a shadow a smoke

Sokkla Saturdays: Muse

Set 1; Week 5

Genres: Humor/Friendship

Rating: K

Setting: Fire Nation Palace bathroom (After Smoke and Shadow)


          “AAAAAAAAHHHHH!” Azula shrieked, wearing only a towel. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?!”

          Sokka winced. “S-Sorry! I couldn’t find Zuko and – ”

          “And you thought you’d just sneak into the bathroom while I was showering?!”

          “N-No! I heard someone singing and was drawn in!”

          She turned bright red. “NO ONE has heard me sing. Now I’m going to have to kill you.”

          “Hey, let’s not be too drastic here!” He took a step backward. “Why are you so ashamed anyway? You sing beautifully.”

          She scowled.

          “R-really! In fact, you’ve inspired me. Azula, will you teach me how to sing?”

          “Hmmm… I’m not sure you’re teachable. Sing me a major scale.”

          “A what?”

          She sighed. “Okay, just try to match my notes.”

          She worked her way up the scale with Sokka following.

          “Good news,” she smiled. “You’re completely tone-deaf.”

          “How is that good news?”

          “Now you know never to sing in public. Ever.”

          On his birthday that year, Azula sent him a set of bongo drums along with a note: Dear Sokka, I think I’ve found your instrument. All rhythm and no melody. Play to your heart’s content. Your thoughtful friend, Azula

          But to the princess, the greatest gift of all was knowing how much his drumming would infuriate Katara.



Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation ostrich-horse cavalry. 

Very important note: This is the first time we have ever seen the Fire Nation use ostrich-horse cavalry. Up until now, the only nation to use the ostrich-horse was the Earth Kingdom. Likewise, komodo-rhinos have only been used by the Fire Nation. 

The fact that the Fire Nation is now using a form of cavalry that, in the past, had excursively been used by the Earth Kingdom suggests that the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation are now participating in a form of trade and/or cultural exchange that benefits both parties.

Also, those ostrich-horses would have had to have been broken (is that the right word?) and trained. Considering how:

  1. There’s some overlap between “The Rift and Smoke and Shadow”
  2. “The Rift” and “The Search” take place within the same year
  3. “The Search” takes place only a year after “The Promise” 

There’s no way the Fire Nation could have just trained or learned to ride those ostrich-horses by themselves. They must have been given to the Fire Nation by the Earth Kingdom. 

Guys…the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom  are embracing multiculturalism and actively trading with with one another as equal partners. I know, technically, we’ve already had the Kyoshi Warriors guarding the Firelord but, to be fair, that was mostly Mai’s prerogative. 

As the nations learn to cooperate and mutually benefit each other as equal problems, the nations will prosper. In the URN specifically, all four nations will come together to create a new culture altogether, incorporating characteristics and traits from all four nations. 

That said, this is a pretty big deal. Correction, this is a pretty huge deal. THE NATIONS ARE STARTING TO MUTUALLY TRADE KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES WITH EACH OTHER!

What the creators are planning for in Fire Nation-centric comics

I did a search. Here is notes and observations I picked up from the Fire Nation comics based on certain aspects I’ve read in Avatar wiki and interviews with Yang/Bryke (and it fits the comics rhythm):

•The main relationships the creators writing now about and develop / healing are:

- Zuko and Mai romance relationship. (Maiko)
- Zuko-Azula relationship and destiny.

• Side relationships:

- Azula-Ursa relationship (it can be “side-plot” as well)
- Zuko-Ursa relationship.
- Ursa/Zuko-Kiyi relationship.

The characters that the creators have plans for/develop in the comics (as I read in interviews):

- Zuko: Continues develop as character and Fire Lord. (With everyone’s help)

- Azula: (The character plan) Creating group of warriors for the Fire Nation called “Fire warriors”; similar to what Avatar Kyoshi did. So it’ll be a little bit like the Fire Nation equivalent of the Kyoshi warriors. Which means character development.

- Mai: As character and the future Fire Lady.

