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|Winds of Change|
February 21, 2014
"Winds of Change" is the prologue ofby .
The blue-topped and richly adorned tower spires of the Southern Air Temple unveiled themselves slowly as the sun began its journey to reclaim its rule over the sky. The sunlight crept slowly on the magnificent tower as it led the shadows away from the temple walls. Fluffy white clouds blanketed the spires, coating them as a mother shields her child from the outside world. As per the commands of nature, the clouds separated from one another dissolving into a thin misty fog. The absence of the clouds illuminated the sky's colors as they cascaded a bright blue glow behind the faded cobblestone tower, illuminating the beautiful temple and brightening its magnificence.
Inside the Southern Air Temple, winged lemurs awakened one by one, announcing the beginning of the day with a yawn inevitably produced from their mouths. They stretched their tired backs and slowly began to pace around the gardens, mindlessly walking on the grass with nimble paws but carefully treading around the minimal flora that managed to find life on top of the cool cold air formed from the mountain terrain. Several lemurs slowly extended their wings as a gust of air whisked into existence, sending the animals from their destination. They began to slowly unfold their wings as opening them instantly would cause them to be cast away by the wind and into the freezing waters of the Southern Sea below. As the wind slowly began to lose its energy, many of the lemurs extended their arms and were cast into the air. Flapping their wings to navigate, the animals raced across the temple walls until arriving at the plantations. Amongst the crops the lemurs hoped to enjoy, aging Air Nomads have begun the task of cultivating the fields. Neat rows of crops were arranged horizontally, protected by an outer ring of rocks and short dance-posed trees. A short hill supported a wooden aqueduct utilized to irrigate the crops while the misty Patola Mountains loomed in the background, purple as a result of the sun's warmth.
A ring-tailed winged lemur landed in the branches of a nearby tree watching with undistracted eyes on the various crops produced by the Air Nomads. He slowly climbed down the tree, blending in with his surrounding as the shadow of gray created from the tree perfectly complimented the light shade found in the lemur's pigment. The lemur leaped onto the meadow below and watched as three young airbenders – as noted by the lack of tattoos – walked forward, baskets piled with fruit swinging from their hands. Intrigued by the boys, the ring-tailed lemur stalked forward careful to avoid being spotted. The younglings and their hunter rounded a corner where they came upon the sight of a teenage nomad who was finishing tying a food-filled saddle to a bison for transport to the kitchen.
The lemur watched as inaudible dialogue was exchanged between the four younglings, ending when the elders of the four began to pick several bushes of leechi nuts. The youngest nomad began to climb a nearby bundle of rocks with the intention to board the bison and escape his bitter work. His foot struggled to find a footing in the rough slippery stone and he soon began to flail, waving his basket wildly as an orange fruit released itself from its captivity. Time slowed down for the lemur. Swiftly and furtively, the lemur flew into the air and clutched the fruit in its furry paws seconds before it struck the ground. The young boy readied his stance and watched in desperation as he reached out in an attempt to stop the marsupial from soaring out of reach. With ease, the lemur tucked his wings and propelled downward to escape the nomad's reach. He dove between the furry legs of the bison and rocketed into the sky, doubling back in order to head around the mountain and escape his pursuers.
As he soared through the gentle breeze, the lemur slowly opened his mouth in order to consume several of the bugs incapable of escaping. Shadowed by the peak of the mountains, several nomads – both old and young – walked into a clean cut grassy field ringed by trees sprouting tufts of leaves. In a sequenced domino effect, the young nomads dropped to the ground in respect for the woman walking to the center of the clearing. The lemur perked his head in interest and sloppily bit the fruit, licking the juice dripping from his jaw as he watched the woman begin. She moved with amazing grace, dynamically shifting her body to flow with the swivel movements of her arms. Twirling, she trapped a powerful current of air between her hands. Her movement never faltered as she spun one last time and extended her arms outward, unleashing a torrent of wind at the once peaceful field. The grass and trees fluttered as their blades were forced to follow the movement of the ever entrancing air. Their roots struggled to maintain a grip on their hard-earning green prizes, but not even nature could resist the call of the wind.
