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"Selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the world."
— Yangchen to Aang.[1]

Yangchen was the Air Nomad Avatar succeeding Avatar Szeto and preceding Avatar Kuruk. She grew up in a rather isolationist time for the four nations in the aftermath of the Platinum Affair.[7] After mastering all the elements in her youth, she was eager to make a difference in the world despite her inexperience.[8] Following her confrontation with General Old Iron in Tienhaishi, Yangchen resolved to adapt to the complex political strategy of the four nations, using manipulation, espionage, and deceit to her advantage in an era where loyalty was bought rather than earned.[9][10]

While on an official visit of the shang cities, Yangchen sought to alleviate the great divide between the rich and poor in Bin-Er. Working behind the scenes to put an end to the obscene amount of corruption, she worked with her new companion, Kavik, to investigate the Unanimity project which sought to put power in the hands of the shangs.[9] After defeating three combustionbenders that acted as human weapons and apprehending Zongdu Henshe, Yangchen covered up the crisis as an incident relating to spiritual imbalance, and successfully petitioned Earth King Feishan to be granted the administration of Bin-Er.[11]

She eventually became a respected figure and was hailed for her wisdom, determination, and power. Although Air Nomad culture emphasized pacifism and the sanctity of life, Yangchen was feared for her fierce willingness to do whatever was required to maintain balance and peace throughout the world in her duty as the Avatar.[12]

Due to her devotion, no threats of war occurred for an entire generation after her death.[3] In death, she was revered as a holy individual, and people in the Earth Kingdom even began to pray to her for protection.[13] However, her actions also contributed to a rise in dark spirit attacks during the time of her successor Kuruk.[14]

Quick Answers

Who was the Avatar before Yangchen? toggle section
The Avatar before Yangchen was Szeto.
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What major events did Yangchen confront during her life? toggle section
During Yangchen's childhood, the Platinum Affair occurred, which led to a period of isolationism between the four nations. After becoming a fully realized Avatar, she confronted the spirit General Old Iron in Tienhaishi, and reached an agreement with him that led to the city being abandoned. Later, Yangchen tried to fight against the corruption in the shang cities. This led to her uncovering the Unanimity project, a plot where the shang merchants planned to use combustionbenders as human weapons in order to gain leverage over the world leaders. She confronted the combustionbenders in Bin-Er, but one of them, Thapa, escaped with the aid of Zongdu Chaisee's agent, Kalyaan. Chaisee planned to unleash the Unanimity project to assassinate the world leaders, but the plot came to an end with Thapa's death in Taku. She brokered several agreements between spirits and humans in her later life, and also signed a treaty with the leader of the Fifth Nation.
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How did isolationism and the shang system affect Yangchen's role as the Avatar? toggle section
The isolationism in the Earth Kingdom, Fire Nations, and the Water Tribes significantly impacted Yangchen's role as the Avatar. Despite her spirituality and her mastery of the elements, she was initially inexperienced in dealing with the complex political dynamics of the four nations. However, she came to adapt her approach after resettling refugees from Tienhaishi, and came to use manipulation, espionage, and deceit to her advantage. She also took up the role of administering Bin-Er in lieu of Zongdu Henshe, and justified this by telling Earth King Feishan that Avatar Szeto would be making most decisions. After she exposed the scale of the Unanimity project to the Earth King, she asked to administer all four shang cities, hoping to control all the reins of power in order to properly let them go.
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What was Yangchen's approach to her Avatar duties? toggle section
Yangchen was pragmatic for an Avatar, especially for an Air Nomad. Despite the Air Nomads teachings that one must detach from the world in order to receive enlightenment, Yangchen believed that this did not apply to the Avatar, given their duty to the world. Examples of her pragmatism include her dealings with corrupt shang merchants, as well as her willingness to use espionage to prevent bloodshed. She also played an ambiguous role in the death of the combustionbender Thapa, and noted that it was possible to say that she had killed him during their confrontation in Taku. In spite of this, most people only knew of Yangchen's public successes, such as her healing of the sick, and her charity in the shang cities. This led to her being a revered and respected figure in both life and death.
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What role does Yangchen play in "Avatar: The Last Airbender"? toggle section
In "Avatar: The Last Airbender", Yangchen's only speaking role is in "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters". Aang seeks advice from Yangchen, as he hopes that an Air Nomad Avatar will understand his reservations about taking Fire Lord Ozai's life. Yangchen tells Aang that unlike many great and wise Air Nomads, the Avatar can never detach themselves from the world in order to receive spiritual enlightenment, because their sole duty is to the world. She advises him that selfless duty calls for Aang to sacrifice his own spiritual needs, and do whatever it takes to protect the world.
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History[]

Early life[]

Yangchen was born and raised by Air Nuns in the Western Air Temple.[15] She always loved animals, and they were drawn to her. On Bonding Day, most of the bison calves flocked to Yangchen, but she picked one calf, who she named Nujian.[16] She was also plagued by the voices of Avatars before her for as long as she could remember.[9] At some point before she was eight, Yangchen began to periodically fall into extremely painful phases of fever and almost epileptic fits, initially rambling incoherently. The Air Nomad healers tried their best to help her, but found no cause of her suffering. Over time, however, her screaming became recognizable as names and even sentences. Abbess Dagmola began to document the child's words, hoping that they might find some meaning in them. Occasionally, the young Avatar also reenacted scenes from her past lives. One day, Yangchen began talking to Earth King Zhoulai who had been dead for three centuries, but who was recognized by her caretakers. Taken together with the notes of the abbess, it became clear that all the individuals Yangchen had talked about were companions of past Avatars. Her caretakers, most importantly Jetsun, realized that reading out texts written by these individuals would ease the girl's pain. This was especially important to calm Yangchen down when she relived the personal losses and betrayals of ancient Avatars, suffering even more than usual.[17]

As result of constantly reliving the experiences of her past lives, Yangchen realized her Avatarhood by the time she was eleven. Though her fits of possession became less painful as time went on, the Air Nomad elders were troubled by the fact that these incidents kept happening. Jetsun, whom Yangchen regarded as an older sister, tried to figure out new ways to help her. Eventually, she acted as the young Avatar's guide so that Yangchen could meditate into the Spirit World. With the assistance of Abbess Dagmola and Librarian Tsering, the two made their first attempt at a meadow above the Western Air Temple. Using her latent Avatarhood, Yangchen managed to do it on her first try. Yangchen was thrilled at the beauty of the Spirit World at first, until they came on a group of shishi.[18][19] While Yangchen did not fear the spirits, one of her past lives did, and she was overcome by a powerful memory while still in the Spirit World. The shishi turned dark and Yangchen regressed in age, with Jetsun trying to save her and shouting at her to wake up. While Yangchen made it back to the physical world, her sister did not. Yangchen was by her sister's side when she passed away, and she was honored as a temple elder and companion of the Avatar who had given her life to defend the bridge between humans and spirits. After the funeral, she spent time researching which of her past lives had triggered the memory, but found nothing, and started to wonder if it had been her fault.[16][19][20]

Early career as Avatar[]

Yangchen managed to start to control the memories of her past lives by practicing mental exercises with Abbess Dagmola, creating a sturdy bridge between the banks of her memories.[2] She performed her first act of waterbending on a small island in the Mo Ce Sea[21] and, like all Avatars, mastered the elements and the Avatar State in order to maintain world peace.[3]

Yangchen fighting General Old Iron

Avatar Yangchen battled the spirit General Old Iron before striking a deal with him which led to the creation of Yangchen's Festival.

Before she started traveling, her elder caretakers made Master Boma promise to watch the young Avatar over until she could be on her own. A week after Yangchen had mastered the four elements, she set out with Boma and her two winged lemurs, Pik and Pak, on her sky bison on her first official mission as the Avatar to Tienhaishi, a shore-side city whose king had sent for her help. Upon her arrival, she was told by the king that the local fortune tellers had predicted a tragedy coming from the sea to befall the city that evening. Believing the fortune, Yangchen waited on a cliff overlooking the water. When past midnight an enormous spirit emerged from the water, she felt overwhelming grief emanating from the spirit and tried to make contact with him. He knocked her down, however, and the two engaged in battle, which would last through the night and leave the city in ruins.[8]

Yangchen with Lady Tienhai's statue

As per her agreement with General Old Iron, Yangchen built a statue to honor Lady Tienhai.

As dawn broke, Yangchen finally managed to convince the spirit to tell her who he was and what he wanted. She could not let him exact his revenge on the citizens for "killing" Lady Tienhai, however, so she struck a deal with the General Old Iron spirit, one she promised to maintain for eternity in exchange for a truce with the humans.[8] General Old Iron promised to never take up his armor against humanity, so long as the land remained free of human civilization. In return, Yangchen constructed a statue in Tienhai's memory and established a ritual among her people to visit the site once a year to prove that humankind could preserve and protect nature. So long as the land remained sacred to the Air Nomads, no one would dare develop the area and risk Old Iron's wrath.[22]

After the battle, Yangchen helped the people of Tienhaishi find new places to live, but doors kept slamming in their faces, and men told them to keep walking. They slept in fields and lived on alms, and started losing people to illness. She made a promise to use anything at her disposal to save the people under her protection, and began to play the game of politics properly, learning to manipulate others. She forged some letters to fabricate rumors that two competing nobles both wanted the craftsmen of Tienhaishi, and scared the spiritually inclined husband of a governor into getting her to open their territories. Eventually, the people were absorbed by the continent.[10]

Another one of Yangchen's earliest missions as a fully-realized Avatar was on Ma'inka Island, where unseen forces were causing damage along the edges of the villages of the Saowon clan. She worked with Duke Zolian and his heir, Lohi, informing them that the spiritual activity would stop if the inhabitants of the island kept more than three li away from the cenotes and caverns on the island that were home to the phoenix-eel spirits.[23]

Yangchen's attention began to turn to the shang merchants, as they had grown extremely wealthy and powerful since the major diplomatic blunder known as the Platinum Affair that had occurred in her childhood, limiting a controlled amount of international trade between the Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Water Tribes to only four cities controlled by the shangs.[7] Yangchen took it upon herself to negotiate amnesty for Tayagum and Akuudan, two of Chief Oyaluk's once trusted warriors who had been imprisoned in the Earth Kingdom since the Platinum Affair occurred, and left to rot by the chief himself.[24]

Unanimity project[]

Yangchen and Boma began an official tour of the shang cities, starting at Bin-Er and taking up residence in the Blue Manse. Before she started the tour, she left Pik and Pak in the care of the Northern Air Temple.[2] They were joined by Sidao, an Earth Sage and the Minister of Special Territory Relations who became an ever-growing presence of retinue. She was assigned many personal guards, though she did not trust many who joined her party in the city of spies. For nearly a month, Yangchen scouted the docks of Bin-Er from above on Nujian, and noted how the shangs were violating the terms of their charter with the Earth Kingdom by failing to control the flow of traffic within proper limits.[25]

Just before Yangchen was due to meet with the shangs, the manse was raided by an errand runner named Kavik. After spotting him, she screamed for her guards, though they started violently beating him even though she told them to leave him unharmed.[26][27] This gave her the reason she needed to fire all her guards for refusing to follow her orders. With Kavik telling her that he was living in poverty and his parents were dead, Yangchen let him go, giving him a large number of coins.[6] However, she followed Kavik on her glider to see what he was up to, reaching his house and smiling as she met Kavik's mother and father.[28] The married couple showered the Avatar with respect, and she claimed to be there to listen to the problems of the ordinary residents of Bin-Er. Claiming that Kavik had saved a piece of her information from a thief, she asked to speak to him in private, pointing out that he was better off than he had claimed, and that she had been completely fooled by his act.[29][30] She then offered him a recruitment pitch to him, noting that she needed a personal informant in the city and that he was the perfect candidate, not beholden to anyone by money or debt, but low level enough to remain beneath notice, as well as being an excellent waterbender and informant. Deciding not to blackmail Kavik into acceptance, she went to his parents and proudly announced that Kavik would become her official companion in recognition of his bravery.[30]

Yangchen's retinue relocated to an ancient inn for security reasons after the break in at the Blue Manse. She was due for her first official meeting with the shangs, and paraded through the streets of the city on Nujian with Boma next to her. There were several troublemakers in the crowd, throwing rotten fruit at first, which then turned to an elderly man striking Boma with a clay jug. She was furious that her friend had been hit, and threw the fruit into the crowd.[2] After formally introducing herself to the shangs and Zongdu Henshe, she received a lecture on the history of their system. While Sidao praised the marvel of human accord, Yangchen stated that no system was perfect, and pointed out the suffering and misery in the city could not be overlooked. Asking for workers to be fairly paid and for alms to be given out, Sidao stated there were no formalities in place for what she was asking, and Shang Noehi stated that she had no power after the Avatar asked them to implement charitable reforms once more.[7] Knowing that she would fail to appeal to any sense of generosity they had, she spoke about the Earth King caring about treason, and revealed that she had records of the shang failing to keep traffic within city limits, and speculating that there was a large unofficial economy that had gone unaccounted for.[31] Privately meeting with Henshe, she said she regretted the delivery of her message, but not the contents. She then asked Boma to take on a task for her, and got her guardian to disguise himself as the Avatar and leave on Nujian, giving her an opportunity to spy on the shangs from underground flues. Struggling to maintain balance, she was overcome by the memories of a claustrophobic past life, but got herself to snap out of it and spied on the shangs, hearing them speak of the mysterious Unanimity project.[32] She arrived at the inn covered in soot, and began to make plans to travel to Jonduri so that she could investigate what Unanimity was.[25]

Nujian carrying Yangchen and Kavik

Yangchen allowed Kavik to fly with Nujian, and was amused by his reactions.

