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|On Ember Island, Part 1: The Tournament|
April 23, 2011
Previously on Around the World (Again)
The gang started their adventure around the world again after living in Ba Sing Se for almost a year.
The gang participates in a tournament on Ember Island, but there's a certain team that they need to watch out for.
On Ember Island Part 1: The Tournament
"There it is!" Aang said, pointing to a beach house as the sun rose, making the water glow next to the beautiful beach. "Welcome back to Ember Island, guys! Appa, yip, yip!" Appa flew down to the house that they stayed in last time they were there. He landed on the courtyard with a thud and the gang jumped down off Appa and landed on the ground.
For the first time in about a year for the gang except Zuko, they were out of Ba Sing Se. The wind blew against them as they walked into the house that once belonged to Zuko's father, Ozai.
They walked into a hallway that lead to different rooms, each one belonging to a member of the gang. They all went to the rooms that was theirs and dropped there traveling supplies on the floor.
"I need to eat something." Sokka said when everyone was out in the hall again.
"I'll get the food that we gathered from Ba Sing Se and cook it." Katara said.
"I'll help!" Suki added.
After they got the food, cooked it, and ate, they went outside to the courtyard and talked for about an hour. After they ran out of things to say, Aang asked, "What do we do now?"
"Let's go to the beach!!!" Sokka yelled.
"Why not? It'll be fun!" Aang said. They all went to their rooms, changed into their bathing suits, and headed for the Ember Island Beach. The sun was now high up in the sky and the clouds were so white and fluffy; there was not a single sign of a storm coming or any bad weather for that matter.
When the gang got onto the beach, they saw people playing on it, all from the three nations. Three groups of about six people, stood, chattering next to a net that was in the center of a circular playing area. Each group had a different colored bathing suit; red, green, and yellow.
"What's going on over there?" Katara asked, looking at the people.
"I don't know. Let's go check it out." Aang told them and they walked to the net where the people were. The second Aang stepped into the circular playing area, everyone stopped talking and looked at him, all eyes on his tattoos.
"Umm...hello?" Aang said. A man of about thirty years old stepped out from behind the group of people and greeted him and the gang happily,
"Hello! Welcome to Ember Island, Avatar Aang and his friends! My name is Kurin! I'm the judge and coach of the tournament. I have been so for nine years, soon to be ten!" He said, shaking Aang's hand.
"Nice to meet you, Kurin. Tournament? What tournament? And what is everyone doing?" asked Aang, looking at the groups of people.
"It's that time of year again in the Fire Nation, the Fire Nation Sporting and Games Tournament!" Kurin said. "The tournament used to take place in any of the four nations and used to be called the Four Nations Tournament. But ever since the war started, the tournament was only played in the Fire Nation and was renamed the Fire Nation Sporting and Games Tournament. Not the best name, if you ask me. I've been trying to get it changed back to the way it was, the old name and playing in the three nations, ever since the war ended. Of course I need to go through several steps to accomplish that, but in the meantime, let me tell you more about the tournament.
"This year, since the tournament is still only played in the Fire Nation, it will be taking place here on Ember Island. The team that wins the most sporting and game events out of three events will win the tournament and get rewarded with one hundred gold pieces and this year's tournament, winners will also receive free tickets to the double play event tonight at the Ember Island Theater! We have four teams competing in the tournament each year. When the tournament first started, we held team tryouts so you could play in the it and we still, or I still do that. Every team can keep playing for five tournaments, unless they want to quit early, and then we'll have four new teams playing. We've had these teams," He turned to the groups of people. "play for three years. They have two more years to play. If a team drops out, we'll accept anyone who wants to participate. And this year, as you can see, we only have three teams so we need one more. Our forth team dropped out last year because of their big failure against Team Fire." The gang stared at Kurin, wondering what the 'big failure' was. Though Kurin, didn't notice this and asked Aang, still in a joyfull voice. "Hey, you guys like a challenge, right? Would you and your friends be interested in playing?"
"Umm.. I have to talk to them about it first. We'll be right back," said Aang and he walked a few feet away with the gang.
"Should we compete?" Aang asked.
"I don't know, Aang." said Katara.
"It could be fun." Toph said.
"But what about the team's failure when they competed against Team Fire?" Suki asked.
"Maybe Kurin didn't mean it. Maybe he meant that the other team only lost to Team Fire and they didn't like losing so they quit," said Sokka.
"We should try." Zuko said.
"Yeah, it's just a game!" Toph added.
"It's your choice Aang." Katara said, looking at him. Aang looked at the others and finally said,
"Okay, guys. Let's play!" They walked back to Kurin, who still had a smile on his face.
