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Offline Banjolover9

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The Epic of Tyler [T]
« on: September 07, 2013, 07:34:18 PM »
Okay, so I posted this on FF.net and haven't really gotten a whole lot of feedback so I want to post it here and see what you guys think of this story. It's AUish, a new character that weaves in and out of the Gaang's adventures in the original series. It's through the eyes of that character and there's a bit of a new country involved. I wanted the country to allude to the American Civil War and have that 'different' culture aspect than the other four nations. So I present to you, The Epic of Tyler. Please tell me what you think!

Banjo

The Epic of Tyler

Ch.1: Stories of my Grandfather

I remembered the stories my grandfather told me. Most of them originating from the Outside Nations. He was a great storyteller, he always used his hands to captivate me and used his vocabulary like a master swordfighter. My father gave me his name for my middle and it's something I feel honored for. He is someone that many people look up too after his countless years of struggles. He always had a positive attitude, something I dearly missed. He did not last the long, cold, dark winter that always ravished our crops and kept us indoors, isolated from the outside, prisoners of our own home.

When he died, I felt an era of admiration pass on but just like my grandpa told me as we warmed by the fire in our small, simple hearth he created and me sitting on his lap, there's always a new day. As he lied on his deathbed, a day or two prior to his death, he handed me something of value. He told me to wear with pride as he always had, treasuring it as if it was a holy symbol.

"To me, it reminds me of a long-lasting connection that I hope you will feel too, my boy."

So I wear it every day, never taking it off. Now it's the Spring, the ice had thawed and now I continue my education at the schoolhouse in town but I end up spending most of my hours tending to the farm while my father would go off and trade and drink until his dark heart's content. He leaves me with all the work while he goes off to make the money and spend it on some good ale and fine Henricho whiskey.

But I work hard so I could get the chores done and spend the rest of what time I had left with my friends, Tommy and his dear sister, Rose. Such a fine pair of siblings. Tommy had been my best friend since we were born, he's my brother in everything but blood. We both lived on farms so we lived on the same expectations though he tends to slack off more and do things half-heartedly so he could get some riding done. He loves to ride horses, especially race them. I enjoy that activity very much especially when bets are involved. Usually joining Tommy is his pretty sister, Rosaline who I call Rose for short. Though a girl, she has attracted me with her stubborn, cheekiness that I adore so much. I think her favorite word is equality because with her actions, she displays it. She can help Tommy plow a field, she can help Tommy replace the rotting wood on fences and coups, she can ride horses with one leg on each side and she had some pretty good aim when she tossed stones in the creek. If I hadn't know any better, I'd say Rose was born a girl on the outside with a boy spirit on the inside.

You're probably wondering where I live. I live in Gainesville, Ridley in the glorious country of Athenrand. We are very independent from the Outside Nations as we respectfully dubbed. Here's a little bit of our history, about 200 years ago, we waged war with one of the Outside Nations. We demanded our right to break away and form our own nation that didn't rely on this mighty, supernatural power known to us as 'bending'. We wanted to have a government that wasn't monarchy or aristocracy. We wanted the people to have a part in politics, our big word for it is democracy. We vote our president and our congress. Our land mass was so large that we could easily divide our nation into separate provinces and territories known as states. We had 34 states and a lot of territory yet to be conquered and named.

Though we all had a say that democracy established, we were still woven in physical conflict. We had just entered our second year of Civil War. Eleven states in the southern part of our land declared themselves a separate country and created their own government resembling the same practice but had a different set of laws and rules. Though we weren't parted by sea, we still felt division.

The issue of this all was about slavery. While the Union wanted to abolish the horrible treatment towards people, the eleven, the Confederacy, fought at it and divided our nation so they could selfishly keep that right. Our economy was dependent on slavery, sadly, and we were afraid of a long struggle that could collapse everything we've fought for during that war against the Fire Nation and we would plunge into chaos and eventually extinction, according to my teacher, Mr. Jacobson.

But this is our land. We have little towns and big cities, we have farmers and we have factory workers, we have a Constitution and we don't have nobility. We fight with cannons, guns and swords. We ride on horseback and carriages pulled by horses. We have whiskey and beer. We have taverns and market squares. This is our land, this is Athenrand.

