|"I caused her death. It was my fault. My fault alone. Please, beg for his mercy on behalf of my people! Lady Tienhai's death has nothing to do with them!"|
|— The king begging Yangchen to make Old Iron spare his people.|
Tienhai's husband was the last king of an Earth Kingdom city at the Mo Ce Sea, who not only deeply cared for his subjects, but also distinguished himself as a brilliant polymath. In his youth, he fell in love with Lady Tienhai, the city's guardian spirit, and married her. Their relationship resulted in tragedy, however, when Tienhai's mortal form eventually died and the spirit Old Iron destroyed the city to take revenge for her.
As a young prince, the later king was blessed with great curiosity and energy, leading him to be active as talented scientist, artist and inventor. He explored the human being and the environment, designed innovative machines, wrote books, and created sculptures. His numerous abilities eventually caught the attention of Lady Tienhai during one of her visits in human form. Fascinated by his abilities and creations, the spirit decided to stay in her mortal form and remain with the prince. Over time, the two fell in love and married. As time passed, the prince became king and spent many happy years with his beloved wife. Eventually, however, Tienhai passed away, and the king began to blame himself for seducing her and thus causing her loss of immortality.
After Tienhai's death, the king's fortunetellers began to predict "vengeance from the sea" and that disaster would befall the king's city. The ruler, fearing for his subjects, sent for Avatar Yangchen to help him. When she arrived, the monarch thanked her for coming and told her of the predictions, asking her to protect the city from destruction. On the following night, the spirit Old Iron attacked the city, but Yangchen was able to hold him off long enough to enable the city's citizens and the king to be evacuated to a nearby clearing. There, the monarch watched to battle until dawn, when Yangchen told him that the spirit had come to take vengeance for Tienhai's death. Saddened, the king declared that while Tienhai had died, her death was only his fault and that Old Iron should take mercy on his people. The spirit did not listen, however, and Yangchen was forced to struck a deal with him to stop him from attacking the city's population. As result of the deal, the city was abandoned, making Tienhai's husband its last king.
Both the king and his city were forgotten over time, until Avatar Aang attempted to revive Yangchen's Festival in 102 AG. While connected to his past lives, Yangchen told the young Avatar of her history with the king. Later, Lady Tienhai explained the relationship between her and the monarch to Aang, saying that even though he was brilliant, the king never understood that spirits could not truly die but only take up new forms.
Graphic novel trilogies
- The Rift trilogy (flashback, no lines)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part Two (July 2, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part Three (November 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.