"So?" He asked.
"Yes! We'll play. But we'll only play for this year's tournament. We're traveling around the world so we won't be staying in the Fire Nation that long." Aang said.
"That's okay. It's just great that we have another team playing this year. No one wants to play because of Team Fire." The gang gasped a little, though Kurin didn't hear it and continued. "So, are you all prepared?" asked Kurin.
"Umm.. yes?" But Aang wasn't going to be afraid of Team Fire anymore and said, in a more confident voice. "We're ready to play! What's the first sporting or game event?"
"Kuai Ball!" said Kurin. "Get ready, your team plays in the second round. Since all the other colors are taken, you all have to be the team wearing blue bathing suits. Here go put these on." He got six blue bathing suits and gave them to Aang. "And think of a team name." He then walked over to the other people around the net.
"Kuai Ball? What's that?" Suki asked.
"And how do you play?" added Sokka.
"I'll tell you as soon as we change into these bathing suits. Let's go back to the house." After they all changed into the blue bathing suits, Zuko explained to them what Kuai Ball was and how it was played.
"That seems easy!" Aang said. They began to walk back to the net where Kurin was.
"What should our team name be?" Katara asked.
"That's obvious; TEAM AVATAR!" said Sokka.
"Okay!" Aang said as they reached the net.
"Oh good! You're here," said Kurin. Okay, the first round is about to start. I'll explain the event in a minute to everyone. So, any questions?" Kurin said.
"Yeah. Are there any other judges? And how did this tournament start?" Katara asked.
"No, I'm the only judge this year. There used to be more judges before, but they all lost interest of the tournament, or so they said. I believe that it was because of another reason. 'How did this tournament start?' I can't tell you that now. The first round is about to begin. Just remind me about it later." Kurin walked away.
"Ladies and Gentlemen!!" said Kurin to the crowd that was gathering around the playing area. "Get ready for the start of the Fire Nation Sports and Games Tournament!! The games and sports change each year, to make the tournament more interesting and the first event will be.. Kuai Ball!" He pointed to the net and held up a ball, that had the four nations' colors, red, blue, yellow, and green, in the air so that it was visible to everyone. "This ball, as some of you may know, is the ball that has been used in the tournament ever since it started. The coaches always made sure that every year, at least one event will require the use of this ball.
"Now, back to Kuai Ball. When the ball hits the opposing team's side, the other team will get a point. First to ten wins! Okay, Team Island, Team Fire, into the playing area." Two teams, one wearing yellow bathing suits, the other red, walked into the playing area that had the net in it. They stood on opposite sides.
"On the count of three, we start this year's tournament!" Kurin started. "Ready; One.. two..." He held a whistle in front of his mouth. "THREE!" He blew the whistle, threw the ball into the playing area, making the first event of the tournament begin. The red team was playing hard. They kicked and hit the ball as hard as they could. The yellow team could barely stop the ball from hitting the ground and some seemed to be avoiding it. They managed to get a couple of points though.
After a few minutes, the red team won.
"That's ten points for Team Fire and three for Team Island. Team Fire wins!" Kurin said as he blew as whistle, signaling the end of the round. Kurin walked over to the gang and said,
"Okay you're all against Team Explode, the team wearing green. What's your team name?"
"Te-" Sokka answered before Aang could, "TEAM AVATAR!"
"Okay Team Avatar, go onto the right side of the playing area." Once they got there, they saw the green team enter the playing area. A ball was placed on the other team's side. Kurin then began to speak,
"Round Two! Team Avatar vs Team Explode! Reminder: First to ten points wins! Ready, set.." A whistle blew and a person from Team Explode kicked the ball towards Aang. He tried to kick it, but missed.
"One point for Team Explode!" Kurin said and the match continued. This time, it was Team Avatar who hit the ball first. Katara kicked it to the other side, but it didn't hit the ground. Someone on the other team bounced it back over the net. Zuko jumped into the air and kicked the ball back to the other side and this time it hit the sand.
"One point for Team Avatar!" Kurin said. The round continued with the ball being hit back and forth.
"Another point for Team Explode! Now the scores are tied at nine! One more point and we'll have a winner!" The whistle was blown again and the Aang hit the ball with his hand, throwing it over the next to the other side. The other team hit it back and then so did the gang. This ball continued to bounce back and forth for a few more seconds until Toph hit the ball with her hand, causing it to hit the ground on the other team's side.