According to my grandfather, he left the turmoil of the Outside Nations to live peacefully on Athenrand after his home was burned down by the enemy who was keen on expanding their empire. He spoke of a brother who was long lost ever since he was twelve years old. The only thing he had tied to that relative was this necklace that had the engraving of what he claimed to be the Air Nomad symbol, something I was not familiar with.

Grandpa Shang had told me stories of his life before his evacuation. He told me the myths and legends of that world and told me about his brother who he never mentioned his name.

"My brother, your great-uncle, always had a free spirit. He could not stay still for very long. He always thirsted for adventure. Just like you, my dear Tyler."

Adventure sounded so much fun. I loved to nap under the shade of the trees after a long day and just dream about seeing the world that included the Outside Nations. I dreamed of that excitement. Though I sometimes went with my father to outposts, towns and cities, it didn't feel like enough. I was seeing my culture every day but nothing new or fascinating. It was the same life everywhere you go. I would watch my father reach an agreement with a seller and I would hear politics all over the streets. It was never different. Even the food felt the same. But I have to admit, Athenrand had citizens who could really bake a delicious pie or custard.

My grandfather was a great storyteller. He would also romance Tommy and Rose with stories. The epics and sagas of brave warriors. He told us the stories of mythical spirits who served as the Gods of their world. He told us the stories of the Avatar, a mysterious being that could bend all four elements of the Outside Nations. I've wondered what it'd be like to have my story told. But it wouldn't be told, it didn't have enough adventure in it.

After a finished story, as we were younger, we would go outside. We Ran around and played the roles of the characters he had told us about. I would always call being the Avatar and Tommy would grumble about it, but he would find another way to make himself happy. He'd be my enemy. Rose would sometimes play the bad guy or the good guy after she complained a lot. Tommy had the usual attitude of a small boy. He hated girls playing with them, it was a boy game but I asked Tommy to reconsider. I had this determination to impress her with my 'skills'.

But as we grew up into working teenagers, Grandpa's storytelling was put to the side. The only time we'd hear a story was on special occasion. He was declining and every day we would be working our best to keep him alive.

When he passed on last winter, I felt a part of me die but like I said before, he was the one who told me there was a new day. I worked the first day Spring arrived and kept that necklace close to me, I never took it off as I have said before.

Today I finished my work early. I wiped the sweat off my brow and took off my fedora hat that I took from my Pa's closet. He was away on 'business' so he wouldn't mind if I did take it to battle the sun light. I heard a loud pitch neigh and I turned around, still having one hand wrapped around my rake.

I saw Tommy pull into my property. As he tugged the reins to stop the mare, he jumped off and ran up to me.

"Mornin' Ty," He said with a bright smile.

"Hey, Tom. What's up?"

"Nothing. I see you finished work." Tommy said, acknowledging my handiwork. I smiled and nodded. "You up for a race?"

"Don't you have chores to do, Tom?" I asked as I stroked my forehead again with the pad of my thumb.

"I'm good."

Tommy always was a slacker. I rolled my eyes, good-naturedly at him. I gave him a good punch to his shoulder which was a common display among ourselves. He rubbed it and gave a light chuckle.

"You still up for a race?" He asked. I looked at my done work and then at my best friend. I gave him a nod and quickly jogged off to saddle up my horse.

We raced down the dirt road that was purposely paved to allow trade wagons and travelers to ride or walk freely. Tommy's horse was a bit faster, she had enduring stamina which I assumed made Tommy's plow work easier.

I felt the wind caress my face and my hair flutter back. I had to keep one hand on my hat to keep it from flying away. My laugh was lost with the wind as I caught up to my friend. We had the rare instance where there were no travelers or traders along our way.

Tommy gave a loud whistle to a girl working in the fields. My eyes settled on her. Rosaline Marshal, my source of admiration. I sighed as she shouted at her brother.

"Tommy! You damn slacker, always leaving me with the work!" Rose shouted as Tommy started to ride into their pasture. Oh man, when she was angry, she was beautiful.

"Rosaline Marshal! Watch your mouth!" shouted her mother from the opened window on the highest floor of their home. I stopped my horse and watched the family argument.

"Tell Tommy that he needs to get his butt off that horse and work!" Rose shouted back. Tommy was soon yelled at.

"Thomas Leslie Marshal! Get to work!"

