So before i could get this published the first time, it got deleted. :( Anyway, this page can be used for documenting ideas we want to remember. Just edit the section with your name on it. Since the Father of Faces keeps changing his face (although i think CU's legs is the longest lasting - maybe they just felt they couldn't block that b/c it would prevent CU from walking) I just labeled his section as what we all originally knew him as.
1. Solution to the Ruling Title in the FN
So since we're trying to follow established canon, we need a way for the title fire emperor to return to fire lord. here's how i understand the history: the fire lord was dying, and there was a dispute as to who would succeed him. there was a little battle about it, but both potential successors were killed in the fighting so this caused a little civil war to break out, as many local rulers wanted to be the next fire lord, and styled themselves as such. Qin, the dying fire lord's greatest general, joined the battle in the name of his fire lord, and won, becoming the next successor, with the help of his top adviser, and now top general, Zing. to appease the local lords, they got to keep their titles and be lord over their little region. to be higher than them, qin became emperor. after the events with the JS, qin fears problems with the successors to the lords, so he wants to get rid of them and return to the old system. since the avatar helped him come up with the idea for the current system (as an airbender, who was friends with qin), he went to yalun to help him with his problem. yalun used his plantbending abilities and knowledge of medicines to poison all the lords and render them sterile so there could be no heirs. qin also made a decree that if a local lord had no successor, then his land would return to the main emperor's rule upon his death. after the death of the local lords, qin changed his title back to fire lord before his death, and passed the title onto his son.
2. Scene where we end up in the place where yalun died last time.
background: for lack of female characters, the last past avatar is going to be female, Avatar Chyou (accoring to my googling, Chyou means sweet autumn, so i picked that b/c she was an air avatar, and air's season is autumn. Qin, could you verify?).
manner of death: being an air nomad, she didn't have a permanent residence, moving from place to place on her sky bison, bringing peace and balance wherever she went. somehow, she always managed to stay in the know about worldly events despite her nomadic ways that often took her to towns/villages that were a little off the beaten path. her last residence was a small cottage on a hillside in the mountains near the eastern air temple, on the outskirts of a forest. for unspecified reasons, she no longer had her sky bison with her anymore, and due to that and her old age, she didn't travel very much. after her defeat of the bandit king guy (what's his name again?) some of his old cronies were rather displeased with their lack of a job, and sought revenge. one day, on her way to her house, returning from the temple, (idk why she didn't just live there, but i'm sure yalun's wish to train with assam instead of the regular airbenders has something to do with his past life's reasons for not living at the temple) she was ambushed by the BanditDude's ex-henchmen, and although she fought well, wounding them, her old age caused her to be defeated by their assult, and die. Had she used the avatar state, she probably would have won, but she was too afraid of being killed in the state to use it. She was found by some monks and nuns, and was given a proper air nomad funeral. however, nobody knew where she lived, so her small house was never found, and what little worldly possessions she had remained untouched since the day she died and reincarnated.
down to business: the actual scene (i'm not sure where in the story this would fit, but here we go) :
Amala landed with a thud in the small clearing Qin had spotted from above, and the group jumped down from her saddle.
"Ah, solid ground!" said Li, earthbending a mound of soft grass-covered dirt up for him to rest on.
"We've been flying for hours... I love the view up there, but I can't sleep while we're flying," said Nilak.
"I can pretty much sleep anywhere, anytime," responded Yalun.
"Let's get a fire going and set up camp before the sun goes down. We'll stay long enough to get some food and rest a little, and then we should get going again as soon as there's some light in the sky," Assam advised. "The Eastern Air Temple isn't too much farther. We only stopped because Amala doesn't like flying at night."
Li earthbent a small pit for the fire while Yalun pulled the water out of some wood nearby to make it easier to ignite. Nilak helped carry it to the pit, and Qin breathed some flames onto the pile, bending them into a warm comforting blaze.
"Hey, you managed to not burn your beard this time!" Nilak joked.
"I've been working on my breath of fire," Qin said, showing more pride in his voice than he would ever admit.
Nilak closed his eyes and focused, reaching out with his power over water to find a source of the element. "There's a stream nearby. I'll be right back, I'm going to go grab some fresh water and wash up."
As the rest of the group muttered their approval and thanks, Yalun suddenly and strangely felt a twinge of terror pass over him at the thought of Nilak venturing off on his own in this forest. Although the feeling quickly passed, it bothered him. Why would I be concerned about that? he wondered. Could I be sensing some danger somehow with some Avatar "spirit-power? And it felt as though I was afraid of this forest..." As he airbent cooking supplies from Amala's saddle to Assam on the ground below, he dismissed his last thought as ridiculous. And besides, Nilak's already gone. Can't do anything about it now.
A few minutes later, sitting around the campfire, Assam alerted the group to approaching footsteps. His soundbending allowed him to detect such things before his friends did. As Yalun reached for his blade, Nilak, with his clothes and hair still wet from washing, strode out of the woods and into the clearing, levitating a large, gently ebbing globule of water in front of him. He poured the water into a bucket, and sat down.
"It's nice to be able to bathe as often as I like," Nilak said. "In the north, it's far too cold to bathe whenever I want... you can only get clean when the sun is out up there."
He received some quizzical looks from his friends.
"Gross, dude," Yalun frowned, looking at his old waterbending master with a bantering grin on his face, his earlier concern now gone in the happy presence of his team.
Qin raised an eyebrow. "Isn't the sun up all the time for half the year, and down all the time for the other half?"
"Yeah..." Nilak said.
"I'm with Yalun... that's gross man," Li added.
"Hey, don't forget you lived there for a few years Yalun," Nilak reminded everyone. "And Li, you're covered with dirt right now, so you can't talk."
"I... I still got clean bro," Yalun said. An awkward silence followed.
As they finished their meal, the last sliver of the setting sun disappeared below the horizon, its radiant beams ceasing to shine through the forest at a low twilight angle, and the small clearing was plunged into darkness. Qin used his power to increase the intensity of the campfire, throwing their dancing shadows even longer into the night. Amala let out a windy sigh, and Assam got up to settle her in for the night. The rest of the benders unrolled their sleeping bags to prepare for their trip to the air temple early in the morning.
