|By manzai||See other fanon and fan fiction works from manzai.|
|"What do they know of the pain and harsh realities of the world? Nothing! They spend their lives in meditation, trying to ignore it! They could never survive a real crisis!"|
|— Afiko, speaking of the other airbender monks|
Unknown (approximately 65 years old)
|Weapon of choice||
|Chronological and political information|
Afiko's childhood was uneventful until he was about nine or ten years of age, when his mentor was killed by muggers while they were traveling in the Earth Kingdom near Omashu. Afiko survived the assault and made his way back to the Southern Air Temple, but the experience profoundly changed him.
From then on, Afiko became bitter and rejected many of the Air Nomads' teachings. He came to believe that trying to live by a non-violent code in a violent world, and furthermore trying to detach oneself from the material world when one lives in the material world, was simply delusional. Afiko also believed airbending was better used for combat than as a meditative technique.
Afiko was passed from one mentor to another throughout the rest of his youth, but he did not bond closely with any of them. When Afiko was old enough to take on his own pupil he asked to be allowed to train Avatar Aang, but his heretical attitude was known and the council denied his request. They did allow him to take another pupil, a boy named Taro, because they believed raising a pupil would soften him. The council was correct to an extent. Afiko did a decent job bringing up Taro, and to his credit he did not take out his disappointment at being denied the Avatar on Taro. He did try to secretly instill his personal beliefs into the boy, however, and trained him hard in the more aggressive techniques of airbending, many of which Afiko himself invented.
Betrayal of the Air Nomads
Around 4 or 3 BG Fire Lord Sozin began soliciting the Southern Air Temple to cede Kalden Island back to him. The monks held a council meeting to determine the best course of action. Afiko advocated for the monks to retain possession of the island, believing the Fire Nation would be no threat to them since it was still recovering from the . He also suggested keeping the island as a show of definace to Sozin, believing it would intimidate him. It was Afiko who first suggested Aang's training be accelerated in response to Sozin's threats.
Years later, only days before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Afiko accompanied a group of fellow monks on a diplomatic mission to the Fire Nation. The meeting proved to be a trap, and Sozin had men capture the monks. Sozin offered to spare the airbenders if they smuggled the flying bison out of the air temple, to prevent the other monks from escaping. Only Afiko agreed, under the condition that Sozin spare his pupil Taro's life as well. Afiko began to justify his actions to himself, believing he could take Taro and a few other pupils, and remake the airbenders as a stronger people who would all follow his philosophy.
The following day Afiko took Sozin's general Gizu}} to the Southern Air Temple. Aiko attempted to gain the temple's bison by dceiving Abbot Pasang. He claimed Gizu was a merchant there to facilitate trade with the Fire Nation, but Pasang realized Gizu had the build of a soldier. Afiko was forced to fight Pasang, and subdued him with Gizu's help. Afiko then stole the abbot's seal and used it to falsely authorize an order that allowed him to take all the bison. Afiko had delivered the bison to Sozin's fleet by the time the monks discovered Pasang. Sozin rewarded Afiko with gold, and gave him nobleman status in the Fire Nation.
When Sozin's fleet actually arrived at the temple, Afiko escorted Sozin and an elite strike team to the top of the temple on his own bison, Pema, while the rest of Sozin's army rode up the mountain in tundra tanks. Afiko fought on the side of the firebenders during the battle, and afterward he advised Sozin while the Fire Lord set up a temporary camp in the air temple. Afiko was present when Sozin killed Gyatso. Taro had been captured in the battle, but Sozin did not give Afiko leave to release him until the army camp was established.Afiko would not get the chance. The following night Kuzon tried to secretly release the captured airbenders. He was discovered and the temple erupted into fighting again as the Fire Nation tried to recapture the airbenders. As Taro tried to escape through the chaos, he encountered Afiko. Afiko tried to take Taro with him, but when Taro asked why Afiko had a bison Afiko was forced to tell him the truth. Afiko tried to persuade Taro to come with him, saying Sozin's victory proved he was right about the airbenders being weak, and that he was Taro's only chance to live. He offered Taro a place as a fellow patriarch of a new order of airbenders. Afiko pleaded with Taro to come with him, telling Taro he didn't want him to die. Taro refused, adn when Afiko tried to take him by force he and Taro came to blows. Taro won, blowing Afiko far from the battlefield. It was the last they would see of each other for 23 years.
After the battle, Afiko used similar methods to help Sozin capture the other air temples, but did not participate in the actual battles.
Residence in the Fire Nation and Reunion with Taro
When the campaign was over, Afiko had nowhere to go but the Fire Nation. He attended Sozin's court for a few months, but with the Air Nomads conquered the Fire Lord had no more use for him and largely ignored his counsel. Afiko also could not leave the palace, because the Fire Nation public was viciously hostile to airbenders because of Sozin's propaganda. Afiko retired to a large manor outside the capital city Sozin had given him, just about the only thing Afiko got for his betrayal. Afiko lived there with just a few servants whom he barely talked to. He almost never left his house, and only kept the servants to do his shopping and errands. He spent his time alone, ruminating on his guilt.
Afiko's lungs were used to the exceptionally pure air around the Patola Mountain summits, and due to the smog created by the rapid industrialization of the Fire Nation, Afiko contracted a lung disease after some twenty years of residence in the Fire Nation. Eventually his unhappy servants abandoned him and he was left alone to die. In 23 AG, Taro visited him again by chance while escaping the Fire Nation with Kuzon. Afiko told Taro that he was glad that some airbenders had survived, and said he could die in peace knowing his mistakes were not completely irreprable. He asked Taro to forgive him, but Taro said he would neither forgive nor condemn him. He said he had moved past Afiko's legacy. Afiko died the following day.
The death of Afiko's mentor shaped his personality. Afiko came to believe the world was hard, cruel place, and that the airbenders did not understand this reality. He believed the idea of detachment from the material world was a delusion the other monks perpetuated because it was more convenient than dealing with the harsh realities of life. Of course, it was actually Afiko who failed to deal correctly with the reality of his mentor's death. Consequently, Afiko valued fighting ability higher tan the other airbenders, and taught himself to use the normally defensive airbending techniques for offense. Afiko also found it important that his philosophy and skills be passed on through Taro.
Afiko did seem to legitimately care about Taro. He made Sozin promise to keep Taro safe, and Taro was the only thing or person he truly cared about saving from the air temples.
Over time, especially after he became sick, Afiko came to deeply regret his actions. Even before that his guilt had caused him to become a bitter recluse, but the onset of death put things in perspective for Afiko, and he came to see why his beliefs had been wrong all along. He craved foregiveness, and claimed to have found a modicum of peace in knowing that the airbenders had not been completely wiped out. However, he was probably very disappointed that Taro could not forgive him, even if he understood why.
Afiko was not the most skilled at airbending in and of itself, but because he focused so much on the martial and aggressive applications of the art, he became a very effective fighter with it. It is believed he invented several offensive airbending techniques, due to his dissatisfaction with the way the Air Nomads traditionally practiced the art. In terms of combat applications, he surpassed many monks who were senior to him. He was considered an airbending master as of the time of his betrayal, and sported the master's arrow tattoos. Though he invented several techniques, most of them were not admissible as his "invented technique" necessary to gain the tattoos because the monks found them too aggressive. He passed much of this fighting ability on to Taro.
Behind the Scenes
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