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|The Night of Puppets|
Sand and Steel
November 11, 2012
Centuries ago, the world changed with the Hundred Year War. The Air Nomads were wiped out, leaving only the Avatar, Aang. The Fire Nation brought war for a hundred years until Aang defeated the Fire Lord. He and the new Fire Lord helped create a new nation centered around Republic City, a metropolis of both technology and culture. Aang and his successor, Korra kept balance in the world while also aiding the new Republic City. Peace has come to the world again. But peace is an illusion the new Avatar cannot afford. With Korra's inevitable passing, the new Avatar has cycled into the Earth Kingdom born into a girl named Tala.
Chapter 14: The Night of Puppets
The day was cold but warmer than most for this freezing and long winter. He leaned against the railing. Relieved as a gust of wind pressed against his arm. He looked down on his scarred extremity as he always does now.
The healers were perplexed the skin turned black and stayed so, rather than having the burnt flesh pink as is common. And he was able to use it quickly for such a severe burn. It was painful to even twitch a finger, but it made him stronger. Simi soon realized he could hit harder than before, because the pain made him focus.
An elder moved forward, he spoke as Simi still looked out, "Its a nice day today. Perhaps we will all enjoy it without loss."
"There is always loss Monk Yilo."
"Simi, don't lose heart."
"You mean hope, and hope is just something that stands in the way. Our people know this."
"Simi, you are one of the youngest master to become an elder in Clan Rohan. That was because of your wisdom, your compassion, and your love. Don't give up that."
"Why? Threatening to remove me from the Council of Elders if I don't do as you want?" Simi left at that, leaving Yilo speechless and alone. Simi then noticed a raven-eagle in the sky heading for the city.
The young officer was collecting the notes that the Grand marshal signed. Rishu addressed the young man, "Remember, a letter for each commanding officer, this will be a coordinated strike."
"Yes, sir, of course." He left with a bag full of the notes for orders, he smiled.
A young man stepped from behind a curtain, "You think they'll get the message, master?"
"My sources say he is one of them, so yes, they will. Tell me Liam, what is your take on this move?"
He breathed slowly, "Sir, I think no matter what trick up our sleeve, this is an incredibly risky tactic for only a chance at a big reward. Were it not for the situation with the Prince of the Earth Kingdom and the plans you have with him, I would call this attack off."
"To the sane mind, yes. This is crazy, and our reward will be big not because of what we want, but what they want."
Liam picked up his sword in the corner, lifting the flap on the tent to leave, "You know, this will end any of our misinformation channels after this play."
"I know, but its worth it."
Tala sat alone in a secluded section of the library, pouring over books. There was nothing in Omashu that discussed energybending. She read briefly about men who could target the energy in storms but it went into a poem. The only time it was mentioned was when Avatars Aang and Korra used it.
Otherwise, Omashu had no information how anyone could even learn, let alone how a firebender did. Perhaps Ba Sing Se University or The Royal Academy in Capital City had tomes of these things locked away and forgotten, but not this great city.
She closed the historical novella. This book about people who rode storms had little interest for her. She reflected on the fight. Rishu was a prodigy and beyond. He only tired after bending her energy. But he also limited her to a fight where she could only bend two elements.
She was tired, she had read through at least a month's worth of lectures on bending to no avail. She was fading when a hard knock came to the pillar she was resting on. She opened her eyes to see Simi in front of her.
"Hey, got a parcel for you," He stepped forward, his hand held a long staff, "Is this yours?" He smiled as he handed her the glider.
"Thank you, how did you get it?"
A crabby voice, "No play toys in here!" It was an old librarian that looked as old as any books around. He kept grunting and grumbling, "When I was a kid, we played outside!"
Simi and Tala left as the librarian shooed them away. Simi gave the Avatar a letter. Like the last letter she read, it was in the hand of Rishu:
Unfortunately your glider was left on the Empyrean when we parted ways. I thought it was terrible as a host to keep it.
"Kind of the Grand Marshal."
"Indeed. His gift to me was a much more painful thing." Simi beckoned to his scarred arm, blackened to coal.
