"The Maitake may not be as numerous as other clans, yet the sheer skill that even a common Maitake housewife possesses in assassination makes them a deadly force to contend with. It has been said that whenever you feel a gentle breeze; a Maitake is running past you to get their target. Every time there is a rustle in the trees; the Maitake are using that as a distraction. Every time you have a bout of nightmares; a Maitake has been given someone you hold dear as a target. Every time you feel shivers running down your spine and the room seems to chill; a Maitake's eyes have fallen on you. When you feel as though there is something terrible hanging above you and everything may come to an end... A Maitake blade may already be at your throat. And when the wolf howls with heart-stopping sorrow, rejoice… For a Maitake has finally died."
|Kanji||舞茸の一族 (Maitake no Ichizoku)|
|Kekkei Genkai||Alloy Release|
|Hidden Techniques||Maitake Style: Light Step</font>|
The Maitake began when a single assassin stumbled into a small village on the verge of being caught in the crossfire of a vicious war between the two war-loving villages which lay to the east and west of their position; the man proposed a solution: they give him food, shelter, and a home and he would instruct them in the ways of the assassin and shape them all into warriors to enable them to defend their selves. The village elder readily agreed to avoid the destruction of his beloved village, giving the mysterious man everything he asked. The man trained all those who would listen in the ways of the assassin, giving them the tools and skills needed to go in and quickly take a kill before disappearing as smoke in the blackest of nights. The man became revered as a hero, a savior since the villagers were now able to defend what they held dear. Once the immediate threat of war destroying their village vanished the Elder and his Council immediately banished the man, using a covert group of those he trained to push him out of the village. Few villagers were outraged and many turned a blind eye to the injustices, allowing themselves to believe it was for the best interests of the village to be done with the man. Those who acknowledged the actions for the injustices that they were rose and followed the man, and from this betrayal the Maitake were born. The newly formed clan seethed with hatred for their former village, vowing to destroy it themselves for the hideous betrayal of their savior. From that day on the Maitake wandered the lands near the village, steadily growing in numbers and strength as the man began to teach his most deeply guarded techniques and skills. They waited five years for their revenge, and on the night of a lunar eclipse… They took their vengeance under a crimson moon. The Maitake swept through the village like a gentle breeze, killing all they came into contact with in absolute silence. A single scream rang out through the night as they left a single Council member alive to bear his wrongs until the day he died, and from this massacre the warning tale of the Maitake was woven.
The village that the Maitake originated from possessed a kekkei genkai known as Alloy Release, although it was extremely rare even within the village, and many ninja that hailed from the village possessed the Wind Nature which allowed them to use one of the man’s most guarded techniques, Maitake Style: Light Step which then became their Hiden.
The Maitake bore a natural affinity for animals, often seen playing with wolves as if they were domesticated dogs and sleeping in wolf dens. This fact is the logic behind the last line of the Warning Tale of the Maitake, “And when the wolf howls with heart-stopping sorrow…” as the Maitake were often treated as members of the pack by wolves, and their young were often seen being shadowed by two or three wolves in an intensely protective gesture.
Having grown accustomed to their wanderings they returned to their nomadic ways, refusing to settle in the village. They wandered as the tale of the massacre wrought by their hands spread, causing many villages to strive to form alliances with the Maitake as criminal organizations sought to buy the Maitake's services. They wandered from village to village, never in one location for longer than a three day period and due to this they could only be contacted by the special messenger crows they left in every village and with every organization. The name Maitake was only whispered, for if the crows heard the name of their masters they would immediately take flight and bring the Maitake to the location it left from. Due to this when the Maitake were in a village, the villagers would only be told that they were honored guests to prevent the usage of their name after their departure.
As their name grew more and more notorious, and their collective number of contracts grew the Maitake began to be feared, to be considered a terrible threat. A large group set up an ambush for the Maitake, using their crow to bring them to a specified location before attacking them from all sides and killing every member of the clan with the exception of the youngest boy that was with them at the time, Heishiro Maitake. They took this boy and sealed his memories with a powerful Fuinjutsu before tossing him into the barren deserts of the Land of Wind, leaving him for dead.
As such Heishiro is the last known remaining member of the Maitake.
The Maitake are a medium sized nomadic clan that is composed almost entirely of assassins, with the exception of the smallest children and pregnant women. They have no set age to begin the training of their young and due to this they begin as soon as the child shows any ability to process what goes on around them and understand the concept of death, this being said the average age for training to begin is roughly 7. They have been known to take promising children at an even younger age, as Heishiro was taken on assassinations from the age of 5 due to his being a Sensor. They were generally a relaxed people, often laughing and smiling even when on an assassination contract. They also fiercely protected animals and due to this they were strongly against the use of Ninken as tools instead of partners, and despite their never training Ninken or any other ninja animals feral wolves often fought at their sides and they made use of special messenger crows.
Flaming red hair and warm amber eyes were common traits among the members of Maitake clan. Most stood at just about average height, some above and some below, and most members had fair skin.
The Kekkei Genkai of the Maitake clan is the powerful Alloy Release which grants the bearer the ability to replicate or manipulate the molecular structure of any metal through touch, including their own molecular structure to create armor, etc. Once the metal has been touched by one who possesses this Kekkei Genkai the molecular structure is permanently engraved into their memory and they are able to reproduce that molecular structure in any object or living being that they touch, the number of structures that a Alloy Release user can remember is believed to be limited only by the number of metals in the world. A skilled user is able to modify the very environment, creating pillars of their alloys from the ground to hem in opponents or as a mode of transportation. The most skilled of users are able to modify the molecular structure of alloys that they create which enables them to create alloys with specific purposes, such as swords with increased cutting power, arrows with increased piercing abilities, etc. in addition to being able to create additional alloys from any area that they or their alloys are in contact with.
- Maitake is also a variation of mushroom known as the “Dancing Mushroom”; ironically the only known member of the clan is allergic to Maitake mushrooms.