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Hei Bai's Forest,[2] also known as the scorched forest,[3] is a region of hilly and expansive woodland with a small river snaking through the land located in the vicinity of Senlin Village in the southern United Republic of Nations,[1] formerly the western Earth Kingdom. In 99 AG, the forest suffered heavy damage after a battle waged by the Fire Nation,[3] which caused Hei Bai, the spirit that had protected the forest for thousands of years,[4] to become infuriated and attack innocent villagers.[5]

History

Hei Bai's Forest

Team Avatar examined the damage done to the forest.

Team Avatar briefly visited this forest late in the autumn of 99 AG. Flying overhead on Appa, they noticed the scorched area, spread out across the land like a scar. They landed to investigate further; noticing the widespread devastation and the lack of any life to brighten the place, Aang took it hard, claiming the destroyed forest was a symbol of his failure, as it was the Avatar's duty to protect nature, but he did not know how to do his job. However, Katara managed to brighten his spirits by pointing out that acorns were scattered everywhere across the ground, indicating that one day, tall oak trees would once again adorn the area and the wildlife would return to inhabit the renewed forest.

Aang was subsequently approached by an elder from a nearby village and implored the Avatar to help his community. Encouraged by Katara, Aang agreed to help them however he could. At the village, they learned that for the past few days, the spirit Hei Bai had emerged from the scorched forest and caused severe structural damage to the village, as well as abducted one of the villagers each night.

Hei Bai's statue

As the protector of the forest, there was a statue of Hei Bai in the middle of it.

Intended to solve the mystery of why the spirit was so angry, Aang attempted to protect the village during the next attack. He failed, however, and Hei Bai abducted Sokka this time. Aang gave chase on his glider and tried to free his friend. Before he could succeed, however, Hei Bei and Sokka faded away, causing Aang to crash to the ground, unconscious, in front of a bear statue, where he would awake hours later.

Returning to the village to face Katara and his failure, Aang realized no one could see him as he had crossed over to the Spirit World. Fang, Avatar Roku's animal guide, approached him and took him to Crescent Island, where Aang learned that he needed to go to the island on the winter solstice in order to communicate with Roku. After that realization Fang flew them both back to the forest, and while the dragon spirit vanished inside the bear statue, Aang's spirit was reunited with his body sitting underneath the statue.

Aang returned to the village where he once again awaited Hei Bai's arrival at nightfall. Rather than fight him, he connected with the spirit and learned that Hei Bai was the spirit of the forest. Realizing that he had been angrily lashing out as a direct result of the destruction of the forest, Aang showed Hei Bai an acorn as a symbol of hope that the forest would grow back. Calming down to his peaceful form as a panda, Hei Bai returned to the forest and released all of the humans he had abducted, including Sokka.[5]

Trivia

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hedrick, Tim, Hamilton, Joshua (writers) & Heck, Colin, Zwyer, Melchior (directors). (June 27, 2014). "Rebirth". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  2. Mapping Out Team Avatar's Entire Book 1 Journey!. Avatar: The Last Airbender (YouTube channel) (July 31, 2020). Retrieved on September 12, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: The Scorched Forest.
  4. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Creature: Hei Bai.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 8, 2005). "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.

See also

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