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Note: This Idea is owned by User DanChan123
During Korra's term as the Avatar, fossil-fuel technology started to become a huge part of people's lives in order to support a huge population due to the rise of the democratic Earth Federation after the Earth Empire's fall in 174 AG, which skyrocketed to 1.2 billion in population. Fossil fuel use, which led to great pollution, simultaneously ill-affected the spiritual balance of the world. Most spirits began to leave to the lands of the Water Tribes and to the Air Temples, while alot of them returned to the spirit world. Spirits began to quarrel with humans that visited the Spirit world, and Korra was called in to help. Many spirits, interpreting the pollution, called the humans and their world "contaminated".
The decline of the spiritual essence all over the world caused a terrible toll on benders; all benders required the manipulation of chi to bend elements, and chi was a spiritual essence. The reduction of chi made bending less powerful. Furthermore, out of all people born in those years, only 12% had bending abilities. Some Air Nomads were born without airbending. Because of this, armies were forced to employ non-benders, and the use of firearms and other artillery became prominent. Weapon-crafters also looked to Equalist war tech. With weapons available to all kinds of people, all sorts of uprisings and insurrections became even more terrifying.
Meanwhile, the Earth Federation debt was climbing at an alarming rate since people were consuming more money than they could earn. Eventually, this led to the decline of the Earth Federation economy. Because of this, poorer areas began to rebel against the Earth Federation. When the Earth Federation economy collapse, seven independent states formed, Qin, Han, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Chu, and Yan. Yan, right next to the UR, was fully supported by the United Republic, and sought to return the Earth Federation's original government. The middle west state, Han, bordering the United Republic, was supported by the Fire Nation by the means of money and supplies, since the Fire Nation's main food source was dependent on Han soil and the southernmost Wei soil (Wei was hostile against the Fire Nation, so they couldn't maintain a relationship). Wei was very well defended, with its source of connection on Omashu. Furthermore, the Si Wong Desert was a natural barrier that limited the capablities of Eastern independent states bordering Wei. The Si Wong desert was eventually used to conduct experiments with nuclear weapons.
Eastern states were eventually conquered by Qin, a powerful state considering that its center was Ba Sing Se. Qin's leader was a ruthless political and military genius, Minister Ashoka Ghan. Ghan was an insurrectionist among a terrorist group called the Reborn Phoenix, who successfully toppled the Ba Sing Se city government. However, his two right hand men left him to create the states of Zhao and Qi. The final state, Chu, in the northernmost area, was annexed by Han after an agreement with the Avatar.
Wei's production of nuclear weapons, secretly supported by Fire Nation engineering companies who made tons of money off of the war. A United Republic attack on Wei led to the discovery of such weapons by all. Various nations got ahold of these weapons, and a nuclear war began, devastating everything. In the end, only Qin and Han were left. In a last resort, Qin fired a nuclear weapon at Republic City, a weapon with the capability of destroying much more than just Republic City alone, which Korra used the Avatar State to stop, killing her in the process, seemingly breaking the Avatar Cycle in the process of saving the world.
The spirits decided to blockade the pole portals for unknown reasons. Mankind believed the Avatar Cycle was broken. Humanity suffered a deadly "virus" called the Darkness, because it allows humans to be possessed by the many Dark Spirits that are cast out of the spirit portals to wander the Earth.
Centuries into the future, society was put back together to its original state, and the spirits returned to contact humanity. At that time, humanity fights a constant war with the Dark Spirits known as "Doomfolks". Doomfolks are a special kind of Dark Spirit, also known as Lost Spirits. Doomfolks are the spirits of humans and animals killed by "the Darkness" virus, roaming the world and terrorizing people; Doomfolks become dark as the other spirits forbid them from entering the Spirit World. While any sort of attack can temporarily destroy a Doomfolk, only benders have the ability to permanently destroy a Doomfolk. The practice of destroying Doomfolk spirits is called "Reaping".
