Solicitations from Edelweiss

Solicitations have gone up. These are very early, so details may change.

--Sir Edward Grey (wallcontribs) 04:25, March 30, 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for the find - this and the Part 1 info have been added to their respective articles. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 13:57, March 30, 2015 (UTC)

Timeline and possible retcons?

So, having just finished this, I have questions. First, what exactly is the time line of what happened in the comics? We know most of what happened in Part one happened chronologically between the end of The Search Part 3, and before the beginning of The Rift Part 1, Yu Dao's inauguration ceremony being the relevant event. The events of this comic happen after Part 1, and they mention the events of the Earthen Fire Refinery. However, I don't believe all the events of The Rift trilogy have come to pass, as the Spirits' Friendship Festival only happens three months after the events on the refinery, which happened pretty much right after Yu Dao's inauguration. From that, the events of this comic must take place sometime two months before the Spirits' Friendship Festival. Have I missed anything?

On a possibly more retconny territory, is the backstory of the Fire Lord presented in this issue, in any way compatible with what we knew before? In SS2, the first Fire Lord was the one who united the Fire Islands after bringing warlords to justice. This doesn't fit with what we know, because the Fire Lord as non-Fire Sage ruling figure only came to be after the Fire Nation had been established as a country. SS2 basically invalidates what we know about the Fire Sages and the Fire Lord from the Lost Scrolls, as far as I can tell. I do not necessarily think we have to be concerned about when this happened. When Aang asks where his past life was when Toz kidnapped the children of the village who wouldn't pay him tributes, Zuko brings up the possibility of it happening before the first Avatar. The Fire Nation was established sometime after humanity left the Lion Turtle cities, so that would be impossible (unless this is a plot hole). The fact this didn't seem to happen in a Lion Turtle city, and the conspicuous lack of bending also don't make sense, since the only pre-bending, non-Lion Turtle city period I can think of is the time before the spirits crossed over, and forced humans to live in the Lion Turtles, and we know there was no Fire Nation back then (unless again, plot hole). Considering this time placement is not mentioned as a certainty, I believe that this specific event, and the time during which Toz's regime fell, possibly happened during a time where the current Avatar would still be unaware of their identity, or otherwise engaged in a problem elsewhere. Thoughts? Omnibender - Talk - Contributions 20:25, December 17, 2015 (UTC)

