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