"Night you guys," Li said.
"Good night," everyone echoed back.
"Hey, look, the stars are really bright tonight!" Li continued.
"Com'on Li, be quiet and go to sleep," Yalun responded.
"We've got to be up really early tomorrow," Assam chimed in from atop his bison. "The nuns at the temple already aren't too fond of me, and I'm not eager to make the situation any worse."
Pause: with that bit of Assam's dialouge, i have no idea if we have an appointment at the temple or what. i'm not sure why showing up after the crack of dawn would make them frown upon us.... i think this scene will require many revisions before actually being used.
okay, back to it:
As Yalun drifted off to sleep, the shrinking fire crackled and popped in the center of his blurring vision. Then, for just a fraction of an instant, he saw the flames shooting at him, headed right for his face. Fear of death overcame him, yet at the same time, he felt that his death was necessary. The feeling had lasted less time than it took his eyes to snap back all the way open, but his heart rate had already tripled, and he was yanked from the brink of sleep to full consciousness as though someone had actually physically pulled him away from a cliff.
The fire was totally normal.
The feeling... or vision, or whatever it was, felt very odd, he realized. Even more strangely, it felt more like a memory than anything else. Similar, he suddenly realized, to the fear he felt when Nilak went to get water. He blankly stared at the fire for a few more moments, replaying his experience in his head. I've never had anything bad happen to me in a forest... and nothing too traumatizing with fire, he thought. Unable to make any coherent conclusions about the apparent hallucination with his tired brain, he glanced around to check on each of his team members. They were all sound asleep around the fire, except Assam, who was sleeping on Amala. Yalun raised an open palm toward the fire, and quickly closed his fingers to form a fist, his firebending power smothering the flames into embers. He lightly swung his elbow forward, causing some water to slosh out of the nearby bucket and jump onto the embers, dousing them. He rolled over, hoping he could join his teammates in blissful sleep.
As the Avatar slept, he dreamed. His dreams were dark at first, as they often were, and brought to the surface painful memories of the attack on his village that now seemed so long ago. As he lay unconscious in the forest, his mind continued to aimlessly wander, shifting to more peaceful images, of some senseless adventure that his brain made up, as if it had a mind of its own. Then his dreams returned to reality, this time to memories of his childhood. Playing with his friends and family on the water in the Coastal Water Tribe, his mother's cooking, and learning his first waterbending moves from his father. His mind continued to play in reverse, until he was seeing his earliest memories... even crawling around his parents house. But in the morning, Yalun would not remember these dreams. They were not important or unusual. No, for it would be his last dreams before waking that would make an impression on his waking memory: all that remained would be fragments, as dreams often are, but they were frightening ones.
His mind had continued to wander farther back in reverse. He felt a great pain, as if his head had just been crushed and forced through a narrow passage. Then he felt an even greater pain: sharp heat. It was as if someone had forced a white-hot poker through his chest; an image of lava accompanied this physical sensation. Then he heard shouts and yelling, some of it his, some of it others, and they were angry. He saw a small house in the far distance, sitting in the tall grass on the mountain side, and he was headed for it, before his attackers came. His mind replayed these images again, this time in the forwards order, but as his head was feeling crushed again, he was shaken awake by Nilak.
"Hey, you okay? You looked like you were having a nightmare or something..."
Yalun took a moment to get his bearings and realize where he was and why. "Yeah... yeah, I'm good," he mumbled.
"Well com'on, get up and help pack," Assam joined the conversation. "We already ate some breakfast; you can eat on the fly. We let you sleep because you looked like you needed it... are you sure you're alright?"
"It was just a dream," Yalun assured him, although he wasn't so sure himself. The fear he felt was just like the night before, but he was having trouble remembering some of the details of the dream. They were slipping away from him in his waking moments like a puddle of water through a non-bender's open hand.
He rolled up his sleeping bag and tossed it up to Assam on top of Amala, who stashed it with the rest of their stuff. Nilak tossed some water on the fire pit and froze it, and Li buried the whole thing. Everyone climbed on Amala, and Assam hopped on her neck, and lightly snapped her reigns.
Amala grunted and got a running start as a small bison-made hurricane erupted beneath her. The airbent wind rustled their clothes and hair, and they soon cleared the treetops and were in the open air again. Yalun's stomach growled, and Qin glanced over at him.
"Well, we can't forget to feed the Avatar, can we?" he said, reaching for the food they had saved for him.
"Thanks," Yalun took the food gratefully, and began eating.
pause: at this point, some remarks should be made about our visit to the WAT, but since we don't have that planned out yet, i'm omitting it and just picking up the story a little later. somewhere in that conversation, qin says it smells like rain, and we call him crazy, b/c there's clear skies. however, soon, his concerns are validated as the sky slowly grows darker.
"We might need to land again," Assam said. "I don't want Amala getting hurt flying through a storm."
"Great... we'll never get to the temple in time," Li grumbled.
"Well, I won't be able to take a nap either way, so..." Nilak added.
"The walk's not going to be that far... we're almost there anyway," Assam replied.
Raindrops began to tap their heads, first just a little, not enough to get their hair very wet, then more came, harder, and bigger. Soon, they were totally wet, and Nilak and Yalun began gathering the raindrops to create an ice umbrella for the group. Assam guided Amala to the ground, and they all hopped off. They had landed in a mountain meadow, and although the temple wasn't more than a couple miles away, the ground was wet and clung to their feet, which was going to make for an agonizing hike. Lightning began to lance through the clouds, and thunder shook the ground. Amala roared.
"Qin, you can make lightning, but can you get rid of it?" Nilak asked, with his arms raised to keep bending the ice umbrella above their heads.
"I don't think it works like that, young one," Qin replied.