After a flurry of claps from the enthusiastic students, the woman returned to her position alongside the instructors and calmingly focused her gaze on the younglings. Several managed to intertwine their legs while others successfully maintained powerful bursts of wind only to be forced to release the element and land on their tailbones as a result of its power. The lemur loved when the airbenders practiced the manipulation of the air currents as he could lovingly float wherever it took him and explore outside territory. However, he had missed his chance at a powerful wind as it was clear that the youngling would spend a few more hours in an attempt to master the technique. Purring as he circled a small patch of upturned grass, the lemur coiled his tail around him and proceeded to lay on the soft pile of dirt as he awaited the arrival of a peaceful wind.
The lemur awoke to the sound of a gong ringing throughout the mountain, echoing off the natural barriers for all of the fauna to hear. He slowly opened his eyes to adjust to the harsh sun bearing down on him. Stretching to flex his muscles, the lemur slowly sat up. He noticed the airbenders had long disappeared and flew off in search for the harnesser of perfect air. He flew around the mountain he had used for his escape and scanned the temple ringed circular courtyard below. The symbol of air was etched beautifully on the ground as a fountain, protruding frothy wisps of fog as a result of the water colliding against the bowl, stood radiantly in the center. Staircases ringed above arches used to navigate from the various sections located in the temple as every section connected back to the courtyard.
Aimlessly diving under the nearest arch, the lemur flew down the stairs and into the limitless sky before spotting the nomads gliding away from their home. A bison roared as the nomads pulled on the reins in order to get the animal to fly higher. Those sprouting tattoos flew agilely amongst the ten-ton creatures, flawlessly weaving between their legs in order to reach their destination. The lemur chirped in delight as he watched several of his kind join the ranks of the people, happily purring if they were given food to consume. The thickened fog slowly began to unravel, revealing a flat-topped mountain with a gazebo placed on the furthest edge of a decorated clearing. The gazebo stood on top of a platform as a hundred or so nomads landed their bison and calmly walked to the structure. Under the gazebo, five monks sat crisscrossed beside each other. Their eyes were closed yet it seemed they could make out when everyone had seated once the monk in the middle stood. All of the sun-clad benders erected themselves once he did and watched without a single trace of emotion in their eyes as he turned to face the direction that was once behind him. Returning to his original position, the remaining four monks followed their superior's suit, intertwining their legs and closing their eyes in perfect harmony whilst interlocking their fingers in the process.The lemur watched as the nomads in the temple meditated on their thoughts. It was silent. Not a single grasshopper could be heard chirping. Not a single bird could be heard singing. Not a single bison could be heard roaring or even munching their melon. The lemur's ears twitched in the struggle to find something to listen to, grasping at nothingness until it settled for the sound of perfect thumping of the nomads' hearts as they reflected their life's past, thought about their present, and look toward their future. Meditation was an important custom amongst the Air Nomads, and they regularly performed the practice when pondering on affairs. On rare occasions, all of the nomads at each of the four temples would join together by facing the brightening sun from their respective positions on the earth. Many looked forward to these small moments as legends were whispered to one another that if listened closely, the rhythmic beating of all the meditating airbenders's hearts can be heard in harmonious synchronization with one another.
Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub.
Many cheered as a result of their newfound experiences, laughing heartily with one another as evident through the multiple pats on the backs and the consumption of pastries with leechi nut juice. The lemur swiftly dove and snatched a fruit pie off the table much to the protests of the merry nomads. He soared across the courtyard and landed on the shoulder of a criss-crossed seated statue to partake in celebration with his successful victory. He nibbled the purple filling before immersing himself completely with the sweet dish.