Yangchen came to meet Kavik in the Golden Cloudberry teahouse, disguising herself by wearing Earth Kingdom winter clothing with a wig styled in a fashionable Fire Nation hairstyle. They discussed a letter that Yangchen had told Kavik to give his broker, Qiu, revealing that it was garbage that could be use to track a chain of leaks. While charming the owner of the teahouse, she explained to Kavik that the shangs were planning to get their hands on an asset that would give them unlimited leverage on the people of their cities and the four nations. Kavik agreed to take on the mission on the condition that she could get exit passes for his family, which she wished to, but explained that it would tip people off that Kavik's family was up to something. Yangchen and Kavik agreed to partner for the mission, though only after the Avatar was absolutely sure that Kavik was not a plant attempt by Henshe or the shangs of Bin-Er.[33] After leaving the city, Yangchen returned to the Northern Air Temple, meeting up with Kavik at the large village hospital at the base of the temple that cared for the wounded who made the trek from Bin-Er. While Yangchen deflected Abbot Sonam's protest to her bringing her "spy" into the temple, she worked to stabilize a woman suffering from a raging fever, refusing to give up her healing attempt. With Kavik helping her with his waterbending, she managed to break her patient's fever, though learned that the woman's son had not been found with her, and saw the woman extremely worried for her child.[34] Yangchen and Kavik went on to the temple grounds, and saw her new companion bond with Nujian as they went flying together for the first time. Once they reached the top of a turret, Kavik asked Yangchen about how much more heroic and inspiring she seemed around the Air Nomads. Yangchen reminisced about her actions about Tienhaishi, and explained how seeing people suffering made her determined to learn the arts of politics and intrigue so she could use such tactics to help others. She also saw Kavik try to fight off Pik and Pak when they arrived, mad at her for leaving them in the care of the temple for so long. That night, Yangchen practiced her bending with frustration on the airball court, unwilling to let go of her defeats.[10]

Making her way to Jonduri, Yangchen dropped off Kavik to be picked up by Tayagum so he could enter the city undiscovered.[35] She continued into the city with a formal delegation from the Northern Air Temple, leaving her animal companions with Monk Samten. When Yangchen met with Zongdu Chaisee, she was introduced to the works of Guru Shoken among the opening pleasantries. The Avatar was told that the zongdu would commit to implementing charitable policies in Jonduri, though after she failed to answer how long it would take, Yangchen realized she would not stay true to her word. Disgusted by Chaisee's allusions to making her rivals "disappear", Yangchen was next alerted to an urgent situation with the Saowon on Ma'inka Island.[36] The Avatar had no choice but to make a diversion from her investigations, flying to Ma'inka and expressing her fury to the Saowon for having broken their agreement with the spirits.[23] After learning that their children had been curse to never wake from their sleep, she ventured toward a cavern on the island, noting the damage the branch houses had been doing to the environment. When she met the dark phoenix-eel spirits, a tendril approached her during a struggle, giving her a vision of Jetsun trapped in a howling mist. Desperate to resolve the situation, she begged the spirits to renegotiate by claiming she could exact a more lasting toll on the Saowon than a loss that would burn out in a generation. She returned to the Saowon manor, learning that three days had passed in the physical world. She then delivered the new agreement, where the Saowon would not regrow their hair for fifty years and take on many taboos and quirks that would ruin their reputation and incomes. While the Saowon heir, Lohi, was furious, Yangchen encouraged him to look to the future where the Saowon could prosper again one day. She returned to Jonduri as soon as possible after reading a letter from Chaisee, learning that the zongdu had supposedly caught the Avatar's spy.[16]

Yangchen returned to the city to meet up with Kavik at Tayagum and Akuudan's inn. After she learned that Sidao and Qiu had been killed by Chaisee's association, she was frozen in shock to learn she had indirectly caused their deaths, running off in a panic. Kavik found her by the loudest beach in Jonduri, and she considered pulling out of the mission, but Kavik encouraged her to press on. She performed a mourning lament for Sidao and said words of remembrance for Qiu before they left.[37] Kavik then prepared to take on a job raiding a key warehouse in Jonduri, and Yangchen helped him prepare, as they believed that a logbook would be there that held details on Unanimity. She helped brief him on the situation in the city and his plan inside the warehouse, and gave him Nujian's bison whistle so she could extract him from the mission if needed.[38] When Kavik returned, he told Yangchen they had been wrong about the warehouse, and that Unanimity was still on a ship called the Sunbeam, due to take the project from Port Tuugaq to Jonduri. Leaving Akuudan and Tayagum to look out for warehouse workers under threat from Chaisee, and leaving Kavik to stay with his cover at the association, she left for Port Tuugaq, ready to put an end to Unanimity.[39]

She made her way to Shimsom Big Island without sleeping after she had a nightmare about Jetsun.[19][20] Although she was very hungry and desperate for food and rest, she got Nujian to land further away from the city, before using earthbending and airbending to create enough of a distraction so that she could slip by the gate into the Port Tuugaq. As she tried to get to the docks, she realized she was being tailed and was being sent east, but she used earthbending to defeat two of them, and then took down a third with airbending, exposing to him that she was the Avatar. As she now had captives, she realized she had to get them somewhere secure, and decided to appeal to the Order of the White Lotus, sledging the bodies with earthbending to a qarmaq where she knew the order would be. She repeated the recognition codes she had learned from a past life to a confused man who said he would find a higher-ranking Lotus.[20]

After taking a nap and having some stew, she was introduced to "Mama", who knew she did not personally knew the codes. When Mama began to criticize Yangchen for being too proactive, Yangchen deduced that the White Lotus must have been investigating something important, and offered an information trade. Mama told her to stop and think about what Avatar she should be, pointing out that she could illuminate people with the truth rather than deceiving them, but accidentally revealed she knew about Yangchen's strong connections to her past lives. Yangchen was deeply upset when she realized that the White Lotus must have had a contact in the Western Air Temple, her own home. After she calmed down, she told Mama that she had tried to seek out the advice of her past lives, and that none of them wished they had been any more passive in trying to solve problems. She then managed to learn that Mama was investigating bright lights and noise, and, hoping that she would not regret it, told her everything she knew about Unanimity.[40] Mama was surprised, but told her that she had not seen any records of a Sunbeam docking in the city within the past two months. Energized by having eaten, Yangchen asked to be taken to the site of supposed spiritual activity, landing on a large hill inland. Yangchen sensed no spiirts, but Mama noted that there were uneven depressions in the environment. Yangchen entered the Avatar State to clear a large amount of snow from the area so that they could investigate the area. Mama noted that the depressions were evenly spaced out like a grid for a target range, though Yangchen knew of no machine or regular bending that could cause such damage.[41]

Yangchen concluded that she and Kavik had simply been wrong about the Sunbeam, and sped back to Jonduri.[42] As she approached, Nujian beelined to a meadow where Kavik's partner, Jujinta, was meditating and blowing on the whistle that Kavik had given him. Though Kavik was gone, she took Tayagum, Akuudan, and Jujinta along with her to Bin-Er for their protection and the extra help.[43] Conferring with Kavik in Boma's inn, the rest of Yangchen's allies learned that Unanimity was actually a trio of three firebenders with an extraordinary ability (later called combustionbending) that were being used as human weapons, and as leverage against the Earth King. They were able to tail the three combustionbenders just before their display of power began, with Thapa firing a warning shot toward the Earth Kingdom army, and Xiaoyun and Yingsu intimidating the residents of the city.[44][43] They first executed a smooth raid of Xiaoyun's position, with Yangchen using her airbending to remove the air from the room and render him unconscious. After Tayagum and Akuudan dragged him away, they repeated the process for Thapa just before he was about to shoot a devastating explosion toward the Water Tribe Quarter, and were able to apprehend both the combustionbender and Zongdu Henshe himself.[44]

The raid on Yingsu however was more challenging, as she realized that something had happened to her fellow benders and fell back to the gathering hall as a fallback location. Kavik was forced to follow her, but he entered Yingsu's line of sight. Yangchen thought that Kavik was going to die, and Jujinta said that he could shoot an arrow at her, but there were too many places where she could be. Yangchen took the risk of launching herself at Yingsu and bellowing at her, commanding her to stand down, staying out of the Avatar State in case she died. While Yingsu fired an explosion in the Avatar's direction, she was able to save herself with her airbender-powered speed, and ran to the gathering hall. Instead of removing the air from the room, she realized she had a choice to not act with full force, and instead began to heal Yingsu with waterbending, realizing that she would have died otherwise. By accepting the Avatar's mercy, her opponent had surrendered, and the last member of Unanimity was apprehended.[43]

Unanimity's loose ends[]

After the incident, the shangs stayed out of sight, and monks from the Northern Air Temple arrived to provide alms and blessings.[11][45] However, she received and read a letter that Kavik had sent while believing she was still in Port Tuugaq, confessing that he had betrayed her on behalf of his brother Kalyaan by lying to her about the location of the Sunbeam. When she met with Kavik, she told him that a part of her truly believed his confession, but that she could no longer trust him. She deemed that he was no longer her companion, though stated that he could still be an asset with all the ways he was connected and everything he knew.[42]

Yangchen soon left Bin-Er for Ba Sing Se, where she met with Earth King Feishan, with both disguised while meeting in a wine shop in the Middle Ring. With the Earth King having heard reports of fireballs in the sky, she told him that the city had fallen out of balance due to its greed. Taking a risk, she blamed the Earth King for his mismanagement of the situation after he complained about losing face and losing revenue, and then asked to take on the administration of the city to ease the burden of its residents while increasing the king's revenue. This was granted after she lied that Avatar Szeto would be able to make all the calls, and that her own involvement would be minimal. The Earth King did raise that he had received a cryptic message from Henshe before the incident, and threatened that he may do something terrible if he learned that it was a man who caused what had happened, but still toasted to a brighter future with Yangchen.[11]

Following the meeting with Feishan, Yangchen returned to the Northern Air Temple, where the combustionbenders had been confined to hamlets that were inaccesible without a flying mount, and Henshe confined to a room in the temple. Thapa refused to give up any more information, and Henshe only offered a lead which she already knew about; the role of Kalyaan as his plant within Chaisee's organization. After talking with Thapa, Yangchen was met by Abbot Sonam, who expressed disappointed in her for having made jailers of the monks, warning her that they would no longer be Air Nomads if they got a taste for holding domination over other human beings. Retreating to the Avatar's quarters, Yangchen pondered what it would be like to retreat from the world and become a figurehead, giving her enough time to find Jetsun. However, Sonam arrived and told her that the woman she healed had found her son, which reminded Yangchen of her duty to save others, and how she never gave up on people. She promised to visit the woman and her son the following day.[46]

Aftermath of the Bin-Er crisis[]

Some time after her conversation with Sonam, Yangchen was forced to hide Tayagum, Akuudan, and Jujinta by setting them up with new lives within the village near the Northern Air Temple.[47] Several months following the battle with the combustionbenders, Yangchen fell asleep within a room of Bin-Er's gathering hall that she had commandeered for her office. While asleep, she had a dream in which she and Jetsun were playing keep-away with an airball. Aware of her sister's ability to read her tells, Yangchen closed her eyes and swung blindly, making it impossible for Jetsun to anticipate her motions. She felt herself grab something, but instead of the airball, she found herself holding a pulsing light which she judged to be her sister's spirit. Attempting to return it, Yangchen approached Jetsun, but the older nun drifted away before being ensnared by tendrils of mist, at which point Yangchen woke up.

After being told by Boma that she was late for a planned meeting with both the shangs and Inspector Gu - an official from Ba Sing Se assigned to the city following the supposed spiritual disturbance - Yangchen met the two parties within the main room of the building. Beginning the meeting, Yangchen detailed the need for four new wells to be built in the city, only for Teiin and Nohei to reply that the shangs' finances were currently too stretched to justify the expense, owing largely to a large amount of funds being tied up in arrangements and loans made with the absent Henshe. In response, Yangchen ordered Teiin to give her his hat, before ordering Nohei to hand over her earrings, with Teiin quickly deducing that Yangchen intended to have the shangs sell their possessions to pay for the wells. To keep Gu from catching on to the agreement she had made with the shangs - who were playing along with her ruse of a spiritual disturbance in order to avoid the Earth King's wrath - Yangchen agreed to sell off her glider staff, with the city's merchants quickly rushing forward to make their own contributions.

Yangchen talked with Gu following the meeting's conclusion. The inspector remarked that she would likely have her glider staff purchased and returned to her by someone seeking the Avatar's favor, but Yangchen insisted she would do without it, not wanting to undermine her message that the powerful could make do with less. She then left the meeting hall to be greeted by a massive crowd of people, all of them grateful for everything she had done for the city. The sight made her feel trapped, knowing as she did that her accomplishments were built on lies that could be found out any day now, and that Bin-Er was growing too fast for her to manage.[48]

Following the meeting in Bin-Er, Yangchen traveled to Agna Qel'a, the capital city of the Northern Water Tribe, to meet with Chief Oyaluk. Once they were alone, Oyaluk commented on her apparent favoritism toward the Earth King, claiming that her focus on Bin-Er was generating money for a man wholly unsuited to be a head of state. Yangchen replied that she was merely trying to contain the damage Oyaluk and Fire Lord Gonryu had done with the Platinum Affair, to which Oyaluk assured her that he still regretted his role in the matter, and admitted he had only funded General Nong because he thought he would have made for a better Earth King than Feishan. He also revealed that his most senior advisors had inspired him to do so over a game of Pai Sho, having told him that Gonryu was doing the same, and that Nong would have more success if backed by both heads of state. Noticing the involvement of Pai Sho, and having previously heard a similar story from Gonryu, Yangchen concluded that the White Lotus was ultimately responsible for the Platinum Affair, further increasing her enmity toward the organization.

