All legends have to start somewhere. This particular one just so happened to begin right after the very beginning of time. To be more specific, it begins when history had only just begun being recorded. This legend was born during the age of revolutions. A time for new discoveries. And for the birth of legends.
In this land where our story takes place, the continent was split up into four separate nations. At the time, these nations were allies. One could go so far as to say that they were all friends. Their differences didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that one nation had people who could control fire, while others could control water, or that there was a nation representing the earth, while its closest friend dwelled amongst the clouds. But this didn’t matter to them. In the eyes of the people, everyone was the same. Until Endride, a great sage from the Wind country had a vision.
In this vision Endride, at the time a rather elderly and well-respected advisor of the emperor, saw the balance of power shift. The land of Fire would find a new leader, one who would bring great disarray to the once-peaceful continent of Ekta. The other nations would spend their days in constant fear of this new leader, and of the country reborn.
However, there was a catch. Should the nations of Wind, Earth, and Water decide to join forces to eliminate the unsuspecting Fire nation before this new era could arise, no one could ever be trusted again. Chaos would ensue, and then the whole of Ekta would be fighting amongst itself. If nothing was done, however, the continent would be brought under the control of the Fire Nation. All that everyone else could do was wait for salvation.
As many visions go, they rather conveniently supply a solution that wasn’t exactly favorable for any of the involved parties. The solution that this particular one offered came in the form of four young people, each born from one of the nations on the first day of the two-thousandth year after the beginning of recorded time, all far more powerful than anyone in their respective nations, even their leaders. These heroes would defeat the leader of the Fire, therefore restoring the balance of power once more.
Those from the Wind nation immediately notified the leaders of Earth and Water, inviting them to the palace above the clouds. After days upon days of deliberation with a scribe diligently writing every single word, they finally came to the conclusion that they would wait for these children. That decision was unanimous since Endride was not known to be a liar. He was well trusted by all of the leaders, and not one of them believed that he would be capable of telling anything other than the truth.
The final decision made at that meeting was not agreed upon by all of the leaders. The leader of Water, Assana, proposed that when these supposed heroes were born, the mission of the three from the Wind, Earth, and Water nations should indeed work together to defeat the Fire Nation. Unfortunately, she also put forward the idea that these three should be raised with one other objective, to be completed above all else. The assassination of the child picked from the Fire Nation.
Adami of the Wind agreed. Though Ashley of the Earth was thoroughly opposed to the idea on the grounds that a child should not be blamed for something determined long before its birth, no one was present from the Fire nation to bring it to a tie. Thus, it was decided that as soon as the prophesied three were made apparent, they would be trained to become assassins. They would murder an innocent child who would have no idea why they would do this, as the Fire nation was never meant to discover what Endride had foretold.
After the meeting adjourned, the people of Fire were shunned by all other nations. Confused and betrayed, the Fire leader did not fight back. As the generations progressed, the other nations began to feel a sense of superiority, and called themselves Spirits, while those of the Fire were called Demons.
It was around five hundred years after Endride’s prophecy when a young woman from the Fire had had enough of being constantly looked down upon by the other nations for no specific reason. This woman, named Amber, gathered herself an army and led a revolution to overthrow the compliant leader of the Fire. Her revolution was successful, but her rule was terrifying, leading to her earning herself the moniker, “Amber the Fierce”.
However, Amber simply did not have the forces necessary to take over the other nations. Unfortunately for everyone else, she was not one to give up quite so easily. Instead, she sent intelligence missions into the territory of the Wind with the express purpose of gaining information regarding their military. Her scouts found something else instead.
Buried beneath the royal archives in a locked box encased within a tomb, the scouts found the script from the meeting five hundred years prior. Amber, of course, was overjoyed. She’d just practically been handed the key to her success. All that was left now was to pass this information onto future generations and wait.
Valerie, the most soft-hearted queen the Fire nation had seen since before Amber’s era, was the queen in power at the time the prophecy was to come to life. One who rather enjoyed parties, Valerie had been planning for this day for years. Her very own daughter would be the one to give birth to this prophesied child, and Valerie would then train the child to become a living weapon of war designed only to kill the enemies of the Fire.
The young princess, only eighteen at the time, was lying in the plushest bed one can imagine, surrounded by all of the nobles, her mother, and husband at either side. They all waited for one hour. Then two. Those two hours turned into ten, and those ten turned into twenty. They were all going tired and also rather deaf from the princess’ incessant screaming. Finally, less than a minute before midnight, the child was born.
A tiny, innocent little girl, born into a world full of fury and hate. And what an entrance. The only person in the entire palace to survive those first few moments of that event was Queen Valerie. Everyone else perished in a mysterious internal fire that left Valerie with severe damage to her lungs for the last few moments of her life. No one even felt a thing before they died. They simply collapsed into piles of ash. It was then when Valerie thought her life was about to end, that she knew with a certainty that her savior had come. Cradling the child to her wheezing chest, she stroked the child’s bright white hair gently.
“You are my greatest pride, little one. I name you Nuri. It means ‘my fire’. Never forget that, alright?” With one last heaving breath, Queen Valerie died with her granddaughter clutched in her arms before she crumbled to ashes. From the very beginning, Nuri was left with no one in the world but herself. This is her legend, and the true beginning was when she opened little stormy blue eyes, her very first glimpse of the world piles of ashes and nothing else.