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The Bending Supremacist Uprising[2] was a conflict that took place at Cranefish Town in 102 AG. It developed in response to an increase of the unemployment rate that followed the development of new technologies in factories owned by nonbenders, which ultimately led to the discharge of several benders in order to reduce costs.[3] As their bending tasks were left obsolete, resentment toward nonbenders grew, and Liling, a member of the Cranefish Town Business Council, led a conspiracy to engender conflicts between benders and nonbenders with the ultimate aim of disempowering the latter.[1]


Toward 102 AG, Cranefish Town experienced a significant growth. While Earthen Fire Industries started as the only factory in the area, dozens of them were built in the following years. As the town possessed no official government or political figures, Lao Beifong, co-owner of Earthen Fire Industries, and other local business owners formed a business council in order to help oversee the development of the city.

When factories began to employ more advanced technologies that were able to produce more effective results, many benders were fired in order to reduce costs. This caused the bender community to feel like they were being replaced by machines, causing the remaining bender employees to quit in protest. The situation became more complicated as the machines were installed in other nonbender-owned factories, and the tensions between benders and nonbenders in the city grew to the point that benders started to refuse to work for these factories.

Vote about Cranefish Town police

When Liling put the establishment of a new police force in Cranefish Town to a vote on the business council, all except Lao Beifong agreed.

Due to the violence that ensued in the streets between the two groups, the Cranefish Town Business Council gathered in order to find a solution to these confrontations. Lao Beifong invited Avatar Aang and Sokka to the meeting, where he proposed that bending be banned on public streets, gaining the support of the nonbending members of the council and the rejection of the bending members. The Avatar instead proposed the creation of a police force that would serve the citizens and establish law and order, an idea that was supported by Councilwoman Liling, who employed a security team of thirty two skilled benders that protected her factories. She offered her men and women to serve as the town's police force and train both benders and nonbenders to assist them.[3]



Following the Business Council meeting, Liling and her daughters, Ru and Yaling, began to threaten criminals into joining a new movement that would "benefit benders and their families across the world". As instructed, one night, the criminals sabotaged five factories in the city at the same time, including Earthen Fire Industries, by making their machines explode. The Avatar managed to catch the firebending criminal who set Lao Beifong's factory on fire before he could escape,[3] who confessed that he had been hired by two teenage girls, one of whom was a skilled earthbender.[1]

Liling and Aang talk

When Team Avatar visited Liling's home, the councilwoman expressed her regret about not having properly "guided" Cranefish Town in the past.

Seeing as how the five sabotaged businesses were owned by nonbenders, Sokka figured out that these attacks might have been coordinated by benders who felt threatened by the emergence of advanced technologies. Therefore, Aang decided to visit Councilwoman Liling's house and convince her to help the damaged nonbender-owned businesses. She promptly agreed and promised to send out supplies and construction equipment to help rebuild the factories, while the Avatar promised to put in a good word for her business with Fire Lord Zuko.

During the visit, the councilwoman introduced her daughters to Team Avatar, and Toph Beifong recognized their footsteps as the ones that ran away from her father's factory the night it exploded, so she arranged a metalbending class with Yaling. The next day, when the two earthbenders met, Yaling believed Toph's story and her distaste for the new machines, so she invited her to a secret rally for "concerned citizens" who wanted to "return things to their natural order".

The supremacist rally[]

Team Avatar infiltrated into the rally by disguising themselves. There, they found a large group of benders, including some Business Council members, listening to a speech by Liling. She expressed her concerns over Lao Beifong's proposal to ban bending and her bending supremacist beliefs, stating that they would not stand by while nonbenders denied their rightful leadership place in the world. The politician then urged all benders alike to join together against the nonbender insurgence and "take back what is ours", for which they needed to bankrupt the nonbender-owned factories by destroying their machines.

Liling attacks Team Avatar

Liling attacked Team Avatar at the supremacist rally after Toph Beifong challenged her on the stage.

