|By Manzai||See other fanon and fan fiction works from Manzai.|
|"You've heard all the war stories, Sozin. The entire country was torn apart. Brother fought brother. That's the kind of disaster a weak Fire Lord can cause. As heir to the throne, it's up to you to make sure you don't repeat your grandfather's mistakes. I push you because I love this country.
|— Izuma to Sozin|
Izuma was the Fire Lord prior to Sozin. She lead the eastern Royalist forces in the Fire Nation Civil War. She successfully put down a rebellion lead by her brother Kai Hin and even to the present was considered a great hero for reunifying the Fire Nation. However, she could only do so much to rebuild after the civil war, and she died with starvation and poverty still rampant. Furthermore, after The War ended, some scholars have called attention to the way she raised her successor Sozin. Izuma very much feared that the causes of the Civil War could be reawakened, and so she insisted that Sozin be a strong ruler and utilize the power of nationalist rhetoric to keep the Fire Nation united.
Early Life and Leadership in the Civil War
Izuma was born the first child of Fire Lord in 56 BG. Her brother Kai Hin was born in 51 BG. Little is known of her childhood.
In accordance with tradition, Genzai named her, the older child, his successor as Fire Lord. The power-hungry Kai Hin had attempted to influence his father to choose him as successor. Though Kai Hin's intentions were obvious, Genzai attempted to placate him by increasing the size of Kai Hin's personal duchy. This did not satisfy Kai Hin however, and only made the coming conflict more inevitable. Genzai died of a stroke soon after, in 21 BG. Izuma took the throne, but knew her succession would mean war. Kai Hin's plans were already laid, and within days of Izuma's ascention to the throne he lead the western provinces in open rebellion against his sister, lending much-needed legitimacy to their rebellion.
The Fire Nation erupted into open civil war. Izuma lead the royalist faction, whose support was mostly concentrated in the more wealthy eastern part of thte country. Because the east was more heavily populated but depended more on trade economically, Kai Hin salted the earth of captured royalist districts, rendering the normally fertile volcanic soil barren across huge swaths of territory. This gave him a short-term advantage, but his ruthlessness convinced Avatar Roku, who had refused to take sides in the war until then, to support the royalists. The final battle of the war took place on Roku's crescent island. Izuma fought alongside Roku, and Kai Hin was captured in the battle. The rebels were crushed and Kai Hin was executed weeks later.
Rule as Fire Lord
Shortly after that Izuma married one of her colonels in the war, a nobleman named Jiroh. She quickly became pregnant. Izuma followed the tradition of Fire Nation royalty and took her unborn child to Roku's temple to have the Avatar read her chi. Roku noted that Sozin seemed to have an aura that was oddly deficient in yin energy. Roku told her this could mean either aggression or determination and strong willpower. Izuma preferred to believe the latter.
Izuma gave birth to Sozin in 25 BG. Izuma did her best to raise him with Jiroh, and although there were some cells of rebels still trying to restart the civil war, she was generally considered a benevolent and effective Fire Lord. Due to Kai Hin's tactic of salting the earth, food had become dangerously scarce since the war, but Izuma did her best to control the famine and distribute food equitably. She famously had servants give away a basket of bread at the palace door every evening. This improved her image, but was more of a public relations move than anything, since the fertility of the land was not completely out of her hands.
Izuma and Jiroh had another child, Kuzon, in 18 BG. Before Kuzon was born, Izuma visited Roku again. This time Roku told her that Kuzon had a proportional lack of yang energy to Sozin's lack of yin. Unfortunately, Jiroh died a year later while campaigning to suppress a rebel cells in the west. Izuma was concerned to have her children grow up without a father, so she married one of her generals, the hard-nosed Gizu. Their marriage was built on mutual respect, but not much affection. Izuma wanted to be sure Sozin would be a strong ruler, and she knew Gizu would teach him discipline and directness. She also had Gizu teach her sons to use weapons.
Izuma died relatively young, in 4 BG at the age of 52. She contracted a common disease. The method of treatment was known, but like many agriculteral products, the necessary herb was practically extict in the Fire Nation in the wake of the civil war. History records that Izuma spoke privately to each of her sons before she died. At her funeral, the head Fire Sage named her "Great Lady of Fire to our nation for 21 years. [O]ur fearless leader in the Civil War. Our benevolent defender of national unity."
HIstory generally remembers Izuma as a good ruler, but less of a mother. People beleve she was so focused on helping the Fire Nation recover after the civil war that she did not take enough care considering how Sozin would turn out. After Sozin's War, some opponents of the monarchic system pointed to Izuma's example, saying in effect that it is too much responsibility for a person to both be a good Fire Lord and also raise the next Fire Lord to ensure he or she will also be a good one.
Izuma was usually kind, but was known for being very fierce in battle. She had strong combat skills, but was also skilled in diplomacy.
She spoke kindly to her family and those she knew personally. Although she subjected Sozin and Kuzon to difficult training at Gizu's hands, she also mediated between Gizu and the children's strong personalities to allow that setup to continue.
Izuma had a somewhat more headstrong personality in her youth, but it was tempered by the experience of the civil war. However, her desire to prevent another civil war from ever occurring was always foremost in her mind. To that end, she single-mindedly pushed Sozin to be a strong ruler. She constantly reminded him that if he wavered on decisions or allowed too much dissension another civil war could break out. Izuma meant well, but failed to realize that while her advice was good in the context of her father's time, it was dangerous in the context of the time Sozin would preside over as Fire Lord.
Izuma took a very hands-on approach in her leadership during the Roku's island. She was reportedly skilled with both the bow and the spear, and preferred to fight while mounted on either a komodo rhino or a mongoose dragon., and occasionally lead troops on the field, most notably during the final battle on
Izuma was a relatively skilled firebender, although her son Sozin likely surpassed her in ability.
Izuma is also remembered as a caring ruler who was skilled in diplomacy and arbitration. Her policies following the Civil War generally did as good a job as was reasonably possible of mitigating starvation and distributing food equitably.
Behind the Scenes
|Preceded by||Fire Lord (Enemies and Traitors continuity)|
21 BG - 4 BG
| Succeeded by|
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