|"I would declare the lowliest peasant is like the Avatar in this regard. All of our actions have an impact. Each decision we make ripples into the future. And we alter our landscapes according to our needs. To keep her crops alive, a farmer uproots the weeds that nature has placed in her fields, does she not?"|
|— Lao Ge explaining to Avatar Kyoshi why all people are equal in relative terms and murder is not inherently wrong.|
Lao Ge, also known as Tieguai, was a nomadic assassin who possessed great spiritual knowledge and claimed to have unlocked the secret to immortality. Acting as an old criminal and drunkard to dispel suspicions, Lao Ge traveled around the world and killed those whom he regarded as wrongdoers who worsened the suffering of many people. Over time, he took many disciples, one of them Avatar Kyoshi, whom he taught about assassination and spirituality.
The origin, birth name, and age of Lao Ge was unknown. According to legends in the Earth Kingdom's underworld, he was at least two hundred years old. If one of his comments was true, and not meant as a joke, he was personally acquainted with Guru Shoken. In this case, Lao Ge would have been over four thousand years old and been born before the four nations were formed. He held Shoken's controversial ideas in relatively high regard, but also studied the works of his rivals, such as Guru Laghima. He had several disciples during his life, most of whom were only interested in learning about the secret of immortality from him. At some point, he started to use the name "Tieguai" and became infamous in the Earth Kingdom for murdering the 40th Earth King. After the Yellow Neck uprising broke out in the Earth Kingdom, he once came across a village destroyed by the rebels. All had been murdered without distinction, and their corpses had been stacked onto each other.
He adopted eventually adopted the name "Lao Ge", assuming the persona of an old but experienced bandit and drunkard. He consequently joined the Flying Opera Company, a daofei outlaw group led by Jesa, using the outfit as cover for his assassinations. Unbeknownst to him, Jesa figured out who he was, and wrote it down in a journal which she passed to her daughter, Avatar Kyoshi. When Jesa and her lover Hark died, the Flying Opera Company started to unravel. Most of its members deserted and its criminal network collapsed. Regardless, Lao Ge remained with the group's remnants consisting of Wong, Kirima, and Lek. By 296 BG, Lao Ge and his comrades were staying at their last hideout in the shanty town at Chameleon Bay. The old assassin spent most of his days drinking alcohol and sleeping, much to the annoyance of the other Flying Opera Company members.
The true personality of Lao Ge was difficult to discern, as he intentionally assumed a variety of personas based on the situation. When confronted by outsiders, he acted like an old, friendly drunkard. In the presence of most of his acquaintances, he shed this persona partially; though he continued to act alcoholic, lazy, and sometimes cowardly, most members of the Flying Opera Company believed him to be an eccentric yet capable fighter and believer in the daofei code. Yet even they did not know him as the assassin. This was a side of himself he only showed his victims and disciples like Kyoshi: To them, he seemed like some kind of demon, ruthless, confident, and intimidating. Lao Ge intentionally used these differing personas to conceal his true identity and personality.
In any case, Lao Ge was wise and highly intelligent, and seemingly convinced of the righteousness of his actions. In some ways, he was amoral, such as when he was willing to kill a child (Te) yet spare a mass murderer (Jianzhu). At the same time, he claimed to follow some kind of moral code, and believed that his decisions to kill or spare people ultimately contributed to the welfare of the majority. In contrast to this claim, Lao Ge did not stop Kyoshi from killing Jianzhu although he believed that the latter was an effective administrator for the Earth Kingdom. He also seemingly developed genuine sympathy for Kyoshi despite his usual lack of empathy for his comrades or disciples.
In each of his personas, Lao Ge also possessed a sarcastic wit and often acted a bit vain, occasionally complementing his own looks. It was impossible to judge to what extent his jokes and vanity reflected his actual thoughts or were intended as further layer of deception.
Lao Ge was described as an old man with a wispy white beard. He wore ragged clothes that concealed sheaves of corded muscle under papery skin. He had long white hair, wiry arms and bony fingers.
|Avatar's spiritual mentor|
296 - unknown BG
| Succeeded by|
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty, "The Avatar's Masters". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Fourteen, "The Introduction". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-One, "Preparations". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Six, "The Challenge". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Eighteen, "The Town". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Fifteen, "Escape". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.