The So clan belong to Konohagakure no Sato and Hi no Kuni. Their hijutsu have earned them their moniker, 'The Dragons of the Leaf', as it allows them to turn their skin into scales and they have an advantage when it comes to breath techniques.
いつも誠実なThe Sō bloodline is a family of old traditions and conservative ideals. They are undyingly loyal to a fault, and oft swear their lives to the protection of others. These ideals have their roots leading before the Warring States period, of which many members of the small Sō family took part in. Their home resided within the Fire Country, and when the dust of battle had settled, their allies had allowed them their own slice of the earth. Since then, the Sō blood have sworn their loyalty and service to Konohagakure and her people, and have participated in each major shinobi war as a result.
On a broad scale, the Sō are dedicated, faithful, and steadfast in their desire to defend the village and their fellow shinobi. They are best known for this loyalty as a result. Sō are perfectionists and completionists; seeing a task through isn't enough, it needs to be seen through and done to the best of their ability. On an individual scale however, that same result may vary. Despite the general consensus being this or that, everybody is different. They may have been brought up the same way, but that doesn't mean their road took them to the same destination, though more often than not, they fall in line with their upbringing.
Their main goal as a collective is just as it has always been; to serve Konohagakure no Sato.
The Sō bloodline has roots leading back to before the Warring States Period. First and foremost they were farmers, settled in a small corner of what would eventually become a battleground for other clans. The world was ravaged by war and none were exempt; the Sō soon found bloodshed at their doorstep, and their hands were forced. Boasting an unrefined sort of technique cultivated over generations of battle, the Sō made a name for themselves in those battles. Yet no matter how hard they fought, they were a small family, and found their numbers dwindling further with each battle.
On the verge of extinction, they were inadvertently saved by the pact formed by the Senju and Uchiha, and subsequent formation of Konohagakure. They, like many other clans, wished to have their slice of peace and were assimilated into the Shinobi Organisational System. It was the timing of their near-destruction and their saving by the pact that lead them to develop their loyalty to the village and its people, vowing to put their lives on the line for the people of the village that had saved their own.
Members of the Sō family retain these ideals to present day and had fought in each Shinobi World War to date whilst slowly developing their understanding of their own abilities. Their knowledge has culminated in recent years, where their shinobi have learned enough about their abilities through their training and teachings to begin developing branching techniques. Their loyalty remains steadfast, with the average Sō becoming a Konohagakure shinobi.
In the First Shinobi War, their forces were lead by Sō Kimori, their spiritual leader at the time. He was as strong as he was wise and tactful, leading him and his own to plentiful small victories. Amidst those forces was Sō Sukekuni, a teenaged member of the family that personally learned from Kimori and followed in his footsteps. When Kimori was killed in a particularly bloody battle with Kumogakure shinobi, Sukekuni took the reins and lead the forces in his stead. While he wasn't the same tactful mind that Kimori was, and they suffered a defeat here and there, Sukekuni still lead them to be largely successful in their endeavors.
A few months after the First Shinobi War, Sō Yoshinori adopted the mantle of the clan elder. He was older than Kimori was at the time of his death, and considerably more reserved with his use of the family in wartime, yet no less skilled. During the Second Shinobi War, his focus shifted away from large-scale battles and settled more on small, strategic victories. It was during this time that the Sō family would begin to practice stealth and assassination techniques on top of their own family abilities, and is also when the Black Scales began to circulate within the clan. Originally a product of Yoshinori's own imagination, it was later distributed to members in the clan, and soon became a staple of their arsenals. In a cruel twist of fate and with a fine taste of irony, Yoshinori was assassinated just before the end of the Second Shinobi War. Sukekuni finally adopted the mantle of elder and helped lead his sect of shinobi with knowledge and wisdom gained over the years of fighting in war.
The Sō's involvement in the following Third Shinobi War was smaller, as a result of having sustained heavy casualties over the years. Small groups of Sō shinobi, lead by Sukekuni, fought in battles here and there. Their main priority was replenishing their numbers and training to replace those lost.
Although their numbers are considerably lower than they were during the First and Second Shinobi Wars, the Sō clan is still fiercely loyal to Konohagakure.
Despite the Sō's family reliance on tradition and family, their hierarchy is a near nonexistent. They congregate within their own compound in the Fire Country, yet the only taste they get of organized ranks would be their spiritual leader. Throughout the years of a Sō member's life, they might regularly consult with the spiritual leader for guidance and advice. These consultations might include small advice for the especially devout, or they might be life-changing decisions for the more impressionable. Generally speaking, the spiritual leader, or "elder", is the oldest and most experienced of the Sō. They have the strongest understanding of the clan's abilities and typically train the Sō youths as a result. The next elder is decided upon by their knowledge, achievements, and prowess. Whomever the people decide would best serve them and their own, whether it be through proving themselves in the fires of combat or trials of the mind.
Otherwise, all members of the Sō are equal to one another. They were progressive in their early years in giving women equal stake in affairs as men, and coined the term "Yūgana ryū", meaning "Graceful Dragon" for the women warriors of their clan. Although it largely depends on the parents, children are typically given the choice of remaining in the compound until adulthood and learning under their parents, or attending Konohagakure's Shinobi Academy to become an official Shinobi of the village.
Ryū Kaihen is the Hijutsu that have earned the Sō Clan their moniker as Dragons of the Leaf.
In essence, it allows them to utilize the abilities of the Dragons of yore and grants them access into the realm of Dragons. Harnessing and copying the abilities of the mythological Dragon grants them the opportunity to access several different abilities, including the creation of reptile-esque scales that are stronger than steel. In terms of strengths and weaknesses, the scales are strongest against fire, fire release techniques, and heat-related techniques, as well as cutting or slashing types of blows due to the overlapping scale structure. They offer some resistance against blunt-force trauma and techniques that inflict it. The scales themselves are susceptible to water techniques of adequate destructive power, and can be bypassed with piercing techniques that go under the scales.
Additionally, Sō are capable of utilizing any breath technique instantly, and without the need to use hand seals.