"TEAM AVATAR WINS!! Team Avatar will be facing Team Island next round while Team Explode will be facing Team Fire! Everyone follow me!" Kurin walked across the beach, everyone was following him.
"Could you tell now about how the tournament started?" Aang asked Kurin when he caught up to him, the gang was right next to Aang, listening.
"Of course! Let's see if I can remember..ah yes... It was a few years before Sozin started the war. People from the four nations wanted the whole world to be more connected. They thought, how could they bring together the four nations into one place. Then it occurred to them; create a tournament that would allow one team from each of the four nations to compete against each other in a friendly competition." Kurin said. "They were aware that it might bring a big fight against the nations, but decided that the best way to prevent that, was to award each nation with a prize of some sort; money, clothing, food, anything. It was a great idea! And the tournament continued on, undisturbed, that is until Sozin began the war.
"The year before it started, Sozin, or so I read in a book, issued that the tournament should not take place that year because of his plans of the war. The word spread throughout the other nations and they began to grow more suspicious of what the Fire Nation was up to, for they had remained quiet for a while . They continued with the tournament that year without the Fire Nation.
"And then it happened; The comet came and Sozin killed the Air Nomads, therefore starting the war. He continued attacking the other nations, but he couldn't finish them off.
"Then it was that time when the tournament would usually be played. What did they do? Well, they- Hey there it is!" Kurin pointed to a game board that was sitting on a wooden table on the beach and everyone stopped and looked at it.
"I set it up myself early in the day. I have to go judge slash coach the event. I'll see you in a minute," Kurin said to the gang and began to move his feet towards the table.
"But wait!" Aang said. Kurin stopped and looked at him.
"Yes?" he asked.
"What about the history of the tournament? We want to know more," Katara said.
"I'll tell you about it after the match," Kurin now walked to the table and spoke to the audience.
"The next event will be a game of Pai Sho! First up; Team Explode vs Team Fire!!! Pick a player for each of your teams," said Kurin. A man in red shorts faced a woman in a green bathing suit. The outcome of the game;
"Team Fire wins!!!! They're going to the finals! Now it's Team Island vs Team Avatar!!!" Kurin said.
"Who wants to play?" Katara asked.
"I don't know how to play Pai Sho. I never paid attention while we were playing against Iroh in Ba Sing Se," Sokka said.
"I'll do it," said Zuko. "I always came so close to beating Uncle in Pai Sho."
"You were the only one to do so," said Toph. Zuko walked to the table and sat on a wooden seat facing a strong man wearing a yellow bathing suit.
"You ready to go down!?!" the man taunted. Zuko didn't answer and waited until Kurin said,
"Ready, set, play!" He blew his whistle and the game began. Though the other man didn't look so intelligent, he was a great Pai Sho player.
"The winner is TEAM AVATAR!!!" A round of applause followed Kurin's comment. "They'll be facing Team Fire in the finals!! Everyone follow me again!" The gang gave a big gulp and as they followed Kurin, Katara said,
"Team Fire. Didn't Kurin say that the other team last year dropped out because of a big failure against them?"
"Yep," said Aang nervous to see what the final event was going to be. "But what was it that they did to make another team drop out?"
"I don't- We need talk to Kurin about it and the history of the tournament. Hurry! Before we get to the next event or else he won't have time to tell us about it. We need to know what Team Fire did last year, so that we can prepared when we have to face them. Lets go!" Katara said. The gang walked fast to Kurin.
"Hey Team Avatar!" he said happily. "You need something?
"Yes. Can you tell us more about the tournament's history?"Aang said. He wasn't going to ask him about Team Fire...yet.
"Oh, of course!" He smiled. "Let's see, where were we? Ah yes. It was time for the tournament happen, but this was the year that the tournament's name changed to The Fire Nation Sports And Games Tourament and it only took place in the Fire Nation. The other nations didn't trust the Fire Nation after their attack on the Air Nomads, so they didn't want to play in the tournament. And so, the tournament continued in the Fire Nation.
"Then, nine years ago, I found out the tournament needed new judges and I, who always enjoyed watching it, decided to try and get the job. Not only would I be paid by the Fire Lord himself, but I would also be seeing the tournament every year for as long as I worked as a judge. Four years passed and we, the judges, needed four new teams. Several teams came from all over the Fire Nation. We choose the teams that we thought were the best to compete. So, we choose the teams the became Team Island, Team Explode, and Team Fire."
Aang knew that he had to ask Kurin about Team Fire and so he did, "Hey, Kurin?" Kurin looked at him. "What did Team Fire do that made the other team quit last year?"
Kurin sighed and spoke, in a much lower voice.
