Author's Note: I figure this one deserves some explaining here. While I have enjoyed the Legend of Korra to a point I also really feel that it could have been much better, especially the finale, which had more then a few problems to it. This fan fic represents me trying to change that. Now word of warning: this fic will start off as a novelization, and a great many parts of it will be taken from the show proper. But I'll be trying to add in my own stuff to emphasize that this is my edited take. Also note that this will not be a hate fic, although I'm saying right now that I am not including Meelo and Tenzin's two other children will have lessened roles. I find them all rather irritating. Tenzin on the other hand, is awesome.
EDIT: Decided to go back and edit the older chapters. While my story overall seems to have gotten just a bit of a following and some reviewers who have been consistently impressed, I have not been without my detractors. Many of said detractors voiced the same criticism, namely that my story (or at least the chapters of it they bothered to read) are too similar to the original cartoon and thus not worth reading. Ignoring for a moment that two of these "enlightened" souls dropped my story on the exact same chapter, one that is right before three chapters of almost entirely original content, and also that the same chapter had original content as well that they chose to entirely ignore because it undermined their criticisms, I did still decide to go back and try and spice up these first few chapters and make them a bit more fun to read. To do this, I went for making the descriptions richer and more detailed (one of the benefits to a novelization that the cartoon proper can't provide), and also include some extra/new scenes that are entirely my own.
Hopefully, for those who have felt that my novelization/re-write is too much of the former and not enough of the latter, this will make it better. If not, well that's too bad honestly. My story already had original content, and now it's getting more. And more to the point I did forewarn everyone that this is part novelization, and therefore there willbe scenes and lines taken straight from the show (yet another thing I forewarned people of beforehand). Thus, when people whine about it the way they have and get into such a snit I'm left pretty baffled. If you don't like reading stuff that was in the cartoon proper and just want 100% original stuff, you should heed my forewarning and not read this story. Seems like a simple enough thing to me. But I guess I'm just "off" somehow.
Honestly, I really don't know what some people expect when they read this story. I explicitly make clear that it's part novelization. That carries with it the idea that events from the show proper will be faithfully retained in this story. Otherwise, why bother calling it a novelization? If it's only original content and no scenes or quotes or dialogue from the show proper, then it's not a novelization. So why so many people complained about this novelization doing what a novelization does is a mystery to me. If one wants to read something wholly original or something with nothing to do with the cartoon proper, then by all means, do it. But don't just dump on a story that's not meant to be that just because it's not. If I wanted to do something with no scenes or dialogue taken from the show, I'd have done that. But this is a NOVELIZATION. Accept that and either read it or don't. But why people feel the need to get haughty with my story and tear it down is a complete mystery to me.
So, to re-iterate my earlier warning:
THIS FIC WILL START OUT AS A NOVELIZATION, AND A GREAT MANY PARTS OF IT WILL BE TAKEN FROM THE SHOW PROPER. If you don't like that, DON'T BLOODY READ IT.
But, if you're one of those people who for some reason doesn't heed warnings (like some of the people who have reviewed this fan-fic for instance), then just skip ahead to Chapter 7 (Chapter 6 not counting this prologue). That chapter and the two after it are entirely original content, and things maintain a good quality from there.
And so, without further adieu, I give you the Legend of Korra: The Azure Edition! Enjoy!
"Earth…Fire…Air…Water…When I was a boy, my father, Avatar Aang, told me the story of how he and his friends heroically ended the Hundred Year War. Aang and Fire Lord Zuko transformed the Fire Nation colonies into the United Republic of Nations, a society where benders and non benders from all over the world could live and thrive together in peace and harmony. They named the capital of this great land "Republic City". Avatar Aang accomplished many remarkable things in his life, but sadly his time in this world came to an end. And like the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of the Avatar began anew."
The South Pole, Years Ago:
It was a miserable night in the Southern Water Tribe, the sky filled with storm clouds and the air with snow. Frigid air danced across the skins of the men who walked through the frozen lands, despite their best efforts to protect themselves from the harsh climate. It didn't matter. In spite of all of their clothing they still they felt the cold gnaw at their skin and bones. Regardless of whether or not they found here what they were looking for, the small group of men would still be thankful for the brief respite in a warm building and away from the cold.