The spirits brought news that Raava survived the impact, though incredibly weak in a deep sleep. The spirits closed off spiritual influence so that they could heal Raava and reawake her, although they discovered that one destined person had the capability of healing Raava, and becoming the Avatar; an earthbender. The spirits go to every city in the world, and tasks humanity to find this person. The spirits also suggest looking for those that have not matured fully yet, believing that younger ones are more capable (under the age of 16).
As years pass, humanity holds the belief that the strongest earthbender is the one that will heal Raava and return to the world as the Avatar.
Ever since heavy laws reducing the use of fossil fuels have been placed, the new universe is a very classic steampunk setting; there are still automobiles (the era is mix of Victorian and 1930-40s East Asia, and technology is 1930-60s). There are many ruins from the war, though it has been coated with young vegetation.
New Earth Alliance (270 AG - Present) The New Earth Alliance is an alliance of thirty-six near-independent Earth nations on the mainland, all of which are democratic republics. The New Earth Alliance established a trade web system to in order to allow an equal balance of trade, part of the Restoration Movement to re-instute a society. The New Earth Alliance was the first to create strict regulations on the use of fossil fuels. The NEA created a steampunk society to cope with the regulations. Each of the thirty-six nations are tasked with maintaining order in their region, and as long as a nation cooperates, they will be benefitted, according to the NEA. The United Republic is gone and has fallen into the hands of the NEA.
New Fire Nation (280 AG - Present) Now a constitutional monarchy that abolished feudalism, the New Fire Nation has become a booming business empire. However, this flow of money also brought in a curse. Triad gangs have relocated themselves all over the Fire Nation, and business has become a competitive game played by cheaters. The Fire Nation archipelago is crawling with pirates, many of whom are waterbenders suffering poverish conditions in the Northern Water tribe seeking riches as criminals or mercenaries.
Northern Water Tribe Due to the spiritual imbalance and fossil fuel damage causing the North to melt down and the rate of blizzards and stormy weather increasing, the Northern Water Tribe now suffers poverish conditions as most traders refuse to embark to Northern Water Tribe ports due to the growing amount of sea ice, foggy areas, and stormy oceans, creating a terrible mix. Northern Water Tribe citizens often become illegal immigrants into other nations, most of them fleeing to the South. It was found that 80% of all Fire Nation archipelago pirates originate from the Northern Water Tribe.
Southern Water Tribe Unlike the North, the Southern Water Tribe, fortunately did not suffer climate change. A natural shipping power, the Southern Water Tribe has benefitted from the Restoration movement that has emphasized the importance of shipping. However, the South's long time neglect of the spirits have led to a intense rate of Doomfolks attacking them in all directions. Because of this, the Order of Spiritual Restoration built their second largest temple at the heart of the Southern Water Tribe city.
Air Clans After the spiritual imbalance, the Air Nomad population shared non-benders with other peoples. Also, ever since Harmonic Convergence, there were airbenders that chose not to become monks. To cope with this new change, the Air Clans were formed, seperate from the other Air Nomads that integrated into other societies. The Air Clans maintained the old Air Nomad teachings and all of them became monks, born in the air Temples to master the airbending art. The Air Clans also adopted the "Rite of Tenzin", which gave them the right to go around the world to help in international affairs whenever they were needed. Air Clan leaders also became leaders of the Order of Spiritual Restoration, working together with the White Lotus.
Order of Spiritual Restoration (300 AG - Present) When the spirits returned to announce to the world that Raava was alive and a new Avatar is to be selected, the Order of Spiritual Restoration was formed, adopting the task of picking out bender children (under the age of 16) and training them as candidates for the new Avatar. Taking bender children, however, was highly controversial and many people refused to have their children taken away. Thus, the Order decided to spread their influence by building temples all over the lands so that they could pay attention to the bending community internationally. Their capital temple is at the Northern Air Temple, rebuilt by the Air Clans after its destruction by Red Lotus. The OSR also has other tasks. Along with finding the new Avatar, the OSR makes it their job to affiliate all benders into the restoration movement, which includes employing missionaries to help in worldy affairs or reaping the Doomfolks. The OSR also governs the city of Ba Sing Se.
