One Thousand Steps [Closed, Started]

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True to Chao's intentions, her head started to clear as the group journeyed to the town of Tempen. And at least the rain was freshwater, that salty feeling was almost worse than being wet in the first place...

When Oktaru indicated that they finally arrived at Tempen, Chao noticed the city (with the exception of the modern Commerce building -- which seemed like the architect spared no effort to ensure everyone knew it was a new building) did look a lot more like her hometown than she had seen for some time. Kinda nostalgic, almost. She took a moment to look it over, her normal expression returning to her face.

"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."

"I wouldn't want to impose, especially after you've already helped us up and brought us 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?"

"That might be for the best," Chao added; inn owners usually seemed to be open at this time of a storm, in her experience.

"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?"

"I don't think so," Zira replied, as she followed the group. Her memory was still hazy, she knew who she was, and she remembered most of the boat trip, but the rest of it didn't want to appear. She remembered having seen some of them, probably.

"Not until now, at least." She smiled, friendly, but didn't say anything else as they kept walking.

The storm got to them before they got somewhere they could avoid it, and her very newly dried clothes quickly got soaked again, although this time without all the salt and the smell of sea. She took the chance to let her hair out, letting the salt-water wash out of it again before tying it up. Before long, they could see the village, it was very clearly a village relying on its port. They also got to Oktaru's house, from the look of it, a small, wooden house with a garden.

"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."

Almost everyone else seemed set on heading into the village, however, Zira blushed slightly. She had lost most of her possessions and all of her money, and she doubted there was an inn that would take her in.

"I lost my possessions," she replied. Her smile was forced, as she continued. "And I can't earthbend, only firebend, which won't do me much good for shelter. If it really is fine with you, I'll stay here."

Oktaru fumbled with the lock to his home as he spoke to Chao and Satoru; he was glad a few others were to accompany her. Storms had a bad habit of bringing out the worst in people around the island, and a single girl with a staff would pose an easy target.

"Alright, well stay safe. I might see you in town tomorrow anyhow; help you get back to Kyoshi. I know a few sailors who should still be hanging around."

Finally swinging the door open, the entrance way gave way to a humble living space; kitchen and lounge were separated only by a wooden counter; the lounge itself decorated only with a few, squat seats, and a fireplace. The only other rooms in the whole abode were a washroom and small bedroom. Turning to answer Shana, he had less fear for her safety than Chao. Clearly near the peak of physical fitness, Oktaru had little doubt the minor scars had come from the odd scrap or two.

"Yuans are fine, though some of the less responsible merchants will prefer to barter..."

The rain picked up and lightning flashed; the wind howling down the street, carrying leaves and sticks stripped straight from the trees. Looking out from the home, Oktaru pinned the door open against the wind with his staff, ushering those who were staying inside. Matching eyes with the scruffy earthbender, he chuckled somewhat.

"You're free to bend a shelter up, though I think it's warmer inside! All of you are of course welcome, though if you want to brave the storm I can't stop you."

Looking down at Zira, he felt sorry for the girl. It was possibly that what she lost on that boat was all she had. Smiling, he motioned to the fireplace, arching his brows curiously.

"See if you can't get that fire going without burning the place down."


Souzin Storum, Oktaru, Zira and whoever went inside the house.
Location: Burnt Paw Island | Oktaru's home.


Standing near Oktaru, the owner of the humble home, Souzin was ushered inside quickly. Seeing the small home Souzin was feeling more comfortable, either due to the lack of rain and wind, or the small space just made Souzin think back to his own home in the Fire Nation. The Storum family ran a farm a tad far from one of the more popular cities in the region, it was a popular farm responsible for many products, the family itself had a manor for the family and a large building nearby for the workers of the farm.

Yet, Souzin was comfortable since his room was almost as small as this little home. Getting himself away from the wind coming in, Souzin took himself to the lounge and gave Zira a short smile, afterwords he sat down next to the seat that had the best view of the lightning, feeling even more calmer while looking at the crackling thunder and lightning. "A fire would be nice ... b-but we're out of the wind." Souzin's voice lingered in the home, barely recognizable over the wind.

Grabbing his shoulders, the cold was starting to set in, it almost made him start the fire himself with his own firebending, yet he didn't want to cause anything bad.

"See if you can't get that fire going without burning the place down."

With that call from Oktaru, Souzin pushed the thought of lighting the fireplace away.
His gaze went to the outside, wondering when the storm might end, yet having no problem if it did not go away.

The walk to Oktaru's home took longer than Li had hoped. The people from the beach soldiered on, some talking amoungst themselves, others remaining silent. Li watched the man who questioned his laughter talk to a young woman, "What a charmer." Li thought to himself amused.

"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." Oktaru said gesturing in its direction.

Li focused himself and finally noticed that it had been raining for the last hour and everyone, including himself, were again soaked. The hut had clearly seen better days and Li was in need of a good nights rest. Li looked at the old man who had revived him, gave a curt nod of thanks, and headed towards town.


