Refugees were citizens of the Earth Kingdom who fled their Fire Nation-occupied towns and villages during the Hundred Year War. Most of these citizens sought protection in the capital city, Ba Sing Se, which stood as one of the last remaining strongholds in the world from the Fire Nation prior to its fall in 100 AG.
To help displaced citizens reach locations such as Ba Sing Se, hidden stations and transport hubs such as Full Moon Bay were created all over the Earth Kingdom to house refugees or provide transportation.
Many young children and teenagers who lost their homes and family to Fire Nation raids and attacks banded together and formed the Freedom Fighters, a revolutionary group led by Jet, which aimed to rid the world of firebenders. Team Avatar first encountered the group when they accidentally walked into a Fire Nation camp. The gang agreed to aid the Freedom Fighters in removing Fire Nation presence from the village of Gaipan, unaware that the group was planning to blow up a nearby dam and thereby flood the village, killing both the Fire Nation soldiers and the innocent villagers. Sokka, who had suspected foulplay beforehand, discovered the plot and was able to evacuate the village in time, before he and the rest of Team Avatar abandoned the Freedom Fighters for their unjust actions.
Crossing the Great Divide
Members of the Gan Jin and Zhang tribes fled their Fire Nation-occupied villages to seek refuge in Ba Sing Se. Though they initially intended to travel separately, the two tribes eventually joined together and, with the help of a canyon guide and Team Avatar, crossed the Great Divide and continued on toward the Earth Kingdom capital.
The Northern Air Temple
After a flood destroyed a village in the northern regions of the Earth Kingdom in 89 AG, the survivors, among which were the mechanist and his son, Teo, moved away and discovered the Northern Air Temple. Finding a new home in the abandoned building, they stayed and the mechanist began to modify the temple to suit a more technologically advanced lifestyle, destroying part of ancient Air Nomad culture with it. Eventually, the newly inhabited air temple drew the attention of Fire Nation troops and they began to extort the mechanist, forcing him to invent on their behalf lest they would attack the temple. Ten years later, Avatar Aang, Katara, and Sokka visited the Northern Air Temple and, after discovering the mechanist's ties with the Fire Nation, helped the refugees to expel the invading Fire Nation troops..
Full Moon Bay
The exiled Prince, Zuko, and his uncle, Iroh, also sought refuge following their condemnation by Princess Azula. The two, under the guise of Lee and Mushi, boarded a ferry headed to Ba Sing Se along with Jet, Smellerbee, and Longshot of the Freedom Fighters. Team Avatar also made their way to Full Moon Bay with Than, a pregnant Ying, and his sister, hoping to reach Ba Sing Se aboard one of the bay's ferries. However, the group decided to go through the Serpent's Pass after the trio that they had met earlier desperately sought their help, as their tickets and passports had been stolen and the attendant on duty refused them any additional tickets. The group, along with Suki, eventually reached the end of the pass and continued on toward the walls of Ba Sing Se.
Ba Sing Se
Many of the refugees made it to Ba Sing Se. However, once they arrived at the Earth Kingdom capital, they discovered there was not much help for them, as all the refugees were forced to live in the Lower Ring of the city, where conditions were not suitable for a prosperous lifestyle.
- Among the refugees waiting to board a ferry to Ba Sing Se was the cabbage merchant.
- Many refugees attempted to masquerade as Avatar Aang in order to receive free ferry tickets at Full Moon Bay.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Hamilton, Joshua (writers) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Serpent's Pass". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Eagan, James (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (May 6, 2005). "Jet". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 20, 2005). "The Great Divide". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (September 22, 2006). "City of Walls and Secrets". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.