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The sacred crystal orb was a relic important to the Gan Jin tribe. The Gan Jin and Zhang tribes began a hundred-year feud over this orb as both tribes believed their respective founder was wronged by the other.
Gan Jin's version
The Gan Jin tribe believed that, one hundred years prior to their meeting Team Avatar at the Great Divide, one of their best warriors, Jin Wei, had carried out a yearly ritual in which he transported a sacred crystal orb from the Eastern Gate post of their tribe to the Western Gate to symbolize the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. The goal of the journey had been to purify the tribe's connection to the spirits. The Gan Jin said that during the process of this ritual, when Jin Wei was approaching the West post, a man from the Zhang tribe, Wei Jin, knocked him down and stole the sacred orb.
The Zhang tribe, on the other hand, believed that Wei Jin was traveling the country when he stumbled upon a fallen man from the Gan Jin tribe, Jin Wei. He tried to tend the man's wounds, but Jin Wei insisted that the Zhang member finish the ritual, carrying the orb to the West post, instead of caring for him. Wei Jin did what he was asked, but as he approached the West post, he was arrested by other Gan Jin warriors who suspected him of stealing the orb and sentenced to twenty years in prison without being thanked for his selfless deed.
As it is the Avatar's duty to bring peace, Aang attempted to solve the feud between the Gan Jin and Zhang tribes by bringing to their attention that they must have misconstrued the real tale; he claimed that Jin Wei and Wei Jin were really just young twin brothers at the age of eight, and not two adult-aged members of opposing tribes. The "sacred crystal orb" was nothing more than a ball being used in a game the two boys were playing called "Redemption". Jin Wei had the ball and was running toward one of the goals when he fumbled it. Wei Jin grabbed the loose ball and started toward the other goal when he stepped out of bounds; for that, he was put in a penalty box for two short minutes. Aang described Wei Jin as a bit of a slob and Jin Wei as stuffy, referring to the personalities of the two tribes, but concluded that the two maintained respect for one another.
- The differing legends surrounding the sacred orb started the tribal feud between the Zhang and the Gan Jin, though neither story may have been true. As different as these two stories are, the whereabouts of the orb have been unknown ever since, and the orb may not even have existed at all.
- The sacred orb contains the symbol of the Air Nomads and also resembles the swirl that is found in every elemental symbol for the bending arts.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ The Lost Scrolls: Earth, page 130 of The Lost Scrolls Collection.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 20, 2005). "The Great Divide". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ The Lost Scrolls: Earth, page 131 of The Lost Scrolls Collection.