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| 2 Columns|
written by , Deputy Editor
Fanon Internet Memes
Being the internet geeks we all are, most of us have probably seen the popular memes that have been circulating around the web. From Condescending Wonka to Bad Luck Brian to Socially Awkward Penguin these memes give us something to laugh about when NBC's Thursday sitcoms don't. Of course, this all begs one question: what happens when internet memes are applied to our fanon portal?
As authors, we take pride in our work, but some of us take criticism better than others. This guy, for example, is tougher than us all.
Everyone is allowed one free freakout per month before they start getting judged, and that freakout might just occur when this happens
Have you ever suddenly been inspired to rush to your computer and bust out another fanon chapter, but while your writing become bored and gave up? You aren't alone
Some fanons are addicting, really addicting
A lot of fanon pages for characters and events have a template notifying readers that the page contains spoilers. It's there for a reason.
Earlier I said that some of us take criticism better than others. What about the ones who don't take it so well?
Many Avatar fans were hugely disappointed in Legend of Korra, often because they don't get to see our favorite characters. Bryke really didn't have to start at a whole new generation, he could have just taken a plot from one of us.
Do you know exactly why we no longer have fanon admins? Do you? —- Whats this? OR coming out with a new Political Fanon? Unpredictable!
Many of us keep up with modern day politics, and some of us have even studied politics throughout history… But what exactly would the political climate in Ba Sing Se be like right after the 100 Year War? Well, with my new fanon,, I try to find out.
In the story, Kuei is widely unpopular, even hated, after the war ends. People look at him as a failure who is largely to blame for the deaths of Earth Kingdom citizens and the other casualties. Activists like Joo Dee, who is now an idol and considered a hero for what she endured during the war, call for an end to dynastic monarchies which produce out-of-touch and ignorant leaders. Instead, they propose the idea of holding Democratic elections to determine the President of what would become the Earth Nation rather than Earth Kingdom. Intrigued by the idea and sincerely believing that he could to the job well, General How throws his hat in the wring, forming the Liberal Party. He has an opponent for the primary election of his party, capitalist entrepreneur Lao Beifong, who Joo Dee is quick to endorse.
Unfortunately, How faces more opponents than Beifong and Kuei of the new Monarchist Party. Generals Fong and Sung agreed to establish the Military Party, and compete for the nomination promising a strong militaristic rule over the nation. On top of all that, How's biggest threat turns out to be Long Feng, who has returned as the leader of the Communist Party to run for President on the idea of "equality" and "standing up for the little guy". But just what are his true intentions?
How must deal with media scrutiny of him and his family, violent protest, and the contact sport that is campaigning for public office- the highest office in the land.
Hello, ! Welcome to the first column of Fanon Stuff by me! This'll just be a little column every issue of the WLS in which I will adverise amazing, new, and exciting fanons, as well as give tips and updates on other fanon things. This'll help to get fanons more popular than they already are. And if you want me to feature your fanon, then just contact me!
For those of you who don't have a clue what fanon is, it's fanfiction of a topic, such as ATLA and LoK. Some time ago, long before the Hundred Year War, the Avatar Fanon Wiki and Avatar Wiki merged with each other, making Avatar a very unique wiki. If I am correct, no other wiki has fanon like we do. Community Spirit, guys! If you are interested in creating a fanon, visit the Fanon Portal, where there is a fanon tuturial link. Don't forget, when creating a fanon page, put Fanon: at the front of the page title.
Secondly, some new singleawards just recently completed. One fanon, by , was nominated by and won its first Fanonbending within two days. by was nominated only one day before it won its first fanonbending. Congratulations to both of those fanons!
A couple days ago, Sokka jr. proposed to me a new idea to write a fanon. Now, just shortly after its conception, the prologue ofis out. Burning Air is a fanon describing the events that led to the Air Nomad Genocide. It follows the story of Kyfu, one of Aang's best friends, at the Southern Air Temple, Hikaze, a Fire Nation spy infiltrating the Air Temples, and the well-known Monk Gyatso. Check it out, before it is too late.