"Let's find some shelter," Li suggested. "I could make us one with the ground, but it's too wet, and any water that's bent out will just be replaced by more."
note: this is where yalun's visions start getting more literal
The rain was now coming down in sheets, as if someone was bending the entire ocean onto them at once. Suddenly, it all went away. Poof. Gone, quicker than someone snapping their fingers. The sun was shining bright in the sky, although it was on its way down for the night. Yalun was walking along a path, in the same direction they had been going when it was raining, although he was sure the path hadn't been there a moment ago. Those weren't the only strange things. The Avatar quickly realized that he was alone, and, furthermore, his long hair was waving in the gentle breeze, just like his orange-yellow robes. Long hair?! Robes? Where is everyone and what the heck just happened?! His question, it appeared, was soon to be answered: he heard shouting in the distance, coming from a nearby small forest. Angry shouting. Without warning, the irrational fear from before returned, although this time it didn't go away so quickly. He heard harsh footfalls, like several people were rapidly approaching on ostrich-horses.
They were calling for him. They were... hunting him. His fear turned to anger. Pure white hot rage.
This time, the voice was familiar, and he now felt someone holding his arm, although he could see nobody there.
That was Qin's voice... right? Now he also felt wet, which was odd because the sun was out. The approaching footfalls went away, and the meadow turned to a soggy mud pit. The sun also vanished, replaced by a torrential rainstorm. Li was holding his arm, and he felt a little dizzy.
"Yalun! Avatar! HEY!"
His friends were all shouting at him. He raised his head from his chest, and stood up straight, although he still hung on to Li.
"Are you okay? You... passed out or something there for a minute," Assam asked, looking slightly worried.
"And you stopped waterbending," added Nilak, who was now supporting a much smaller umbrella by himself, leaving Amala in the rain.
"Yeah... I think I'm good," Yalun said slowly. "I... I think I had a, uh, vision or something."
"A vision?" Qin asked.
"Yeah... the sun was out, for one thing... and someone was coming after me."
"Like... they were looking for you, or they were trying to... like, hurt you or something?"
"I... I don't know. Let's keep moving."
Yalun moved his arms in an upwards circular motion, bending more rain and freezing it, and resumed holding the larger ice umbrella up with Nilak. Amala, finally out of the rain, started to shake off, but Assam airbent most of the flying water away from the group.
After walking in silence for a couple miles, Li spotted a small cottage in the distance.
"Hey, guys, look!" he exclaimed, pointing and jumping in the air excitedly. "Shelter!"
Nilak let out a sigh of relief. "Finally! My arms are getting tired from holding this thing up."
"Guys, we don't know anything about the place. Someone could live there," Qin cautioned.
"Good," Li said. "Maybe they have some food!"
In the back of his mind, Yalun started to feel a nagging suspicion that something wasn't right as they approached. "Guys, I don't know about this. What if it's a trap?"
"You're kidding, right? Hey, I bet whoever set this "trap" also made it rain so we couldn't fly and had to walk right into it," Nilak remarked, somewhat icily, as he began creating a small igloo to keep Amala out of the rain while they were inside.
"Something just feels... wrong," Yalun tried to explain. He still hadn't shared his odd "visions" with his friends, and doubted he would be taken seriously anyway, except my perhaps Assam.
"Imma go check it out," Li announced, bounding to the door.
Yalun decided to exercise a little more caution, and examine the outside of the dwelling first. It was a small place, built from wood, and couldn't have had more than five small rooms on the inside. It looked like it was starting to fall apart, like someone hadn't been caring for it in a long time.
"At least we don't have to worry about someone living here," he thought.
As he rounded the corner to stand in the backyard, he found a small garden, which was also in sad shape, although there was a small tree growing nearby, which had fruits on it. Bending another umbrella for himself and walking to the tree, he found its fruits were edible, and picked several of them. He heard Assam's voice from one of the windows:
"Hey, an airbender used to live here!"
Yalun went back around to the front of the house, and opened the door. As he stepped over the threshold, something felt familiar about it, in a comforting sort of way. These odd emotions he had been having since yesterday seemed as if they belonged to someone else, but at the same time, not someone else. He was very confused, and was beginning to wonder if he was going crazy. The inside of the house was sparsely decorated, and furnished about as well. There were a few airbending symbols in different places, and even an occasional ornament bearing a symbol of another element.
"Why wouldn't an airbender just live at the temple? It's so close," Qin wondered aloud.
Assam smiled a half-smile. "Maybe they were a heretic like me. But it is odd that they would have lived so close like this..."
"Hey, I found a glider!" Nilak called from a back room.
The rest of the team followed his voice to what was apparently a bedroom. There was a bed in the corner, with a nightstand next to it, and a small chair under the window, and a mirror covered half of the back of the door. Nilak was holding an airbending staff, and had pulled it open to form a glider.
"Hey, neat!" Assam said, over the sound of the rain pounding the roof. He took the glider and closed it, examining some of the engravings where the hinges were. "This is really good craftsmanship," he said. "Although it looks like it was made a very long time ago, judging from the wear of the wood."
Yalun couldn't explain why, but he suddenly felt drawn to the staff. "Let me see," he asked, squeezing past Qin. The room had not been designed with the intention of accommodating five muscular men. He reached out, and Assam handed him the staff. It felt right in his hand, comfortable and familiar. As he ran his finger over the engravings, his world exploded in a flash of white light. When his vision returned to him, he was standing in a field, with the sun shining and the long grasses dancing gently with a pleasant breeze. As he looked around, a figure appeared in front of him, transparent and hard to see at first, then quickly becoming more clear. It was a woman. A woman dressed in orange-yellow clothes, with an arrow tattoo on her shaven forehead.
"Avatar Chyou!" he exclaimed. His immediate past life had a very impressive list of accomplishments under her belt, and was a solid source of guidance for him in his current lifetime. After he had figured out he had the ability to speak to a copy of past versions of himself, he often did so in times of stress or uncertainty. He had once even asked for dating advice. This time however, he had not intentionally called upon the ability, nor had he meditated into the spirit world, although it appeared that was where he was.
