|"Years apart only made my love for you stronger. And deep down I knew you would find a way to get me out. Just like you saved me from becoming that warlord's killing machine when I was a girl. You've shown me what true freedom means."|
|— P'Li thanking Zaheer for saving her.|
P'Li was a powerful firebending criminal who possessed the rare ability to combustionbend. A long-time member of the Red Lotus, she followed Zaheer, her boyfriend, in the attempt to rid the world of all governments and the Avatar. After a thirteen-year long imprisonment at the hands of the Order of the White Lotus, she escaped with the help of Zaheer, Ming-Hua, and Ghazan, with whom she threw the Earth Kingdom into anarchy and tracked Avatar Korra. P'Li died during a battle on top of Laghima's Peak when Suyin Beifong metalbent her chest plate around P'Li's head, causing one of her combustion attacks to explode in the confined space.
After showing signs of being a combustionbender during her youth, P'Li was kidnapped by a warlord, who trained her to be his personal assassin. She was freed by Zaheer several years later, and the two fell in love, eventually joining the Red Lotus in their search for a life free from oppressive leaders and governments.
Imprisonment and escape
In 158 AG, she, Zaheer, Ming-Hua, and Ghazan attempted to kidnap Avatar Korra to further their goals of worldwide anarchy and freedom, though were thwarted by a coalition of Zuko, Tonraq, Sokka, and Tenzin. All four were consequently incarcerated in separate prisons; P'Li was imprisoned by Unalaq and Zuko in a fortress deep within the icy tundras of the North Pole to negate her prowess in the art of firebending.
In 171 AG, P'Li was visited in her prison cell by Lord Zuko, Southern Chief Tonraq, and Northern chiefs Desna and Eska following the escapes of Zaheer, Ghazan, and Ming-Hua from their respective prisons. Having not been visited by anyone "interesting" in thirteen years, P'Li deduced that the visit must have been because of Zaheer's escape, much to her pleasure.
Shortly afterward, P'Li's associates arrived at the North Pole to free her. Ming-Hua soon came and weakened the cell door with ice, causing it to fall open. The firebender's chains were broken off by Ming-Hua's water tentacles, and the two exited by climbing up the ice wall. P'Li called her friend a showoff for using her water arms to climb out the prison, believing they could have taken the elevator instead.
The two found themselves confronted by Zuko's dragon, Druk, who blasted fire at them, but P'Li redirected the flames around her and absorbed the heat of the attack. After "waiting thirteen years to feel this warm", she subsequently used a combustion beam attack to blast Druk away. The firebender used this technique a second time after noticing Tonraq fighting her boyfriend, destroying the chief's ice wall and knocking him out. The four soon fled the scene in a truck. While in the vehicle, P'Li embraced Zaheer and confessed her worries about never seeing him again before they shared a passionate kiss, much to Ghazan's annoyance.
Tracking the Avatar
The group traveled to Republic City, where Zaheer infiltrated Air Temple Island under a pseudonym, "Yorru", in an attempt to find the Avatar once again. However, Zaheer's cover was blown and, after he escaped, the group found themselves being pursued by the Metalbending Police Force. Deciding to flee, the gang commandeered a truck and coerced its driver into smuggling them out of the city. Upon the driver being stopped at a security checkpoint and being caught lying about his plans, he ran off, forcing the criminals to take control of the vehicle and make their escape. As police cars pursued them, P'Li used a combustion attack to down a few cars before Ghazan turned a part of the road into lava to stop the pursuit.
As soon as they were far away from the city, Ming-Hua complained that they should have grabbed a police officer to force the Avatar's whereabouts out of him. P'Li assured her that they would find Korra again. At that moment, Zaheer came out of meditation and announced that the Avatar was with the Metal Clan in Zaofu.