"Yes, Ma!" Tom hollered. The mother soon slammed shut the window and Tommy rode wide circles around Rose.

"What are you doing?" Rose asked, annoyed.

"Helping you." Tom answered, grinning like an idiot. "A horse's hooves brings up some dirt."

Tommy was an original person. His little mischief acts were original, a good example would be this. I rolled my eyes and swung my leg over my horse, dismounting. I held onto the saddle briefly before letting go when I got my balance.

"C'mon, Tom. Quit fooling." I said a smile. He only grinned back before finally dismounting and picking up a rake. I decided to help out the siblings to make things faster. Well, it was sort of an excuse to get closer to Rose.

"So Tyler," Rose said as she hacked at a dirt clod. "Is your father still away?"

"Yeah." I said as I combed through the thick, muddy dirt. "He's been gone for a long time now."

"Are you worried?" Tom asked as he ripped out a dead weed.

"Nah, he's usually gone this long." I said, in a matter-of-fact tone. "Probably blowing our money on some cheap whiskey."

"Don't speak about your father, poorly, Tyler. You know he's trying to keep your farm."

"I know." I said as I dug the hoe through the mud. "But he's just always away on some adventure and I'm...stuck here."

"C'mon, Ty, really? You have plenty of adventures."

"Only to the nearby towns." I said. "Rarely have I seen a city."

"You've been to Sioux." Tommy pointed out. "Remember you came home and told us all about it."

"I was nine, Tom. I thought everything was adventure." I explained. "I need something more..."

"What more do you need Tyler?" Rose asked. "You've got a farm, you've got your father, you've got the town, the open area, your friends. What more is there to need?"

"I keep telling you, adventure. Something that I'd be able to tell my own kids." I claimed. "Like my grandpa, I want to be like him."

"He had his home burned down by fire breathing savages. You really want that kind of fate? He came here with nothing Tyler." Rose reminded me.

"Yeah, Ty-"

"But it was still adventure. He still told his stories to us."

"I think he told us to many stories. His stories make you crazy." Tommy pointed out.

"Shut up, Tommy." I snapped. He gave a shrug.

"It's true."

Rose rolled her pretty eyes.

"Tyler," she said as she faced me. She stopped raking. "You still have a long life ahead of you. When you're older, you can make your own decisions. Make your own story."

"I'll be dead before I could make a name for myself."

"Is that all you want? Fame?" Rose inquired, her voice cracked with disbelief and disapointment. I felt a bit crushed by her look of disapproval.

"No, I just want something to tell my children." I rephrased quickly, hoping that shattering look would just go away. "Something like...I've seen benders or-"

"See, his stories have gotten you to talk crazy." Tommy included. I picked up some hard dirt and threw it at him. He shouted back at me. "Hey!"

I got back to raking when a hand reached out to my arm and rested there. I looked up at Rose.

"C'mon, Tyler, embrace what you've got. Some people don't have the life that you have anymore." Rose said as she touched my chin and tilted it upwards. Of course, the war. "Be happy and content of who you are. You're a great person, Tyler. You don't need to make a name for yourself so quickly."

I blushed a deep crimson, she's never touched this close to me. I wanted to sweep her off her feet and give her the biggest kiss ever received. The only problems were Tommy's presence and my shyness.

But I smiled at her. Hopeful that she caught it as loving and sweet, just like her.

"Okay, enough with the intimacy." Tommy spoke up. We both daggered our eyes at him and he only shrugged his shoulders and we got back to work.

Every minute or so, I'd sneak a lover's glance at her or torment Tommy in some way.

I'd have to make the best for my life right now without the adventure.

To be continued.

I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn't catch the relationship between Tyler and Aang. Here's clarification: Aang is Tyler's great Uncle. Tyler's grandfather was Shang, Aang's twin brother. Shang is not an avatar. Aang is the only Avatar in this story. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and look forward to more because there is more interesting plot twists. Please review!


"True immortality isn't about living forever, its about what you do with the time you have."

"If you forget where you are from, you will never know where you are going."

Offline Cassidy Alice

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Re: The Epic of Tyler [T]
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 08:44:57 PM »
Oh! This is interesting an unique! I don't think I've read anything quite like this! Can't wait to read more! ^_^

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