Post by Aria on Sept 3, 2014 1:06:10 GMT
Nationality: Air Nomads, though the Air Roshi doesn't consider her one.
Bending: Air was her original element, but she can bend them all.
Faction: Rulers, The Avatar
Aria has dark brown eyes and brown hair. Her hair is cut in a short bob style at her chin, and she puts her bangs in a mini bun on the side of her head. If she leaves them loose, they constantly fall forward into her eyes. She has very pale skin and an oval shaped face. When she was thirteen, she begged her uncle to tattoo her like the other Air Nomads. This required shaving her hair, but it grew back, and now she proudly displays her arrow tattoo on her forehead as well as on her wrists and feet. Her body is slim and slender and delicate, though she is rather short at five feet.
She dresses much like any Air Nomad in shades of yellow and orange. It can get very cold up in the mountains, even if you can bend warmer air to you. To keep off the cold and avoid getting windburn just about every inch of her is covered with cloth. She wears a long sleeve, yellow tunic that goes to her midthighs. Over this, she wears an orange sleeveless top with the back part extended so it reaches her knees. Over that, she wears a darker orange sash that wraps around her body from her right shoulder to her left hip. Around her waist is a plain brown belt. On her legs, she wears brown leggings. On her feet are a pair of brown boots, a shade or two lighter than her leggings, that go to her midcalf. All of her clothes are made of shed and dyed bison fur, even her shoes though the soles are made of wood and grass as well. In addition to her clothes, she also wears a bison whistle around her neck on a thin orange and yellow braided necklace, a gift from her uncle. She doesn't have a staff/glider yet because the Air Roshi refuses to give her one.
As a child, Aria was often playful, friendly, excitable, energetic, and talkative. She would often rush off to do something only to be distracted. She loved to run and dance and climb trees. She liked to stand at the gates and wait for newcomers to arrive to the village; then she'd beg them to tell her all about the world outside. She dreamed of owning her own bison and flying the world. She knew it probably wouldn't ever happen, but it was always fun to dream. Like most children, she was very trusting and would believe almost anything anyone told her. She unfortunately often got in the way, always wanting to know how and why something was done. It's no wonder her mother kept her away on message trips so much.
Then, she learned she was an airbender, and with the Air Roshi's reaction, it was like she became a new person. She became aloof and quiet. She did everything she could to avoid attention. She still wanted to know things, but now she only watched quietly instead of ask questions. Often, it would seem as if she were invisible, which was good because you couldn't hurt what you didn't see. She did whatever she was told, and usually this was some task to keep her inside, like spinning or sewing. She had been a child, but now she was a mouse.
The last three years have seen a merging to herself. In several ways, being exiled was a good thing. She could fulfill her dream of traveling the world. She no longer had to hide or be ashamed of her airbending. She could actually train now, though it would help if she had someone to train her. She's not as trusting as she was a child, but she is trustworthy herself and eventually she may give her trust to others. She's not as friendly as she once was either but nor is she as aloof as most Air Nomads are. She will help you if you ask for it, unless you need help with fighting. She remains energetic and playful, though she usually only plays with her bison. She's quieter than she was in her childhood, but if something catches her attention, she can still talk your ear off. These past four years have taught her to be practical and analytical. Two things that have helped her survive on her own. As the only female airbender, she has an open-mind and will not judge anyone easily. She's willing to learn anything and often spends her time trying to learn new skills that might aid her in life, like fishing and hunting (though she doesn't eat meat). Boiled down, at this time, she's a survivor, working hard to make her life easier until she can find a new home.
Aria's family has lived on the island since the air lionturtle dumped them here. Before that, they lived on the lionturtle's back. Her great-grandfather was even one of the people whom the lionturtle gave the gift to bend air. However, it wouldn't be until her uncle Gyil started learning airbending did the gift return to the family. Everyone thought the gift of bending would come sweeping back into the family, but it didn't. Only her uncle received the gift, at least until Aria got it too.
