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Fanon:Prologue: The History of the Bending Arts and the World (The First Avatar)

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Prologue: The History of the Bending Arts and the World
Chapter information
Series

The First Avatar

Chapter

Prologue

Written by

H-Man Havoc

Release date
  • May 27, 2011 (Infobox and Basic outline)
  • May 28, 2011 (Completed Version)
Chronology
Last chapter

None; starts here

Next chapter

Tenzu's Past

Origin

Since time immemorial, the planet has been constantly evolving and shifting millions of years after the initial formation. At some point during that period, a massive eruption took place, covering the oceans with billowing smoke and toxic fumes. The result of all this chaos was an ominously large landmass covering half of the planet's total area; this would later be known as the Earth Kingdom. A large portion of the landmass soon broke away and drifted to the West, slowly splitting up into the Fire Nation archipelago. Shortly afterwards, two more chunks broke away and headed to the North and South of the planet. The eruption permanently froze the poles and brought the equator to a near-boil for a time; the two portions split even further, creating the mountainous regions the Air Nomads would eventually reside within. As soon as the remaining landmasses arrived at the poles, they froze over and became part of the North and South Poles respectively.

Tui and La

Tui and La encircling each other.

In 500,000 BG the Moon and Ocean spirits (Tui and La) transitioned from the Spirit World, assumed the mortal forms of two Koi fish and began to circle each other in a seemingly-eternal dance. As the very first spirits to cross over into the real world, they had to ensure the planet's habitability was sustainable, and they performed with such precision that it only took 150,000 years before life could begin to prosper. Tui created the Moon and relegated the tides, while La slightly warmed up the oceans at both poles in addition to cooling down the waters near the equator from the brink of sterilization.

At long last, the effects of the catastrophic eruption all those years before finally subsided, allowing the Sun to balance the temperatures in moderation. Then, in 75,000 BG, life began to exist and started to flourish, near where the city of Omashu would eventually be established.

History of Bending

Aang with Lion Turtle

The Lion Turtle.

In 35,000 BG a third spirit crossed over to the planet and became a Lion Turtle, the only one in existence. A few years later, a group of 500 men, women and children huddled around a large campfire along the southern shores of the Earth Kingdom were approached by this monolithic entity, who then enticed the large group to climb aboard its back. The spirit then simultaneously taught each person the art of energybending, a bending style that allowed users to control and manipulate the varying amounts of energies inside their bodies, and serves as a gateway to learning the other bending forms. The Lion Turtle then explained to each individual that they have the option to seek out the different types of elemental bending or remain with what it just taught them moments before. In either case, the bending abilities would become hardwired into the genetic codes of each individual, even if their modern descendants didn't show bending potential.

Upon disembarking from the Lion Turtle, the group of people formulated a plan where they are split into five different sects of 100 people each. Four of these divisions would travel to the distant corners of the planet and interact with the fauna in order to learn the four bending arts and establish the different cultures of the modern era. The fifth sect would disperse as well, practicing and educating others about energybending while deciding to stay true to their cause. After mentioning the decided-upon scenario to the Lion Turtle, the large creature replied with a prophecy which everyone was supposed to remember and memorize, passing it down for generations afterwards

"Do be careful on thee quest to master the four elements. Some of these elements could present the most naive of individuals with delusions that their element is better than the others. They are ALL equal in strength and capabilities. Should a major conflict emerge, a singular person who can manipulate all the bending arts will arise, eliminating the dispute and asserting balance and control to the world for millennia, through various incarnations. This being must not be revered as a god, but rather as an extremely powerful symbol for hope and peace to the world."

With that thunderous speech concluded, the titanic beast roared back into the depths of the ocean, vanishing from view; only surfacing on an occasional basis should one require its guidance. The group then dispersed in its prearranged pattern.

The first group headed north, to a large island off the northwestern coast of the Earth Kingdom. There they observed a group of Flying Bison soaring over the mountains. Over time, the flying animals were tamed and subsequently taught the group the art of airbending, by having them observe the motions of their limbs, tails and mouths. After five years passed, the entire group completely mastered the bending art. One of them came up with the idea that each mastered bender would be given markings emulating those of the bison. Soon the group split up into four parts; three of those parts flew on their newly acquired flying bison pets to other secluded landmasses of similar properties to the original one and colonized the areas. The original landmass becomes the location of the Western Air Temple, while the other three become the locations of the Northern Air Temple, the Southern Air Temple and the Eastern Air Temple.

The second group traveled to the northeastern region of the Earth Kingdom. They establish a small village in a floodplain not far from a wide-ranging desert. The floodplain dried up after 2000 years and by then the village expanded into a small city-state, known as Na Sing Se. A further millennium passes before the famous walls are slowly erected around the city, and thus its name was changed to Ba Sing Se. While building the walls of the city, the materials became scarce and the only sizable supply of rocks was located within a series of caves several kilometers away. However, when they approached the tunnel formations, three badger-like creatures surfaced and suddenly encased them within the caves. As the badgermoles (as they were known) came close to the group, a scared individual decided to whistle a tune to try and keep calm in what may have been their last moments. Miraculously, the badgermoles reacted to and enjoyed the tune, while another person started to clap his hands as an accompaniment. Eventually everyone joined in and the creatures removed the confining walls using earthbending. The group mimicked the motions of the badgermoles and after a few years learned to earthbend.

Omashu's founding

Oma declaring a new city must be built to unite the warring sects; Omashu.

