Bender type: All five bending arts
It has been twenty four years. Twenty four years since the death of yet another hero of this city. Twenty four years since the Citizenship Project was enacted. Twenty four years since my birth. Twenty four years I have lived in this city. Twenty four years it has been my life. Twenty four years it has consumed my life. Twenty four years it has taken from my life. My life is not as grand as it may seem. Over these twenty three years I have lost many things and gained little to compensate. As a newborn I was given my first loss but was too young to taste its bitterness. My mother; there were complications and she died. That first loss, probably my most major one, seems insignificant to me. I feel like I should care, like I should mourn her, but I didn’t know her. I have no feelings toward her. Am I a bad person? Can the Avatar be a bad person? I guess I know the answer to that. The Rebellion, one of the worst events this world has seen, was started by an Avatar. Kiryi was misguided. When not much younger than me, she started a war. Could I become like that?
As a small child, I had my next loss. This time the bitterness was absolute. While the Rebellion was ‘officially’ ended, some still held to the ideals of Kiryi. Some still believe even now that the industries of this city are causing harm to our world and disrupting our balance with the spirits. I can’t say I completely disagree. While I’ve not left the city often, some of the places I’ve seen, I can see into my past lives and see how different they’ve become. Expansive forests turned to natureless cities, majestic mountains mined to a hollow; these things surely must be an imbalance. But, Kiryi’s way can’t be the right way; the bitterness tells me this well enough. Those stragglers, the leftovers of the Rebellion, they came for me. It was the day after I was discovered as the Avatar. They couldn’t fight Michu, but they could handle me. It was like my great, great uncle again. They wanted to kill me like they did Tyshi. Clearly, they didn’t but that’s only because I was protected. My father, my mentor, and a great man; he protected me, me and my sister, Kaira. He wasn’t like the others from the temple on Air Temple Island. He married my mother and after she died they took us in. He was from the Earth Kingdom, a small city not far from here. He protected us and they killed him. However, he held them off for long enough. The airbenders got there and subdued the men. I hate them for it. Their pacifist ideals allowed the men who killed my father to live. They say they got justice, but they didn’t get enough of it.
Orphaned, my sister and I stayed on Air Temple Island. We were taken in by our aunt, my mother’s sister, and her family. We lived with them for quite some time. They shipped in bending teachers, shamans, monks, royalty, and many other kinds of people, some of them to train me, others who just wanted to meet me. I think I disappointed the latter of them. They hoped I was like Michu, I think, some sort of amazing spiritual leader. He meditated in the wilderness with the spirits for about eight years, and I couldn’t be bothered to meditate for eight minutes. Around age fifteen, my sister twenty, we moved into the city. I was ecstatic. I hated the temple and all the monks there. They reminded me of my father and the men they let live. Most weren’t happy about us living on our own, but they fell in line when my sister agreed to allow them to have guards live in the adjacent apartment. I wasn’t too fond of the idea, but it was better than the temple. That place was like a prison. We lived there for some time, a little over a year I think before I felt bitterness again.
About a year or so into living there, my sister met a guy. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t really like him much either. He was too nice, or so I thought. I didn’t really see him much; she never had him over because the guards next door wouldn’t let her. They only knew each other about five months when he proposed. She said yes. He was apparently fairly wealthy and I was to go live with them until I was old enough to live on my own. Little did I know, none of this was real. It was all because they let those men live. Just because they were imprisoned, didn’t mean they were powerless. Through whatever networks they had, one of them conveyed a plan to his son. The plan was so he could get close to me and kill me. Well, I ended up living in his house and that is fairly close. Things felt odd from the start. Even with it being a mansion, it was all too clean. It wasn’t like people lived there and they cleaned it often. It was more like no one had ever lived there and nothing had ever needed to be cleaned before. The first night there I laid in my bed and couldn’t sleep. It was then, that I heard it. A scream echoed from the hall and filtered in through the cracked door of my room. I went running down the hall toward their bedroom trying to figure out what happened. I found them there.
In the room, I saw my sister, blood covering her shirt, crumpled on the ground. She yelled for me to go away but I didn’t. I saw her ‘husband’ standing over her a knife in hand and he turned toward me. He went on about who his father was and what he was going to do to me. The fool wasn’t even a bender. I wasn’t like Aang or Michu, I wasn’t like the monks who let his father and the others go alive. I killed him. Very quickly, I wedged the knife from his hand and tossed it to the ground. I could have used it against him but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to use any bending at all. I gave him a fair fight. It ended with me tearing the breath from his throat with my hands in just a few moments. As I felt him die, I jumped to my sister to see if she was ok. She sat there, bleeding out from her abdomen and I was useless to help her. I had only just begun my waterbending training and hadn’t even broached the subject of healing yet. I held her in my arms and cried for the second time in my life as she told me she loved me and she would always be with me.
After her funeral, no one in the city, not even the entire city, could quell my rage and no one tried to do so. I went directly to the prison. I ripped through the guards, though they didn’t really fight back, and devastated every obstacle in my path until I found them. The four of them, the men who tried to kill me, the men who killed my father and the men who had my sister killed. I wanted nothing more than to rip out their throats with my bare hands right away but I held off to try and understand why. I knew their reasons but I wanted to hear it myself. As their quivering made it obvious, they told me they feared me and what I might become and wanted to stop it. I asked them why my father and sister had to die and their answer angered me more than anything else. "Collateral damage." Those two words, that was the reason? They were just in the way of getting to me? As I was about to strike them, my rage instantly subsided. I had no idea why at first.
