One Thousand Steps [Closed, Started]

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Burnt Paw Island

Oktaru's sandals crunched the hot sand beneath them as his staff made the occasional circle on the beach. Chewing a recently procured sweet-roll, the morning breeze occasionally blew the odd grain of sand into his eyes, making him squint and raise his hand. As he did so, he almost dropped his roll, letting it slip to his fingertips. There, washed upon the beach, were several figures and the wreckage of a ship.

Grabbing his staff, he hastened to the bodies, calling out as he did so. His beard caught the wind and was thrown over his shoulder. Eyes wide and brow raised, he hastened to the figures, pushing questions and thoughts out of mind for the time being.

"Are you alright?!"

Setting his staff in the sand, he drew the waves in over them, chilling them, hoping to shock them into awakening. The walk back to his shack was long, and the village further still; setting off to warrant more help would take too much time, and by then any help he could offer would be ineffective.

Hoping some drifting fisherman or trade-boat would come by and help, he continued to pull in the waves, hoping that they would awaken. Biting down on the roll to keep it in his mouth, he grunted as the circular motion of his arms threw his sleeves to and fro.

Souzin Storum and crowd.
Location: Boat to Kyoshi Island.

Water, water, this was the liquor of life that ran and filled the world full of life. It was one of the biggest powers in the world, with earth, air and fire, a curious man on a busy boat was gifted with one of these elements, the element of fire. This element, fire, it was known to be destructive, to burn all that came within it's path, yet Souzin Storum thought differently, he had thought that fire was the spark to the life, the fire within someone, the element which bought something to the world but could also be used to protect.

Yet it was still a force of destruction, this was something Souzin knew well.

The time before darkening, the boat was a very busy and crowded place. Kyoshi Island was the destination for many people here. A man was on deck, pants up to his knees which were coloured blue, and a green jacket which had a green hood which covered a face. "Ah, this is taking a while." Souzin muttered to himself, squished in-between two parties, obviously annoyed with the lack of personal space. Yet keeping to himself still, focusing his eyes on the water for it intrigued him greatly.

For a first boat ride ever, Souzin's experience was not exactly going to be good, especially due to the weird feeling that covered Souzin's stomach. Looking over to the water-benders closest to him, something was certainly up and suddenly a rogue wave hit the vessel. Holding tightly on, Souzin noted the clap of thunder, not scaring him, yet weirdly calming him. Holding on tightly still, an explosion rocked the ship which surprised the man, this was not good certainly since that he had let go of the railing and slipped into the water below.

The lessons from his siblings in his mind, Souzin used all his force to get up to the surface, yet the only thing he saw was a nice leather bag head straight towards him, and somewhere inside himself, Souzin did not like where this was going.

Souzin Storum and Okataru.
Location: ?

"Are you alright?!"

Water, something that was now chilling him. Opening his eyes slowly, the sight of sand, a standing figure and some other blurred figures dotted the eyes of Souzin. Slowly closing them once more another water blast hit the cold back of the fire-bender immediately made him jerk up with a deep gasp. "Aaah!" Was all he could say before spewing up some water. Looking to the side a bit more, a old-like man entered the vision. Caution rose up within Souzin, part of him wanted try and crawl away, yet the heart of his body told him that this was someone not bad ... well at least for now.

Getting up slowly to a kneeling position, Souzin took a long look at his surroundings, the black dots were certainly other people. Giving a curious look to the man, Souzin's mouth looked like it was almost gagging from not just the seawater, but from the dehydration that had come upon him. "Uh ... hi." Is all the quiet Souzin said, obviously with a bit of fear and mostly awkwardness deep within his voice, yet it cracked due to dehydration.

Boat to Kyoshi Island:

Leaning over the rail, the young man grimaced as he wiped his mouth and watched his lunch float away. Satoru hated boats, not being able to trust the ground under his feet left him feeling incredibly vulnerable. What business did an earthbender have at sea anyway? He couldn't wait for the journey to be over, yet at the same time he was almost hoping they would never arrive.

"Ugh, this year is gonna suck so hard... What is there to even do on this backward rock? Do they even have hot showers?

Wallowing in self-pity, Satoru didn't notice the rising swell until a giant wave crashed into the vessel. Losing his grip on the railing, the next impact sent him flying over the side, down into the tumultuous waves below.


Burnt Paw Island Beach:

Darkness. Cold, indistinct, yet strangely comforting. Satoru floated here, somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness. It was peaceful, just drifting without thought. This tranquility was not destined to last however - a very cold, very wet sensation invaded and shattered the darkness. Coughing and spluttering, Satoru opened his eyes to be greeted by harsh sunlight, coarse sand and an old man. Dazed and confused, the youthful earthbender sat up slowly, only to be knocked down again by a surge of water. The shock of that brought him back to his senses somewhat.

"I'm alright, I'm alright," Satoru muttered as he got up again, still coughing a little. As he did so, he noticed that several others were strewn along the beach near him, most of whom he recognised from the boat.

On the Boat to Kyoshi Island

I have a message about the state of your family. Come to Kyoshi Island if you wish to know more.

Guiren crumpled up the note in his fist, wondering just who sent him this letter and what it had to do with his family - a family of farmers in the Earth Kingdom had few enemies. Well, his ancestors had been warriors who had taken part in the Hundred Year war and retired when it was finally over, so maybe that had something to do with it?