"Hello, young Avatar," Chyou said. Her voice was gentle and soothing for Yalun to hear. He couldn't believe he hadn't though of talking to her.
"Chyou, I'm so happy to be able to talk to you," Yalun said.
"I see you've found my former home," Chyou replied.
"You lived in the cottage? That was your home?!"
"Yes. As an Air Nomad, I had traveled the world for most of my lifetime, performing my Avatar duties wherever I was needed. In my later years however, I tired of the constant traveling, and decided to settle down. So I built myself a small cottage near the Eastern Air Temple. It was convenient, and peaceful."
uh... i guess something else would go in here about... yeah i don't know. also, about this bandit guy, are we gonna explain to the reader what the deal with him was? when i mention him, it feels out of place/unintroduced. So a little later in the conversation...
"These... emotions I've been having," Yalun asked, "Do you know what they are? Why am I feeling like this? Why do they come and go so suddenly?"
"They come from your past, Yalun. Before you were who you are now, you were me. I died near my home, at the hands of some old adversaries of mine. They had planned it all out, and there was little I could do as they exacted their revenge."
not sure how much i need to talk about the bandit emperor... But basically, from here, chyou's gonna show him her death scene, in full. this next bit is about the rest of the yalunit while yalun's still out of it.
Nilak watched as Yalun ran his fingers over the engravings on the staff. Without warning, his eyes and scars lit up, and he began swaying on his feet, before finally slumping onto the dusty bed, still holding the glider. He didn't seem aware of what was going on, which Qin confirmed by holding some fire too close to the Avatar's face, who didn't react.
sorry for all these notes... i feel like my dialogue isn't flowing very well, so from here i'm just going to write it like a script
"Well... that was unexpected," Nilak muttered, stroking his chin.
Li: Is he... in the spirit world?
Assam: That's what I'm betting on. But he wasn't meditating... something had to have triggered it.
Nilak: something can pull you into the spirit world like that?
Assam: apparently... or at least for the avatar, anyway. I don't think there's much we can do now... i'm going to go check on Amala.
Assam shuffled his way around the others and out of the room, and made his way to the front door. Qin could see him out the window as he slipped into the igloo Nilak had made, and then only shadows told him he was rubbing Amala's head.
back in the spirit world... again, these sketches are getting pretty rough now.
Chyou: let me show you...
She reached out to touch Yalun's forehead, and laid her palm across it. As she did, Yalun's scar glowed, and Chyou began to fade. Yalun sat down on the ground, crossed his legs, and held his arms in front of his chest, with one hand open on top of his other fist. His face slowly became expressionless as he meditated, looking within himself. His memories played backwards to him, just like his dream the previous night. First there were images of his childhood, then images of his final moments as Avatar Chyou...
i'm just going to be writing little random excerpts about him in this section.
physical description, after we just met him The first thing Yalun noticed about him was his size. He was incredibly huge, at least 7 feet tall. He also had a much darker complexion than most people of the Fire Nation, along with a medium length beard that was a little more scraggly than his kinsmen. On his head, he wore a maroon turban, and he was dressed in elaborate robes that were covered with gold. He also wore a sash across his chest, which was covered with medals from his time in the military.
teaching yalun i have this idea that zing is going to take yalun to a stone courtyard-like area so they can't burn anything important. there will be a circle of wooden statues, along with a single wooden statue off to the side. zing will ask yalun to use firebending only and try to cause as much damage to the single statue as he can in 30 seconds. after the 30 seconds are up, yalun turns around and sees that zing is finishing taking off his turban, revealing a tattoo on his forehead that looks like a third eye. zing asks yalun to come stand behind a stone wall, and to watch closely, as now it is zing's turn to destroy the entire circle of statues in even less time, which yalun is skeptical of.
Zing took a deep breath through his nose, and Yalun saw him clench his abdominal muscles and bring his hands up slightly. then he leaned forward and thrust his head out. yalun was shocked by what happened in the next three seconds. a beam shot from the general's tattoo, and flew towards the statues. yalun thought the beam looked just like the air over a fire, when it's all blurry from the heat. it made a wooshing nose as it flew through the air, and right before it stuck it's target, there was a single loud, popping noise. the beam struck the ground in the center of the circle of statues, and as soon as it did, an enormous plume of flames came into being, causing a violent explosion to rock the entire courtyard, and left the avatar's ears ringing. nothing was left of the statues except large smoking splinters scattered all about, and there was a giant scorch mark on the ground.
Li Chen's Backstory: Li Chen's an orphan. His parents died when he was 2. He doesn't remember them or know how they died. He's lived with his father's parents ever since and is their entire world. Li's grandparents, Shén and Mì, took on his training when he was 5. They're only 49 now. They're more respected around Omashu than he is since they aren't vigilantes. Li's known methods of "disturbing the peace" caused many to discourage they're children from playing with him meaning he didn't have any friends. His only companions were his grandparents and his badgermole, Yóubàn. He and his father's family are farmers. His mother's family is wealthy and lives around Ba Sing Se and Gaoling. They don't get along with The Chens as their daughter, Tiánměi, ran off to marry Jing Chen against their wishes and they're still holding a grudge. Attempts at reconciliation for Li's sake failed repeatedly. At his 5th birthday, a fight broke out between his grandfathers, Shen Chen and Fù De. They welcome Li to visit them, but never return to Omashu. He was named after his mother's mother, Lì De.
Li Chen also used to be a pageant boy. He was the 5 time winner of Ba Sing Se's Cutest Kid contest during his summers with his mother's parents. He hated every year of it as the locals weren't too kind to outsiders who beat their children. His grandmother, Li, entered him between ages 2 and 7, but he got too muscular to be considered adorable. He bulked up right before his 8th birthday so he'd be no match for the new wave of chubby kids starting to dominate the hearts of the judges. Now he barely visits BSS for more than a few days a year for fear of being put into the newly instituted "Teen Division"
When Li was 4, he wandered away from home. He was bitten by a prickle snake and had a unique allergic reaction that blocked his chi paths and prevented him from earthbending for a week. He became extremely afraid of all varieties of snakes
He spends most of his time running from guards or taking care of the farm. As his only friends are either older relatives or members of the Yalunit, he doesn't do very much else. When he's with the group, he tries to make the most of the time he has with them, since he's usually forced to contain his personality for his grandparents' sake. his antics sometimes threaten the stability of the farm with locals threatening to take their business elsewhere. Li often contemplates running away for good to keep his grandparents out of trouble and to save himself the guilt of ruining the land that's been passed down for generations. His family makes enough to live on and he's low maintenance so he doesn't see much use for excessive amounts of money. They make what they need and spend what they need. Anything extra is put away in case of an emergency. These "emergencies" are often Li's fault, but his grandparents never blame him.