One last fanon adbertisment, one I am a big fan of, before I suggest some tips and then wrap up my first column., a subscriber of the WLS, is currently writing the fanon, a beautifully written fanon, especially for someone who is not a native English speaker. Republic City is weak. The war with the Equalists has left it damaged, and now the non-benders want their own representative. Asami Sato is a key figure in the running, but will the people want a young woman with such tight bonds with many benders as their councilwoman? Korra is continuing her airbending training, with Mako watching her carefullly. And one of Bolin's acquaintances from their time on the street is interested in a pro-bending arrangement for the Fire Ferrets. So far, the point of view from several characters has kept me guessing at the real plot, but with only two chapters, it makes it harder to get the plot at the moment. Still, it makes me want to keep reading. I strongly recommend this fanon.
Now, for my last part, a few fanon tips. If I do say so myself, I am a semi-accomplished fanon writer. A a prime tip, find a topic you really like, then plan out at least the basic idea of your fanon. I have had three of my own fanons, and two of them are discontinued, of which I had no idea of where the story was heading. Have the main plot planned out before you start writing, to make it last longer and easier for you to write. Don't try too hard with adjectives. Too many of those pesky describers can just overwhelm the reader. You wouldn't like to see this frequently, would you:Te big, green, tall, strong, thick, rocky, hard, difficult mountain sat in the way of their path. That just looks bad. Another tip:Read. Reading will only make you better. You get to see other types of writing, which can inspire you. So if you want to be a writer, read first. Lastly, don't worry about having a lot of readers right away. This is about you having fun, not your fanon becoming super popular. The readers will come to you, especially if you have a couple editors to help maintain your fanon and make it more appealing than it already is. Just have fun writing and then the readers will come. Don't worry.
Well, that's it for my first column. I hope you all enjoyed, so come back next time!
Read, it is good for you: Footsteps in the Dark
"Footstep in the Dark", or FitD for short, is essentially the series from the fan-favorite Toph Beifong's PoV, supplemented by additional scenes which draw out features of the series and Toph's life which would often go unnoticed by the series's more casual viewer. Everything is told without direct reference to the faculty of sight, for the obvious reasons; the fanon attempts to grasp what it would feel like to be implanted within the mind of a blind child, and to tell Toph's story accordingly. If you want to know what it's like to truly empathesize with the character and gain a proper appreciation for even the minutae of her story arc, FitD is the fanon for you. If anyone is interested, my newest chapter is available here for one to read at one's leisure.
P.S. Shipping will be handled insofar as it is relevant to the series, but it shall not be the main focus of the story, and indeed will treat common shipping assumptions about Toph in a critical fashion, and will counteract any and all of them whenever they threaten to overwhelm her characterization as a unique human being (as shipping fanfics are wont to do for the purposes of erotic self-identification, something I am rather dismissive of).
| A Featured Column|
written by , Deputy Editor
Finishing a Fanon
Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I decided to publish a fan-made story I came up with based on Avatar: The Last Airbender on a site I had come to seeking facts and info about the show. It was a place one might find users such as Will94, Toph Lover Courage the Cowardly User, MetalArmor and Avafan, but nobody had ever heard of TAD, KFB, Lady Lostris, Mageddon or BlackMonkey. The profile image project page did not exist yet, 888 was not the longest-erving admin and we still had fanon admins. There were under 150 stories on the portal at the time, compared to nearly 700 today. The main page of my story looked different when I first made it as well.
Like a lot of users, I mostly commented when I first started actively using Avatar Wiki. At the time, you could comment on the fanon portal main page, along with self-nominating for featured fanon or fanon administrator. The portal was dutifully watched over by SuperFlash, Vaznock, Zukofan, The avatar and The Bos, who was the newest fanon admin, but also the most active. His hit series Avatar: Guardian had not been completed yet, and neither had Avatar: Wanted. Fanon review blogs were scarce, and it would be a few more months before they would be seen regularly like they are today.
As one would expect for an after-the-war fanon, written by a new user about energybending and a Fire Nation rebel character named "Zhao Jr." – Energy Saga went unnoticed by anyone at first. After posting my initial chapters, it was weeks before they were commented on. And once fanonbending was created in April 2011, my fanon was nominated after a handful of more well-known stories were nominated first. When I started my subscription list, there were a couple names on it for a while before more users decided to sign up later.