"Don't be, this experience has made me stronger." He grabbed a rock nearby and crushed it in his fist.
"How did you do that?"
"Pain gives us the strength to endure and get through."
Simi and Tala continued to talk until they went to join the war council appointed for the afternoon. Suun was early as he almost always was. "So what's the word, General Suun?"
"Kuel has something."
The rest of council, including the Grand Lotus, arrived. Urri sat down, signaling the council's beginning. The council started with the daily minutia and reports on casualties and supplies. As reports from field officers ended, Kuel stood up.
He walked to the map, "As you know, we have communications throughout the continent, but we have also procured eyes and ears within the siege lines. For the most part, their intelligence was of little value, basic supplies and maneuvers. But now we have learned of something incredible."
"First, a couple of our sources mentioned how they were trained to specifically fight waterbending. Others mentioned night raids, and urban combat at night, something they have generally avoided so far. Others brought up techniques to keep up endurance while at a low peak in firebending. And finally, Rishu himself was heard mentioning an attack at night in four days. On the full moon."
Everyone seemed dumbfounded, Suun was the first to pick up his jaw and respond, "Excuse me, they plan on attacking; firebenders and earthbenders; on a full moon against a city that has a large number of waterbenders?"
"Yes, multiple sources each had confirmed different things that together give us a pretty clear image."
Simi spoke next, "Wow, I didn't know Rishu was that stupid. He seriously is going to attack when waterbenders are at their best?"
"The various and separated intelligence leads us to believe so."
"Then we have to take advantage of it."
Everyone, Tala included, agreed. To attack on a full moon, even prepared, was the most foolish thing you could do.
The forces of the whole city were preparing. There hadn't been this much activity since the Solar Eclipse, but this time, the reason was kept a secret, A light crew under Hava's command and Urri's personal guard would stay in Old Omashu, enough to push back anyone who made it through the lines of defenders in New Omashu.
Tala whistled, Ilan galloped to her. "Ready to kick firebender butt?"
He snarled in agreement.
The ground began rumbling, Tala looked to see that coming from the city were large metal machines bearing the insignias of Omashu. They were massive four-treaded devices. The top half was reminiscent of a hog monkey's body only larger. The arms ended with four pincer claws. "What on earth is that contraption?"
A small man stepped out, covered in grease, "This is a Fire Wrecker. Platinum plated too. Nice creation huh?"
"You mean reinvention? Cause if I recall, Hiroshi Sato made some of these things too, called mecha tanks."
"Mecha Tanks were meant for metalbenders; this is meant for firebenders. The platinum plating is only on the top because of its high melting point. Another flaw of the mecha was it could easily be turned over if enough force was applied. The four tread system instead of two ends that, each pair of treads can hold the entire weight of the vehicle."
"And where were these before? These might have been helpful during this siege."
A stronger voice answered, "Testing and completion had just finished when the solstice passed." Suun appeared. "They weren't ready before."
"Well, lets hope they hold up to the pressure of battle."
Hava looked over the city with the King as the sun was low in the sky. Urri spoke, "Imagine if we can capture more prisoners tonight." He was smiling broadly.
"I am hoping for that. But I still can't understand the foolishness of this attack." He looked away from the sun to see that the full moon was at hand.
"Don't worry, we have the edge this time."
"I'm just hoping we don't lose anybody."
Night set in as the sun faded away and the moon took over the skies. Marching could be heard throughout the city as men pressed forward. Darkness spread as only the light of the moon above gave them sight ahead.
Ilan could see very well at night, giving him the ability to run fast without fear of running into something. Ilan walked alongside Suun. "So what's the plan, General Suun?"
"We'll spread out and cover every block and wait for them to come in. When they're on the run we'll pursue and capture anyone we can. Waterbenders will start at this line but will move to areas where there is plenty of water."
The Master Lotus and Kuel joined them before they reached the battle lines, "General, sir, we're ready. Between the Southern Tribe and the White Lotus we have more than enough waterbenders to make them regret this night."
"Very good, go and join your men."