"Okay, I'll tell you, but don't talk about it near Team Fire. It will make them angry. Team Fire is a ruthless team. They take the game too seriously. They weren't always like this, though. The two years before last year, they were nice and had great sportsmanship. And then the next year, they didn't have that anymore. But how could such a team go from playing the game for fun to playing the game for money? I think that it was because they lost the tournament the year before the last. The team that they lost to was a new team, since the team before them dropped out because they had to do other things. It was their first year playing in the tournament and they took it much too seriously. They wanted to crush all the other teams and so they did, by winning the tournament and rubbing it in the other teams' faces. It was their poor sportsmanship that I believe made Team Fire become what they are today. They wanted revenge on that team, which was called Team Win.
"The tournament was played again the next year and Team Fire won that year. It was Team Win that dropped out. Why? Well, because of Team Fire. They played the game like Team Win played the year before, only they were much more ruthless. They would injure anyone when they had the chance. One of Team Win's player got their leg hurt in an event. They didn't want to continue this for another three years, so they quit.
"There used to be three more judges, but they left because, like Team Win, of Team Fire. We, the judges, wanted to ban Team Fire from the tournament, but we were all to afraid of them. They didn't follow the rules; they didn't care if they would be thrown in jail, they just wanted money. The other judges quit because of their fear of Team Fire and so did the coach. I, of course, stayed for I love the tournament too much and since one coach is required to watch the tournament, I became the coach. "But I knew that I needed to remove Team Fire from the competition so I traveled to Fire Lord Ozai's Palace to get him to throw Team Fire in jail.
"When I spoke to him, he didn't care at all. He just told me to leave him alone and so I left the palace, without accomplishing anything. What could I do? There had to be something I could do. Then I heard that the war had ended and there had been a new Fire Lord; Zuko." Kurin smiled at Zuko and then continued to talk, in a much faster, but still low voice. "I immediately thought of going to him and telling him of Team Fire and changing the name back to the Four Nations Tournament. But every time I did, I heard that he was not in the Fire Nation, but in Ba Sing Se. Though he did visit the palace often, I could not find the right time to see him, for I had to keep working on my other job.
"So, I then went to Ba Sing Se to find him. I asked the Earth King where he was and he told me that Zuko was traveling the world, searching for his mother. I went back to my home. The tournament's time was approaching and there was nothing I could do to get rid of Team Fire. I decided to accept the fact that Team Fire would still be playing and I searched for another team to replace Team Win. But no one wanted to play against Team Fire. So, I thought, until you guys showed up, that we would just have to play with three teams. That was only done one other time, remember, the year before Sozin attacked the Air Nomads. So... do you need anything else?"
"Yes, what was the game or sport that Team Win lost in?" Zuko asked.
"It was Hide and Explode." Kurin said. He was still talking in a low voice. "Yes, I know it's a kid's game, but the coach before me thought it was appropriate for the tournament. It was a real mess. Hide and Explode will never be played in this tournament every again.
"We're here! The final event!" Kurin said to everyone.
They had reached a grass courtyard near the beach. Kurin showed Team Fire to one side of the courtyard and then showed the gang to the other.
"Okay, the final event is a battle against Team Fire. You'll all be fighting the other team. If you get knocked down by someone on the other team, you're out and the other team gets a point for every person that falls down. The team that has the most points at the end wins the tournament." Kurin said to the gang. Then he walked to the center of the courtyard and said in a loud voice so everyone could hear him,
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the final event in the Fire Nation Sporting and Games Tournament! Team Fire will be facing Team Avatar in a battle. The event is simple; When a person gets knocked down, they're out and the other team gets a point. Teams, get ready! The final event starts in ten minutes! You'll find food and water on the tables near you." And there was a table behind the gang holding bowls of fruit, cups filled with water, and, to Sokka's delight,
"MEAT!!" He rushed over to the table and stuffed meat into his mouth.
"Sokka! Don't eat to much! You'll get cramps and you'll be too full to fight." said Katara.
"Fine." said Sokka, his mouth filled with meat. He swallowed it down and they all began to stretch.
"Speaking of the fight," Suki started, nervously, "What are going to do about Team Fire?"
"Guys, let's not worry about this." said Aang.
"Yeah! We ended the war! We can take these losers!" Sokka said.
"You're right, Sokka! We can do this!" Katara said.
"Because we're Team Avatar!!!" Toph said. Kurin walked back over to them,
"Okay, we're about to start. Now there's only one rule; you can't injure anyone from the other team. Just knock them down," he said.
"Is Team Fire following that rule?" Aang asked.