The OSR employs a rank system for affiliated benders. The first rank is the Initiate. Initiates train until they are able to pass a promotional test for their own element. After passing, the next Rank recieved is a Pupil. Pupils that choose to leave their families are placed into boarding Divisions of six benders and at least one guardian, where they train in Bending forms, Doomfolk Reaping, Spirituality, History, Medicine, Technology, Diplomacy, and other things required for OSR members. The third rank is the Candidate rank. Those who reach this rank are under the age of sixteen and are at the peak of the study of the spirits, the spirit world, and other things that are important to the quest to find and cure Raava. Anyone at this rank is considered a potential Avatar. The fourth rank, the Acolyte rank, follows the path of which the candidate finds out he or she is not qualified to become the next potential Avatar. Acolytes can choose move out of their Divisions and train for real life situations, usually minor ones on the behalf of the Order. The fifth rank is the Master rank. It is achieved once an Acolyte has mastered their element and everything crucial to the support of Spiritual Restoration. Masters can lead Acolytes in missions, or go on to teach and overseer the lower ranked. The final rank and highest, is the Elite rank. OSR Elites are the most powerful and spiritual benders in the entire world. A master can become an Elite only when they have become spiritually enlightened. After an Avatar masters his or her ties to the Spirit World, he or she is immediately considered an Elite.
(The OSR is based on the Jedi Order from the Star Wars trilogy)
The Avatar (For the sake of the story, the Avatar's identity is kept secret) When Sage Khagan brought Raava to the mortal world, several OSR members went to save her and bring her back into the Spirit World in time. Raava was only able to give a fellow spirit a message to deliver to the OSR. It turns out when the spirits tried to bring Raava back after Korra's death, Raava's destruction for another 10,000 years was prevented by taking some energy from the Tree of Time, which also took some of the tree's memories. When she was brought to the mortal world, the energy was returned to the Tree of Time, along with several important memories that can help them. The OSR members were told to go to the Tree of Time and explore those memories, and only the true candidate for the next Avatar can explore those memories. One of the OSR members was able to do so, and from Avatar Aang and Avatar Korra, learned to energybend. From the first avatar, Wan, they learned that the only way to stop the destruction is merge both the spirit and mortal worlds together, just like the days before the Avatar. To do this, the quadri-elemental, original energybenders needed to be found, the four great lion turtles, whom still dwelled in the spirit world. The lion turtles with their combined powers of Water, Earth, Fire, and Air can wake the First Spirit, Tai, the Sun, who sits in a deep sleep, coexisting in both worlds at the same time, shining light upon both worlds. Tai's sleep, caused by the first Avatar, Wan, prevents both worlds from merging together. After doing so, Myrtu will lose his immortality and be vulnerable to reaping. Furthermore, the energy that embraces Myrtu, trapping him in Diyu, can be reused to bring Raava back to life. The OSR members do all this successfully, at the cost of merging both worlds together. However, Raava is able to merge with the particular OSR member to become the Avatar. Later, Sage Khagan was imprisoned in the Fog of Lost Souls.
Laisha (Age 14) Laisha was born into a tribe of Sandbenders descended from those that fled the Si Wong Desert during the Seven States' War when Wei State began testing nuclear weapons there. Her father is the tribe's chief, leading the tribe through the vast wilderness that covers the mainland in the south, hunting, gathering, and raiding for survival. Like the other girls of the tribe, Laisha was a supply runner that ran furs into nearby towns to trade for other necessities for the tribe. However, Laisha wanted to go hunting and raiding like the boys in the tribe. During supply runs, Laisha would go into OSR temples to observe the benders. She observed waterbenders and airbenders for sandbending, and observed earthbenders and firebenders for earthbending. When she was thirteen, the Sandbender raiding men were incarcerated by an OSR captain, a firebender who replaced the original sheriff in the city of Temulkh and proved more successful. Against her mother's directions, Laisha went to rescue the Sandbenders, and ended up in a duel with the firebending sheriff, which ended with a draw. A deal was struck; the Sandbenders are free, but banished from the Temulkh County, and Laisha is to be sent to the OSR temple in Ba Sing Se.
