|"You know how women in Agna Qel'a aren't allowed to learn the fighting forms of waterbending? I say it's the men who aren't allowed to learn healing from me. Any idiot can punch someone with water. I punch dying people's energy pathways with water such that they live for another handful of decades"|
|— Atuat to Kyoshi.|
Atuat was a highly skilled healer and doctor hailing from the Northern Water Tribe. She personally saw to Hei-Ran's recovery following the firebender's poisoning in 296 BG, and subsequently accompanied her patient to the Fire Nation the following year.
Atuat was born to a Northern Water Tribe family in Agna Qel'a, and was the sister of Amak, a waterbending master who later became an assassin for hire. During the fall of the Fifth Nation in 296 BG, her brother was killed by the pirate queen Tagaka. Atuat knew that her brother would not die a peaceful death, and considered his demise to be far more honorable than what he was doing before.
Weeks later, the firebending master Hei-Ran arrived at Agna Qel'a with her daughter Rangi after being grievously poisoned by Jianzhu. Atuat considered Hei-Ran to be nearly dead on arrival, and claimed to have "picked the shroud of Death itself" to heal the firebender.
After a year, Hei-Ran had recovered enough to return to the Fire Nation for the Festival of Szeto, with Atuat accompanying her as both a personal healer and honored guest. During a garden party at the royal palace, Hei-Ran introduced her to Avatar Kyoshi, who voiced her condolences for Amak's death. When Jinpa displayed a feat of airbending to lift himself off the ground without creating blasts of wind, he asked to lift a volunteer at the party, and Atuat excitedly accepted the offer.
When Kyoshi made a great diplomatic faux pas at the party, Hei-Ran partially blamed herself for being distracted by Atuat's antics. While Rangi and Hei-Ran tried to smooth over the situation with Fire Lord Zoryu, Atuat finished a skewer of meat, voicing that she had not offended anyone, and that she found everyone else's behavior imprudent and shocking. Atuat listened intently to Fire Lord Zoryu's explanation of the rivalry between him and his half-brother Chaejin, and cautioned him from talking about conflict as if it was an inevitability. At the end of the conversation, Atuat caught Hei-Ran as she started to wobble. The former headmistress declared that she needed to stay with the adolescents, but Atuat adopted a harsh tone due to Hei-Ran backtalking her on a health related matter.
When Yun arrived at the palace and began holding nobles hostage and killed Lu Beifong, Atuat arrived in the royal gallery to find Kyoshi, Chancellor Dairin, and the chancellor's men wounded by pellets of pigment. She flippantly declared that the chancellor was already dead, instead concentrating on healing a wounded guardsman with an advanced healing technique, lowering the body temperature long enough to prevent death itself. She handed a water skin to Kyoshi, who proceeded to heal superficial injuries as Atuat treated the guards she considered savable. Kyoshi asked to learn Atuat's technique, which she agreed to, but cautioned that not all her students had the right level of aptitude. She asked to talk about the offer later, believing that Kyoshi had more pressing issues to see to at that moment.
The following morning, Atuat joined Hei-Ran in the stables as the headmistress cut off her topknot, marking her dishonor, before the pair revealed to Jinpa, Kyoshi, and Rangi that they would immediately be making for North Chung-Ling to protect Hei-Ran, and so that Kyoshi could hopefully contact Avatar Kuruk. Elated at her new status as an Avatar's companion, Atuat cheered for joy, incidentally resulting in Jinpa being pinned by a spooked Yingyong.
When they arrived to the city, the townsfolk took note of Atuat's polar origins, and figured that she must have a lot of money to have traveled so far. She and Jinpa kept the civilians distracted so the others could meet with Nyahitha in discretion, the waterbender dumping a large purse of coins onto a table in exchange for gambling tokens. Although Atuat had a stroke of bad luck, Jinpa managed to get them back to breakeven by the time Kyoshi, Rangi, and Hei-Ran returned.
The following morning, Atuat set up a field hospital in the Coral Urchin Noodle Shop as conflict began to break out between the Saowon and Keohso clans. A brutally beaten Koulin was brought to Atuat's care after the young woman's fight with Rangi. When Hei-Ran was grievously wounded by Yun, Kyoshi managed to bring her to Atuat's field hospital in enough time for the waterbender to heal her. When she came down from Hei-Ran's room, Atuat informed Kyoshi that both Rangi and Hei-Ran were livid with her.
The following morning, Atuat accompanied Kyoshi to the docks, providing assistance as a backup waterbender when the Avatar attempted to arrest the Saowon clan's leader, Lady Huazo. Atuat was deeply impressed by Kyoshi's display of raw strength when she waterbent Huazo's craft with a huge tidal wave that she proceeded to freeze. Kysohi and Huazo proceeded to fly to Capital Island without Atuat.
After Kyoshi resolved the political tension in the Fire Nation, she spent part of the following month learning intricate healing arts from Atuat before her final confrontation with Yun in Yokoya. Atuat believed that Kysohi was the fastest study she had ever seen. She would later make her way to Yokoya to see to the injuries of Kyoshi's companions.
Atuat was a short and plump woman, who had a loud, piercing voice.
Atuat was highly confident about her healing abilities and believed that instead of the women of the Northern Water Tribe not being allowed to learn fighting, it was in fact the men who were not allowed to learn from her. Her confidence in her bending abilities reached a point that caused Hei-Ran believed her to be arrogant.
Atuat's impulsive nature had a warming effect on the stern, disciplined headmistress. Rangi believed that making a friend in Atuat had cured Hei-Ran more than anything else. She was an eccentric and fun-loving individual, eager to take up Jinpa's offer to be bent up into the air, and ready to gamble away all of her money in North Chung-Ling.
Atuat was considered the greatest healer of her age, and could bring people back from the brink of death itself. However, she knew that healing had its limits, and prioritized injured people that she considered savable, leaving others to die. She was skilled in several advanced healing techniques, such as lowering the body's temperature to slow down the process of death, which was a delicate procedure.
Although she was not trained in the combative forms of waterbending, she appeared to know some self-defense, as she accompanied Kyoshi as backup when the Avatar confronted Lady Huazo.
- Amak (brother)