Once, the same creation legend was known between all the different nations. As time past, some parts were changed - sometimes quite deliberately...

Bolded text is the fire-nation version of this legend. Regular text refers to the original legend.

Agni and La derive their names from the show. The other two spirits were simply chosen by me, as I could not identify any air or earth element spirit names used in the show.

I do not own avatar, but I do own this story and all its content. If you wish to use this story, the concept of the story or reference this story, please send me a PM (so I am aware) and give credit to me in your author's notes.


In the beginning of our world, there were four spirits, and they were brothers. Because they were brothers, they would fight and argue with each other, even though they loved each other. So the spirits decided to hold a competition, to see who was the most powerful of them.

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Before our world was, Agni was powerful and wise. There were, however, three other spirits who were jealous of Agni and believed he was not as powerful as he claimed.

So these three spirits conspired together, and then came before Agni to challenge him. They would each create one feat, in the place they chose, and the one whose feat was the greatest would surely be the strongest. Agni was benevolent, and so allowed the challenge.

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The first brother, whose name was Tu Di Gong, began the challenge – claiming it was to teach his siblings patience. Tu Di Gong created a ball which he hung in the heavens. This ball was made of stone; strong and unmoving. "Hit this ball, and it will not shatter. It shall remain to the ends of time." Tu Di Gong bragged.

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The first spirit was Tu Di Gong. Tu Di Gong chose the challenge ground, and in this place he created a ball made of stone. It was cold and still, but strong and unmoving.

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The second brother, La, looked at the stone ball. It was as strong as Tu Di Gong had claimed, but La saw another way. He took water from his own drinking vessel and poured the over the ball, covering it. The water flowed into creases to create oceans and lakes. As it flowed it took tiny specks of stone with it, so that it slowly created rivers and cliffs. Thus, La was able to prove that, while the ball would not be destroyed with a hit, it may be destroyed with time and a gentle force.

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The second spirit was La. La was cunning, and poured water onto the planet. The water flowed into indends of the stone to make seas. The oceans, La bragged, could destroy anything, though it would do so with passive movements.

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The third brother, Vayu, was clever. He looked at what La had done and declared he would use what was already there to prove his might. He blew at the ball, creating air – and with air came wind. The wind would blow at the mountains, wearing them little by little, but would also move the water. When the wind was strong, water would be forced to do what air wished, and attack the stone for him. Vayu said, "Surely this is the most powerful of the elements. It cannot be seen and cannot be fought. Like water it destroys stone, and forces water to bend to it."

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The third spirit, Vayu, told La "Then I will force the ocean to not be passive." Vayu created wind, which blew over the world and could force the ocean to make giant waves.

The place the three spirits created was barren, had strong and cruel winds, and water that was salty and unwelcoming. They turned to Agni and told him it was his turn.

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Then finally their sister Agni looked at the place they had made. Angi saw a place with air and blue sky, with tall mountains that reached for the heavens, and blue water that was so deep that the light of the sun and the moon – two spirits who were watching their competition – could not see the bottom. There was not beauty, but Agni saw the potential for beauty here. Agni laughed and said she was going to change the rules of the game. Then she dived into the place they had created, coming as a woman made of fire, and danced. She leapt over the mountains and pirouetted over the seas, dancing under the sky with the wind in her face. And as she danced, she let fire fly over the globe.

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Agni looked at the globe that was the challenge ground. He ignored the smugness of the other spirits, and covered the globe with his hands. Agni covered the world with fire.

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The mountains burned under her laughter. Some of the stone melted, changing into liquid, and because it was heavy it flowed and sunk deep below the surface. Stone was made like water.

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The stone tried to stay resolute, but could not. It melted under the flames and flowed across the world like water.

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The sky turned red, and then black as she threw ashes into the air. Then the ashes fell to the ground, creating soil, and the fire changed it into different colours. When the ashes left the sky it was once again blue. Air was made like earth.

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The wind tried to blow out the fire, but every time the flames seemed to falter they would only grow larger. The air turned to soot and grew heavy. The soot fell from the sky and became soil. Air became earth like stone.

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The seas boiled. They rose in pillars of white, but were as untouchable as air, and were blow across the world with the wind. Sometimes they turned into water again, but there was always more cloud to take their place. Water was made like air.

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The water, created by the cunning La, was the most challenging. It attacked at the fire viciously, and sometimes the fire was forced to retreat. But every time the water touched the fire, it would heat and bubble. Even as the water killed pieces of the fires, they would turn to steam and rise into the air. Water was turned into air.

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And still the fire pulsed through it all, until suddenly it was done. All four elements were placed together, and became unified. Form like earth, with insides that flowed like water, that breathed air in and out – and the pulse of fire, the beat of energy, the heartbeat that was life. In a moment, Agni was at last still, plants were growing and animals were created, and people had been given life. Her dance finished, she returned to her brothers and showed them the place they had made together, where each of them had been needed in order to create it.

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Finally, Agni removed his hands from the globe. Fire remained, sleeping inside where it could not be seen. Stone turned solid, water fell as rain for the first time, and the wind could once again blow. But now there was something new. With his great power and wisdom, Agni had changed the world so it could embrace what he had placed upon it – life. Where the fires had been, trees and plants grew and animals appeared.

The other three spirits looked at this, and knew they could not compare. They conceded defeat to Agni.

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And so our world was made, a combination of all four elements – for while the first three elements gave all that was required, it was the energy that came from fire that forced life to take root.

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And so we can see that fire is the most powerful of all the elements. Fire alone can force other elements to change. Even as they try to kill fire, the great power Agni bestowed upon us allows us to change another element like nothing else can. Water becomes air, earth becomes like water, air turns to earth. Agni chose to give us command over other elements through his element. He made us stronger than all other people, and with that strength comes a responsibility to use it. The world was Agni's making more than any other, and his glory – and the glory of the Fire Lord, Agni's most favored - must be proclaimed everywhere to the ends of time.

Agni gave us a duty, and that duty includes destroying other benders when they would abuse their power, like even avatar Kyoshi, born of the earth kingdom, did. And so, enlightened by Agni's flames, Fire Lord Sozin began this war. When it is over, the flax will have burnt in purifying flames, leaving the world clean and fertile for a new, better era to begin.

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Once this work was complete, the four spirits saw what a beautiful world they had created, and were pleased. They carefully chose on of the creatures that now lived in the world – ones that called themselves humans – to be caretakers of the world. Among the humans, they chose certain ones who showed a deep affinity and blessed them further, each spirit giving their chosen humans understanding and control of that spirit's element.

Finally, in order for them to acknowledge and honor each other – for the world had been created through their combined might – they chose a single human of amazing spiritual prowess, and all gave him their power. They also gave his wisdom, that he may see that all – all elements, all people, all unique kinds of life – were needed in the world.

Thus the avatar and benders came to be. Once they had done this, the spirits left to return to their own world.