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Warning! This page contains spoilers for Avatar: The Heir of Ban.
940 years prior to the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, the Earth Kingdom was teetering on the brink of civil war between Omashu and Ba Sing Se, and organized gangs called the Hei Chaoliu propagated throughout Ba Sing Se, holding the lower classes in thrall. The misguided decrees of Ba Sing Se's corrupt Earth King only served to make the Hei Chaoliu more powerful. Into this environment was born the 6th Avatar before Aang, named Ban Zhengyi.
Zhengyi was the son of one of the most prominent Hei Chaoliu leaders, Ban Ti Xi. Ti Xi was one of the more respectable and well-intentioned Chaoliu leaders. He believed in helping his community and "honor amongst thieves." When his son was confirmed to be the Avatar, his traitorous lieutenant Er Shi "One-Eyed" Wu murdered him and framed a rival gang for the crime. Wu planned to raise the Avatar and exploit his powers, turning him into the ultimate gang enforcer, and this he did. For the next fifteen years, Wu raised Zhengyi as his godson, and oversaw the boy's training in all bending disciplines but air.
One day, Zhengyi discovered what Wu had done and attacked his former guardian. Wu had prepared, however, by making sure Zhengyi's technique had certain flaws that he was aware of and could exploit. He nearly killed the boy, but Ti Xi's former lieutenant Ying Su came to the rescue and helped him escape. Zhengyi left Ba Sing Se to find new trainers and learn more bending techniques, in hopes of defeating Wu and claiming his place as the crime kingpin of Ba Sing Se. But on his journey he learns what it really means to be the Avatar.
Episode List Edit
Chapter 1 The Mountain Master's Son Ti Xi, head of a powerful crime family in Ba Sing Se, has a son born to him. But when the child is revealed to be the Avatar, a treacherous plot is enacted to gain control of the Avatar's power. What will become of world whose chosen protector is also the heir of its most ruthless criminal? Chapter 2 The Godfather For 15 years One-Eyed Wu has raised Zhengyi as his godson and loyal apprentice in crime. But when the truth is revealed to Zhengyi, a battle ensues. Zhengyi decides he must completely retrain himself if he is to claim revenge for his father, and so sets out on a journey that will change his life forever. He finds his first ally in Xin Fung, the wrestling nun who is also the daughter of Ti Xi's best friend. Chapter 3 The Game Due to the current Earth Kingdom Civil War, Zhengyi and his friends cannot leave Ba Sing Se without proper papers, and the best way to get them is to get work smuggling for a rival Hei Chaoliu clan! They disguise themselves as new Tong clan recruits and join, but the job does not agree with the moral Fung, and her upright nature begins to clash with Zhengyi's outlaw attitude. Meanwhile, Su befriends a young mathematical genius named Heung Chu, who's father works for the clan, and elsewhere Wu recruits a team of special mercenaries to pursue the Avatar. When Fung refuses to carry out an order, the Tong clan imprisons her. Zhengyi and Su are caught trying to break her out, and they are all going to be put to death! But Heung Chu steps up to save his new friends, challenging the clan boss to a game of dominoes--where the stakes are their lives! Chapter 4 The Daughters of the Black Current Looking for a magnetism teacher, Zhengyi meets an old friend named Louen Heng in a town that supplies dai zhiwu to the clans in Ba Sing Se. He offers to aid her smuggling operation because she is a clan member, but Su and Fung refuse to get involved. Meanwhile, a mysterious girl named Cai Fa is tracking Zhengyi, and uncovers the smuggling operation with shrewd detective work. A traitor within Heng's group sells Zhengyi out to the hunters sent by Wu. When Wu's mercenaries attack the smugglers, Zhengyi, Louen Heng, and Cai Fa lead them away in a chase down the river. But even when they manage to fight off the hunters and make it to the safety of an island, Cai Fa draws her bow and arrow on Zhengyi! She reveals that she only fought the mercenaries off so that she could be the one to kill Zhengyi. Why does this mysterious girl want the Avatar dead? And will he be able to beat her deadly precision with the bow? Chapter 5 The Crossing (in progress)
Zhengyi is captured by sandbenders while attempting to cross the Si Wong Desert. His friends continue on to the Misty Palms Oasis hoping to round up some help to rescue him. But the settlers there aren't willing to risk attacking the sandbenders. Meanwhile, when the sandbenders realize Zhengyi is the Avatar, they have the chief's son teach him sandbending. After an attack by Aguta and the other hunters, Su and the others persuade the Misty Palms settlers to go after Zhengyi. But things get complicated when they discover that settlers and sandbenders are in the middle of a violent feud.
