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By Manzai Part of the Avatar: The Heir of Ban continuity.
Bolin realizes
Juji's fine. He comes back to life in the end when the doomsday device shifts the polarity of the Earth. Oops. Spoiler. Sorry.

Warning! This page contains spoilers for Avatar: The Heir of Ban.


The Ban Clan
General information
Leader(s)

Ti Xi's grandfather, Ti Xi's Father, Ban Ti Xi, Er Shi "One-Eyed" Wu, Ban Zhengyi

Notable members
Founder(s)

Ti Xi's grandfather

Headquarters

Ban Clan compound, Agrarian District, Ba Sing Se

Affiliation

None

Purpose

To provide a dominion-and-compliance hierarchy structure to the Ban family in order to allow them to make money through illegal means

Ban refers to both the Ban family itself and the Hei Chaoliu criminal clan organized around the family. The family's most famous member was Avatar Zhengyi, who later dissolved the clan near the end of his life. The Ban clan (as opposed to the Ban family) was known as a more lenient and honorable Hei Chaoliu clan in terms of its dealings with customers, which lead to greater patronage among Ba Sing Se's poor and therefore greater revenue and territory. Under Ban Ti Xi it became the biggest gang in the city, a distinction for which it fought constantly. However, under Er Shi Wu the clan expanded exponentially, wiping out or absorbing all but a handful of other clans. Their animal mascot was the pygmy puma and their weapon of choice was the kukri knife.

History

The Ban clan was founded by the great-grandfather of Avatar Ban Zhengyi, whose name has unfortunately been lost to history, around 960 BG. The Ban family itself obviously existed before then, but genealogical records before the founding of the clan are hazy at best. The clan was not one of the rumored original five clans, though Er Shi Wu later circulated misinformation to that effect.

At first, the clan had a small number of members. Because of this, and the genetic disposition to short stature that the men of the Ban family, the pygmy puma was chosen as the insignia of the clan for their small size but tough nature. The clan remained small under Ti Xi's father and grandfather, but it expanded a great deal under Ti Xi himself. It became one of the largest clans in the city, at points the largest, though at that time most clans were roughly the same size and the Ban constantly jockeyed for that distinction.

When Ti Xi's son was found to be the Avatar, Er Shi Wu assassinated Ti Xi, Xin Kao, and a few other of Ti Xi's most loyal lieutenants, and framed the rival Du clan for the murders. Because the eldest Ban family member was only an infant, Wu, as ranking officer, became Mountain Master. Wu was uncompromising in his use of violence and deception and violence against the other clans, and over the next fifteen years he absorbed or eliminated all but a few of the other clans. The Ban clan became the largest clan in Ba Sing Se by a much wider margin. In order to keep control of Zhengyi and the remaining clan members, Wu appealed to their reverence for their respected, fallen leader Ti Xi. He therefore kept the Ban clan's name, rather than renaming it after himself.

After Zhengyi discovered the truth about Wu and his father and left on his Avatar journey, Wu retained control of the clan by claiming Zhengyi had tried to take over the clan from Wu prematurely. Although some clan members left after this due to their loyalty to the Ban family, most felt their first loyalty was to Wu as their acting Mountain Master and believed Ti Xi had wanted Wu to rule in his stead, so the structure of the clan remained largely unchanged. Wu altered his strategy somewhat following Zhengyi's departure, using his status as the richest man in the city to insinuate himself into the Earth King's court in only months he was granted the rank of Commander in the Ba Sing Se army. He was therefore able to significantly supplement the number of fighting men directly under his command, knowing he would need more than the might of the Ban clan to oppose the Avatar.

When Zhengyi returned he was somehow able to defeat Wu and depose the Earth King to end the Earth Kingdom Civil War. His career as Avatar began in force with the reconstruction efforts. Although he was asked to destroy the Ban clan, Zhengyi recognized the potential many of the members had for good, so he reorganized them to help with public works and even law enforcement rather than illegal activities. This significantly expedited the reconstruction efforts. Towards the end of his life he decided he did dissolve the clan, as he felt he was losing the ability to lead them and felt that such direct, strong command of that many people was too great a responsibility for any one person. He made sure most of the men were set up with livelihoods of some sort, although many later joined other Hei Chaoliu clans. The Ban clan then ceased to exist.

Organization and Structure

The Ban clan was organized in the same way as the other Hei Chaoliu clans. The eldest member of the Ban family was always the Mountain Master, or top leader of the clan. Below him there were several lieutenants who served various functions for the clan. Below these members there were many ranks of ordinary fighters. Among them, the only basis of rank was how many other fighters they commanded below them. Usually the more senior a member was, the more subordinates he had. Only the top few ranks of the clan, whom the Mountain Master knew personally and could therefore trust, were allowed to live in or know the location of the Ban clan's compound headquarters in the Agrarian District of Ba Sing Se, as the secrecy of the location was its primary defense against the clan's enemies. (After Er Shi Wu destroyed enough of the other clans to feel such secrecy was no longer needed, he ended this regulation).

Just below the Mountain Master, there was a Deputy Mountain Master, the second-in-command. Kao "The Claw" was promoted to this position under Ti Xi's father and kept it for Ban Ti Xi's entire career as Mountain Master. Under Ti Xi, the clan's General, the lieutenant in charge of all gang warfare and combat, was Er Shi "One-Eyed" Wu, who had come up through the clan with Ti Xi. The clan's bookkeeper was "Lucky" Cho. Some Chaoliu clans also had lieutenants whose only function was advising the Mountain Master or other lieutenants on certain things. In the case of the Ban clan, Ti Xi also brought in champion-level pai sho player and strategic genius Ying Su as a general adviser on business and combat strategies.

After Wu staged a coup and murdered both Ti Xi and Cao, the top ranks of the clan underwent a restructuring. Wu made his crony "Lucky" Cho his Deputy and instated the young, likely insane waterbender Aguta as General. Aguta had not even been a clan member under Ti Xi, but by all accounts his actual function within the clan was to be a personal killer for Wu much more than to lead the clan's fighters, which Wu largely did himself. Wu also kept Zhengyi's bending trainers, such as Shi Hua, in high positions in the clan so they could be close to him and advise him on ways to counter what they had taught Zhengyi.

Relationship to Other Hei Chaoliu Clans

The Ban clan was known for showing more leniency and respect towards the civilians who lived in their territory than other clans. Although this gave the clan's leadership an appearance of moral superiority, it was most likely a simple business decision. As in any business, better customer relations make for more income.

The Ban clan's territory bordered on that of the much older Du clan, which lead to a lasting rivalry between the two. They also disagreed ideologically, as the Du were known as one of the most corrupt and deceitful of Hei Chaoliu clans. Ti Xi's father was killed by a Du clan assassin. Er Shi Wu was later able to exploit this rivalry by framing the Du clan for Ti Xi's murder.

List of Known Members

  • Ti Xi's father--Mountain Master
  • Ban Ti Xi--Mountain Master
  • Xin Kao "The Claw"--Deputy
  • Ying Su--Consigliere
  • Er Shi "One-Eyed" Wu--General, later Mountain Master
  • "Lucky" Cho--Bookkeeper
  • Ban Zhengyi--Mountain Master-apparent
  • Aguta--General
  • Shi Hua--Lieutenant, Earthbending teacher to Ban Zhengyi

Behind the Scenes

The Ban clan is named after the surname of its ruling family, as per the fictional rules of the Hei Chaoliu. "Ban" is Mandarin Chinese for "boss."

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