Bison bellowed as they announced their noticeable presence. The lemur quickly scrambled onto the head of the statue in surprise as younglings cheered in excitement, currently in the middle of a race around the Patola Mountain Range. One nomad stood and twirled his hands gracefully over his head, before thrusting them eastward to his opponent. A volley of air followed his command and collided against the bison, evoking an annoyed roar and achieving the feat of thrusting them off course. Laughing merrily at this trick, the nomad quickly overtook his friend and ringed the bison over the courtyard before vanishing from the lemur's sight as the bison descended to land.A volley of cheers echoing off the mountains stirred the lemur's attention once more and he quickly embarked into the air. He circled a supporting beam simply for the sake of having fun and flew under the earthen terrain. The lemur flapped his wings as a blast of air threatened to send him off course. Quickly perching on a small ledge, the lemur witnessed the flurry movement of orange as airbenders elegantly leaped from beam to beam, all chasing after a hollow wooden ball. Younglings gracefully flipped over one another as they landed on the beam and quickly moved their arms in order to send the ball to their respective goals. One airbender quickly found himself with the ball and leaped into the air to avoid his leaping opponents. He twirled to gain momentum with the wind and launched into the air. Flipping over his friends and propelling himself forward by using an opponent's head for leverage, the airbender threw the ball into the air. Spinning in midair, the airbender delivered a strengthened kick at the ball, shooting it and the goalie straight through the goal.
The cheers that erupted deafened the lemur's ears and were only soothed by the ringing of the evening bell. Chirping, the lemur cocked his head slightly to the left and followed the younglings as they groaned with a mixture of sadness and weariness. Abandoning the court, the lemur sadly stared as the sun's orange glow clouded the airbenders as they retreated into the temple, retiring for the night.
The lemur chirped sadly as he witnessed the scene and flew into the air, ready to return to his natural sleeping location. As he took into the sky, the small winged mammal glanced at the base of the mountain where a bison was stationed. Five elder monks were bowing to the female Air Nomad and soon headed inside the temple walls. The lemur chirped and spiraled downwards, flapping to a stop in front of the monk. She smiled and held out her palm, offering a single leechi nut to the creature. Instinctively, the lemur lunged and flew backwards with the nut now in his hands. The female airbender's smirk lightly tugged the corners of her mouth as she fluidly waved her hands around her body, trapping a small breeze and shooting it at the lemur. Squeaking in excitement, the lemur leaped into the wind and blissfully flowed with the wind. Upon completing his mission to enjoy the perfect breeze once more, the lemur returned to the others and coiled into a ball, falling asleep to the ever-changing winds.
The pitch night sky was deadly silent over the rocky terrain. Star-crossed patterns shone brightly against their violet backdrop, illuminating the quiet village and the active volcano under its gaze. A sickening boom shook the very earth it radiated from, sending peaceful sleepers off their beds and onto the floor with a crash. The volcano commanded several magma-infused rocks to soar through the air, ripping apart the painted scenery with clouds of dusty soot. They propelled toward houses and missed their marks by a few inches but its final landing was enough to create panic among the once sleeping villagers. Small dusty particles of ash rained down as if mocking their water counterpart and forced the inhabitants to inhale their poisonous brothers through every cough.
A whirlwind of air commanded the fog to separate, creating a circular route for the villagers to travel and make their escape. Laughing at their will to live, the volcano summoned even more of nature's deadliest tendencies to its aid. With a roar of laughter, several pebbles began to give way and struggled to defend the villagers from an incoming landslide, tearing up hills and consuming wreckage to aid in the island's destruction. Houses were torn down savagely as the landslide soon masked itself with dirt, chasing after the fleeing villagers. One man looked at his wife who was grasping his arm for support, for comfort, for assurance that he was still there. Knowing his duty, Avatar Roku released control of her and turned to face the coming onslaught.
Roku surrounded himself with a sphere of air, clearing a path for the villagers as the landslide was forced to part ways. Greatly expanding his personal bubble, the earthen nightmare parted further as the last of the villagers reached several rowboats stationed on the docks for immediate escape. Black plume ringed the raged volcano as it thundered its dominance over the island, taunting and challenging Roku as it fired a tide of lava onto the rocky terrain, smothering the strong stubborn element with destruction and pain. To aid in its climatic battle against the Avatar, boulders began to thunder down the mountainside. Raising his arms and thrusting them forward, Roku commanded a sharpened wall of earth to protrude outward and raise him to imprison the natural threat. Briefly shielding his eyes from the soot, Roku watched as the magma erupted into an inferno and collided against his rocky barrier.