Aria's father, Likul, was a stonemason of the village and the temple. It was the stonemasons' responsibility to mine and transport and cut the stones used in building. Her father worked on the temple and its surrounding buildings, often being gone for several days or even weeks at a time. Her mother, Tysh, stayed in the village caring for the family and helping out in the village's gardens. Her older brothers, Kinsh and Waki, became stonemasons when it was apparent they wouldn't bend air. Kinsh, who was the strongest, became a miner; Waki transported the stone on long carts made of wood. Both would seldom return to the family home, preferring to stay amongst their fellow stonemasons. Once it was just the two girls at home, her mother would often send Aria out with messages for her brothers and father.
One day when she was eight, Aria was sent to Kinsh with a message that his wife was in labor (Kinsh is twelve years older than Aria). It was early afternoon. Usually she would have had plenty of time to reach the mine before dark, but on this particular day, it had been raining heavily off and on. The path was wet and treacherous, so she had to go slowly or else she might fall down a cliff or ravine. Dark fell on her too quickly, and with the dark came more rain.
Aria had been traveling for several hours by that time. She was damp from earlier showers and hungry from lack of food. Normally, she wouldn't be so tired, but the lack of food made her weak. She barely managed fo stumble into a cave, thinking she might rest long enough for the rain to stop. However, she quickly discovered she was not alone in the cave.
A mother flying bison was there as well, nursing six little calves. Everyone knows you do not mess with a flying bison and her calves, especially wild ones. Aria was about to back out of the cave when the mother moved towards her quickly, too quickly for Aria to do anything. Instead of pushing her out or worse, the mother gently pressed her nose to Aria's forehead and blew gently. Suddenly, Aria was floating in the air by two feet. When she was on the ground again, she knew she was among friends and that she could rest here.
The next day dawned clear and brîght. When Aria turned to leave, one of the little calves tried to follow her. When she pushed him away, the mother flying bison pushed him back to Aria. Not quite believing her luck, Aria and her new pet rushed to the mines to deliver the message. The way back didn't take so long as they were allowed to take a cart back to the village.
In the days to come, Aria would tell the story of her adventure several times. Everyone agreed she was lucky and blessed to be given such a nice pet, and everyone agreed that her little floating episode had been the mother flying bison's work, not her airbending. Aria didn't argue with them. Surely if she'd been airbending, she'd know it. For the next several weeks, her chores continued as usual. Then one day while she was helping to pick fruit in the orchard, she slipped on a branch and went plummeting to the ground. Just before she hit, she threw her hands up in front of her to brace her fall. Her eyes were shut tight, but when she didn't smack into the ground, she opened them to see she was hovering a few inches off the ground. Even more surprising was that gusts of wind seemed to be coming from her palms. She was airbending! Of course, then she stopped and smacked into the ground.
Right away, she ran and told her mom, who then sent her off to her uncle Gyil. As the only Air Nomad in the family, he would know what to do. Uncle Gyil was excited for her, not only did they have another airbender in the family but also Aria would be the first female Air Nomad. She would help set the standard for future female airbenders to come. He took her straight to the Air Roshi, and that's where things turned sour.
The Air Roshi didn't believe her story. He said it was just a lie she'd come up with to make her feel special. When she showed him her pet, he said she had stolen it from the air temple. He even tried to take away her flying bison, but the creature knocked everyone aside who tried to seize it and flew out the window. In desperation, Aria tried to summon a gust of wind to prove she was an airbender. Everyone lost count of how many times she tried, but finally the Air Roshi grew tired and commanded that she leave. In frustration and anger, Aria strarted waving her hands about wildly. Finally, she was airbending! Unfortunately, the Air Roshi clung to every excuse he could to disprove that it was her. He said it was her uncle doing it; he said it was a good breeze; finally he said there was no way she could airbend because she was a girl, and even if she could, she could never be an Air Nomad because it was a male only group. Outraged, both Aria and her uncle tried to reason with the ir Roshi, who only seemed to grow angrier himself. In the end, he exiled her from the temple compound, saying if she ever returned, he would exile her from the island as well.