Tsumi (Age 14) Tsumi was born in Xishanzhou, an NEA state. He is a non-monk airbender (he later becomes one though) and an orphan by the age of seven (his parents were killed by Doomfolkers). For the rest of his life, he was raised by Air Monks at the Northern Air Temple, which is also the OSR headquarters. However, because of his neglect of vegetarianism and traditional airbending (Tsumi uses brutal force when bending), he chose not to become a monk. Later on, however, he would change his mind and become a monk. He is assigned to the Sand Shark Division alongside Laisha, and the two become bending rivals. Tsumi has a sizable ego, is serious, respectful, somewhat intelligent, and courageous.
Yeona Seong (Age 14) Yeona was born into a noble Fire Nation family, and despite having so much, she hated the burdens of responsibility, being a noblewoman and all. In front of her friends, she seems nothing like a woman of nobility. She is a breathless firebender, both sustaining much energy in fighting, but also when talking; she can be garrulous; she is known for overwhelming her opponents, but also known for the inability to keep secrets and multitask. She is also fascinated with everything, and often tries to hide her obsessions, but fails in doing so. Yeona is intelligent, assertive, submissive, optimistic, cheerful, and insecure. She is assigned to Sand Shark Division.
Haak (Age 14) Haak was born in Zaofu, with the Metal Clan. He is an earthbender and metalbender, and likes to tinker with metal tools to create various contraptions of minor usage ever since he recieved a wooden hand; his entire right hand was crushed in a construction accident. Haak was inspired by the Dai Li to create a more effective metal glove, his greatest invention, which he covers over his wooden hand and uses metalbending to control. He later added further upgrades, including a gauntlet of various uses. Haak is smart, modest, caring, and knows what is right. He is assigned to the Sand Shark Division.
Flint (Age 14) Flint was once a homeless waterbending kid, an orphan almost all of his life (he ran away from his "prison-like" orphanage when he turned ten), living in the streets of a now and still poverish Northern Water Tribe. Flint survived by doing dirty jobs, helping out smugglers, and pickpocketing, relying primarily on wits and waterbending. Flint later stole enough money to go on an illegal immigration to the Fire Nation, and cleaned pirate ships for a living. When the OSR came to clean things up, they took Flint to their temple. Flint is illiterate and often can't figure out the right words for things, and gets definitions mixed up. Another quality is that nobody believes the extraordinary things he's been through. He also has a habit of forgetting to wash, and has short no-hunger intervals. Flint is witty, sneaky, fearless, bold, cunning, and evasive. He is assigned to Sand Shark Division.
Heema (Age 15) Tsumi's adoptive older sister and a skilled, airbending Air Monk. She is the captain of the Sand Shark Division and quite bossy. She never gets new names right and is an unlikable leader due to her strict nature. She lived in all the Air Temples throughout her lifetime, and is practically an airbending prodigy and a master of wingsuit technology. However, it is because of her attitude that prevents her from earning her airbending tattoos.
Aguta (Age 61) Aguta is a retired OSR Elite waterbender from the Southern Water Tribe, and is now the guardian of Sand Shark Division. He prefers that people call him Baba, and he is almost never sober. In fact, he maintains his amazing waterbending skills only while drunk. Aguta's father was the inventor of Drunken Waterbending, which is a form of waterbending that includes moves observed from the swaying movements of drunkards. According to drunken Aguta, the skill is most powerful when the person is actually drunk. Because of this, Aguta always carries jugs of liquor around him, even using liquor as his source of water when bending. While drunk, he weirdly reminds others never to follow his example. Aguta is sometimes angry, other times content, now and then sleepy, and often crazy. Aguta's alcoholism has side effects such as amnesia or dissociative identity disorder. His waterbending style often startles his opponents, whom are almost never able to catch him or hit him.