Putting her feelings toward the White Lotus aside for the moment, Yangchen told Oyaluk he could make amends for his mistakes at the upcoming convention in Taku, one of the regular yearly conferences between the zongdus of the shang cities. Since the Earth King, Fire Lord and Chief of the Water Tribes would be in Taku to formally renew the terms by which the zongdus and shangs operated - the only time they could interact face-to-face following the Platinum Affair - Oyaluk would have an opportunity to formally reconcile with the Earth King, and Yangchen hoped that such a thing would end the Platinum Affair, and thus the need for shangs, zongdus and the ills associated with them. Oyaluk replied that the convocations were merely formalities, and that the Earth King had had no respect for him during the last one, but Yangchen reminded him that she was making Feishan richer, and thus happier. Nevertheless, Oyaluk warned her that her plan would not work, as Feishan had come to suspect that his fellow world leaders were responsible for the events in Bin-Er, a revelation that left Yangchen reeling.

As Yangchen struggled to maintain her composure, having deduced that Feishan had learned about Unanimity through the White Lotus, she insisted that the incident in Bin-Er was the Earth King’s doing. Oyaluk replied that regardless of whether or not his suspicions were correct, Feishan was readying his troops to go to war, and the Water Tribe would have to do the same. Yangchen claimed he would be dragging his people into a senseless conflict, but Oyaluk snapped that unlike the Air Nomads, his people could not simply fly away to avoid trouble. He assured her that he would attend the upcoming convocation in peace, but only to avoid alerting Feishan to his intentions, insisting that preparing for war was his only rational option, and that Gonryu would no doubt do the same.

Sensing that she would be unable to persuade Oyaluk, Yangchen made to depart, but before she could leave, the Chief asked after Akuudan, the man being his cousin. Yangchen assured him that Akuudan was well, and Oyaluk insisted that he could not have gotten involved following his capture, since it could’ve led to Akuudan being revealed to be a relation of Oyaluk’s, thus making him far more valuable as a hostage. Aware that Oyaluk wanted to know if his cousin had forgiven him, but unable to speak for her friend, Yangchen replied only that he did the rational thing.[49]

Reunion with Kavik and Ayunerak[]

Following the meeting with Oyaluk, Yangchen traveled to the Spirit Oasis in order to try and find Jetsun. Attempting to not dwell on her thoughts, she began meditation in order to enter the spirit world, but was unable to shake her frustrations on how badly things had gone with Oyaluk, on top of the fact that the Four Nations were once again racing toward war in spite of everything the past Avatars had done for them. As she stewed on the idea that the world should be allowed to suffer for its mistakes, Yangchen ended up casting her physical body into the spirit world, finding herself close to a canyon filled with fog. Entering into the canyon, she soon found herself surrounded and accosted by the maddened victims of the Fog of Lost Souls, all trapped in the worst moments of their lives. She identified the scene as the same one the phoenix-eels had shown her on Ma'inka Island, and the fog as a malevolent spirit, before the fog attempted to consume her, forcing her to try and run. With her last thoughts prior to blacking out, she begged for help from her past lives,[50] and woke up to find herself back in the Spirit Oasis with Kavik and Ayunerak nearby.[51]

After the scene at the oasis, Yangchen, Kavik and Ayunerak gathered in a safehouse near one of the branch canals of Agna Qel'a. Yangchen explained to Kavik about the fog, guessing that it had spat her out after finding the regrets of all the past Avatars far too much to consume. She told him that she had been looking for someone trapped within, but did not mention her sister's identity, causing Ayunerak to ask whether her mission had been worth the risk to her life. Biting down on her retort, Yangchen commented on Kavik's involvement with Ayunerak, correctly deducing that he had joined the White Lotus. Kavik replied that he had had no choice; Oyaluk's Thin Claws had been hunting for him following the Unanimity incident, and he had still needed help getting his family out of Bin-Er. He also admitted that he had passed along his information about Unanimity to the White Lotus in exchange for them agreeing to protect his family, with Yangchen admitting that she could not blame him for doing so, as she too had once thought the White Lotus could be trusted with her secrets. She bought up her deduction that the White Lotus had deliberately arranged for Feishan to learn about Unanimity, but Ayunerak denied such a thing, insisting that the Avatar had no proof to support her claim, and the White Lotus was a neutral party in regard to the Four Nations. Yangchen retorted that this meant the White Lotus was either corrupt or incompetent, to which Ayunerak assured her that the matter would be investigated.

With matters apparently concluded, Yangchen coldly thanked the other two for saving her life, before announcing her intention to leave in order to try and find a solution to the problems caused by Unanimity, insinuating that Kavik was responsible for most of them. Kavik urged her to let them speak to her further, with Ayunerak telling her to take him back as an Avatar's companion. She claimed to be offering a trade: In return for one of their own being allowed to travel alongside Yangchen, the White Lotus would help her fulfill her goal of bringing an end to the Platinum Affair and the strife it had caused across the four nations. Yangchen retorted that ending the Platinum Affair was no longer her goal, and that right now she would be lucky to have a collection of ruined and divided cities left over once things came to an end. Ayunerak insisted that their two factions could still work together to ensure peace, but Yangchen was skeptical of the White Lotus's ability to influence the world, recalling how it had caused the Platinum Affair in the first place.

Sensing that Ayunerak's methods were not working, Kavik convinced her and Yangchen to let him speak with the Avatar in private, claiming that he just wanted to catch up with her. Once Ayunerak had left the room — leaving Kavik and Yangchen alone for the first time in six months — Kavik apologized for allowing the combustionbenders to escape before, as well as for sneaking up on her in the oasis, before admitting that the White Lotus intended to have him spy on her for them, a fact Yangchen had already deduced for herself. Kavik questioned whether it was really so bad to have someone helping her, citing the incident at the Spirit Oasis, but Yangchen, in a mockery of Kavik, replied that she valued her freedom. Deciding to drop the matter, Kavik asked about Tayagum, Akuudan, and Jujinta, with Yangchen assuring him that the three of them were okay, but they were all having to lie low thanks to Kavik's betrayal, with Tayagum and Akuudan in particular being forced to abandon the life they had built in Jonduri. Kavik argued that Tayagum, Akuudan, and Jujinta deserved a chance to call him out on what he had done, dismissing Yangchen's offer to give him a blessing of forgiveness on their behalf.

Before Yangchen could reply, Ayunerak re-entered the hideout, having narrowly avoided a guard patrol. She insisted that Yangchen needed the influence of the White Lotus to mediate the brewing conflict, before revealing that she did not have a means of extracting Kavik from Agna Qel'a, forcing the Avatar to smuggle him out herself in order to keep him and his knowledge about Unanimity away from Oyaluk's grasp. Yangchen realized that Ayunerak had deliberately arranged things this way to make sure she and Kavik would leave Agna Qel'a together; after listening to Kavik react with indignation at being smuggled into a hostile location without an escape route, Yangchen angrily remarked on a saying in Pai Sho and generalship that encouraged a side to make a deliberate bad move in order to force the hands of enemies and allies. With little other choice, she silently accepted Ayunerak's terms.[52]

Return to the Northern Air Temple[]

Yangchen smuggled Kavik out of the city by rolling him up in a carpet gifted to her by Oyaluk, alongside several other items. Once they had flown out of Agna Qel'a, Kavik attempted to engage Yangchen in banter about being able to meet famous people, but the Avatar made it clear that she was only tolerating his presence, and he could not simply go back to how things had once been with them. She then asked about Kalyaan - reminding Kavik of his betrayal in the process - but Kavik admitted that he did not know his brother's status or location. He told her that Ayunerak had agreed to help search for Kalyaan, to which Yangchen warned him that he would likely not receive that help until the next era, claiming that if nothing else, the White Lotus was good at waiting.

Yangchen flew toward the Northern Air Temple to drop off Oyaluk's gifts, which would be sold to support the village and hospital. As night fell and she became increasingly tired, Kavik convinced her to land Nujian and rest. Shortly after they set up camp and ate, Yangchen slipped into the life of Avatar Gun and lamented to Mesose how humanity always squandered her help while resenting her for not doing more, before questioning why they had been blessed with an Avatar. Mesose - or rather, Kavik posing as Mesose to try and keep her calm - admitted he could not answer her question before urging her to believe humanity was nevertheless worthy of a protector. This answer failed to satisfy Yangchen's past life, who went into mad laughter over the notion that she was expected to have blind faith in humanity being able to change, prompting a fearful Kavik to bend a mass of water onto the camp's stove, shocking the Avatar out of her trance with the sound of hissing steam. Upon confirming that he had been told about her condition, Yangchen asked Kavik what she had done in her trance, with Kavik claiming that she had been complaining to a judge about a competition she had taken part in. He then helped her into her tent, whereupon she fell asleep.[53]

The pair resumed their travels the next morning. As they approached the Northern Air Temple, Kavik spotted the village he and Yangchen had traveled to on their last visit. He commented on how it had expanded since they were last there, but Yangchen revealed that it was gradually becoming too overpopulated to sustain itself on the surrounding land. She then used airbending to launch him out of Nujian's saddle and into some bushes, not wanting him to be seen by the villagers who would assemble to greet her as she landed,[47] before being joined in the air by Mingyur and his flying bison, Fengbao. After Mingyur noticed her missing glider, Yangchen lied and claimed it was buried under Oyaluk's gifts, prompting Mingyur to advise her to keep it close at all times, as he did for the monks standing guard over the three combustionbenders. This caused Yangchen to feel a fresh wave of guilt, as she thought about how her role in bringing the combustionbenders to the Temple had allowed such a way of thinking to take root among her people.

Pulling Nujian away from Fengbao, Yangchen landed and dismounted upon a small grassy slope where the village's people were gathered. She began to make a speech, before being interrupted by a pair of explosions that made her realize at least one of the combustionbenders had gotten loose, with the second blast causing a rockslide that threatened to wipe out the village. Acting on instinct, Yangchen used her earthbending to hold the rockslide back, but soon realized that she would need the power of the Avatar State to stop it completely, or the weight of it would kill her. However, she was unable to access the Avatar State in her current position, since the release of energy that came with it could cause damage of its own. She was saved from the dilemma by the appearance of Nujian and the other Air Nomads, who lent their efforts to keeping back the rockslide and allowing her to break away to access her complete power.

Entering the Avatar State and flying with the aid of a sphere of air, Yangchen effortlessly forced the rockslide back and compressed it into a solid part of the mountain. Afterward, she considered how powerless other humans were compared to her, and contemplated remaining in the Avatar State indefinitely, before another explosion caused her to panic and lose control of it as she considered the danger to the nearby people. With the air sphere disappearing, she landed upon Nujian's saddle, and ordered Mingyur to gather the other Air Nomads and evacuate the townspeople while she dealt with the combustionbenders. Once Mingyur had left to carry out her orders, she gathered up Tayagum, Akuudan, Jujinta, and Kavik, and tasked the former two with informing Sonam of what was happening and setting up a perimeter, before sending Jujinta and Kavik to check the room in which she had imprisoned Henshe.[54]

Duel with Thapa[]

With her allies dispatched, Yangchen flew Nujian toward the hut where she had been keeping Yingsu, only to see the combustionbender hiding behind a large outcrop while keeping one of her guards in a chokehold, with the other guards lying nearby on the ground. Enraged by the sight, Yangchen vaulted off of Nujian's saddle and charged through the sky at the combustionbender, but halted her attack when she saw Yingsu gesture for quiet from the prone guards, slamming into the mountainside nearby. An explosion went off close by moments later, but Yangchen was able to hold it back with her airbending, and Yingsu revealed that Thapa was trying to kill her from the other side of the valley.

Deciding not to question how such a situation had come about, Yangchen attempted to whistle for Nujian in order to evacuate the group, but Yingsu stopped her, warning her that she would only be providing Thapa with a big target. Instead, Yangchen earthbent two large stone discs from the mountain and sent them rolling in different directions as a means of forcing Thapa to let one of them go unharmed, with the monks taking cover behind one of them, and she and Yingsu using the other. Thapa chose to destroy the stone being used by Yangchen and Yingsu, but the two women managed to hide within a shallow ditch, while Yingsu's guards were able to escape on Nujian. Having been foiled, Thapa began blasting at the part of the mountain where Yangchen had put a halt to the rockslide, seemingly assuming his targets were hidden there, before eventually halting his attack.

With things going silent, Yangchen and Yingsu - unable to move from the ditch without being seen - talked about how the latter had previously attempted to kill the former, before Yangchen asked Yingsu why she believed it was Thapa trying to kill them. Yingsu cited the blast pattern as well as Thapa's own duplicitous nature, prompting Yangchen to laugh at the irony of how Unanimity's members had turned on each other. As the conversation continued, Yingsu, no longer so concerned with safeguarding the honor of her masters, admitted that before Kalyaan had had them shipped to Henshe in Bin-Er, the plan had always been to deploy Unanimity within Taku during the date of the convocation. This caused Yangchen to realize that Chaisee was planning to use the three combustionbenders to assassinate the rulers of the Four Nations.

Thapa then chose to fire off another blast nearby, causing Yingsu to ask Yangchen which of the two would deal with him. Yangchen guessed that Yingsu wanted her to use the same means she had used to subdue Thapa back in Bin-Er, unaware of its limits due to not experiencing it herself. In lieu of explaining this to the combustionbender, Yangchen claimed she needed to take Thapa alive, but Yingsu replied that she only needed to be able to question one of them, and that other prisoners would only be complications, as demonstrated by the current situation. She offered to kill Thapa if Yangchen elevated her to a position in which she could get a clear shot, but Yangchen hesitated, causing Yingsu to warn her that hesitation got people killed.