My strategy was to focus on the story itself, rather than the reception it was getting. I made my effort to write the best story I could, so that when people finally did come across it, they would want to keep reading as long as I published often enough. I did not do much in the way of advertising besides mentioning it here and there – though not overwhelmingly – in the community and linking to it from my signature. Obviously, it wouldn’t happen overnight, so I knew I had to be patient. That’s the advice I would give anyone in a similar situation. Eventually, I got some users reading my story regularly. It’s always good to see critique and praise alike. Additionally, I started reading more of the fanons written by others on here.
One obstacle that I knew I would have to face from the beginning was that it would likely be contradicted by the canon at some point. For instance, in my timeline, Tenzin is Katara and Aang’s oldest son, rather than their youngest. When I started writing, there was only a limited amount of information about The Legend of Korra and The Promise had never been mentioned. It’s important to remember that it’s fanon, though, so one can’t let oneself be deterred by that. It’s always nice to have an editor, as well. Energy Saga didn’t have any editors until over 30 chapters were finished, but once it did it was a smoother process to patch up the drafts and correct mistakes.
I told myself when I first started writing Energy Saga that I would have it completed within a year, but estimating things like that had not always been my strong suit. It’s been a little over a year and a half. In that time, I went from browsing and commenting on here to, to editing and reverting vandalism, to fulfilling administrative responsibilities. Now, over a quarter of a million words in, I’m finishing my first story here. I do have some thoughts for new series, but I’m waiting to say what they are for now or put up pages for them. After this writing undertaking, I’d like to thank my readers for taking the time to view my story and have it be featured (one of my original goals) – and be nominated in the Fanon Awards. The finale is on its way. Hope it meets your expectations!
| A Column|
written by , contributor
A half-sane here with a super late review. Not only have I fallen off the horse in being on-time, but now my foot is caught on the saddle and I'm being dragged face-down through the dirt. Fun!
Today, or rather four days ago, I have the pleasure of reviewingby . The story is told in a mostly third-person limited perspective following Katara in an "episode" between Boiling Rock P.2 and the Southern Raiders.
- Mistakes/Grammar: 10.0 I didn't see any *shrugs*
- General Writing: 9.1 The writing was good--however, particularly in the first two chapters, but throught all four chapters, there were some awkward transitions between thoughts and actions, and I had to go back and re-read some passages to understand what exactly the switch to thoughts meant. They weren't grammatically incorrect, they were just kind of awkwardly placed and worded, almost. Then, there were some conversations with descriptions that just didn't really speak to me--kind of bland and predictable, almost. Between these two things that kind of put me off, I couldn't give it a very high score. But there were some very artistical descriptions here and there that really stood out and pulled the writing into the nines, as far as scoring goes.
Writing Score: 9.6... A
- Story: 9.4 I... don't really like Katara. For this reason, the story was hard for me to really get into. Especially since it was told from her perspective. I found that the third person limited perspective kind of detracted here. By the way, if you don't know what third person limited in, it's basically when you have one character whose thoughts you delve into and several whose thoughts you do not, like Harry Potter. Anyway, going back to the fanon, though I didn't like the perspective, I couldn't think of any other way that it would be written. Save for that, which is more of a personal preference than anything else, the story was very good.
- Characters/Character Development: 9.6? This one was hard with this fanon. There aren't any OCs, so it's hard for me to gauge character creation and things like that. If I were to judge characters, I would tap into the initial Mary-Sueness of the original Avatar Series, but I'm going to skip past them. However, I give Lovebender's character development an A+! And that's why it's a question-mark score.
- Genre (Adventure): 7.2 It didn't feel really adventury to me. I would have put "Friendship" as the only genre, because while they did do some travelling around, it never really felt adventurous. I think this is more of a hiccup in listing the genre, though--I always assume that the first genre is the more prevalent in the author's eyes, so it's the one I review.
Content Score: 8.7... B+
Content Quality Categories
- Creativity: 8.2 There seem to be a lot of fanons that take place in between events, so for that reason it's not super creative. Further, character development between episodes seems rather obvious--for lack of a better word--as well, since most older viewers can watch the series and realize that there are a lot of gaps in how the relationships develop.
- Believability: 10.0 Yeah... I think this could totally have happened.