Tempen:

The weather had worsened over the journey to Tempen. Li was more water than man now, and finding an inn keeper that would let him stay with no money was unlikely. Walking down the street, he could see houses with the windows boarded up in preparation for the storm and soft candle light leaking from under the doors. Some of the more prosperous appearing businesses could apparently afford electricity, and a handful of these remained open.

Li continued to walk through the darkness of the storm, searching for a place to hide out. Around the corner of a shop called the Flaming Wolf, Li saw some buildings with no obvious light. Checking his pockets and with a sigh of relief he found his lock picks. With haste, Li moved into an alley way that lead to a backdoor of one of these buildings. A quick knock yielded no response, so Li got down on his knees. Rain beating down hard and fast, Li fished his picks out with cold hands and began to work on the lock.

As people started drifting away from the group, some heading into Oktaru's home and others wandering towards town, Satoru looked around at the remainder still standing out in the rain.

"Anyone else want to head into town together? We probably shouldn't all impose on Oktaru and it would probably be safer to stick together. Anyone could be prowling the streets, looking for people to take advantage of."

Maybe it was because he had grown up in the big city, but Satoru grew nervous at the thought of wandering around alone in the storm. Having a few people to go with would make him feel a lot more comfortable, especially since he had no knowledge of this town and what its residents were like.

Opening his eyes a few minutes later Koazon looks down at the bowl in front of him and starts slowly eating it. The hot food and warm room combining to wake him up some and relax the muscles on his body, sitting up straighter and lifting the bowl to drink some of the soup. Setting it back down and relaxing more he sips some of the sake on his table and yawns widely, covering his mouth and shivering as it feels like its rolling down his spine.
Gah, who knew being ship wreaked almost drowning and then walking an hour through the forest would exhaust someone so much.

Finishing the food in front of him and sipping a few sake cups of sake in between some of the bites and drinking the soup, by the time time he is done he is warm and half asleep with a spreading warmth from the sake also. Standing and waving at the woman waiter he hands her some coins and smiles nicely at her as he walks past to the counter next to some stairs. Leaning against the counter and holding his pack with one hand.
"Hello, i want to rent a room for the night? Just one bed and for one night."

Smiling at the older woman behind the counter she smiles slightly back and sets a chit down on the counter."Its going to be 10 coins and anything left in the room after u leave will be kept and sold."
She shrugs apologetically at him and he smile at her again, taking the chit and pocketing it Koazon walks up the stairs and into the room with the same number as the chit in his pocket. Closing the door behind him and stumbling to the bed he falls on it and just barely push's his pack under the bed before he fall asleep.

"Anyone else want to head into town together? We probably shouldn't all impose on Oktaru and it would probably be safer to stick together. Anyone could be prowling the streets, looking for people to take advantage of."

"Sure, might as well see what this island is like while we're here," Amala replied with a short nod.

The house really didn't look big enough to her to house all of them comfortably anyways, and she wasn't terribly frightened of the storm now that they were on land. Still need to work on my breathing techniques, but they should hopefully be enough to keep me warm even when I get soaked. Besides I can always dry myself off again. She made a mental note to check up on the house later though, she did feel that she owed Okataru at least a little for helping them all after the shipwreck.

"You're free to bend a shelter up, though I think it's warmer inside! All of you are of course welcome, though if you want to brave the storm I can't stop you."

Not really paying attention to the conversation about who would leave for the town, and who would stay -not like she had a choice- she went inside after Souzin, trying not to leave soaked footprints everywhere by leaving her shoes off in the entrance. Then she went into the living-room, smiling to Souzin. and sitting down herself. It was somewhat cold, and it was clear she wasn't the only one who thought so.

"A fire would be nice ... b-but we're out of the wind."

"You're right, though, a fire would be nice, I'll take care of that!" she beamed, and stood up. Before she got the chance to ask for permission to light the fire, Oktaru spoke.

"See if you can't get that fire going without burning the place down."

"Of course!" Zira beamed, happy both to stay and to be of some kind of use. She had to admit, there hadn't been a lot of situations where she'd be able to use her firebending outside combat, however, she was sure she'd manage to light a fireplace without setting other stuff on fire. She put a couple of logs into the fireplace so there was something to burn.

"Hm, let's see..." she prepared to do the firebending, sitting down, and after a couple of controlled motions -though, was firebending ever very controlled- it was set ablaze.

"There, that should do it," she chimed, and sat down in a seat opposite of Souzin. "So, what's your story?" she asked him. He looked like he was from the fire-nation, though one couldn't really assume anything these days.


Souzin Storum, Oktaru, Zira and whoever went inside the house.
Location: Burnt Paw Island | Oktaru's home.