Leaping off his ledge and sliding to a stance, Roku quickly shot his arms outward in order to create a trench which stretched into the ocean and further parted the volcano. Enraged at Roku's interference, the volcano responded with another onslaught of lava as storm clouds gathered around the mountain. Roku run up the earth and leaped into the air as flame-engulfed rocks rained passed him. Exhaling sharply, the Avatar unleashed a torrent of wind at the magma, cooling it into a platform. Upon landing, a gust of gas erupted in his face forcing Roku to inhale the poisonous fumes as he attempted to wield the air in his favor against the fiery disaster. A red dragon, Fang, loomed into view as he attempted to aid his friend but was met with a volley of magma. Roku shouted for the dragon to flee by reassuring him that he was fine. Unleashing the Avatar State as noted by the pure white glow in his eyes, Roku commanded the earth to split at his command, and crafted a hole on the opposite side of the mountain. The magma collided against one another as it fought to escape its hollow crater and unleash further destruction on the island. In response, a second volcano erupted to join its brother in chaos and causing Roku to slightly tilt his head in exhaustion.
An elderly man, Fire Lord Sozin, rode his blue dragon behind his old friend to offer his assistance in saving the island. The two flew toward the smaller volcano with Roku steadily forcing the magma to return to the crater. Nearby, Sozin assumed a stance with his hands pointed at both the sky and the vent of the volcano. Breathing steadily in order to concentrate, Sozin absorbed the heat of the magma and transferred its moisture into the air, effectively cooling the lava. Thick gray clouds soon covered the smaller volcano astonishing Sozin as his foot gave way and he yelled in fear for his life. Quickly, Roku sliced his hand to the right, forging an earthen shelf to jet out and save the Fire Lord as cries of pain began to faintly ring in his ears.
The two stared at each other silently before a second surge of ash exploded from the smaller volcano. Instinctively, the two leaped off the crater's mouth and ran to escape its rage. Shooting a gust of air to extinguish a burst of volcanic fumes, Roku led Sozin further down the mountain as the sounds of a woman crying and roaring in pain reached his ears. He stepped forward when a geyser of poisonous wind erupted in his face. Coughing heavily, Roku looked down at his hands as his vision blurred. Retching at the toxic substances now cursing through his body, Roku slowly collapsed on the ground. He looked up slowly as each movement inflicting pain in his body and shakily held his hand out to Sozin. The Fire Lord looked down at his friend in worry before realization crept into his features at the thought of what the future held. Boarding his dragon, Sozin looked on as Roku's features soon turned into distraught and then fury. Never taking his gaze off Roku, Sozin commanded his dragon to take flight.
Roku chastised himself for being a fool as he heavily coughed his final breaths. The woman's cries of pain soon faded as volcanic gasses erupted on either side of him. Realizing the meaning behind the woman's cries, Roku silently felt angered at the thought of what his nomadic successor would inherit as a result of Sozin's cruel and corrupted plans. Debris in the form of black clouds slowly made its way to claim victory over the dying Avatar. Roku slowly looked up as Fang soared into view and roared at the sight of his defeated friend in the path of the oncoming debris. Coiling around Roku, the two companions for life shared their final breaths as the sound of a baby's first cries reached their ears.
