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The Yuyan Archers were a group of elite, highly skilled Fire Nation archers. Since at least 91 AG, they were under Colonel Shinu's command, and used to guard the Pohuai Stronghold. The Yuyan Archers were used for very stealthy missions where precision and accuracy were vital for success, and they were one of the Fire Nation's secret weapons.[2]

History

Possible origins

An exiled Fire Nation archer named Jujinta became a companion to Avatar Yangchen, who had been forbidden from using his bow. While fighting alongside Kavik in a warehouse in Jonduri, he declared that "a Yuyan does not miss". His precise relationship with the Yuyan Archers or the Yuyan family of Uzuku is unknown.[3][4] From one of her past lives, Yangchen understood the importance of the rituals Jujinta followed, such as his scoured nose, his penitent rituals, and his self-imposed exile.[4]

Shortly after the coronation of Fire Lord Sozin, a woman known as Uzuku Yuyan was considered one of the most legendary archers and markswomen ever to have lived. She transformed archery into an artform, and received patronage from nobles across the Fire Nation who wanted to learn her techniques. Uzuku began to face pressure to share her incredible skills with the Fire Nation. Some wanted her as one of the nation's deadliest agents, while others wanted her to teach new archers her skills.[5][6]

Service for the Fire Nation

Prince Ozai hired a Yuyan Archer, Vachir, to track down and kill Ikem, the former lover of Princess Ursa, having heard of the group's great skill in archery. However, Vachir failed to find Ikem, and as a result, Ozai dismissed him and told him to turn his resignation to Colonel Shinu.[7]

In the winter of 100 AG, Commander Zhao approached Shinu, seeking to use the Yuyan Archers to help him capture the Avatar. After being turned down, a messenger hawk came to Zhao, carrying a letter informing him that the had been promoted, and was now an Admiral. This put him above Shinu, thus allowing him to take control of the archers and employ them in his hunt for Aang. When the archers discovered the Avatar, Aang's extreme agility was matched by their expert aim. Outnumbered and simultaneously trying to collect frozen wood frogs in order to cure Katara and Sokka of fever, Aang could not resist the group and was consequently captured. One archer was later instructed to incapacitate the Blue Spirit.[1]

The Yuyan Archers continued to operate after the Hundred Year War and into the lifetime of Avatar Korra, during the non-interventionist period of the Fire Nation's reconstruction.[8]

Trivia

  • Their uniforms, especially the short jackets and poofy pants, resemble Zouave uniforms from the American Civil War, which in turn were inspired by 19th century French Zouave uniforms which also were widely imitated by forces of other nations in the 19th century.
  • The small triangle that is present on Yuyan head bands, and also on Lo and Li's hair bands, is the alchemical symbol for fire.
  • All Yuyan Archers bear a dark red tattoo that runs across their eyes, identifying them as current or former members of the elite group.
  • The bows used by the Yuyan Archers are composite bows.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (June 17, 2005). "The Blue Spirit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  2. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: The Yuyan Archers.
  3. Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Twenty-Five, "The Numbers Game". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yee, F. C. (author). (July 19, 2022). Chapter Thirty-Six, "Exposure". The Dawn of Yangchen. Amulet Books.
  5. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 44.
  6. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 49.
  7. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Search Part Two (July 10, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  8. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 158.

See also

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