|By Aquarius Black||Part of the Avatar: The Legacy of Yan continuity.|
|"I will go to Ba Sing Se to stop that cunt. But first I must learn airbending and waterbending."|
|— Avatar Yan to Chief Beifong in "Air Temple Island".|
February 3, 232 AG
Korra (as the Avatar)
|Weapon of choice||
The elements, metal staff
Diren, Snake Imperialists, Chief Beifong (temporarily)
|Chronological and political information|
When Diren attacked, Yan understood that he needed to learn airbending and waterbending, having learned firebending in his childhood. Because his father forbade him from fighting Diren out of concert for his safety, Yan and his friends were forced to travel constantly from place to place. During all of his life Yan had a very sarcastic nature, making jokes of his own blindness, taking advantage of his friends' forgetfulness over the fact. During his journey, Yan began a romance with one of his close friend, Natsu, having been in love for her since twelve, and being reciprocated. The couple eventually married afterward.
Yan was born on February 3, early spring of 232 AG, the son of the Chief or the Metalbending Police Force, a member of the Beifong family. From the moment he was a newborn, Yan's parents knew he was blind, just like the legendary Toph Beifong. When Yan was four years old, the White Lotus began looking for the new Avatar. Yan's parents were the first to understand they had the new Avatar from the beginning, since he was born exactly one week after Avatar Korra's death at seventy-nine years old. When he was still a baby, Yan was given a badgermole which would eventually become his animal guide, and later, was named Rocky. Yan was taught by Rocky, they spent some years to learn the art of earthbending; developing seismic sense in order to "see" using his feet. With time he also learned metalbending, learning it through his father. Even tough he was blind and also the Avatar, he was raised in a normal life.
When Yan was eight years old, he saw himself ready to learn firebending, and the one designated to teach him this bending was no other but Mako himself, the widowed husband of Korra. During his firebending training Yan also met Natsu, Mako and Korra's granddaughter and daughter of their younger son, a firebender. Later he also met Kozui, Natsu's cousin, and son of Chief Kanati of the Northern Water Tribe, Mako and Korra's eldest son, who was a wasterbender.
When Yan finished his firebending training, he decided to put a halt to his Avatar training, since he saw there was no threat to the world's balance. This decision was supported by his parents. But since he was too young to become a policeman, he spent some years competing in pro-bending, joining as the Fire Ferrets' earthbending member. When he was fifteen years old, he left the Fire Ferrets to join the Metalbending Police Force.
Autumn 251 AG
After Yan and his friends defeated the members of the Triple Threat Triad, they witnessed an missile destroying the Future Industries complex, his mother being one of the casualties. He watched in disbelief and hatred as Diren assumed authority over the attack. After arguing with his father, Yan, along with Natsu and Kozui (the former taking his pet turtle duck, Quacky) go to Air Temple Island, in order for Yan to begin his airbending training. They were seemingly expelled from the place when Papha, Peng's father, discovered a wanted posted regarding Yan, a poster manufactured by the Metalbending Police Force on Chief Beifong's orders. Before Yan, Natsu and Kozui could leave, they were attacked by a troop of metalbenders. During the attack, Yan, fueled by his outrage that his father would put a bounty on him, as if he was a criminal, entered the Avatar State for the first time, unconsciously displaying powerful airbending ability, at the cost of the Metalbending captain's life. This made Papha changed his mind, and he ended up designating his son as Yan's teacher.
Just like his legendary ancestor, Yan has shown to be stunningly independent, irritatingly sarcastic and stubborn. While Aang was peaceful and initially spiritual regarding his bending abilities, and Korra being aggressive and initially physical regarding her bending abilities, Yan displayed an innate balance, respecting the spiritual side of the bending arts but also showing strength and ferocity.
He usually showed his sarcastic side regarding his blindness. He was never seen lamenting his disability, but instead used it to fool newcomers and mess with his friends' heads, who would occasionally forget he was blind. Being the older member of the initial formation of the third Team Avatar (before Peng's and later Ruan's joining), he usually acted as a mature counterpart to usually childish Kozui. who was obsessed with his pet turtle duck, Quacky, and loved to provoke his foes, usually with "yo mamma" jokes.
When Peng joined the group, however, he became slightly laid back, as if Peng's role as the elder member of the group had automatically granted him the responsibility to be the mature of the group, and he also became the target of most of Yan's sarcasm.
