|"I shall swear these oaths. I swear to defend my brothers and sisters, and obey the commands of my elders. Their kin will be my kin, their blood my blood. Should I fail to uphold this vow, may I be hacked to death by many knives."|
|— Kyoshi swearing to the code of the daofei.|
Daofei is a term referring to organized groups of outlaws in the Earth Kingdom who have sophisticated codes of honor and conduct as well as intricate traditions. Some daofei had grown powerful enough to even usurp control over certain areas from local Earth Kingdom officials.
After the famously carefree Avatar Kuruk's untimely death, daofei in the Earth Kingdom grew bolder and more power-hungry as the inner provinces descended into chaos. The Yellow Necks launched a full-fledged uprising, devastating large swaths of land in the name of fanatical spiritual beliefs. Their leader, Xu Ping An, styled himself as the "General of Pandimu", and they became infamous for killing women and children. The Earth Kingdom Army refused to defend some of the nation's more remote hinterlands from the rebels, who continued to pillage the Earth Kingdom until their brutal defeat at the Battle of Zhulu Pass at the hands of Jianzhu.
Xu Ping An was imprisoned and studied by the Fire Nation so they could understand his capacity for lightning generation, while Jianzhu tortured the Yellow Necks' earthbenders to death and buried the nonbenders alive in trenches that they had been forced to dig. Although this mass murder suppressed the uprising, Xu's surviving followers Mok and Wai renamed themselves as the Autumn Bloom Society of Hujiang and prepared for a resurgence by building a new criminal network in secret.
The Flying Opera Company was a daofei society founded by the renegade Air Nomad nun Jesa and her earthbender lover Hark. Jesa's flying bison Longyan was crucial to the company's success, enabling them to swiftly travel around the Earth Kingdom, while Hark's training at the Royal Theater schools in Ba Sing Se provided the group with performing skills to act as a cover. One noteworthy member of the society was Lao Ge, who was in fact the notorious assassin Tieguai the Immortal. Jesa grew increasingly suspicious of the man over time but lacked the courage to confront him.
The society's activities slowed down after the birth of Jesa and Hark's daughter, Kyoshi, though the parents later decided it would be safer to leave their daughter in Yokoya. The Flying Opera Company subsequently resumed their activities, with Jesa and Hark recruiting new members such as Lek. The society was noteworthy for being primarily comprised of benders, unlike most other daofei groups. However, the Flying Opera Company fell on hard times after Jesa and Hark died of a fever in 311 BG, with Longyan abandoning them shortly after. With their influence reduced to Chameleon Bay, they ended up in debt to some of the more unscrupulous figures in the region and accepted the Autumn Bloom Society as their elders in order to protect themselves.
Three years after Jesa and Hark's deaths, Kyoshi and Rangi became affiliated with the Flying Opera Company, turning to them while they fled from Jianzhu's pursuit of the newly discovered Avatar. Shortly after, Governor Deng's police raided the Flying Opera Company's headquarters at Madam Qiji's teahouse, and the outlaws fled on the sky bison Pengpeng, arriving in their elders' outpost of Hujiang shortly after. In order to pay off their debts, the Flying Opera Company became involved in the Autumn Bloom Society's plans to attack Governor Te Sihung's palace.
After the successful assault on the palace, Xu Ping An was freed and declared he would restore the Yellow Necks to their former glory. However, following the announcement of his plans, Kyoshi realized her mistake in freeing the daofei leader and challenged him to a duel on the lei tai. Xu accepted the challenge and managed to stun the Avatar with lightningbending; Kyoshi responded, however, by entering the Avatar State and killing Xu, putting an end to the attempted restoration of the Yellow Necks.
Within the following year, Kyoshi defeated a band of daofei named the Emerald Claws that had been terrorizing the peasants of Gintong Province. Afterward, she declared that the land ownership in the province reverted to what it was before the Emerald Claws began attacking, angering Governor Shing, who had made use of the attacks to exploit his people into indentured servitude.
Known daofei societies
- Band of the Scorpion
- Emerald Claws
- Flying Opera Company
- Triad of the Golden Wing
- Yellow Necks (later known as Autumn Bloom Society)
- Fifth Nation - their status as daofei was ambiguous; though some considered them "seaborne daofei", their members were mostly of Water Tribe and Fire Nation descent, and they regarded themselves as a completely separate society.
Known daofei outlaws of unknown society
- "Moon-Seizing" Zhu - A pug-nosed criminal who was known for his signature muck rake which he could professionally use in combat. He once fought alongside the Flying Opera Company.
- The term daofei was specific to the Earth Kingdom, with petty outlaws and criminals in the other nations unable to reach their level of power and influence. It was believed that this was due to the limited power of the Earth monarch and the strong cultural differences between different groups of people within the Earth Kingdom.
- Daofei (盜匪) means bandit in Chinese.