Keeping close to the fire, but an eye on the windows to examine the outside nature, Souzin was surprised by the lit fire of Zira, moving back a little bit before realizing it was fire. If anything it looked like he was comfortable and somehow yet fearing the element. Taking the surprised look off his face, Souzin turned to answer the question of the other firebender.

Yet he immediately looked awkward but answered in full. "Oh ... I'm here on a 'coming of age' journey. I-I never had one when I had turned into an adult ... so my farming family made me do one. Heh." He gave a cold laugh, only giving a little bit of the truth. Souzin actually wanted to go on the trip as well, but decided to hide that face from anyone.

To Zira, Souzin's face looked that of fire nation heritage, yet he seemed to wear blue pants and green upper-clothing. "Umm ... what about you? Are you like me or ... are you here on another purpose?" He dared to question.

"Alright, well stay safe. I might see you in town tomorrow anyhow; help you get back to Kyoshi. I know a few sailors who should still be hanging around." Chao was thankful for Oktaru's thoughtfulness, even if she wished she didn't need him to go so far out of his way for it. And I guess someone told him more about the ferry. Really must've been out of it for a while, since I don't remember it.) "Thanks again for all of your help, Oktaru. Good night!"

Everyone started going their separate ways, those heading into Tempen seeming to linger somewhat in indecision.

"Anyone else want to head into town together? We probably shouldn't all impose on Oktaru and it would probably be safer to stick together. Anyone could be prowling the streets, looking for people to take advantage of."

"Sure, might as well see what this island is like while we're here."

Chao happily agreed. "Alright, I'll go with y'all." Today's been screwy enough as it is. Be nice just to hang out for a while.

Li

Li's hands shook from the freezing rain, but the familiar click and spin of an open lock soon revealed a warm and dry reprieve from the fierce weather. The door led into a two-story modern home, complete with light-bulbs and heated water. Though it was empty for now, there was obvious signs that it was indeed inhabited; several pairs of boots were strewn over the floor, as well as various weapons and parchment.

Chao, Amala, Satoru, Shana

The group that left last from Oktaru's home arrived at the city reasonably wet. Both the inn and the hotel were still open, though the streets were empty save from the debris blown about by the wind. The chiming of dock bells could be heard from a distance, yet there was no sound of civilization. Shadows in the windows showed people huddled for warmth in the older houses, while those lucky enough to be in solid, concrete establishments could be seen watching the storm behind thick glass.

Tempen: Unoccupied Home

Li's hands shook from the freezing rain, but the familiar click and spin of an open lock soon revealed a warm and dry reprieve from the fierce weather. Slowly Li entered the hallway, concentrating on his steps in order to remain quiet. Looking around Li spotted various weapons by the door. "Better not let the residents find me," Li thought to himself before noticing a pile of boots."Time to upgrade these bad boys," Li slipped off the tattered footwear that barely passed for shoes and grabbed a pair of boots that looked like a good fit before moving on.

Slinking around the house, Li found the bathroom and in there was a glorious site, "Is that a shower?" Bouncing over, Li stripped down and flipped on the hot water. Relishing the feeling of clean skin and fresh water, Li scrubbed and drank until he was content. Picking up his belongings, Li climbed the stairs to the second floor. Finding bed rooms, he rummaged through the clothing, picking out select items. "That is quite nice, ooo and that, get me some of that, how many pockets can one jacket have? Rather elegant if I say so myself."

Giving himself a twirl, Li was now parading thick black trousers, a red shirt, a black heavy duty overcoat and boots. Sliding his lock picks and knife inside his jacket pockets, Li retrieved his bandana, and proceed to the window to dispose of his previous belongings. Now clean and rehydrated, the extent of Li's exhaustion hit him hard. Against his better judgment, he collapsed into bed listening as the wind blew in through the open window.

Despite his intentions, Guiren left the small house and went into town, figuring he could get something to eat, and probably get some more money later.

Eventually, he came across a small shop labeled "Jin Jin's 24/7 Noodles". Aware of the rumbling of his stomach, Guiren opened the door and stepped inside, taking a moment to appreciate the warmth and good smells emanating from within.

The chef behind the counter, an older , balding man waved appreciatively. "Hey they, didn't think I'd get anyone tonight! I was just about to close up, but if you're already here, what can I get ya?"

Guiren sat behind the counter, glad to be sitting down. "Surprise me, I'm up for anything/"

"You got it!" The man said cheerfully, and went to work. "So, are you visiting this island?"

"You could say that", Guiren answered, "But not by choice. I'm actually heading towards Kyoshi Island. You wouldn't happen to know when the next boat out of here is?"

Jin Jin's Noodles

The old Chef served up Guiren a steaming bowl of tossed noodles and vegetables, accompanied by a rather spicy sauce. Wiping down his knife, the Chef looked out the window thoughtfully, musing.

"Hmm, to Kyoshi? I'm not sure, the ferry from the mainland doesn't ever stop here unless it's an emergency. You might be able to find someone down by the docks to take you, though it'll cost you an arm and a leg!"