So lost was Guiren in his thoughts that he barely noticed the boat starting to shake. But he did notice the explosion that rocked the ship. The next thing he knew, he was being tossed about as the boat began to sink. Desperately, Guiren tried to hang on, but a large back fell on his head, knocking him out cold.

Burnt Paw Island

Guiren came to slowly, feeling gritty sand under his body, and hearing the sounds of waves crashing and seabirds overhead. With a muffled groan he pushed himself up, coughing up saltwater. The beach was dotted with with bits of debris and the bodies of other passengers.

"Are you alright?!"

Guiren blinked, seeing an old man standing nearby, his arm movements suggesting he was a Waterbender.

"Y...yeah, just give me a moment..."

BURNT PAW ISLAND

Zira was found lying straight out, her hair still somehow gathered up in a bun, and with her hairpin having miraculously managed to hold on, though her bag and money had been lost in the sea. She woke up when the first of the waves hit her face.

"Are you alright?!"

Zira opened her eyes, and, as she saw the second wave right above her, rolled out of its way. She then leaped up, a little too quickly, making her disoriented and dizzy. Her head hurt a little, and so did her throat, though the first thing she did was to look around for any clues as to where they were. That was when she noticed the old man who had yelled, and probably given her that wet, salty shower as well.

"Morning," she said, though it was quickly followed by her falling on her face, legs giving in. It wasn't until now she realized how tired she really was. Sitting up, she brushed sand and other things out of her hair and off her clothes, only now noticing the other people. She'd yell, but her voice still hurt.

How did this happen again?

She asked herself. The boat had... what had happened on the boat? She knew why she had been there, but...

"Ouch." Her head hurt again, and Zira rubbed the spot that hurt. Just thinking seemed to make it ache, and there was a large bump. It was better not to try to find out what had happened, she supposed. Instead, she looked around to see if someone needed her help, ready to stand up if they did.

On the boat to Kyoshi Island

Amala's excitement had only grown when she learned the boat she had snuck aboard was headed to Kyoshi Island, it was after all the home of one of the greatest past Avatars, as well as a place of great importance on her great grandfather's journey. She wondered if she would be able to ride the giant koi, or get to see the great serpent that she had heard talked about in the stories.

The boat shook suddenly, and she clutched her staff tightly with one hand, another grabbing a railing for balance. What's happening? Where did this rough patch come from? The swells grew in strength and ferocity, and she found herself thrown from the vessel, managing to take a deep breath before hitting the water she clutched her staff tightly and hoped she would be able to ride out the storm.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Burnt Paw Island

"Are you alright?!"

She groaned as she heard the voice, and coughed up a bit of water before standing up. It seemed her staff had helped her stay afloat through the worst of it, though the ship itself seemed to have crashed. Where am I? she thought to herself, looking up to see the man who was checking over each of them, using waterbending to wake them.

"I'm fine I think, just a little wet," she said, looking down at her wet clothes for a moment, before taking a deep breath and letting it out, using her airbending to dry them. It was mostly effective, though it did also kick up clouds of sand at her feet.

She looked around at the others, there weren't many of them. Did others make it off the ship? Maybe in a life-boat or something? I hope so.

"Anyone need help?"

On the boat to kyoshi Island

Koazon Was feeling a mixture of interest and worry as he sat on one of the bench's on the ship. The weather worse than he had expected when he and gotten on this boat. I was sure this was a good idea. After all, its an island iv yet to be to and more than that its fairly famous. Shaking his head and gripping the bench under himself Koazon considered helping the ship benders keep the waves back but decided not to from their reaction to that same suggestion before when the waves had started to build.

Pulling his pack from under the bench Koazon flips it around and puts his arms through the straps, hoping to keep it from being swept over the side. Going back to holding onto the bench he shakes his head as a rogue gets past the benders holding back the waves and wash's across the deck. Come on! Do your jobs and keep those off us. Shaking his head hard and closing his eyes he doesn't see the other wave come from the other side and sweep across the deck, taking many of them along with it. Including Koazon.

Burnt Paw Island

Floating in a sea of darkness Koazon couldn't think of anything, struggling to get out of it. Not getting very far before he is jolted out of the darkness by a voice yelling and cold water drops across his body.
"Are you alright?!"

Jerking up and taking a deep breath Koazon gets the next wave right in the mouth. Coughing and spitting water he rolls over on his hands and knees and slowly crawls away from the water. Looking up towards the voice he catch's sight of a man who seems to be making the water come up and hit the shore, which have several people laying and sitting and standing on it. Spitting out water and sand a few more times he gets up on his knees and waves at the man who was bending the water.

"Doing ok, just need a second."

BURNT PAW ISLAND

This was one of Wei's worst nightmares come true. He wasn't afraid of death, per se -- he had discarded that fear years ago, during the long, treacherous treks in the mountains he had made. But this -- floating in a sea of blackness, his five senses completely disabled, and his thoughts echoing inside of his mind incessantly, passing in and out of what felt like his head forever and ever. This was the kind of existence he dreaded, because for one it meant he had not been accepted into whatever afterlife there was for the people of this land, or he had been injured so badly that he had been rendered completely disabled. Fear stabbed into Wei's soul then, and he thought dully, fighting through the echoes of previous thoughts, that he would give anything to be given one more chance, and at least stay alive long enough so he could see his grandmother.