Being raised on a noble family, Yan was well educated, though he was not a conscious rebel like Toph.He usually paired with Peng when diplomacy was needed.
As a reincarnation of the entity known as the Avatar, Yan possessed the power to bend all four elements, making him the strongest and most powerful bender of his time. Because the Avatar Spirit had mastered all the elements many lifetimes over, Yan had exceptional natural bending talents; he could bend all four elements at the same time. Though past Avatar up to Roku took many years to master the elements, he, like Korra and Aang before him, managed to learn the last two in mere six months, having mastered the first two in his childhood. Of the sub-skills, Yan mastered metalbending and seismic sense, both sub-skills of earthbending.
Yan was taught earthbending very early, by his eventual animal guide, a badgermole he later named Rocky. Being blind from birth, he learned the true sense of earthbending, being deeply connected to the planet. His first sub-skill was seismic sense, which he used to see with his feet (thus causing him to walk barefoot. His connections with the earth, influenced by his stubbornness and patient, the mark of a true earthbender, helped him to master the bending art in a proficiency that only rivals Toph's.
Like Toph, Yan's seismic sense was not a replacement for his impaired sense of sight. He could detect incoming attacks and movements in general, and he could also use it to detect if someone was lying (though a sufficient good liar could deceive him), and to detect impurities in metal in order to use metalbending. The main imperfection of his seismic sense was the lack in recognizing a faraway person. If a person was beside him, Yan could recognize that person. However, even though he could scan a huge field with his seismic sense, he could not recognize who was in the opposite side of a huge room;
His metalbending abilities were the finest, though not without imperfections. His He became knowledgeable of the degree of impurities in metal by just being told what the metal consisted of. With his metalbending skills he created his personal weapon: a metal staff that could extend endlessly.
Being the balanced individual he was, firebending came quite easily to Yan, at least the spiritual side. But since Yan was very serene and lacked any disposition for power, which is the prime trait of a firebender, he spent a longer time trying to figure out the physical part of firebending. In this he received exceptional help from Mako and Natsu, who helped Yan find his inner drive to manifest the flames. Once mastering his flames, firebending became his second take as a bending art, especially since this bending art was an internal rather external art. Yan's flames were emerald green in color, something Mako took as a symbol of Yan's inner balance and deep connection to the earth.
It was not until Yan was an adult that he decided to resume his Avatar training and pass to airbending. Again he grasped the spiritual part of airbending, like the airbenders' need of freedom, but, like in firebending, he took some time trying to master it, though he managed to master it within the autumn of 251 AG. The main reason for this difficulty was due to the bending art's nature being opposite to his nature. Mostly, he learned to master airbending through Peng constantly putting the Avatar in life-threatening situations, risking to push him to the Avatar State.
Yan's main problem with waterbending was due to his impaired sight, since his seismic sense only worked on soiled grounds, he found it was impossible for him to learn waterbending. One advantage he had in this bending art in comparison to airbending due to Kozui being a more compassionate teacher than Peng, who was the "bad teacher". But even with Kozui stimulating Yan, the Avatar couldn't progress in techniques that involved being on water, since, because of his blindness, he couldn't swim. Frustrated, Kozui tried to emulate Peng's methods, and pushed Yan to the water in a point where they were in the high sea. This triggered the Avatar State, and Yan began attacking them with icicles, one of them severely harming Natsu, whom he was dating since early winter. Even though Ruan managed to heal her, Yan was still devastated for having harmed his girlfriend, and fled with Rocky, swearing never again to use waterbending. He only regained his faith in his waterbending skills when he overcame the third chakra, one of which he was opening to gain full control of the Avatar State.
During the night at the eve of the final battle, in the White Lotus camp, Yan shifted to the Spirit World, and there he contacted Avatar Korra, his immediate predecessor, and the Avatar he had more contact with. During this meeting, Korra passed on the art of energybending to Yan, in hopes of stopping Diren. Yan ultimately used energybending to strip Diren of his earthbending.
Beside his mastery over the elements, Yan showed on many occasions to be gifted with an impressive strength, going so far as to break human bones with his bare fists. His strength went hand in hand with his birth bending. He also showed to have sharp reflexes, guiding himself through his hearing. He also was very agile, as he was capable of swirling his staff at high speed. One of Yan's merits is his deep knowledge of geology, being capable of scanning vast terrains by simply stepping on a part of it. This helped him develop remote earthbending, very useful if you forgot something in the middle of a walk.