- Ursa and Iroh. (Nothing clear yet, but they’ll play important roles as ever, especially Iroh)

Note: Kei Lo would be there in the next Fire Nation comic. There’s a strong possibility for him to end up with Ty Lee.

Characters like Kiyi, Noren (and Kei Lo) are designed to be stable and maybe a bit bland in order to accentuate the difference between their dynamic with Ursa compared to Zuko and Azula’s.

|| Miscalculated Mainipulations and Smoke + Shadow ||

Måi is manipulative, self-serving, exploitative, and cruel as a character, and particularly in Smoke and Shadow. This META explores how. Anti-måiko, somewhat anti-Måi, Bryke/Gene Yang/A:TLA comic critique/criticism. You’ve been warned. Continue at your own risk. Will contain spoilers

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Il Confessionale | aka the Primavera alternate ending absolutely no one asked for.

Will’s shoes clicked against the mosaic stone floor, footfalls shooting echoes past towering columns and off the frescoed walls. Shadows like smoke dripped from darkened corners and danced beneath his feet. The chapel, still and empty, brimmed and spilled with the ghosts of memories, their presence real enough to choke.

He could still smell Abigail’s blood in the air, sweet and dark, and feel the fog of it warm on his fingers.

Past the rows of empty pews, Will slipped into the middle compartment of the confessional, its door falling shut like a coffin. He sat there for endless moments in silence, eyes squeezed shut, pretending to be dead. 

The creak of the door on the other side pulled him from his trance. Will slid the screen open blind, not needing to glance through the lattice to know the penitent he would find.

“Bless me father, for I have sinned,” Hannibal’s voice dripped like honey through the partition. “I don’t believe I’ve spoken those words before.”

Will kept his eyes trained forward, on the smooth woodgrain of the door. “I don’t believe you believe in the concept of sinner nor sin.”

“You know me well,” Hannibal drawled. His voice felt too small for their circumstance, too soft for their plight.

“Perhaps not well enough.”

In the corner of Will’s eye, Hannibal’s blurry form began to shift. “Here we sit, in the foyer of my mind. You knew exactly where to find me.”

Will sighed deep. “You knew exactly where I would come to find you.”

“What will you do, now that your mission is complete?”

Will stared down at his hands. He clasped them tightly together, his fingers cold as ice. “I’ve been curious about that myself.”

Shadows moved across the screen, and Will finally dared a look. He was met with the sight of Hannibal’s palm pressed against the lattice, reverent. Their eyes met in the empty spaces. Will’s stomach lurched and dropped down to his feet.

“I forgive you,” Will said, though it was barely more than a whisper.

His hand met Hannibal’s against the partition, warm skin trembling and quivering between the cracks. The contact was so momentary, so fleeting, Will wondered if it had happened at all after Hannibal stole his touch away.

Will turned his eyes back to the door and slid the screen shut beside him, blackness swallowing Hannibal’s presence whole. All movement stilled, perhaps even his breathing, the only sound in the whole world the slow whine of the confessional door.

Will sat in his confessional tomb long after Hannibal had gone, fielding whispers of the dead, carefully balancing his own forgiveness.

Azula: Earth Kingdom Chronicles

Warning: This post focuses on Azula’s relationship with Zuko.

Recently, I have read the mini Kindle book called Earth Kingdom Chronicles: The Tale of Azula. This book follows Azula’s journey through the Earth Kingdom in search of her uncle, brother and the Avatar. Now it’s made apparent in the beginning that she is a cool and calculating as she is shown to us throughout the series. She believes fear is the only way her relationships can work, because as we all know, that is her comfort zone. Emotions, though she does have them, are foreign to her and it’s only when her world is turned upside down that it’s made apparent that she does not know how to handle them. We know through this that she is out of touch with them after suppressing them thanks to Ozai. We all know he does not rely on such petty emotions to get what he wants, only using Fear as his drive. Azula, as we all know, strives to be just like him even though that is not who she is underneath. 

Another thing that is made apparent is that she believes that she is the rightful heir to the throne…in the beginning.