"Oh..um.. I have go back to the center of the courtyard. Good Luck!" Kurin said. He then ran back to the center of the courtyard and spoke in a loud voice.
"Is the audience ready?" The large audience, standing a few feet away from the courtyard, exploded with cheers. "Are the teams ready?" Both teams yelled yes.
"Okay ready," Kurin began. Team Fire walked closer into the courtyard, while Team Avatar stayed put. "set," Team Fire put their hands up, prepared to bend fire at them. Team Avatar was one step behind; they moved closer to the other team. "GO!"
Team Fire charged at them and after a moment of thinking, so did Team Avatar. The battle, surprisingly, only lasted about three minutes; Aang knocked down the leader of Team Fire with a blast of Airbending. Katara knocked down a man of about twenty years of age with the Waterbending Whip. A member of Team Fire managed to knock down a player from Team Avatar; Sokka. It was a girl, about eighteen years old, who knocked Sokka down. She threw a fire blast at Sokka and he didn't manage to move out of the way in time, so he leaned back as to avoid the fire. But he leaned back to much and fell. The girl laughed at him,
"Hahahahahah- ahh!" She too fell to the grass by Suki after she kicked the girl on her back.
"Who's laughing now?" said Suki and she waved at Sokka, who had a big smile on his face, and then ran back to knock down the remaining members of the other team.
Suki took down another girl which only left two other players on the opposing team. Zuko and Toph each took down a member from the other team, leaving Team Avatar in victory.
"Team Avatar WINS!!" Kurin yelled followed by a huge round of applause.
"Wow! They weren't tough at all! In fact, they were the easiest people we've ever faced!" Toph said.
"What? We lost? No...NO!!" said the leader of Team Fire, but no one heard him until,
"AHHHHHHHH!" He and the other members of Team Fire were now charging at Aang, since he was the leader. Fire started shooting out of the palms of their hands. The leader threw a large ball of fire at Aang, who didn't move because he was too stunned at the sudden attack. The fireball nearly hit Aang's face until a huge wave of water splashed the whole Team Fire hard onto the grass. Katara had bended water from the beach onto the them. She walked over to the team that was laying on the grass. Katara made a sudden movement forward to scare them and make them apologize. And so they did,
"Sorry. We're so sorry Avatar Aang," the leader stood up and bowed to Aang. "Your team won fair and square. We'll just go now. Congratulations on winning the Tournament.... Team Avatar."
"Because of that attack you almost made, you are now banned from the tournament forever. You can still watch it, but you and your team are banned from ever playing. Oh, and the new name of the tournament is its old name, The Four Nations Tournament." Zuko said and Kurin put a big smile on his face.
"Thank you, Fire Lord Zuko!" Kurin shook hands with him.
"Hang on! Banned?!" the team leader yelled at him and Katara put her hands in the air like she was going to bend some more water.
"I mean, of course. We deserve to be banned." the team leader said. "We have to go now, right guys?" The team nodded.
"See you around Avatar Aang and his friends. And you," he was now talking to Katara. He said in a surrendering voice. "You are the ultimate Waterbender!" He bowed to her and then he and his team walked away.
"The 'Ultimate Waterbender'?.... I like that!" said Katara, smiling.
"Well, here are your rewards; one hundred gold pieces and six tickets to the double play event tonight in the Ember Island Theater!" said Kurin, handing Aang a bag of gold and six tickets.
"Double play event?" said Aang. He didn't really think about it the first time Kurin mentioned it.
"That's right! You get to watch two plays tonight! It starts when the sun sets which," Kurin looked out at the sky which looked a little darker now. "should be in about an hour. Y-". Kurin stopped because suddenly, drops of light rain began to fall on the grass courtyard and the people around it. There were now dark clouds in the once beautiful blue sky. Aang put the prizes in his pocket.
"You'd better get going," said Kurin. "You don't want to be late to the play."
This one of the longest chapters ever. I put a lot of work into the Tournament and Kurin. The next chapter was supposed to be part of this one, but, as I said, this chapter is way too long. But I really like it and I hope you do too. There are a few references to the Harry Potter series in this chapter. This is so because I was reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while writing this chapter. - Aang20791 Talk Fanon 16:46, April 23, 2011 (UTC)
- The leader of Team Fire saying to Katara that she's the ultimate Waterbender is a reference to the user, .
- The Four Nations Tournament is based on of the Triwizard Tournament from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.
- Kurin is sort of based on Ludo Bagman, a character from the Harry Potter Series.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Around the World (Again) Chapters|
|Prologue - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Epilogue|