Princess Azula's Firebending
|Played by Rani|
Avatar: The Last Airbender
"The Boiling Rock, Part 2"
Azula is known for many things; her sadistic and manipulative plans, her skilled battlefield tactics, and most of all, her firebending. In her own world and time, the art of firebending was something reserved for those born with this ability in the Fire Nation. Firebending is the ability to control and create fire, often fused together with an aggressive form of martial arts. Firebenders draw their power from force of will and an unflinching drive to reach their goals. Hate and anger are also powerful sources for firebending. Firebenders also draw power from the sun, comets, or other sources of fire. It is a common tactic for firebenders to set fires around them and then use those lit fires as a further source of energy.
But just as firebending is stronger during the day, it becomes slightly weaker at night. A total solar eclipse will cut off the ability entirely until the event has passed. Firebending also becomes far weaker and even impossible at times if they are in an environment that would extinguish their flames. For example, firebending is impossible under water and far more difficult in the rain. Extreme cold and subzero temperatures can also cause a firebender’s abilities to become far weaker.
As a firebender, Azula’s own abilities follow all of those same basic rules. She has been recognized as a firebending prodigy by many, and is considered a master firebender despite her young age. Azula’s firebending is unique in that she creates blue flames instead of the standard red, yellow, and orange of other firebenders. These burn hotter and stronger and are for more intense than standard flames. Like most firebenders, Azula’s firebending/martial arts mix involves short, quick bursts in a continuous, offensive attack that is meant to keep the opponent off-balance. In firebending, “offense is the best defense” is certainly true for there are few specifically defensive techniques. Azula has developed a few over the years, mostly involving shooting down or deflecting projectiles or creating walls of flame. However, her technique clearly favors a constant barrage of attacks as both her offense and her offensive defense. The lack of a solid defensive can often be a firebender’s greatest weakness.
Azula has showcased several advanced techniques, including discs of fire, condensing fire into “blades” that can cut through material, propelling herself through the air with jets of fire from her feet, as well as producing lightning. On their own, few of her skills are fatal. But they can cause severe burns if she strikes with a hot enough flame. Lightning is the most dangerous of her techniques as a standalone attack, but the more powerful the energy, the longer it takes Azula to power up. She can shoot an almost instantaneous bolt of lightning, and while that would be enough to severely injure an old man or a young child, it would cause less damage to someone who is already fit and with durability. Charging up a lightning attack would cause far more severe damage, but the “charging” is a very visible process and they would have warning of at least a few seconds before Azula unleashed the attack.
She is capable of sustaining her firebending for long periods of time as long as she paces herself, which she is capable of doing. Going at full strength, however, she can only maintain her energy for around seven or eight minutes until she exhausts herself. However, with her growing mental instability, the dangers are much higher of her losing control of her firebending. This would allow her to create more powerful and larger flames, but would drain her far faster. She would lose her precision, focus, and aim and would never be able to pull off many of her more powerful techniques. At that point she would only be running on emotion.
Besides her firebending, Azula showcases ability with throwing knives, hand-to-hand combat techniques, and a great deal of agility and flexibility. She has trained her body and is strong enough to support at least her own body weight with ease, and has shown some basic acrobatics with being able to perform flips and run up walls.
Azula has also studied military strategies and histories since she was a young child, giving her a great deal of background and an understanding of military tactics. She has proven herself to be a skilled strategist by planning the successful capture of the great city of Ba Sing Se. Azula also discovered the planned invasion of the Fire Nation and defeated that as well.
For all of her strengths, Azula is still a 14-year old, human girl. She can be burned by her own fire if she is not careful, will be injured by an attack, is susceptible to anything that would harm a human. She also has a deep-seated mental instability that is only just starting to shine through the cracks. As that and her paranoia grows, Azula could only become more dangerous, but her firebending and actions would be less controlled and thought through.
Azula was raised into a privelaged life. Born royalty, she always had everything she ever wanted, and that only continued when her father become Fire Lord. Azula is used to her sense of entitlement and expects everything to be handed to her on a silver platter. She never had to work for her glory like some do. Instead, Azula was born in to it. Azula's core beliefs involve the idea that there is nothing greater than power and there is no power greater than that which comes by birthrite. She holds a great deal of pride in her birthrite and as such, everyone else is inferior to her. Azula is fierce, calculating, cunning, intelligent, and manipulative. The girl lacks all empathy and controls people through fear. She is not beyond threatening to get her way, whether she is dealing with an ally or a foe.