Yan was the reincarnation of a being known as the Avatar, which had been continually reincarnated since before memorable history. The passage of reincarnation moves from the population of the Air Nomads to the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, and Fire Nation in order. The most recent incarnations were Avatar Roku (fire), Avatar Kyoshi (earth), Avatar Kuruk (water) and Avatar Yangchen (air). Yan often received advice and guidance from Avatar Korra, the previous Avatar incarnation.
After running from his friends, Yan went to the Fire Nation, where he was welcomed by Fire Sage Hono, who took him to the rebuilt local Avatar Temple. There he explained that Yan had first to find balance within himself. Fire Sage Hono revealed that the secret of entering, controlling, and leaving the Avatar State by free will laid in the 'releasing' of seven chakras. Yan had little trouble with the first six, but struggled with the seventh – earthly attachments, mainly being Yan's attachment to Natsu. Yan's love for Natsu, accompanied by a vivid distant vision of her in dire need of help not far from where he was, caused him to leave the Fire Sage an go to her rescue. Fire Sage Hono stated that Yan's refusal to let Natsu go had locked the final chakra and disallowed him to enter the Avatar State at all. Later, however, Yan began to open the seventh and final chakra successfully and entered the Avatar State by doing just as he had been told – letting go of his feelings for Natsu.
Yan had a very respectful relationship with his father. Chief Beifong didn't let his son's blindness misguide him. He gifted Yan with the privilege of a normal life, going so far as to refuse any offer to let the White Lotus guard his son during his Avatar training. He was always proud of Yan's feats.
It was from his father that Yan learned metalbending. Yan was privileged to have a patient teacher with a keen sense of humor. During and after Yan's metalbending training, every time the two were together, they entretained each other making funny metal sculptures.
However, their loving relationship suffered a major fall during autumn 251 AG, as Yan went to face Diren and the Imperialists against his father's orders. Chief Beifong, concerned for his only son's safety, went to the point that he commissioned wanted posters of Yan. The two of them would only reunite in the White Lotus Camp outside of Omashu, in a tearful reconciliation. After that, Chief Beifong offered to go with his son to Ba Sing Se in order to fight the final battle.
Virtually nothing is known about Yan's relationship with his mother, though it is implied they deeply loved each other, seeing how shaken Yan became with his mother's death.
When Yan began his firebending training, he met nine-year-old Natsu, who was the granddaughter of Mako and late Korra. The two became good friends in their childhood, and Natsu greatly helped Yan to awaken his "inner flame". They soon developed a deep bond.
When Yan turned twelve, his training nearing its end, he understood that his feeling for Natsu had evolved from a simple friendship, but he couldn't dare to confess, because he didn't know that she reciprocated his love for her, and the two remained on friendly terms for some years.
It was Natsu's love for the Avatar that made her follow him, and she would gradually show to be a great assert to the team, marking it with her abrasive and impulsive personality, especially towards something harming Yan's progress.
Yan only clearly showed his true feelings for Natsu when during their stay at Gaoling. When Natsu was kidnapped by the Imperialists while buying food at the market, Yan lost his mind, going to the point where he almost killed an Imperialist soldier while interrogating him. After a brief confrontation with Peng, he confessed he was in love for Natsu. His determination to save the woman he loved were a factor for his immersion in the Avatar State while fighting off the phalanx defending the outpost.
It was after he was saved by Natsu from drowing during a raging storm in the team's way to the Northern Air Temple that Yan got a glimpse of the extension of Natsu's affection towards him. During their stay in the Northern Air Temple they finally confessed their feelings towards each other, and began their romantic relationship.
When, in the winter of 252 AG, Yan harmed Natsu while immersed in the Avatar State during his waterbending training, he was utterly devastated, even after she was healed, and fled from the Northern Water Tribe. Ending up in the Fire Nation, Yan was tutored by Fire Sage Hono on how to control the Avatar State through clearing the chakras. He was eventually faced with the dilemma of choosing cosmic power over his love of Natsu, but, after initial turmoil, chose that it was best to fully clear his seventh chakra. However, just as he was clearing his seventh chakra, he saw a vidion of Natsu in trouble, and broke the meditation without thinking twice, intending to save her.