Keep reading

  • [Zuko met the Gaang again after Smoke and Shadow]
  • Zuko:Back when I was in Fire Nation, my Palace got attacked. A rebels were mad cause I arrested the Safe Nation Society. They just wrote some dumb things on the walls, is all. Nothing big, but it did piss me off. So, Mai went out into the fields and-
  • Sokka:…The Creepy Girl, LOL did he murder someone?
  • Zuko:Yeah, she killed a guy.
  • Sokka:What?! Holy shit!
  • Zuko:She doesn't like to see me upset.
  • Aang:Was… was he someone you knew?
  • Zuko:Yeah. Well… Yeah, “knew” past tense. He’s dead now.
  • Katara:S-so… What was he like?
  • Zuko:He was… I mean, gosh, what was he like? Well, he WAS alive.

anonymous asked:

I feel the next Fire Nation-centric comic would be the real start for the New Fire Nation that Izumi roles now. Everything look up and positive. I don't know what kind of adventure it would be, but shall be the best of all!

I think that is what Bryke is aiming for. It only makes sense. End of the war means a new start to everyone and everything. Sure it’s going to take a while to break down and rebuild but it’s already taking affect now. And I believe, based off of how “Smoke and Shadow” ended, that Azula and Zuko will be the ones to guide it towards that future. The foreshadowing of Azula becoming Zuko’s most trusted adviser is where that comes from:

 Everything that happens has a Butterfly effect. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 || Gene Luen Yang || Smoke and Shadow #1-3 || 80 / 80 / 80 pages
Top 3 Genres: Graphic Novels / Fantasy / Young Adult

Synopsis: The Fire Nation is threatened by a prophecy told by the Kemurikage–mysterious figures thought only to exist in legend: “remove Zuko from the throne or the country will perish!” Unrest is brewing as the New Ozai Society prepares to make its move against the crown, and children begin to go missing from their homes under mysterious circumstances! Avatar Aang and his friends are doing everything in their power to save them–but will it be enough?!

Started: July 16th, 2016.

reading american gods for the first time

shadow: *meets a strange man on an airplane who somehow knows his name, that his wife just died, that he was just released from prison, and that he has no job to go back to now that he’s out, and wants to hire him*

shadow: “uh, that sounds fake, but okay.”

shadow: *is kidnapped by some punk computer nerd who knew he worked for mr. wednesday like an hour after he got the job, then wakes up in his motel room to find his dead wife has somehow dug herself out of her grave and is walking and talking*

shadow: “huh. must have been all the chloroform i got roofied with and the fake-DMT that kid was smoking, no big deal.”

shadow: *mentions his dead wife encounter to mr. wednesday and zorya polunochnaya to find that neither of them show any shock whatsoever at this news*

shadow: “wow. that’s peculiar, i guess.”

shadow: *plays checkers as a bet with a strange slavic man he just met through his boss despite the man (czernobog) telling him that if he loses, he will have his head beaten in with a sledgehammer*

shadow: “meh, why not? sounds legit.”

shadow: *goes out on a mystical fire escape in the middle of the night and watches zorya polunochnaya literally pluck the moon out of the sky and turn it into a silver dollar. wakes up the next morning to find the fire escape is no longer there but the coin is*

shadow: “hmm. i want to say something weird is going on, but whatever. it was probably a dream.”

like, at this point, i wonder what it would take to actually shock this dude?

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 || Gene Luen Yang || Smoke and Shadow #1-3 || 80 / 80 / 80 pages
Top 3 Genres: Graphic Novels / Fantasy / Young Adult

Synopsis: The Fire Nation is threatened by a prophecy told by the Kemurikage–mysterious figures thought only to exist in legend: “remove Zuko from the throne or the country will perish!” Unrest is brewing as the New Ozai Society prepares to make its move against the crown, and children begin to go missing from their homes under mysterious circumstances! Avatar Aang and his friends are doing everything in their power to save them–but will it be enough?!

Finished: July 16th / 16th / 16th, 2016.

Progress: 23-25 / 50. 46-50% complete.

My Rating: ★★★★★. [5/5] / ★★★★★. [5/5] / ★★★★★. [5/5]

My Review: [Under the read more - NOT SPOILER FREE]

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