Campaign of the Month: November 2011
Avatar: Conquest of the Imperial Order
The Land of Fire
he Land of Fire
The Land of Fire is the origin of Firebenders and was composed of many small city states after the fall of the Exalted Emporium. Recently all of these except two have been annexed by the Fellowship of the Imperial Order. The two other sovereign nations includes the Dragons of the White Lotus, capitol of the Lotus Alliance, and the Sun Warrior City, a tribe of Firebending warriors who honor and revere Dragons. Geographically, the continent is located on the planet’s equator in the western hemisphere, and is composed of several islands, and therefore is an archipelago. The Land of Fire is the Origin of Dragons as well as all Firebenders.
The Imperial Order is the second largest nation in the world in terms of population and area. It is second in both of these respects to Ba Sing Se. Their economy is the second most powerful in the world, with a strong industrial sector as well as cheap labor through the wide use of slavery. The White Lotus has a moderate economy. It was not even a nation until the Order started conquering the other nations in the land of fire. The last two city states came together under the rule of the organization of the white lotus, forming what would become the White Lotus nation and later the Lotus Alliance. The Alliance accepts any nations who wish to fight the expansion of the tyrannical Imperial Order, and have recently been joined by the Air Nomads in their struggle.
The populous of The Land of Fire tend to have black or brown hair, amber, gold, brown, or gray eyes, and pale skin, though exceptions do exist. It is also peculiar how most of the nation is very pale, yet they are the closest to the equator.
Older men tend to sport large beards, mustaches, and sideburns, while younger men are usually clean-shaven, or wear small mustaches and goatees. Women usually wear their hair back, though for special occasions it may be piled on top of the head, or wrapped around a support. Almost all citizens wear topknots, often held by a decorative topknot piece indicating their socioeconomic rank. Nobles and politicians tend to ornament their hair with a two pronged, flame-styled piece.
Firebenders of the army wear red and black uniforms that may have gold trim or emblems on them. Conscripted fighters on the other hand, often drafted into service from conquered colonies or converted from the conquered populous, don unorganized leather and medium metal armor. More elite Weaponry is reserved for the trained army from the home continent. Traditional colors worn throughout the nation range from deep reds to darker browns, grays, and blacks, with occasional white, or pink. Many citizens wear shoulder spikes, the amount designating social standing (ordinary civilians wear one, nobles wear two, and the Emperor wears three, though there are exceptions to these rules). It is observed that aesthetically, the clothing, architecture, and general visual style of the Land of Fire resembles that of the Chinese Qin and Han dynasty period. There are also hints of Indian, Aztec, and Japanese fashion influences.
Currency consists of gold, silver, and bronze pieces of varying shapes and sizes.
Written in Chinese as 烈火國 (liè huǒ guó), literally “Raging fire country”. Coincidentally, the term “烈火” is the Chinese way of writing “Agni”, the Hindu god of fire, which may be where the term Agni Kai
The Land of Fire is located on an archipelago of tropical volcanic islands, many still active. Because of a warm and humid climate, it is home to a variety of native Flora and Fauna, though most of the main islands has been stripped of their forests and now consist of grassy plains.
The population of the Fire Nation is mostly concentrated in urban centers, though smaller settlements, villages and towns dot the landscape as well. The capital city of the Imperial Order is on the largest island, situated inside the crater of a large volcano while the Lotus capitol is on the first and largest of the Eastern islands. There are also many industrial establishments where weapons, armor, and supplies are crafted to support the war effort.
The nation of the land of fire employ skilled woodworkers, metalworkers and blacksmiths who make use of iron and other metals to engender their fortresses and weapons. Utilizing mass slave labor for mining, supplies are abundant in the rich lands of the continent.
The appearance of it’s cultures is based on fire, naturally. Like the other lands, it is based on its elemental color, in this case, red. The majority of the buildings are made of stone. They also have red pagoda-style roofs. Fire symbols are often put on important or nice buildings for decoration and inside it is common for a picture of Emperor Jangang to be kept in an important, visible place. Roads are well-built, neat ones, mostly straight, heading towards the destination, which suits the ruler’s personality – global domination and striving to do that. They hardly ever have bumps in and are made of neat stone slotted in place. This series of roads was built by the Order to aid in their invasion of the other City States.
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.
Society in the land of fire places a great emphasis on strength and honor,; the concept of the famed Agni Kai stems from these beliefs. Upon coming into contact with an elder or superior, it is polite to bow down. Unlike in other parts of the world, this bow consists in placing a hand in a straight fashion with the other placed underneath it vertically. This represents the superior standing with one below him, bowing. Also when receiving an order in the Fire Nation by a superior it is common to not bow, but make the hand symbol. Bowing is required upon greeting to one, when something nice has happened, after business, and leaving.
Women in the Imperial Order are given much less rights then men, being seen more as something there to satisfy the needs of men. The White Lotus see women as equal to men.
The diet of its citizens consists of noodles, rice, cabbage, tea and lychee nuts. The people are also known for having a taste for foods of a spicier fare, as they enjoy Flaming Fire Flakes, Fire Gummies, Sizzle Crisps, and Fire Cakes. The Tea most commonly drunk is Spiced Tea.
Each nation of the bending arts is influenced by their own distinct, dominant season. Fire’s season is Summer. Firebenders’ powers are slightly enhanced due to the increase in temperature. Most Firebending children are born during the summer.