Ahnah (Age 16) Ahnah is Aguta's great-niece and assistant guardian. Ahnah is a nonbender with chi-blocking training, which she uses to help in controlling Aguta at his peak of madness. She handles housework and cooking for Sand Shark Division. Despite her age, Ahnah is actually a better guardian than Aguta, but since she is not an OSR member, she needs Aguta present.
Machi (Age 15) Machi is a firebending prodigy and the youngest, seventh son of Firelord Itoh. He is Heema's personal archnemesis and the rival captain of Dragonbird Division. Machi is overconfident, self-absorbed, spoiled, yet cunning. Machi is obsessed with becoming the true Avatar.
Sage Khagan Sage Khagan was a Fire Sage and the recent leader of the OSR until his disappearance. Khagan learned to become immune to "the Darkness"; his secret - energybending. It was found that Sage Khagan somehow travelled to the Spirit World and awoke the Death spirit of Myrtu, the very spirit that unleashed "the Darkness" virus into the mortal world. Khagan plans to unleash the virus into the mortal world again, ending all life in the mortal world at the same time. His plan is to first strike a deal with Myrtu, then find Raava and bring her to the mortal world so that she will lose the spirit energy that keeps her alive so that Myrtu will be unleashed again and kill all of the mortal bodies. Then Khagan will rule a world of no other humans, since he thinks that humans are the main reason why there is conflict everywhere.
Myrtu Myrtu is the spirit of Death, the king of the Diyu, the realm of the dead. According to legend, after defeating Vaatu during a Harmonic Convergence of sometime, Raava used her power to lock Myrtu into a realm known as Diyu, where all creatures of both worlds went at the end of their lives. Myrtu was tasked as the personal Punisher of the Ten Yama, ten powerful spirits that judge all the dead spirits and held a logbook known as the "Book of Death", which is a book of infinite pages with the names of every individual mortal spirit and pure spirit, and a date of their transport to the realm of Diyu. Myrtu was given the ability to destroy any spirit (except for a few powerful ones such Raava and the Ten Yama) in the spirit world with his breath of spirit energy, and any mortal body in the mortal world with the same breath. When Raava lost her power as Korra died saving the world, Myrtu freed himself and went into the spirit world to wreak havoc, but the Ten Yama banished Myrtu into the mortal world. Myrtu lodged himself at the North Pole, and spread his breath, "the Darkness", across the land. When a small portion of Raava's power returned during her revival process, her energy began to expend itself on keeping Myrtu locked in Diyu, thus keeping her in a coma until a worthy human could arrive and fuse with her to become the Avatar again. Only when Raava cannot feed off the Spirit World's raw energy to survive, can Myrtu be freed again.
Tsao the Overlord Tsao the Overlord was originally the prime minister of the NEA nation of Ba Sing Wai, which Ba Sing Se sits at the center of. Tsao is a descendant of the great line of Earth Kings, and he believes that Ba Sing Se rightfully belongs to him, and not the OSR. After stepping down from his position as prime minister, Tsao resurrected the Dai Li. On his quest, Tsao re-explores the history of the Earth Kings, which traced back to the construction of Ba Sing Se under the leadership of the First Earth King, Ching Shih. Ching Shih was considerably the greatest earthbender that ever lived; he had an unusual amount of chi, and he learned to harness it to create enormous earthquakes that could destroy complete cities. He was also the first lavabender. Ching Shih built the foundation of Ba Sing Se by himself by bending stone. He went on to unite all of the Mainland under his own rule, and even the Fire Nation and Water Tribes paid tribute to him. Tsao discovered that all Earth monarchs of Shih's line passed the trait down, whether they possessed it themselves or not. He discovered that he himself had the trait, and eventually Tsao learned how to use it to be just like Ching Shih. Tsao became so powerful, he became the first to bend pure platinum, and he learned how to magnetize and de-magnetize metals, in addition to Ching Shih's abilities. Tsao literally toppled Ba Sing Se with his power, and continued to conquer all of the mainland that was once the Earth Kingdom; once he conquered half of it, all the other nations immediately submitted to him. Tsao then declared himself the 55th Earth King, and waged war on the rest of the world.
