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1 Fall of the Sages
1 Avatar Gatton
Thousands years before the war begun, in an archipelago which situated hundred miles from the Earth Kingdom, a baby had just been born. A pair of scarlet eyes opened and the fingers tickling, facing a new world. "It's a boy," a woman hugged the baby, turning to the father of the baby.
"It's a boy!" The father was extremely happy, even though his son was smaller and frailer than his other children had been. "He has his mother's eyes," he started.
"I believe he will be a hero someday," his mother smiled. Tears dropped from her golden eyes, and a warm, soft sound voiced, "I believe he will be the world's savior."
Days passed, people came to the tiny, red-colored temple, which will be the next savior of the world. Some people doubted he can live long enough, as he was too tiny for a normal baby. Week later, a red-robed man entered the temple. He grabbed a scroll, confused the baby's parents. He announced, "Today, I, as represent of Fire Sages will announce that Avatar Dioux had passed away weeks ago. The newborn baby, might be the next Avatar."
"Do you mean," he shocked. "my baby is the..."
"Yes, sir. Your baby will be the next master of all four elements."
His father was shocked, and shouted at the red-robed man, "You think your head sage is crazy?" Still in disbelief, the father glanced down at his child in his arms. Could his son be the Avatar? The world's savior?
"The only way to tell if the boy is the Avatar, is a test," continued the Fire Sage. "However, you will have to wait until two years."
The two years felt like a lifetime for the family, as they constantly cared for the child in hope that the predictions were true. When the day finally came, they took the boy to the Avatar temple of the Fire Nation. It was a long voyage made by sea, and they were all worn down by the time they arrived. The sages eagerly took the sleepy child in, though he became upset after being separated from his mother. But they treated the boy kindly and tried their best to comfort him as he was led to the room in which the Avatar relics were kept. The child's face immediately beamed with excitement when he set his eyes upon them. He walked along the halls, which were lined with shelves like a library but contained toys instead of books. The shelves themselves were not too tall, and they only stopped a little above the boy's head.
"You can pick out four toys, but only four. No more and no less," instructed the sage who was leading him.
"Really?" asked the toddler, with a slight lisp.
"Yes," replied another sage, who'd been dusting off the toys in preparation for the child's arrival.
The child ran down the hall looking at all the knickknacks. There must have been hundreds! The Avatar was very happy, really happy that he could not imagine since his newborn. Hundreds of toys cornered him to choose, and he finally stopped at one of the shelves to inspect the objects. After a while, he finally found one that he liked. It was a toy that would spin and soar whenever its cord was pulled back.
Finally, after a while, he stopped, ended with four toys in his hands. He placed the toys on the ground, giving it to the five sages. "Thank you," one of the Fire Sages said gently, as he turned to the others. All of them are nodded, signing a "yes". Therefore, they came to the outside.
"What is it?" asked the mother. Her husband had kept the motive of their trip hidden, so that no one would be disappointed if their child turned out not to be the Avatar.
"I was right," announced the sage. "Your son is the Avatar." He allowed the shocked family some time to take in the news. "...You will bring him up well?"
"Yes, Sir," answered the father, humbled indeed.
"What?" the confused mother exclaimed, still in disbelief.
"We'll talk about this later, Dear," her husband replied comfortingly.
He explained everything to her, and they told their three daughters and sons to make sure they knew not to tell their brother. The family kept the secret well through his early childhood. However, his identity was apparent when he began his firebending training. He picked up the basics with almost no effort and quickly excelled ahead of all his classmates. By the time the child turned nine, he'd already started the advanced set. The teachers constantly told his parents how incredible his talent was. They tried to act nonchalant about it, but they were secretly proud of their son. By 13 years of age, the boy was able to win a friendly duel against one of his old masters, shocking the class of 15 through 20-year-olds. Even so, he only placed a portion of his power into the fight, knowing he'd just scratched the surface of his abilities. He graduated his class at 14, with the highest honors. Following this, however, he remained idle for two years.
Soon, as accustomed, his father sent him away to a Fire Nation academy in the Fire Nation capital for a higher education. It took time to settle down, but he loved his new, temporary home. His teachers were tough, taking no "horsing around". Despite this, he loved learning new things, and as quick as he learned fire bending he gained knowledge. The teen was doing fantastic in class getting all high letters and was about to enter his last year of normal school, when he went home for his sixteenth birthday.
He was eager to go back to his village. He went to see his father and siblings, but even more so, to see his mother who's health had taken a turn for the worse. His family, minus his mother who had stayed home, greeted him at the port. He talked to his father, he noticed, however, his dad's aging and there was a tremble in his voice. He went home to a small party, that he didn't know about, with his close friends and family. He was having a great time, seeing all his former classmates. However, he realized most of which had still not graduated. Something made him look off in the distance and he saw a large group approaching. He had no idea if they were thugs, rebels, he didn't know. Everyone there knew who it was and why they were there except the sixteen year old and a few of his friends. He tried to warn everyone about the approaching mob, but most just giggled to themselves and kept talking.
He yelled out the front window, "Who are you?" in a confused tone.
"We are the Fire Sages," said the Fire Sages.
"Oh," he said dumbfounded, "Why have you came? For my father?"
The sages sighed and the young man's father soon let them in. They lined up in a formation almost as if they had rehearsed it.
