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The Avatar Rhythm takes place 224 years after The War ends, along with Avatar: The Last Airbender. This is the start of Book 1 - The Fire Saga, which (obviously) takes place in the Fire Nation.
Fire Nation in The Avatar Rhythm
The Fire Nation has changed quite a bit since the war. Zuko's great grandson, Taro, a young, wise man, is now running the Fire Nation. The other nations have almost forgotten about what they did to them, and are forgiving the Fire Nation for what they did. Everyone knows the Avatar has been reincarnated into the Fire Nation, but his identity is currently unknown to the general public.
People You Need to Know in The Avatar Rhythm
- Shirou is the son of Chief Riku of the Water Tribe.
- Shirou is not a Waterbender.
- Shirou believes the world would be better without the Avatar.
- Taro is the current Fire Lord.
- He is Zuko and Mai's great grandson.
- Taro is believed to be the wisest man and best leader in the world, by people from all four nations.
April 23, 2011
This is Chapter 1 of The The Avatar Rhythm Series.
The sun was setting on the Fire Nation Capital, which had lived for almost 225 years in peace since The War. The last of today's ships were coming into their port.
Shirou, a young man aboard a single-person canoe from the Water Tribe, was slowly paddling his way to the shores of the Fire Nation. Elusively, he avoided all Fire Nation guards around the docks. He had never walked out of The Northern Water Tribe before, or on stone at all. His home was part of a large Royal Palace, full of ice and snow and water. Bent by Waterbenders, who Shirou greatly looked down upon, the palace was never home to him. Retreating to the Fire Nation was his best hope.
All of a sudden, a hand fell on the back of Shirou's shoulder, and he jumped. Behind him was a huge muscular Fire Nation soldier, who seemed pretty angry.
"You walked past us guards!" He growled. "You walked past us guards! People from other Nations are supposed to see us guards! You got a passport?"
Shirou, annoyed by the lack of brains talking to him, nodded.
"Let me see it."
Shirou pulled out a blue card, already stamped, in front of the guards face to see.
"What's your name?" he asked, still looking suspicious.
"Shirou. My father is Chief Riku of the Water Tribe." Grumbling, the guard headed off. Shirou learned one thing already about his journey to the Fire Nation. It wasn't going to be easy. As if proving his point, he tripped on the ground immediately after, muttering something harsh afterwards.
That night, Shirou had been invited to have dinner in Royal Chaldera City because of his relation to Water Tribe Chief. While the Fire Lord was too busy too come by, a high governor of the Fire Nation named Goro was able to attend with his wife and daughter. It had been a pretty quiet dinner so far.
"So," Governor Goro quietly asked once they had arrived, "What are you planning to do here once you get settled in?"
Shirou blandly replied in an almost-whisper. "I have enrolled in Everburn Academy, and plan to get a scholarship here."
Surprised, Goro answered, "Oh, really? My daughter Hotaru will also be attending the Academy," glancing at his child next to him. "Maybe you will be friends." Hotaru looked opposed with that idea. After an awkward silence, the rest of dinner was pretty quiet.
Later that night, Shirou was escorted to a house three blocks away from the Royal Palace in a Komodo Rhino drawn carriage. As Shirou left, the guide exclaimed, "We are honored to house the son of Chief Riku," and left. Shirou was exhausted from his escape of the Northern Water Tribe. He hadn't told anyone the Chief did not even know of his coming here. But there was a good thing at the end of the line. In one week, Everburn Academy would be up and running, the only school in the Fire Nation that has no regular bending classes, and a great range of professors. Just one more week of being treated like a guest, not a refugee...
The next morning, Shirou, as well as many important Fire Nation residents living in Royal Chaldera City, were woken up by the palace bells. In a half hour or so, sounds of laughter and children filled the town, and Shirou was tempted to go out. He remembered the days in the Water Tribe when the same noises could be found in the city. Of course, he was never allowed to play with the other kids because he wasn't a Waterbender, but the window of the palace usually served as a good lookout to see what they were doing. By the first step out of his house, Shirou was bombarded by small noble Fire Nation children.
