I was thinking about it the other day I realized Zuko had the greatest connection with Sokka out of all the members of Team Avatar. It amazed me in “The Boiling Rock” episodes how well they worked together and what a great team they made. They were both skilled fighters without using bending; both being excellent swordsmen. They each became leaders of their respective lands, Zuko becoming Firelord and Sokka becoming Chief of the Southern Water Tribe.

When Tenzin said that Zuko and Sokka were part of the team that stopped the Red Lotus initially from abducting Korra, it made me think about how great it would of been to see them work together in their old age.

Okay that is all thank you.


After I saw this post that showed the red lotus members as teenagers, it really sunk in for me that they had to have done pretty nasty things and seen some shit to become such jaded and vengeful adults. What really struck me was how much they reminded me of the gaang, just all their smiles and bright young eyes that hoped for a future full of promise. 


BK: Villains are always fun to create and write for, so Book Three was a blast in this regard. Mike, Tim, Josh and I got to dream up a team of baddies who represented each of the four elements, but with rare and deadly skills. The designers and I hastily cranked out concept designs so the storyboard artists would have at least rough materials to work with at the start of the new season.

Designs by Bryan Konietzko, Christie Tseng, Angela Song Mueller, and Ki-Hyun Ryu. Color by Sylvia Filcak-Blackwolf.


i know it’s been pointed out that, out of the red lotus, ming hua’s style of fighting is the most brutal, that she’s the most ruthless of the four of them

but if you think about it, it makes complete sense???

the red lotus were locked up in specialized, isolated prisons, with the goal being to keep each member away from their respective element (sans zaheer, obviously)

p'li was kept away from any source of warmth, ghazan was kept away from any source of earth, and ming hua….

see, the difference between ming hua and the other two is that water is so much harder to be isolated from than earth or fire, because the human body literally cannot survive without it. and it’s been shown that water benders don’t need much fluid to be dangerous; ming hua could have possibly escaped by bending her own sweat.

so the only solution the white lotus could have come up with was to completely deprive ming hua of water. just give her enough to keep her alive; maybe a a mouthful or two once a week.  

a mouthful of water a week for thirteen years; it's inhumane. it obviously takes a toll on her body, too–

when we first see ming hua, she has sharp, prominent cheekbones and eyes that are sunken into her face, both classic signs of dehydration. (also, the neckline of her dress is ripped; maybe she tore the cloth off with her teeth and chewed on it so her mouth would keep producing saliva??)

when she first speaks, her voice is raspy– which can be attributed to grey delisle’s incredible voice acting, but also to the fact that ming hua hasn’t had enough to drink for more than a decade

(when we see ming hua again in republic city, she still seems pretty emaciated;; long terms affects of dehydration, probably??)

so yeah, having the health of your body abused like that would obviously tick you off, which is why ming hua is so brutal when it comes to dispatching those white lotus guards.

but ming hua is also different from the rest of the red lotus in that she needs her element to function; not on a biological level, but to do everyday tasks, like…picking up a pair of chopsticks. 

but she couldn’t do anything like that for thirteen years! she couldn’t tie back her hair or scratch her neck or wipe her mouth or anything. when the white lotus guards brought her food, she must have eaten while kneeling. 

can you imagine how humiliating that must have been? one of the most powerful, most talented benders of her generation, being forced to eat on her knees, like she was begging. how embarrassing. how horrible.

no wonder she tossed that one guard into the volcano. 


(art by @aatkaw, caption by @fell-dragon-domain)

The rally Ming-Hua had been sent to reconnoiter was a great deal of pointless noise, lots of talking without saying anything. At first they didn’t seem too different from her own group, until their masked leader had declared his intention to replace the government of the United Republic with one of their own. That was when she knew that these Equalists were going to be a problem.

It only takes her a few minutes to identify the tremor running through her blood, whipping the crowd into a fervor. She was somewhat impressed that he was able to bloodbend without a full moon, and on so many people at once, but most of them were simple-minded. They hadn’t even noticed that the arms in her sleeve were made of water.

She watches as one triad after another loses their bending, reaching out and studying the actual mechanism of Amon’s supposedly spirit-given power. It’s nothing of the sort, as she’d guessed. More bloodbending, and crude bloodbending at that, though employed in a novel way to sever the chi paths around the appropriate chakra. Very inventive, even if it stinks of hypocrisy.

It isn’t hard to coax the Equalists away from their hideout on the night of the next full moon, carefully winding her way toward the city limits slowly enough to let them follow her. Just to make the path very clear, she leaves a trail of their comrades as she goes, their masks stained red from her own bloodbending. She makes sure to leave one alive, though. One to go back and get help.