Meeting Yalun: On his way to find an earthbending master, Yalun got knocked on his butt by some flash of dirt. He turned and noticed it was a kid. Dirt surfing. I'm sure a guy who grew up in a coastal paradise can appreciate surfing of any kind. The kid wanted to race. One problem. Yalun couldn't earthbend. Yalun told the kid that if he could find an earthbending master, he'd race with him. The kid asked why and Yalun told him it was because he was the Avatar and needed to learn earthbending. Kid: "I can teach you." Yalun: "No offense, but I think I should find someone a little taller." Kid:*forms 15 ft tall pillar under his feet* "What about now?" Yalun: *speechless* "Um, ok." Kid: "Great! I'm Li Chen. You can call me Li Chen. My friends would call me Li Chen, but I don't have any." (of course he says all this with a huge smile on his face) *pause and a thought hits him* "Hey! You wanna be my friend?" Yalun: "Sure" Li Chen: "Great!" *cue Li, 11 years old and 4'5, knocking the wind out of Yalun with a hug like the one in the reunion scene*
This is the episode where Raiden reconciles with Momimi. Where it explains why he's such an angry soul, why he hates benders, and why he cant live a normal life anymore.
Following one of the main characters being wounded in battle, Raiden directs the team to the resort town of Firefly. Where he finds his friends are more welcome in his old home than he is, nevermind the fact his old dojo has been turned into an inn, and his wife makes him sleep in the broom closet.
Raiden and Assam bond because he needs spiritual advice. . .
Quotes from F:TA threads
EK: There were a lot of good/funny quotes on some of those old discussions. I (EK), found some that stuck out to me and I thought we should be able to find quickly. If anyone has anything they said/would like their character to say, they can add it here and maybe TANC can adjust them, if he needs to, and fit them in the story. Everyone's speaking for their own character unless otherwise noted because I like people getting credit. I changed some of the original order and edited slightly. I'm probably the only one who'll notice, though. This is going to be very long. I liked a lot of things
I think this exchange could go in "Li Chen's Folly."
Tanc: Assam will drag you away from the girls by your ear. EK (me): While Assam's dragging me away, I can try to keep talking and then throw a tantrum and start bending in frustration while pouting like a toddler. Assam: "Oh quit whining or I'll feed you to Amala." * Li Chen pouts with arms folded* Assam: "Good, now eat your vegetables." Li: "But they taste like... dirt! If I can bend it, I don't wanna eat it!" Assam: "Are you sure? Sauteed spinach and mushrooms in a rich cream sauce?" Li: "Yeah I'm sure. Sure I didn't hear anything about "ice" in that cream." This one is a fight between Qin and Raiden. (Emperor Qin) Assam: "and when exactly do you guys plan on getting back to work?" Qin: "as soon as I do what I am used to; defeating any of my opponents!!" Raiden's "defeating me?? let's give it a try" (Qin)Li Chen: "Go earth kingdom!!" Qin "you also want to watch this battle?? 3 rounds and I defeat this one!" (Qin)Yalun: "wow, that's boring... you guys should be training or something useful!" (Qin)Nilak: "while you guys waste time and babble here, I bet there might be a spirit creature lurking on us right??" (Qin)Everyone: "oh no Nilak, not that again..." Assam: Fine, you know what, I'll just leave you two to beat the snot out of each other. Come on Yalun, I heard a rumor from one of my contacts about a cult down south. *Whispers to Nilak* "Twenty gold pieces on Qin." Nilak: Only 20 gold pieces? My sword for your Skybison. Deal? Raiden. Assam: Amala's off limits I'm afraid. Animal companion and al that. How about my spade for your swords? Nilak: I'm not 80. How about the air temples, for my sword? Assam: I've been banished from the Air Temples for years. Best I can do is my old dormitory in the west wing of the Northern Air Temple. It has a pretty view of the mountains though, and is right next to where they make the pies. Nilak: With the 20 gold pieces? Deal. I've never dated an air noamd girl before. Thanks Assam! Assam: No problem, but don't thank me yet. I may have something nice to hang over my future mantle by days end. Li Chen: My money's on Raiden! You can take Qin! He's like 30! (EK)Nilak:*whispering* You really think he can take Qin? Li Chen: *whispering* Not a chance, but Raiden owes me money and he keeps denying it. I wanna see that liar's pants and face on fire. Now I just need the old flamethrower to take this a little more seriously. (EK)Assam: Did you skip you're nap again? You're cranky Li Chen: *whispering* I'm not a baby, Assam! I don't need a nap time. *yelling* Hey (EK)Qin! I bet you forgot how to breathe fire by now! At you're age you'd be lucky if you could even light a match let alone win one!
Raiden to Qin: Excuse me Your 'HIGH'ness, but while you were a teenager in the court flirting with concubines. I was in the trenches with Lord Heihachi taking down enemies twice my size, and benders at that! I participated in a war! I wasn't high and mighty behind a barrier of luxury! You aristocrats may read about war in your little text books as you munch fish eggs and Mochi, you may witness war from atop your golden Pagodas as servant girls fan you, you may even spar and practice war in your little strategy meetings and nice clean practice arenas, but you have no idea what it is to be IN a war. People like you tell us little soldiers what to do, and we do it. What do we get out of it? Sufferering, and death! You never had to suffer any of the consequences we had to for fighting in your little wars!
