Avatar: A Tale of Seasons
Water Bender from the Southern Water Tribe
Kuruk is a 19 year old Water Bender from the Southern Water Tribe. Growing up in a relatively secluded village, he was named after Elder Kuruk, the founder of his home village and a powerful Water Bender. Kuruk’s latent Water Bending skills showed themselves early on, but his lack of discipline often caused unforeseen events. His parents expected greatness from him, and in this effort he was discipled to Master Notak.
Notak was a well respected member of the community, offering sage advice whenever needed and protecting the village from whatever came along. However, he proved to be a less than ideal teacher to the young Kuruk. A harsh taskmaster, Notak had zero tolerance for mistakes and carried through on his punishments. This face was never shown in public, and Kuruk never shared it with others, never showed the bruises, both physical and mental. He studied in quiet, took the abuse, internalized it. In private, with nothing but his thoughts to keep him company, he would steal away to the outskirts, lash out at the uncaring glaciers and snow mounds.
But one such night, after a particularly grueling session, Kuruk lashed out louder than normal, with more ferocity and hate. The ice cracked beneath his fists, echoed over the endless expanse of snow.
He felt trapped. Trapped and alone, his name pulling him to an impossibly high benchmark and his master, his tormentor, destroying his body and mind one day at a time.
So it was that on that night, when Master Notak appeared seamlessly from the snow like a phantom, Kuruk could no longer internalize the pain. His Master paced to him, his trademark scowl present on that impassible face, slapped him hard across the face. Notak’s mouth opened to berate Kuruk, but no sounds came out.
In his anger and rage, Kuruk let loose. The snow turned to ice, what little vapor in the air coalesced, and he attacked. A million tiny shards of razor-sharp ice punctured his master, who in his utter surprise did not respond in time. A red mist exploded in to the air; Narook pulled at it, felt the moisture in it, solidified it and attacked yet again. Over and over he did this, the bloodlust and adrenaline urging him on, never allowing him to stop. After what seemed like hours but must have only been seconds, Notak fell to the snow, bloodless, lifeless, limbs already going rigid from the cold.
Kuruk returned to his senses, glared down at the corpse. He felt no pity, no sadness. Only relief. Like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
And then came panic. He could never return to the village. To do so would mean banishment or execution, neither of which sounded particularly appealing to him. He knew what he had to do.
Sneaking back to the village, he found his family’s hut, stole inside, found his things. With a quiet, heartfelt, tearless goodbye to his parents and little sister, Kuruk left. He had hours until anyone noticed his absence, and Notak often slept late. He had time.
Over the next years he travel from the pole to the heartland, adventuring through the world and practicing his Water Bending. Never again had he achieved the power he had on that night, but every day he pushed himself further.
Now, in the shadow of the great city of Ba Sing Se, Kuruk felt the time was nigh to end his self-exile and return to the civilized world.