Ming-Hua has to wait almost an hour at the edge of a forest preserve before he appears, audaciously alone without the merest bit of backup. The fight is swift and brutal, entirely one-sided. Once the tug of his bloodbending fails and she turns it back on him, there isn’t much left for him to do without water nearby. She forces him to his knees and contemplates strangling him with his own arteries, but decides to leave him alive, his secret safely in her knowledge should he get any ideas of creating new governments.

In this AU the Red Lotus is determined to cause problems for the Equalists, who before Amon’s death they see as trying to establish an even more powerful, centralized government than the one in place. Hideouts either explode or end up half-melted in lava, but most importantly is what Ming-Hua does for Amon’s victims. It’s just bloodbending, after all, and under a full moon she’s able to coax any severed chi paths back into connection. They don’t much care about making the triads more powerful—they’re just another form of control pressing down on the citizens of Republic City, after all—but the psychological effect can’t be understated, both on the general public and the rank-and-file Equalists. Seeing people who had their bending taken wielding their element again is a crippling blow to Amon’s power base, as well as providing some vindictive satisfaction for Ming-Hua at seeing another waterbender abuse his power and impose his will on others.

lovin the red lotus.  they kinda remind me of a grown-up version of mai, ty lee, azula, and zuko–i think i really just like villain groups.  anyway, p'li’s design is especially amazing, and i couldn’t help but paint her from that incredibly animated scene right before she gets knocked out by bolin.

interested in a piece like this of your very own? consider commissioning me!

more of my art

Roots of the Red Lotus - Ming-Hua

(art by @aatkaw, story by @fell-dragon-domain)

The Foggy Swamp Tribe, unfortunately, had no shortage of superstitions about congenital defects, and Hua had to bear insults, violence, and isolation for seventeen long years, ever since she’d been born. She finally fled her home after killing three boys who had attacked her and swore that if she ever came back to the swamp, it would only be to burn it down.

She added the ‘Ming’ to her name to blend better and settled in the city of Gaoling, carving out a nice little niche as a healer with techniques she had taught herself. That fell apart when the governor’s new taxes and permit requirements went into effect; when she couldn’t pay, the city garrison wrecked her business and forced her from the city.

Rather than take up somewhere else right away, she spent a few years traveling between the border towns of the Si Wong Desert and plying her services, but their superstitions didn’t leave her much better off than in the swamp, and she was only tolerated so long as she was healing someone.

After a year of curiosity at whatever required so many supplies in a nearby valley, she stumbled upon the new city-state of Zaofu. Instead of being run out again, she was able to set up another healing business, but the rank patronization by Zaofu’s citizenry over her disability was almost more insulting than the open hostility she’d endured. She felt she belonged there no more than her tribe, or Gaoling, or the border towns.

One day, in the wake of the news of Gaoling’s governor’s assassination, three odd folk stumbled into her clinic with wounds at odds with the explanations they gave her. Eventually she wheedled the truth out of them, and she laughed at their recount of how the governor had begged for his life, offering them all the money he had made extorting the honest people of the province. Rather than fearing the three assassins who had fallen into her lap, Ming-Hua found herself rather enjoying their company. They neither disparaged nor pitied her, but simply respected her skill. When their leader subtly offered her the opportunity to put her abilities to better use against other figures that used their positions to exploit the people under them, it wasn’t a difficult decision.


ming hua deserves more fanart.  i really love her design.  please ignore the sad attempt at water-arms; i can’t draw water.

also, here’s a vague attempt at a walkthrough!  i’ve had a lot of requests for livestreams and/or video walkthroughs, but i don’t currently have the programs to do that.  i wish i could put together a more comprehensive tutorial, but it’s difficult to remember to take screenshots when i get into the painting mode.  i also realize that this is a very “step one, sketch, step two, finish the painting”, buuuuuuut hey.  (it’s probably because i tend to work quickly on everything at once.)

my art

commissions (i’m still open!  let me draw pretty things for you!!!)

Can we just take a minute to talk about how disturbing book 3 of Korra actually was? Like they literally had four adults abudct a teenaged girl and chain her up in a cave where they methodically tortured her with poison. And once she was weak, vulnerable, and suffering in agony, they tried kill to her with lava and water. Then when that didn’t work they had a man basically try to pull the life from her dying body. Oh. And then her father held her in her arms while the light literally went out of her eyes and her killer laughed. Ok. Cool. Nice. Did they test this out with kids? Was it like “So kids love fire ferrets, flying bisons, oh…and torture.”