|"How would you like a taste of true freedom? To go where you want and take what you're owed? Trust me, it's a better life than whatever dirt-scratch existence you have on land."|
|— Tagaka offers Kyoshi to join her.|
Tagaka, the self-appointed "Marquess of the Eastern Sea", "Pirate Queen of the Southern Ocean", and "Waterborne Guardian of the South Pole", was a pirate queen, slaver, and waterbender who led an ethnically mixed people of pirates known as the Fifth Nation that ravaged the Earth Kingdom's coast during the early life of Avatar Kyoshi.
Tagaka was born to Tulok, the leader of the Fifth Nation, a people of pirates. Her family partially descended from Southern Water Tribesmen, but when her ancestors became pirates, the tribe disowned her entire family tree. Tagaka's ancestors served as leaders of the Fifth Nation for generations. Growing up, she became her father's lieutenant, though intentionally feigned to be a weak bender. Tagaka was present when Jianzhu, a former companion of Avatar Kuruk, met Tulok and asked him to honor a treaty his grandfather had forged generations ago with Avatar Yangchen.
At some point, Tagaka took over control of the Fifth Nation from her father. She became notorious for her activities, including practicing slavery. At some point, she defeated the Earth Kingdom Navy in battle, and killed the last admiral of Ba Sing Se in a duel which made her a legend. She subsequently took the admiral's jian sword for herself. As exceptionally successful pirate, Tagaka became infamous as the "Bloody Flail of the Eastern Sea", though she styled herself the "Marquess of the Eastern Sea".
Her endeavors brought Tagaka on a collision course with Yun, an Earth Kingdom man believed to be the Avatar at the time, and his companions, including Kyoshi, at Yun's insistence. The pirate queen managed to lure Yun's party into a trap on the sea, and captured him while scattering his companions. As she attempted to escape with her fleet and Yun, whom she had frozen in ice, as hostage, Tagaka was confronted by Kyoshi.
Impressed by Kyoshi's resolve and believing that she had potential as a fighter, Tagaka offered her the opportunity to join her pirate fleet, but Kyoshi angrily rebuffed her. She then unleashed her Avatar-powered bending, lifting parts of the seafloor to destroy much of Tagaka's fleet. As chaos erupted and the pirate forces were decimated, Yun's other companions also rallied and counter-attacked. Though utterly confused by Kyoshi's bending power, the pirate queen quickly reacted to the surprising turn of events by attacking Kyoshi in order to kill her. Luckily, two firebending companions of Yun, Rangi and Hei-Ran, intervened and started dueling Tagaka. At the same time, her elite waterbender guards were rushing to aid the pirate queen. However, the two firebenders managed to free Yun and, between the three of them, managed to subdue Tagaka. She was subsequently sent to the prisons beneath Lake Laogai.
Tagaka was intelligent, ruthless, and devious. She relished the freedom and power the life as a pirate granted her, and despised those who preferred a more meek and honest lifestyle. In contrast, she respected strength and determination. Indifferent to the suffering she caused, Tagaka was described as unnerving by Jianzhu who noted that she had a "soulless gaze" like some kind of predator.
For much of her life, Tagaka pretended to be a weak waterbender, though she was in fact extremely powerful. She was also a capable swordswoman.
|Leader of the Fifth Nation|
Unknown — 296 BG
| Succeeded by|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Seven, "The Iceberg". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter One, "The Test". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Eight, "The Fracture". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.