When Yaling invited Toph to join the stage, the metalbender expressed her disagreement with their ideas and a fight quickly ensued, forcing Team Avatar to intervene as well. While Ru, Yaling, and the rally attendees managed to escape, Liling was arrested by the Avatar and his friends for crimes against the people of Cranefish Town. She was put in a metal prison while the team discussed their next step. After Toph proposed to make an example of her by taking her bending away,[1] she was met with Katara's utmost opposition and Aang's vacillation.[4]

In order to rescue their mother, Yaling and Ru plotted the arson of the Business Council building, but Toph, Aang, and Katara helped the members inside escape unharmed. This attack, however, was a distraction for the Avatar, as Yaling and other benders attacked the factory where Liling was kept in. The place was defended by its nonbender guards, Sokka, and Suki, although they were defeated and the councilwoman was freed.[4]

Final confrontation[]

Ru betrays her mother

Ru betrayed her mother by secretly approaching Team Avatar at night to tell them about Liling's plan to attack Earthen Fire Industries.

When the leader of the factory guards realized that they were easily overwhelmed by Liling's benders, she requested Suki to teach them how to chi-block, to which the Kyoshi Warrior happily agreed.

After learning her mother's plan, Ru decided to secretly meet Sokka and Suki to inform them that she was planning to attack Earthen Fire Industries the next morning with dozens of benders. She requested that her mom would not be hurt and to be taught how to chi-block.

The next day, Aang met the group of benders led by Liling. The councilwoman asked the Avatar to leave the city and take all nonbenders with him so that Cranefish Town would become a city for benders only. When the airbender refused to comply, Liling attacked and led her people into battle, being met by a metal maze built by Toph, where the benders were ambushed by Suki and her newly-trained chi-blockers. As Katara joined the fight, Yaling started to attack Toph in a duel that was eventually interrupted by Sokka when he knocked her out with his boomerang.

Aang faces Liling in the Avatar State

Aang faced Liling in the Avatar State, determined to take her bending away, before Katara could convince him against it.

When Liling realized that Team Avatar and the chi-blockers were prepared to fight back, Ru revealed that she had betrayed her as she was against the bender supremacists' ideas and her mother's actions. She tried to chi-block Liling, but was easily taken down and buried in the earth. However, before the earthbender could finish the process, Aang attacked her and entered the Avatar State, encasing Liling in ice, ready to take her bending away. Watching the scene, Katara rapidly approached and made her boyfriend realize that it was not the right decision. Aang faced the councilwoman and promised to keep fighting the poison she had spread in the town.[4] Liling was subsequently sent to Cranefish Town's prison, though plans were made to move her to a more secure location.[5]


Aang and Katara decide to stay in Cranefish Town

Avatar Aang and Katara decided to stay in Cranefish Town as he felt a connection to it.

Following the battle, some benders escaped into the city, but Suki and Lao Beifong's security guards were able to detain most of them, with Liling and Yaling being imprisoned while Ru remained free. Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors decided to stay in the city in order to continue training the new nonbender police force of Cranefish Town. Aang expressed his belief that benders and nonbenders could work together again to protect the city, which would take some time to rebuild trust.

The Avatar also decided to remain in Cranefish Town for a while as he felt a connection to the place and that it could become something special, to which Katara agreed.[4] A renamed Cranefish Town would eventually become the core of Republic City, the capital city of the United Republic of Nations, and among the largest and most technologically advanced cities in the world.[6] The town's infrastructure was considerably improved over time, and a large amount of new land was developed. Avatar Aang also constructed the sole airbender-inhabited air temple in the world on Air Temple Island in Yue Bay.[6][7]

Though the uprising was quelled, some people outside Cranefish Town also shared the same belief of benders' superiority to nonbenders, and worried about machines replacing them in the workplace. Bending supremacists sabotaged factories where benders had lost jobs to machines, and carried out attacks on nonbenders in power.[8]