The Legend

The Legend

In a lost age: Power is balanced among four great Nations: Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. An order made up of men and women lead each Nation. These Masters possess the ability to manipulate their native element. They call themselves Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Firebenders, and Airbenders. The most powerful Bender in the world is the Avatar, the spirit of the planet incarnate. He alone masters all four of the elements and maintains world order.

Disaster Strikes: The current Avatar dies. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Sozin, the Fire Nation's leader launches a global war. His goal- eliminate the Earth, Water, and Air Nations so that the Fire Nation may rule for eternity.

100 Years later, The Avatar Returns: With the Fire Nation on the brink of global domination, a young girl and her brother living on the South Pole make an amazing discovery: Enclosed within an iceberg for 100 years, a 12-year old Airbender has miraculously survived. Waking up hungry for food and adventure, the boy reveals himself as the Avatar. But will this irresponsible kid accept his destiny in time to save the world?

The Avatar - Master of All Four Elements

The Avatar is the incarnation of the Spirit of the Planet in human form.

There is only one Avatar, who reincarnates himself through the centuries. Each time the Avatar dies it is reborn into the next nation. This successive cycle mirrors the order of the seasons:

Water Tribes - Winter
Earth Kingdom - Spring
Fire Nation - Summer
Air Nomads - Autumn
The cycle provides a natural balance between the elements. This way, no single nation can grow stronger than another.

Upon the death of an Avatar, Bending masters from the successive nation conduct a search to find the child reincarnate. (The successor is expected to show signs of continuity with the one who died, such as being born within a week of the death.) These Benders carefully train the new Avatar to prepare him for his high position. First, he becomes proficient with his native element. Then, when the Avatar reaches maturity, he travels the world and studies with Masters from the other three Bending disciplines. Upon completion of his training, the Avatar possesses sole control of all four elements.

And so, the nations work to nurture the Avatar, whose responsibility it is to keep Water, Earth, Fire, and Air in harmony with each other and the world.

The Bending Arts

Firebending: Firebending's aggressive, vicious, and direct moves mirror fire's all-consuming nature. Like a predatory animal, a Firebender tracks his prey until it exposes a weakness, then charges in for the kill. In a fight, a Firebender makes up for his lack of defensive moves by overwhelming his opponent with a barrage of blows in a variety of shapes. A quick kick or jab produces a short range burst of flame, whirlwind kicks generate blazing arcs, punches throw compact fireballs, and a series of spinning kicks results in rings of fire exploding outwards in all directions. When several Firebenders combine their energy and attack as one, they are able to shoot missiles of flame at long range. As a fighting style, Firebending focuses on annihilating the opposition, much like the Fire Nation's political aim.

Earthbending: The proud, strong spirit of the Earth Kingdom embodies Earthbending, which uses the ground as a weapon against an opponent. Exceptionally muscular, Earthbenders use their strength to overpower opponents. To throw an enemy off balance, an Earthbender physically strikes the ground with his hands or feet, causing localized earthquakes. To dodge an attack, an Earthbender uses the earth as a catapult to buck his body high into the air, and then upon returning to the ground, he softens the earth, easing his landing. Additional moves include creating fissures as traps for enemies to fall in, and raising slabs of stone for defense and offense. An Earthbender attacks by levitating stones and then propelling them at his enemy. Earthbenders also possess the ability to 'magnetize' their limbs to stone, allowing them to scale shear walls and cliffs. A high level maneuver reduces solid ground to quicksand, providing a pitfall for approaching enemies. Earthbending's most significant weakness is its inability to manipulate man-altered metals. Firebenders exploit this weakness by smelting metal to remove its natural impurities, and then using it to construct their armor, ships, and forts.

Waterbending: Like the moon controlling the tides, Waterbenders use their chi to control the gravitational effect on water. In contrast to Fire and Earthbending, Waterbending's strength is its defensive capabilities. Waterbenders redirect the energy from an opponent's attack and use it against him. But Waterbending's intent is to control opponents, not to harm them. The style is evolved from ancient healing practices where the healer redirects energy paths in the body to cure an ailment.