A stocky one, then, proclaimed, "Gatton, you are the next Avatar."
He was shocked! He couldn't be the Avatar. But, he then thought of his life and his bending ability and got used to the idea of being the Avatar. They returned to the town in two weeks, telling the boy he would have to leave his family behind.
He was saddened when he discovered this and soon went to the Western Air Temple. The sages gave him a dragon for the long journey saying it would take less time if he rode Duma. They became fast friends, and on the way, they only had to make three stops (one in the Fire Nation and two in the Earth Kingdom). When he arrived he entered a cultural state of shock, every thing was different. He was led by a monk to his room and Gatton got settled. Nothing about airbending made sense. Did they want to fight or not? However, most of his thoughts were on his mother. For the first three months, he had his head in the clouds, literally. However someone pushed him, a boy named Senzin. He challenged Gatton and made the Avatar want to strive for greatness. They constantly butted heads in training, but they pushed each other toward greatness. They even went up against other in the 551 Air Nomadian games, though that is a story for a different time. Finally, after almost a year of training he mastered all the tiers and set off for the Northern Water Tribe. He noticed minor in-tribal fighting, but nothing major and soon after met his waterbending teacher, a 30 year old woman named Kuak. For some strange reason water-bending was the easiest for him. The coolness of the water soothed his mind. He trained diligently and grew to understand Water Tribe culture. He almost forgot about home and focused on the challenge ahead for him being the Avatar.
He finished his water bending training in less than half a year. He bid farewell to his teacher and moved on to earthbending. When he went to the Earth Kingdom he attempted to complete his studies at Ba Sing Se University while trying to learn earthbending. His teacher was blunt, to say the least. He expected Gatton to give 12 full hours a day to his lessons. Earthbending was hard enough when you did not go to a university to study all the time. His grades were poor for his level and was constantly late for class.
His teachers often told him, "No excuses for being the Avatar."
He soon regretted going to the school. Though it was a hard decision, he left his studies and strictly focused on his training as an earthbender. This pleased his sifu and they eagerly dived in to earthbending training for two years. His training was now done and he received a pat on the back from master. He then made the journey back home, to the village to discover that his father had died. He was the only family now who still lived close. He looked after his sick mother, neglecting his Avatar duties, until she passed. She was sick for years eventually died in her sleep. He was deeply saddened after his loss, however, he moved on.
He moved from place to place helping people with natural disasters, thieves, rebels, etc. Three years later, he made a permanent residence in the Fire Nation temple in the city. Gatton focused every day on his duties as the Avatar. Yet he found time for other things. He went back to school to complete his studies. Here he met a teacher's daughter, who was a kind person although, she sometimes got in trouble. He soon courted her after he graduated from his higher education. It took a year of convincing, but he finally convinced her to marry him. They got married and had a child; who grew up to be a great sage. Gatton lived a peaceful life with his family who expanded even bigger with his two grand children but, peace would not last.
"Grandmother, Baizken ate all the fire flakes."
"I did nothing of the sort, but Finosa, maybe you ate them and now trying to blame me."
"Baizken, you always think of conspiracies and Finosa... Please try to get along with your brother," said the Avatar's wife
"Yes, Grandmother, wait, why is your tongue bright red?" said Finosa.
"If you must know I ate one fireflake."
"Grandmother...." the grand children both said together.
"Alright, alright. You have caught me I did it, but don't tell your Grandfather. He knows I am on a diet and will tell that doctor."
"I won't tell, but I don't know about Finosa."
"Children, stop bickering! Your Grandfather will be here in a minute!" exclaimed waiting for her husband and son.
Meanwhile, in a hallway of the sages temple, "I knew you wouldn't understand. You are just closed to new ideas, Sir," yelled a sage.
"I am sorry you feel this way, but this does not excuse this confounded plan. We know this will not work," said Gatton, now an old man.
"Avatar Gatton, it can work, if we all work together. All what I need is little more time and some cooperation-"
He was cut off mid-sentence by a servant who was bringing the sage a cup of tea. Jasmine tea to be exact.
"Sir, it is getting late. We should go now. Please, Sir, leave," said the servant.
"Why?" asked a curious Avatar.
"I am begging you leave!" she said, half sobbing.
"Have you lost your mind? Avatar, I am sorry for my servants outburst; she has never acted this way before," the sage apologized.
"No, it is quite fine, please, madame, explain yourself."
"I never meant for it to end this way I am sorry, Sage Halois."
Daggers flew through the air. Gatton quickly blocked them with a rapid movement, creating an earth wall. The veranda fulfilled with an orange fire, warmth the Avatar. Gatton made a fire sphere to save him and the sage from the flames. However, the maid was caught in the cross-fire. She began to burn and got out a few words. Gatton could only make out some of the words coming from the maid's mouth. Numbers, they were numbers.
"Five, two, and nine."
The maid could not finish as she fell to the ground.
The man got away, fleeing for his life. She was gone now, nothing but ashes. Gatton had just foiled a plot to kill a sage. Who was the mastermind of this. The maid must have known or overheard something and was trying to save Sage Halois. But, she got caught in the catastrophe. This murder had failed, but who would be there to stop it next time?
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|The Lost Air Temple|
|Book 1 - Fall of the Sages|
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|Book 2 - Rise of the Deathbenders|
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