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Inside the mountain there was an entire city, lit by the glow of thousands of crystals. Inspired by the three ring structure of Ba Sing Se, the Earth King made the city with three levels, the rich high end upper ring to house the nobles and administrators of the city, the middle class middle ring housing the skilled and middle class and finally the lower ring, housing the poor and hardworking peasants and refugees. The only way to enter the city was through a huge Earthbending-powered elevator beneath the command tower in the fortress above.
After the city was completed, the Earth King arrived and inspected the huge structure. After seeing the trains that ran around the wall, the Earth King named the fortress after his ancestor Yi Ming, who invented the monorail system in Ba Sing Se.
The soldiers in the fortress were all powerful, male Earthbenders wearing the normal Earth Kingdom military uniforms. All the female Earthbenders in the city pushed the trains and constructed new structures, but would fight in times of need. The police in the city were a force of 300 elite Earthbenders who wore the uniforms of the Dai Li and operated in highly effective pairs. With all the defenses, the Earth King believed the fortress to be able to withstand the might of any Fire Nation attack, but that assumption would soon be put to the test.
The 8,000 soldiers of the fortress were housed in eight barracks, each lead by a commander - a powerful Earthbender with wit, cunning and leadership. Every two barracks were under the command of a colonel, an even more powerful Earthbender with even greater wit and cunning than a commander. Finally, each four barracks was commanded by one of two generals, General Ying and General Tzu. Both men were immensely powerful Earthbenders and both of their skills were battle proven, as shown by the fact that Tzu lost his left hand in battle, and now uses a hand-shaped piece of rock as a hand. The commander of the fortress was General Tao, an Earthbender thought to be among the best in the world. Although holding immense sway over the city, General Tao did not rule the city. The city was governed by 34 year old King Yung (considered to be the best Earthbender in the world) who was considered a good and fair king just as much as he was considered powerful.
Things went smoothly for many years, as there were only a few small scale skirmishes with the Fire Nation, but one day, General Tao woke to see that the Fire Nation had set up 10 trebuchets to bombard the fortress, and had assembled 1,000 tundra tanks and 25,000 soldiers to attack the fortress. Tao summoned 6,000 soldiers to the wall, and just as he arrived at the wall, the trebuchets fired off their first volley. Enraged, he bellowed out his first command "Soldiers and artillery-FI-" but was interrupted by King Yung, who appeared behind him, offered him some tea, and commented "The key to earthbending is Neutral Jing. Wait and listen, and then attack". Yung closed his eyes, took a sip of tea, and then bellowed in a thunderous voice," Fire!!!" launched himself hundreds of feet in the air, and when he hit the ground below he made a tremendous earthquake so strong the people of the city could feel the earth shake and rumble. Two tanks launched simultaneous fire blasts, Yung blocked the blasts, and then cut each tank in half with simultaneous boulders. Then with two powerful chops Yung opened up a gigantic crevasse and dozens of tundra tanks careened into the crevasse. Yung then created an earthboard, and propelled himself forward, and on his way to the trebuchets he launched tanks and soldiers away with columns of earth, created earthquakes, launched precisely guided boulders and encased soldiers in earthen spikes. once he reached the trebuchets in the wake the destruction, he found General Tzu and General Ying. Together they raised a huge wall of earth 30 feet high and 8 feet wide, and then pushed the wall forward to create a giant earth wave. but at the end of the complex earthbending move, the trio found themselves surrounded by a ring of firebenders. In a split second, he launched all of the firebenders into the air. He turned up the mountain and saw the troops of the Ming fortress, led by Tao, beating the firebenders back. Yung saw this battle as won, but such a powerful Earth Kingdom base would attracted many more Fire Nation attacks.
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