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It has been fifty years since the death of Avatar Korra. In her youth, she quelled the Equalists' attempts to start an Anti-Bending revolution by defeating Amon in combat, and for the remainder of her life there was peace in the world. The United Republic of Nations and its thriving capital, Republic City, was restored by Korra to the utopia Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko had intended, and for many decades the newest nation continued to flourish and progress technologically.
After Avatar Korra's death, however, unrest began. After Korra defeated Amon it was thought that the Equalists had disappeared forever, but that assumption was wrong. The Equalist movement had taken a blow but it wasn't dismantled, and what was left of the group moved their operations underground to plan and wait. The Equalist cause was helped greatly by the fact that with the introduction of science and technology, there was a huge decrease in the exploration of spirituality and the effect of that was that less and less Benders were being born. People's beliefs in the spirits were now being replaced by explanations of science and most Benders felt as if the physical world had been forgotten by the spirits because of mankind's blind pursuit of technology which was ultimately the pursuit for power.
Not long after Avatar Korra's death the Equalist movement covertly reemerged and took advantage of the time they would have until the world met their new and fully realized Avatar. Their numbers continued to grow and within a short period of five years they were considered the legitimate political faction of non-benders. Chairman Hectus, a member of the Republic Council and Party Head for the Equalists proposed a law to ban bending within city limits on the grounds of property damage, corruption among benders (ex: Triple Threat Triads), and the threat of danger that was accompanied with bending and its impact on the non-bending community. Protests flared up all over the United Republic by benders and non-benders alike and slowly but surely the United Republic of Nations started to heavily favor non-benders and shun benders.
Tensions were so high between benders and non-benders that all it took was one incident to spark the fires of war. A Bender had used his abilities against a non-bender in a highly publicized incident, and within hours riots broke out all over the United Republic. The Equalists took advantage of the chaos, and along with the huge population of non-benders within the city, they forced out the benders and overthrew the Republic Council, and the 'Purge' began. Most Benders that had been living in the United Republic of Nations at that time didn't escape alive. Armed with innovative weapons, chi blocking techniques, and overwhelming numbers, the Equalists had reemerged and successfully taken over the United Republic. The world was on the brink of war again but this time it was benders versus non-benders, spirituality versus science, and equality versus balance.
The Republic first struck the Fire Nation. The scientific ingenuity of the Republic was their main advantage in combat and with the invention of flame-retardant cloth they had fashioned uniforms from the same material. The once almighty Firebenders found themselves at a disadvantage to mere humans. Harpoon Tasers would pierce a bender's skin and send thousands of watts of electricity through the body, the pain was so overwhelming it was impossible for them to concetrate on bending. A true Bending Master's concentration could sometimes deal with the volts and still manage to free themselves but Bending Masters are scarce in this modern era. The Republic wanted revenge for the past transgressions of the Fire Nation and ravaged the archipelago nation. Firebenders were dangerously close to extinction and with only a handful of masters left the Nation reluctantly declared war and asked for aid, with the combined forces of the other four nations they repelled the invading force but not without heavy losses.
The United Republic of Nations saw the combined effort against them as a declaration of an alliance between the other nations and now it wasn't only war against the Fire Nation it was war versus all bending nations. The Republic Council changed the name from the United Republic of Nations to the Republic State of Equality and began to amass their military.
Meanwhile, the White Lotus society prepared the other four nations to defend themselves and started an alliance called 'The Allied Nations Restoration Concordat" and eventually the ancient society of Bending Masters were now active-duty generals forced to fight for the survival of their people, and the time honored tradition of bending. They were simultaneously fighting a war and also searching for the new Avatar. The White Lotus was hoping to find the new Avatar quickly so they could begin their training early as the world's hostility worsened. They hoped that by the time the new Avatar had mastered the elements they could bring about natural peace as quickly as possible. Not only that, for the Avatar's protection.
The Republic searched just as tirelessly for the new Avatar as the White Lotus society, but for opposite reasons. Benders were difficult enough to neutralize and now that the Equalists' cause had finally reached a world wide scale the only thing left standing in their way would be the combination of all four elements in one person. That power would be difficult to contain but the largest threat considered by Republic Propaganda Officials would be the Avatar's return spiritually. The Spirits were being forgotten, they were being considered old made up tales, false religion, people considered them the past. The last thing even close to a spirit anyone had seen in the past 100 years was Avatar Korra. Aang's fusion with a spirit and the eventual defeat of the Fire Navy at the Northern Water Tribe was considered exaggerated mythology at Republic City University and throughout most of the Republic State of Equality. People who believed in the spirits were now the ones being ridiculed in town squares.
The next Avatar, who was supposed to be born an Earthbender, was never found or revealed. Some believe he perished during the Purge as an infant, some believe that he is afraid of the power of the new United Republic, and some believe that even the Avatar Spirit has abandoned mankind. After all these years, people are starting to accept the world and its current state as normal but just as the night is darkest before the dawn a small child of hope is born in a tiny home, on a small island, just as the sun begins to rise on a beautiful new day.
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