(Tanc)The Last Energybender:
How does it feel, young Avatar? To be in the thrall of one whose abilites must seem so mundane to yours?
Make no mistake; you will die today. But not after I have had my fun. I will not simply take your bending, oh no no no. Your chi will burn before I am done. Your veins shall be rent from your flesh, your body will broil in its own juices, and your mind...
The less said, the better for me. I do adore surprises...
Nilak vs Yalun
(Intel)i gotta say, if nilak was beating me with waterbending, i'd probs cheat a little and use some earthbending to trip him or something (Tanc)Yalun: "What? Its mud! it sort of counts as waterbending, right?"
(Tanc)Assam and Qin
Qin: "Don't you ever wonder how better your life would be if you had kept to your people's teachings? You could have friends among your people, respect among the elders, and a place in the temples. Why not just renouce these ideas and live in peace?"
Assam: "You're right, I could. I could deny all my ideas, burn my books, and pay all the lip service the monks could handle. The thing is, that would be no peace. To deny everything I am, everything I believe, everything I have fought for up to this point, I'm not sure I could forgive myself. Worst of all, I would be betraying the principles of the element I wield; I choke now, I doom the rest of the Air Nomads to a single dogma when the principle of air says they should always be looking at things from different angles. I don't think I could live with myself if I left this world knowing that the fate of the Air Nomads is stagnation."
Qin: "Don't you ever miss them, though?"
Assam: "More than you could possibly imagine." Tdo: Will he shed a tear, after the last line? Tanc: No, that'll happen a while later when a little Nomad girl tugs on his robes and says, "I liked your book."
(Intel) Freeing Amala
I can see Assam walking around in his cult disguise doing some recon and stuff, and starting (only starting) to think that chaos is the way to go (cuz it fits with his AN philosophy). then he gets shown the place where they are keeping amala, and he snaps out of it, rips off his disguise, and starts shouting and yelling, doing some pretty mean soundbending, then some of his nastier airbending techniques come out and he basically mops the floor (and walls and ceiling) with the present cultists. I also picture Amala adding in a tail swipe to get rid of the last cultist left standing. soon as it's over, assam is just standing there, breathing heavy, and slowly calming down, then he moves foward to hug amala; they have a "moment". (while thinking to himself oh-snap-i-can't-believe-what-i-was-almost-a-part-of). then Li Chen busts the barn door (idk why, I picture the whole thing being a large barn) down with a large chunk of bending-compacted dirt, which inturpts the moment. then he demands to know where the cultists are, then loudly voices his disappointment at having missed them, which changes to shock as assam tells his story, then concern for Amala, then gratitude for them being safe and together.
Raiden eats FN food
Raiden: Are you trying to poison me? Geez! Whats in those dumplings? Solid Wasabi?
Qin: "This is not wasabi, Heihachi. we call it Sichuan peppers!! the name comes from one of our provinces, famous for producing peppers. Even our small kids eat a lot of them. Hey, here's a sample, try some!!"
Raiden: (picks pepper seeds out of mouth) I canth Feelth my tonghe, i think i'm alergith.
(RaidenRadio)Raiden attacks a thug
Raiden: There is only one punishment for a dog like you, who would hurt an innocent girl. . . Hold out your hand.
Earthbender Thug: what?
Raiden Draws his sword
Raiden: In the war we cut off the hands of benders who misused their powers. No limbs. . . no bending. I'd say i'm letting you off Easy, would you rather I take your head?
THUG: Oh no. . . please don't! (Raiden advances towards him) Please! I did it for the money! I'm in a terrible debt! Raiden keeps advancing as the thug crawls away.
THUG: Please! I've been in Debt to the governor since the war ended! The Thug is cornered against a tree.
THUG: Please! It's not my fault!
RAIDEN: I know its not. But that doesn't make you innocent, or that little girl unhurt. or you undeserving of punishment. HAAAAAAAH! (raises his sword and swings it towards the guys left arm.)
a pillar of earth rises and catches Raidens blade before it can cut off the Thugs hand. Raiden turns to see Yalun standing their with a disapproving look.
Yalun: You call that "letting him off Easy"?
Raiden: Buddy. . . you did your job taking out his friends, now get outta here an let me do mine. (Turns to see the Thug has run away). Okay. . . now I'm angry. (sheathes sword and pulls a bamboo club with metal studs out of his bag.)
Fighting fair and other stuff
Assam:"Cheating implies there are rules to break. In combat, the only rules are self-imposed, and those can get you killed."
Nilak: " Assam, aren't you a wise guy? No need for this complex crap, you're telling me. Low blows, eye in the sand, creating a distraction, are all illegal."
Li: "There's nothing wrong with fighting dirty. I do it all the time"
Nilak: "True. But you also sleep with a lot of dirty women, Li"
Li: "I resent that, Nilak! 1. Women are too old for me. 2. I like girls who bathe. 3. I don't appreciate you saying I'm pernicious! I have morals!"
(EK)Assam: "I don't think that's the word you were looking for" Assam: "Indeed, I am wise, thats how I know when and where to strike. To simply ignore these times and areas in favor of less effective means would be inefficient."
Nilak: "You're right, so wise, that you got kicked out the Air Nomads"
Assam: "Correct. Glad you finally get it."
Nilak: "The sexiest man alive feels confused. Did you just admit you were a fool, Assam?"
Assam: "Most certainly not. I got kicked out of the temples due to my new ideas. Shall I list off the Air Nomads that have been cut down in the wilds because they refused to truly fight? It is a ponderous list, I assure you. Some are slain by bandits who want a new pet, others are killed by inadvertently getting in the middle of some rural squabble. Some are even foolish enough to ride beasts fifteen times their size. Seperating one's self from worldly concerns tends to result in not knowing how the world works."
Nilak: "For selfish ideas? Do you only care about yourself and that that piece of monkey crap that you call a skybison?"
Li: "Assam are you gonna take that? He just insulated Amala!"