As the storm picked up once more, the Chef hurried to close the windows and latches, moving at such speed and precision that it became apparent this was a rehearsed procedure. The island saw it's share fair of bad weather, and storms like these came about the same time each year...

The Next Day

The storm had left a trail of destruction in it's wake, a trail that cut straight through Tempen. While the concrete buildings survived almost unscathed, many of the wooden shops and houses had suffered severe damage; walls broken in, ceilings collapsed; debris was strewn everywhere. As soon as the sun rose, men and women sporting red-bandanas began scurrying out of the nearby wilderness, pouring into Tempen to claim whatever loot they could...

Li

The sound of a door being shut woke Li with a start. It was light outside, and the sound of people yelling and arguing could be heard through the window. He was also now aware of voices within the building he had broken into; one, distinctly gruff and male; the other, somewhat sarcastic, and most certainly belonging to a woman.

"The others have just arrived. You ready to go Lissa?"

"Just hang on, I can't find my red shirt. Don't want them mistaking me..."

"Every year. Every year we're late because of stuff like this..."

The voices moved closer, until they were just outside Li's room, their shadows visible and somewhat daunting.

Flaming Wolf

A thunderous crash woke the denizens of the Flaming Wolf Inn. The downstairs door had been knocked through by an impressive sized boulder. Three large, grizzled men dressed in varying apparels of red stepped in, the leading figure holding another large boulder in his hand. Spitting, he addressed the innkeeper.

"Morning. You know how this goes; hand over the yuan's, and we won't have a problem."

His loud, booming voice sounded through the building, as the other two intruders began to shake down the staff.

Oktaru's Home

The sound of a whistling kettle woke those who had chosen to stay with the old man; a range of mugs was lined up on the counter, each a different size and style. Clearly, this was the home of a man not accustomed to visitors. The man's home had remained upright, though his garden was completely eradicated. Pouring the piping hot peppermint tea, Oktaru gave a deep sigh as he took a long, deep drink.

"You all sleep alright? We must have got the storm that knocked out your ferry. Haven't seen one like that in quite some time."


Souzin Storum, Oktaru, and Zira.
Location: Burnt Paw Island | Oktaru's home.


The sound of the kettle did not wake up the fearful firebender, the smell of Peppermint Tea did. In the Storum family, tea was a big thing, it was on the farm's biggest products. While Jasmine Tea was Souzin's favourite, the Peppermint smell came by Souzin's sleeping form and luring him awake with slow moving blinks. Souzin slept in the corner of the lounge, borrowing a pillow and sheet. Giving a stretch and having his green hood fall off, Souzin mumbled to himself, "... uh ... tea." His quiet voice said.

Not used to sleeping on a hardened matter, Souzin got up and stretched some more before turning to the concerned Oktaru, "I ... I will be fine. I am not used to sleep away from home.". Walking to where the tea was Souzin picked up a tea cup, a cup which seemed to be small and fancy like, to the family man it came with soft memories of his family. The scent of Peppermint tea grazing his nostrils. A fond look came to his eyes and his raised his cup, the cup steady as a knife.

Raising the tea to his mouth, Souzin took a slow small sip, realizing the hot tea he moved quickly away from the cup before starting to blow on it. Wandering back to the pillow he sat on, once more did his bottom sat upon the feathered pillow. Souzin simply drank his tea, keeping quiet.

"Hmm, to Kyoshi? I'm not sure, the ferry from the mainland doesn't ever stop here unless it's an emergency. You might be able to find someone down by the docks to take you, though it'll cost you an arm and a leg!"

Guiren winced. "On second thoughts, I think I'll wait out the storm before I go."

The Next Morning

Blinking the sleep from his eyes, Guiren groaned and pushed himself off the floor from where he was lying. In the end, he had opted t stay in to wait out the storm, eventually falling asleep.

"Okay, note to self, never do that again." He mumbled, and staggered out the door. People with red bandannas were scurried to and fro, carrying things in their arms. And y the looks of things, they weren't here to fix the place up...

Guiren realized what was happening and groaned to himself. "Really? As if being stranded on an island wasn't enough?"

Well, he couldn't in good conscience let them get away with it, so Guiren drew his blade and rushed into the thick of things, intending to do what he could.

Satoru awoke with a start, disturbed by the sound of someone yelling outside. Grumbling to himself, he rose from the inn's narrow bed and pushed open his room's window. Sticking his head out, he saw two men run around a corner and out of sight.

Sitting down with a sigh, Satoru rubbed his eyes and yawned heavily. He was still feeling a bit sleepy, however the night's rest seemed to have chased away most of his exhaustion from yesterday. He'd collapsed into bed pretty quick last night after eating dinner in the inn's common room.

Standing up and pulling on his now thankfully dry clothing, he wondered what he should do today. He didn't have enough money left to stay another night here, since he'd paid for both himself and Amala last night. Maybe he should head down to the docks and try and find a boat out of this place?

