3rd Division

Captain: Sakura

Vice-captain: Shizuka Magatsu

Seated Offcers

  • 3rd seat(s): Koishima Daisuke
  • 4th seat(s): (Name)
  • 5th seat(s): (Name)
  • 6th seat(s): (Name)
  • 7th seat(s): (Name)

Unseated

  • Zaraki Nasumi
  • (others)

The 3rd division has long been seen as the darker side of the Soul Society. The squads very existence and duties is a constant reminder that even shinigami are capable of horrendous deeds. Though the squad has always served the same purpose within the seireitei, it's implementation of them has always been in a state of flux based on the style and beliefs of the captain at the time. Throughout its various incarnations, the 3rd squad and its members have always been viewed by the other squads with a level of mixed respect and distaste and its members have always been treated with a distance by the other shinigami they serve with.

Sakura's promotion to captaincy marked the latest shift in practices, away from a more brutal method held by her predecessor and towards a heavy focus on the spirituality of their duties. The new practices she instituted has left the squad much smaller than it previously was and unfortunately further distanced itself from the rest of the seireitei.

Number: 400

Flower: The flower for the 3rd Division is the Lotus bloom. It is a symbol of birth and rebirth, the endless cycle which powers the Soul Society as well as the primary purpose of the 3rd squad: to usher those who have sinned in this life across the barrier into rebirth, cleansing them and giving them a new life and redemption through it.

Motto: “Life, Death, and Rebirth.”

Duties

Execution: The primary duty of the 3rd squad has been, and remains, the carrying out of executions of those deemed worthy of such a punishment by the Soul Society. In the past, executions were often a bloody affair, at times seen as a spectacle, with executions being public events in which the condemned were paraded through the streets, their crimes read out loud to all present before their end was met.

Over the years the squad has drifted from these practices, treating the executions with more respect and dignity and solemness. From public executions the act was moved to private affairs, with only captains present to oversee it. Eventually executions were made entirely private, with only the accused and the 3rd squad being allowed. Under Sakura's captaincy, however, they have been made semi-public once again, with captains and vice captains permitted, and encouraged, to attend.

The act itself has been changed from a simply killing to a very ceremonial event. Sakura herself performs each execution herself, leading the prayers and being the one to wield the blade that sends them off into to cycle of rebirth in the mortal world.

Execution grounds: Under Sakura's instructions a temple was build on the large hill at the center of the Seireitei. The grounds, which are several hundred feet long and half as wide, are situated at the highest point on the hill, on a wide, level area.

At one end is a stunningly ornate pagoda with seven tiers. It rises high above the hill and is visible from almost anywhere in the Seireitei. Its peak is crowned in gold and catches the light like a beacon during the day.

At the far end, opposite the pagoda, is a large, raised circular platform carved from marble and engraved with intricate carvings that form a complex web of symbols and patterns throughout. At the center of the platform is another raised circle cut from the stone, on which rests a small shrine. Within the shrine is a plain looking ceremonial sword, resting on a raised dais and shielded by thin veils on all sides.

Running the length of the grounds between the pagoda and the shrine is a path of cut marble and granite. The workmanship of the pathway is exquisite and unmatched. Lining the path on both sides are twelve cherry trees that are in blossom year round.

Standing on the outer side of the raised platform is a towering oak tree which nearly dwarfs the Pagoda on the far end of the grounds. The tree, like the others, is covered with leafs all year round. It's trunk it thick and ancient and it exudes its own spiritual presence.

Stationed around the grounds are 13 guards, 4 guard the pagoda, 4 the pathway, 4 the circumference of the platform, and 1 the shrine itself. They all wear elegant ceremonial uniforms and their faces are masked behind thickly veiled headgear and remain perfectly motionless throughout their shifts. Each wields a decorative, but also practical, lance and are trained to fight anyone who endangers the sanctity of the grounds. Though visitation is allowed, absolute silence is enforced on the grounds with violators being forcefully removed by the guards.

During actual executions only the soon to be executed and Sakura are permitted to speak. The blade, though simple and modest in appearance, serves the role of sending criminals off to the mortal world to be reborn. The ceremony is somewhat complex and a rather solemn event.

The entire area has been underlain with sekiseki, allowing even powerful criminals to be brought and punished there without exceptional risk.

Skills required:

All members of the squad must be dedicated and have strong conviction for what they do. They must be strong and fast, as with all shinigami, but a high level of mental and spiritual fortitude is also required. Any squad member that is unable to maintain their respect for their positions and conduct themselves with the utmost dignity is immediately dismissed from duty. The rowdiness and competition seen amongst other squads is notably absent within the ranks of the 3rd squad. To this end, the organization of the squad is somewhat different from the others within the Seieitei.

While combat ability is certainly required in the squad, it is far from the most important factor in its members. All members are encouraged to achieve shikai and eventually Ban Kai, as it is seen as an important part of mastering one's own spirituality, but it is an unwritten rule that should a member desire a more combat heavy role in the Seireitei they are permitted to transfer to another squad with Sakura's recommendation. Even still, there are many within the squad of exceptional combat prowess, which comes in handy with the guard duties as well as handling dangerous criminals leading up to executions.

Captaincy, Promotion, and Ranking:

The third squad consists of a captain, vice captain, 10 seated officers, and 290 unseated members. Each seated officer is viewed within the squad as being equal in rank, each commanding a squad of unseated. Seated members are chosen, often at random, by the vice captain and captain when needed and generally only exist to make delegation of duties easier for the leadership of the squad.

Vice Captain are traditionally selected by the Captain. In the past, the Captain of the 3rd squad has almost always been the Vice Captain under the previous Captain and are promoted into the position when the Captain either dies or otherwise is removed from the positions. Sakura was promoted to Captain in this way, following the death of her predecessor at the hands of an escaped criminal.

Previous Captains

Though there have been many captains to hold the position of running the 3rd squad, the most notable was the last one: Grindilaw Narro.

Narro was a force of nature in and of himself, leading the squad with a brutal efficiency that gained it the nickname "The Black Wave." Narro would often execute prisoners within their cells with no ceremony beyond reading them the charges they had been convicted of and informing them of their sentence moments before carrying it out. A small number of squad members belonged to a Shadow Squad, which served as interrogators and assassins, taking out targets who had been deemed guilty of horrendous crimes but could not be captured. For centuries the 3rd squad was held with a mixture of respect and contempt, seen as both cleaning up the most heinous criminals and being uncontrolled attack dogs.

Narro met his end during the execution of a dangerous criminal who broke free and killed many of the squad members present before Narro restrained him. The criminal struck out, dealing a killing blow against Narro, and was killed himself by Sakura, who was promoted immediately to Captain.

Following Narro's death, Sakura began what she saw as a crucial restructuring of the squad in an attempt to redeem them and restore the squad to its original role. The Shadow Squad was disbanded and many of the members quit the 3rd to join other squads.

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