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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 Du Clan
General information
Leader(s)

Du Tuo Da, Du Jungshi, Du Huang

Notable members
  • Du Jungshi
Founder(s)

Unknown

Headquarters

Unknown, somewhere in Ba Sing Se

Affiliation

None

Purpose

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

Du may refer to both the Du family itself or the Hei Chaoliu criminal clan organized around the family. The Du clan was a relatively powerful clan for decades. By some estimations it was the most powerful clan in the city from the 890s to the 870s BG. The Du clan was known for its use of deception and subterfuge in its dealings. Its chosen mascot, the viper-mink, reflected this. The Du clan was also known for often poisoning the kris knives they used.

History

The Du clan was reportedly one of the "Five Original Clans" of the Hei Chaoliu. No records of the formation of the first Hei Chaoliu clans exist to confirm this, but it was widely believed even among Chaoliu members who belonged to other clans. Records of the Du family only go back to Du Tuo Da, the Mountain Master of the clan around 900 BG. Around this time the Du clan's feud with the Ban clan began, and the two clans started fighting in earnest. Tuo Da had a reputation for ruthlessness, but the Du clan reached its peak under his leadership.

After Tuo Da died control passed to his son, Du Jungshi. Du Jungshi was Mountain Master for about 20 years. The clan remained successful under him, but he was as ruthless as his father. Much of the Du clan's activity at this time involved its competing with the Ban clan. In 855 BG Jungshi attempted to assassinate the Mountain Master of the Ban clan, Ban Ti Xi, by luring him into a meeting, only to be killed himself by Er Shi "One-Eyed" Wu.

With Jungshi's death the clan leadership passed to his brother Du Huang. Huang declared "cánrěn chóu", a vendetta or blood-feud, on the Ban clan. Huang was unable to exact his revenge on the Ban clan leadership due to the fact that the Ban clan concealed the location of its headquarters. However, some seven months after Jungshi's death Ti Xi's son Zhengyi was found to be the Avatar. In a coup to gain control of the Avatar, Er Shi Wu, either in disguise or through a proxy, revealed the formerly secret location of the Ban clan compound. The Du attacked in a midnight raid, but were beaten back by the Ban clan. However, during or shortly after the attack Wu killed Ti Xi and framed the Du for it. In order to continue this facade, Wu declared a vendetta against the Du clan and ramped up Ban efforts against them, supposedly in retaliation for Ti Xi's murder.

Capitalizing on his men's desire for revenge, and being more aggressive than Ti Xi, Wu carried out unrelenting attacks against the Du clan. Only a few years later, Du Huang was killed. Control of the Du clan passed to a series of lieutenants, but the clan had been severely demoralized. Later, when Wu began using the Avatar to help with his criminal operations and battles, the Du clan was damaged even further. By 842 BG Wu had more or less wiped out the Du clan, although reportedly he partially absorbed them into the Ban clan, by allowing several low-ranking Du members to pledge loyalty to him and join the Ban clan.

Organization and Structure

The Du clan was organized in the same way as the other Hei Chaoliu clans, with the oldest member of the Du family leading the clan as Mountain Master. Below him there were several lieutenants who served various functions for the clan, followed by several ranks of ordinary fighters. Positions were generally appointed based on seniority. These clan officer positions included the Deputy Mountain Master, who advised the Mountain master and served in his place when he was indisposed; the General, who was in charge of combat operations for the clan; the Bookkeeper, who kept track of the clan's money; and the Counselor, who advised the Mountain Master on tactics and strategy. Du Jungshi and Du Huang were both known to have held the position of Deputy Mountain Master under the leaders they respectively succeeded. Before he became Deputy, Du Huang was the clan General.

Relationship to Other Hei Chaoliu Clans

The Du were known for their ruthlessness and use of deception, as well as their secrecy. They were known to often use tactics like assassination and infiltration. Other clans that entered into alliances with them often found themselves cheated or stabbed in the back (figuratively or literally). The Du clan was good at keeping their activities hidden from other clans and the authorities. The actual location of the Du clan headquarters was never known, but there was a rumor that the Du family house was located in the Middle Ring, not far from City Hall. There were also rumors that they had hidden, undercover operatives working within rival clans, and even the city guard. The Du clan's weapon of choice, (poisoned kris knives), and their mascot (the viper-mink), were believed to have been chosen because they were related to these ideas of silence and deception. It is likely that the feud between the Ban and Du clans developed as a result of these underhanded tactics.

List of Known Members

  • Du Jungshi
  • Du Huang
  • Du Tuo Da
  • "Big-Eared" Sheng
  • Zai "the Pirate"

Behind the Scenes

Most of the Hei Chaoliu clans that appear in Avatar: The Heir of Ban are named after famous Chinese criminals. The Du clan's name is a reference to Du Yuesheng, a powerful criminal kingpin who was active in Shanghai during the Republican Era, and had ties to Chiang Kai-shek. "Jungshi" was reportedly one of Du Yuesheng's nicknames, meaning "Boss of the Underworld."

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