Before he could follow that train of thought any further, he was startled by the door to his room crashing open with a bang. A large, angry looking man marched in, wearing a red bandana around his head and carrying a club in his right hand.

"Oi you! Hand over all your valuables and maybe I won't bash your skull in."

Backing frantically away, Satoru's knees hit the bed and he fell backwards onto it. He vainly reached out searching for some earth to bend, but they were on the second floor - there was none to be found. Out of options, he raised his hands above his head slowly.

"Take it easy big guy, take it easy. Promise you won't whack me if I grab my coin pouch out of my pocket? Also can I just say that bandana is a good look for you, matches the anger in your eyes."

Satoru was stalling for time, hoping that someone had heard the commotion and came to investigate.

Chao awoke to the sound of someone Earthbending outside. What's going on? Chao looked around, before noticing Amala still asleep. Oh, right. I ended up in Tempen after... She wasn't about to dwell on the shipwreck right now, but the rest of the night fell into place as she sat up to get ready for the day.

She'd gone with Amala and Satoru to find somewhere to hide out the storm for the night, and they found the Flaming Wolf and paid for two rooms. Amala had quickly dried them off, being an airbender -- having wind blown through your clothes while making small talk was an odd experience, like someone cutting your hair in a drafty room -- and they'd quickly eaten before retiring for the night.

As Chao finished getting dressed (her clothes not quite straightened out yet), an average-height man wearing a red bandanna busted in, wielding some kind of punching knife and speaking loudly.

"Alright, listen up--" He paused for a moment, taking in the situation he'd walked in on. Apparently he was shy, and thought this looked worse than what was intended, since he blushed a bit and took a moment to try and compose himself. "Look, I just want your money--"

Chao cracked him on the head with her staff (he was too distracted to notice Chao grabbing it, one supposes), knocking the intruder unconscious. What we have here is a failure to commit. She heard commotion next door, which pointedly did NOT sound like a thief falling unconscious.

"Time to repay Satoru," Chao politely commented, since he'd paid for Amala's part of the room.

Zira woke up when the smell of tea filled the air and a whistling kettle could be heard. She sat up, rubbing her eyes, taking a moment to remember where she was and why.

Oh yeah, I was allowed to stay over here during the storm.

She'd have to thank Oktaru, though she took a few moments to stretch and do morning exercises, mainly for the purpose of waking up a little more. After she was done, she went the same way Souzin had gone, and heard what they were talking about.

"You all sleep alright? We must have got the storm that knocked out your ferry. Haven't seen one like that in quite some time."

"I ... I will be fine. I am not used to sleep away from home."

"Don't worry, you'll get used to it quickly," Zira smiled, and sat down, pouring herself some tea as well. Souzin had told her about how he was on a coming of age journey, and that he wasn't there willingly. While she had mostly waved it off, she'd mentioned that she was there of her own free will. After speaking, she turned to Oktaru, thinking of thanking him, but realizing that sitting down was probably not the best way to do so. She stood up again, respectfully thanking Oktaru. "Thank you so much for letting me stay, and for saving me." Zira then sat down again, carefully blowing on her tea to make it slightly colder, and drinking it.

"This tea is delicious," she then said, happily.

"Morning. You know how this goes; hand over the yuan's, and we won't have a problem."

Jerking upright and looking around at the sound of breaking wood and a booming voice Koazon leans on his knees and sighs. Turning and setting his feet on the cold floor and using his hands he lifts himself up, stretching slowly and closing his eyes as several of his joints pop. Why does this have to happen after yesterdays crappy day. Sighing loudly and turning his head as he hears someone hit the floor and some others threatening people. Reaching under his bed and grabbing his pack he pulls it out and drops it on the bed. Unstrapping his buckler and spear he settles the buckler on his left arm then rolls his shoulders.

Walking over to the door and opening it Koazon pokes his head out and looks around the hall, seeing a woman come out of another door heading towards another door. Hearing people downstairs still talking and some smashing he steps outside his room and slowly walks down the stairs, looking around while standing on the bottom stair he shakes his head. Several pieces of furniture broken and a few men in red bandanas standing around, all of them looking fairly rough and some holding money bags in their hands. Taking another step forward and bouncing the bottom of his spear on the floor he smiles slightly.
"Come one fellas, give the money back and leave. Please. You all look like big men, you can make some money hauling crates."

Spreading his legs slightly Koazon sets himself and holds his spear in the loose relaxed grip he had been taught.

They had reached the town tired and soaked through once more, and while Amala's airbending quickly took care of the latter problem the former led them to an inn. Satoru kindly paid for her to share a room with Chao, since she didn't have any money on her. She slept soundly, but was woken up rather rudely when a man burst into their room attempting to demand their valuables.

By the time she had woken up enough to realize what was happening Chao had already dispatched the robber.