"Wow!" They all said in amazement as their small beady eyes scanned his blue Water Tribe cloak.
"Where you get that sword?" One kid asked, in reference to his knife in his belt, as another kept running his hand through the soft otter penguin fur of his jacket. When things seemed just great, an older boy, probably about age 12, called out to the crowd of kids around him, "Hey guys, you don't want to hang around that guy. He's a stranger, from some far off world full of ice." In almost a second of thought, the kids who were just hanging around Shirou looked away, almost eagerly. "Figures," he mumbled, as they walked off.
After that, besides getting a couple strange glares from Fire Nation nobleman, Shirou just wandered the streets of Royal Chaldera City. Following an hour of walking, he plopped down on the stone and began sharpening his knife with a rock. Once it was sharp, he scratched a message in the ground.
"I hate you Avatar"
Suddenly, Shirou jumped at the sound of a girl's voice behind him. "What are you drawing?"
He was surprised to see Hotaru, the daughter of Governor Goro who had eaten dinner with him the last night. "It's nothing, he replied, and tried smudging out the scratches. "No, no," she said, "Keep it there. I like your penmanship, and your guts. Most people don't have the heart to say who they hate. But, why do you hate the Avatar?" Shirou cleared his throat for a long story. "It started a long time ago. My grandfather Kaito, the former Chief of the Northern Water Tribe, had his first and only son, Riku, who is the current Chief. Kaito was first displeased that his son was not a Waterbender, but then he had an idea. Riku and his friends built a clubhouse of snow, with Kaito's Waterbending help, and made a gang called the Dry Warriors, who were made up of Water Tribe non-benders, like me. Kaito taught them amazing things, like climbing, hunting, or fishing, and gave the non-benders a really fun life. Soon, everyone wanted to join the Dry Warriors, and Kaito was leading the largest organization in the Water Tribe. But, soon, the Great Battle of Omashu unfolded, and Kaito went to help Avatar Mikio in the fight. While injured during the battle, Kaito sat in a healing house of Omashu. When he finally was almost ready for battle again, a fire blast from Mikio in the fight accidentally hit a part of my grandfather's house. When he tried to Waterbend it out, Kaito grew weak and was left in the burning house to his doom. The Dry Warriors, my only hope, it was ruined. No one could lead them the way Kaito did. When I came of joining age, the Dry Warriors had disbanded. With three brothers and a sister who were all Waterbenders, I was soon forgotten by my parents, enveloped in a world of royalty. The Avatar, an overly publicized freak who can bend all the elements ruined the life I never had."
Hotaru interjected, "No, but,"
"You don't know how I feel," said Shirou, disappointed. She replied, "Yes, I do. Legends tell that when Avatar Aang led the invasion into the Fire Nation 224 years ago on The Day of Black Sun, and yes, I know that probably happened for our own good, his army destroyed so many Fire Nation buildings and houses, it took years after the war to revive the Fire Nation Capital. Apparently, the former Fire Sage's Capital Temple was damaged, and three members were killed. Our nation's control was weakened for over 50 years since that. I believe the world would be better without the Avatar. I know that the next Avatar has been born here in the Fire Nation, and I know it's some 16 year guy old out there, whose trying to hide it to the rest of us."
Shirou asked, "How old are you?"
"Only 15," she calmly stated. I will be 16 by the end of the summer, but I know Avatar Mikio's death date was about two months ago, which luckily makes me not an option. " She chuckled, but before Shirou could reply, a man in a nearby house stuck his head out the window and cried out, "Hotaru, you shouldn't be talking to that man! He's just a stranger from some faraway land. Get back to your father!"
As Hotaru left, Shirou smiled and whispered to himself, "Just a stranger, huh? They won't expect a thing."
And with a laugh, he was gone.
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