But in spite of the less then pleasant weather conditions, the trio of White Lotus members were not deterred. Their search for the late and great Avatar Aang's successor had led them here, to this humble igloo residence that they soon came upon. Taking the lead, one of the members knocked on the door. Answering it was a fairly large and muscular man who smiled warmly upon seeing who it was.
"The White Lotus has honored my family by coming. Thank you."
No sooner did he conclude his greeting did the man open the door fully, allowing the Order of the White Lotus members entrance. Upon entering, the three immediately appreciated the change in temperature, basking in the warmth as the man shut the door behind them. In mere moments a woman, presumably the man's wife, appeared to welcome the visitors. The White Lotus leader decided to get right to the point: "We have investigated many claims, both here and in the Northern Tribe. All have turned out to be false."
As he said this, the White Lotus leader could see the couple smile knowingly, followed by the man saying quite happily: "Then you should be happy to know that your search has come to an end."
"So I have been told, but I retain some skeptici—"
The White Lotus leader was cut off when a slab of rock went sailing right past his head. Turning around in shock, the White Lotus members saw a circular hole in the room's stone interior wall. And out of this wall came a short, slightly plump little girl with tanned skin and her brown hair in a ponytail. She had a look of total determination on her face, complemented both by the pose she struck and the fact that she was already bending Earth, Fire, and Water.
"I'm the Avatar!" the girl exclaimed proudly. "You gotta deal with it!"
In the face of this bold, one might say audacious, remark, the members of the White Lotus each looked at one another with uncertainty, as they did the lead man thinking: Well she's certainly different from her predecessor.
Korra panted heavily, a triumphant smile worn on her face as it always was when she got the better of an opponent. Born a Waterbender she may have been, but Korra was more and more coming to find that Firebending was her favorite. It seemed to complement her personality and fighting style quite nicely, as she demonstrated by deftly dodging another sparring partner's blasts of flame and replying in kind with a barrage of flaming arcs and blasts that sent him on his back.
The final sparring partner blasted a torrent of fire at Korra, and she, true to her usual audacity, leaped headlong into the fire blast unconcerned, using her own firebending to disperse the flames before they could so much as give her a mild burn, and then went at her final sparring partner fire flying.
Up above, several Order of the White Lotus members watched, including one in particular who was a legend among legends equal parts for her incredible Waterbending skill, her role in the Hundred Year War, and of course, her marriage to a certain famous Avatar.
"She's strong" an elderly Katara said approvingly.
"True" another watching White Lotus member agreed, but adding "…but she lacks restraint."
Back down below, Korra continued to give her sparring partner a run for his money, both exchanging blasts of fire left and right, neither willing to give any quarter. Korra made a mental note that this particular opponent seemed to favor attacks involving long arcs of fire, likely as a means of keeping opponents at bay. This prompted Korra to come up with a counter-strategy. Getting into a ready stance, she prepared herself for when her opponent launched another one of his long reaching rings of fire. Timing it just right, Korra leaped over the flame and shot her own blast at her opponent's feet, forcing him back and breaking his attack pattern.
Deciding to give her opponent a taste of his own medicine equal parts for strategy and poetry, Korra unleashed a large arcing ring of fire at her backpedaling opponent, tripping him up, and leaving him easy prey. Another blast of fire to the chest area forced him to the ground for good.
A watching Katara was pleased, but as she cast a brief glance over to her compatriots, she could see that she seemed to be the only one. Her fellow White Lotus members all looked either peeved or unimpressed. Korra's firebending teacher wore a neutral expression on his face.
Korra ran up to them, jumping into the air as she did as her eyes were lit up like one of her fires, and a huge grin was on her face. "Woo hoo! Why all the gloom and doom people? We should be celebrating! Three elements down, one to go!"
Korra's firebending teacher held up a hand. "You're getting ahead of yourself as usual, Korra. We haven't decided if you passed your firebending tests yet."
Seeing the look of confusion that came across Korra's face, one of the White Lotus members chose to intercede: "Ever since you were a little girl, you've excelled at the physical side of bending, but have completely ignored the spiritual side. The Avatar must master both."
Indignant, Korra's lips pursed and her shoulders slumped forward. All in all she looked just as disappointed in them as they were in her. But her cheerful attitude returned as quickly as it had left.
"I haven't ignored it." Korra insisted. "It just doesn't come as easy to me. But that's why I should start training with Tenzin immediately. He's 'Mister Spiritual'."