"Time to repay Satoru,"

She nodded and leaped out of bed, part of her feeling excited to get to test her skills like this, another smaller part felt a bit worried but she brushed it off as she darted into the hall, still dressed only in the underclothes she had slept in, forming an air scooter as she went.

She rounded the corner to see another man menacing Satoru, she grinned and flung the air scooter at the man's feet.

"Heads up!" she yelled, grinning as the ball of rapidly spinning air struck the man's feet even as he turned to see what was happening. The ball practically exploded on impact launching the man off his feet and spinning into the air, soon impacting the ceiling and falling back to the floor unconscious.

"You alright Satoru?" she asked, eyeing the unconscious man as she walked over to check on Satoru. Chao arrived soon after, having followed after her.

The thief glared at Satoru in response to his smart-ass comment. Before he could reply, he was interrupted by Amala bursting into the room, spinning a ball of air between her hands.

"Heads up!"

Amala launched the ball at the thief's feet, which flipped him up into the air. Satoru laughed as the man thudded into the ceiling and fell to the floor, out cold.

"You alright Satoru?" Amala asked, walking further into the room as Chao appeared in the doorway behind her.

"Never better Amala, I had that totally under control," Satoru bluffed, standing up and grinning. "Thanks for the assistance though..."

Satoru trailed off as he realised that Amala was wearing barely any clothing! Blushing and looking off to the side, he tried to focus his thoughts again.

"Uh, I think we should probably see what's happening downstairs... although you might want to get dressed first," Satoru said, still looking away from the girls. Unfortunately this meant he wasn't watching his step, and his foot got caught under the outstretched arm of the unconscious thief. Losing his balance, he fell forward towards Amala and Chao!

"Never better Amala, I had that totally under control,"

Sure you did, she thought, still grinning from the excitement. Fortunately he didn't seem to have been hurt though.

"Thanks for the assistance though..."

"No problem, had to pay you back for my room after all," she said, not noticing for a moment why he had trailed off.

"Uh, I think we should probably see what's happening downstairs... although you might want to get dressed first,"

"Huh? Oh!" Amala had forgotten about her state of dress with all the excitement going on, "I'll-" she was interrupted by Satoru as he tripped over the unconscious body, falling towards her and Chao.

Having already started to turn and surprised by his tripping she was in no position to catch him, and her attempt to do so only pushed him onto Chao who was caught just as off guard as she was, and both Chao and Satoru fell to the floor on top of each other.

"I'll just go get dressed then," Amala said, feeling a bit embarrassed by this turn of events, "I'll meet you downstairs," she finished as she rushed out the door, heading back to her room to get dressed properly.

Chao had followed Amala into Satoru's room and watched as she quickly dispatched the other thief -- another untrained guy with a weapon. I guess Satoru's not much the combat type? Fair enough.

Never better Amala, I had that totally under control," Satoru bluffed, standing up and grinning. "Thanks for the assistance though..."

I guess 'deciding not to fight' kind of counts as 'in control' Chao thought, clearly seeing that Satoru was unharmed -- pride aside. Honestly, his horrible attempt at lying was the only thing that looked bad. If these guys had friends, I'll have to remember he can't fight.

Satoru trailed off as he realised that Amala was wearing barely any clothing! Blushing and looking off to the side, he tried to focus his thoughts again. "Uh, I think we should probably see what's happening downstairs... although you might want to get dressed first,"

Chao looked over to Amala and noticed that she hadn't had time to get dressed, but Satoru's reaction seemed a bit over-the-top. She's not naked, guy. You shouldn't be more embarrassed than she is... maybe how she looks in it makes up the difference?

Chao's confusion distracted her enough not to notice the stumbling Satoru until Amala tried to shove him upright, sending him crashing right into her. Chao, the shortest and smallest of the three, tried to catch Satoru... but had no time to brace herself, so Chao just fell backward -- landing on her butt momentarily before Satoru sent her sprawling onto her back. Satoru landed on her -- probably painfully for the both of them.

Ow... Chao tried to look up at Satoru, her smile still in place despite the situation. "... you alright?"

Amala tried to catch Satoru as he fell, however all she succeeded in doing was pushing him into Chao. The two of them crashed to the ground, Chao flat on her back with Satoru sprawled on top of her.

"I'll just go get dressed then," Amala said, feeling a bit embarrassed by this turn of events, "I'll meet you downstairs," she finished as she rushed out the door, heading back to her room to get dressed properly.

"Ow..." Satoru groaned, having whacked his elbow on the side of the bed during the fall. Shaking his head to clear it, he realized he was pinning Chao to the ground.

