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Nation Culture

on Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:30 am
The Fire Nation:

Current Status: At peace with the other nations since the end of the first Fire Nation War.

Current Leader: Fire Lord Zuko III

Geography: The Fire Nation is located on the medium sized continent on the western side of the world map. This continent is dominated almost exclusively by mountains, many of which are volcanic. The main Fire Nation continent is adjacent in the east to a series of islands that stretch towards the Earth Kingdom. Some distance to the north and a farther distance south lay the Air Nomad islands.

Capital: The City of Iroh, located at the heart of the fire nation.

Other Major Cities/Outposts: A Fire Temple seen on Crescent Moon Island volcanic island. Also the prison campus held on an island known as The Boiling Rock.

Government: The Fire Nation is a unitary autocracy ruled by Fire Lord Zuko III.

Culture: After a century of war, and perhaps by nature of their element, the culture of the Fire Nation has a decidedly martial flavor. Personal honor plays a key role in the lives of its elite, where insults often result in the dreaded Agni Kai, or fire duel. Citizens of the Fire Nation tend to wear dark red and black. They celebrate their element and their culture in the "Fire Days Festival" during which they wear ceremonial masks, watch puppet and firebending shows, and shoot fireworks.

The Earth Kingdom:

Current Status: At peace with the Air Nomads and the Water Tribes, but holds a grudge against the Fire Nation even to this day.

Current Leader: Earth King Shenrai

Geography: The Earth Kingdom is by far the largest nation in terms of geographic size. The Earth Kingdom is, in fact, so large that it is a neighbor of every other nation. It consists of the two main continental land masses, and together they stretch nearly from pole to pole. The continents seem to possess a wide variety of geographic features, including large mountain ranges, plains, several large river systems, and at least two inland seas.

Capital: Ba-Sing-Se, located in the northeastern part of the Earth Kingdom.

Other Major Cities/Outposts: The City of Omashu.

Government: The Earth Kingdom is ruled from its mighty walled capital of Ba-Sing-Se. While other cities have kings, it would appear that they are vassals to the overlord or ruler of the capital referred to as "The Earth King". Some Earth Kingdom localities, however (Kyoshi Island, for example) have preserved their neutrality due to past conflict with the Fire Nation and do not appear to be subject to any central government.

Culture: Greens and browns are the predominant colors worn by the subjects of the Earth Kingdom. Their earthbending talents have also made mining a common economic activity. Since the Earth Kingdom occupies the crossroads of the world, its subjects also appear to be skilled in trade and commerce. Their ports and markets, even amidst war and military occupation, still thrive. Having such active business and interaction with the other nations seems to have made Earth Kingdom culture less distinctly unique and more all-encompassing in nature.

The Air Nomads:

Current Status: Population has increased since the end of the war. They remain humble to the other nations but are in isolation until they feel they have fully recovered.

Current Leader: Lead by 3 Elder Monks (due to lack of population)

Geography: Certain archipelagos toward the South Pole, southeast of the Earth Kingdom, between the North Pole and the Earth Kingdom, and between the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation belong to the Air Nomads and are where their temples are located.

Capital: None

Other Major Cities/Outposts: The Northern Air Temple, the Southern Air Temple, the Western Air Temple, and the Eastern Air Temple. The Southern Air Temple is located in the Batola Mountain Range on the islands just north of the South Pole. The Northern Air Temple is located in the archipelago between the just west of the Earth Kingdom and north of the Fire Nation. The Western Air Temple is located north of the Fire Nation and stretches out as far as the west coastal lines of the northern Earth Kingdom. The Eastern Air Temple is positioned in the islands to the southeast of the Earth Kingdom.

Government: The Air Nomads did not seem to have a formal central government. While it is known that they had temples, it is uncertain if they had cities or villages, as well. Each temple was run by a council of around five elders. The oldest airbenders of the temple maintained its everyday functions and watched over the younger inhabitants. The master monks also taught the younger airbenders how to master their skills. As pacifists, it is unlikely the Air Nomads had an army.

Culture: The monks of the Air Nomads lived a very tranquil and pacifistic lifestyle; strict vegetarians, they refused to eat any form of meat. Meditation was a daily activity among the older monks of the temples while the younger airbenders would enjoy playing games and sports outside. One of these was Air Ball, which was played atop giant wooden posts and used airbending skills to get a ball through one of the goals on either side of the field. Air Nomads were bald and wore bright yellow pants and shirts with an orange shawl; the elder monks wore brown, orange, or yellow robes. Each airbender had special blue arrow tattoos on their head, arms, hands, legs, and feet; the flying bison (the typical transport for the Air Nomads) also had similar markings.

The Water Tribes:

Current Status: The water tribes have been assisting the air nomads in rebuilding their homes. Their quarrels with other nations are at rest, although the southern tribe still isn't fond of the fire nation.

Current Leader: Chief Radook (Northern Water Tribe)

Geography: The Water Tribe is broken into two separate tribes, which are located at the North and South Poles. Both tribes live on the large continental land masses, surrounded by glaciers and ice drifts in the surrounding oceans.

Capital: There is no set capital for the Water Tribe. The closest thing to a capital would be the very large Northern Water Tribe city.

Other Major Cities/Outposts: The Water Tribe consists of only two real outposts: the small village of the Southern Water Tribe and the massive Northern Water Tribe city.

Government: The Southern Water Tribe apparently has no formal government, although it would appear that age acts as a sort of informal system for delegating duties and chores. They live mostly off the sea for survival. The Southern Water Tribe has been able to rebuild its population since the end of the war, which has given them the ability to expand their home and reinhabit themselves with waterbenders. Their military is small, but very courageous and are willing to fight for their people. There is no real leader, though the elders are usually the ones assigning tasks and maintaining discipline among the remaining people of the village. The Northern Water Tribe has an established centralized form of government. The village appears to be lead by a chief, although he is accompanied by 3 other elders who assist in making the decisions and keeping the chief from abusing his leadership. The Northern Tribe has a large army of waterbenders and warriors.

Culture: The sister tribes both share similar cultural traits, wearing heavy fur coats for protection against the cold northern and southern climates. Their clothes are mostly blue and white, including lighter clothing worn when away from the poles. Fishing seems to be the primary source of food for both tribes, and they send fishermen and sometimes waterbenders out in wooden boats. A tradition in the Southern Tribe called ice dodging is considered a right of passage for men of the tribe. In the Northern Tribe, strict gender roles and sexist traditions exist; women waterbenders are forbidden from learning waterbending to fight and may only be taught to use their gift for healing purposes. A system of arranged marriage is also in place. Both tribes use war paint in preparation for battles, and the Northern Tribe also invokes the spirits for guidance through ritual prayer.
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