The White Lotus leader turned to face Katara, deciding to hear the judgment of his superior: "Do you believe she's ready, Master Katara?"
"Yes. If anyone can teach her what she needs to learn, its Tenzin."
Both Korra and Katara could see quite clearly that this answer did not set well with any of the others, least of all Korra's firebending teacher, who looked completely mortified.
Guess he'll be sad to see his favorite student go. Korra joked to herself. Finally, the White Lotus leader conceded to Katara's verdict: "Very well, Korra. It's time for you to begin your airbending training."
Hearing exactly what she wanted to, Korra jumped for joy yet again, her mind already racing with the various ways she could put her airbending to use. Then, remembering that her teachers were still observing her, she bowed respectfully and said as humbly as she could: "Thank you for believing in me."
And with that, Korra ran off into the distance, no longer able to contain her excitement.
Airbending's going to be a blast!
Something of a legend in the South Pole, Polar Bear Dogs were majestic animals who shared their home with the members of the Southern Water Tribe, but had never actually been caught and successfully tamed by one. The reasons for this were several, the first of which being the animal's tending to have something of a bad temper, and the other main fact being that they were also animals that very much prized their independence. Between those two things, and the fact that the men and women of the Water Tribe respected said independence (and viciousness), they left them well alone, and none had ever successfully trained or domesticated one.
At least that was the case until Avatar Korra decided to try her hand.
In fairness, she had gotten lucky. Naga had been young and small when Korra had found her, as well as being alone and abandoned. Korra had been able to tame Naga because she was the only mother Naga had ever really known. Still, that said, it was an impressive feat all the same. At least Korra thought so.
And besides, she reasoned. …every Avatar has an animal companion. Aang had his bison, Roku had his dragon, Kyoshi had….well, something.
As she came within view of her most trusted (and only) companion, Korra began speaking to her as she usually did, as if Naga were another person: "Naga, you should have seen it. I kicked some firebender butt, and I passed! Tenzin will be here in a few days!"
Naga just made a yawning sound in response, earning a playful smile from Korra: "Aww, are you tired? OK, I'll just leave you to rest. But you better be up soon, I want to take you for at least one more stroll before Tenzin comes!"
Naga simply yawned again
"I hope you know what you're doing, allowing her to move on like this." Korra's firebending instructor said simply, as he and Katara walked through the snow-covered pass leading back to Korra's village. The sun was out, which helped make the intense cold just a bit more bearable. But for Katara's colleague that still wasn't saying all that much. As was often the case with firebenders, the man couldn't stand the cold.
"As a teacher you ought to have more faith in your student." Katara admonished lightly.
"And you have too much faith." Korra's instructor said stuffily. "My criticisms and those of the others are not wrong and you know it. Korra is an immensely talented bender to be sure, but her abilities have, well…let's just say she would do well having a bit more of your husband in her."
"But Aang is within her." Katara stressed. "As are Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruck, and all of the other Avatars who came before."
"That matters very little though, since she's yet to make contact with and call upon the guidance of any of them." Katara's counterpart remarked dryly. After he said this though, he sighed and said: "Don't mistake my intentions. I want her to succeed as much as you do. It's just…well, I worry. As any good teacher should."
Katara smiled. "I understand your concerns. But you shouldn't worry so much. With my son teaching her what she needs to know, I'm confident that Korra will get by just fine…"
"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? It looks like we are there. I know this is very familiar. Are we here yet? Are we here yet? Oh, please say we are here!"
Tenzin groaned to himself. His daughter was in a hyperactive mood again, and this one had gone on particularly long. Much as Tenzin loved his children they could be just as much of a headache as they were a blessing sometimes.
"Yes, Ikki" Tenzin said trying to restrain his exasperation as much as possible: "…as I have been telling you for the last 15 minutes, we are finally here."
He knew of course that that was a contradiction, but at the moment Tenzin's head was starting to ring from Ikki's incessant chatter, and really he was just desperate to finally get her to stop and allow him some peace and quiet at long last.
It wasn't long though before the family really did arrive at their destination, the Sky Bison of Tenzin's family finally touching down on the White Lotus grounds. No sooner did it, did Tenzin's two daughters slide down the sky bison's tail on air scooters, the technique their grandfather had conceived when he was not much older then them.