In SS1, it is mentioned that the events of SS2 happen one month after SS1. Considering that the events of the Rift trilogy seem to happen in less than a week, I believe that you are right in placing the events of SS2 before the Spirits' Friendship Festival, but after the main events of The Rift. In regard to the new backstory, I do not believe that Toz lived before Wan; as you pointed out, just because an Avatar was not around at that time does not mean that there was none at all. It would make no sense at all for this happening during the era of Raava; furthermore, we know of places around the world like Kyoshi Island, where very few benders lived, so that the lack of bending does not exclude its existence around the time. We should also remember that per Bryke, the first rulers of the Fire Nation were the Sun Warriors; they, however, were already born firebenders, so that their civilization existed after Avatar Wan. I believe that Toz lived after the Sun Warrior' civilization fell apart and the later Fire Nation fell into chaos. In regard to the Fire Lord: Just because he appears more secular in the comics does not make it impossible that he still served as leader of the Fire Sages at the time. In the real world there were several theocracies whose rulers appeared as secular monarchs, but were also heads of the ruling church. DyingFlameTsui (wallcontribs) 02:22, December 18, 2015 (UTC)
I don't recall Bryke saying the Sun Warriors were the first rulers of the Fire Nation. It's not like at some point all the Fire Nation was Sun Warriors. I think the Sun Warriors were already believed to be extinct by the time the territory became known as Fire Nation. What we know, per Lost Scrolls, which is what conflicts with this graphic novel, is that the Fire Nation was once a theocracy led by the Fire Sages. I'm not questioning the looks of the first Fire Lord, just how he would fit. There is no indication in SS2 he was part of Fire Sages, nor that at that point there were Fire Sages that would lead the Fire Nation as a theocracy for a long time. Omnibender - Talk - Contributions 02:54, December 18, 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the comic timeline, that makes sense. As for the Fire Nation history, it is very confusing. The only possible timeline I can imagine is that following the era of Raava, you had the establishment of the Fire Islands, Sun Warriors and the Bhanti all at the same time but in different places. Increasing isolation allowed the latter two to remain largely separate from the collective islands in which warlords became prominent. The first Fire Lord came into power and toppled that regime and united the islands. There was a period of "prolonged peace" following that until a division of the Bhanti arrived and took control (the way the article is written, it seems as if the Fire Sages "took" control). So warlord regime -> unknown government under original Fire Lord -> theocracy -> modern system under modern Fire Lord. In any case, I think the Fire Lord in SS2 needs to be the first, since the crypt in the catacombs ends that corridor mural, which would indicate that the warlord-toppling Fire Lord was the earliest in the history of the nation. Since all other "canon" sources apart from the lost scrolls (which I still don't know how to assess as a source) are essentially wiped out (i.e. no Fire Nation history in Wan Shi Tong's Library) then I think we should hold the comic canon as most important. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 05:25, December 18, 2015 (UTC)
What confuses me about the way you put Fire Nation history together, is that in the Fire Sage's article, there is no mention of the Bhanti taking over the nation in the reference, the pdf premise for Beginnings Part 1. Omnibender - Talk - Contributions 10:17, December 18, 2015 (UTC)
I think that's just a matter of misplacement of the references. The premise notes that Bhanti tribe members split off and became the first sages for each nation. The ones that became Fire Sages eventually took control of the pseudo-Fire Nation and established a theocracy, per the lost scrolls. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 11:32, December 18, 2015 (UTC)
That actually makes sense. When the Bhanti Tribe arrived, they made the Fire Lord their leader and transformed the Fire Islands into a theocracy, proceeding to unite the rest of the archipelago and to form the Fire Nation. Omnibender, you were also right about the Fire Warriors: per the sources, they ruled only a northern part of the Fire Nation, while the Fire Islands and the Bhanti Tribe seemed to be in the east. DyingFlameTsui (wallcontribs) 13:02, December 18, 2015 (UTC)
The lost scrolls was was written from the perspective of someone after the return of Avatar Aang. Its accuracy is suspect, considering that Sozin revised the Fire Nation history during his reign. If the Fire Nation population (including Zuko and even Shyu) have been indoctrinated with the revisionist history, then that lost scrolls writer may be obtained the wrong information. Yes, it's a retcon. What I speculate is that, Sozin's father is the first Fire Lord (after the fall of Toz), and Sozin made-up the whole back history of the Fire Sages. Both Sozin and Roku were aware of the chaos before Sozin's father. Because of the peace that resulted, Sozin wanted to spread the prosperity to other nations, but Roku refused. Destroying the Avatar cycle then made sense: the Avatar was the mortal link that can reveal the truth about the Fire Nation past, and threatened the legitimacy of the Fire Lord system. Zhao already had the history of the Fire Nation destroyed in the Wan Shi Tong's Library. I guess we have to wait for Part 3 to confirm any of this. BTW, the Sun Warriors are not the Fire Warriors. The Fire Warriors will make an appearance in Part 3.[1]Hasdi Bravo • 16:55, December 22, 2015 (UTC)
Yeah no, your speculation falls flat in every possible way. Nothing about the Lost Scrolls suggests their information is inaccurate, in-universe or out. We have no reason to assume every bit of Fire Nation history is a lie, just because a few bits are. If we do that, we might as well delete huge sections of the Fire Nation article as is. Sozin's father is not the first Fire Lord. We know there is a portrait of his grandfather in the royal gallery, and when they went into the closed off corridor, they saw more past Fire Lords. The Kemurikage who speaks to Aang says that after the first Fire Lord, there was a long period of peace. If by peace we can assume long, stable reigns, there must have been centuries, maybe even millennia of Fire Lord rule, way more than could have if Sozin's father was the first Fire Lord. It also falls short when you consider that Avatars have existed for ten thousand years. If the Fire Lord's rule was so bad, the Avatar would have done away with it a long time ago. Omnibender - Talk - Contributions 17:18, December 22, 2015 (UTC)
Oh yeah, another thing to consider: it is possible that Toz's reign happened after the death of an Avatar and before another Avatar was revealed, trained and fully realized. So that gives Toz about 16-20 years to wreak havoc and the Kemurikage to clean up his mess WITHOUT the intervention of an Avatar. Food for thought. — Hasdi Bravo • 17:56, December 22, 2015 (UTC)
Is that supposed to support your previous argument? Cause they're completely unrelated. We don't know how long Toz stayed in power, but once the Kemurikage showed up, his regime fell fast, no need for Avatar intervention. Besides, I already brought up the possibility of an Avatar still being in-training or unaware of their identity during Toz's rule on my first comment as a reason for the lack of Avatar involvement in the affair. Omnibender - Talk - Contributions 18:03, December 22, 2015 (UTC)

No, they're unrelated. You countered my first argument well so it may be best to assume Gene Yang is aware of The Lost Scrolls and does not intend to contradict it. Therefore, any alternative scenario should take into consideration that Unification wars of the Fire Islands occurred when the Avatar was inactive or preoccupied with other wars. My main objection is with present edits on the Fire Nation history and others. Specifically, "original Fire Lord's regime collapsed after a prolonged era of peace" seems speculative, and somewhat unnecessary to reconcile with what we know about the Sun Warriors for The Firebending Masters episode and the Bhanti Tribe. Since most editors here do not have easy access to The Lost Scrolls, I am reproducing the relevant section here:

The Fire Sages are the last of their kind -- remnants of a bygone era in the Fire Nation when greater importance was placed on spiritual matters. They live at Avatar Roku's Fire Temple on Crescent Island. Wise leaders as well as powerful Firebenders, the sages watch over the sanctuary, protect it from invaders, and gather what knowledge they can about the Avatar.