Yangchen made no response, and then the two women saw Mingyur flying toward them to aid his sister. As Yangchen tried to get him to turn back, Yingsu urged her to let the monk serve as a decoy for Thapa and buy them a chance to survive, or else the combustionbender would kill all three of them. Instead, Yangchen launched herself into the air and toward Mingyur, quickly concluding that she would be unable to reach him in time, and would also allow Thapa to pinpoint where Yingsu was hidden.[55] Indeed, Thapa fired off a blast that would've killed all three of his targets, but Yangchen was able to use her airbending to create an airless void around the explosion and suppress it. Mingyur was caught in the void, causing him to suffocate and then get battered by the sudden rush of air filling the empty space, but in any event he was still alive.[56]

Aftermath of Thapa's escape[]

Yangchen brought Mingyur to the hospital, where she and Kavik were able to save his life, while the bodies of Xiaoyun and Yingsu were taken to the hospital’s morgue. While treating Mingyur, Kavik told her that Henshe had been found murdered by Kalyaan, causing Yangchen to remark that she should have recruited him instead of his younger brother. Moments later, the village captain and a group of other locals came up to Yangchen and demanded to know what had happened to the gifts Oyaluk had given her, having intended to use them to fund the village's expansion. As Kavik tried to keep the captain away from her, Yangchen replied that she had been forced to cut the gifts loose while continuing to treat her patient. The captain continued to protest, to which Yangchen responded by using airbending to launch him out of the hospital, forcing Kavik to catch him using his own bending and a refuse pile.

Yangchen later confirmed that Thapa had escaped the Temple by getting a coded letter delivered to Jonduri, which she suspected had enabled Chaisee to discover his location and arrange his rescue. At some point soon after, she gathered her team in a ceremonial chamber of the Temple to be debriefed, where she assured them that Mingyur would survive - though he would likely remain permanently deaf as a result of his injuries - and that they could continue to conceal the truth about Unanimity from the villagers. She then told them about Thapa's escape and betrayal of his fellow combustionbenders, deducing that he had done the latter to make himself the last of their kind and thus drive up his own value, before having Kavik explain his theory that Kalyaan had murdered Henshe, guessing that he had switched his loyalty to Chaisee and thus silenced a figure who could have testified about her involvement with Unanimity.

Yangchen then told her team about Chaisee's plan to use Unanimity within Taku, and how she would be able enact that plan now that Thapa was free. She stated that the five of them — being the only ones she could trust who knew what he looked like — would have to go to Taku themselves and deal with Thapa. Jujinta asked about having the Air Nomads who had guarded Thapa accompany them, since Taku was much larger than Bin-Er, and they had only been able to find the combustionbenders in the first place because of Kavik's help, but Yangchen only responded that they were unlikely to get any further aid from the Northern Air Temple.

Yangchen then dismissed everyone except Kavik from the chamber before asking him if he had enough failures on her part to report to the White Lotus and vindicate Ayunerak's opinion on her. Kavik replied that Ayunerak should look at her own work before grading Yangchen's, and that his own opinion was of no worth under the current circumstances, before reminding Yangchen that the White Lotus had also tasked him with helping her, momentarily surprising her. Before she could reply, Sonam entered the room and requested that Yangchen gather four nonexistent objects after leaving, thereby signifying that she was banished from the Northern Air Temple. Accepting her punishment, Yangchen swore not to return until she had the objects in question. Kavik meanwhile became outraged and urged her to defy the order once Sonam had left, but Yangchen refused, not wanting to undermine the Abbot's authority, and also wanting to be held accountable for her actions. She claimed that if she could not be an airbender when it came to her actions, she could at least be one when it came to the consequences of them.[57]

Conspiring with Yingsu[]

Following the scene at the temple, Yangchen met with Yingsu in a nearby mountain cave. They briefly discussed Mingyur's health and Thapa's betrayal, before Yangchen told Yingsu that the world now thought her dead, and that she would not correct them as long as the combustionbender avoided causing any further trouble with her ability, reminding her that many dangerous people would try to hunt her down over it. She also offered to set Yingsu up with a new life as she had done for her own friends, but in exchange, Yingsu would have to tell her how many other combustionbenders there were in the world. Yingsu replied that she did not know for certain, as while she, Thapa and Xiaoyun had trained with other firebenders on an island, the three of them were the first to complete their training and leave, though she offered to pinpoint the location of the island so that Yangchen could search it for herself.

Yingsu then expressed concern that if Yangchen displayed knowledge of the island, it could serve as an indication that one of the supposedly dead combustionbenders was still alive. Silently remarking on Chaisee's failure to take advantage of Yingsu's smarts, Yangchen considered tricking her team into taking part in a fake mission that she could use as her source of information on the island, which would also have the advantage of misleading Chaisee and Zongdu Iwashi, the ruler of Taku. She noted that this would mean lying to her companions and putting them at risk despite all the loyalty they had previously shown her, but Yingsu reminded her that those same companions had beaten her and the other combustionbenders, and that they could handle themselves.

Deciding not to dwell on the matter for the moment, Yangchen then ordered Yingsu to stand up and attack her with her combustionbending, intending to master the technique she had used against Thapa's blast for when they next encountered each other. At the same time, she also wanted to make sure that her decision to let the three combustionbenders live would be worth the problems she had had to deal with since the events in Bin-Er. Yingsu initially refused, but Yangchen reminded the combustionbender that she had now saved her life twice, and had the power to decide whether or not she could live in peace. Yingsu then pointed out that she could simply kill Yangchen with her ability, but Yangchen replied that if she did, Nujian would flee with all her supplies, leaving Yingsu stranded in the mountains with no hope of survival. With that, the combustionbender capitulated, and the two women headed to a flatter part of the mountain to begin training.[58]

Yangchen spent four days training with Yingsu, keeping the rest of her team in the dark about her activities. Near the end of this period, she asked Kavik to get the White Lotus's help in keeping the world leaders away from Taku, but the White Lotus were hesitant to lend such aid, wanting to see Thapa deployed in the city so that they could acquire him and his power for themselves.[59] Jujinta observed Kavik sneaking away to relay Yangchen's request, but did not understand what he was doing, and Yangchen told him to drop the matter once he reported it to her.

Arrival in Taku[]

Once Yangchen and her team were ready, they flew on Nujian to Taku, where Yangchen would be representing Bin-Er at the convocation. Though provided with a mansion in which to stay, the team instead secretly took up residence in a safehouse, with monks who had traveled with them from the Northern Air Temple screening them from observers as a last favor from Sonam. Shortly after arriving in the safehouse, the five of them heard the great gong of Taku, and Yangchen explained to the others that it was the city's means of indicating the time.[60]

The night before the start of the convocation, Yangchen gathered her team within the safehouse to work out their plan. She had determined that there was no way for the five of them to find Thapa before the world leaders arrived, since not only was Taku larger than Bin-Er and unfamiliar to them, but the convocation meant there was now a high number of fighters with in the city due to the merchants' needs for additional security, meaning a man of Thapa's size would no longer stand out from the crowd. With the world leaders unable to be swayed from coming to Taku, Jujinta correctly guessed that Yangchen therefore intended to go on the offensive against Chaisee, with the Avatar explaining that she intended to steal records from Iwashi in order to narrow down the area they would need to search. Drinking a highly energizing tea used by visitors to the Spirit Oasis, she told her team that she expected Chaisee to use Iwashi as an unwitting intermediary for her preparations, since his influence as zongdu meant he could make any arrangement she might need. At the same time, he would also be a much easier target for them to rob than the zongdu of Jonduri.

Continuing her explanation, Yangchen - who had been planning to target all of the shang cities and their zongdus prior to getting held up in Bin-Er - informed the others that sailing was one of Iwashi's passions, with the zongdu preferring to sleep and handle his business affairs onboard his pleasure ship, the Bliss Eternal. She planned to distract Iwashi with a game of Sparrowbones - another of his passions - after the convocation adjourned for the day tomorrow, during which time the rest of her team would raid the Bliss Eternal for information. As the best Sparrowbones player of the team, Kavik would participate in the game with her, leaving Tayagum, Akuudan, and Jujinta to hit the ship.

With the team's plan worked out, Yangchen and Kavik stealthily returned to Yangchen's official residence for the night, the two of them posing as lovers as they did so. Once back at the mansion, she asked him if he was certain that Chaisee would not recognize him tomorrow, but Kavik guessed that she wanted to know whether or not Kalyaan might have betrayed him by now. He expressed doubt of this, claiming that Kalyaan would have nothing to gain from it, and that his older brother would not risk his life the way she would. Yangchen recalled how she had originally coerced Kavik into aiding her before agreeing to help get his family out of Bin-Er, and silently regretted disavowing him as an official companion, believing that the two of them would have had an easier time risking his life if he was more than just one of her assets. Kavik then advised her to go to sleep first, so that he could talk to her if she slipped into one of her past lives, with Yangchen listening to him work as she fell asleep.

The next morning, a maid discovered both Yangchen and Kavik asleep in the same room; though only Yangchen had been using the room's bed, the sight nevertheless reinforced their cover story of being lovers. Once they had eaten, the two of them headed to the council hall of Taku for the convocation, Kavik attending as Master Lio, a fictional grandson of Boma. Yangchen took notice of his discomfort when he saw Chaisee, figuring that he was not as sure about Kalyaan keeping his silence as he had been earlier, but Chaisee showed no sign of recognizing him.

The distraction[]

As part of her plan, Yangchen and Kavik sought to entice Iwashi into a game of Sparrowbones while the convocation was in session. Not wanting to be uncertain about whether or not they had succeeded at the end of the day, Yangchen told Kavik to be more aggressive in doing so, while making it look natural. Kavik argued that these were completely opposite cues, but Yangchen demonstrated otherwise by blowing into his ear, seemingly flirting with him and embarrassing him in front of the other attendants. Kavik then spoke up a few moments later to remind Zongdu Ashoona of some calculations he had lost track of during the discussions, having kept track of them in his head, while also using a Sparrowbones term to draw Iwashi's attention. Just as they had hoped, Iwashi invited the two of them to a private Sparrowbones game after the convocation finished for the day, with Chaisee selected as the fourth player.[61]

Prior to the game, Iwashi led Yangchen, Kavik and Chaisee through an art gallery he had set up within the hall. As they walked together, Chaisee congratulated Yangchen on bringing the Bin-Er shangs under her control, remarking that they now seemed to fear her, with Yangchen replying that people were capable of great change, and that the common good rewarded those who tended to it properly. Chaisee prepared to give a rebuttal, but was distracted when she saw that one of the gallery's paintings was a forgery, engaging in banter with Iwashi over it as Yangchen observed the two zongdus with distate. Iwashi then led the group into a private parlor, where Yangchen was disgusted to see that the room's Pai Sho table had been carved from the heart of an ancient purple rosewood tree from the Foggy Swamp. Seeing the results of such destruction done for vanity's sake nearly sent her into a rage, but Kavik chose that moment to bump into her, allowing her to pull herself back and calm down.

The four players took their seats around the table. As Iwashi proposed setting the stakes at one ingot of silver per point, Yangchen became hesitant to continue the game due to how she would be gambling with Bin-Er's funds, but Iwashi argued that it would be no different than what they had been doing during the convocation; risking public funds on ventures that they hoped to profit from. As an extra incentive, he offered up the greatest treasure of his collection as a bonus prize, with the treasure in question turning out to be Yangchen's glider staff. Despite the sentimental value it held for her, Yangchen remained reluctant to participate, until Kavik indicated that the Bliss Eternal was docked within view of the parlor. With this reminder that Iwashi's attention had to be kept away from his beloved ship for her plan to work, Yangchen agreed to play, confident that she and Kavik could work together to keep the keep the game even.

As the game got underway, Chaisee revealed she had heard that the Saowon clan was getting ready for war in the far future, with Iwashi able to confirm as such due to selling them stone for their Ma'inka fortresses. Yangchen became incensed that the Saowon were continuing to scheme for power and influence in spite of everything she had done to save them from the consequences of their past attempts to do so, and Chaisee apologized for not advising her to leave the clan to its fate back in Jonduri, claiming that lessons could only truly be learned through pain. Iwashi remarked that it was typical of new leaders to place too much faith in humanity, telling the group how he had once been as idealistic as Yangchen until he learned firsthand that however much good he did for his people, he would be judged and then denigrated by those eager to cosy up to his successor. Yangchen claimed Iwashi had simply feared future criticism, but the zongdu remained unswayed, arguing that the source of all the world's problems lay deep within humanity itself. Yangchen stated he would always be wrong, but Iwashi noticed one of her little fingers twitching as she spoke, claiming it to mean that part of her agreed with him.