Content Quality Score: 9.1... A-
Overall Score: 9.1... A-
My advice for Lovebender: Well, honestly since this fanon's finished there's not much I can say. On a note of that, for future reference Lovebender, according to the FRS rules, you can't submit a completed fanon for review. I figured since I was already late on your review, thought, I'd limit my jerkishness and not tell you that I couldn't review your fanon. "Hey! I know I'm four days late on your review, but I can't review it." See how jerkish that sounds? Anyway, since there's not much to say, I'm going to ramble a bit on third-person limited because I think that's the cause for my biggest problem with the writing.
Now then, third-person limited is both a blessing and a curse. When you're using a pre-made character like Katara, it's a bit easier. But you have to know your character like the back of your hand. I sometimes think even more so than in first person. It's very easy to fall into bad writing when you try to get into your character's head while also trying to describe the actions as an on-looker; the bad writing mostly stems from, as I stated in my review of the writing, sketchy jumps between thoughts and actions. My tip for in the future, if you choose to use this technique with an original character, is to make sure that you know every little thing about your character: how they see themselves, how others see them, etc. Because in third person limited, you have to not only go into how your character thinks, but also how an outsider would view your character. My writing tip for the future is to re-read or have a beta-reader so you can get an idea as to what the jumps between thought and action sound like to someone who isn't in your head.
What sort of person would enjoy The Tour? Everyone. It's short enough, just read it. It fills the gap between episodes very nicely.
| A Column|
written by , contributor
Hey, fanon folks. As your master *cough* I want to give you an important tips, good ways, and helpful tricks for writing a fanon, whatever it is. Adventure, action, drama, romance, parody, all packed in one column! I mean the tips. These are tips and tricks to enhance your reviews scores...
Go to the tips, let's start to my first tips..
11 Tips Before send a Review Request
1. Plan an unique title
As title is the one and only thing to remember on fanon. I mean the most important. First, go and surf on the internet/your mind. Just like "Ashes, we fall down" or "The Beginning of the End", those are unique titles about a fanon chapter. This is an important role of your fanon, as usually people are looking for unique fanons instead of other one. In my experience, people gave me good rate at Organization section!
|" giving review on my The Chronicles of Avatar: The Freedom Fighters"|
2. Learning English in writing section
Is English your first language? If no, learn it. NOW. Although, sometimes FRS give you an exception, but don't be too modest or something like you're the best. All people are same, all people are equal. Just like my experience in writing, English isn't my native language. 5.O for writing is usual for me, but don't make it as habit!
|"I don't think you can blame Acer for the grammar, as English is not his first language. That is why he needs a few editors, who apparently have catching up to do.|
but regardless the amount of mistakes was very offsetting. Whether English is Acer's first language or not, I can't make exceptions..."
|— A reasonable answer from MibuWolf. No offense.|
3. Make sure your fanon is long enough
Fortunatelygives a rule for her review; 5 chapters onward. As I saw FRS reviews, the biggest problem is on the chapter count. Luckily, some people are good enough in the prologue/chapter 1. But, if you think your prologue isn't really good, be ready for low scores. So, just like Mibu said, 6 chapters above.
|"...please do not sign up for a review until you have at least five published chapters."|
|— MibuWolf and her rule.|
4. Don't add too much FRS member on your editor/co-author list
Editor: Minnichi, BlackMonkey, Acer Indonesia, and Henryjh98. <-- This list was bad enough to be reviewed by Minnichi and BlackMonkey. In my experience on writing, Minnichi gives me a not too bad scores in writing, although it's not too good as she's my editor. Just let the editor work well, although he/she isn't FRS member; it's more effective in Writing section!
|" I'm not going to score my own grammar editing in this case. The last few chapters, however, are yet to be edited and still reflect how English is not Acer's main language."|
|— Minnichi and her thought about TCA:TFF|
5. Get ready to remake your fanon
Mostly in a Fanon Review, the lowest scores are in Writing section. If it's refer to you, prepare to remake all of your fanon to a better-written one. Ask editors to help you, and you can get a good review.
|"Seems that I'll be re-writing again :). Then I sthink some of the unknown will be answered in book two. That I'll fix + I'm signing up for another review by the time current tasks - Book Two with all the suggested improvements + improved Book One - are finished"|
|—after reading review of Mel.|
6. Make sure your fanon is well-packed enough
The one thing that make review is distracting, sometimes we're too rushed. I did it, by giving 3 adjacent review requests in one click. And, you know what? I get 6.3 out of 10. Is that good? Not exactly. We must optimist, giving a high criteria for ourselves. So, please be patient, and re-read your fanon. If it's good enough, let FRS review it.
|"Often we need to take a look in the mirror first before doing something."|
|— Acer Indonesia|
7. Prepare your mental
I, honestly quiet shocked after reading's review to Phoa. After waiting for about 1 month-late, I got 2.05 on review! What? Shocked, yes. So, prepare your mental and keep praying. ;)
8. Be friendly
Sometimes, friendly is giving us an effect to our review. Be kind to everyone, and don't be malicious to everyone, especially FRS member. A not really good tips, but why not?