P'Li and her friends traveled to Zaofu and broke into Korra's room in Suyin's estate, capturing her as Zaheer paralyzed the Avatar and Naga with shirshu-spit darts. However, they were seen by Mako and Bolin. P'Li dissipated a fire blast from the former and retaliated with her own fire. After the Zaofu guards discovered them and aimed search lights on them, P'Li used her precise combustion technique to blow up the lights, before arcing a combustion blast to hit the brothers. The four were soon surrounded by metal panels launched at them by the estate's guards, Lin, and Wei and Wing. Ghazan kept the group safe by separating them from their attackers with a pool of lava, which also effectively melted several of the metal plates to form all-round cover. Although a guard managed to pull Zaheer away, P'Li and the two others continued to lash out at anyone attempting to cross the moat to save Korra; one of her curved attacks was blocked just short of connecting with Team Avatar by Suyin, Wei, and Wing. After a while, P'Li spotted Lin and Suyin diving down from the top of the dome and took aim at them. Right before she could fire, a pebble, launched at her by Bolin, struck her in her third eye, temporarily blocking her chi and causing her head to jerk backward. Her combustion attack exploded immediately in their vicinity, knocking them all down. This enabled Lin and Suyin to save Korra, and, after Zaheer failed to retrieve the Avatar, P'Li escaped Zaofu with the rest of the Red Lotus.
Misty Palms Oasis
In a cave in the Si Wong Desert, near the Misty Palms Oasis, a meditating Zaheer informed the group Korra was at the nearby Misty Palms Inn. P'Li told Ming-Hua and Ghazan to track the Avatar down while she would keep watch over her partner's body. She later watched as the two brought back Mako and Bolin; and Zaheer told them they would be pursuing the Avatar to Ba Sing Se.
Throwing Ba Sing Se into anarchy
En route to Ba Sing Se, P'Li sat next to Zaheer in the front of the truck, while Ghazan and Ming-Hua guarded the brothers. Having arrived, the group made their way toward the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace, where P'Li witnessed how Zaheer struck a deal with Earth Queen Hou-Ting: information about the airbenders' whereabouts in exchange for the Avatar. After overhearing that the airship transporting Korra had crashed in the Si Wong Desert, P'Li determined that the Avatar would be long gone by the time the next Earth Kingdom airship could get to her.
Deciding to take matters in their own hands and thus force Korra to come to them, the Red Lotus barged into the throne room. When Hou-Ting ordered her Dai Li agents to apprehend them, P'Li used her combustionbending to keep them at bay. After all the bodyguards were taken care of and Zaheer had suffocated the Queen, P'Li accompanied Ming-Hua and Zaheer to the city's communications room in order for the latter to made a citywide announcement of the end of the reign of Hou-Ting.
Threatening the Air Nation
P'Li and the Red Lotus made their way to the Northern Air Temple. As her associates gathered the temple's occupants in the courtyard, she remained aboard the airship to provide aerial support, using her blasts to attack the airbenders who tried to escape. Although Kai managed to distract her long enough for the others to reach the flying bison stables with a well-placed air blast, P'Li shot the young airbender out of the sky with a direct hit. She subsequently focused on the bison awaiting the arrival of the temple's inhabitants, scaring off the creatures and effectively trapping the denizens. With nowhere to go, she left them at the stables to attack Kya and Bumi, who were hanging over the temple's ledge. Her attack missed, however, as Bumi let himself and his sister fall down at the last second. P'Li moved on to give Zaheer aerial support in his battle against Tenzin, shifting the odds in the favor of the Red Lotus as she blasted Tenzin off the ledge of a walkway and into the attacking range of Ming-Hua and Ghazan, before throwing him against a wall with another blast, enabling her associates to corner him.
P'Li gathered up the airbenders and flew them toward an ancient cave-complex situated a few miles away from the Northern Air Temple, releasing them in the custody of four uniformed Red Lotus members. Upon making her way back to the temple, she found Zaheer meditating and reported to him that the airbenders had been secured. When Zaheer confessed to her that not one day had gone by during his imprisonment without him thinking of her, she reiterated the feeling, stating that their separation had only strengthened her love for him and that she had always known that he would free her, just like he had done when they first met. With tears in her eyes, she lovingly caressed his face, reminding him that he had shown her what true freedom meant. Affirming their love for each other, P'Li and Zaheer kissed.
