First things first: • This roleplay is set 10 years after the start of the Fire Nation's Hundred Year War. The Air Temples have been wiped out and the search for the Avatar is still a top priority for the Fire Nation military, which has begun its campaign of invading and colonizing the western Earth Kingdom. Fire Lord Sozin is still alive but elderly and in failing health. The Fire Nation itself is just beginning to industrialize and as such will not be using tanks, ironclad ships, or any other type of machine extensively. • Airbender characters ARE allowed, but I'm imposing a limit of only 2-3. Also, keep in mind that if you do choose to play an airbender, your character should be hiding their true nature from most people at least at first. Furthermore, being an airbender in the time period in which this game takes place amounts to walking around with a huge target on your back, so don't be surprised when/if firebender characters/NPCs come gunning for you. • No Mary Sues. This goes just as much for non-powered characters as it does for benders. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Morning came to the quiet village of Jianghu without any unusual disturbance. The people of the peaceful hamlet, which was located in a northwestern Earth Kingdom province, rose from their beds and began going about their daily duties exactly like they had for years on end. Just as the first rays of sunlight began beaming across the horizon, the farmers were already on their way to tend the fields located near the river which was considered the village's lifeblood. The fisherman as well were busying themselves with preparing their nets and small boats for another day's catch. As they headed to the docks out on the lake next to which their beloved town had been built, its placid waters fed by streams running down from the nearby forest-covered mountains, they knew they had a hard day of work ahead of them, but they looked forward to it all the same. People were also beginning to stir within the village itself. Merchants and shopkeepers started opening for business in the small but diverse marketplace in the village square, and a few early morning shoppers slowly filtered in, barely awake but determined to beat the crowds that would gather there later in the day. Gradually, the village came to life as people left their homes to breath in the fresh morning air and greet their neighbors out in the dusty, unpaved streets that ran between the small houses made of earthen materials. It seemed to be just another ordinary day in Jianghu. No one suspected the least bit of trouble, and it seemed like all the problems of the world were out of sight and out of mind. It was true that the Fire Nation had begun making incursions into the western Earth Kingdom, and every now and again travelers told stories of entire towns being wiped out by firebenders, but still, it did not seem possible that their armies would take any interest in a place as remote and unimportant as Jianghu. The sun rose higher into the sky, and the guard at the village gate blew a horn to summon his replacement. Far across town, a young man named Lahar heard the signal as he was eating his breakfast. Quickly finishing what was left of his food, he made his way out the front door of his house, shouting goodbye to his mother as he did so. Lahar set out on foot for his morning commute, skirting the village square as best as he could to avoid the traffic of carts, ostrich horses, and other pedestrians. He made his way down to the docks at the lakeshore, waving to several of the fishermen he knew as he passed by. Continuing to follow the edge of the lake, he circled around the large body of water, staring out over its misty surface while he walked. Eventually, he made it to the lake's south end and crossed over the small stone damn there. Lahar gazed down the sheer drop to where the water passed through on its way to join the river as he walked across, holding his breath for a moment as he contemplated what would happen if he fell. Several minutes later, he was walking down the wide dirt lane leading into town from the only gate in its outer wall. The wall was constructed from large stone blocks and had two wooden watchtowers on either side of the gate. Climbing up the scaffolding to one of these towers, Lahar saw the night guard slumped over and dozing in one corner of the large platform at its top. Walking over, he patted his fellow guard on the shoulder to let him know he was there to relieve him of duty. The man woke with a start and then glared resentfully at Lahar once he realized who he was. "Took you long enough getting here," he grumbled."Must've been half an hour ago I blew the horn." Lahar chuckled, amused by his compatriot's grumpiness."Oh, you know me, Giao. I always like to take the scenic route," he said, ribbing the other guard for the fun of it. Giao muttered something under his breath as he walked past Lahar and made his way down to the ground. Thinking nothing of it, Lahar sat down at the edge of the platform and looked out over the only road leading into the village. Being a watchman was a boring and uneventful job, and also largely a waste of his earthbending talents, but at least it was better than helping his father farm. After several minutes passed, Lahar settled into a comfortable sitting position and turned away from the road. It would be several hours until his shift at the gates was over, but if this day was like all the rest he most likely wouldn't have to lift a finger. It suited him just fine, although his father often commented that it did nothing to help his "lazy disposition". Lahar tried not to let it get to him too much, preferring to daydream instead of focus on his father's complaints. As he sat there, he thought about adventures in far away lands and being an earthbending hero. He often wished something exciting would happen in his life, but nothing interesting ever seemed to come his way. Letting both of his bare feet dangle off the side of the platform, he hoped he could get out of Jianghu someday. Or maybe something new and marvelous would happen here. Lahar highly doubted it, but you never knew how suddenly things could change. Staring up into the sky longingly, he silently prayed that they would change sooner rather than later.