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Loban

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Loban was the uncle of Satoru and, together with Lao Beifong, founder and owner of the Earthen Fire Refinery.[2] He was a talented businessman who would place the wellbeing of his factory over that of his workers,[3] but atoned for his mistakes by joining the Air Acolytes.[1]

History

Early life

During the Hundred Year War, Loban came across an area of land rich in natural resources, but was initially unable to develop it because the land was in Earth Kingdom territory and he was from the Fire Nation. However, following the War's end, he reached a deal with an Earth Kingdom business partner, Lao Beifong, and constructed the Earthen Fire Refinery on the land to mine out its deposit of resources.[2] Although Lao stated he did not wish to excavate the iron ore deposit underneath the town due to its instability, Loban ordered workers to excavate the mine in secret, which heavily polluted the nearby river as a result and caused earthquakes.[3]

At one point, Loban had heard that his nephew, Satoru, had run away from home because his parents joined the New Ozai Society and was left begging on the streets of the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se. Loban found his nephew and took him in, giving him a job at the refinery in the process.[4]

102 AG

Satoru chastised

Loban held Satoru responsible for putting an entire production line out of commission.

With thoughts of expansion, Loban left Satoru in charge one day in 102 AG, while he and Lao traveled to Yu Dao on a business meeting in an attempt to strike a deal with the city's new government about the construction of a railroad to connect the city with the refinery. When he returned, however, he noticed that one of the factory's expensive machines had been totaled by Toph Beifong and he blamed his nephew, regretting putting him in charge.[2] He ordered Satoru to get the benders' production line back up an running within the hour, disregarding any fearful feelings his workers may have for a recurring earthquake as he would not hesitate to replace anyone who refused to resume their work.[3]

When Loban learned that the existence of his iron mine had been discovered, he traveled down there and countered Lao's order to evacuate the mine, stating that every worker to leave would be fired. When the mine caved in, Loban was among those who became trapped underground.[3]

After Aang and Toph's students freed the group, Loban discovered a large iron mask that had been unearthed in the process. Realizing the financial potential, he ordered Kahchi and Vachir to get their komodo rhinos so they could haul the iron to the beach and thus he could ship it to his plants in the Fire Nation, shutting Lao out of any claim to the profits.

Sokka and Satoru vs Loban

Loban refused to return the mask, telling his nephew that he did not have what it took to be his successor.

Once at the beach, a storm developed, slowing the Rough Rhinos' progress. Despite the risk sailing in the storm posed, Loban ordered his workers to carry on, saying that in the world of business, waiting was the same as losing. When Satoru and Sokka arrived to stop the mission, Loban told his nephew that he had wanted him to succeed him, but realized he did not have what it took and ordered the Rough Rhinos to attack. When his employees were defeated, Loban tried to haul the mask himself, yelling at the komodo rhinos to assist and threatening to make them into steaks. Much to his shock, however, taking the iron mask had angered the spirit, General Old Iron, and the businessman was yanked off the ground as Old Iron pulled the mask toward him. Satoru and Sokka latched on to him, and the three were dragged to the town as the spirit marched toward it.

Loban grateful

Loban was extremely grateful to Satoru for saving his life.

After making it to the town, Katara attempted to free the three by bending a water slide toward them. Loban was hesitant to let go at first, but after Satoru suggested to him to breathe out slowly and let go, he followed suit, sliding down with the other two to safety. Loban thanked his nephew for helping to save his life; however, his refinery was destroyed during Old Iron's rampage.

Three months later, Loban joined the Air Acolytes and marched in the parade of the new Spirits' Friendship Festival, happily shaking two small instruments as they passed through the town.[4]

Relatives

Appearances

Graphic novel trilogies

Trivia

  • "Lo-Bahn", pronounced in Cantonese, is a Chinese word for "boss" (老闆), which is indicative of this character's position at the refinery.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Rift Library Edition, page 225.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part 1 (March 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part 2 (July 2, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  4. 4.0 4.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part 3 (November 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.

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