9. Take a look at past reviews, follow their advice!
Before send a review request, you OUGHT TO take a look / scanning at the member that you want to send. If it's, read his reviews of all fanon. Compare it with your fanon, and if there are several mistakes which are alluded by him, fix it.
10. Don't be too proud
I've been too proud, by made a bet. I made a bet: "Whew. MibuWolf definitely give me A in content quality section. My story is good-adventure, good story, etc" <-- That's me, waiting for MibuWolf's review. But, after read her review to me..... C? XD It's funny, isn't?
For enhance the Creativity section, sometimes you must search an unique idea, just like "Woodbending" or something like "Freedom Fighters" story.
Don't forget to put action on every chapter, if your genre are action. For enhance Genre section.
If you are going to get a good review, don't forget to be realism! I mean, don't too fictive by adding several unreasonable events, just like "Jim" or "Jerry" name. Believability section will enhanced!
For enhance the Plot section, you need to put a twists, not make the story continuous. Just like "How Smellerbee joins the group", "The reason why Freedom Fighters are chosen", etc.
So, this is your AcenglishMASTER, thank you for reading.
| An Editorial|
written by , Editor
From the Editor
Spiffy, Eh? It is, isn't! Our new design is meant to add more functionality, and a new layout! Some features that will be included are: Pictures can be placed in articles, a new "Featured Article" title has been added to an article recommended by Suzon. Only have time to read one Article? Read the Featured Article first and come back to the rest later! Another new feature is the "Extras" section, which will include a poll, The current Fanon Advertisement, The current Featured Fanon, and an entire chapter of a selected fanon which is almost over! If that's not enough of a hint, you may have bad eyesight, and missed an article! The selected fanon will have "reruns" run each week. If you think you know, please don't tell! "Shh, it's a secret". Yes, a secret one can simply view by clicking "Extras"
A great note of news, the newest member of the WLS is, you guessed it, Mr. Political himself, he puts the "er" in Conservative, my friend, Omashu Rocks! OR had to go under some hazing to join us. Some unspeakable things! Here's a list:
1)Omashu Rocks had to denounce his Conservatism, and make his own version of the famous, Crush on Obama music video!
2)He had to let us call him "Old Dubya" for the first week!
3)He had to do our dirty work, namely, matching the WLC!
4)He had to be strapped down and forced to watch, "Jersey Shore".
5)He had to clean my bedpan!
On a serious note, he only had to do #3! Omashu Rocks has brought delightfulness that even numbers 2, 4, and 5 wouldn't give us!(I'd kill to see OR sing Crush on Obama.) Welcome OR, to teh White Lotus Sentinel!
How do you like the new layout?
Are you excited for Omashu Rock's new run as Deputy Editor?
Energy Saga Rerun
Chapter One: The Jasmine Dragon
Ba Sing Se, 100 AG
Aang, now a fully realized Avatar, master of all four elements, was sitting cross-legged in the middle of Ba Sing Se’s finest tea shop. He had just concluded a great adventure and was perhaps one of the youngest Avatars ever to have learned the four elements, at the ripe age of 12. Well, technically he was 112, having been frozen in ice for a century, along with his sky bison. In addition to mastering the four traditional elements, Aang has also learned a skill from a fifth elemental art: energybending, where one bends the essential energy inside humans. But you would hardly be able to tell all this simply by looking it at him sitting across from Momo, his pet flying lemur and close companion for the past year. At the moment, he was playing with a small, compressed ball of air, moving it up and down using airbending, his native bending art.