And then suddenly, ice filled the blackness, and for a moment Wei felt himself buried in bright blue moisture, which seemed to fill his entire existence, becoming his world for a fraction of a second. Just as rapidly as it had pervaded, the blueness dissipated, and colors floated back into Wei's world, followed by the sky, the smell of the ocean, the feel of the sand on his wet back, and the sound of a man concernedly shouting "Are you alright!?" Wei took in a sharp intake of air, launching into a coughing fit that would frighten an Avatar. Slowly some of the water in his lungs made its way onto the sand, and Wei coughed out a strangled "Fine" before coughing up the rest. After another minute or so, the coughing subsided, and Wei found the strength to push himself to his feet with a grunt.

"Where are we?" he asked, looking around at all of the other people on the beach, who were either also recovering from the storm, unconscious (or perhaps dead), or they were this one man standing before them, bending the water around the beach in order to wake up the rest of the unfortunate sea-goers. "I doubt very much that we happened to wash upon Kyoshi Island."

Oktaru was relieved as a few of the strewn began to get up and move about, despite being obviously battered and bruised. The young, dark-haired girl revealed herself as an air-bender to his astonishment, instantly drying her clothes, but managing to send a handful of sand straight at Oktaru's eyes. Unable to rub his eyes as he continued to try and wake those still unconscious, he spoke in a friendly if somewhat perturbed tone.

"I'm not sure if the others will wake. In the meantime, you might as well dry the others; don't want a chill setting in."

Turning his head to address the rather imposing man, the water-bender rubbed his eyes on his sleeve before speaking.

"Kyoshi? No, I'm afraid not. That's further North. This is Burnt Paw Island..."

Frowning, Oktaru pondered as his arms continued to move in their cycle. Had they all come from Kyoshi, or were they heading in that direction? What happened to the boat?

Casting his eyes towards those still immobile on the sand, he bit his tongue, as pulled the water in more forcefully.

Would the others wake up?

Souzin Storum, Oktaru, Wei, Koazon, Zira, Amala, Satoru and Guiren.
Location: Burnt Paw Island

Spotting some of the other figures pick themselves up, Souzin also picked himself up but immediately looked into his pack. In the satchel bag, just about everything was water and ruined, this included his important clothing, items and family photo (or drawing). " ... I need to learn how to dry stuff." Souzin quietly muttered to himself about his own bending level. Feeling the cold and wetness of his own clothing, depression was slowly coming over the man.

"Kyoshi? No, I'm afraid not. That's further North. This is Burnt Paw Island..."

Was the next thing heard for Souzin, facepalming, Souzin did go on that boat to travel, and travel he did, but not the the destination he wanted. "This is what I get." Once more said quietly to himself, checking his pack once again and seeing everything wet, he looked towards the Airbender who had just dried herself. "(Go me.)" Was the only thing Souzin sarcastically thought before approaching the girl.

"Anyone need help?" She had said. Coming to her, Souzin seemed a whole lot more awkward. "Umm ... uh, can you help me?" He said in a quiet voice, holding his bag in one hand and a small picture-looking item in the other. The quiet adult Souzin only hoped that no one would question who he is for now, but he would certainly give the girl the information if she surely helped him.

Staggering to his feet Koazon makes sure he is steady on his feet before he open his pack to look inside. Almost everything looking alright, inside the waterproof pack and then the other things inside the waterproof tarp also. Closing the pack again he looks down at himself, soaked to the skin and dripping from fist being tossed into the ocean and then having more waves dropped on him by a bender. Making a face Koazon takes a deep breath and taking a half step draws the water from his clothes. Making a nice sized water ball in front of him, which he shakes his head at again "Gah, all this on me?" he lets it drop to the ground and puts his pack over his shoulder again as he looks around at who else may be here.

Walking a few yards up the beach out of the range of the waves Koazon turns to watch an air bender dry herself, someone else walking up to apparently get some help in that regard. Catching a snatch of conversation from over that way he slumps slightly.
"Kyoshi? No, I'm afraid not. That's further North. This is Burnt Paw Island..."
Not Kyoshi. Well, its a good thing I'm just traveling and not going there for something.

Watching the man bend the waves so they splash the people still on the beach passed out Koazon walks over and nods at him.
"Need any help there?"

Boat to Kyoshi Island

Li stood in a cabin shoulder to shoulder amongst frightened men, women and children. Staring blankly out the window, Li watched the water benders fight off another onslaught of waves and smiled to himself.

"What are you smiling about?" a voice asked, sounding almost offended.

Without looking at the source Li responded, "I was just thinking that, even with all their power these benders are just as useless as the rest of us when nature gets bored with you." Li slowly turned around and looked at who had addressed him, a small homely women with a young boy clutching her leg in fear. With a look of shock followed by a sound of disgust, she broke eye contact allowing Li to return to his thoughts. At that moment however, a cry of "LIFE RAFTS!" echoed through the cabin.

Everyone started moving quickly towards the door and Li was pulled along by the current of people out into the harsh elements. Desperate to escape the mass of people, Li moved to the side railing, and watched as people tried to claim a spot on the rafts at the expense of others.

"Man kind are truly sheep at stressful times."

Li turned his attention to the rough seas only to see the water bender's next challenge. The smiled returned as the wave crashed into the ship washing over the rails and into Li, his last thought as the sea swallowed him, "Silence".