Assam: "Ideas that would result in the Air Nomads removing the wool from their eyes, actually. The Air Nomads think that simply by ignoring the world's problems, they are somehow helping. One day, I hope to bring them down from their mountains, to be involved with the other peoples, so we can all ascend together. I wouldn't insult Amala. Otherwise you may get... left behind."
Li: "Well, Nilak looks like you'll be walking. Don't talk to strangers"
Nilak: "I don't need Amala, I can just travel to the Air Nomads. And get a real looking sky bison. They love me there. I'm treated like royalty."
Assam: "You're a friend to the heretic. You're far from royalty."
Li: *lying* "Omashu wanted to make me a king. I turned em down. Too many clothes."
Nilak: *ignoring Li* "I can lie"
Assam: "You were at the sodding Northern Temple when Yalun told the council he wanted me to teach him airbending. They know you."
Li: "There's sod? Cool. So I can bend there."
Nilak: "Your right, I'm not allowed at the Northern Air temple, but they love me at the Southern and Western air temple."
Assam: "Not really. Air Nomads tend to be a bit picky about who gets to go to the Air Temples, and without Yalun to hold your hand, you're banned from all the temples like everyone else who isn't an Air Nomad. Now eat your garbonzo beans."
Qin: "And while you guys engage in constant bickering, may I remind you that in this exact moment, the Cult might have spies nearby??"
Assam: "Oh, you mean the three archers to the north and the two firebenders to the southeast? Raiden and Yalun should be coming upon them right... about... now. They really need to walk more quietly."
Qin: "You forgot those 2 knife throwers and oops, see?? there you got! now with a messenger hawk flying its way to freedom and reporting messages, I think we better change places"
Assam: "Wait for it... wait for it..."
"Good girl, Amala! Now sit!"
/points at knife throwers Li: "How do you see all this stuff?!" Assam: "I don't. I hear it. Soundbending has its perks, you know: the crackle of flame, the strains of a drawn bow,the click of a knife drawn from its sheath, all are known to me, especially on a calm night like this." Li: "I wish I could do stuff like that, but I don't think I feel like the work. Too perceptive for me. My teachers said if I mastered neutral jing, I'd be able to strike at just the right time. It works, but it takes so much "waiting and watching." It's like Yóubàn, my badgermole. He used to "see" with the ground. It's cool, but I'm just wrong for that kind of stuff. I'll leave it for smart people
Assam:"It is a difficult task, to be sure. It takes much patience to master such a skill, and I don't see you being able to sit through so many lessons with little results."
Li: "Neither do I. Does that make me a heretic too?"
Assam: "No, that makes you impatient. Trust me, there are plenty of rash earthbenders out there, and I have yet to hear that one has been labeled as I have." Li: "Need me to knock some heads?"
Assam: "If you do that, all the stories the elders tell about me will be justified. No, I must return to my people in my own time, in my own way."
Li: "Whatever you say. You are all wise and everything."
Raiden: *walks over to Li* "If you like girls who bathe, I know this town in Firefly Province known for it's hot springs, where the girls are pretty and have nice-" (is whacked on back of head with a frying pan by Assam) Dispositions! I was going to say Dispositions! I'm not like that you little snots! I'm already marri-(stops himself as the team looks on shocked) (RaidenRadio)ALL: You're Married?!?!?
Assam: "Huh. Never would have pegged you for the married type."
Raiden: ". . . we haven't spoken in years. . . I don't want to talk about it right now. . ."
Li: *after some silence* "I think we need to investigate Firefly! I hear they have a jiang shi problem. A really bad jiang shi problem. Right, Nilak?!" *sharp knudge*
(EK)Nilak: Uh, yeah it's terrible. We should go right now!
Momimi(the wife): You claim to be a warrior! If thats the case why do you always run from your problems? You care more for three hundred dead men than you do for your living wife! You coward!
Li: "Collateral damage just isn't appreciated no matter how many lives you save in the process! I swear! You destroy one palace..."
(Tanc)Assam and Li
"Oh come on, Assam, we can take those guys!" "Its a pretty large jump, and your leg is busted up something awful." "... ... Airbend me." "What?" "I can't jump the distance myself, you'll have to airbend me across! Just... don't tell Nilak." "Not a word."
The catacombs seemed to stretch ever more down into the hidden depths of Ba Sing Se. The torch Assam carried softly gleamed off the slicked, slime-covered walls, illuminating the way ahead in a sickly green glow. As the party descended, the air in the tunnel slowly became warmer, thick with moisture and a foul stench, like that of a long abandoned corpse. As the last of the torch burned its last sorry embers, the young benders reached the end of the passage; an ancient, crumbling circular door, long overgrown by fungus and other toxic flora of the deep parts of Old Ba Sing Se, its hinges stuck, fused, and unyielding.
Carefully, Assam and Qin approached the door. The torch-bearing airbender brought the nearly extinguished fire closer to the stone barrier. In the faint light, the door seemed to bear an array of strange markings on its surface, frantically scrawled and carved. Qin immediately began clearing the surface of the door, wiping away the invading slime and fungus. As Qin inspected the writing, he whispered, almost to himself,"These runes weren't carved when this place was inhabited... these were carved recently! Whoever we're looking for must lie beyond this door!"
"Good enough for me!" grunted Li Chen, backing into a sqared stance. With a powerful punch, the ancient door shattered inward, barely missing the air and firebender. "You know, a bit of warning would have really helped there, Li Chen. Not like I need my bones intact." quipped Assam, though it was obvious not a soul in the party was listening. While the rest of the members were in the catacombs, Nilak was outside of it waitng for us to leave. Instead, their collective focus was fixed on the sight ahead: an enourmous hall, carved almost entirely of a strange black stone, entirely decorated by the wild markings that covered the entrance. At the end of the hall, lit by a massive pair of light crystals, stood a twisted, barbaric looking altar, wildly hewn from the same stone that made up the rest of the room, standing against the light like the mangled mortal coil of a feral beast. As the party approached the foreign structure, a wild cackling erupted from the tourtured stone, fierce and without abandon. Immediately, every bender snapped into their stances, ready to rain elemental fury upon the perpetrator of the chaos in the city above.
