- This article is about the branch of the Fire Nation military. For the episode, see "The Southern Raiders".
The Southern Raiders were a Fire Nation Navy special forces unit with the purpose of raiding the Southern Water Tribe to capture or kill waterbenders and eradicate all hopes of resisting Fire Nation rule. They were also responsible for conducting attacks on the Earth Kingdom.
In 94 AG, the Southern Raiders were tasked by Fire Lord Azulon to conduct an attack on the Southern Water Tribe in search of a rumored last waterbender, who, unknown to them, was the eight-year-old Katara. During said attack, the Raiders created a diversion to attract the attention of the tribe's warriors, which allowed their commander, Yon Rha, to interrogate Kya in regards to the whereabouts of the last waterbender. She lied in order to protect her daughter, however, and told him that she was the one he was looking for. The commander, unwilling to take her as a prisoner, subsequently killed her. This incident further deepened the Southern Water Tribe's hatred for the Fire Nation and prompted all of the warriors to leave the tribe to help the Earth Kingdom win the Hundred Year War. It would also give Katara and Sokka the desire to help Avatar Aang once he awakened.
Two years later, Yon Rha retired from his position, and the Southern Raiders appointed a new leader.
The Southern Raiders were tracked down by Katara and Zuko in the final year of the War. They spotted the Southern Raiders' flagship near Whaletail Island, after which Katara launched a vicious wave of attacks that left the Raiders defenseless. She subsequently interrogated their leader, whom she initially believed to be Yon Rha, subduing him with her bloodbending. However, the terrified eyes of the man revealed to her that he was not the man she was after. The captain confirmed her realization by telling Zuko that Yon Rha had retired four years prior.
The flag of the Southern Raiders, used in ships, is a triangular pennant, with the same color scheme as that of the Fire Nation, and is broadly bordered in black. At the center, a sea raven is depicted in a curled manner, with its head overlooking its wings.
Armor and equipment
The Raiders' helmet design, resembling a bird, differed from that of other Fire Nation soldiers.
The unit also possessed special ships that were smaller and faster than the traditional Fire Nation destroyers. Their warships were perfect for attacking coastal villages, as their smaller size and improved maneuverability allowed the ships to pull up close to the shore and surprise the enemy.
- From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: The Southern Raiders.
- Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 17, 2008). "The Southern Raiders". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Avatar Returns". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
- From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Gear: Southern Raider Ships.