With a heavy heart, Aria returned to the village, but it seemed the Air Roshi was not done with her yet. Shortly after she returned home, a rumor began circulating that yes, she could airbend, but she had stolen the gift from one of the young boys it was meant for. How could she or anyone else steal bending from someone? The Air Roshi claimed that certain people could take another's bending by touching them. It was a lie, and everyone in her family knew it. The other villagers believed the Air Roshi though. He was the leader of the community; he knew more about bending than they all did. If he said it had happened, why shouldn't they believe him? Soon, Aria had to apologize for taking the airbending. She said that she didn't think she had stolen it, but even if she had, she hadn't meant to, and she didn't know how to give it back. Apologizing didn't stop the dirty looks or the bad names. It didn't stop the boys from throwing rocks and sticks at her. Eventually, it didn't even stop their fists and feet from connecting with her body.
For five long years, Aria put up with this torture. She couldn't airbend because that would only make things worse. She was still too young to survive on her own, so running away wasn't really a solution, though sometimes she hid in the mountain caves for das and weeks at a time just to escape. Her mother tried to help by talking to the other mothers, but when they started to shun her, she gave up. The only really good thing that happened was that her flying bison, Hirkio, came back, but she kept him hidden in a mountain cave for fear that the Air Roshi would find out and slay him. On and on, her pain went until there seemed to be no end to her misery.
Finally, with swollen black eyes and bruises all over her torso, she went to her uncle. In desperation, she begged him to tattoo her like the other Air Nomads. She thought it might end her pain, might make everyone accept her as she was. There had been a ceremony a few days earlier in which all of the young airbenders had received their tattoos. They'd come to the village to show them off and had taunted her. When she tried to fight them off, they began beating her with their staffs. It had to work; they would see she was just like them. The nightmare would finally stop. Her uncle was reluctant. It would be painful, he said, and require her to shave her head. She didn't care. She was determined to put an end to this. Finally, he agreed.
At first, it seemed no one really noticed, but she dídn't really show them off either. She wasn't sure what might happen to her if the Air Roshi found out, and suddenly she felt foolish and rash for convincing her uncle. It wasn't that hard to cover up her tattoos. For the most part, they were hidden under her clothes. The only one that was hard to hide was the one on her head, but she covered it with a bit of orange cloth. In the end, it turned out to be two weeks before the Air Roshi summoned her to the temple; he even sent an Air Nomad on a flying bison to escort her. Taking this for a good omen, Aria thought finally her ordeal would be over. At the temple, the Air Roshi asked her to remove her headband. When she obeyed, he said nothing for a long while but simply stared at her. Finally, he said in an exceptionally calm voice that he recalled telling her she would be exiled if she ever came to the temple again. He summoned an Air Nomad to escort her back to the village to gather her things. Then he commanded the Air Nomad to take her to the eastern shore of the Earth Kingdom and leave her there. She was thirteen.
The first week was the hardest. Her family had given her food and supplies, and the past five years she had been working on her survival skills. She was probably better off than some people, but she was entirely alone...and in the middle of pirate country. She knew the pirates would harm her if they knew she was there, so she found a deep cave and hid there. She only came out once a day to blow the whistle her uncle had given her. He had promised to send her flying bison to her. It was during one of these whistle blowing excursions that the pirates found her. Later, all Aria would recall was a gang of ten pirates approaching her with weapons in their hands. She attempted to fight them off wifh airbending, but being as unskilled as she was, it didn't do much good. The last thing she remembered was one of them rushing at her with a heavy wooden club. She assumed he had knocked her out. She awoke to her bison licking her face drenched with water. The pirates were gone, swept away by water or somehow burned to death from the blackened corpses she found laying around her. There also seemed to be new rocks jutting up out of the earth. It didn't matter. She was safe now. She'd always wanted to be an Air Nomad, and now it seemed she was.
It has been three years since the Air Roshi exiled her. Not much has happened since then. She travels the world on her flying bison, observing the people in the other nations without ever truly getting involved herself. To make a living, she gathers the shed fur of her bison and spins it into yarn. Bison fur is very soft and warm, so it usually fetches a good price. She also lends a hand with harvests sometimes in exchange for food. Most of her days are spent alone though. As for her nights, these are mostly spent in the company of strange dreams where she can bend every element, a man is trying to speak to her, or sometimes a white blob with a woman's voice. These dreams come frequently and have begun to trouble her greatly with their number. She has decided to find out why she has them. Maybe a wise woman will know or maybe she can find a sacred place and connect to the spirits. She doesn't know, but the dreams are so maddeningly vague she has become desperate to know their meaning.