After a brief silence, Avatar Yalun shouted with as much authority as he could muster, "Alright, whoever you are, come out! I am Avatar Yalun, and you need to be brought to the surface to face justice for havoc you've wrought in Ba Sing Se, Omashu, Caldera..." An especially loud cackle cut the Avatar off, as an emaciated, fur clad figure staggered into the light. The man's face, weakly illuminated by the crystals, still obviously showed a multitude of scars across its length, laid over a maniacal grin and a perfectly bald head. His cold blue eyes seemed to stare straight through the Avatar's soul, in spite of the mad laughter eminating from his yellowed maw. As the cacaphony slowly quieted, the fur-clad man shrieked "Avatar! After all these years, you finally come to me. And not a moment too soon!" Avatar Intelligence's head tilted in confusion. "You were expecting us?" Intelligence asked, slowly inching towards the disturbed man before him. Once more the man's mouth widened, revealing a set of cracked, yellow teeth and a slow chuckle. "Well, not all of you, just you, little Avatar. I have been waiting for you for quite some time, ever since you failed me and my people."
Yalun shook his head, even further confused."How did I fail you?" he asked cautiously, stopping halfway between the madman and the his friends. The maniacal grin faded from the strangers face, replaced quickly with a sickening scowl. "You don't even know, do you?" he spat "You have no idea the suffering you have inflicted upon me and mine." The man gripped the alter, whitening his knuckles with the effort. "My name is Xio, shaman of the villiage of Lian Dao. A happy place, once upon a time. Never got in any wars, never did anything to anger anyone." The shaman's voice slowly crescendoed, growing into a threatening growl. "Until sixteen years ago" he continued, "when some smug bandit leader decided to make his fortune harassing my flock. Caravans were cut down, homes were robbed, and people were laid low when those brigands couldn't find anything they liked!" The mad shaman's eyes blazed with a cold fury, setting everyone, still ready to unleash their bending, ill at ease. "Time after time, I sent word out, pleading with anyone with connections to the Avatar, hoping for some justice for my beloved villiage." Xio slowly leaned forward, the light accentuating the mutilated features of his face. "And do you know what happened?" he quietly mused. A moment of silence passed between him and the Avatar, still trying to comprehend the mad shaman's story. With a wild spasm, Xio broke the silence with a thunderous yell,"Nothing! After years of bloody torment, of trying to give my people hope, there was nothing! They burned everything to the ground, slaughtered my people, tore open my face" The shaman slowly drew one hand across his scarred face, shaking with the hatred from days past.
"Sixteen years ago?" Yalun finally responded,"I was just a little kid then. I barely knew how to waterbend, let alone liberate villiages!" Xio sharply cocked his head "You are the Avatar. You have the experiance of thousands of predecessors. You're telling me you didn't know how to be the bloody Avatar!?!" Struggling to explain, Intelligence blurted out, "It doesn't work like that! I don't get everything when I start bending, I need the Avatar State, which needs..." With another wild spasm, the shaman screamed "I have no time for your lies! You let my people burn, and now is the time I return the favor!" Reaching into his mess of furs, Xio drew a long, crystalline rod, colored a salient white and shining brighter than the crystal brasiers flanking Xio's twisted pedestal. "Come my spirit minions, strike down this stagnant power, and grant me the justice I have sought for all these years!" "Man, I hope Nilak is ready to steer the boat. So we can sling out of here", shrieked Li Chen.
i just pictured assam getting all pissed off and huffy and about to wack someone with his staff, but then lichen slides in all sokkasmooth-like and says assam, have a snickers. you're not you when you're hungry. he eats it and calms down. *cues joke from nilak about mood swings and chocolate (by Intel)
For li chen's folly, how about this: we just go to a random town looking for supplies and stuff and decide to spend the night at the local inn because amala (and quite frankly the rest of us) needs rest before continuing. before we turn in, we hit up the bar in the lobby, and party and stuff, and we see li head upstairs with a couple of ladies. (prompting some humor about "scoring"). as the party dies down and everyone leaves, we go upstairs to hit the hay for the night before leaving the next morning. (we could get some humor from qin being used to the royal treatment for sleeping, which he clearly won't get in a middle of the road local inn). after checking on amala (who's outside), we go to our seperate rooms, but notice li chen doesn't show up in his. (prompting more of the same humor). in the morning, we have breakfast while we wait for li to show up before we leave. then one of us notices that the lady at the front desk is one of the ones li was with...which is strange b/c he should have shown up by now if she did. we inquire about the situation, but she claims to know nothing about everything, prompting us to search the place. in the room, we find his clothes, and a small amount of blood, and the room looks like the occupants' activities were not so pleasurable, unless one takes pleasure in fighting for his life. anyway, from there, nilak goes searching for him, and idk what we could do with the rest of the team. (by Intel)
Conversations While Flying On Amala
Raiden: Doesn't matter to me. in war food is food."
(takes a bite, chews for a moment before slowly turning green and running offscreen to projectile vomit)
Assam: You eat live Pentapus right out of the river, but you can't stand a little processed milk?
Raiden: It tastes like Month old Yak! (spits)
Assam: It IS month old Yak milk. . .well. . . Bison Milk.
Li: "This stuff is amazing! What's the really chewy part inside made of, though? It feels....familiar"
Assam: Those would be the maggots. One of the few loopholes in vegetarianism Air Nomads are allowed. Gotta get our protein somehow."
Li: Oh....What is 'maggots'? Is that some kind of Air Nomad dessert or something? How long do you bake it for?"
Yalun: buddy, those are spiderfly larva. ya know, like babies? i thought i remembered you saying you didn't like bugs though?
Li: *o_O* *screaming* "Bugs!.... I've been eating.... bugs! Assam I'm gonna kill you! *lunges forward Assam tilts his head and Li falls overboard*
Yalun and Assam: /work together to silently and nonchalantly airbend li back on amala/
Li: /lands with a thud on amala, who grunts/ /continues gagging and glaring at assam/