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|By Manzai||Part of thecontinuity.|
, , ,
One-Eyed Wu, , Bi Junren, Dr. Teng, , Cai Fa
|Chronological and political information|
Zhengyi's animal guide
The Ban clan had kept a small population of pygmy pumas at their headquarters since the clan's founding by Avatar Zhengyi's great-grandfather. It was a custom of the various clans to choose an animal as a mascot which symbolized the values of their clan. These animals would be used in imagery, including members' tattoos, and specimens of the chosen animal were often kept by the clan. The Ban clan chose pygmy pumas because they were known for their ferocity in spite of their small size, and when the Ban clan first formed they had a small number of members. It was also said that pygmy pumas were chosen because the men of the Ban family were predisposed to be rather short.
The Ban clan kept this population of pumas for generations. The pumas were generally left alone by the clan and allowed to breed, and Fu Shan was born in a litter of these pumas. Zhengyi encountered Fu Shan on the grounds of theat some point when they were both babies. They immediately gravitated toward each other, with Fu Shan sleeping in Zhengyi's room. As Zhengyi grew up, Fu Shan remained his companion. Zhengyi would often carry Fu Shan draped around his shoulders.
Zhengyi's Avatar journey actually began with Fu Shan scratching at his bedroom door, as though he needed to be let out. It was when Zhengyi went downstairs with Fu Shan that he accidentally overheard Wu's confession that he had killed Zhengyi's father. In the ensuing fight, Fu Shan helped Zhengyi by attacking Wu's henchman Lucky Cho. Later, in an outpouring of anger, Zhengyi entered the Avatar State while seeking refuge in the tunnels under the city and almost caused a cave-in. Although and were with him, it was Fu Shan who actually soothed Zhengyi. Zhengyi calmed himself by petting Fu Shan.
When Zhengyi was captured by the Tong clan, Fu Shan was briefly caught and confined in a sack. However, he clawed his way out during the battle to help his friends fight. He leaped on the back of a Tong fighter, preventing him from attacking Zhengyi.
Fu Shan was unerringly loyal to Zhengyi and his close friends, but otherwise he had an aloof and finicky demeanor, much like that of a normal housecat. Unless they were in mortal danger, he often responded to the various trials and tribulations of Zhengyi and his friends with a deadpan cock of his head. He would often sit and watch Zhengyi's training sessions with what appeared to be a curious expression, when he wasn't just napping or chasing bugs. Fu Shan tended to not be affectionate toward people Zhengyi wasn't already close with, although he was usually playful around children. He did also seem to have an ability to tell when a certain person would render help the Avatar or his friends in the future, even when Zhengyi had just met the person.
Although Fu Shan was not large enough to ride on, like some other animal guides throughout history, he was quite capable of fighting alongside Zhengyi when necessary. He seemed to have a natural ability to coordinate attacks with his friend. As a pygmy puma, Fu Shan had great agility and speed. He could skitter up walls, fences, or the leg of an opponent, or dart around the legs of a group of brawlers. He was also capable of using his strong claws and teeth in battle, a fact some of the Avatar's enemies overlooked, perhaps because of Fu Shan's size.
Although pygmy pumas are said to be smart compared to other felines, Fu Shan was said to display exceptional intelligence, closer to the level of a primate such as a lemur. Fu Shan even appeared to be able to understand human language, although apparently this was common to all Avatars' animal guides. Fu Shan also lived for many, many decades, an age unheard of among normal pygmy pumas, which was also probably due to his status as an animal guide.
Fu Shan was Zhengyi's oldest friend. Zhegyi had trouble trusting others, especially at the beginning of his Avatar journey, but he always felt he could rely on Fu Shan. Both treated each other more like two equal human friends than master and pet. When training at the Southern Air Temple, some airbenders told Zhengyi about the animal guides of past Avatars, mentioning that Avatars often used them as mounts. Zhengyi found this idea strange and said that it seemed "rude" to the animal.
In the early part of Zhengyi's Avatar journey, Fu Shan helped forge the bond between Zhengyi and the other members of his "Team Avatar" (that being, , ). The others found Fu Shan as friendly and loyal as Zhengyi did. Fu Shan was Zhengyi's only real friend prior to starting his journey, and seeing others enjoy the company of the playful cat helped establish a base commonality from which he built a friendship with the others.
Despite his normally good sense of people's character, Fu Shan appeared to only have become aware of Wu's hidden motives when Zhengyi did. Prior to that, he appeared to have no problem letting Wu, or other Ban clan members who proved to be Zhengyi's enemies, get near him. When fighting alongside Zhengyi, Fu Shan tended to jump on to enemies and claw at them forcing them to wrestle him off frantically in a rather undignified-looking way. Avatar Zhengyi once commented that he wasn't entirely convinced Fu Shan wasn't aware of this effect.
Like Xin Fung and Heung Chu, Fu Shan was named after a position in the real-world Triads, that of the Fu Shan Chu, which means "Deputy Mountain Master."
A pygmy puma was chosen to be Zhengyi's animal guide because, when they appear in the original series, they were closely identified with the streets of Ba Sing Se. They were supposedly considered "Kings of the Alleyways," according to nick.com. This sort of image seemed to be very appropriate to the Hei Chaoliu.
|Animal guide to the Avatar in the Heir of Ban continuity|
855 BG - 728 BG
| Succeeded by|
Unknown, eventually Fang
For the collective works of the author, go here.