A Waterbender's control of water in liquid, solid, and gas form offers him many defensive maneuvers. He may stop an attacker by encasing his feet in ice, or escape by creating a screen of steam for cover. In a fight, a Waterbender suspends a body of water around his fighting stance, and then lashes out with water whips and powerful waves. If there is no water at the scene of a fight, a Waterbender collects all the available moisture from the air and ground around him and concentrates it into an amount of suitable to attack and defend. As a backup, a Waterbender always carries a skin of water. While reliance on a water source is a significant weakness of the style, Waterbending at its highest skill level contains the most powerful technique among all the Bending Arts. At close ranges, an expert Waterbender uses an opponent's body against them. They harness the ample amount of water within the human body to control an opponent like a puppet master. The tendencies to control rather than destroy, and to heal rather than harm, embody the humane and noble characteristics of the Water Tribes.

Airbending: Airbending shares Waterbending's defensive nature and peaceful philosophies. However, its versatility in practice and application makes Airbending the most dynamic of the Bending Arts. Airbending allows one person to defend against multiple attackers from different disciplines - ideal for Air Nomads traveling in foreign lands. An Airbender defends with blasts of wind, and then using a variety of wind-based counterattacks, knocks his opponent off his feet.

Airbenders are faster and more mobile than any other Bender. To confuse his enemy, an Airbender constantly circles him, rapidly changing direction to cleverly evade attacks. If an Airbender is struck, he absorbs the force by blowing his body back like a feather. While Airbenders cannot fly like Peter Pan, they use wind to enhance all of their normal movements. They can run faster by decreasing air resistance; jump higher and farther by creating wind gusts that lift them and allow them to float for a few seconds; slow a long decent by forming a wind cushion; and run up walls and trees by generating a current of wind. A high level attack involves creating a fierce air vortex that sucks in an opponent, rapidly spins him around, and then spits him back out onto the ground.

An Airbender's signature tool is his staff. Like all objects in Avatar, the staff does not possess any magical properties. However, it mechanically transforms into a small glider. To propel the glider, an Airbender controls air currents to sustain its flight over limited distances. In addition, small propeller blades extend from the top of the staff. Depending on the glider's orientation, it rockets forward or hovers vertically like a helicopter when an Airbender thrusts wind at its blades. In its untransformed state, an Airbender uses his staff as a weapon to enhance the amount and power of his attacks and defenses.

While Airbending is the most dynamic of the Bending Arts, it lacks a deadly finishing move. This fact reflects principles of the Air Nomads, which teach that all life is precious and conflict should be avoided whenever possible.

Advanced Bending

Bloodbending: Bloodbending is the most advanced technique a waterbender can learn, but it is a forbidden art. Waterbenders can extract moisture from the air and even plant life such as flowers and trees, but only a true master can control the water within a living creature's blood and bend their bodies to their will, like living puppets. This technique is only possible during a full moon when a waterbender's strength is at its greatest. Bending blood is considered a horribly cruel act to perform on someone, and so most waterbending masters do not teach it or even speak of it.

Lightningbending: Firebenders are able to create lightning by separating positive and negative energy, yin and yang. In order to restore their balance, the energies collide back together and this creates a bolt of lightning. A firebender can only guide the energy by pointing it at their intended target. They must have a clear mind free from conflict or emotion to make lightning, or else the result will just be an explosion. Lightning can also be redirected by channeling it through one arm, down into the body`s own energy pool, and releasing it out the other arm, a technique that few firebenders are aware of. It is not without risk though. If not done correctly, the lightning could pass through the benders heart and severely injure or even kill them.

Metalbending: By sensing the tiny impurities within metal, it is possible for it to be bent by an Earthbender. Once thought to be impossible, very few Earthbenders can bend metal, as it not only takes mastery of earthbending, but also requires that the bender have very acute senses in order to find the impurities of a metal. The bender must usually be touching the metal in order to bend it rather than being able to bend it at a distance. Toph is the only earthbender shown in the series capable of metalbending, and this was accomplished by her ability to see through earthbending to accommodate for her blindness, allowing her to see the unprocessed particles of earth left in the metal.
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