P'Li later accompanied Zaheer to the top of Laghima's Peak, where Korra was supposed to turn herself over to the Red Lotus in exchange for the airbenders. She put restraints around the Avatar's wrists and ankles, revealing to Korra that the shackles were made from platinum, making any metalbending attempt useless. P'Li guided Korra toward the airship to return to the temple, but before they could board, Korra blew her backward with airbending, having been alerted that the Red Lotus had not kept their end of the deal. Upon noticing the arrival of Lin and Suyin Beifong, as well as Metal Clan reinforcements, P'Li told Zaheer to take Korra into the airship while she held off the metalbenders. She managed to pin them down behind the rocks surrounding the peak and nearly sent two of them plummeting to their deaths. When P'Li noticed Lin out in the open, she focused her efforts on taking down the Chief of Police. Just as she released her combustion attack that would have blasted Lin off the cliff, Suyin broke cover and metalbent her own cuirass around P'Li's head. The blast exploded upon making contact with the metal around her face, killing P'Li instantly.
P'Li was fiercely loyal to Zaheer and his cause to eliminate nations and world leaders in order to instigate an era of chaos and freedom. Deeply in love with Zaheer, she displayed a protective streak when it came to him, as evidenced when she readily stayed behind to guard his body while his soul was still in the Spirit World and to hold back Lin, Suyin, and the other metalbenders to give Zaheer a chance to escape with Korra. In this capacity, she was also quite ruthless, having no qualms about firing her deadly beams at innocent people or children, as she showed no remorse when she apparently killed Kai.
Despite relying mostly on her combustionbending, P'Li was a skilled combatant and a powerful firebender, having been able to survive the frigid conditions of her prison cell for thirteen years by regulating her internal body heat, and easily dispersing a fire blast from a dragon using traditional firebending.
P'Li was also a combustionbender, capable of producing a concentrated, destructive beam of heat from her forehead which, upon impact, could cause a powerful explosion that would demolish most targets. She was able to use the technique with relative ease, firing several beams in succession to subdue multiple opponents and hitting targets at great distances with considerable accuracy. She was also the only known user of the technique capable of curving her blasts, enabling her to effectively strike from various angles and directions. However, despite P'Li's precision, a single strike to her forehead would temporarily disrupt her ability to focus her chi and properly fire a combustion beam.
Though she usually remained stationary while using her combustion to overwhelm her enemies, P'Li was very nimble and evasive, able to twist and flip out of the way of a barrage of boulders.
- P'Li was the second known combustionbender, after Combustion Man, and her tattoo of a third eye is also replica of the third eye of the Hindu God Shiva, which, when opened, engulfs anyone and anything before him in flames.
- P'Li died in the same manner as Combustion Man, blowing herself up with one of her own combustion beams.
- Both also met their demise in the twelfth chapter of the third book of their respective series and in the vicinity of an air temple.
- P'Li was the sixth character to die on-screen in The Legend of Korra. The others to have died were, in chronological order, Amon, Tarrlok, Wan, Unalaq, Hou-Ting, Ming-Hua, Ghazan, and Hiroshi.
- P'Li was Zaheer's only "earthly tether", preventing him from flying.
- Zaheer's romantic relationship with P'Li, and its contribution to his arc of detachment, was a late addition during the writing process of Book Three.
- Along with her fellow Red Lotus members, P'Li developed a vagabond form of combat, picking up moves as she traveled around the globe and adapting those techniques to her own personal style.
- P'Li was one of the tallest women known in the Avatar-franchise.
- In the Chinese dub, P'Li's name is written as , meaning "thunderbolt".