A/N: Not my best work, but I was feeling the need to write something and this was the result. I will update Eulogy as soon as I can.

What is Truth?

One night of fire and death. That was all it took for one little boy to swear a vow of vengeance towards the one he blamed for the deaths of his family. Little he knew that that night was merely a culmination of a series of events in which his family played a heavy role. But is it justice to blame the dead? Or were they merely pawns in a larger game, created by the clan founder?

The chain of events begins as follows: Eighty years ago, clans were considered as warriors, and treated as mercenaries. The Uchiha and Senju clans could lay claim to being the most powerful of those clans, when Senju were hired by one side during war, the other side would hire the Uchiha. Where the Senju could claim power over the forest, the Uchiha had powerful reserves of chakra, and a powerful Kekkei Genkai, known as the Sharingan Eye, capable of copying any opponent's attacks. The most powerful Uchiha was the founder of the clan, Madara and Hashirama was the most powerful Senju, and over time they were known as rivals. Madara himself held Hashirama in great respect.

Madara went to great lengths to protect his clan, even going so far as to take his brother Izuna's eyes to replace his Mangekyou Sharingan, when Madara was going blind. While causing his brother's death, an unexpected side-effect occurred from this replacement: he became immortal. Soon the rumors regarding Uchiha Izuna's death along with Madara's growing power reached Hashirama and angered him. The balance of power was shifting too far in the Uchiha's favor.

Senju Hashirama realized the Uchiha were growing too powerful and needed to be checked. He created a plan to deal with them. First he offered them peace, going to each family head within the Uchiha, bypassing Madara entirely. They all accepted, feeling too many had died in needless fighting. Madara argued that a truce would go against everything the clan fought and died for, that the Senju would destroy them the first chance they got. Eventually he was talked into the truce. He kept a watchful eye on Hashirama, however. The truce created Konohagakure, and Hashirama was created Shodaime Hokage, being seen as the most powerful shinobi.

This led to a final power struggle between the two men. Madara foresaw his clan's relegation to nonentities, and he chose to dispute the leadership. Fearing for their own lives with the new regime, they left Madara to his own devices. Betrayed by his own clan when all he wished for was to protect them, he challenged and faced Hashirama alone at the Valley of the End. Although he even resorted to the desperate move of summoning the Kyuubi, it was not enough to overcome Senju Hashirama. Madara withdrew, knowing he was defeated for the time being.

As for the Uchiha clan, things grew worse, although they were unaware of it for a time. At first all seemed well on the surface, with the Nidaime Hokage, Hashirama's brother, appointing them as Konohagakure's police force. The clan saw it as a sign of trust and believed they were forgiven for the actions of one of their own. Soon, they learned otherwise. Almost no say was allowed them in Council matters relating to the village. To make it worse, they were sneered at by other council members and villagers, while the Senju were revered for not only creating peace but destroying a traitor. Being on the police force was soon seen as an insult, not a symbol of trust as originally declared.

Pride cannot accept insults for very long, and the Uchiha were very proud. They started rebelling in small ways, showing up late when called to crime scenes, deliberately absenting themselves from Council meetings. By this time, the Shodaime Hokage and his brother were long since dead, and a student of theirs from the clan of Sarutobi was now the Sandaime Hokage. Their other two students, Utatane Koharu and Mitokado Homura, were now among the village leaders. Sarutobi Hiruzen was sympathetic and wished to help them. Koharu and Homura overruled his wishes, along with an ally of theirs, a war-monger known as Danzou. And then the event came that would eventually destroy the Uchihas: Kyuubi's attack upon Konohagakure.

Thanks to Madara's actions, the Uchihas were known to control Kyuubi. The Sandaime tried to argue that the Kyuubi was a mass of chakra, created by nature itself with the very power of negative emotions. Certainly the Uchihas could not cause all this death and destruction to the village. In fact, many Uchihas fell defending Kohona from the Kyuubi. His arguments fell on deaf ears. The Council created the Uchiha clan as the scapegoat for the Kyuubi attack. They were moved and watched more closely than previously. A dangerous flashpoint was forming.

During this time, Madara was watching events closely, laying his own plans for the future. Hiding his identity, he became the Mizukage. After learning of the failure of Kyuubi's attack upon Konohagakure, he created the Akatsuki, with the goal of eventually conquering the world through usage of the bijuu. But every Uchiha has pride and a smoldering anger. Madara was no exception. He wished for revenge on Konoha and his clan for betraying him. Upon learning of particular events he returned to Konoha in secret, watching them play out, waiting to play his own role.

Again, pride can only take so much insult. So it was with the Uchiha. After the clan was forcibly moved the current leader, Uchiha Fugaku, began a plot to take control of Konoha. The coup was known to all save the youngest children of the clan due to age and lack of ability to help. When Fugaku's eldest son Itachi proved to be a genius, Fugaku ordered Itachi to enter the ANBU. He wished for Itachi to provide him with information on the weak points of the village, making it easier for the Uchiha to gain control. He failed to see one thing: Itachi did not desire conflict. He reported his father's plan to the village leaders, who ordered him to exterminate his clan. In spite of his crisis of conscience, Itachi took the mission, knowing it would save more lives than if he did nothing, no matter the consequences to himself. Madara, still longing for revenge, revealed himself to Itachi and together they destroyed the clan after the last attempts at peace failed. Itachi deliberately kept his brother alive in order so he would eventually become his killer. As he could never completely resolve himself to believe his family's death was a just one, he felt it was only justice for his brother to kill him. And so the dark night of fire and death left one survivor.

Yet, the play is not yet complete. An angry young man now has learned everything, at least everything Madara wants him to know. For you see, the desire for revenge is capable of burning for a long time, and Madara is still angry at his clan, even if only one survivor is left. Being immortal as he is means the Uchiha will never be entirely gone. Manipulating Sasuke in order to cause his death would be perfect for him, and he has already planted the seeds of anger and the desire for revenge against Konoha in Sasuke. Has Madara told everything or has he left out the most important details? After all, the cause of Kyuubi's direct attack on Konoha is not yet known, and Madara wants the village destroyed just as much as he wanted his clan destroyed. And even the innocents will suffer annihilation, for causes now unknown to most of Konoha. For any who do know this history are dead, or have no motive to speak.

So, did the Uchiha indeed destroy themselves through their own power and arrogance? Were they victims of Konohagakure's leadership wishing to wipe out a rebellious clan? Or are all simply the victims of a master manipulator?

Perhaps only Uchiha Madara knows. And he will never tell.

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. - Marcus Aurelius Antonius (121 AD - 180 AD)