The forces collided minutes later as firebenders and earthbenders attacked against every kind of bender. They were relentless and merciless, the weakest defenders fell as easy prey to the 'Regulars and their Fire Nation reinforcements.
Despite the ferocity, the line held. The waterbenders were at their most powerful and used it to their advantage, pressing the enemy with wave and wave of attacks. After an hour, they finally broke and ran for it. Suun then gave the command, "Forward!"
The men charged with vigor and pride as they chased after the fleeing invaders. Tala was the first forward as Ilan rushed to catch the enemy. She was out of her allies sight as she attacked. Flame, earth and air met the backs of those foolish enough to try and run from an Eel Hound.
The first ten minutes of battle continued like this before things went horribly wrong. Ilan was sprinting for a group of firebenders in the distance, when her body and that of Ilan's began convulsing. Ilan tripped over himself as if picked up by a massive hand. The two slid for a couple feet before landing. Both were still in terrible pain as their bodies contorted.
In her pain she heard the landing of someone nearby. She could barely turn her eye their way. Upon recognizing who it was, she was not comforted by the revelation. She wore blue, instinctive of her element and a helm very akin to that of the Wolf Warriors of the South. But she was no Southern Tribe Member, her name was Ralyn, waterbending master and warrior for hire, and she wasn't alone.
The black gauntlet unsheathed the katana. The black helm sneered at the night, "Stay behind the Wolves, let them sort out the leaders, deal with the rest."
Liam responded, "Yes, sir. I will spread the word."
"If Arkoda somehow manages to avoid us, deal with him."
"With pleasure, Grand Marshal."
The Grand Marshal made a hand motion and moved forward, his men behind him followed as screams began to ring out through the city.
Suun was kneeling, writhing in pain and bound against his will. Things had gone horribly wrong. Minutes ago, the enemy was in full retreat as waterbenders had them on the run. Omashu defenders reinforced those who pressed too far into the enemy.
Even then the enemy was still fleeing. The Fire Wreckers had also proved to be devastating, powerful enough to hold against the firebenders.
That was when things first started to unravel. Two firebenders in black and red armor with strange helmets stayed to fight when the rest fled. The Wrecker charged, the two easily dodged his swings and cables. They met and joined a fireball into one, firing it at the tank. The heat did nothing to the tank, but the concussive force sent it reeling, forcing it back against itself. It seemed as if it was to topple when the spring system of the four treads did its job and brought it back down. The Fire Wrecker used the momentum to add weight to the stone-breaking swing of its arm at the two firebenders.
The two rolled away from the strike. As both rolled into kneeling positions they quickly circled an arm and then jolt it forward. Streaks of lightning charged forward, catching the tank dead on. The tank's insulation took the brunt of it and fired a cable at the firebender to the right.
He was forced to jump and dodge the attack while the other continued. The operator of the Fire Wrecker swung and hit this firebender dead on and sent him flying, the last firebender however used this time to send a much more powerful blast of lightning forward. It was too much for the tank to handle, even with insulation. It collapsed to the pressure and fell.
This alone wasn't much of threat until waterbenders and high-ranking officers began collapsing from unbearable agony, including himself. Soon, chaos spread as a massive force of earthbenders and firebenders returned against the Omashu defenders.
As his men retreated, Suun was pinned to the floor by his own weight. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't move. Soon the answer to this was when two individuals jumped down. They easily stood out from the rest of the enemy because of the blue. What haunted Suun for a moment was their wolf-helms, similar but distinct to Arkoda's and his men's own.
Suun quickly deduced what they were even if not who they were, bloodbenders. The man and the woman looked on him smugly, certain they had captured the brother of the king. But they were just about to be taught a painful lesson.
Suun narrowed his eyes in concentration, focusing on nothing and everything. Before they realized what happened, the two were met with slabs of stones into their chests, shattering their ribs and making them worthless in a fight.
Suun stood up as the resistance ended, he was in control of his body again. He went to the loudest source of commotion to see White Lotus forces surrounded by these blue warriors and Firebenders. Suun punched the ground, three pillars erupted into the backs of the blue armored attackers. He cut a line through the enemy and joined Kuel was on top leading the band of fighters.