"...you alright?" she asked, still smiling somehow. Satoru scrambled off her and stood up, rubbing his painful elbow. "Sorry... I'm not exactly covering myself in glory this morning am I?" he said ruefully, helping Chao to her feet. "I'm gonna assume there are more of these guys downstairs, probably grabbing everything that isn't nailed down. You should get your things, I'll meet you and Amala down there," he said, slinging his rucksack over his shoulder. Turning to the open window, he looked back at Chao and grinned. "Watch this,"

Jumping out the window, he fell down to the deserted street below. Bending the earth as he landed, he pushed it downwards, cushioning his fall. Running up to the inn's entrance, he stopped and peaked his head around the door. Four bandana clad men were in there, in some kind of stand off with another man wielding a spear. Bursting into action, Satoru pulled up a couple of earth discs and sent them crashing into two of the men's heads, knocking them down.

"Yea, eat that suckers!"

Before Satoru could launch another volley, one of the remaining bandits pivoted and punched towards him, launching a stream of fire. Scampering out of the way, Satoru took cover behind the inn's wall.

"Crap, a firebender... This could be tough."

A few of the thieves were busy breaking into a store when Guiren showed up.

"Alright boys, back away from the store, and won't have to hurt you." He said boldly.

One of the thieves, a big burly man, laughed at this display of heroics. "Well well, lookie here? A wannabe hero? Well come on then, let's see what you got!"

Guiren automatically shifted into a bending stance, even as the bandits charged, kicking up rocks that he threw into their faces.

The boss of the group glared daggers at Guiren. "Why you...!" He formed fireballs in his hands and threw them towards Guiren, who blocked them with a well-timed wall of earth.

"Not bad," He said, but how about this?" With a stomping motion, he created a wave of spikes towards the thief boss, to jumped back to avoid the attack and started flinging more fireballs. Guiren ducked behind some barrels, knife raised.

"Okay, so you won't go down so easy. Fine, I'm up for a fight."

Amala dressed herself quickly, fortunately her traditional airbending garb didn't take long to put on, and leaped out of the window, slowing her fall with airbending. She could already tell things were getting out of hand, especially with the unmistakable sound of fire being thrown about. The bandits have a bender? This'll be interesting... part of her was afraid of what might happen, the other was excited about the chance to actually test her skills against another bender, the thieves upstairs had been rather easily dealt with after all.

She darted back into the building, finding Satoru cowering behind a wall hiding from the firebender who was blasting at him. Or at least had been blasting at him, now he had a new target with Amala entering the scene, she was ready though and quickly sidestepped it, replying with a blast of air.

The firebender's expression turned to surprise at the sight of an airbender, but he was quick on his feet and managed to hold his ground against the airblast, shooting off a volley of fireballs at her. She narrowly dodged them, sweating from the heat as they passed. Too close, that one singed me. She knew she could keep him distracted if nothing else, though she didn't want to hurt the man, at least not any more than she had to.

Satoru scrambled off her and stood up, rubbing his painful elbow. "Sorry... I'm not exactly covering myself in glory this morning am I?" he said ruefully, helping Chao to her feet. "I'm gonna assume there are more of these guys downstairs, probably grabbing everything that isn't nailed down. You should get your things, I'll meet you and Amala down there," he said, slinging his rucksack over his shoulder. Turning to the open window, he looked back at Chao and grinned. "Watch this," Jumping out the window, he fell down to the deserted street below.

I do envy benders sometimes. Even if they can't fight, it must be awfully handy... Not able to see the danger Satoru had ran willingly back into, Chao took a moment to ready herself for more fighting before going to get Amala and her things. She only made it in time to see Amala's head drop out of sight.

... Well, she's ready, at any rate. Chao quickly grabbed her satchel and headed toward the stairs, treading somewhat quietly compared to the cacophonous fighting below.

Chao saw flashes of light as she began to head down the stairs, holding back a moment to observe the fighting once she neared the bottom. One of the bandits -- a firebender -- was squaring off against Amala, while Satoru took cover behind a wall. Seems he really isn't 'covering himself in glory'. Quietly setting down her satchel, Chao grabbed her staff, and leapt out at the firebender as he launched a volley of fireballs at Amala; she aimed a vertical strike for his head. Turning, he noticed Chao's attack in time to try and block her attack, but Chao's staff connected with his head a moment too soon, striking him upon his head and sending the violent firebender to the ground.

"Glad to see you guys are okay," Chao commented, before turning to go retrieve her satchel.

Oktaru had been quietly enjoying some tea with his awake guests, letting the others sleep off their ordeal, when he heard unusual sounds from the village. "Town is not usually so lively after a storm..." Oktaru excused himself to go look out the window, and noticed several out-of-place people wearing red bandannas. Quickly ascertaining the bandanna-wearers' intentions, Oktaru quickly awoke everyone who was asleep and tried to get them all away for now.
"Sorry to disturb your sleep," Oktaru apologized, "but it seems some unscrupulous persons have decided to take advantage of the storm and rob members of the town. I will be able to deal with them if they come here, but I will have to ask you all to quietly escape through the back door." Oktaru indicated a small door at the back of the house. "This will lead you on a path that's not visible from the street. From there, you should be safe to wait things out, and I should hopefully be around to collect you all with some news about getting you to Kyoshi Island."