Meanwhile, One-Eyed Wu captures Tong Suei Sing, but lets him live and even leaves the Tong clan intact--on the condition that Sing patronize a certain group of disgruntled citizens.
Chapter 6 The Peacemakers
After a fight with Zhengyi, Fung leaves the group. She finds a village where everyone is very pious and worshipps Jian Lao. They all follow a wise leader, Chuan Xiu. Fung begins to feel at home, until she realizes the truth about the idyllic little village. Will it be too late for Fung to find her friends again? And even if she does, will Zhengyi swallow his pride and help her?
Chapter 7 The Plague Zhengyi and his friends come upon a town ravaged by a plague. Zhengyi and Fung quickly catch it. As they explore nearby ruins for some clue to cure, they stumble into a series of mathematics-based traps. It's up to Chu to get his friends through, but things get even more complicated when Wu's bounty hunters show up! Chapter 8 The Hermit's Mirror Zhengyi and his friends meet Viragi, a drunken vagrant who was once an Air Nomad monk. He takes them to the Southern Air Temple so Zhengyi can learn airbending, but he has trouble with his opposite element. Impatient to learn martial airbending techniques, Zhengyi picks a fight with his teacher, Chogyal. Chogyal retaliates by tricking Zhengyi into entering the temple's forbidden reliquary. Inside, Zhengyi accesses an artifact that transports both of them, as well as Viragi, into the spirit world. While looking for a way out, they are attacked by evil spirits. How will the Avatar fight these unknown enemies, and what is their mysterious purpose? Chapter 9 The Blood-Road Medicine While tracking the Avatar, Cai Fa takes refuge in a small mountain village. However, she gets more than she bargained for when a murder is committed. Even though the prime suspect confesses, Cai Fa is sure he is not guilty. But why would someone confess to a murder he didn't commit? And if he didn't do it, who did? Cai Fa will have to take a break from her pursuit of the Avatar to prove her reputation as the greatest detective in the World of Four Nations. Chapter 10 The Healer's Choice Zhengyi heads to the Southern Water Tribe to refine his waterbending. However, he finds he can't advance his combat training and instead looks for other applications of waterbending to learn. He meets a young healer, but when Aguta and Wu's other bounty hunters track the Avatar down again, the healer will have a choice to make. Chapter 11 The Forbidden Technique In the Southern Water Tribe Zhengyi discovers someone teaching an esoteric but very powerful technique. He is eager to learn it, but Avatar Maiara intercedes to show Zhengyi scenes from her life. She explains how this technique had a profound effect on the course of her life, and that it does not come without a price. But it will still be up to Zhengyi to choose whether or not to use it. Chapter 12 Coming soon. Chapter 13 Coming soon. Chapter 14 Coming soon. Chapter 15 Coming soon. Chapter 16 Coming soon. Chapter 17 The Most Skillful Commanding General of the Left Finding Wu now has command of an army, the Avatar and his friends head to Omashu. But after learning a secret from Heung Chu's past, they find themselves imprisoned by the King of Omashu. While Chu is left behind as collateral, the others must earn their release by convincing a long-retired general to serve once more. All the while, Wu is preparing to lay siege to Omashu and finally capture the Avatar. Chapter 18 The Seventh Battle of Omashu Chu's efforts have convinced the master tactician General Boh to fight again. But Wu and his army are still coming for Omashu. Can the General buy the city time to prepare, or will Wu conquer it and end the Earth Kingdom Civil War in one fell swoop? The Avatar and his old mentor are about to see each other for the first time in months... Chapter 19 Liminality Disappointed in the result of the recent battle in Omashu, Zhengyi comes upon a town with a valuable sacred bell. Though bandits are planning to steal the bell Zhengyi boasts that he will stop them. When he fails to do so, he steals Viragi's wine and tries to drink away his feelings. Viragi sets him straight with