Deep within the Southern Air Temple, a man and a woman stood nearby as their newborn infant was raised into the light. The two smiled at each other before they looked at the nun, ready to give their answer.
|"Really, I can't believe the story only because [of] the untold story of an untold story. A:TLA didn't [tell] the background of Air Nomad really well, and this is the time for you to make it as an amazing story!"|
|— AcerEvan's reasoning on believability in his fan review|
When he decided to renew the series, RuleroftheBisons97 did not plan on creating a prologue. However, he reconsidered when he discovered that the first chapter features Aang as a minor character and planned to use the Ceremony of the Four Relics as the prologue to establish mystery and suspense. However, upon reconsidering AcerEvan's words, he decided to create the prologue through the perspective of a lemur thus meaning no dialogue in order to fully captivate the reader into the lives of the Air Nomads. This also allows for an excuse to use full and enriching descriptions as animals notice every little detail before venturing as their survival instincts cause them to be alert to even the smallest fly.
Starting a week before January 19th, 2014, RuleroftheBisons97 quickly fleshed out Soaring Morning in two days. He later spent five days working on Tranquil Afternoon and Restless Evening before deciding to incorporate Roku's death in Stormy Night as a way to connect it back to Aang. While writing Stormy Night, Bison heavily relied on the The Avatar and the Fire Lord transcript in order to recreate the scene as well as viewing a video on YouTube. He spent a few days on this and finally completed the writing on January 26th, 2014 with the final product edited on January 29th.
The chapter was originally named Nomadic and Volcanic due to primarily focusing on the daily lives of the Air Nomads. However, the author decided to make the volcanic portion of the chapter a surprise to the readers and dropped the second half of the title. He later believed to connect the title to the topic of the prologue which was meant to be changed as the Air Nomads' daily life will be changed and the death of Roku erupts a massive change in the four nations. As such, the title Winds of Change was chosen.
- The scene with the lemur stealing food from the young airbender was inspired by the illustrations on pages 60 and 61 in The Lost Scrolls: Air.
- The young nomad is described as boarding the bison to escape bitter work, a not so subtle reference to the episode of the same name.
- Attentive readers would note not a single negative connotative word can be found in Soaring Morning and Tranquil Afternoon. Starting in Restless Evenings, lightly negative connotative words are first seen while only highly negative words can be seen in Stormy Night.
- Also, the colors describing the settings featured throughout the chapter (blue, purple, green, orange, white, violet, black) reference Prince Prospero's passing in the multicolored rooms of Edgar Allan Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" which symbolize the circle of life. (That was a Disney reference).
- The misty mountains description is a reference to the mountain range located in Middle-earth which housed goblins and Gollum.
- The line, they reflected their life's past, thought about their present, and look toward their future, is a reference to the fanon: by .
- The phrase, limitless sky, references the chapter of the same name in 's fanon, .
- Lub-dub was used to describe the heartbeat as RuleroftheBisons97 felt that thump thump was over used and it was the correct term according to a doctor's response. The decision to search for a description on heartbeats was inspired by 's search for a yawn as told in the first chapter of her fanon, .
- The phrase, smothering the strong stubborn element with destruction and pain, combines quotes from Toph and Jeong Jeong when explaining the nature of their elements.
- This prologue was heavily influenced by by .
|Aang: Story of an Airbender|
|Aang - Appa - Gyatso - Mia - Aka - Afiko |
Pasang - Tashi - Meiji - Futo - Ento - Iio - Guru Pathik
Bumi - Hanbao - Kuzon - Sozin - The Yamiichiba Hunters - Akua - Kelron
|Prologue: Winds of Change - 1. Relics - The First Tier - Bonds of Friendship Part 1, Part 2 - The Island |
The Innocent Years - The Sky Bison Polo Championships - Tattoo - Festival - Hotman - The Mad Genius
A Clash of Cultures - Into the Blizzard - The Avatar - The Air Agents - Reunions - Out of the Blue
Things Unsaid - Embers in the Wind - Ashes in the Air - Deserted - All Things Part 1, Part 2
Sense of Family - Riddles of the Dark - Gathering Storm Clouds - Dark Horse - New Moon Celebration
The Pentapox Problem - Traitor's Tale - Dragon Days - The Last Night - Silent Air Part 1: Detachment
Silent Air Part 2: Ambush - Silent Air Part 3: Genocide - Silent Air Part 4: Air of Extinction
For the collective works of the author, go here.