Burnt Paw Island Beach

Gentle rocking relaxed Li, "Why am I so comfortable?" The thought puzzled Li but he was unsure why. He could hear people calling out, followed by the occasional breeze. Slowly Li's mind started to piece the previous events together, but not as fast as his stomach. Li eyes shot open and he rolled over to discharge whatever dwelled inside. "What on earth happened? Is that a starfish?" Amused, Li stared laughing as he crawled out of the waves, ignoring his surroundings and rolling onto his back as laughter consumed him.

Getting to his feet with a groan, Satoru took a good look at the rag tag group who had washed up alongside him. They seemed a pretty diverse bunch, including what appeared to be an airbender - a rare sight in this day and age. Seeing her dry herself caused Satoru to become aware of his cold, dripping form. Moving away from the water's edge, he took his jacket off and vainly tried to wring the water out of it.

Giving up and spreading it on a nearby rock, Satoru opened the rucksack that had miraculously not been torn from him by the sea. Pouring the water out, he pulled out his spare clothes and placed them alongside his jacket. The packaged food he had brought seemed to have survived the ordeal, however his final item had not been so fortunate.

"My pro-bending guide! It's ruined!" thought Satoru, as he fished the tattered magazine out of the bag. Throwing it aside with a sigh, he put the bag down and wandered over to the old waterbender, clothes still dripping water.

"Hey there Gramps, thanks for the wake up. Anything I can do to help?" he asked, adopting a cheerful grin. Hearing an unexpected sound behind him, Satoru turned around to see one of his fellow survivors lying flat on his back and laughing for no apparent reason.

"Uh, you okay buddy? Sea spirits didn't steal your wits did they?"

Guiren staggered to his feet, struggling to remain upright.

"Kyoshi? No, I'm afraid not. That's further North. This is Burnt Paw Island..." Mentally groaning, Guirne turned to face the old man. "Great. Is there a boat around here? I really need to get to Kyoshi Island."

With that said, he began scanning the shoreline for any sign of his possessions. Well, the spirits must have been smiling on him, because his bag had washed up nearby. Guiren took a moment to check and make sure that yes, all his belongings - including his family's kukri knife - were all there, albeit soaked through.

Maybe he could get a local Waterbender to dry it out for him?

"Kyoshi? No, I'm afraid not. That's further North. This is Burnt Paw Island..."

Burnt paw? I don't think I've ever heard of this place. She thought, not noticing that her airdrying display had gotten sand in the man's eyes. She was moving along the beach to check on some of the others that had ended up there, the waterbender was still trying to wake them up. Hope it works, I don't really know how to help with that either. She put the thought aside though as another one of the survivors approached her meekly.

"Umm ... uh, can you help me?"

"What do you need help with?" she asked, the man looked fine, though his belongings were certainly wet. I guess I could try drying them, not sure it'd work as well though, its easier with my clothes seeing as they're right on me. I might just end up sending them flying. Still he asked so I should at least try.

"I can try to dry them, just make sure you hold onto them tight," she said, taking a deep breath and steadying herself before releasing a steady blast of air, not terribly powerful out of fear that it might blow his things away, but still quite strong. She kept it up for a few moments before stopping, not sure how effective it had been.

Wei listened to the man explain where they were, nodding somberly. He had expected this, of course -- he had been to Kyoshi once, and this looked like none of the places he had explored on that island. This bitter knowledge gained, Wei looked around at the rest of the survivors, taking a mental headcount for future reference. How coincidental, he thought with a grim smirk, that all of them should wash up on this same exact beach, in the same exact way, and that they should all be found by the same old man. Wei also noted the presence of an airbender, which caused him to raise his eyebrows in surprise. It had been years since he had seen one of them.

Shaking his head clear again, Wei turned back to the old man, folding his arms. "Burnt Paw Island, eh? Sorry to say that I've never heard of it. Seems like a nice enough place, though. I can't stay, though -- I have some urgent business to attend to back home. You wouldn't happen to have seaworthy transportation 'round here, would you?" he asked, trying (and failing) to keep the anxiety he felt out of his voice by making his talk light and easy. All that came out, though, was a slightly rushed and jumbled mess; still understandable, but one that revealed every single emotion the big man was feeling right now.

Souzin Storum, Oktaru, Wei, Koazon, Zira, Amala, Satoru, Li, and Guiren.
Location: Burnt Paw Island

Seeing the effect and bending of the air, Souzin was surprised yet intrigued of airbending, all the information he had heard about them usually came from stories of Avatar Aang and the air nomads and their rare race. Having closed his eyes and feeling the air stop, Souzin opened his eyes and it seemed that his picture was perfectly dry, opening his bag in excitement it had seem that his documents were dry as well. The clothes he wore were mostly dry and the extra clothing in his bag were a bit damp.

("Amazing.") Was all Souzin could think as he examined his items some more before remembering that the girl was still there. "Ah, thank you very much for that!" Souzin answered in a fast pace before giving a formal bow, still sounding awkward while the so. Lifting himself up from bowing, Souzin looked around, his hood from the green jacket he wore was off. "Now ... what happens?" He said to himself as he examined the surroundings and the people that surrounded him.

Inside himself he felt like he wanted to talk to the airbending girl some more, wanting to know more about them and to hear even more stories of the foreign land he had not visited for all of his life. Right now Souzin was looking around, coming to girl, it did indeed he wanted to say more, yet his voice did not project and the look on his face was only described as scared.

"Uh, you okay buddy? Sea spirits didn't steal your wits did they?"

