Water. Earth. Fire. Air.
Her grandmother used to tell her stories about the old days, a time of peace; when the Avatar kept balance between Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads.
Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked...
Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them, but when the world needed him most, he vanished.
Some people believe that the Avatar was never reborn into the Air Nomads and that the cycle is broken. But she hasn't lost hope. She still believes that somehow, the Avatar will return to save the world.
Only the spirits already had a different plan in mind...
Chapter 1: Unbalanced.
"Katara, dear, come over here! The seal jerky isn't going to salt itself!"
"Yes, Gran Gran, I'm coming as soon as I dried the laundry!" The young waterbender yelled out of the small hut.
With nearly no visible effort, she bent the water out of the fabric she'd washed this morning. A quiet sigh escaped her lips as she thought of the ways real waterbenders used their bending – in battle, not doing chores. Shaking her head she rid herself of these thoughts; it was no help after all. She was the last waterbender in her tribe and there was nobody left to teach her how to use her bending in a more useful way.
She wandered over to the hut her Gran Gran was in and started curing the meat while her mind drifted off to her fantasies of waterbending. What wonderful things the masters could do, the sheer amount of water which followed their command, effortless like it was a dance in perfect harmony with nature.
Of course, the Chief's daughter never actually had seen these things, but it was easy enough to make up.
After finishing her tasks for the day, Katara decided to go on a walk out in the icy tundra that was her home. Gran Gran didn't like it when she wandered around all alone, but there was nothing else to do. The waterbender snuck off when her Gran Gran was busy teaching the younger girls of the tribe cooking and her overprotective brother Sokka tried to make warriors out of the few boys still left in the Southern Water Tribe.
For a long time, she walked a familiar route and then decided to climb a middle-sized hill on her right. Again she was thinking how her Gran Gran forbade her to climb hills, because it was dangerous. Like everything, besides chores.
As soon as she reached the top, she knew why. An old, abandoned Fire Nation ship encased in ice lay right at the foot of the hill.
Curiosity got the better out of her and she made her way down to the ship. After all, what harm could an abandoned ship do? It's not like it would magically make firebenders appear out of thin air.
Upon nearing the ship, she bent the ice to her will, so that she could climb on deck. Once on deck, she took only a short look around before entering the ships superstructure through a door. When Katara reached a stairway, she decided to go up in hopes of finding a control center?).
Excitement ran though her as she explored the many buttons and control panels in the room she'd just entered. Weird... this Fire Nation ship must've been from the time when there still were benders in the Southern Water Tribe and yet their technology was so much more advanced than she could ever imagine. While she walked to the left row of panels, she brushed her fingers over cold, dusty metal until her boot got caught in a loose screw. She nearly hit her face, but managed to catch her fall. Unfortunately, a few buttons gave in and one activated a rusty mechanism. Frightened, Katara ran back down and leapt off the deck only to see bright light rising up in the sky and explode in colourful sparks. Cursing under her breath, she made her way back to the village, already dreading the lecture she was going to receive as soon as Gran Gran lay eyes on her. With a heavy sigh, the young waterbender hiked up the hill once more.
Not too far away, a scarred young prince stood on deck of his ship, out in the freezing cold, his deep golden eyes fixed on the sparks of a Fire Navy signal rocket exploding high up in the sky. Excitement pumped through his whole body. He couldn't explain why he had felt so drawn to this Agni forsaken icy tundra in the first place, it's not like anyone had seen the Avatar in the last one hundred years, but his feeling had told him to come here and now there was a signal, showing him the right way. He had never felt so close to his goal.
"Set course in the direction of the signal rocket!" He barked out to his crew over his shoulder, before returning his determined gaze forward.
"Prince Zuko, you should really wear a thicker coat; it's freezing out here," The retired General Iroh stepped up beside his nephew.
"I don't need a coat, uncle!" the Fire Prince hissed out which made the old General shake his head sadly and return inside. He felt his nephew's pain and it hurt him to no end that he could do nothing to ease it.
Zuko had been a lot happier when he was young and his mother was still with him, but there had always been an unexplainable determination about him to archive great things, which made things considerably harder after it was discovered that his sister could firebend and could be called nothing but a prodigy. Ever since his banishment, it was as if he had forgotten who he had been once – nothing of the old Zuko was left, just blind hatred for the whole world and a passionless resolution to find and capture the Avatar. What a ridiculous task his father had given him, knowing too well that the Avatar hadn't been seen in nearly one hundred years and therefore, that Zuko had no chance to ever return home. Iroh let out a sad sigh at his brother's cruelty. If there was only some way to make Zuko see the light of hope again. And not in the form of a signal rocket in a place where he assumed the Avatar could be.
Just a short distance away, yet as far away as one can be, the mighty spirits protecting the world prepared for what was about to come.