Aang was by no means alone. He was surrounded by friends who had helped him in his recent adventure against the militaristic domination of the Fire Nation. Iroh, the owner of the Jasmine Dragon, the tea shop in which they congregated, was playing a song on his Tsungi horn much like one he played while traveling by ship with his nephew in search of the Avatar. Like Aang, he was not all that he seemed. A benevolent old man, Pai Sho expert and tea enthusiast, he was also a retired Fire Army General whom had tried to conquer this very city for the Fire Nation a few years ago and was one of the most skilled firebenders in the world, called "The Dragon of the West." His nephew – Zuko, the Fire Lord himself – was in an unusually humble position serving tea to his comrades, looking not the least bit regal. His girlfriend Mai was at the next table engaged in a game of Pai Sho with Suki, leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, who had served in the recent war on the opposite side of Iroh, Zuko and Mai. Katara of the Southern Water Tribe – now on the brink of extinction – was overseeing this riveting game. And painting this rather awesome but rather absurd picture was Katara’s brother Sokka.
"I wanted to do a painting so we always remember the good times," Sokka claimed as he captured the moment on his parchment. However, some were less than pleased with the manner in which they were portrayed.
"Why did you give me Momo’s ears?!"
"My hair is not that spiky."
"I look like a man."
"Why did you paint me firebending?"
"I think you all look perfect," Toph chimed in at the end, to the laughter of the rest of the group. She was ever so comfortable poking fun at her own blindness with sarcastic humor.
Aang, whilst enjoying himself, remained aloof through this episode. He extinguished his ball of air, got up and made to get a breath of fresh air on the balcony. Katara followed him out soon afterwards to share the moment with him. Neither of them needed to say anything. They embraced each other and then shared a long, wet kiss under the sunset. Things were looking up for the young Avatar now. It had been that way ever since he won his battle against Phoenix King Ozai, ending the War.
Not too long ago, Zuko’s coronation as the new Fire Lord had served as a symbolic commemoration of the long-lasting peace to come. Aang remembered that day well – every detail of it. He had been meditating in the halls of the royal palace, waiting for Zuko to emerge. He was wearing a new set of Air Nomad garments he had nicked from the storage of the Southern Air Temple on the way over. Years ago they had been worn by his teacher Monk Gyatso – one of the best benders he had ever met – who taught him his first elemental art, airbending. Only now did that seem to him like it had really been 100 years ago – which, after all, it was. At long last, his newest teacher emerged – his companion and soon-to-be Fire Lord Zuko.
"I can’t believe a year ago my purpose in life was hunting you down. And now…"
"And now we’re friends," Aang finished
"Yeah, we are friends," agreed Zuko. Aang was suddenly reminded of Kuzon, one of his best friends growing up, who had also hailed from the Fire Nation.
"I can’t believe a year ago I was still frozen in a block of ice. The world’s so different now." Aang stared into space for a second in a moment of reflection and sadness. Yes, the world is different, he thought to himself. But the world was a much different one when he was discovered in ice berg by Sokka and Katara than the one that he grew up in. Now the world was much different from the brave new world he had been thrust into, but still not quite the same as the one he remembered as a kid. The four elements were different. Everything was different.
"It’s gonna be even more different," Zuko continued. "When we build it together." Zuko was right, Aang told himself. It was like Gyatso told him long ago. We cannot concern ourselves with what was. We must act on what is.
Zuko and Aang then made their way out to their awaiting audience. A roar of applause greeted Zuko as he began to speak. "Please, the real hero is the Avatar," he stated, stepping aside momentarily for Aang. "Today, this war is finally over. I promised my uncle I would restore the honor of the Fire Nation. And I will. The road ahead of us is challenging. A hundred years of fighting has left the world scarred and divided. But with the Avatar’s help, we can get it back on the right path and begin a new era of love and peace."
At these words, one of the Fire Sages brought forth the royal fire-emblem-shaped crown and placed it in Zuko’s hair. "All hail Fire Lord Zuko!"
Another round of applause greeted these words. It was a multicultural and diverse crowd that greeted them. All three remaining nations were represented. From the Water Tribes, Aang spotted Sokka, Katara, their proud father Hakoda and Bato, who was like an uncle to them, in addition to the members of the remote Foggy Swamp Tribe. From the Earth Kingdom he spotted Pipsqueak and the Duke of the Freedom Fighters, Toph, The Boulder and The Hippo who all had competed in Earth Rumble, the Kyoshi Warriors and the Mechanist and his faction of refugees. And also Haru, who Aang could swear he saw eyeing Katara in the crowd. Aang felt defensive for a moment. And of course several attendees were the citizens of the Fire Nation. Aang was unable to recognize any of them. But they gave just as much enthusiastic applause as anyone. It could be assumed that they were just as tired of a century-long war as everyone.