Slowly Li's laughter fizzled and he sat up to look at the boy who questioned his sanity. He looked like he had earth nation roots underneath the soaked-through clothing and dehydration, but Li assumed he didn't look much better.

Li sighed before answering, "My good man I do believe the sea spirits had a taste of all our wits but decided they were too bitter for the evening's meal." Li's smile returned and he stood up facing the boy, "You wouldn't have any water would you? I have a terrible thirst, I'm sure you understand."

Compared to huddling on the streets of Republic City for weeks stowing away on this ferry was like a stay at the Hotel Omashu. It must be tourist season, because it was packed, and no one much noticed her after she stole a bath and clean clothing, leaving her more or less free to roam the ship as another apparently paying customer.

Not that she was any more sociable for it. People tended to keep their distance from the scarred young woman with the haunted eyes, and that was fine with her. She had nothing to say to them. Kyoshi Island was her destination less out of any real desire to go and more because Republic City was no kind of a safe place to be. Equalist soldiers like her were being rounded up daily by the police, and flight was a simple matter of survival.

On the other hand Kyoshi Island did sound like a viable place to start again. Small Bending population, isolated and quiet.

She shifted her legs around to a different position atop the crate she lay upon in the cargo hold. No one came down here, it was a good place to go to be alone in the quiet to think.

Her reverie was cut short as the ship began to pitch from side to side. Not the normal ebb and flow of the ocean, this was a storm. Or worse.

The ship seemed to halt mid pitch as she slid down to the wall, then began to fully flip over. "Oh shit." She scrambled to get clear, staggering as the ship shifted and causing the crates to strain and snap the ropes holding them, turning the hold into a crude blender.

A litany of curses escaped her lips. She was, for the moment, safe. The hold was at the bottom of the ship, which meant she was now well above the waterline. But the ship couldn't hold like this.

She had to get out before it sank, and she didn't have much time. She began scrambling downwards, if she could get above the normal waterline she could...

Too late. A hideous cracking sound filled the ship as it began to split, the tear going right through the hold. It was a long shot, but if she was still on the ship when it went down she was dead. Getting to a lifeboat or anything of the kind was already out of the question. She took a running start and a deep breath, then dove in, sliding smoothly into the water, gritting her teeth at the sudden cold.

The ship was fast sinking around her, threatening to pull her into the depths with it. In the back of her mind she remembered some snatch of conversation she had once heard about being sucked down by sinking ships even if you aren't still inside. She had to move.

Every iota of her strength, every synapse in her brain pushed her - faster, faster, another stroke. The water began to pull her, and in an instant she was under.

A lesser soul would have panicked and died. But Shana had trained to fight a living God. Fear was an icy knife in her chest, as painful as the cold waters around her sapping her strength, but she kept fighting, kept pushing to get a little further away.

Then as though she had passed through an invisible barrier she shot back up to the surface, gasping in a breath before a wave slapped her back under. She cast about, grabbing onto a piece of debris and clinging on. Opening her eyes, she suppressed a laugh - it was the crate she had been lying on only minutes before.

She pulled herself back atop it and clung on tightly, every so often being slapped by the cold waves.

* * * * *

She must have fallen asleep somehow. After the first hour or so the seas calmed and her fearful cling seemed less necessary, a momentary rest that had apparently gone several hours. The crate was bumping against a shoreline, the water perhaps up to her knees.

She had survived. And as she took a look around, was not the only one, a number of others scattered along the beach. She slif off her box and got to her feet, her legs shaking. No doubt she was covered in bruises, but that and fatigue seemed to be the worst of it. For once she was lucky.

There was a man doing motions, all too familiar ones, apparently of the opinion that what anyone needed after a night spent being tossed about on the sea was a little of the hair of the dog that bit you. Shana didn't really see the good sense of that approach, but then she wasn't a doctor. Or a bender.

Being aided by a bender was an amusing bit of dramatic irony, given what she had been up to not so long ago, but it was probably best not to mention that. She approached him, but kept quiet for the moment.

Need any help there?

Hey there Gramps...

"Gramps?"

Oktaru let his arms drop to his sides as the last of the shipwrecked got moving, and looked over at the fellow Waterbender. While he certainly looked as if he was from the south, there was no way to tell for sure. Even if he was, it was unlikely they had any close relation. Speaking to both the waterbender and the Green-eyed youth, he shook his head.

"No need, I think. Everyone seems to be alive, at least. And as for transportation..."

Looking over at Wei, he gave a sympathetic shrug. In the distance he could a dark blanket of clouds approaching, hanging low over the ocean.

"Your best hope would be anyone that's pulled into town recently. There's a village not far from here, though I don't know if anyone will be sailing out soon. Meant to be a fierce storm coming in..."

Picking up his staff, Oktaru's countenance changed to one of serious contemplation. If the storm hadn't come in yet, what happened to their ferry? Capsizes were a very rare occurrence, and total obliteration seemed nearly impossible. Freeing himself from his thoughts, he gave a short bow to the group, before pointing behind him with his staff.

"The village Tempen is about an hour that way. I think it'd be good to get some food and rest before setting off to Kyoshi. Oh, where are my manners. My name is Oktaru; shall we?"

Wei nodded, keeping the disappointment off of his face as best as he could. "I'll do that, thank you," he said, bowing low to show his appreciation. Then he directed his gaze the storm clouds, his brow furrowing with worry. More people might be getting caught in that, he thought, shaking his head. The dangers of boats, I guess. That's why I like the land better.