When preparing for the final battle in Ba Sing Se, Natsu chose to follow Yan and his father. She fough bravely as they digged their way into the rings of Ba Sing Se, and she was the first to recognize the Dai Li, who were reactivated by Diren and hired as his bodyguards. She survived the battle, and roughly one week later, on Yan's twentieth birthday, the two married after roughly three months dating. They also decided they would wait some years before thinking in having children.
For Yan, Rocky was more than just his pet. He deeply respected Rocky, due to the fact that the badgermole taught Yan everything he knew about earthbending. They were steadfastly loyal one to the other, and Yan saw Rocky as if he was his elder brother. Rocky, on the other hand, was protective towards Yan, and even stopped him to take any reckless action that could harm the young Avatar.
When Natsu was captured by Imperialists on Team Avatar's brief stay at Gaoling, the badgermole decided to help Yan rescue his beloved, even fighting some incoming enemies alongside Yan before entering the outpost.
Yan met Xie-Zi when he was four years old. They met at the first time Chief Beifong took Yan to the Si Wong Desert in order for Yan to adapt his seismic sense to the desert sands. Coming from the Hami Tribe, Xie-Zi was the son of Shen-Jing, an old friend of Chief Beigong. The two of them quickly formed a strong friendship, and Xie-Zi became Yan's earliest human friend, the two being two years apart, with Xie-Zi bein the younger one.
They remained friends even after Yan stopped visiting the Si Wong Desert due to his responsibilities first to the Fire Ferrets and later to the Metalbending Police Force. The two of them only reunited after Yan entered the northern border of the Si-Wong Desert in order to reach southern Earth Kingdom, and in this time, Xie-Zi showed to be a great assert to the team, guiding them through the scorching desert.
Yan first met Mako when he was discovered to be the new Avatar. Mako took an interest in Yan, and when Yan saw himself ready to learn firebending, it was Mako who taught him. The two formed a strong bond, that surpassed the bond between master and student, as they were spiritually related, since Yan was the recent reincarnation of Mako's late wife, Korra. Mako also proved to be good with advices, and Yan always went to Mako to help him in any endeavor in which he needed an advice.
Mako showed to be instrumental in Yan becoming a Fully Realized Avatar, since he sent Natsu and Kozui to go with Yan, the latter which became the Avatar's waterbending master. When Yan heards news of Mako's death at the hands of Snake, he was deeply devastated, even more than when his mother died, since he felt guilty of his mentor's death, thinking he could have protected Mako if he hadn't stopped his Avatar training earlier.
The relationship between Yan and Captain Sencho was largely unknown, but it was known that they shared a deep and mutual respect, and that Sencho saw Yan as his perfect replacement. Their relationship came to a tragic end when Yan inadvertedly killed Sencho while immersed in the Avatar State, pushing him off the cliff over which was located the meditation pavilion of Air Temple Island. Yan was saddened at Sencho's death. Sometime later he fulfilled Sencho's will and replaced him as Captain of the Metalbending Police Force.
Yan met Kozui when the latter was sent from the Northern Water Tribe to Republic City by his father in order to learn all styles of waterbending. He immediately saw Yan as an older brother figure. The two were complete opposites, with Yan being a mature and composed individual, and Kozui being childish and immature.
Kozui always sought to help Yan, in his daily fight against the Triads, and later, in his waterbending training. Kozui initially idolized Yan, praising him for what he achieved despite his disability. Later, as Kozui slowly matured, he stopped to idolize Yan, instead seeing him as an equal. It was not until Kozui started to make his own fame, discovering his ability to enter in what he dubs the "Ocean State", that this admiration became mutual. By the end of autumn they became so inseparable that Kozui followed Yan to Makapu Village in order to get a pandalily for Natsu.
When Yan and Natsu married on early spring 252 AG, Kozui served as Yan's best man.
Yan met Peng when he went to Air Temple Island to finally begin his airbending training. Originally it was Peng's father, Papha, who was going to teach airbending to the Avatar, but due to the unfolding events (i.e. Diren's threat against Republic City and the Metalbending pursuing Yan on Chief Beifong's orders), Yan was instead assigned to Peng.