Book One: Sand
Book One begins the story of Laisha, a skilled Sandbender Tribe's girl who longs to see the outer world, but she was stuck as a supply runner for her tribe. As a child, Laisha learned to fight with Sandbending and Earthbending in secret by observing the motions of the Acolytes that trained at the Order of Spiritual Restoration temples. She practiced with her older brothers in secret. The Sandbenders were raiders, and were constantly on the run from local nonbender police militias.
After a successful bank heist, the Order of Spiritual Restoration sent benders to deal with them, led by firebending master Takei. When the Sandbender Tribe's men were detained, Laisha, her ostrich-horse, Tatar, and several other boys in her tribe, travelled to Temulkh where the Sandbenders are to be tried, in hopes of rescuing them. The other boys create an ostrich-horse stampede, right into the courthouse, while Laisha bends the sand as a source of cover. The Sandbenders escape, but Laisha younger brother Bohran, is used as leverage to re-arrest the men and the boys plus Laisha.
While in jail, Laisha father is angry that she hid her bending. During the trial, Takei suggests that the OSR take Laisha in for training, but her father will not allow it. Her father decides to duel Takei. If Takei wins, Laisha goes to the OSR and the Sandbenders get two years of community service.
Takei does win, in the end, but Laisha decides to duel Takei herself with different stakes; if she wins, everybody leaves, but agree never to return to Temulkh. Everybody disagrees, but Laisha makes Takei trip over a bended pothole in the earth, thus starting the duel. During the battle, Laisha recalls overhearing that firebenders generate their chi from the stomach and breath. Using her Sandbending skills with the dust on the ground, she makes Takei cough, preventing him from using his breath to land blows with fire. She then sends a butt of earth into his stomach, temporarily severing his stomach chi and weakening his source of fire. Takei is forced to use energy from his muscles, which tires him out. However, Takei manages to use repetitive small fires on the defensive. In the end, both fighters are tired and the battle ends in a draw. A new proposal is created: Laisha will begin training with the OSR, and the Sandbenders are free, but are banished from Temulkh.
Takei takes Laisha to Ba Sing Se for her iniation. Although the usual way is to enter Laisha in first rank Initate's training, Takei vouches for her, that she should begin the promotional test for earthbending immediately. The first test is to knock a training golem (a dummy made of earth that is bing controlled by an earthbender to attack someone) to the ground in one blow as to emphasize the use of neutral jing. The second test is to use earthbending to race up a small mountain and touch hands with the golden lion statue at the top of it before the powder in a hourglass runs out, as a test of maintaining endurance while speeding. The final test is to duel other Initiates in Pillar Lake (a lake with identical stone pillars at its center lined up triagonally above the lake's surface; the pillars and placed there). The deal in this test is to use part of the rock in the pillar you are standing on to knock someone else off their pillar, or make their pillar sink so that they have to move to another pillar. Once you fall into the water, you are out of the match. By replicating airbenders, Laisha constantly moves between pillars, using other pillars to counter and/or attack others simultaneously. In the end, Laisha beats all of the trials. One of the Initiates says that moving constantly is cheating an unlike an earthbender, which gets the Master overseers to discuss whether her performance was valid. One of masters, Aguta, opposes this. He says that his Drunken Waterbending is unlike the usual waterbender, yet it is considered valid. This statements confirms her promotion to the Pupil rank. The Masters assign her under Aguta's guardianship at the Sand Shark Division.
Laisha thanks Aguta afterwards, but he gives a crazy answer.