Inexplicably, Iwashi cleaned out the entire table on his first turn with the highest scoring hand the game allowed, depriving Yangchen and Kavik of any opportunity to draw out the proceedings as planned. The zongdu of Taku offered to continue the game however, but with no limits on stakes, with Yangchen and Kavik having little choice but to agree in order to continue drawing his focus.[62] The pair soon found themselves losing large amounts of money that could have been invested in Bin-Er and the lives of its people to Iwashi, and at one point Yangchen wanted to give up the mission, but hesitated, and Kavik took advantage of her silence to agree to continue playing, causing Yangchen to consider how well Yingsu's warning that hesitation would get people killed applied to her current situation.[63]

Iwashi continued to rack up winning combinations, particularly against Kavik, until the young man asked for a break and let Yangchen follow him back to the art gallery. Once they were alone, Kavik revealed that Iwashi was cheating to get his winning combinations, with Yangchen realizing that she had failed to see it herself due to being distracted by the table, the glider and Chaisee's presence. She argued that they should catch Iwashi in the act of cheating in order to force him to annul their losses, but Kavik claimed they should instead raise the stakes as high as they could, since getting caught would not bother the zongdu. After confirming that he was not lying about his belief that he could outplay Iwashi, Yangchen agreed to his plan, and the two of them returned to the table, where Yangchen feigned reluctance to play further until Iwashi, eager to continue tormenting them, offered to pay out gold to their silver. The game resumed, with Kavik using his waterbending to deftly shut down Iwashi's attempts at cheating and carry out his own, unnerving Iwashi as he found himself no longer able to dominate play, with Yangchen also doing her part to irritate him. As the game continued, Yangchen aided Kavik by using her firebending to heat up the room and facilitate his waterbending, as well as passing tiles to him under the table when necessary, with the pair proceeding to not only recoup their losses, but make a large profit from the game thanks to Iwashi's lopsided bet. The game ultimately ended when Yangchen and Kavik noticed that the Bliss Eternal had been set ablaze - the signal that Tayagum, Akuudan, and Jujinta had completed their part of the mission - causing Iwashi to let out a scream that was almost on par with one of Yangchen's.[64]

Aftermath of the mission[]

Once they had returned to the safehouse - Yangchen relishing the recovery of her glider - the Avatar and Kavik jubilantly celebrated their victory, with the rest of the team joining them shortly afterward with ledgers taken from the Bliss Eternal. After Jujinta took issue with the jovial mood, Yangchen grabbed his and Kavik's hands and claimed that they were all a team, but struggled to come up with a reason for why they could work together, since she felt that Kavik was acting out of self-interest, she knew Akuudan and Tayagum would have preferred to stay retired in Jonduri, and she also knew that Jujinta often struggled to keep his emotions in check. In the end she stated that she should not have to babysit the team on top of everything else, but this only caused her to have to keep Kavik and Jujinta from fighting with each other after the former provoked the latter with a jibe about her words. As Akuudan and Tayagum egged the two boys on, Yangchen silently prayed that the next Avatars would not keep such company.

As the pair returned to their official lodgings afterward, Yangchen told Kavik he needed to get along with Jujinta, but Kavik curtly reminded her that he was not part of the team, causing Yangchen to get angry as she recalled how she had put this aside during the Sparrowbones game. Driven by her anger at Kavik for not making such a lapse, she coldly told him to give her endorsement of his abilities to Ayunerak, to which Kavik retorted that he was always happy to help the next time she nearly ruined a city with her plans. The two of them continued the rest of their journey in a bitter silence until they came to Yangchen's room in the mansion, where she offered to talk things out with him, only for the pair to discover Kalyaan waiting for them in the room.

After assuring them that he only wanted to talk with Yangchen, and that he had not said anything to Chaisee, Kalyaan congratulated the pair on bankrupting Iwashi, before warning that such tactics would not work on the zongdu of Jonduri. Citing the deceased Henshe as an example of what happened to people who interfered in Chaisee's business, Kalyaan advised Yangchen to withdraw from the conflict and let her win. Yangchen refused, and then claimed that Kalyaan was bluffing when he warned them that Chaisee could have other combustionbenders at hand. She then moved forward in preparation to attack Kalyaan, only for him to reveal that he currently had an agent watching over Feishan, who had personally come to Taku undercover ahead of the convocation's end to investigate the supposed plots against him. If Kalyaan was not able to leave the mansion, his agent would kill Feishan, with Yangchen realising that such a thing would provoke the war she had hoped to prevent.

Kalyaan proposed a truce with Yangchen, claiming he could root out her Taku safehouse along with her team if he chose to try and do so. Yangchen asked what he wanted in return, and Kalyaan replied that she was to stop manipulating his brother for the sake of her schemes, accusing her of taking advantage of Kavik's feelings. Yangchen was silent as she considered this, having refused to consider that Kavik might have been aiding her out of guilt for his previous betrayal until now, and Kalyaan claimed that if she was worth anything, her companions would be following her entirely of their own free will. He then left after taunting Kavik, effortlessly slipping past the mansion's servants and then passing by Feishan unseen. Yangchen wanted to go after him with Kavik once he had passed Feishan, but a despondent Kavik replied that his brother was too good to be caught without his consent. He then punched at the wall out of frustration, forcing Yangchen to intervene in order to keep him from permanently damaging his hands, while also allowing Kalyaan to disappear. As she healed Kavik, she considered whether his actions could be part of a plan to keep her from pursuing Kalyaan.[65]

The island[]

Following Kalyaan's visit, Yangchen spent the night looking over the materials taken from the Bliss Eternal. At dawn, she learned that Iwashi - still reeling from the events of yesterday - had called for a temporary adjournment of the convocation, and saw it as an opportunity for her to search for the island where Unanimity had been created. Calling her team together shortly afterward, she claimed to have discovered that Chaisee had been using Iwashi's ships to ferry essential supplies to a secret location, and this was likely the place where Unanimity had been developed. Tayagum replied that he had not been able to deduce such a thing from his own look at the notes, but Yangchen put this down to him not being as familiar with Iwashi's use of codenames as she was. She argued that the location was somewhere in Chaisee's territory, and was likely an uncharted island located away from shipping lanes and Air Nomad flight routes. Kavik expressed skepticism, claiming that even if such a location existed, they would have to leave Taku and search for it manually, but Yangchen replied that she needed to confirm whether or not there were other combustionbenders within the world. She proposed to take Kavik and Jujinta with her to look for the island on Nujian, while Tayagum and Akuudan remained in Taku to search for Thapa.

The trio began making plans to leave soon after the meeting, Yangchen not wanting to give Kavik an opportunity to pass on information to the White Lotus. Kavik tried to encourage her to take time to rest, but Yangchen - who by this point was using stimulants to push herself at an unhealthy pace - retorted that enemies in real life did not take turns with each other, and that others had already suffered due to her not taking action.[66] She later watched Jujinta attempt to compete with Kavik for Nujian's affection, and reminded the pair that she could turn the bison against them both with ease to get them to behave.

As the trio began their search over the ocean, Yangchen overheard Kavik taunting Jujinta for his lack of wit, and glared at him for it. Kavik then bought up how Jujinta had never spoken to any of them about his home prior to Jonduri, and he and Yangchen encouraged the knife expert to open up about it, Yanghen equating it to dropping a heavy stone into the sea. Jujinta replied that there was no point in talking about his home, since he could not return there, a claim which the other two were skeptical about. Yangchen pointed out that time could heal wounds, but Jujinta - raising his voice at her - retorted that responsibility for past mistakes never faded, and claimed that as the Avatar, she had no idea what it was like to be unwelcome anywhere, unaware that she had been banished from the Northern Air Temple. The trio subsequently continued their search in silence until Nujian noticed a flock of seabirds, indicating the island was nearby.[67]

After finding and landing upon the island, Yangchen instructed Nujian to stay on the beach, not wanting to risk exposing him to an attack from a combustionbender. She, Kavik and Jujinta then headed into a forest upon the island, where they eventually came to a clearing housing an abandoned compound. Investigating the buildings, they discovered the compound to have been capable of housing a a hundred people; after Kavik balked at the possibility of that many combustionbenders existing in the world, Yangchen suggested they keep searching before coming to such a conclusion. The trio then investigated a larger building that had been dedicated to martial arts training, where they found an old Air Nomad acupuncture map; Yangchen claimed Chaisee should never have been able to obtain such a thing, even when Kavik pointed out the zongdu's hobby of collecting rare books. The trio then left the building, whereupon Yangchen discovered a footpath that led to a large temple made from cooled lava. Finding an entrance and crawling inside, she and the others discovered a heap of different-sized iron rings, as well as a chair in which occupants had been forcibly held. As Kavik retched at the implications of what he was seeing, Yangchen ordered him and Jujinta to leave, before following them out a short time later and using her earthbending to bury the temple underground. She then uttered a prayer urging the spirits to leave the place alone.[68]

With the temple gone, Yangchen and her team followed another trail to a seemingly undisturbed cove. As Jujinta questioned what role such a place could play in Unanimity's development, Yangchen noticed a boy and girl observing them from nearby, and called out to them. The boy and girl stepped out of hiding, and Kavik attempted to approach them, but the girl struck him with a blow that disabled his bending before she and the boy ran. Yangchen examined Kavik for injury, but failed to find anything, and Kavik told her that he would walk off whatever harm had been done. The trio then followed the pair of children to a grotto where they had evidently resided for a while, discovering them in the process of climbing a rock face in order to escape. Yangchen and Kavik attempted to talk the pair down, but they were unsuccessful, and Yangchen prepared to reveal herself as the Avatar in order to try and gain their trust. Before she could do so though, Jujinta - who had identified the children as rejects of the island's harsh training program - intimidated them into compliance.

The boy and girl - who gave their names as Raitei and Hsien, respectively - explained that they and many others had come to the island's compound from the Natsuo Island chain, having joined up with Unanimity due to a lack of available work. Raitei remarked that they were likely coming off as rubes, but Yangchen assured them that they had not had many other options when they made their choice. They revealed that the non-benders had been trained to use the technique Hsien had performed on Kavik, while the earthbenders had been grouped and taken somewhere close to the island's volcanic interior, and a randomly selected group had been taken to the island's leeward side to learn "herbalism". In both cases, no-one from the latter two groups was seen again, and those among the non-benders who failed to keep up with the others disappeared in a similar manner, ostensibly being sent home with less pay. Raitei then revealed that several months ago - around the time Henshe had deployed Unanimity within Bin-Er - the people in charge of the compound had abandoned it, with the shipping of recruits and supplies to the island coming to an end. By that point there were only two dozen trainees still alive, including Raitei and Hsien; when they realized the island had been abandoned, the other survivors scavenged longboats in an attempt to escape - abandoning the two children due to a lack of space - only to be hit by a storm and killed.

After hearing the story, Yangchen asked Raitei what group he was in and how he had been trained. Raitei told her that he was one of the firebenders, and he led the group to the beach where Yangchen, Kavik and Jujinta had first landed, where he revealed to Yangchen that he and the others had been chained underwater. Yangchen turned pale at this, and used her waterbending to investigate the seabed and confirm the story for herself, retrieving a night abalone as she did so. Raitei explained that the goal had been for the firebenders to use the force of their bending to push back against the water that would've otherwise drowned them, with the chains intended to serve as additional motivation. Enraged by all she had learned, Yangchen stormed back onto the beach, prompting Raitei to panic and reveal that three of the firebenders - Thapa, Xiaoyun and Yingsu - had departed the island on a ship prior to the compound being abandoned, the only members of the group to do so. With the number of surviving combustionbenders confirmed, Yangchen announced her intention to leave the island, before tossing the night abalone to Kavik.[69]

Return to Taku[]

Yangchen and the others departed the island on Nujian. After Raitei and Hsien fell asleep, Yangchen remarked to Kavik and Jujinta that Unanimity had merely been Chaisee's biggest success in her goal to create and mass-produce weapons through the sacrifice of others, and resolved to make the zongdu pay for all she had done. She also expressed a desire to try and return them to their families, before noting that Chaisee could potentially attempt to retrieve them, particularly since Raitei would be her best shot at obtaining another combustionbender if she lost Thapa. She remarked that hiding them until the heat died down would likely be the best move.

The group landed on the outskirts of Taku and disembarked from Nujian, whereupon Yangchen assured Hsien that she and her companions would help the two children. Raitei then asked if she intended to take down Chaisee and the people who ran the compound, with Yangchen confirming it and promising to leave the zongdu with nothing. In response, Raitei attempted to attack her with combustionbending; having feigned sleep during the journey, he had overheard Yangchen speak of his value to Chaisee, and intended to try and integrate himself into the zongdu's ranks, with Yangchen subsequently becoming an obstacle to his plans. Realizing the danger Yangchen was in, Kavik attempted to tackle her and Hsien to the ground in order to try and protect them - inadvertently drawing Yangchen's focus away from Raitei - while Jujinta drew a knife in a futile attempt to stop the combustionbender. Before Raitei could attack however, Nujian flew in and rammed him, putting himself between the combustionbender and Yangchen and taking the blast intended for her. Having never mastered the combustionbending technique, Raitei died from his attempt to use it, but not before inflicting fatal internal damage to Nujian. When she realized what had happened, Yangchen attempted to use her healing on her bison, but was unable to save him, and was reduced to weeping into his lifeless fur.[70]

By now the end of the convocation was drawing near, at which point the security details for Feishan, Gonryu and Oyaluk would arrive in Taku, making further covert operations impossible within the city. A short while after Nujian's death, Yangchen - half-dressed and unkempt in her grief - gathered her team within her sleeping quarters of the safehouse, with Kavik the last to arrive. Recalling how Kalyaan had advised her to let Chaisee win during his visit to her mansion, Yangchen asked Kavik if his brother had convinced him to betray her with the same words back in Jonduri, with Kavik unable to answer.[71]

Yangchen then stated that Chaisee had already won, and that their goal was now to keep Gonryu and Oyaluk from entering the city while the zongdu of Jonduri had control of Thapa. Akuudan suggested they simply warn Gonryu and Oyaluk not to come to Taku, but Yangchen remarked that this would likely cause the world's rulers to return to their home nations and declare war on each other. Tayagum proposed that Yangchen claim there was a spiritual disturbance that necessitated the convocation's cancellation, but Yangchen expressed doubt that such a story would stick. With no further ideas forthcoming, she assured her team that none of their suggestions would be rejected, at which point Kavik urged her not to give up, claiming they had so far only tried to stop Chaisee's plans, and suggested they instead look to attack her. He proposed that he be used to lure Kalyaan out of hiding - his older brother being Chaisee's top henchman in Taku - at which point he would blackmail the older waterbender into defecting to Yangchen's side by threatening to reveal his past as Henshe's plant to Chaisee, a move that would effectively condemn Kalyaan to a torturous death.

