Seven years ago, the world came to an end. And a new one began where that one left off. After the Avatar defeated my father, Fire Lord Ozai, my brother Zuko assumed the throne. After near war with the Earth Kingdom and the escape and capture of my Father, things on the surface look calm. But there is a war going on in the shadows. It's time to see once and for all if our nation can be held up to the flame.

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Time: Midnight, October 31
Place: Caldera City, Waterbender's Head Inn and Tavern
Characters: Zei


Really, the official name of the waterfront hostelry was "The Wolf's Head Inn and Tavern". It had been founded shortly after the Day of Black Sun, and -- according to the innkeeper at least -- it was the site of the decpaitation of one of the invaders. The name change had come about shortly after Zuko's accession, although it was still a rather blatant reference to the incident -- the sign out front did a fair representaiton of a Water Tribe helmet.

Even so, everyone who frequented it still used the original name, including the oddly-dressed man who walked in a minute after midnight. In its proper place -- a desert, or maybe a jungle -- the costume would not have been odd, but it stood out like a hogmonkey in a tea shop on the Caldera waterfront. The really strange thing? Nobody had seen the man come into town. He just strolled out from an alley and tot he front door.

Of course, this was because Zei had taken care that nobody had seen him. Wan Shi Tong had been very insistent that people not be aware of the presence of the Knowledge Seekers among them. It was not an order, but Zei saw the wisdom in it. Ordinary people, he had noticed, tended to react poorly to unexpected things like foxes walking on water.

His "outlandish garb" by itself had netted him quite a few odd looks when he first came to the Waterbender's Head, nearly a year ago now. The fact that he always showed up at midnight and vanished precisely an hour later made people even more wary of him. But he had made this place something of a base of operations, so over time people had become used to him. He was very friendly, and that helped.

He walked up to the bar, smiling and greeting several people -- grizzled sailors mostly, and a one-eyed war veteran -- before sitting down. He did not order anything (another peculiar habit of his -- he never drank, or ate for that matter, unless someone else bought it for him), but asked the bartender how she was. She was overworked, but happy to see her friend. Zei had proven to be one of the few people who cared about her; he had even gone so far once as to buy medicine for her ailing baby.

For him, she was a good source of information, and that was why he was here. Though he had found himself actually caring about her. Curiously, he seemed to have more time for people, now that he was dead. Not that he had been self-centered before, but he had always been busy. Now he had all the time in the world.
01-09-2013, 01:01 AM

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