On the surface, Azula is cruel and in control. Every word is carefully chosen and she puts her all into her training and her lessons. She has excellent awareness of her own body -- gained largely through her martial arts and firebending training -- and can tell an obvious lie without so much as a change in her breath or heartbeat. She enjoys a good joke, though there are few who seem to share her particular and often cruel brand of humor. The misfortune of others is simply hilarious to her, and watching the insects squirm and fight back against the inevitable is just a day's entertainment.
Azula is a perfectionist, because anything less is not worthy for one of her stature. She will not accept less than perfection. If so much as a single hair slips free from her bun while training, Azula will throw a tantrum and repeat again and again and again. Azula never cared for girly things and she admits that she is not good with boys. In her experience, she has only intimidated them with her position, her power, and her natural personality. But despite have a certain lack of social skills, Azula has always been good at reading and understanding people. She can look at a man in an interrogation and tell that he is being truthful.
However, recently Azula's reality has cracked. After the betrayal of her supposed best friends, Mai and Ty Lee, she has found it increasingly difficult to trust anyone. There is always that idea in the back of her mind that there will be another knife in the back, an assassin lurking in the darkness, or even an olive pit in her food that she will choke on. Her father is the only person she really trusts now, because she thinks of herself as his right-hand man. She believes that he trusts her. She's always wrapped herself up in this belief that it is no good to trust or care, because Azula truly believes that her mother loved Zuko more than she loved Azula. Even as a child Azula was cruel and sadistic, and it was a fact that did not escape her mother's notice. And so Azula only buried herself deeper in her own cruelty, because she was not one who deserved to be loved. But why did she need a mother's love when she could force the people she ruled over to love her instead?
Azula is a young woman of 14-years and stands at 5'3". Despite her short stature, she commands a presence about her that is her birthrite. Her body is fit and toned, with compact, lean muscle that has developed from years of training in the martial arts and as a firebender. She carries herself with a natural confidence and often with a look of superiority as well.
Azula's hair is long and black, falling down to her mid-back. She normally wears it up in a high bun, decorated with a pin shaped like fire, the crest of the Fire Nation. It is a symbol of her status. Azula's eyes are amber in color and her. As Princess of the Fire Nation, Azula naturally favors the color red in her wardrobe. And though she'll wear a variety of styles, Azula prefers clothing befitting her status. She is used to having expensive tastes.
Azula was born 14 years ago to Prince Ozai and Princess Ursa as the second of their two children. Being born into the royal family, she was privileged and perhaps even twisted from the very beginning. As a child she was cunning and manipulative, making a fool of her older brother Zuko and even bullying her best friends, Mai and Ty Lee. Of course, it was all a game to her. Just innocent fun. Azula received the best education there was, and she excelled at it unlike Zuko. She was declared a genius in firebending and even at a young age, she showed extreme competence that was rarely seen in a child. An Azula enjoyed showing off just how good she was. She would take any chance to make her brother look like the fool while she shined. Ozai was proud of her and Azula never doubted her father cared for her. He loved her more than he loved Zuko, and that was just something else she could rub in his face as they got older. However, Azula was not blind to the love that Ursa had for Zuko. She fully believed that her mother loved Zuko more than her, but that was something that Azula stamped down and locked away. It did not matter. Zuko was weak. Their mother was weak.
On the night that Prince Ozai requested an audience with his father, Fire Lord Azulon, Azula and Zuko were in attendance as well. After a brief demonstration of the children's progress in their firebending (one that Zuko failed), Ursa and the children were sent away. But Azula dragged Zuko behind a curtain and they evesdropped on the conversation between their father and grandfather. The Crown Prince, Iroh, had given up on the war at the death of his son and was returning home in shame. Ozai urged his father to revoke Iroh's claim on the throne and make Ozai the crown prince and future Fire Lord instead. Azulon was furious. Zuko, frightened of what they were overhearing, fled the throne room, leaving Azula behind to witness the declaration that would change their lives. Azulon wanted to humble Ozai by making him know what it felt like to lose a son. He was ordered to kill Zuko, and Ozai agreed to it.
Azula came to Zuko later that night and taunted him with that knowledge. It was there that Ursa found the two and she dragged Azula away to have a talk. Even she could tell how twisted Azula was even as a child. Azula never knew the details of what came next, but she knew enough. Their mother could not lose Zuko, and so she hatched a plan with Ozai that would kill Fire Lord Azulon and make Ozai the next Fire Lord. Ursa was marked a traitor and banished from the Fire Nation. She was gone by morning, as was Fire Lord Azulon.