The history of the sages goes back thousands of years. A council of sages led the Fire Nation in its early years. The lead sages was known as the Fire lord because of high level of Firebending ability and his deep spiritual connection to fire. Throughout the years, the Fire lord severed ties with the sages and took over control of the Fire Nation for himself.

The Fire Sages originated from the Bhanti Tribe, per Mike's notes on episode 207.
They are members of the Bhanti, spiritual tribe whose roots date back to the days of the first Avatar. (Some of their ancestors left the island and became the sages for the various nations.)
So, I propose the following scenario: Thousands of years ago, the Fire Islands were composed of various nations, each with its own ruler. From the Bhanti Tribe, the sages became religious leaders in those nations, but they did not serve as the heads of their states. After the death of an Avatar, war broke out among various nations in the Fire Islands, in which Toz ended up victorious. The dark spirits (Kemurikage) caused his regime to collapse. With the power vacuum, the people turned to their religious leaders (the Fire Sages) for guidance, and to deal with the dark spirits. Sharing a common ancestry with the Bhanti, the sages across the nations formed a council and appointed the first Fire Lord amongst themselves.
First Fire Lord
The other sages did not appear in the picture above, but it doesn't necessarily mean this Fire Lord wasn't appointed by the council of sages. As for the Sun Warriors, their civilization were believed to have "died off thousands of years ago", possibly wiped out during the unification wars, which is consistent with Transcript:the Firebending Masters.
Hopefully, all this discussion becomes moot after Part 3 is out. FWIW. — Hasdi Bravo • 01:51, January 2, 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the excerpts from The Lost Scrolls, it helps knowing exactly what was revealed. Nevertheless, I think the working outline we have on the wiki currently is the least speculative timeline. It has very little in terms of interpretation and only pieces together the fragments of history that we know. If listing that the first Fire Lord's regime fell after a prolonged era of peace is speculative then that can be easily reworked to something along the lines of "central leadership evolved into a theocracy etc. etc."
Your scenario is sensible but involves a lot of interpretation. It assumes that the Fire Islands consisted of nations when it was clear from the comic that the islands were disaggregated and consisted only of territories attained through warfare. It also undervalues the importance of other warlords during that period in the political atmosphere, because stating that Toz was "victorious" gives a definitive sense that he controlled the majority of the archipelago, when that isn't the case. The tidbits about the Fire Sages involve far too much hypothesizing with appointments and ancestry that were never addressed in any of the sources. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 03:08, January 2, 2016 (UTC)
Depending on which definition of "nation" you use,[2][3] "multiple nations on the Fire Islands" would not contradict with "Fire Islands were disaggregated and consisted only of territories attained through warfare", i.e., each set of warlord-controlled territories is its own nation, with its own culture and aesthetics. I do believe that (albeit not conclusively) Mike is leaning on the more generic definition of "nation" when he described the Bhanti Tribe in his notes. Otherwise, we would have to accept that "some of their ancestors" could become sages for Air, Earth and Water nations, not just limited to nations in the Fire Islands.
Toz not controlling the majority of the Fire Islands may not invalidating the argument. The dark spirits haunting the warlords (including Toz) would still have the people turn to their spiritual leaders for help (especially with the absence of the Avatar as the bridge between the human world and spirit world). Moreover, SS2 states that body of the first Fire lord rest in the Dragonbone Catacombs (which is managed by the Fire Sages). Had there been a discontinuity in the leadership (due to another "regime collapse") from the first Fire lord to Sozin, then I doubt the body would still be resting there. BTW, I notice that in the portraits, Zuko's ancestors wore the same royal attire as Zuko, but not the same attire as the first Fire Lord. I'm guessing the change in attire occurred when Fire lord system switched from the council of the sages into a monarchy, which is similar to how King Henry VIII took control of the English Church and separate it from the control of the Roman Catholic Church, but I digress...
I have a thought. Since Avatar Wiki and Gene Yang follow each other on twitter, I suppose we could direct message him for clarification on this, without spoiling plot points in Part 3. :/ — Hasdi Bravo • 05:56, January 2, 2016 (UTC)
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