Souzin Storum, Oktaru, and Zira.
Location: Burnt Paw Island | Oktaru's home.


Hearing about the news that the town is under attack, Souzin frowned almost cringing at the fact that he is not there defending the town. Being indicated to the back-door, Souzin gave Oktaru a formal bow. "Thank you for taking care of me." He simply said before moving to the back and opening the back door. Giving one last glance back, his hands quickly moved to place his green hood on before walking out.

Souzin Storum.
Location: Burnt Paw Island | Near Tempen.


From where he was walking, Souzin could see the town through the branches, it sounded like that the bandits were succeeding thus far. Until he heard the sound of fighting, people fighting back. Moving more quickly, Souzin wanted to gain a better view of the whole battle before either making his move or listening to the old man and staying out of it. " ... damn." Was all he could say, he feared becoming hurt, he feared revealing his firenation heritage.

Coming to a nice tall tree, Souzin began to climb it.

"but it seems some unscrupulous persons have decided to take advantage of the storm and rob members of the town. I will be able to deal with them if they come here, but I will have to ask you all to quietly escape through the back door."

"If you say so. Thank you again for your generosity," Zira replied, and stood up, leaving through the back-door. She was about to ask Souzin what they plan of attack was, because, of course, they would have to do something. However, he started climbing a tree instead.

He can't fight then?

She wasn't going to blame him, it wasn't like they were required to fight, and he might have gotten hurt the day before. Still, she wasn't going to sit around idle, and started running into town. Without paying attention to what had happened in the fight, yet reading into it enough to know what to do and to know that the guy she was going to attack was a bad guy, she bended forth her trusty fire-whip. With it, she attacked one of the men, who wasn't currently bending, with her whip, relying on speed and balance to quickly grab his leg with the whip, drag it, and knock him down. Making sure he was down by standing on top of him, Zira got fired up.

"Hah! I bet you weren't counting on being attacked from behind!" she grinned, before looking at the others there. Zira recognized them from the day before. "You okay?"


Souzin Storum.
Location: Burnt Paw Island | A tree near Tempen.


Climbing up to the top branch that he could balance on and stand, Souzin made a nice stance, the first time almost falling over but lowering down to a crouch. "More stable." He said to himself before moving forward, adjusting his hood to hopefully disguising him with the environment. Taking in a deep breath, and another one, a small flame opened up in his palm. Fire, he had not used his element for the longest of whiles, Souzin could not even remember the last time he used firebending.

"My memory sucks." He simply said before switching his gaze towards the raided town of Tempen, the high tree allowed him to see the town. Finding some red clothes bandits that were not in combat, Souzin began to try to snipe them from the tree, his mind being driven by the fact that they are trying to play off as Fire Nation. Muttering a curse, the first small flame hit one red clothed bandit, lighting his shoes on fire.

Satoru crouched behind the wall, planning his next move as the firebender bandit continued to blast away at his position. Before he could act though, he was surprised by Amala running up from behind him and engaging the rouge bender. Poking his head around the corner, he witnessed Chao taking the man down with a sharp crack to the head from her staff.

"Wow, these girls sure are handy in a fight. I almost feel sorry for the poor guy."

Impressed by the skills of his companions, Satoru stood up and switched his focus to the one remaining bandit, only to see him easily trounced by another newcomer who'd run in off the street. He recognized her from the boat... Zira wasn't it? Apparently she was a competent firebender, even if she was rather small. Amusingly, she stood on top of the man she had downed, looking all fired up.

"Hah! I bet you weren't counting on being attacked from behind!" she grinned, before looking at the others there. Zira recognized them from the day before. "You okay?"

"I'm okay, anyone else hurt?" Satoru replied as he strolled into the room. Poking one of the unconscious bandits with his foot, Satoru grinned. "We sure showed these chumps, didn't we?" he said, turning to look at the others.

"Hah! I bet you weren't counting on being attacked from behind!" she grinned, before looking at the others there. Zira recognized them from the day before. "You okay?"

"I'm okay, anyone else hurt?" Satoru replied as he strolled into the room. Poking one of the unconscious bandits with his foot, Satoru grinned. "We sure showed these chumps, didn't we?" he said, turning to look at the others.

Amused at Satoru's stubbornness, Chao momentarily sighed and shook her head. Oh, Satoru. Still going on like you can fight, huh? Well, no helpin' it for now.

"I suppose we did, Satoru," Chao began (trying to imply 'not him'), turning back around and heading for the group now that her satchel was recovered. She saw the new person joining the group -- a short firebender dressed in red and orange -- posed atop the body of one of the bandits. Chao thought she saw the exuberant newcomer before, but she had trouble focusing yesterday. "Ah, sorry if I don't recall you from yesterday, had some... head thing... Anyway, name's Chao, nice to meet you."

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