He turned back to the old man when he mentioned both his name and the village of Tempen, which was described to only be about an hour off, and (music to his ears) the offered food and rest. He allowed a smile to crease his face, and he bowed again. "I'm Wei. Thank you for the hospitality, Oktaru. I, personally, am gladly going to accept," he said. "Although, first -- I'd appreciate it if one of you could dry me off. I don't trust myself to bending this sand effectively," he added apologetically, giving a little chuckle.

The boat

Boat's leaving on time, everything looks good.

Chao Ming was currently on board one of the ships heading to Kyoshi Island, looking out over one of the side railings with that ever-present smile on her face. She was unaccompanied, anticipating her arrival to the isolationist island.

And hopefully I'll have better luck finding work there. I did like the more urban areas, but... Ah, whatever. I can't imagine anything going more wrong than the 'Flopsy' incident. It's still funny that they thought I would dive into the road like that...

As Chao reminisced about her recent past, a large wave crashed into the boat, sending her hat into the water. Well, hm, I liked that hat.

The waves continued to get worse, and Chao soon found herself struggling to get back inside. As she made it near the cabin door, a rogue wave caught her, pulling her and a crate over the edge. Desperately clinging to the crate, she looked up one last time, seeing people evacuating the boat.

Well, good. At least someone noticed...

Burnt Paw Island

The next sensation Chao felt was warm sand, and a cold wave passing overhead. What... what happened...? A second wave crashed into her, prompting her to look up dazedly from the sand.

"Ow..." My head... Chao reached over her shoulder for her staff, feeling that it and her satchel were still there. Using the staff as a cane, she tried to stand up, only vaguely remembering what happened.

Voices? Up on one foot now, she tried to see who was talking. "Hello?"

"You wouldn't have any water would you? I have a terrible thirst, I'm sure you understand."

"Sorry buddy, afraid I don't. Wouldn't mind some myself actually, now that you mention it," Satoru replied. Something seemed a little weird about this guy, like he wasn't all there or something. Pushing the thought out of his mind for the moment, Satoru turned to the old man who was talking to the other survivors.

"The village Tempen is about an hour that way. I think it'd be good to get some food and rest before setting off to Kyoshi. Oh, where are my manners. My name is Oktaru; shall we?"

"Sounds good to me Gramps, I'm starving. Name's Satoru by the way. If everyone's recovered, let's get a move on."

Walking over to his still damp possessions, Satoru quickly packed them up and returned to the group. It seemed the final survivor had woken up, a girl who looked like she was around Satoru's age. Even though she appeared a little worse for wear, Satoru thought she looked rather pretty.

"Hello?"

"Hey there," Satoru said, flashing what he thought was a winning smile. "Glad to see you're okay. This old man says there's a village not too far from here we can get help. You coming?"

"The village Tempen is about an hour that way. I think it'd be good to get some food and rest before setting off to Kyoshi. Oh, where are my manners. My name is Oktaru; shall we?"

Guiren sighed. "Fine, fine." I guess I could give whoever sent the message another day...

After checking his knife one last time, he clipped it to his belt. " By the way, can someone dry my bag out? I'd rather not have my worldly possessions be totally damp."

Zira found herself only watching as the rest woke up, every time someone looked like they needed help, someone else got there first. There was an airbender there, looking like she was about Zira's age. The girl was drying other people's clothes, from the looks of it.

That's so practical.

Zira thought, and stood up. She had only tried to dry her own clothes once, and that had resulted in more than one hole burned into the clothing. That was why she walked over to the airbender, and smiled. "Hi!" she greeted the other cheerfully, partly because it was the only thing that could be done in a situation like this, thinking about the most likely horrible event that had brought them there wasn't going to do her any good now.

"I'm Zira, could you dry my clothes too?"

"The village Tempen is about an hour that way. I think it'd be good to get some food and rest before setting off to Kyoshi. Oh, where are my manners. My name is Oktaru; shall we?"

"Ah, yeah, please wait a little, I'd like to have my clothes dried first!" she exclaimed, and looked at the other girl again, noticing, but not minding, that she was shorter than the other despite their presumably close age. "If it's fine with you, of course."

"The village Tempen is about an hour that way. I think it'd be good to get some food and rest before setting off to Kyoshi. Oh, where are my manners. My name is Oktaru; shall we?"

Looking up as the bender stops putting waves over the people on the beach Koazon steps forward and nods at Oktaru.
"my name is Koazon, we should move now before that storm makes it near impossible to get to where we want to get to."

Looking around and see someone else walk up to the air bender, probably to get herself dried off before we start on an hour long trek through the island to get to the closest town. Opening his pack Koazon pulls out the buckler inside it and puts it over his arm, drawing water from the ocean and once its on the shield he freezes it so its a good inch thick. Hefting the shield and nodding at its weight he turns to the forest and walks over to it, stopping at the edge and turning to look at everyone.

"I am ready to go, i say we should go now before that storm dumps a few tigerturtles worth of rain on us."

"Hey there," Satoru said, flashing what he thought was a winning smile. "Glad to see you're okay. This old man says there's a village not too far from here we can get help. You coming?"

