|By Vagrant Lustoid||See other fanon and fan fiction works from Vagrant Lustoid.|
The Yokuji Clans was the overarching name for a number of small tribes and clans of powerful and highly skilled warriors who saw it as their duty to destroy all Benders and prevent the consolidation of power into Bender hands. They were known as excellent soldiers, becoming legendary amongst the few who lived for their lethality, yet maintained secrecy for the most part due to their small numbers and isolationist natures.
Five hundred years ago, the Fire Nation conquered a small web of clans of people and enslaved them. This clan web was called the Yokuji. They revolted, slew their overseers, and fought their way to the coast with a vast army on their heels. The sacrifice of a third of their population, including their six greatest heroes, gave the rest time to flee by ship to the Earth Kingdom.
Scattered and reduced in numbers, the Yokuji were expected to be absorbed into the Earth Kingdom and forgotten by the Fire Nation, and with these expectations the Fire Nation soon forgot about the existence of the Yokuji clans. These people, however, scarred, honorbound, and fiercely loyal to one another in the wake of their losses, saw the Earth Kingdom as no kinder than the Fire Nation. Not where it mattered. Its offer was the first step to dependence and eternal slavery. So they fled into the wastes and reflected.
Lacking Benders of their own, they saw Benders as the problem, the thing that made their enslavement so easy and broke the will of so many others. They made a promise to their patron spirit, Koh the Faceless, to uplift the dignity of mankind by killing all those who would abuse gifts which rightfully belonged only in the hands of the spirits. In memory of their dead and their honor, this small tribe promised to free the world of the Bender Scourge. They declared the Long War and would fight it forever by whatever means necessary.
The Yokuji shaped themselves by the oath to destroy the Bender Scourge, evolving into a loosely-organized state spread out across the Avatar world. They lived simple, stoic lives bound in honor, faith and law. The Council of Six, mysterious elders of the tribe, ruled the Yokuji and directed the general direction of the Long War, and were an autocratic body that rarely took an open hand in directing their requests via a complex web of agents.
Hiding in plain sight in a hundred small villages, they trained their children in the arts of death, having studied their Bender foes enough to know them better than they knew themselves. The best of their children underwent Trials at age twelve. Those who passed the Trials were further trained and unleashed as assassins who were regarded by many as being the best in the world. To be Yokuji was a strict path, one enforced by draconian law, but one offering a certainty unimaginable to Benders and their Slaves, as some Yokuji refer to the Bender's servants.
In fact, Yokuji attempted to kill all Benders encountered, if they thought they stood even a moderate chance of surviving the encounter. Imprisonment for their deeds was not a concern for the Yokuji, and even death whilst attacking Benders was revered as deeply worthy. High dexterity and dodging was a skill Yokuji masters pounded into the heads of their young, in order to avoid the elemental assaults of regular Benders. Little is known about Yokuji status, training, history, or anything else to do with Yokuji culture, given that it is a secretive and hunted tribe.
The only tribe and the only Benders that the Yokuji accepted as in the planetary balance were the Kintojin, Fire Nation exiles that had a strong reverence for the spirits. One of their patron spirits became human and fought with the heroes of the Conclave when they escaped the Fire Nation. The Yokuji regarded the Kintojin as allies and friends, and often the two groups fought alongside each other. An ancient promise by one of the founding members of the Yokuji bound the clans by honor to help protect the Kintojin until their refugee group was able to establish itself to an adequate level.
Religion and spirituality
The patron spirit of the Yokuji Clans was Koh, the Face-Stealer. The clans regarded Koh's distaste for the Avatar to be representative of their hatred of all Benders, and as such worshiped the malevolent entity. However, though their spirituality was seen by others as malevolent, that spirituality also had a deep-rooted aspect of honor involved. All deeds and promises sworn to others were to be fulfilled with no exceptions, or at least attempted to the best of the Yokuji's capabilities. A promise made by any one Yokuji warrior bound the entire clans to that promise. This honor tended to be as important to them as life. However, through guidance from Koh, the Yokuji learned that there are ways and ways to make a promise say the exact opposite of what people think it says, and learned the art of deception through absolute truth.
Members of the Yokuji Clans
Council of Six
- Elder Mika
- Elder Hanajima
- Elder Mako
- Elder Akima
- Elder Hakuin
- Elder Aaron, deceased
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