Tenzin approached his mother as she came to him, raising one hand in a formal greeting as his daughters took to clinging to his sides as though to let go would be to plummet into an abyss.
"Hello, Mother. I can't tell you how happy I am to see you." Then, as his two daughters continued to cling to him tightly he added: "Please, help me."
Katara nodded and tugged at Ikki and Jinora to encourage them to let go of their father. No sooner were they convinced to let go did Ikki hop over her grandmother's head and float to the ground, speeding away the second she landed completely.
"It's so good to see all of you." Katara said, ignoring her granddaughter's antics. Jinora, Tenzin's older daughter, eagerly ran up to Katara.
"Gran Gran, I have been reading all about your old adventures. I've been dying to ask you; what happened to Zuko's mom?"
Katara smiled warmly at her granddaughter's questions, always enjoying getting to tell her and Ikki the stories of her adventures from when she was younger. Well, some of them anyway. Other, more traumatic ones, such as her experiences with Jet and Hama, Katara would have just as soon forgotten.
" Well, Jinora, it's an incredible tale..."
Katara was cut off when Ikki ran back up to her and assaulted her with a torrent of questions: "Gran Gran, you look old. How old are you? And why is it so cold in the South Pole? Can we make a campfire and all huddle around it and tell scary stories, and make snowmen? And then can you make the snowmen move with waterbending and chase us? Wouldn't that be fun? Huh, wouldn't it?"
Tenzin, meanwhile, had taken to helping his currently very pregnant wife get off the sky bison. As he held her hand though and tried to ease her down, she started to pull her arm away and finish the rest of the descent on her own.
"Pema, let me help you. Careful now. Careful."
"Stop doting on me" Pema said reassuringly. "I'm not helpless. Just pregnant."
As Pema finally got off the sky bison in full and walked over to Katara with her husband, Katara put her hand to Pema's belly, feeling the energy of the baby within.
"The baby's strong." Katara noted approvingly before adding: "I see another airbender in your future."
Pema's expression went from pleasant to surprised to dismayed in the span of but a few moments.
"All I want is just one child like me. A nice, non-bender who doesn't blast wind in my face every 5 seconds."
Neither Tenzin nor Katara said anything in response to Pema's proclamation, the latter merely keeping up her warm smile and the former taking to stroking his goatee. Ikki and Jinora meanwhile, had started to play in the snow. Jinora had taken to ice skating using her airbending, while Ikki made a snowman before choosing to cover her own body entirely in snow and then whirling around with her airbending, which caused her mother to get blasted with snow.
"Mommy look, I'm a snow-bender!"
Peema said nothing, rather she shook off the snow and pointed to Tenzin. "Were Tenzin and his siblings this crazy when they were kids?" she asked in an exasperated tone.
"Kya and Bumi certainly were" Katara said matter-of-factly before then adding with a somewhat playful tone: "…but Tenzin has always been rather serious."
It was then that the family reunion was interrupted by the arrival of Korra, with Tenzin being the first to notice her. Despite his weariness and strong desire to lie down and rest after a long trip, he nevertheless still managed a smile upon seeing Korra again for what he realized was the first time in a long while. Years, if he was not mistaken.
"Korra? Look at you. So big and strong. You've grown into quite the young Avatar."
"Master Tenzin" Korra said respectfully, before then adding with more energy and excitement: "I'm so glad you're here. I can't wait to get started!"
"Yes, well... uh..."
Tenzin abruptly turned to Pema, apparently seeking her advice on an unknown subject, which only served to leave Korra confused.
"You're going to have to tell her sooner or later." Pema said simply. Tenzin sighed in response to this, clearly having not gotten the answer he wanted. For her part, Korra was now very confused, looking back and forth at Tenzin and Pema as she became more than a little fearful of what was to come next.
"What? Tell me what?"
"You're not staying are you?" Katara asked her son, her voice filled with disappointment.
Tenzin sighed deeply. "I'm afraid not. We're only visiting for the night, then I have to return to Republic City."
Korra was dumbstruck. She had been so excited for so long and now she was being cut down with a brutal disappointment. That it came so last minute only made it sting all the more.
"But, no... you're supposed to move here. You're supposed to teach me!"
But Tenzin's face remained an apologetic one despite Korra's pleas, and he said sadly: "I'm sorry, Korra. Your airbending training is going to have to wait."