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The Domestic Forces,[1] alternatively called the police force,[2] serve as the Fire Nation's law enforcement agency and national guard. By the late Hundred Year War, their main purposes were to maintain law and order in the Fire Nation, defend the nation from foreign invasions, and train the troops of other Fire Nation military branches. Traditionally, the Domestic Forces have mainly employed women officers.[1]

History[]

By the time of Avatar Kyoshi, domestic security in the Fire Nation was mostly entrusted to the noble clans' household troops. However, these were not loyal to the Fire Lords and often engaged in bloody feuds among each other instead of keeping the peace.[3] The clan militias' autonomy was broken during Fire Lord Sozin's rule.[4]

Hundred Year War[]

By the late Hundred Year War, the Domestic Forces struggled to some degree to suppress criminal activities in the Fire Nation Capital. For instance, the force was unable to evict the Fire Finches from Zoryu Park despite several security sweeps, and unable to stem the growth of the Burning Ember Gang.[5]

In 95 AG, the Domestic Forces secured the Fire Nation Capital during the celebrations surrounding Fire Lord Ozai's coronation.[6] The local Domestic Forces commander at the time, General Gong, used the festivities to secretly release Xaipan from prison, having taken pity on the young woman's fate.[7] Not long after, the Domestic Forces were drawn into the hunt for a group of rebels who had stolen a valuable scroll from the Dragonbone Catacombs.[8]

Soldiers on a jet ski

Domestic Forces under Mung used jet skis to attack the suspected rebels at Jang Hui.

In summer 100 AG, the Domestic Forces had several encounters with Team Avatar in the weeks following the conquest of the Earth Kingdom. A group of officers discovered Aang on a western Fire Island, but mistook him for a local as the Avatar was wearing a stolen Fire Nation school uniform as disguise. They took him to a local Fire Nation school, where he was escorted to a classroom taught by Ms. Kwan. They later assisted the Headmaster when he raided Aang's secret dance party after another student told him about it. The guards tried to catch Aang, but the other students put similar headbands on to confuse them and help Aang escape.[9] Several days later, Katara saved the local village of Jang Hui from the Domestic Forces whose nearby factory was polluting the river on which the village was situated. She did this by posing as the village's spiritual guardian, the Painted Lady.[10] Later on, the authorities of Fire Fountain City attempted to apprehend Toph after she used her earthbending to scam the city's local con men and dealers. They managed to capture both Toph and Katara in an attempt to lure in Aang so that an assassin could eliminate him on behalf of Prince Zuko.[11]

Domestic forces

The Domestic Forces engaged the invasion force on the Day of Black Sun.

On the day before the Day of Black Sun, General Shinu of the Fire Army reported to Fire Lord Ozai that earthbender rebellions were preventing total victory in the Earth Kingdom, so he advised sending Domestic Forces to aid the army overseas. This plan was rejected in favor of a plan to simply burn down the Earth Kingdom using Sozin's Comet.[12] The next day, the Domestic Forces defended the Fire Nation Capital during the attempted invasion of the Fire Nation, led by Aang and his allies.[13] The Domestic Forces badly beaten as the invaders destroyed dozens of tanks and forced the guards to retreat when the eclipse occurred, temporarily blocking their firebending. However, as the eclipse passed and the invasion subsequently failed, the Domestic Forces retaliated by deploying their airships. Using their aircraft, the guards bombed the invaders' ships and forced most of them to surrender.[14]

Weeks later, the Domestic Forces attempted to prevent the traitorous Prince Zuko and his allies from escaping the Boiling Rock, the Fire Nation's most secure prison. This failed miserably when Mai stopped the guards from killing Zuko. When she and her friend Ty Lee betrayed Princess Azula, who was at the prison with them, they arrested the two girls and locked them away.[15]

Protecting Fire Lord Zuko's rule[]

Following the Hundred Year War's end, the Domestic Forces began to focus more on their police duties. A constable of the forces, Sung, was prominently involved in the "Kemurikage" conspiracy. Though initially tasked to investigate the disappearances of children from the capital due to Kemurikage dark spirits, Sung asked Ukano's Safe Nation Society for help when his own son was kidnapped by the alleged spirits. Once the Safe Nation Society's insurrectionist nature became clear, Zuko suspended Sung from the force.[2][16]

Granary ambush

Under Ty Lee, a squad of Domestic Forces officers unsuccessfully attempted to capture the Fire Warriors at a granary.

