Water... Earth... Fire... Air.
Long ago, there lived a single nation bound together in harmony and peace.
Then everything changed during The Purging.
Emerging from the darkness was the Avatar, the creator and teacher of the four bending elements.
But when The Purging was over, he vanished.
Split in ideals, but united in cause, the single nation divided into four, each reflecting a single element of their choice.
And while the nations believed the Avatar to be no more, his teaching continued to shape the world and its history.
But while many thought the story of the Avatar had ended, it really, had only just begun.
This is the tale of the first Avatar, Nubia, and like Aang, what he did to change the world forever...
In the beginning, there was single nation, a large traveling tribe of nomads. The dominant race on the planet, the world was their kingdom. Bound together by their natural curiosity, the nomads traveled the planet, learning all they could; its secrets, its mysteries, and its stories.
In time, the people learned that the various animal races could manipulate the elements of nature to their advantage. The dragons could push and pull fire to cook their food, the badgermoles could push and pull the earth to dig, the koi fish could push and pull the water to swim, and the sky bisons could push and pull the air to fly.
The people studied the animals, curious and jealous of their powers. They couldn’t fly, they couldn’t swim, they couldn’t dig deep into the earth, and they certainly couldn’t create fire. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit demanded from the nomads a single human, someone to represent humanity and its worthiness of such power. The nomads argued for a while as to who could handle such as responsibility, but eventually they settled on a pure child named Nubia.
Proving to the Great Spirit of how worthy humanity was to receive such splendid gifts, the Great Spirit gave Nubia the ability to manipulate the elements, but not the knowledge. Before returning Nubia home, the Great Spirit warned him of its terrible power and that while he had the ability to manipulate the elements, he would have to learn from its original users of their benefits and consequences. Returning home, Nubia told the tribe of what the Great Spirit had told them. With the permission of the elders, Nubia set out on his own.
In time, Nubia learned to control the elements by mimicking and learning from the animals the Great Spirit spoke of. Learning air bending from the sky bison, the sky bison allowed Nubia to domesticate them. Learning water bending from the koi fish, Nubia was taught about the push and pull of the moon and its effects on the world. Learning earth bending from the badger moles, Nubia was shown the secrets of the earth and its plentiful bounties. Learning fire bending from the dragons, Nubia was given The Eternal Flame so that mankind could learn of its many uses.
Capable of manipulating air, water, earth and fire, Nubia returned to his tribe. Doubtful of his power, the elders demanded he prove his abilities. Telling them to follow, Nubia led the tribe to large barren wasteland.
Calling it Bending, Nubia made many swift and powerful motions with his entire body allowing him to wield god-like power, just as he had learned. He raised mountains and cultivated the earth, split the continent to create rivers and lakes, used the wind to bring seeds from the surrounding areas, and used fire to light up the night sky.
The entire tribe was speechless, but Nubia broke the silence with a mighty speech. He called this new land Kwadzo, after his father, and declared it their new home. Grateful, the tribe gave Nubia their highest honor possible. From then on, Nubia became known as the Avatar.
For 20 years, life was good and the tribe prospered in this new land. In that time, Nubia married and to the delight of the tribe, his wife gave birth to four healthy boys. However, to Nubia’s surprise, each boy could only bend a single element. The first son could only bend air, the second son could only bend water, the third son could only bend earth, and the fourth son could only bend fire.
Radically different from one another, the sons soon also married, passing on their abilities to their sons and daughters, just as Nubia had done to them. Soon, the tribe was divided into air benders, water benders, earth benders, and fire benders, each believing themselves to be superior than the other three.
In a horrific event known as The Purging, the four families set out to cleanse one another so that only one bending family would remain. Non-benders chose sides and soon an all-out war erupted. Thousands were killed and it looked like no side would gain the upper hand. Disgusted by the war, Nubia preached to each side about how war was not the answer and how peace brought them together in the first place.
Hearing his words, the heads of four families decided to end the war, but it was too late. Exhausted and badly injured after fending off an attack from all four of the families, Nubia succumbed to his injuries and died at the age of 211.
Stricken with grief in what they had become, the families decided to break up, each settling in different parts of the globe. Using the original four son’s beliefs as guidelines, each elemental family set up their own separate nation, each with its own set of beliefs and culture. United in peace, but divided in ideals, the world prospered under this new system, but grieved at the loss of their Avatar.
Worshiping the gifts he gave to humanity, the four nations thought they would never see some one worthy of the title “Avatar’ ever again.
That is, until Shiya of the water tribe was born... fav.me/d503cmj
(To address the issue of energy bending, that was even before the time of the wandering nomadic tribes, when mankind first appeared)
(Also, to address the issue of Oma and Shu, as we have seen with a lot of tribes in the real world, folklore was their way of explaining things too dark or unexplainable. While Oma and Shu were not the first benders, they were the first born in their villages with the capability to earth bend, as we see that not everyone can be born with the ability. Take for example, the loveable Sokka, who cannot water-bend, even though his sister can.
Also, as we have seen in the show, a lot of history is unrecorded. Thus, like the real world, we can safely assume that word of mouth has skewed the Avatar's history besides his direct involvement with the world. We do have to remember though, that this is all fictional and speculation.)
(Picture belongs to pugletto.tumblr.com/post/22389…
and was great inspiration for these stories)
(Editing would be appreciated)