Kuel's response was faint to the sound of war, "I don't know, these bloodbenders came out of nowhere! Half our waterbenders are gone and the other half are getting slaughtered. We need back up!"
Suun sent waves of earth that forced the attackers back. Giving the White Lotus the time they needed to fall back closer to the city.
Tala was curled up on the ground, her body began twisting in ways that she couldn't command. She then rose in the air while her feet didn't touch the ground. She hung in the air as a figure in the shadows came forward.
Tala only heard of Ralyn briefly, but she had faced the waterbender before; on the Day of Black Sun. Ralyn was powerful and skilled. Ralyn lifted her arm and then pulled it to herself. Tala's body followed the motion moving to the waterbender like a breeze of air.
Tala's arms were pressed behind her, as if to avoid an unwanted chance of bending. But Tala had been taught a couple of tricks. She focused on the floor and willed for it to follow her command.
A jutting of stone exploded from the smooth floor sending the woman reeling, but it did not have the complete effect Tala was hoping for. The warrior easily recovered and drew water a nearby well that Tala hadn't even noticed before.
She sent two water whips forward at the Avatar. Tala responded first with a wall of earth and then a circling blast of air. The whips harmlessly hit the wall as the air went around and hit Ralyn on the side, sending her down an alleyway.
Ralyn had quickly recovered as she soon reappeared and sent shards of ice at Tala. Tala deftly avoided the icicles but saw that this was a foolish fight to continue in. She sent three discs of ice at the twirling Avatar. Tala used firebending to melt them.
She weaved her way through the salvo of attacks. She leapt up to a roof. Ralyn sent dozens of sharp water whips after the Avatar, to no avail. She then sent a wave that nearly caught the fleeing girl.
Tala whistled a quick pitch and kept running. As the fight continued, Ralyn forgot about Ilan. He got up upon hearing his master and swung his tail. The sweep tripped Ralyn. He ran past her where Tala jumped on him and fled for Old Omashu.
Ralyn quickly recovered, seeing that the Avatar was far off, she drew in all the water available and then charged forward on a wave of water.
The black wakizashi glowed white as flames released from it. The thin flame curved and hit the two unsuspecting waterbenders in the chest, leaving them with deep, burned cuts.
Rishu's progress through New Omashu was slow but steady. He had few of the Wolves with him but his men still held out to the augmented waterbenders. Rishu used his short sword as a tool to enhance his firebending, surprising his foes and getting the last laugh on them.
But not all the defenders were stuttering fools. Two earthbenders had waited for his force to come through a trench before striking. Rishu crossed the threshold and it hit. A massive wall rose behind him, separating him from his men. Debris fell, separating him further. His armor protected Rishu from anything that may have fallen his way.
"Foolish to corner a dragon." Rishu cryptically responded as the two earthbenders emerged.
They moved agilely while smirking, "You're no dragon. Just a guy in creepy black armor with a sword." The faces of the twin sons of Urri were instantly recognizable to any who had seen the spoiled brats before. "If Tala could make you run, then we'll beat you easy."
"We'll see." Rishu charged forward, with white flames in hand.
Suun and Kuel were covering the retreat of their men as the bloodbenders pressed their advantage. Between them, their fire and earth were able to hold back the barrages of water from these mercenaries. Kuel sent a torrent of lightning that made the bloodbenders flee for cover while Suun dug them into knee-deep sand.
Suun then noticed a flash of green. Ilan was sprinting as fast as ever, Tala was on his back focusing only on what was in front. Behind them was one of the wolf-mercenaries riding a self-circulating wave of water to pursue her.
"Tala!" Suun used a slab of broken stone and willed it to move like a board over water. He was met the path they were using and Tala saw him for an instant as she kept riding. He waited until the pursuer followed and shot his fist forward. Rock sprang up in different directions, too many to navigate, tripping the Avatar's attacker.
The woman deftly rolled and was back up, sending shards of ice at Suun. He used a shield of earth to catch them and sent the disc at her. The woman was quick, easily avoiding his strikes.
Tala had stopped Ilan, "Suun!" She was turning around.