Happy to hear any response (let alone it being a concerned guy coming to her aid), Chao looked up and weakly smiled back.
"Yeah, that sounds good..."
She finished getting up, leaning on her staff as her wet clothes weighed down upon her. Chao collected herself for a moment before standing more straight, trying not to keep anyone any longer and power through the headache.

"I'm Chao Ming, by the way. Nice to meet you."

"I'm Zira, could you dry my clothes too?"

"Sure," she said, the cloth would no doubt hold more water than the other person's belongings so she readied herself to throw a more powerful blast this time, though still trying to keep it from getting too strong. Don't want to blast anyone off their feet after all.

"Brace yourself," she warned, before taking a deep breath and exhaling as she pushed a gust of wind into Zira, sustaining it for a few moments before relaxing.

"Hope that helped," she said "I'm Amala by the way."

"The village Tempen is about an hour that way. I think it'd be good to get some food and rest before setting off to Kyoshi. Oh, where are my manners. My name is Oktaru; shall we?"

"Yeah lets get moving," she said, nodding in agreement "Lead the way."

Souzin Storum, Oktaru, and the shipwrecked crew.
Location: Burnt Paw Island

Spotting another girl, fear of his personal space came into mind and Souzin moved out of the way quickly, leaving the two girls to interact with one and another. His face was covered in a red blush, once more fearing the amount of people around him. ("Phew, close.") Souzin quickly thought before getting away, until he Spotted the older man who had woken him up, wanting to move away from the beach and to get away for society, Souzin swallowed his fear and moved towards the old man and the people surrounding him.

Tapping on Oktaru's shoulder really quickly, Souzin gave him a quick bow just like the airbending girl. "Thank you for helping us ... with the waking up and that ..." Souzin said, voice quick and once more his tone was leaving pauses in his words. Yet when he thanked the old man he had a happy aura about him, thanking people and seeing people help others surely placed a smile upon him.

After rising from the bow, Souzin took several steps from the conversation, staying closest to Oktaru, since Souzin had a lot of experience with talking to his grandfather the most out of his entire family, sure he talked to his siblings but they were both older than him. It had seemed that Souzin did not have much experience with talking to the younger population of the world.

Okataru's eyes sharpened at Wei's comment as he paused to let the airbender dry the others. It was certainly a neat little trick, though an airbender was sure to draw attention in the village. The old man hoped most people would be inside by the time they passed through.

Hospitality? Oh dear.

Nodding back at the water-bender, Oktaru noticed his ice-shield, glistening in the little sunlight that remained, as the sky continued to cloud over. Picking up the pace again, he exchanged small pleasantries with the fellow water-bender. While it was certainly a tenuous connection, it was common ground nonetheless.

"Good to meet you Kaozon. Is your family from the North or South?"

Hearing a distinctly different voice joining the general murmuring behind him, Oktaru called out over his shoulder as he walked, eager to both offer what little help he could give, and return under cover before the storm hit.

"Nice to meet you Chao. I can have a look at any injuries you have when we stop in Tempen. I'm sure with a little rest and all that..."

Pausing to return Souzin's short bow, Oktaru smiled. Waking the stranded was something he thought anyone would do, though it was certainly nice to be recognized for it. Studying the sharp, dark-featured youth, Oktaru raised his hands in a gesture of modesty.

"Anyone would have done the same. So, we have Chao, Kaozon, Zira, Satoru, Wei, you, the air-bender, and a few silent types. Do you all know eachother?"

The last question was directed to anyone, though as he finished it the clouds above finally opened, and the first drops of rain fell on the sand before them. The distant echo of thunder rumbled across the sky, and the shadows of the nearby trees vanished as the sun was concealed. Rounding the corner, the group came upon the outskirts of Tempen. The village itself was a port-town; the jettys and harbour extending some way into the ocean; the buildings getting smaller as they fell away from the port. Most of the buildings were made of both stone and wood, fashioned in a squat and heavy manner. Towering over the other establishments was the several story Department of Commerce; a clearly new and bureaucratic building.

Nestled at the end of a path that twisted through a patch of forest to meet the beach was Oktaru's home; squat and wooden, there were several extensions coming off the square building at odd angles; questionably made storm-covers and screens, as well as a small fence surrounding a fruit & vegetable garden.

Stopping near his home, Oktaru awkwardly scratched his head before turning to the group. The wind and rain increased, bending the thin trees nearby, and sending sand billowing past.

"Well, there's Tempen before you. Though at this hour, and with this weather, most business would be closing. You're welcome to rest here until the storm passes, though I don't know how much room inside I have. Otherwise, there's a few local inns and even a new hotel further in."

Leaning somewhat on his staff, he watched the shipwrecked carefully; would he need to direct them further into the city? Did they plan on staying? Would they eat all of his food?

"I'm Chao Ming, by the way. Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you as well. I'm Satoru." The girl didn't appear to have fully recovered, but she looked determined to not let it hold her back.

"Anyone would have done the same. So, we have Chao, Kaozon, Zira, Satoru, Wei, you, the air-bender, and a few silent types. Do you all know eachother?"

"Sorry, don't know any of these folks Gramps. I was travelling alone," Satoru directed towards Oktaru. At that moment the clouds opened up and rain started to fall. The sound of thunder rumbled in the distance.

"I think it's high time we got going, otherwise all that fancy clothes drying will be for naught."


Tempen - Outside Oktaru's Residence:

Having lived in Republic City all his life, Tempen was a new experience for Satoru. Small jetties, dwellings and stores built from a combination of wood and stone, it was like something out of a mover. It was a far cry from the architecture he was used to, although the largest building in town did appear to be rather modern. It paled in comparison to your average Republic City building however.

