Author's Note: Guys, thank you for your reviews and thank you for taking this journey with me. As I've mentioned before, I plan to write another story that will continue from where the last chapter left off, but in the South Pole. I'll try to write most of the chapters before updating to this site because my schedule will get incredibly busier from now until March and I think the long intervals between updates would be too much. I've also been thinking about getting a beta reader but I'd prefer someone who has an interest in Aang. Anyway, I found out the other day that Aang-centric stories make up a relatively small percentage of all the Avatar fiction on this website, so it has helped to inspire me to write more about Aang (and well, Katara and the others). Actually, I love writing about him; I really like his character. One of the simple things that I've always loved about him is the way he'd thank the villagers for some kindness that they had shown to him, Sokka and Katara during their travels. A simple thing like that made a favorable impression on me, especially when seeing it in someone who'll one day be a leader; it suggests a certain vein of humility.
About this chapter, as I promised, I tried to be vague. The goal of this epilogue is to essentially wrap of the "humanitarian" efforts of the gang in the Earth Kingdom.
For better or worse, our deeds had a way of following us. It was in after years, when much of our work throughout the Earth Kingdom had ceased that King Kuei, and his provincial leaders, convened in the great capital city of Ba Sing Se to recognize and celebrate our humane efforts. In that ceremony, where Bumi was also in attendance, we were presented with a few gifts, of which King Kuei's liberal entitlement to us aroused the greatest stir; in a gracious act of generosity, on behalf of his people, he'd granted us the lifetime privilege of a fully staffed house that would be kept in readiness to receive us at any time we were in that city; little did we know at the time how perfectly it would serve our purpose in providing a home for those of our children, who would, in later years, elect to attend Ba Sing Se's university.
On that same night, at the end of the ceremony, the Earth King held a private audience with us to expound further on his motivations; he explained that he was indebted to us for the part that we'd played in helping to preserve the peace, which, for the most part, still reigned in his kingdom; he said that he couldn't deny that the escalation in the number of troublesome reports was still disquieting to him; he said that he was well aware that there was a growing restlessness among certain groups of his people who denounced him for the role that they thought he'd played in precipitating their existing hardships, and that he blamed himself for the years he'd been content to spend in willful apathy, while Long Feng patiently, and perfidiously plotted his demise; he said that he knew that many still held him accountable for those years of sovereign idleness, which had, in part, facilitated the ease by which the Fire Nation was allowed to run rampant, and unchallenged, in their beloved homeland. In short, he had a lot of regrets, which I believed did more to shape and influence his imperial destiny than any other corrective measure could have done.
He'd also informed us of his sworn oath to do better by his people now that the land was at rest from the external threat of war, and the Fire Nation had proven true to its word by recalling the last remnant of its occupiers from the Earth Kingdom's lands, as set forth in the treaty of several years prior. Furthermore, he wanted to engage our goodwill, as we saw fit, against any future outbreak in skirmishes, since he could not neglect that his most recent intelligence suggested that looming possibility. He said that he'd heard of his people's esteem for us and how much they revered and trusted us and hoped that our collective voices would move them to reason.
On the contrary, in this, I thought he'd given us too much credit; at that point in my life, I'd seen enough and experienced enough of men's actions to know that once they genuinely believed that they'd been wronged, and was willing to act upon it, it was often never easy to deter them from that tenacious path. In any case, since my situation demanded an impartial stance, and I'd always managed to abstain from entangling myself in the political strife of any one nation, unless it was absolutely imperative, I couldn't promise anything; my duty, irrespective of personal ties, was to the world, and that meant treating the grievances of the smallest to the greatest* with equal fairness. My friends, as free agents, did not hold themselves to these strident standards and were willing to pledge their allegiance to the Earth Kingdom's monarch, as they believed, as they would later tell me, that their intimate knowledge of him, in these latter years, had shown him to be a wise and just leader.