Later, Ty Lee employed a squad of Domestic Forces officers to hunt Azula's Fire Warriors, a rebel group that was attempting to undermine Zuko's reign. Ty Lee's team eventually set up an ambush at a granary, having learned that this was Azula's next target. One night, the officers and their leader were engaged in small talk over tea when the granary burst into flames. At this moment, Ty Lee ordered for the rest of her squad to reveal themselves and to attack the rebels. A fight erupted as the Fire warriors attempted to flee; in the process, they left one of their comrades behind. However, Azula set the nearby forest on fire, thus preventing the Domestic Forces and Ty Lee from pursuing the other Fire Warriors.[17]

Organization and personnel[]

By the late Hundred Year War, the Domestic Forces mainly employed women, as male members of the military were largely deployed in the Fire Army and Fire Navy.[1] Known ranks of the Domestic Forces include "general" for commanders,[6][10] "warden" for prison overseers,[18] and "constable" for other ranking officers.[2] Regular members are termed either "officers"[2] or "guards".[6][18][19]

By the late Hundred Year War, the Domestic Forces were charged with guarding villages, schools, factories, dockyards, and prisons.[9] They kept the population in line and were responsible for apprehending criminals, traitors, pirates and anyone who defies the will of the Fire Lord.[11] As the Domestic Forces were also responsible for training the majority of soldiers at the time, most of the military's forces were trained by high-level female firebenders belonging to the police force.[1] While many Domestic Forces members were proud of their work,[6] some members of the force believed frontline service to be more honorable and yearned to be reassigned to the Fire Army.[20]

Equipment[]

Jet ski

A jet ski in service of the Domestic Forces.

The Domestic Forces members include both firebenders and nonbenders in its ranks; the latter usually rely on close-quarters weaponry when on duty. Regarding its equipment, the Domestic Forces usually relied on broadswords and Guan Dao.[1][17] When operating along the Fire Islands' many waterways, the force uses jet skis, two-person water vehicles that can travel at fast speeds in order to intercept trespassing vessels or quickly reach points of interest.[10][13]

In times of crisis, the Domestic Forces have access to almost all of the weapons and vehicles used by other military branches, among them tanks, airships, warships, and others.[13][14] By the late Hundred Year War, the Domestic Forces also manned the Fire Nation Capital's defenses,[6][13] though this duty was later transferred to the Fire Army.[2]

Uniform[]

By the late Hundred Year War, the Domestic Forces' uniform largely consisted of light armor with black shirts and pants underneath. Most officers wore headbands with various Fire Nation emblems on them, but Boiling Rock prison guards used helmets with golden visors.[18] The black shirts could also vary; many male and female officers wore shirts covering their entire upper body aside of the arms,[1][17] but some female members of the force had shorter shirts that expose their midriffs.[1] Higher-ranking officers occasionally used heavier armor.[1][10] The color of shoulder and chest-plate armor may denote the rank of an officer, with the following colors in use: rusty red, gold trim and bright red trim.[1][10][18]

Corruption[]

Though the Domestic Forces had a generally good reputation for their effectiveness,[1] at least parts of the force engaged in illegal activities during the Hundred Year War. For instance, officers in the capital were regularly bribed by the Burning Ember Gang.[6]

Known members[]

Known ranking officers[]

Known regular officers and guards[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, page 136.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part Two (December 16, 2015), Dark Horse Comics.
  3. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Epilogue. The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  4. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 49.
  5. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Quickstart, Version 1.0, 2021, p. 34.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Quickstart, Version 1.0, 2021, p. 30.
  7. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Quickstart, Version 1.0, 2021, p. 41.
  8. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Quickstart, Version 1.0, 2021, p. 35.
  9. 9.0 9.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (September 28, 2007). "The Headband". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 5, 2007). "The Painted Lady". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 2, 2007). "The Runaway". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  15. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (July 16, 2008). "The Boiling Rock, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  16. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part Three (April 12, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Hicks, Faith Erin (writer), Wartman, Peter (artist), Matera, Adele (colorist), Betancourt, Jimmy; Starkings, Richard (letterer). Azula in the Spirit Temple (October 31, 2023), Dark Horse Comics.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Chan, May (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 16, 2008). "The Boiling Rock, Part 1". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  19. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 24.
  20. 20.0 20.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: General Mung.
  21. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: Warden Poon.
  22. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: Ming.

See also[]

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