"Well, there's Tempen before you. Though at this hour, and with this weather, most business would be closing. You're welcome to rest here until the storm passes, though I don't know how much room inside I have. Otherwise, there's a few local inns and even a new hotel further in."

Still drenched from the near drowning and subsequent rain, Satoru shivered as he listened to Oktaru speak. He had to get somewhere warm fast or risk catching a chill. His stomach growled as well, he hadn't wanted to eat any of his meager food supply until he'd seen if there was a good meal to be had here.

"Thanks for the help Gramps, I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't shown up. Well I'm going to go look for an inn or something where I can get warm, dry off and find some decent food. Does anybody wish to accompany me?" Satoru asked, looking around at the group.


Souzin Storum, Oktaru, and the shipwrecked crew.
Location: Burnt Paw Island | Outside Oktaru's home.


Travelling a few meters to the side of the group, nearest to Oktaru, Souzin was examining his surroundings, certainly he looked forward to seeing the world, but he never imagined that he would end up shipwrecked on an island, a civilized one at that. ("Least they are not cannibals ... I think.") He thought the joke up in his head and chuckling to himself in a low tone.

Counting himself luck that he actually arrived at this certain island instead of an actual island with cannibals or evil spirits, Souzin came to Oktaru's home with the rest of the group, hearing to Oktaru talking about lack of accommodation, Souzin came a bit closer. "I do not know anyone, maybe if anyone Earthbends, they can make a bit more shelter or even tents out here?" Souzin said in a quiet tone, not much awkward this time. Suddenly remembering something, Souzin stopped talking and began to check his three ponytails and the blue formal ribbons that kept them apart on each single tail.

Counting all of them, Souzin gave a sigh of relief before coming back to the conversation. "Sorry about that ... but if I can say anything is that I would remain here, I don't even mind setting my own little ... tent out here, unfortunately I can't Earthbend." Souzin said in a quiet tone as he examined the environment, wondering if he might have to construct his own camp if Oktaru doesn't have enough room, "I would rather do this, than bother someone this late." He gave a light chuckle and a small smile.

"This ... depends on everyone else." Souzin said lastly as his gaze slowly came upon everyone else that had followed them before turning silent once again and giving a shake of the head towards Satoru, pulling over his green hood to cover head. The bad news was that all of Souzin's food was wet and destroyed, his other clothes still damp, and he did not want to waste any of his work money for now, worst of all was that he was wet.

Keeping his cool, Souzin just wanted to sleep some place warm, even if he has to construct a home-made camp with a fire made from 'special' means (Firebending).

Shana checked herselr over, noting to her satisfaction that she had held onto her money, at least enough to get a warm meal, walls, and a fire.

"I assume that Republic Yuans are accepted here? I'd prefer to avoid hunting down whatever would pass for a moneychanger here." If that were the case she'd probably end up dealing with a ferryman or such who had reason to go to Republic City, and would probably rip her off. She'd seen it done a dozen times in the City, vendors short-selling for the price of the foreign currency.

When the rain started coming down hard Koazon lifts his buckler and puts it over his head, keeping it there to keep himself mostly dry as they walk.

"Good to meet you Kaozon. Is your family from the North or South?"
"The southern water tribe, but its been a few years since i was last there. Been traveling for a while."

A bit while later they whole group is in front of Okataru's house. Standing near the back of the group Koazon listens to him as he talks to them all.
"Well, there's Tempen before you. Though at this hour, and with this weather, most business would be closing. You're welcome to rest here until the storm passes, though I don't know how much room inside I have. Otherwise, there's a few local inns and even a new hotel further in."

Looking around and taking a few steps back Koazon turns to the rest of the town. Walking along the middle of the road his head moves back and forth, looking for somewhere to eat and rest. Walking along for a little he comes up on the Flaming Wolf Food & Rest, looking like a very good place to get a hot meal and a soft bed. Before walking in he hits the edge of his shield on the wall, breaking the ice and letting it fall. Putting it on his back and walking in he nods at the people there, getting shown to a table by a lovely young woman. Seated and just asking her for something hot and big to eat he sits back as he waits, feeling drained from first being swept off the ship and nearly drowning to having to walk for an hour to get here. Half asleep by the time the food got there, leaning over hot soup given to him and just staying there for a bit.

Guiren followed the old man back to the small village, which in some ways reminded him of the village he grew up in. It was almost enough to make him homesick... almost.

"Anyone would have done the same. So, we have Chao, Kaozon, Zira, Satoru, Wei, you, the air-bender, and a few silent types. Do you all know each other?"

He blinked, realizing the old man was speaking to them. "Not really, no. I don't think we know each other at all."

As they reached the old man's house, the old man added, "Well, there's Tempen before you. Though at this hour, and with this weather, most business would be closing. You're welcome to rest here until the storm passes, though I don't know how much room inside I have. Otherwise, there's a few local inns and even a new hotel further in."

Guiren took a moment to think about it. He still had some money, but in a limited amount, and would rather save it unless he needed it.

"I don't mind sleeping outside if I have to." He said gruffly, "I can Earthbend up a shelter if need be, hopefully one that can resist the rain well enough."

He kept quiet that he hadn't use that particular technique in a while, not that he felt they needed to know that...

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