"No! Tala, go!" He sent a wave of sharpened rocks at her, but she jumped over them as if nothing. "I'll be fine just get back to the palace, now!"
Tala reluctantly did as told and continued running.
Suun did everything to stop her but it was to no purpose. This woman was too powerful. She got close and reached out her hand menacingly. Suun felt his whole body leave his control again as he levitated in the air. His eyes caught onto something bright.
Flames nearly engulfed the woman, who used a small orb of water combat the fire. She stared at the attacker to see it was Kuel. He sent blistering wave after wave, almost too much for her to stop, let alone counter. But her hand made a gripping motion and Kuel lurched down as if hit in the gut with a steel pipe.
Reeling from the pain he rose in the air, suspended. The woman looked at the two men, "I guess you two will have to substitute for the Avatar."
He rolled away from the earth discs. A third came his way, he cut it in half with his katana. "Pathetic children. You learned urban form of earthbending, the weakest. If your ancestors knew what you would be they would shake in their graves."
Another discs curved wildly and missed by far. A pillar of earth shot up, hitting his hand and forcing him to release his katana.
Esas sneered at the armored warrior, "How pathetic are we now?"
"Enough that your father will have ashes to bury." White Flames chased the twins back.
As practitioners of urban earthbending, walls were weak and slow but multiple discs were quick and easy to make. Flurries of attacks had progressed but defenses suffered. Esas and Kilidi were on the run as the melting flames forced them to flee.
The twins reached an open square and split up to hit their opponent from two sides. He followed soon after. Two projectiles spiraled his way, he destroyed the first with his own blast of fire while the second harmlessly rolled off his armor.
Rishu inhaled deeply. He breathed out fiercely and fire came from the opening of his helm for just this function. His fire-breath twirled and set the square alight. Esas was hiding behind a stone wall he summoned while Kilidi sent discs of earth wildly into the flames in the hope of hitting its source.
The flames ended in a huge wall that reached up high. The stark change made things dark and blindingly hard to see. Esas and Kilidi squinted to look for their opponent, who had disappeared in the flash of light. Kilidi slowly walk past the corner of the wall he used as cover, failing to see the shadow beside him. As he turned away, two arms shot out and grabbed the neck of the unsuspecting boy. They lift him up in the air where his legs kicked wildly. Esas saw in horror as the black armored warrior's hand twisted against each other in a violent twist that resulted in a crack.
Kilidi's lifeless body fell to the floor. Esas screamed, "NO!!" He sent five discs of earth at the Black Dragon in his rage. All of them missed their mark as Rishu dodged them and moved in for the kill.
Rishu sent a concentrated ball of fire after Esas. He responded with a dome of earth that turned white from the heat. The fire continued as Rishu stood over the cowering twin. The shield broke and flames hit Esas briefly causing him to scream out in pain.
Rishu looked down on the boy before him. Stupid and arrogant, he thought that birth gave him something that could only be earned. He extended his hand over the boy and continued with another more intense stream of flame.
Urri walked through the dark halls, smirking at the foolishness of the enemy to attack at night. Now it was time to rub it in Kuir's face. He walked to the vast opening where a wood cell hung out in the air, a hundred feet from any stone or earth.
He beckoned to the White Lotus guards, they extended a wood bridge to the cell as Urri and his two guards moved forward. One of his guards opened the cell and let the King in to see the Prince.
Kuir stood their strung up by rope. "Well, isn't this an honor? The traitor king of Omashu graces me with his presence."
Urri smiled deviously, "We'll see how much of a traitor when your father begs for your life."
Kuir seemed to quiet, Urri relished the moment as he continued, "You see, Rishu is making a horrible blunder tonight, he is attacking on the full moon while we have waterbenders. When the invaders break, and your father receives the letter about your capture. Earth King Iruei will have no choice but to answer our demands."
"Then I guess you haven't received news of how the battle has progressed have you?"
Hava walked the line of Old Omashu. He could hear the rush of war but had yet to hear how the progress of the attack was. A lieutenant arrived as ordered to. "Lieutenant, where is King Urri? I have had no communications with the front lines and he needs to be kept apprised of the situation."