In the days following, we had further proof of the king's favor, when by his particular request, Katara and I were led by one of his generals on a mysterious five-day excursion, which eventually terminated in a vast, pastoral land that extended great lengths beyond our sight towards the kingdom's coastal borders. Here, to our unbridled astonishment, we learned that it was the king's chief wish to grant to us a special endowment of fifteen square miles of his finest land, to be ours, mines and Katara's, forever. Moreover, according to the General's information, the king specifically wished us to know that his heart was irrevocably and resolutely set upon this. Admittedly, after our initial surprise had passed, we grew hesitant; we felt that it was too magnanimous a gesture, especially when considering that much of our labors had been the consequence of our earnest desire to help others; on the other hand, we'd also understood the king's subtle communication that he would indeed consider it an offense if we were to refuse his offer; another point besides, we couldn't ignore our prevailing circumstances, which were, in truth, a problem we'd kept procrastinating to each successive day. We were hardly ever at Omashu anymore, scarcely ever at the Bei Fongs, never in the South Pole, and were in fact pursuing a sort of full-fledged nomadic existence.
When Katara and I, through a series of solemn discussions, had settled upon our acceptance, the General took us on an extensive tour of the king's lands, which took us another three days to view. Much of the land was good, and we had few preferences, except that Katara insisted that we should take of the coastal land. We'd already determined between ourselves that we'd apply to King Kuei for a separation from the Earth Kingdom's mainland, as the political sensitivities that still existed then was a legitimate concern for us. Hence, some three months later, with the king's unhesitating blessing, I stood upon the borders of our land and summoned the relevant knowledge and skill of the past avatars and bent them to my will. On that day, in the southern waters of the Earth Kingdom, a new island was created that we would later call Avatar's Isle, which would, in the progression of time, become the home of some of the world's most reputable masters, both in the way of the sword and the mastery of the elements.
Over time, it became a land that flourished with several of nature's finest and simplest treasures; some that existed naturally, and some that we'd forged from our own bending. White sandy beaches, bounded by clear blue waters, comprised a significant portion of the shoreline. There were rocky cliffs, tiny coves, and narrow inlets that were formed, down through the years, by rough waters and the temperamental changes in the tide. There were gently sloping hills, profuse with rich, green verdure that outlined the majority of the northern aspect. There were natural springs that flowed from the earth's core, some of which Katara and the other water-benders eventually turned into waterfalls. There were flower gardens, and rich orchards, and wild fields, and green pastures, and forest lands, and green valleys, and small creeks, and so many other of nature's excellent pleasures that residents and visitors alike enjoyed.
Likewise, there were places of tender remembrances, such as the cliff where we'd go at nights to sit and gaze at the stars. Or the Airball Court, which was of ineffable value to me that I'd erected in the valley beneath our home to keep the visible memories of my culture alive. In the heart of the small forest, there was the hot spring bath, which was fed by tiny geysers that Katara and the other water-benders had fortuitously discovered while searching out the land; together, with the help of several earth-benders, they'd successfully managed to massage an incessant flow from the earth's crust to build a moderate-sized pool, which they'd artistically encompassed in a nest of smooth stones.
Between missions that took us away to other lands, our friends built boats that would convey them to and from the Earth Kingdom's mainland, as Appa and I, and many times Katara, were not always with them. Regarding the construction of our homes, the temple, and other fair structures, when word of the Isle had spread throughout the Earth Kingdom, there'd been many who came, benders and non-benders, to support our numbers. There had been those who came out of their gratitude for the help we'd given them through the years, and there had been those who came for the sake of Katara, or as some would call her, the Avatar's wife, who, in her untiring compassion, had healed many of their sick. Together, with the expertise of Haru and his people, we'd built homes that would welcome many, both friends and strangers, through the years to come. Hence, as we had begun, in the days of our youth, with helping others, so we continued until that time came when the weariness of our days forbade us.
*smallest to the greatest: poor people and rich people; people without status and people with status; relatively poor nations and rich nations, etc.
Regarding Katara, I had no problem taking her out of the South Pole because I'm using the premise that as the Water Tribes intermarry, they'll eventually be new water-benders in the South Pole. There seemed to be few women in the South Pole and I figure the men in the South can marry some of the women of the North after the sister tribes begin meeting again.