Dismissing everyone except Kavik from the room, Yangchen asked if his plan was intended to aid the White Lotus, but Kavik replied that he intended to keep them uninvolved, claiming they were more interested in taking control of Thapa than stopping him, and they would likely use Kalyaan to train more combustionbenders for their own use if they captured him. Yangchen angrily questioned why he was willing to help her now following his previous betrayal, to which Kavik urged her to trust him, just like she had when they went up against Iwashi. Yangchen laughed and retorted that they had competed with Iwashi over money, but they were now doing so over the world, while also letting slip that she considered her own mental state at risk, a reveal that mortified her. Kavik replied that Jujinta had told him to balance the books - i.e. atone for his past betrayal - and that doing so was all that mattered. Her resolve broken, Yangchen admitted she was unable to tell when Kavik was lying, and that she had already made a grave mistake trusting him once before. Nevertheless, she silently agreed to his plan, having no other options available to her.

Yangchen then questioned what they should do if Kalyaan refused to co-operate with them in response to their threat. Kavik proposed that Akuudan and Tayagum pretend to torture him in front of Kalyaan in order to force his co-operation, reasoning that he was Kalyaan's only weakness. Yangchen balked at the idea, claiming that it would be no better than actual torture, to which Kavik replied that she could atone for her involvement in it by spending the rest of her life working to bring balance to the world, and continue to do so after her death. As Yangchen reacted with disbelief at his words, Kavik taunted her by asking if she had had other plans for her next life, prompting her to thrown her blankets at him and storm out to organize the rest of her team.[72]

Stopping Unanimity[]

The morning after she and her team had made their plan, Yangchen returned to the Taku convocation hall for the final stage of the discussions, still grieving the loss of her bison. Noticing the absence of Kavik - who had left to locate Kaylaan - Ashoona asked what had happened to him, and Yangchen almost forgot to use his alias before claiming he was busy looking over discrepancies in Bin-Er's logbooks. She thought to herself how the moment perfectly encapsulated the lack of mercy the Avatar could expect from others.

After Yangchen took her seat at the table with the three zongdus, Ashoona stated that the day's business would be light as Taku prepared for the arrival of the world leaders. Despite having studied the process herself, Yangchen allowed Chaisee to explain how the security details of the world leaders would enter the city first in order to secure it for their charges, at which point the Avatar knew it would become impossible to run any clandestine operations there. Thus, Chaisee's explanation was essentially a claim that Yangchen had run out of time in which to stop her, and that Nujian's death had ultimately been meaningless.

Her mind dulled from all that had happened over the last few days, Yangchen asked if she should walk out the gate and then back through, causing those in the hall to burst out laughing. The sound of the laughter almost caused her to lash out with her bending, before one of Iwashi's attendants alerted her to the presence of Jujinta, who had come to the hall to deliver a message to her.[73] Reading the message, Yangchen learned that the rest of her team had captured Kalyaan, and gotten him to reveal that Thapa was to attack the convocation hall if he heard the great gong of Taku sound three times at an incorrect hour.[74]

Once she had read the message, Yangchen incinerated it with her firebending before slumping back into her seat. Taking note of her distressed state, Chaisee claimed that she and the others in the hall had been working themselves too hard and called for a recess, causing Yangchen to think of how her enemy was her only source of mercy right now. The others in the hall departed, leaving Yangchen and Chaisee alone, at which point the zongdu asked the Avatar to join her upstairs.[73]

The two women returned to the room where they had previously played Sparrowbones with Kavik and Iwashi, whereupon Chaisee revealed that she had taken on some of Iwashi's debts following the game, effectively giving herself control over the zongdu of Taku. Remembering that Chaisee had officially finished the game without winning or losing anything, Yangchen commented on how she always seemed to come out on top, before claiming the zongdu was better than her. Chaisee asked what she was better at, claiming that she and Yangchen were business partners, friends and equals, to which Yangchen - now frustrated at being unable to speak plainly - asked if the two of them could drop the act. Chaisee however simply questioned Yangchen's belief that the two of them were foes, before chiding her for letting herself be convinced that her pride was at stake, claiming such a thing should never be brought to the table.

Yangchen responded by using her airbending to blow open the doors to the balcony. Chaisee was unfazed by this and headed outside, with Yangchen soon following her. Upon the balcony, she observed the city of Taku - taking note of the many places Thapa could be hiding - before Chaisee claimed she did not think Avatarhood fair. Yangchen initially assumed that Chaisee was referring to the Avatar's ability to bend all four elements, but Chaisee explained that she was referring to how people would consistently blame the Avatar for matters like the Platinum Affair, as if they were responsible for every single event in history. Yangchen recognized the seemingly sympathetic remark as an indirect threat of what would happen if Chaisee was defied, and realized the zongdu was trying to turn her into one of her assets. Continuing the conversation, Chaisee suggested that people would act with more wisdom if the Avatar did not exist to watch over them, but Yangchen replied that she did indeed exist, with Chaisee conceding the point and stating that she therefore had to be accounted for.

With that, Chaisee revealed her intent to have Yangchen help her make the office of zongdu a lifelong and hereditary post, thereby granting her control over Jonduri and its trade until her death, while also allowing her son to inherit both afterward. Yangchen asked about the other shang cities, but Chaisee replied that she had no interest in ruling them as well, with Yangchen guessing that she intended to control them behind the scenes, just as she had unofficially taken control of Henshe and Iwashi. She justified her ambition on the basis that she was the shang system's most competent official, that she would raise her son to be equally capable, and she would be able to provide stability in uncertain times. Considering the proposal, Yangchen conceded that Chaisee's scheme could indeed allow her to carve out her own domain alongside the existing nations.

Chaisee assured Yangchen that allowing her to ascend in such a manner would not lead to another crisis for the world, and that both of them could benefit with her as a lifelong zongdu, rather than have to contend with the uncertainty generated by the current system of rotating zongdus. Yangchen figured that Chaisee would use Unanimity to further extort her after the convocation, before the zongdu asked the Avatar to help secure her legacy, suggesting they could work on Yangchen's afterward. Yangchen remarked that providing the requested aid would require her to ignore all of Chaisee's past crimes, but Chaisee replied that the past could not be changed, and it was better to focus on the future. After thinking that no-one but her and her successors would ever know if she accepted Chaisee's deal, and that doing so would likely save the most lives, Yangchen told the zongdu that she thought they could come to a solution.[75]

Looking into Chaisee's eyes, Yangchen admired how much the zongdu had permitted herself to do as she pleased, knowing she herself would never be allowed to exercise that much freedom without being labelled a bad Avatar and Air Nomad. She then looked at Taku, thinking of the efforts made to make the city appear perfect on the surface and conceal the unpleasant realities of the industries necessary to support it, comparing the latter to the high volume of chores carried out by the Air Nomads in order to enable their meditative lifestyle.

Yangchen then used her earthbending to seal the door back inside the hall, trapping Chaisee on the balcony, before striking the great gong of Taku twice with her airbending. Remembering how Nujian had died and an island of people had disappeared as a result of Chaisee's schemes, she struck the gong for a third time, and then used her earthbending to bend a sheet of rock from the ground and enclose the balcony. By now Chaisee had started to panic; as she attempted to break through the seal on the wall, Yangchen looked inward towards her past lives, not wanting to slip into one of them at this moment. No such thing happened, and Yangchen imagined her past selves backing away from her, not wanting to be involved in her plan.

Satisfied that she could remain herself, Yangchen suggested to Chaisee that the two of them sit down together, feigning ignorance of Thapa all the while. Chaisee insisted they could not remain upon the balcony, to which Yangchen - eager to see what blind action would accomplish after failing to gather the full picture for so long - revealed her awareness of Thapa's impending attack, before offering to save the two of them from it if Chaisee gave up the combustionbender's location, effectively drawing the zongdu into a lethal game of chicken. Realizing Yangchen's intentions, Chaisee warned that her and the Avatar's deaths would throw Taku and the four nations into chaos, and asked if she could truly depart the world without regret in such circumstances. Yangchen burst out laughing at the idea of someone threatening her with regret, believing she would always experience it regardless of what choices she made in the future, and reminded Chaisee that the Avatar Cycle meant she would always return to the world upon dying. She then pointed out that Chaisee's death would leave her son without a mother, and sarcastically voiced a belief that the zongdu's subordinates would be able to take care of him in her place.

Following Yangchen's remark, Chaisee told her that Thapa was hidden beneath the very hall they were trapped upon. Yangchen responded only by crossing her arms, unconvinced that Chaisee would break so quickly, to which the zongdu - now starting to sound desperate - reiterated her claim, explaining that there was a basement under the hall. Yangchen replied that Chaisee had told her too many lies for her to take her word at face value anymore, and that to go and investigate beneath the hall would mean giving the zongdu a chance to escape. Now truly fearful, Chaisee grabbed the front of Yangchen's robes and shouted that there was no more time, before finally collapsing to her knees and begging the Avatar for her help, admitting her responsibility for the current situation and tearfully promising to do anything to make it right.

Now convinced that Chaisee was being truthful, Yangchen ascended up through the top of the enclosure and into the sky with an air spout, finding herself lighter than ever before. She momentarily considered trying to replicate Guru Laghima's ability of unassisted flight, before entering the Avatar State and using earthbending to shift the above-ground portion of the convocation hall to the side, exposing the basement Chaisee had told her about. She descended into the basement, noting its resemblance to an airball court upon landing, and discovered Thapa there, with the sight of him causing her to realize that Chaisee had chosen such a hiding place on the basis that no-one aware of Thapa's attack range would expect him to be positioned so close to his target.

By the time Yangchen had entered the basement, Thapa was in the final stages of readying his blast. He looked up at her, and Yangchen noticed both a glazed look in his eyes and a blank expression on his face, the latter a sharp departure from the attitude she had previously seen from him. She tried to convince him to back down by telling him that he had a choice, but Thapa fired off his blast regardless, and Yangchen raised her hands, remembering the time she had spent with Yingsu.[76]

As she had done during her last confrontation with Thapa, Yangchen used her now mastered technique to snuff the combustionbender's blast. She thought to herself afterwards about how it could have failed, and how she would never be able to keep consistently performing it once her reflexes inevitably dulled with age, but nevertheless accepted that she had succeeded on this occasion. Thapa meanwhile lost his earlier blankness and glared at Yangchen, seemingly only now realizing his current situation, and the Avatar smiled at him, aware that she gained the most from a tie with the combustionbender. Thapa then snarled and fired off a quick blast, forgoing the buildup for it much like Yingsu could do; though taken by surprise, Yangchen managed to supress the blast once again. The use of the quick version of his technique left Thapa bleeding from his nose and ears, and Yangchen realized he was unable to perform it without killing himself. She shouted at him to stop, but Thapa nevertheless attempted to blast her once again, only to end up jerking to the side while clutching his neck as sparks started going off in the air around him. Knowing that the combustionbender was doomed, Yangchen earthbent a deep pit beneath him to drop him down into the ground, before he exploded with enough force to knock off her feet.

As she lay on the ground following Thapa's death, Yangchen felt herself being pelted by stones and dirt clods flung by the explosion. With no more strength with which to bend left, she allowed the debris to pelt her, believing it the least she deserved, before eventually getting back to her feet and whispering a funeral benediction for Thapa. She then used the steps leading down into the basement to get back onto Taku's streets, where she noticed a small crowd of Taku's citizens staring at her. She briefly considered what story she could use to explain to them what they had seen, before spotting the disguised Feishan in the midst of the crowd, looking furious as he realized that his fears of conspiracy against him had indeed been well-founded. Yangchen knew from the sight that she would not be able to deceive the Earth King again after everything he had seen, but pushed past him for the moment, wanting to be able to sleep.[77]

Resolving matters[]

Following the death of Thapa, Yangchen allowed Chaisee - who had now lost all her leverage over the Avatar - to leave Taku and go into hiding with Kalyaan and her son, while swearing to both her and Kavik that she would not allow the infant to come to any harm. Her intention was to pit both Chaisee and Feishan against one another, and thereby prevent either of them from causing her and the world any further trouble.[78] She knew that Feishan would do everything he could to obtain Chaisee's knowledge on Unanimity if he knew of its existence, and that he would kill the former zongdu if he ever acquired it, thereby preventing Chaisee from being able to do a deal with him. Under these circumstances, Chaisee and her family would be forced to spend their lives constantly on the move, unable to stay in one place long enough for the former zongdu to rebuild her status and power base, lest they drew attention to themselves that Feishan's agents could use to track them down.

Some time after Chaisee had disappeared from Taku, a disguised Yangchen and Feishan met upon a ship docked at the city. After Yangchen had sailed them away from the coast, Feishan called her out for lying to him that spirits had been responsible for the explosions and destruction within Bin-Er, having seen the truth for himself. Appreciating that she could at least be honest about Unanimity now, Yangchen told Feishan about the project, and how Chaisee had planned to use it to assassinate him, Oyaluk and Gonryu during the convocation, as well as how the former zongdu of Jonduri had arranged for Henshe to be killed in order to cover her tracks. Feishan asked about Chaisee's current location, indicating to Yangchen that he had taken her offered bait, and Yangchen replied only that Chaisee had fled Taku after her scheme had been foiled, not mentioning how she had allowed the other woman to do so. She also assured Feishan that she had not told anyone else about Unanimity, which was true in a sense; Kavik and her team had seen the combustionbending technique for themselves, and Kavik had been the one who passed the information onto the White Lotus.

Yangchen then told Feishan that he could stand down the troops he was currently using to intimidate Oyaluk and Gonryu, now that he knew his fellow rulers were no longer behind the events in Bin-Er. Feishan tried to downplay the scale of the operations Yangchen referred to, but Yangchen was not convinced, having previously seen them for herself from the air. She argued that such a gesture would be seen as an act of goodwill on Feishan's part, and give him a reputation for benevolence he had never before enjoyed, having speculated that part of him desired to be popular among his subjects. As Feishan entertained such a scenario in his mind, Yangchen imagined asking him to reopen his borders and recommence diplomacy with Oyaluk and Gonryu, thus allowing for the dissolution of the shang system. Accepting that such a thing was an impossibility in the world she lived in, she instead proposed that she be put in charge of the shang cities and their trade, rather than having them be entrusted to the care of corruptable and fallible zongdus. She reasoned to herself that such a strategy would allow her to relinquish the power associated with them in time.