With her father made Fire Lord, Azula's life only grew grander. She had an amount of pride for her father. Azula had always known he'd be a far better Fire Lord than her fat, sentimental Uncle, after all. Her mother's disapearance did not seem to bother Azula either. In fact, it was something she enjoyed taunting Zuko with.
Azula grew and trained in firebending and military tactics, for the Fire Nation was still at war with the Earth Kingdom. Azula was present when Zuko spoke out against his father and was cruelly challenged to an Agni Kai. Watching her brother's failure and banishment had been the highlight of that month. Azula had never held any real love for her brother, after all.
With Zuko away and on an impossible mission -- capture the Avatar who had not been seen in 100 years -- Azula continued her studies and even began getting field experience. Despite her young age, she was put in command of troops or small units and she furthered their war efforts, even creating new tactics to aid her father's plans.
But then word came to them that the Avatar was now alive and Zuko was on his trail. It was after the Siege of the North Pole and Zuko's shameful failure to capture the last airbender that Azula finally stepped up to pursue the Avatar herself. It was an important job, after all. It was only natural for her father to assign it to somebody confident.
Azula recruited her two best friends, Mai and Ty Lee -- essentially terrifying Ty Lee into joining her -- and together they picked up the Avatar's trail. Azula pursued the Avatar and his friends all over the Earth Kingdom, running into Zuko as well, until they finally came to to Ba Sing Se. Azula's group had captured a band of Kiyoshi Warriors and stolen their uniforms. Under the guise of friends of the Avatar, Azula infiltrated Ba Sing Se right under the King's nose. Once there, she took control of Ba Sing Se's secret police and staged a coup. She took Ba Sing Se in one swift attack and the great city fell for the first time to the Fire Nation.
During the coup, both Katara and Zuko were captured and tossed down into the Crystal Catacombs beneath the palace. It was only a matter of time before her Uncle Iroh and the Avatar journeyed their to save Zuko and Katara, and so Azula took a number of Dai Li agents with her and entered the Catacombs. By the time she got there, the Avatar and Iroh and already found their way inside. Azula overheard Iroh's conversation with Zuko, urging her poor, confused brother to choose "good" and finally turn his back on his family forever. She captured Iroh and revealed herself, telling Zuko of the glory and honor he would earn by joining with her now, at the capture of the great Ba Sing Se, and help her destroy the Avatar at last. Leaving Zuko to his choice, she moved on ahead to catch up to the Avatar.
The battle between, Katara, Aang, and Azula was a vicious one. But then Zuko, his choice made, stepped in on Azula's side and together they fought off Aang, Katara, and Iroh. When Aang, in a last distch effort to save Katara's life, went into the Avatar State, Azula struck him a mortal wound with her lightning strike.
Katara escaped with his body, but it was a victorious day. Ba Sing Se was captured and the Avatar was dead. Or so the world thought.
Azula and Zuko returned home in glory and honor and Zuko was accepted back into the family and was once again the Crown Prince. But Azula always suspected that perhaps the Avatar was not dead. And so, under the false pretense of furthering Zuko's glory, she told their father that Zuko had been the one to kill the Avatar. And that way, if it turned out the Avatar was alive, it would rip apart Zuko's honor.
Overall, Zuko seemed restless and the two of them even bonded briefly over family memories when they were away on vacation. But Azula would never truly feel close to Zuko.
And then it was the Day of Black Sun. When she had been in Ba Sing Se, Azula had learned of a plan for the Earth Kingdom to invade the Fire Nation and effectively end the war during the eclypse. The eclypse would render all firebending impossible and it was the prime opportunity. But when that day finally came, the Fire Nation was ready for the invasion force and the Avatar who was seemingly back from the dead.
Azula acted as a decoy during the plan, taunting the Avatar and his friends until they gave chase to her, keeping them far away from her father while he was vulnerable. When her firebending returned, she fought them off and escaped. Their plan was a failure, their forces captured, and only the Avatar and his friends escaped.
It was later that Azula found out that Zuko had turned his back on their family and, after confronting their father, had also fled.
Azula next saw her brother when she came to visit The Fire Nation's highest security prison. He had infiltrated the prison along with Sokka, one of the Avatar's allies, and was planning to break some of the prisoners out. Azula caught them when they were escaping on the tram and attacked them. The battle did not end well, for Mai betrayed Azula and gave Zuko the time he needed to escape. In a fit of rage, she moved to attack Mai, but Ty Lee paralyzed with a few quick jabs. And all she saw was red as her trusted friends stabbed her in the back. She screamed out the order for their arrest -- that was all she could do paralyzed as she was. It was then that the black cords rose up out of the ground and pulled her into Pandora.