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|The Long Path|
In the days before Aang's journey, when Avatar Roku was just a child, the Air Nomads were respected as the world's foremost authority on matters of the spirit. Their culture spawned more gurus than any other - but not all believed that sitting and meditating was enough to live a fulfilled life and gain enlightenment. These dissidents left their order from time to time. This is the story of one of those.
Koan was a favorite pupil of Guru Daruma, a legendary monk at the Northern Air Temple. When Daruma was on the verge of death, he had a vision, in which he saw Koan away from the monks and living as a true nomadic teacher. After conferring with the other monks, Daruma told Koan about this vision. Koan left the temple after Daruma's death, unsure of where he stood in the world and hoping that his beloved teacher was right.
After six months of roaming the countryside, Koan met an Earth Kingdom boy named Arnoq when he was attempting to cross the Great Divide. They agreed to travel together after misfortune in the canyon forced the pair to work together to survive. Afterward, they met the Sial family, and three of the Sial children followed them. This would become the base of Koan's followers, though many more would later join the group.
This is the story of that movement, from its humble beginnings, through its struggles, and finally, its dramatic end.
Koan: The main character and the one whose journey from teenage peripatetic to guru is the focus of the series. While Koan is wise and intelligent, he struggles with many deeper questions of meaning, based on his experience with Guru Daruma. Coming to the conclusion that his personal enlightenment must be found through living a full life, he takes things as they comes on his journey, even learning a more aggressive style of combat and relaxing his strict vegetarianism. In the beginning of the series, he is 17.
Arnoq: An earthbender whose personal tragedy and complicated family life drove him away from his village. When Hahn came through, they struck up conversation, and Arnoq chose to join him on his journey. His earthbending style is organic and powerful, using slabs of stone almost like surfboards and riding on waves of earth for movement. He has great skill with taming animals, hunting, foraging, and tracking. In the beginning of the series, he is 19.
The Sial Brothers:
- Endo: The eldest and the most responsible. He elects to stay in his village and take care of the family farm with Ahdo. While he's initially opposed to his brothers going with Hahn, he permits it when Kalo decides to go with them. Non-bender. 24
- Kalo: The second and the most aggressive. He joins the nomadic group as a way to leave home but stays because he genuinely appreciates Hahn's mission and wishes to stay with Toko and Migo. Non-bender. 21
- Toko: The middle child of the Sial brothers, and the most spiritual. His connection to the Spirit World is unusually strong, and he has a spirit companion named Sarya, who tells him he should follow Migo and go with Hahn. When first met, he is 18.
- Ahdo: The fourth brother, Ahdo chose to stay with Endo in their village and help with the farm. Non-bender. 15.
- Migo: The youngest, Migo was the one who first suggested traveling with Hahn and Arnoq. He is also the only member of the family to be a bender; he is a sandbender. When first met, he is 12.
Aliya: A girl from the Fire Nation sold into slavery by a sandbender tribe and saved by the group. She's a good fighter, but was taken as a child and secretly developed her firebending. Because of this, her style is unique, relying on turns and spins to generate power. When first met, she is 16.
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