This coronation ceremony was in sharp contrast to Zuko’s father Ozai’s own. Still entrenched in a global war for domination, Ozai had taken the opportunity to give an inspirational battle cry amongst the all-Fire Nation audience as his predecessor Azulon was ceremonially cremated behind him. That had been a mere five years ago. How well would the world adapt to the new order of things? Not all people could be like the ones in front of him. After a lifetime of sweat and turmoil, some had to be unsatisfied with the outcome. The question was, how unsatisfied were they?
The coronation was followed by an elaborate reception for special guests only inside the palace. It was a mix of Fire Nation high society types and elites from around the world in the other three nations. That’s right, only three…Aang thought to himself. It was much like the birthday party for the Earth King’s pet bear that he had snuck into months ago. Zuko was absent for the moment. Aang passed the time mingling with some other guests. This was not very hard for him as the Avatar. There was scarcely a person in the room who did not mention him in their conversation.
He introduced himself to a group of Fire Nation generals standing in the corner. After giving a respectful bow to them, a couple of them smiled and bowed back in the same way. "It is an honor to finally meet you, Avatar Aang." However, others in the group did not share their sentiment. They kept blank faces with perhaps the slightest wince of the eye and returned Aang’s bow with what was little more than an extended head nod.
Shortly afterwards, Zuko entered the room. From his expression, it seemed like he had something on his mind – something personal. Where he had been Aang could only guess, but Aang decided it was best not to intrude at this time.
Aang took Zuko aside "That was an inspiring speech you gave…Fire Lord."
Zuko blushed for a moment. "Thanks."
"I know there’s a long and challenging road ahead of us…just like you said. This ‘era of love and peace’ isn’t gonna come easy. For the world, I mean."
"Not just for the world. It’s going to be hard for me keeping peace here at home, too." Aang knew he was referring in part to those Fire Nation generals he had just met. Some had not truly accepted the outcome of the War. After all, this outcome was the opposite of the outcome they had spent their careers working to achieve. Careers spanning years and even decades under the Fire Nation of Azulon and Ozai. Obviously, some resentment must exist within some of them. "But with what we’ve been through, I’m sure it’ll be a piece of cake," Zuko finished.
Zuko was right, Aang thought. Things may not be perfect, but they had undoubtedly improved. At least no one was openly fighting each other now. Yes, there were challenges ahead, but that was to be expected. So there was no use worrying for now. With this Aang put his mind at ease.
Now, back at the Jasmine Dragon, Aang still had his mind at ease as he kissed Katara for what seemed like forever. After they finally broke away from each other, they held hands for a few minutes watching the sundown before finally returning inside. The rest of their friends didn’t appear to have noticed their absence and had merely shifted around. Mai had apparently beaten Suki at Pai Sho and was now playing Iroh. Zuko now played the Tsungi horn. He was apparently as talented as his uncle. Toph had settled down into a chair and was sharing a table with Suki and drinking from a newly-brewed batch of tea. Sokka was in the same place as he was before.
"So how’s the painting coming Sokka?" Katara asked. She apparently soon wished she hadn’t after taking a look, judging by her facial expression. "I wish the Earth King and Bosco were here – they’d make our group more exotic."
"Um, they haven’t returned from traveling the world yet, remember?" Toph reminded her.
"Oh yeah, heh," Katara blushed. "Wait, so who’s in charge of Ba Sing Se right now?"
"My sources tell me some politicians were hoping for Long Feng to be appointed to his old post now that the war is over," Iroh entered. "But he would have little support now since the Dai Li are considered traitors."
"Wouldn’t they have to cancel next week’s victory festival?" Aang asked. "After all, according to them, the war never happened, so the end of the war never happened either."
"It’d be pretty hard for them to re-brainwash everyone now that the city was conquered and then later liberated. An army of Fire Nation soldiers marching in and the Order of the White Lotus kicking them out. I dunno…that seems like the kind of thing people notice," said Sokka.
