|"North Chung-Ling is built over a deposit of flammable vapors. Instead of gold or silver, we have gas below our feet. If too much of it gets out in a concentrated place, a single spark will cause an explosion."|
|— Nyahitha warns Avatar Kyoshi.|
The city was once known as a place where spiritual experiences were common and anyone could see a vision of the other side, but the village cashed in on its reputation rather than maintaining the supposedly hallowed ground. Visitors paid charlatans for fake spiritual encounters and cheap entertainment, and the city turned into a carnival town and glorified gambling den.
The city was one of the many industrial towns in the Fire Nation that supported the war effort. Many factories are located around the city, and pollution is extensive. The settlement is a working-class town with seedy elements. It is considered unsafe to walk around Fire Fountain City at night, so most citizens stay indoors.
As North Chung-Ling
The city was built above a deposit of natural gas. The first visitors to the city reported seeing visions, which were likely brought about by standing over the cracks in the earth for too long. It therefore became known as a spiritual location, allowing for the city to cash in on its reputation and set up fake spiritual encounters and cheap entertainment.
Avatar Kuruk would sometimes meditate on a bluff overlooking North Chung-Ling after returning from his adventures in the Spirit World. After Kuruk's death, his friend Nyahitha moved to the city after losing favor with the High Temple. Nyahitha made a living as a fake fortuneteller in the fairground, manipulating the natural gas beneath the town so that customers could receive supposed visions of the future.
North Chung-Ling traditionally fell under the influence of the Keohso clan, and several merchants and jurists in the city belonged to a branch of the noble family. The clan was fiercely loyal to Fire Lord Zoryu, whose mother was a woman of the Keohso clan, and opposed the growing influence of the Saowon clan, traditional rivals of the Keohso. One prominent member of the clan was Sanshur Keohso, a wool vendor who was the main sponsor of the town's fairgrounds. In spite of this, many of the town's residents and even some from the Keohso clan were happy to do business with all clans of the Fire Islands.
By 295 BG, North Chung-Ling had grown more impoverished run-down, owing to the poor harvests at the beginning of Fire Lord Zoryu's reign. In this year, Avatar Kyoshi visited the town with Rangi, Hei-Ran, Atuat, and Jinpa, attempting to locate Nyahitha so the Avatar could contact Kuruk and learn more about Father Glowworm and its connection to Yun.
Lady Huazo, the leader of the Saowon clan, arrived in town at the same time as Avatar Kyoshi. She gleefully announced that she had bought new properties in North Chung-Ling and was intending to celebrate the Festival of Szeto in the city, hoping to provoke the Keohso and thus have just cause to start a war to put her son Chaejin on the throne. As she informed Sanshur about her intentions, a member of her vanguard spat on the ground, instigating a small altercation that was quickly averted by Kyoshi and her allies. Meanwhile, Atuat and Jinpa had garnered a lot of attention for their Water Tribe and Air Nomad heritages, and had lost some money gambling before getting back to breakeven.
Kyoshi managed to successfully receive a vision of Kuruk's life in the hills of North Chung-Ling, although she did not believe that it was helpful. However, in the meantime, Yun had created an inflammatory message in the melonyam fields supporting Chaejin's claim as Fire Lord. Saowon and Keohso warriors gathered in the village center, ready to fight. Kyoshi attempted to defuse the situation, but fighting began in earnest once Rangi punched Koulin of the Saowon across the face. Despite the ban on Agni Kais during the holiday, clansmen fought their rivals with bare fists. Atuat set up a field hospital in the Coral Urchin Noodle Shop to treat the wounded.
At that moment, Kyoshi realized the nature of the diversion, and rushed to Hei-Ran's inn to find her playing Pai Sho with Yun, watching him bend the tiles together and form a spike that dug into Hei-Ran's throat. While the firebender badly burnt the false Avatar, he leapt from the inn and escaped, Kyoshi making sure that Hei-Ran's injuries were tended to instead, bringing her to Atuat's field hospital. At the restaurant, Kyoshi guessed a connection between Yun and the Saowon. She devised a plan to force the Saowon leadership into confessing, and confronted Lady Huazo at the docks before the noblewoman's planned retreat, capturing her and flying away to Capital Island on Yingyong.
Following the succession conflict known as the Camellia-Peony War, the city and its attraction as a spiritual location, were worn down, and the tension between the clans made it a dour place to live. However, it experienced a resurgence during the Hundred Year War, as new industries to support the military emerged and provided jobs to the locals.
As Fire Fountain City
The city's name was eventually changed to Fire Fountain City due to the fire fountain for which it is known.
While Team Avatar, excluding Katara, walked around town, Toph suggested that they obtain more money by scamming the merchants on the streets. The dealer at a game of chance took away the pebble from under the shell at the end so that no one could win, but Toph used her earthbending and kept the pebble under the shell, thus she guessed correctly and won. After that, the trio continued to scam people at a game of chance sticks, and also at a carnival where she used her earthbending to ring the bell on the high striker game. After Sokka found a wanted poster of Toph with a huge bounty, Katara and Toph attempted to pull off the "scam of all scams". Katara got Toph captured by the police so as to get the bounty. The town authority locked both the girls up and put them in a wooden cage instead of a metal one, rendering Toph unable to metalbend them free and escape. He subsequently handed them over to Combustion Man.
When Aang and Sokka entered the town in an attempt to retrieve Katara and Toph, Combustion Man attacked. The girls were able to escape the prison and helped the group escape the city with no further problems when an attack from Toph resulted in Combustion Man's chi being blocked, turning his attack against himself.
Following the Hundred Year War's conclusion, the town remained a center of industry and further expanded in size, growing into a major city with several districts.
Layout and description
Fire Fountain City is located on Shuhon Island, which has fairly rough terrain. It is situated on the shore of a small bay. The city is bounded by hills on either side with factories surrounding it as well. In the center of the town is a large square in which a famous statue of Ozai stands. Streets lined with small buildings originate from the square and go outward in a radial fashion.
Coral Urchin Noodle Shop
The Coral Urchin Noodle Shop was a large restaurant in the city in the early 3rd century BG. Atuat set up her field hospital in the restaurant during the feuding of the clans in the Camellia-Peony War.
A giant statue of Fire Lord Ozai stands in the center of the town square and is powered by pressurized, natural gas. The statue depicts Ozai with his head tilted back and fire gushing from three holes in each fist and mouth similar to how water would pour from a typical fountain. The piece is so famous and incredibly moving to any Fire Nation citizen that the town officially changed its name.
This is one of many communication hubs in the Fire Nation. Messenger hawks are trained to fly on designated routes between different post offices. Outside the building is a bulletin board where the town authority hangs fliers and wanted posters.
While walking through the town, Sokka noticed the messenger hawks and expressed his desire to have one. After he got money from all the scamming, he went to the post office and bought Hawky, a new member of Team Avatar.
This fair is a popular local venue which is permanently stationed in the city. There are many stalls and tents selling various items, including a high striker, which is used to test one's strength by hitting a target with a hammer and attempting to ring the bell at the top. However, given the weight of the hammer, the stall is not intended for children.
A small prison, consisting of both a metal and a wooden cell, is present in the town for the detainment of criminals.