Yan and Peng were always cordial and respectful towards each other, and every time Yan had to confide something he though to be too mature, he condifed it to Peng, who supplied his student with nice advices. It was Peng who tried to stop Yan to recklessly go on a mission to rescue Natsu when she was kidnapped by the Imperialists, and it was to Peng that Yan confided his true feelings for Natsu.
From the beginning, Peng saw training Yan to be a challenge. Being an earthbender, air was naturally the Avatar's opposite nature. Initially Yan's progress was being barred by this natural block of airbending, but after Peng eliminated this block by throwing Yan out of his sky bison while in a great height, the training came quite easily. He learned that, in order to properly teach Yan airbending, he had to literally try to kill the Avatar.
The two of them enjoyed the fact that, in a way, Peng was teaching Yan back, since they were descendants of, respectively, Avatar Aang and Chief Toph Beifong, something brought upon by Yan while they trained at Senlin Village. Yan soon began to see his airbending master as if he was his older brother, something reciprocated by the young airbender. As such, the only reason why Peng didn't go with Yan to Ba Sing Se in the final battle was due to his concern towards Manaivi and his unborn child.
Yan met Ruan when Team Avatar went to the Northern Water Tribe in order for the Avatar to begin his waterbending training. They had a distant relationship, but after she married Kozui and began having an active part on Yan's daily activities, like watching Kozui teaching him waterbending, the two got along well. Yan willingly welcomed her on Team Avatar, and Ruan usually went to both Yan and Natsu in order to get advice on her life with Kozui.
She served as Natsu's bridesmaid in her wedding with Yan.
Korra was Yan's immediate predecessor, and the only past Avatar he contacted during the series. They had a very respecting relationship. She was the source of most of Yan's counceling. She was instrumental in many moments of Yan's journey, especially when she warned about the Imperialists attacking the Senlin Village taking advantage of Hei Bai's absence during the autumn equinox, and also sharing the knowledge of energybending to him. Yan primarily saw her as a mother figure.
Yan first heard of Diren when he was crowned as the 77th Earth King, due to his predecessor, the 76th Earth King, having only produced a daughter, whom Diren married some years earlier. since Diren's first years of rulership were dovoid of any extravagant incident, Yan respected him, since, though being a Republic City citizen, his ethnicity tracked back to the Earth Kingdom.
Everything changed, however, when Diren showed his true nature. Yan was deeply outraged when Diren took responsibility of the attack on Future Industries, and showed his intentions to remove the United Republic of Nations and restore the Earth Kingdom's "former glory". No matter how he hated Diren, the only thing that held Yan's hand and stopped him from initially kill the Earth King was the fact he deemed death "too good" for Diren.
He was forced to Kill Diren though, when he noticed that Diren was still dangerous, even with his bending removed. But what really made Yan kill Diren was when the villain implied that his next terrorist attack would vitimize Natsu. Even though he hated Diren, especially because the attack on Future Industries vitimized his mother, he came to regret killing him, seeing that, before Diren became a monster, he was a good Earth King.
Yan never personally met Snake, but he knew him pretty much through his studies, as Snake was mainly known as the instigator of the war that was named after him. The one who killed Zuko's daughter, and who was defeated by Iroh in an Agni Kai. Yan usually compared Diren with Snake, claiming they were like one and the same monster.
When Yan heard news of Mako's death at Snake's hands, he was outraged, and began hating Snake as much as Diren. However, since he was already compromissed with facing Diren in Ba Sing Se, he entrusted Kozui with avenging Mako.
- Yan was the first known Avatar to be blind since his birth.
- The fact that Yan was born in the Year of the Monkey, used Monkey style of Chu Gar Kung Fu, and used a staff as a weapon is a reference of Sun Wukong one of the characters of Journey to the West
- Yan is one of the select few to have learned earthbending from badgermoles, the others being Toph, and the lovers Oma and Shu
- Yan continues a long tradition started by Roku, in which the year in which each Avatar was born matched their birth element (Roku was born on 82 BG, the Year of the Horse, whose fixed element is fire; Aang was born on 12 BG, the Year of the Dragon, whose fixed element is wood (parallel to western air); Korra was born on 153 AG, the Year of the Ox, whose fixed element is water; Yan was born on 232 AG, the Year of the Monkey, whose fixed element is metal (parallel to western earth).
For the collective works of the author, go here.