stern airbending lesson, but before the day is out Zhengyi is going to have a far harsher lesson to deal with. Chapter 20 The Wish to Forget Everyone has a past. The Avatar and many people in his life reflect on how they got to where they are. Chapter 21 The Righteous Bandits of Liang Forest Zhengyi runs off after losing some people close to him. Tempted to abandon his quest, he joins the Western Confederacy army, where he is placed in charge of a squad. But when he discovers his squad is to be used as bait, he convinces them to desert and operate as bandits in a nearby forest. Meanwhile, Xin Fung and Chu research possible candidates to become the new Earth King, and Wu makes things worse than ever for the people of Ba Sing Se just to goad Zhengyi into returning there. Will Zhengyi fall for it? And will he revert to his old, thuggish ways now that he's made himself a bandit? Chapter 22 Zhengyi and his friends take in a play based on their adventures. It is not a good play. Chapter 23 The Sanctum of a Thousand Avatars Zhengyi and his allies formulate a plan to defeat Wu and free Ba Sing Se again. The disaffected rank-and-file members of the Hei Chaoliu are the key, but Zhengyi and his friends will have to sneak back into the city in order to start recruiting them. Zhengyi has also received a message from a mysterious Guru requesting his presence for training. Ying Su reveals a great secret to Zhengyi before he leaves. Meanwhile, Tsi, Fung and Chu have trouble making initial contact with the Hei Chaoliu while Cai Fa falls into a deadly trap. Chapter 24 The True Mind, the True Heart Zhengyi gathers the poorest and most hopeless criminals and dregs of Ba Sing Se society to him, hoping to convince them to fight for a cause larger than themselves. In order to gain enough allies, the Avatar must spread the word of his return throughout the city, but he knows sooner or later word will reach his powerful enemy and former mentor, Er Shi Wu. Still, he must do it. Chapter 25 Avatar Zhengyi The destiny of Zhengyi and his companions is decided in a final confrontation. When Wu finds his secret base, Zhengyi is forced to begin the battle sooner than he had planned. He must keep his promise to get his followers' loved ones out of the city by pulling down the wall, but without time to plan he'll have to do it on his own. Can even the Avatar perform such a herculean task? Even if he can, will he have enough strength left to finally defeat both Wu and the Earth King?
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Featured Article, October 2012 - For Chapter 1: The Mountain Master's Son
Featured Article, December 2009 - For Ban Zhengyi
Featured Article, April 2009 - For Er Shi "One-Eyed" Wu (this was the first article to win Featured Article on the Avatar Fanon Wikia)
Featured Article, June 2009 - For Hei Chaoliu
"A creative, realistically written story of an Avatar born as the son of a crime lord and his coming to terms between the conflicting destinies of his birth. With a cast of strong characters that function well together, this fanon is a sure-fire page-turner (or page-clicker) for whomever takes the time to start reading it."
"Its truly amazing, nicely written!"
- Ban Zhengyi
- Xin Fung
- Heung Chu
- Fu Shan
- Cai Fa
- Ying Su
- Er Shi "One-Eyed" Wu
- Ban Ti Xi
Non-fiction Related PagesEdit
In order to understand and convey the elements of criminal culture and East Asian history, author manzai consulted several sources for ideas, including crime films and dramas, to documentaries and non-fiction books on modern street gangs, to lighter fare like anime.
Several aspects of the story are about historical criminals, particularly in East Asia. For example, later chapters of the story are loosely based on Du Yuesheng and the Green Gang's role in Chiang Kai-shek's government and the Chinese Civil War, and on Al Capone in 1920s Chicago. Dai zhiwu is based on opium, the history of which extends well beyond organized crime in China. Other aspects of the story are based on things like Hong Xiuquan and the Taiping Rebellion, and the semi-historical destruction of the Shaolin Monastery.
For the collective works of the author, go here.