"Sir, the King is heading to the cell of the captured Prince Kuir, in order to interrogate him."
"Yes, sir. Between the letter to the Earth King and the victory tonight, King Urri is certain to have the enemy on the run."
Hava didn't let the man finish but instead ran to try and stop Urri's pride from messing things up.
Urri stood in a corner as his men lay in the floor helpless. He didn't understand what happened. One moment, he was recalling his letter and pretending that Iruei had responded with a promise to negotiate with him, something to ruffle the feathers of the proud prince. The next, Kuir had broken out of the rope binding and hit the two guards with quick jabs that paralyzed them. As earthbenders, they had no element to use and tried to fight Kuir in hand-to-hand combat.
But Kuir was just tapping them with hits that made them drop weak and defenseless. He was chi-blocking.
Kuir stood tall, proud and defiant. He grabbed the old man and lifted him by the scruff of his robe, "Stupid and proud. Your line is at an end, and not short enough it was." He clenched two knuckles together to drive them forward.
The blow never connected as a gust of wind hit Kuir flat in the chest, blasting him into the wooden wall. Hava stood at the door of the bridge and the cell. "You're not in a position to win, Kuir."
"That depends on perspective." Kuir lunged for Hava. He deftly avoid his strikes and used airbending to create a buffer. But Kuir was using the small space to his advantage. Hava pulled both arms back and then punched them forward. A powerful blast of wind hit Kuir and sent him through the wooden cell. He fell for some time before getting close to a wall.
Kuir grabbed on and dug in. He looked back to the cell and sent pillars of stone to destroy it, and with luck, Urri in it. Hava grabbed the king and was able to hover them to safety with earthbending, only to see that Kuir had escaped the cell and was now in contact with his element.
Kuir stomped the ground, feeling the most minute vibrations in the earth. He sensed what he was looking for and jumped for the general direction. He hit the wall as if it was water, willing it to give way to him.
Kuir tunneled through the walls of the deeper city and reached his goal. He entered the empty room to find his belongings, his armor, his hat, his mask. He figured he had enough time to put it on before he had to move.
As he placed his clothes back on, he thought about how to get out. He had memorized the steps he took to get to the cell but that would be guarded, perhaps from the throne room, by his seismic sense, that wasn't too far, and not too many men were there.
Tala and Ilan kept moving and stopped for nothing. She hated the feeling of running away but knew that she stood no chance against a bloodbender on the full moon. She hated that she was too weak to face her enemy. Ilan kept sprinting to the gate of Old Omashu. She had finally reached the bridge, no invaders had gotten this far into the city at least.
Tala crossed as men on top ordered the gate to be opened. She crossed the threshold and finally stopped Ilan from running as an Omashu officer approached. "Avatar, is everything okay?"
She breathed wildly and in stress, "No, its a trap, they have bloodbenders out there capturing anyone they can."
Before a conversation could continue, an explosion of dust and stone erupted in the palace. "Oh, what now?"
The dust of the explosion did not spread out but instead compressed into the center where a man jumped forward. He slammed in into the ground, causing a small quake before thrusting his arms out.
The massive amount of dust shot up into the air and gained a shape. It swirled around in a violent cyclone and the man at the center disappeared in it. The tornado of earth descended down the city.
Tala jumped off of Ilan, "Go find Hava, Ilan, now." She whistled the command to repeat it for his benefit as soon it became hard to hear over the torrent of the storm of stone. The storm was fast and soon reached the courtyard Tala was in. She figured by the motion that the center of the tornado was only a hundred feet ahead.
She sent several kicks of air in to cut a swath and ended with a stream of fire behind it. The response was unexpected to say the least. A metal disc seemed to fly in the cyclone and went in straight for her ribs. Tala was sent reeling and landed on the floor coughing blood as what she realized was a hat continued its circular path back to its owner.
"No." She tried to get up but it was too painful to even breath. The night faded before her and even seeing her hand in front of her was difficult, she collapsed under her own weight.
Lights and sounds pierced her painfully, as people held her down. "Tala, calm down!" "You need to rest!" "Stop fighting!"