I turned as I felt a presence behind me. I, for some reason, expected to so my past lives behind me, judging me but I saw nothing. I didn't even see the few past lives I still had a connection to. I turned back toward the men and for the first time my eyes glowed like in all the stories I had heard of the other Avatars. With the fury of all of my bitterness, I came upon the men and killed them, quite poetically I might add. The first, a firebender, I poured fire into his eyes until his insides boiled. The second, an earthbender, I forced rocks down his throat until they tore him open from the inside and he bled to death. The third, a waterbender, I ripped out all the water from his body and left only a dehydrated husk. The last I saved for a reason. He wasn’t a bender, just like his son. He was the one who told his son to kill Kaira. For him, I peeled off his skin with the knife that his son used to stab her and watched him bleed and convulse to death. Afterwards, I incinerated their bodies and left the prison.
News of what I had done quickly ended up in the papers. To a point, I feared the social ridicule, the people calling me a monster but I also didn’t care. To my surprise, I was portrayed as the victim. And, while I technically was, I was still shocked by this. People called me an avenging hero. They said I righted the wrong done upon my sister and my father. ThoughI believed they were right, I wasn’t sure if I felt that way entirely. I had never thought of revenge as a proper course of action, but who was I to call it wrong? The city felt it was right, even the previous Avatars seemed to be on my side when I did what I did. It all seemed, odd but I went with it. Not long after, I was asked to take my seat on the Council of Nine a year early. They said I had proven that I was capable of doing what needed to be done and my age shouldn’t make any difference. I accepted.
I sat on the Council for the next two years, and it was my entire life. I had nothing else to live for so I devoted myself to my duties. For a long time, my life felt meaningless. I had no goals, I had no ambition, I just did my job as ‘the Avatar’. And while that was what I was supposed to do, I wanted more. One day, I heard that they were bringing back the sport of Probending. I had heard of it before but its practice had died off during the Rebellion. I wasn’t sure at first, but I thought maybe it was the way to go. They ended up changing the sport quite a bit. With so many more airbenders in the world, they had to make allowances. Now, there are three leagues, Solo, Duo and Team. Any bender can participate and for the Duo and Team leagues, your team could consist of any combination of benders. They could all be the same or each different, it didn’t matter.
I initially took part in the Solo league and, through a mix of fear, skill, and maybe just because I was the Avatar, I dominated. For two years, I remained the champion of the Solo League but I never took part in the other two, at least no yet. After I won my second championship in the Solo League, I was confronted by a girl and a boy, both about my age. One was an attractive earthbender girl and the boy was a waterbender, I didn’t note his physical appearance. I was surprised at first, but they asked me to be on their team. In a combination of curiosity and maybe a bit of lust, I decided to join them. There names are Tylen and Cera. They were step-siblings and lived together in the city after they came in from the Citizenship Project. As I soon found out, the Team league was considerably different from the Solo one. However, we did considerably well. No championship for the first year but after that, we won two years in a row. It all felt great. After being in the sport for five years, I retired. At the time, I had begun dating Cera. We were together for a nearly a year when she suggested that we, and Tylen, went on a sort of vacation, nothing too far away but enough to celebrate our bout in the league. We decided to visit an alpine resort in the nearby mountains. There apparently was some form of recreation there where you attach pieces of wood to your feet and slide down the snow covered mountainside. I wasn’t too interested but Cera was adamant. I actually enjoyed our time there, at least for a while, until the last of my bitterness came.
This time, it was nothing like before. No one attacked us, no ill intent of any kind. There was an avalanche. Tylen, Cera and I were on the mountain slope as it happened. We heard the roaring of the snow as it ripped away at everything in its path. We saw the resort building we were staying at crumble beneath it and continue heading for us. It was Cera who reacted first. She instantly created a giant wall of stone and directed Tylen and I to stand on either end of it and help bend the snow around the wall so that it would hold up. Just as we were prepared, the snow struck the wall. We hurried into action as the snow beat against the wall she was maintaining. For nearly a full minute we continued but we weren’t strong enough. The center of the wall gave way and we watched as Cera was swept away by the snow. It took hours to find her. Once we did, I pulled her out realized she was alive still and did all I could to heat her body and tried to heal her. There was no response.
We spent the next few weeks in the hospital as the doctors tried to treat her to no avail. They said she was in a coma and had no idea if she would ever wake up. Unable to accept it, Tylen left the city. He said he was going back home to tell his parents what had happened but I don’t really know. Since he left, I came to the hospital to visit everyday and everyday there was no change. For a little over a year I did this. I continued this strange ritual. I stared at her, hoping her eyes would open but got no response. However, one day after a Council meeting, when I arrived at the hospital and came to her room, I found a group of doctors standing outside it. I was filled with both fear and excitement, and wondered if she was ok. I rushed passed them as they tried to stop me and found her bed empty. I turned to them to ask where she was and they just told me they didn’t know. One of them had come in to check on her and she was gone.
That was about seven months ago. I have yet to have any news about what happened to Cera and have had no luck in contacted Tylen to tell him about what happened. My life has fallen back into the monotony it once had. I go do my duties as a Councilor and then I go home. The only difference now, I spend every waking hour thinking about her and trying to find out where she went. I will find her, I promise you that, I will end the bitterness in my life.
As the Avatar, Renshu possess the ability to bend all the elements. Not only is he a master of all of them, he is capable of bending feats that no normal bender can achieve. He is also capable of certain special types of bending that no one else has the ability to use, such as energybending.