Yangchen's proposed plan would require endorsement from Feishan in front of Oyaluk and Gonryu, but the Earth King took the idea that he might provide such support as an insult. Reminding Yangchen that she had decieved him about the events in Bin-Er, he guessed that she had deliberately allowed Chaisee to escape, before accusing her of trying to protect Oyaluk and Gonryu from his wrath. He suggested that such measures meant his fellow heads of state and their nations were weak, and voiced the idea that he could use his supposed superior position to further punish them for their support of Nong, now that he had recovered following the rogue general's rebellion.

Yangchen was unfazed by the threat, having previously dealt with Chaisee. She warned Feishan that if he tried to start such a conflict, she would provide the Water Tribes and Fire Nation with the means to make use of combustionbending themselves - though in truth she had no intention of doing so - before using her waterbending to signal to Yingsu, who was situated on a nearby boat alongside Tayagum and Akuudan. Upon seeing the signal, Yingsu began using her ability to blast at the air and water around Yangchen and Feishan's vessel, sending the Earth King into a panic as he experienced the power Yangchen had threatened to hand over to his percieved enemies, while Yangchen used her waterbending to keep their ship from sinking. As this happened, Yangchen recalled her previous encounters with Feishan and Chaisee, and thought to herself how it was sometimes wise to feign irrationality and recklessness in front of an opponent.[79]

Return to Agna Qel'a[]

Some time after dealing with Feishan, Yangchen and Kavik met with Ayunerak within the Agna Qel'a safehouse where they'd previously gathered, and Yangchen explained the events in Taku to the older woman. Ayunerak was incredulous that Yangchen had decided to let Chaisee go free, citing the danger of Feishan capturing her and obtaining her knowledge of Unanimity, but Yangchen replied that Chaisee had both skills and resources that would enable her to stay out of the Earth King's grasp. The reply allowed Ayunerak to figure out that Yangchen had effectively converted Chaisee and her resources into assets of her own, and commented with bitterness on this victory of the Avatar's. Yangchen herself was unenthused about such a win, knowing she would have to investigate and manage Chaisee's affairs and compensate the former zongdu's victims, but she at least took comfort in having access to Chaisee's wealth. Ayunerak then questioned if Yangchen was willing to allow Chaisee's crimes to go unpunished; aware that the former zongdu's fate would remain in her hands until either Feishan or Chaisee died, Yangchen was unable to answer, but Kavik spoke up and claimed that retribution was for amateurs, quoting a saying of Ayunerak's back at her. Yangchen noted Ayunerak's reaction to this statement, and figured that the older woman wanted to throw Kavik into the nearest body of water.

After the meeting with Ayunerak, Yangchen and Kavik left for the Spirit Oasis, Yangchen wanting to search for Jetsun within the Spirit World and reluctantly accepting Kavik's help. As the two of them traveled the streets of Agna Qel'a, Kavik thanked Yangchen for stopping Kalyaan, believing his older brother would have eventually pushed his luck too far and gotten himself killed were it not for her. Yangchen made little response, and Kavik remarked at how the Avatar had become "the zongdu of everywhere", with Yangchen replying that she would now be able to use the shang cities' resources to fix the problems there, as well as in other parts of the world, feeling the need to justify such a use of money that was unbecoming of an Air Nomad. She claimed that she would own the Platinum Affair, having failed to end it, but Kavik assured her that she did not have to convince him, and that he trusted in her to do the right thing.

The pair then arrived at the entrance to the Spirit Oasis. Recalling Kalyaan's accusation that she was selfishly making use of Kavik for her own ends, Yangchen warned him that what they were attempting could be dangerous, to which Kavik reminded her that he had been the one to save her from the Fog of Lost Souls during her previous journey there. Yangchen then assured him that he had done more than enough to atone for his betrayal of her back in Jonduri, and thus he was under no obligation to help her here if he did not want to, but Kavik leaned towards her and replied that he was not acting out of any form of compulsion. The Avatar was unconvinced of his sincerity, however, prompting Kavik to get annoyed and emphatically state that he was helping Yangchen because she deserved it, before asking if he would have to tattoo the message across her skull. With that, Yangchen relented, and the two of them sat down facing other in the Spirit Oasis, Kavik keeping watch over Yangchen as she meditated into the Spirit World.[78]

Later life[]

Yangchen airbending

Yangchen liked to use the Avatar State to practice her airbending in a meadow near Yaoping Town.[80]

Yangchen went on to face great dangers together with her team of companions; another of Yangchen's bending masters and friends died while defending her from enemies.[81] Over time, she also became well learned[82] and studied many different philosophies, including the writings of Laghima and Guru Shoken.[81] At some point, Yangchen met the leader of the Fifth Nation pirate fleet and signed a treaty with him, according to which the corsairs would leave the Earth Kingdom's southern coast in peace.[4] She also made further pacts between humans and spirits, such as in the case of the Heartwalker of Yaoping Mountain.[14]

Avatar Yangchen died in 345 BG[4] and was reincarnated as Kuruk of the Northern Water Tribe in accordance with the Avatar Cycle.

Legacy[]

Yangchen statue

As a revered Avatar, Yangchen was honored with two giant statues, one each at the Eastern and Western Air Temples.

Even though Yangchen had strongly disliked the idea of being treated as some kind of idolized figurehead,[10][40] she became revered as a holy figure in the Earth Kingdom and among the Air Nomads after her death. People in the Earth Kingdom would even pray to her for protection and luck.[4][83] Wayside shrines were dedicated to her throughout the Earth Kingdom.[21] The devotion to Yangchen was such that people even prayed to her when facing another Avatar, such as Kyoshi.[13] Her compassion toward others became a legend and she was remembered for this characteristic of hers.[14] In remembrance of her intervention with General Old Iron, the Air Nomads continued to make yearly pilgrimages to the statue of Lady Tienhai, renaming the ritual Yangchen's Festival.[22] The island on which Yangchen had first used waterbending became a holy site to the Air Nomads until it was accidentally destroyed by Avatar Kuruk.[21] Over time, the Air Nomads made at least two giant statues of Yangchen: one in the Eastern Air Temple and one in the Western Air Temple.[3][84]

Yangchen's political decisions also had a long-lasting impact. Her devotion to her duty as the Avatar ushered in a prolonged period of peace, as no threats of war occurred for an entire generation after her death.[3] Communication between the nations was also a lot more open and calm after her death than it had been during her youth.[85] The Fifth Nation pirates honored her treaty for three generations until it was broken by their commander, Tulok, shortly after Kuruk's death.[4] Her political decisions were also analyzed by scholars, who would write treatises on the subject. These were read by Yun, who was initially presumed to be Kuruk's successor.[86]

Contrary to popular belief, however, her effect on the world was not wholly positive. When humans and spirits came into conflict with each other, she often sided with the humans, trusting they would respect their end of the bargain to take care of the physical world. While some humans did respect the new treaties, as in the case of Tienhai's city, many others did not. When humans violated the new promises, many spirits turned dark. This led to an abundance of dark spirits in the lifetime of Kuruk. After her death, she regretted that she gave the four nations everything they wanted. She acknowledged that no-one was entitled to their every desire, and in order to live in true balance, humans must know when not to take everything from the world, and from each other. The ramification of her choices in favoring humans over the spirits led to her reincarnation's suffering, which weighed heavily on Yangchen in her afterlife.[14]

Appearances during Kyoshi's life[]

Kyoshi wished to contact Yangchen many times in her early life, though was not able to until she came to terms with her immediate predecessor, Kuruk.

Yangchen first appeared to Kyoshi in a spring located in the forests near Yokoya. Initially, the Earth Avatar thought she was speaking to Kuruk, and then gasped in shock, believing she was seeing the ghost of her Air Nomad mother, Jesa. After she realized who Yangchen was, she explained the confusion, causing the compassionate airbender to meet a tearful Kyoshi with a gentle embrace, and she told Kyoshi that all would be right.

Kyoshi raised that she had so many questions, as Yangchen was the first Avatar who could properly guide her. When Kyoshi explained her doubts about Kuruk hunting dark spirits, Yangchen explained that he was forced to take on the responsibility as a direct result of Yangchen's policies relating to spirits, and that every Avatar makes mistakes. She sensed Kyoshi's disappointment, but her successor simply responded that she was confused. She advised Kyoshi that she must give up looking for an easy answer, as even if she spent a thousand years talking to the past Avatars, she would not know how to best guide the world. Before she dissipated, she asked Kyoshi to replace a clay turtle that she had broken, a traditional relic that identified the Air Avatars.[14]

Appearances during Aang's life[]

In 100 AG, Yangchen was sought out by Aang in the Spirit World, who was in a coma at the time. During their brief meeting, she discussed Aang's failure at protecting Ba Sing Se from Azula. Amid the young Avatar's embarrassment, Yangchen convinced him to not feel guilty for his shortcomings, as previous Avatars had also made mistakes and struggled to successfully perform their duties. Although she told Aang little about her personal experiences, she was empathetic toward his shame and sadness.

Yangchen also imparted to Aang the reason the Avatar takes human rebirth each time: in order to have a desire to protect humanity, the Avatar must feel compassion toward humans and the only way of doing so was living among them. If the Avatar was instead an all-powerful immortal spirit living at the top of a mountain, he or she would not have anything in common with ordinary people. She acknowledged that the Avatar must experience human life and emotions, such as sadness, anger, joy, and happiness, in order to learn how precious human life is and therefore understand the need to protect it. Thus, with every reincarnation, the spirit of the Avatar comes closer to fully comprehending what it truly means to be human.

Avatar Yangchen and Aang

Yangchen taught Aang the meaning of the Avatar's humanity during his journey in the Spirit World.

At the end of the meeting, Yangchen told Aang that the spirit of the Avatar had been healed, though his ability to use the Avatar State was disrupted and he would, therefore, need to rely on his friends, not past lives, for guidance. As Aang departed, Yangchen told the young Avatar that the memory of his journey in the Spirit World would be erased once he awoke from his coma.[87]

When on the lion turtle, Yangchen was the last of his past lives Aang summoned for advice on how to defeat Ozai without killing him, thinking a fellow Air Nomad would easily sympathize with his views and support a bloodless victory over the Fire Lord. Although Yangchen remarked the Air Nomad belief that all life was sacred, she reminded Aang that the Avatar could never detach themselves and achieve spiritual enlightenment as their sole duty was to the world. As such, she imparted him with the wisdom that selfless duty required him to sacrifice his own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the world, which left Aang deeply discouraged.[1]

Yangchen failing to speak

Yangchen tried to warn Aang about something, but he could not hear her speak.

In 102 AG, the day before Yangchen's Festival was to be celebrated, Yangchen appeared as a mysterious hooded figure to Aang in Yu Dao and led him onto a balcony. She tried to speak to him, though Aang could not hear her voice. After she disappeared, he eventually concluded that she came to remind him to revive the celebration. When Team Avatar subsequently made their way into a town that was built upon a meadow sacred to the Air Nomads, she appeared to Aang once more, leading him to investigate the grounds of the Earthen Fire Refinery and discover a polluted river. Some time later, she appeared a third time and imparted a vision upon him of a monster destroying a settlement, leaving him to wonder whether it was a vision of the past or the future.[88]

Later that day, when Aang was saying a blessing before having the ceremonial meal of Yangchen's Festival with the Air Acolytes, he crossed over to the Spirit World, where he was able to fully connect with Yangchen. She explained to him that all the Avatars are connected to one another like a chain, so when he broke off his relationship with Roku, he also damaged his connection to all the Avatars that preceded him. However, traditions like the ceremonial meal served as a temporary conduit for them to connect. Yangchen told him of her past dealings with General Old Iron, though before she could complete her story and tell Aang the specifics of the deal she struck with the spirit, Aang's meditation was interrupted by another earthquake.[8]

Aang asks Yangchen about her past

Yangchen told Aang of her agreement with General Old Iron.

Aang later repaired the connection with his past lives by re-crafting the fire medallion on his meditation beads. After reconciling with Roku, Aang made his way down to Yangchen, whom he urged to finish her story. After she did, she confirmed that the metal that had been dug up was Old Iron's armor and warned Aang that his return was pending. As Yangchen lamented that her promise had been broken, Aang suggested that he could bury the armor once more and return the land to its natural state. She did not answer, instead telling Aang to return to his friends.[22]

Appearances during Korra's life[]

Avatars

Yangchen and the past Avatars appeared before Korra as she found her spiritual connection.

Yangchen was among all the other Avatars when Aang passed on the knowledge of energybending to Korra and restored her bending, representing the newly established connection she made to her spiritual self.[89]

While Unalaq was attacking Raava, Korra envisioned Yangchen among the Avatar lineup she had seen prior to regaining her bending; however, her connection to Korra was severed due to Unalaq's assault on and subsequent destruction of the light spirit.[90]

Personality[]

Yangchen tries to appease General Old Iron

Yangchen generally preferred to avoid violence, such as when she attempted to reason with General Old Iron.

