Campaign of the Month: November 2011
Avatar: Conquest of the Imperial Order
duaction in the Avatar World
The Air Nomads possess very few formal schools. Spiritual enlightenment, however, is central to the Air Nomad culture, as all of its members regularly meditate. It should be noted however that history is one topic that is well taught at the Air Temples. All Air Nomads practice Airbending regularly, as well. Furthermore, they are taught to value all forms of life, considering it to be sacred, regardless of whether it is good or evil. Many children are also tutored in a group called the Air Scouts, an organization that taught young Airbenders several useful skills, such as how to tie proper knots around the horns of a Sky Bison.
The Northern Water Tribe has a number of schools set up within its grand capital city. Besides basic skills such as reading and writing, a warrior’s battlefield skills are also highly valued, as the city maintains a fairly large army and armories. Waterbending is also regularly taught, with master Waterbenders instructing and testing male Waterbending students during regular dueling sessions, while female Waterbenders frequently attend healing classes. Due to the North Pole sexually segregated culture, female Waterbenders are forbidden to learn any Waterbending beyond healing.
The Southern Water Tribe hosts regular classes for its students, as the tribe consists of several large villages. The south pole Waterbenders teach the art of waterbending to both sexes, as this segregation was one of the reasons the Southern Water Tribe split off from the larger Northern Tribe. Like the North, the South maintains a strong regard for its warrior culture. In spite of the South’s lack of contact with the outside world, it has been shown that the South’s tribesmen are quite literate.
The Land of Earth
It can be assumed that education is important to nearly all families in Earth nations; and it can also be assumed that there is little censorship and that freedom of expression is allowed, in contrast to the Imperial Order. The most notable college is Ba Sing Se University, where young scholars attend a variety of typical college-level classes such as anthropology. There are also many schools in which young Earthbenders are taught to master their abilities; as well as prestigious military training and strategy academies. Ba Sing Se in particular has one of the most prestigious and liberal education systems in the world with a very well educated populous.
The Land of Fire
In the Fellowship of the Imperial Order, education is very strict. There are no forms of movement or expression whatsoever, as such actions are considered a threat to the Emperors unquestioned authority. Many common arts such as dancing are thus banned from the school curriculum. There is also very strict censoring to make the students believe that the war against the other cultures is in fact a justified one, as their reasoning for the war is entangled with their religious dogma reinforced upon all their citizens. They believe this life is a test of your service to the “Creator” (Their interpretation of the Spirit of Life) and that Firebenders are his chosen disciples sent to convert or abolish the other bender races who are the servants of the “Keeper” (Their interpretation of the Spirit of Death) and that the other benders are on earth to enslave and hold down mankind while firebenders are here to protect and defend man.
At the beginning of everyday, the students must stand up and pledge loyalty to the Emperor, and promise to serve him for as long as they live. The Imperial Order, also alter events to make it seem as though they are fighting for the greater good. Education, especially military knowledge, is also valued much for the children of the Royal Family. Many children are expected to eventually become soldiers and officers in the military, fueling the nation’s militaristic culture. If not in joining the military the parents of the students, mostly girls, want them to marry into a noble or royal family, as social and political status are held in high regard among the Fire Nation elite. In the Imperial Order, all commoners are expected to be equally low in status, none better than another and only able to increase in social class through marriage. They believe all normal men are equal in the eyes of the “Creator” except the benders (Nobility is determined by ones ability to Firebend). The exception for benders is that firebenders are above all others, meant to interpret and see to the “Creators” will while the other benders are their to do the opposite, servants of the “Keeper”.
This is a stark difference from the Dragons of the White Lotus, originally and organization turned country, who follow Air Nomad style spiritual beliefs and have an education system very similar to the liberal Ba Sing Se. The inhabit the South-Eastern islands of The Land of Fire and lead the Lotus Alliance in fighting against expansion of the Imperial Order dogma.
It should be noted that almost all information about the Dark Times, or the rule of the Saarebas, was destroyed during the revolution of Fow Rung, to prevent any future generations from delving in the dark arts of blood rituals to gain power from evil spirits.