Taku is an abandoned city located on the shores of the United Republic of Nations, formerly the northwestern Earth Kingdom. Prior to the Hundred Year War, the city was an important center of commerce. However, it was destroyed by the Fire Nation during the first wave of attacks due to its strategic location and importance to the Earth Kingdom.
Taku's primary purpose was to distribute cargo imported from ships throughout the entire Earth Kingdom. By 296 BG, Taku's sage, Herbalist Pan, was one of the political rivals of the Earth Kingdom's leading politician Jianzhu. He consequently joined a plot by Chamberlain Hui to disempower Jianzhu, but the conspiracy failed and Pan was murdered. Taku was conquered by the warlord Chin a few decades later. The city remained under Chin's rule until his death during a confrontation with Avatar Kyoshi.
When the Hundred Year War broke out in 0 AG, the Fire Nation recognized Taku's strategically important position. As a result, it was one of the first Earth Kingdom cities to be destroyed during the war. However, a small number of inhabitants remained in the area, and around 60 AG, a herbalist began teaching at the city's medical institute. Eventually, her students left to help the Earth Kingdom Army, and the herbalist became Taku's lone resident. She continued to maintain the institute, providing medical assistance for the wounded Earth Kingdom soldiers that would occasionally traverse the area.
While journeying to the Northern Water Tribe, Team Avatar took shelter within an abandoned structure in Taku. Sokka had become sick, prompting Aang to search for ginger root so he could make a medicinal tea. He could not find the herb but did come across a map that revealed the location of the herbalist institute. Fearing Katara would also become sick, Aang quickly set out to consult the herbalist; however, he was forced to travel without using his glider as a lightning storm had begun. Two watchmen spotted Aang from within a scout house as he was running across a mountain walkway, and a horn was sounded to alert Fire Nation authorities that the Avatar had been found. Aang visited the herbalist, who told him that he needed to collect frozen frogs for his friends to suck on in order to cure them. Aang left and began his search, but was promptly captured by Yuyan Archers. After hours in captivity, Aang escaped and returned to the shelter he had left his friends at, and gave them the cure to their sickness.
During his search for the Avatar, Zuko came to this village, accompanied by Iroh and June, and encountered the herbalist. June's shirshu, Nyla, was able to detect that Aang had previously traveled through the area, and the group moved on after a brief conversation with the healer.
One of the few remaining Earth Kingdom establishments in this area, the herbalist institute is hidden high in the mountains surrounded by natural growth. The institute is over one hundred years old and was formerly a thriving establishment until the settlement was deserted. After the Fire Nation attacked, only the herbalist and her beloved pet cat, Miyuki, resided there, though wounded Earth Kingdom troops would occasionally visit the institute seeking medicinal cures. Its medicines were once sent all across the world. The location of the institute is important because the climate present is ideal for growing a variety of herbs needed to make medicines. A greenhouse is attached to the structure, holding an enormous supply of flora, some of which are considered to be the rarest in the world.
- The badgermole statue seen at Taku's entrance is similar to the two Avatar Kyoshi levitated using earthbending while in the Avatar State.
- The ruins of the city are located very close to the postwar metropolis of Republic City, which, much like Taku was before the War, is also a center of commerce and exchange.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: Abandoned Ruins of Taku.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Nine, "The Ambush". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ 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 Herbalist.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (June 17, 2005). "The Blue Spirit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Wilcox, Ian (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 7, 2005). "Bato of the Water Tribe". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: Herbalist institute.
- ↑ Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.