Yangchen was an encouraging, empathetic woman toward others, including her successors, and was remembered for her great compassion.[1][14] She valued her friends and family greatly, and though usually level-headed and friendly, she could become extremely angry upon seeing them being hurt.[2] Yangchen also disdained unnecessary violence, especially when it was paired with cruelty.[36]

She was deeply afflicted by her constant reliving of past Avatars' experiences to the degree that it resembled schizophrenia;[2][32] Yangchen herself admitted that the voices "never stop".[37] She used different techniques to force herself to remember who she was,[2] yet often fell into moments where she lost sight of her own reality and even personality. Even after gaining a rough control over the foreign memories as a teenager, Yangchen could fall into periods of possession and panic for an extended time.[32][6] The overlap between herself and the past was so intense that the phoenix-eel spirits of Ma'inka described her as an "hollow shell".[16]

Beyond these direct burdens, her scrambled but strong connection to her past lives meant that she felt tired and trapped as if in an endless wheel: Just as every Avatar before her, she would always chose to help others and try to change the world for the better. However, she also knew that every Avatar had failed in some way, and that regardless of their efforts, the suffering would never fully disappear. Sometimes, she struggled to care any longer about the wider world and just secretly wished that she could escape it all.[46] Yangchen was especially frustrated by humanity's seeming inability to learn from mistakes, including its tendency to break deals with the spirits or to chose short-term gains even if it resulted in long-term problems.[2] As a result of her relativist worldview and the experiences beyond her age, Yangchen was open to different philosophies,[81] and was convinced that no absolute truths existed, including no absolutely correct way to act as Avatar.[14] Despite being raised by the Air Nomads and understanding their respect for all life, Yangchen was thus also willing to put pacifism aside to fulfill her duties, believing that the goal of protecting the world and human emotions justified the means.[1]

Regardless of her private reservations and struggles, Yangchen was never able to just completely give up on herself and others, even as she wished for it.[46] Although the Air Nomads taught separation from the physical realm, she believed that the Avatar can never do this because their sole duty is to the world.[1] She maintained a strong desire to prove herself and to perform her duty as the Avatar, even putting on a facade of confidence during fearful situations.[8] In her duty of protecting life and improve the situation of others, Yangchen displayed a willingness to make deals with criminals and engage in espionage and conspiracies to prevent bloodshed.[2][4][30] To deescalate a situation or save lives, she was even ready to make deals which would cause other suffering over extended periods.[16] Regardless, this view of the dark side of life and the personal betrayals connected with it took a further toll on her mind.[46][37][42]

Abilities[]

Bending[]

As a reincarnation of the entity known as the Avatar, Yangchen possessed the power to bend all four elements. She was known for mastering so many techniques and having immense control over the element, "as if they feared to make mistakes on her presence", she could perform amazing bending feats with the least possible movement.

Airbending[]

Yangchen airbends

Yangchen was an airbending master.

Yangchen was an airbending master, having achieved arrow tattoos at a young age. While in the Avatar State, she could form circular air currents strong enough to even move the sky.[91] She continued to hone her airbending skills even after her formal training had ended.[80] As her native element, she had extreme mastery over it, being able to summon several air spouts to hold her and her companions at once and blowing wind gusts strong enough to knock people away with just wrist gestures. Se also used airbending to empower her speed to run past guards crossing a field in the blink of an eye. A signature technique she used was using her bending to raise her voice in order to attract attention to herself.[43] She also invented the "vile" technique of removing air from a room in order to suffocate someone, though her pacifist philosophies meant that she only did this so someone would feel dizzy or pass out, and always returned the air before death could follow.[44][43]

Waterbending[]

A waterbending master, Yangchen was particularly known for her great skills as a healer, and the four nations loved the image of the Avatar healing the sick with her own two hands. She treated many gruesome conditions, and saw the worst of physical damage.[23] Yangchen knew several skilled techniques, such as repairing collapsed lungs thus reviving a man from the brink of death, preventing frostbite, reducing swellings and sealing wounds through healing, and could stabilize patients and cure illnesses by breaking a fever.[6][34]

Earthbending[]

After mastering earthbending, Yangchen showed a lot of skill at the element such as rising and thickening sands to build a shelter for her and a companion. Holding a landslide at bay with a stone wall she summoned. She once used her bending to stabilize herself in the underground flues beneath the Bin-Er gathering hall, and later tunneled a safe passage so that she could escape from the building.[25] When she came to Port Tuugaq, she found herself in a situation where she could only rely on her earthbending, and was able to bend the sod belonging to a house, making it burst and knock out two of the three men trying to apprehend her.[20]In her last duel with Thapa she dropped the ground under the combustionbender to burry him before he blew himself up.

Firebending[]

While Yangchen often relied on her airbending if she could, she was still a firebending master. She used her bending once to raise the temperature in a room to make people in it sweat. She often used the element to create a candles worth of flame to light her way in different occasions.[25]

Medium[]

Yangchen meditating in the Northern Air Temple

Yangchen meditating in the Northern Air Temple.

As the carrier of the Avatar Spirit, Yangchen had the capacity to act as a medium, a bridge between the mortal world and the Spirit World. She sensed and comprehended the complex nature of the Avatar Spirit, including its needs of human reincarnation.[92] Her spiritual abilities were extremely strong, to the point of being a hindrance, as she had started talking to visions of past Avatar companions since before she was eight years old.[17] At the age of eleven, she was able to cross over to the Spirit World shortly after her very first attempt at meditation, [18] although she was unable to stop herself from being overwhelmed by a traumatic memory from one of her past lives, leading to the spirits turning dark.[19]

As she grew older, Yangchen started to control her memories by practicing mental exercises. However, she still found it difficult to separate the past from the present. She could still become overwhelmed by her past lives when she was in a situation that could trigger a traumatic response from one of the past Avatars, from phobias to specific experiences.[2][25]

Relationships[]

Main article: Yangchen's relationships

Relatives[]

  • Jetsun (possibly a distant cousin, considered to be an older sister)[18]

Appearances[]

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Two: Earth (土)

Escape from the Spirit World

Book Three: Fire (火)

Graphic novels

The Legend of Korra

Book One: Air (气)

Book Two: Spirits (神靈)

Book Four: Balance (平衡)

Chronicles of the Avatar

The Shadow of Kyoshi

The Dawn of Yangchen

  • 100. "Voices of the Past"
  • 101. "The First Step"
  • 102. "Voices of the Present"
  • 103. "Flight"
  • 104. "Forgiveness"
  • 105. "Unwinding"
  • 106. "The Visitor"
  • 107. "The Proposition"
  • 108. "The Parade"
  • 109. "Theater"
  • 110. "Keeping Score"
  • 111. "Fallback Plans"
  • 112. "Outside Options"
  • 114. "Reading Leaves"
  • 115. "The Northern Air Temple"
  • 116. "Making Ready"
  • 117. "Breaking In"
  • 119. "A Meeting of Minds"
  • 121. "Legitimate Business"
  • 122. "The Dispute"
  • 123. "Loose Ends"
  • 124. "Rememberance"
  • 125. "The Numbers Game"
  • 128. "Following Through"
  • 129. "Dreams Within Dreams"
  • 130. "Basic Tradecraft"
  • 131. "Conversations"
  • 132. "Traces"
  • 135. "The Display"
  • 136. "Exposure"
  • 137. "Reconciling"
  • 138. "The Earth King"
  • 139. "Honored Guests"

The Legacy of Yangchen

  • 202. "Adoration"
  • 203. "Among Friends"
  • 204. "The Spirit Oasis"
  • 205. "Previously"
  • 206. "Coming to the Table"
  • 207. "Mistaken Identity"
  • 208. "Stomping Grounds"
  • 210. "Gravity"
  • 212. "The Duel"
  • 213. "Mitigation"
  • 215. "The Oathbreaker"
  • 216. "Matters of Pride"
  • 217. "Baited"
  • 218. "Hooked"
  • 219. "Landed"
  • 220. "Anonymity"
  • 221. "Keeping Pace"
  • 222. "Bonding"
  • 223. "Circumstantial Evidence"
  • 224. "Primary Sources"
  • 225. "The Price"
  • 226. "Aftershocks"
  • 227. "Bereavement"
  • 229. "The Pitch"
  • 232. "Blinking First"
  • 233. "Appetite for Bitter"
  • 234. "The Burial"
  • 235. "Truth"
  • 236. "The Path Forward"
  • 237. "Respite"

Other Avatar books

Avatar games

Trivia[]

  • When abruptly asked for the name of the female airbender Avatar at the Pacific Media Expo, Bryan Konietzko jokingly dubbed her "Avatar Susan", indicating that they initially did not plan on developing the previous Avatars aside from the two already introduced.
  • In Escape from the Spirit World, she was the only Avatar to not tell Aang of a mistake she made when she was alive.
  • "Yangchen" (Tib: དབྱངས་ཅན།, Wylie: dbyangs-can) is the Tibetan name for Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning and music. In Tibetan Buddhism, she is known as one of the 21 forms of Tara, a female bodhisattva.
  • Yangchen liked to use the Avatar State to power her airbending in a meadow near Yaoping Town.[80]
  • Although Yangchen did not appear in The Last Airbender, the accompanying prequel manga, Zuko's Story, featured additional information about Yangchen, such as her building a hermitage near the Eastern Air Temple where she retired to in her later years.
  • F. C. Yee has commented on the fan interpretation of Yangchen as an aromantic and asexual character, saying that it is an extremely valid and fitting interpretation, but that he did not intend this from the beginning.[85]
  • In her youth, Yangchen cringed at the idea that people would probably create statues of her in the future, and expressed the hope that hers would be smaller than usual, as she did not "need everyone staring at my giant head for eternity".[10] Ironically, the Air Nomads built at least two giant statues of Yangchen after her death.[3][84]
Preceded by
Szeto
Avatar
Unknown - 345 BG
Succeeded by
Kuruk


Preceded by
Henshe (as Zongdu)
Protector of Bin-Er
Year 17 of era of Yangchen - Unknown
Succeeded by
Unknown


Preceded by
Chaisee (as Zongdu)
Protector of Jonduri
Year 17 of era of Yangchen - Unknown
Succeeded by
Unknown


Preceded by
Ashoona (as Zongdu)
Protector of Port Tuugaq
Year 17 of era of Yangchen - Unknown
Succeeded by
Unknown


Preceded by
Iwashi (as Zongdu)
Protector of Taku
Year 17 of era of Yangchen - Unknown
Succeeded by
Unknown


References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Eight, "The Parade". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 From older Welcome to Republic City online game, originally on Nick.com. Game now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Korra - Avatar Yangchen.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter One, "The Test". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  5. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Two, "The Invitation". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Four, "Forgiveness". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Nine, "Theater". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 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.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Sixteen, "Making Ready". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-Eight, "The Earth King". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  12. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: Avatar Yangchen.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter One, "Unfinished Business". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Seven, "The Meeting". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  15. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Gear: Female Air Nomad statues.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twenty-Two, "The Dispute". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Prologue, "Voices of the Past". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter One, "The First Step". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twenty-Nine, "Dreams Within Dreams". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty, "Basic Tradecraft". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Three, "Past Lives". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 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.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twenty-One, "Legitimate Business". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  24. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Eighteen "A Place to Lay One's Head". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twelve, "Outside Options". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  26. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Two, "Voices of the Present". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  27. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Three, "Flight". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  28. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Five, "Unwinding". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  29. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Six, "The Visitor". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Seven, "The Proposition". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  31. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Ten, "Keeping Score". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Eleven, "Fallback Plans". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  33. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Fourteen, "Reading Leaves". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Fifteen, "The Northern Air Temple". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  35. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Seventeen, "Breaking In". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Nineteen, "A Meeting of Minds". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twenty-Four, "Rememberance". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  38. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twenty-Five, "The Numbers Game". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  39. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twenty-Eight, "Following Through". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-One, "Conversations". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  41. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-Two, "Traces". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-Seven, "Reconciling". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-Six, "Exposure". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-Five, "The Display". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  45. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Epilogue. The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-Nine, "Honored Guests". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Eight, "Stomping Grounds". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  48. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Two, "Adoration". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  49. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Three, "Among Friends". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  50. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Four, "The Spirit Oasis". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  51. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Five, "Previously". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  52. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Six, "Coming to the Table". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  53. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Seven, "Mistaken Identity". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  54. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Ten, "Gravity". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  55. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twelve, "The Duel". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  56. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-Three, "Appetite for Bitter". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  57. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirteen, "Mitigation". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  58. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-Three, "Appetite for Bitter". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  59. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirteen, "Mitigation". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  60. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Fifteen, "The Oathbreaker". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  61. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Seventeen, "Baited". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  62. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Eighteen, "Hooked". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  63. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Sixteen, "Matters of Pride". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  64. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Nineteen, "Landed". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  65. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty, "Anonymity". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  66. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-One, "Keeping Pace". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  67. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-Two, "Bonding". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  68. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-Three, "Circumstantial Evidence". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  69. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-Four, "Primary Sources". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  70. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-Five, "The Price". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  71. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-Six, "Aftershocks". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  72. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-Five, "Truth". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  73. 73.0 73.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-Seven, "Bereavement". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  74. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-One, "Casualties". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  75. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Twenty-Nine, "The Pitch". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  76. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-Two, "Blinking First". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  77. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-Four, "The Burial". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  78. 78.0 78.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-Seven, "Respite". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  79. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 18, 2023). Chapter Thirty-Six, "The Path Forward". The Legacy of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  80. 80.0 80.1 80.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Fourteen, "The Message". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  81. 81.0 81.1 81.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-One, "Preparations". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  82. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Seven, "The Iceberg". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  83. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Five, "The Raid". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  84. 84.0 84.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  85. 85.0 85.1 INTERVIEW: Dawn of Yangchen Author Talks Spoilers for the New Avatar Novel. CBR.com (July 19, 2022). Retrieved on July 20, 2022.
  86. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Three, "The Boy From Makapu". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  87. Escape from the Spirit World: Avatar Yangchen Online Comic Book
  88. 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 One (March 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  89. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 23, 2012). "Endgame". The Legend of Korra. Book One: Air. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  90. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (November 22, 2013). "Darkness Falls". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  91. 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.
  92. Escape from the Spirit World: Avatar Yangchen Online Comic Book.
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