"Sokka, people knew there was a war going on," replied Katara. "The people of Ba Sing Se weren’t allowed to talk about it, but most of them already knew there was a war going on. Especially the thousands of incoming refugees. It was mainly the Earth King they totally brainwashed. Him and anyone who stirred up trouble."
"Okay, okay," said Sokka. "So who is in charge then? Don’t tell me it’s still Joo Dee – she was Azula’s puppet."
"Nah, most likely the Council of Five will step in," answered Iroh. "General How has expressed an interest in forming a temporary government based on military leadership." Iroh was clearly distracted by his Pai Sho competition with Mai, which he was about to win.
"Well, whatever they do…I’m sure things are gonna be a lot different around here now," said Toph. "Alright, enough lounging around for now. I’m heading to the courtyard to do some earthbending. Care for a couple rounds of sparing, Twinkle Toes?"
"Nah, I’m all set," said Aang.
"Okay. You’re not getting soft on me now, are you?"
"Not at all. I just think after defeating the Fire Lord and all, I can afford to take it easy for one night."
At this point, Aang noticed Iroh getting up as well. He was making his way to brew a new batch of tea. Aang followed him.
"Thanks for playing host to us here tonight Iroh. It feels good having the whole group here and all."
"Oh, my pleasure young Avatar," Iroh said jovially. "It’s the least I could do after you helping save the world and all. Now that I’ve got back my tea shop, I can enjoy a quiet retirement serving tea and playing Pai Sho. All thanks to you."
Aang returned a modest expression to these words. "Yeah, it’s finally over now."
"And hey, maybe I’ll even pay my brother a visit one of these days and see if he wants to play in his cell," laughed Iroh. "I did not know he would still be alive now. I heard you blocked his firebending instead, much like Mai and Azula’s little friend likes to do."
"No Sir. Ty Lee practices Chi Blocking, which targets one’s muscles and leaves one unable to bend for a short while," Aang corrected. "I took away Ozai’s firebending permanently by bending the energy and life essence within his body. It’s a part of energybending, which is what people did in the era before the Avatar, instead of bending the four elements."
At these words, Iroh paused for a second. His facial expression suddenly became more serious and thoughtful and he stroked his beard. "Interesting…" he said just under his breath.
"What is it? You look like you have something on your mind."
"Have you heard of something like this before?"
"What? What makes you say that?"
"Well, you are a leader in the Order of the White Lotus, a society of spiritual and fighting experts from different nations. You’d think you would know something about it, if anyone would."
Iroh hesitated for a moment. "Well, the secrets discussed inside the Order of the White Lotus are – well – secret. But I guess since you’re the Avatar and all, it’s okay. Yes, I do recall hearing something about a fifth bending art a while back. And I also heard something about its being able to effect the traditional four bending arts. But I’m not the best person to ask about this."
"Do you think it’s worth looking into?"
"Oh yes. Its only right for you to understand your abilities as best you can. And you are the Avatar, so you must serve the world with your fullest potential. Now let’s see...it was years ago that I heard of this bending art. Who was it that mentioned it again? It was…Jeong Jeong. Yes. Jeong Jeong knew something about it."
"Okay, where is Jeong Jeong now?"
"He stayed here for a couple days right after we liberated the city. I know he has a small house in the Earth Kingdom. He’s probably staying there. It’s about a day’s walk from Ba Sing Se. Probably a lot shorter on Appa. You and your friends are staying the night, right? You can set off in the morning."
"Sounds good. Thanks," said Aang. And with that they rejoined the others.
It was a relaxing evening for everyone. They passed their time reminiscing about their adventures, joking, drinking tea and taking turns getting beat by Iroh at Pai Sho. They had had little time for such things over their long journey. Iroh had enough guest bedrooms to accommodate them all.
Aang told everyone about the planned expedition to visit Jeong Jeong the following day. With the exception of Zuko and Mai, who were returning to the Fire Nation by airship, everyone else agreed to accompany him. Zuko had his Fire Lord duties to attend to now, so he would have less time for such things as this. They woke up nice and late the next day, packed their supplies and got onto Appa, with a new, comfortable saddle on his back. This was much to the relief of Toph and Suki.
Aang got up front. "Ready everyone? Yip yip!"
And with that they waved goodbye to Iroh and set off toward Jeong Jeong’s house.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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