The voices began to sound familiar and the faces were now recognizable. "What-" She couldn't finish as her lungs seared in pain.
Hava appeared, "Don't talk Tala, just listen. I'll explain everything."
She nodded as the pain ached and twisted every nerve in her body. "You've been out for two days. The battle didn't go well."
Hava sat down as Tala relaxed, "General Suun and Grand Lotus Kuel were both captured. Prince Kuir escaped, I'm guessing it was that thick metal hat of his that shattered your ribs, so don't do anything, you're still in too critical of a condition to move around."
She barely spat out a reply, "What. Else?"
Hava looked down, "We found some bodies. Two of them were together. One was too burned to identify but the other could easily be marked as Kilidi. Tala, Urri's sons are dead."
Tala began breathing heavily, "Kulek-"
"He's fine, he fell asleep in the next room. Only left when he had to. But Simi was captured as well."
Tala began to move again, "Tala, don't. There's nothing that can be done. Its done and we can only move on."
"Uh - should 'uv - been - there."
"Tala, you can't be everywhere. Your warning was sent and everyone pulled back if they could. If you hadn't come, we would never had known about the bloodbenders here in Old Omashu."
Tala let her head hit the pillow. Had how things gone so wrong? Tears welled up at the thought of the boys who made it a job to annoy her. She never really liked them, but she didn't hate Esas or Kilidi either. Now they were gone. Urri was alone, his sons and brother were gone now.
How long before she was like him, alone?
- Chapters 10-14 all occurred in the same month as the winter solstice.
- Like the great bloodbenders Yakone and Amon; certain earthbenders can bend psychically without any movement. The descendents of Bumi have perfected this 'psychic earthbending'.
- The events of this chapter have dire consequences, for some of the characters, as time passes on.
- Tala has broken ribs from her engagement with Kuir. They are still mending when Chapter 15 occurs.
- I am incredibly sick as of this chapter and may have made some mistake here or there such as how long it took to put this one out.
- The name Night of Puppets is a reference to the original episode of Avatar to show bloodbending, "The Puppetmaster".
- is revealed to be a master bloodbender.
- Esas & Kilidi died brutally. One's neck was broken and then Rishu attacked the other. He attacked and broke the defenses and lit the young twin on fire, like Simi Rohan. But rather than leaving him, he continued firing a stream of white flame, burning him into ash.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
Storms of the Future Cycle
|The Journey of Tala|
|Book 1 - Sand and Steel|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 2 - Blood and Swamps|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 3 - Pyres and Storms|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Fates and Vows|
|- - - - - - Ilera - Solace Fade - Scions - Sovereign|
|The Rise of Lirin|
|- In the Morrow - The White Dragon - Faith in Blood - The Great Gates - Lord Avatar - A Red Sun - Faceless - Faction - Tempest - Rally of Crows - Rally of Eagles - Dragons and Serpents - Kings and Men - Storms of a Spirit - Princes - A Battered Land - Seas of Ichor - Arbiter - Return to a Grave - Declination - Disaffection - Epilogue|
|Myths of the Empire|
|Pacification - Assassins - Empire - Red Sun Under The Empire - White Snow - Heirs|
|The Reclamation of Arein|
|Book 1 - Chaos|
|Refugee - Rogue - Ghosts - Dark Roses - Doyen - Divulgence - The Plan - Abscond - Mists of Illusion - Madonna - Syndicate - Playing the Stakes - Purge - Brothers|
|Book 2 - War|
|Alliance - Temple - Tensions - The Fall - Hunters and Prey - Lussuria - Shades of Relevance - Broken Star - Defiler - Strikeforce - Secrets of the Lair - Eminence - Swarm - Wanderer|
|Dreams of Melasa|
|Book 1 - Servant|
| - - - - - - - - - - - - -
|Book 2 - Shadow World|
|Faint but Clear - Ghost in the Steel - Kurotama - Loyalties - Servants of Shadow - Game of Fate - Shadows and Reflections - Tomb of Blood - Broken Blades - Hill of Shadow - Souls and Swords - Home|