Included in the group were the very first two earthbenders, Oma and Shu. To honour the creatures who taught them this bending art, the group designed a symbol that resembled a seated badgermole with its limbs in a position to earthbend. The group then split up with half of them heading to the west. After years of harmony, the sect succumbed to infighting and Shu was killed in the ensuing battle. Oma, in her fury earthbended two large pieces of nearby land and issued an ultimatum to both sides "GIVE UP THE FIGHTING OR I WILL DESTROY BOTH YOUR VILLAGES!", to which both towns fearfully complied and surrendered to Oma's wrath. She then declared the war over and ordered both villages to create a new city and unify the two warring sides. The city, the only one in the Earth Kingdom largely constructed by earthbending, was named Omashu, to commemorate her undying love for the now-deceased Shu, and her dedication in forcing the villagers to unite.

The third group went north to the frozen and barren North Pole. Almost immediately some weren't able to withstand the extreme temperatures and died within days. The rest went further inland with the faint hope they could find a warmer location. They soon discovered a small pond and saw that there were two Koi fish, Tui and La, encircling each other. One of the group who was hungry, attempted to poach La, but the fish reacted violently and temporarily incapacitated the individual. The rest of them (plus the incapacitated one, once recovered) eventually observed the push and pull motions that they influenced the tides with; and soon the group was emulating those same motions, culminating in waterbending. After the area was colonized and the population acclimatized to the icy tundra, they founded the Northern Water Tribe. It would be 3000 years later when a small group went to the South Pole to establish the Southern Water Tribe.

The fourth group voyaged west, to a large archipelago. There they witnessed an exhilarating group of dragons flying together in a sharp, figure-eight-shaped formation. Suddenly two of the mythical beasts swooped down and intercepted the group. Petrified and emotionless at the same time, one of them approached the dragons and using energybending, she communicated telepathically with both of them "Please, are you able to teach us firebending?", to which Ran grunted approvingly, albeit with a frightening growl, as if the dragons were warning them that any infractions would result in their deaths. The two dragons flew the group to a valley a short distance away and using their combined abilities, lit a monstrous inferno that soon receded to become a large flame. If the group could sustain the flame continuously for a long period of time, the two dragons would teach them how to control fire. With that in mind, the men erected a stone shelter around the flame to protect it from the elements while the women were tasked with feeding the flames. After a month, the dragons returned and subsequently taught them proper breathing exercises and how to extract a portion of the original flame for learning manipulation. Once they were ready, the dragons then tasked the group to each take and control a portion of the original flame up a mountain, and stop near a cliff.

Dragons firebending

Ran and Shaw teaching the entire group firebending.

Once each of them succeeded, the dragons grunted in approval and had them stand in a circle. Both of them then blew giant streams of fire up in the sky around them, and they saw a beautiful, glittering display of different colours of flames. Once that was done, the dragons motioned to the group for each to firebend, and each of them did so with varying degrees of success.

After that ordeal, most of the group went further inland and established a town that would eventually become the Fire Nation Capital while a few others stayed behind and became the Sun Warriors. The Warriors vowed to protect the original flame and erected a small city to preserve the dragons and the newfound culture of firebending. In addition, they studied the dragons' movements and flying patterns to create an firebending form known as the Dancing Dragon.

Energybending

An energybender bending another's spirit in order for the latter to acquire the bending art.

The final group slowly dispersed throughout the Earth Kingdom, eventually making their ways to the other nations and soon they spread their arts to others who were willing to learn. After years of teaching average civilians about the art form and the associated culture, a large portion (mainly the young people) were dissatisfied with its nature and scattered to learn the other bending arts, with the majority of the dissidents traveling to the Fire Nation to learn firebending. Sensing a crisis, the remaining individuals of the group (all of 45 people) devised and swore an oath to never abandon the bending art, and to still teach non-benders the art upon request. The group then took on a name, The Society of Energybenders (or SoE for short), and permanently settled on the northern shore of Whaletail Island.

Modern Setting

Earth Kingdom ravaged

The fallout from the Bending Wars.

In 20,000 BG, the World is at war. Just like what the Lion Turtle prophesied thousands of years before to the original group of energybenders, one nation collectively decided that their bending art was stronger than the rest and subsequently launched a full-scale conflict aimed at subduing the other Nations and forcing them to accept the invading nation's bending ability as the dominant one. In this case, the Fire Nation was the aggressor. Minor skirmishes were inevitably occurring before the present era, but never in the past had a skirmish become a gargantuan example of a battle.

The other nations were rapidly losing hope, even though each nation's elders were continually preaching the Lion Turtle's prophecy and praying that it would be accomplished. Little did they know that it already had been partially confirmed. Someone was already born fourteen years prior (the start of this war) and was already receiving instruction in one of the elements. Even though a period of turmoil will befall him for a time, he will eventually master all the elements and fulfill his destiny.

He will be known as...

THE FIRST AVATAR


Author's Notes

  • The origin of the planet was written in a very similar fashion to how scientific research on the topic envisioned it as such. It also shares a few commonalities with the Creation myth, where G-d created the Earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th. The most notable reference of the latter can be seen when Tui and La arrive on the planet from the Spirit World. Over time, their actions helped disperse the smokescreen from the planet, which enabled the sun to balance the world temperatures (similar to the First Day of Creation, when G-d separated the darkness from the new planet and allow light to shine through with the famous maxim "let there be light").
  • The energybenders' follies are explained in this chapter, since they are alluded to but not mentioned in Avatar:The Last Airbender.
  • The last portion of the prologue is written in third-person omniscience, since the author decides the direction of the story and only he knows how it will end. It is also crucial in foreshadowing hope to an otherwise gloomy and desperate situation.

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For the collective works of the author, go here.

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