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Sen-Daughter of Roku: Ch 3

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By ericmh126
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Starting Over

So we set sail. Aboard the ship we were taken to see Medical Officer Dee, an old friend of the Sage we had just left, she was put in charge of caring for Rokia on our voyage. Dee was a true miracle worker, the best thing we could have hoped for. Three times a day she cleaned and redressed Rokia's wounds, were it not for her constant care, I believe Rokia's scars would have been far worse. She was also a joy to talk to, never without an amusing story from her past. She often reminisced on growing up 'back north' and of all the friends she had made all over the world. She was filled with a positive energy that rubbed off on both the princess and me, and it wasn't long before the two of us started feeling like our old selves. I told Rokia I thought she was so much stronger than I could ever be, that, were I the one in her shoes, I didn't think I would've been able to go on living like she was. Her response astounded me, she saw me as the strong one. She didn't think she would have been able to continue with the strength I showed had she let me be hurt as badly as she had been. She went on to thank me for being by the side that morning, she firmly believed I saved her life, there wasn't a doubt in her mind, Sozin would've watched her die on the floor before him.

When I wasn't in the medical bay with Rokia and Dee, I was interacting with our other shipmates. Though all from different lives and backgrounds across the Fire Nation, we shared one thing in common, we were all seeking new lives within the colonies. Stories, gossip and rumors abound while at sea as everyone shared about friends, family, and the rest of their lives back in the Fire Nation. One merchant from the capital had one story everyone was particularly interested in hearing.

He explained that many of his patrons were nobles who lived in or around the palace, so he often overheard various stories about the royal family, and that on his last day in the capital he was told that the princess had died in a training accident. The story as he told it went that, despite only being eight years old, Prince Azulon had started to surpass his older sister in firebending skill and this made the Fire Princess jealous, so she started training unsupervised, often attempting advanced forms she was nowhere near skilled enough to control. She would spy on her brother's lessons and then endeavor to duplicate his techniques on her own, almost always failing. During one session, Prince Azulon was able to master a particularly advanced technique with absolute ease, but when the princess practiced the move, botching it multiple times, she grew frustrated to the point that her next attack exploded in front of her. Despite the best efforts from the royal doctors, the burns she suffered from the explosion were too severe, she died of her wounds the next morning. The merchant went on to say that one of the young girls who had been friends with the princess suffered a mental breakdown during the princess's funeral, had to be escorted from the ceremony, and was committed to the Fire Nation Sanitarium for treatment.

Knowing the truth, I was absolutely shocked. Not that Sozin would lie about what happened, I expected that. No, I was shocked at how elaborate the cover up actually was. And to be honest, both Rokia and I were relieved to hear this. It sounds weird to say, but our relief was two-fold. Not only did the Fire Lord completely sever our ties to our old lives, allowing us a clean start without fear of our past catching up to us. But the elaborateness of the cover up demonstrated how much of a threat Sozin saw us. We decided it would be best to take full advantage of this freedom from the past and leave our names behind us with everything else, Sen and Princess Rokia were now truly dead and in their places Kuma and Ursa were born. Upon arriving in port we said our farewells to Dee and left the ship using the identities of our once imagined children.
We wandered through the town for several hours until we were approached by an elderly man who addressed me as "Daughter of Roku." He introduced himself as Master Sud. Once my father's earthbending teacher and always his friend, he was an ally of Dee's and would be responsible for getting us started with our new lives in the Earth Kingdom. He brought us back to his house and we began discussing the possible arrangements we had before us. We started by first establishing our current location on a map of the map of the Earth Kingdom, we located the city on the west coast of the central Earth Kingdom.

Northwest of us, continuing up the coast were multiple small villages and a military outpost, not really the locale we had in mind. Across the bay south of us were several more small villages and the larger town of Chin, a place Sud warned us to avoid. The residents of Chin had bad history with the Avatar and since I was the Avatar's daughter, Sud surmised that their hatred for my father would extend to me. That only left traveling east, further inland. Not too far in, nestled within a small mountain range, was the city of Omashu, Master Sud's hometown. The three of us agreed that was our best option, and Master Sud assured us we would be safe there. He told us that he was personal friends with the king of the city and knew he would be willing to help us as well.

With our destination planned we began gathering the necessary supplies for our journey. Master Sud was very generous; most of our supplies were his possessions and what he could not give us he gave us the money to buy. The journey to Omashu would take five days and yet we were given almost two weeks worth of trail rations in addition to two ostrich-horses, about a dozen gold pieces each, and a sealed message for the king explaining our situation. We were set to leave in the morning.

Our last night there, Ursa removed her bandages for the last time and I was finally able to see the full extent of her wounds. Naturally, her forearms and hands had suffered the worst damage. They had become a wrinkled, twisted mass of coarse pink skin with a near total loss of touch in her hands. At her elbows, the scars striped their way up towards her shoulders and across her upper back. They licked down her chest and across her breasts. Up her neck and across the right side of her face the reached, covering her chin up to her lower lip and moving up her cheek. They stopped just below her eye and continued back, across the lower half of her ear then cutting into her hairline behind it. Standing in front of me, naked with her hair tied up in the traditional topknot, all of this was plainly evident. But when we said our goodbyes the next morning, fully dressed, gloves on her hands, and her hair down covering the right side of her face, all that remained visible were the marks on her chin and parts of her cheek in between tresses of her hair.
Chapter 3! I've had this written out for close to a month now, but I suffered writter's block when I was editing and typing it up, so whatever. I already have Chapter 4 written on paper and I hope to have it up in several weeks. I really want to post Chapter 5 by the end of the year.

If you remember the gift Kaja gave the girls when they left, you should be able to figure out how Kaja, Dee, Sud, and the king of Omashu know each other. There's actually much more of a backstory I want to give Dee that may come up in a supplemental chapter later on.

And look, a reference to the first chapter with the new names they took. It is worth noting that from here on out Princess Rokia will be refered to as Ursa in the story and she should not be confused with Zuko's mother who carries her namesake, she won't even be born for another couple of chapters.

I did this sketch of Rokia quite a while ago, here's where it fits into the story.

Some notes on inspiration:
- While Kuma is the Japanese word meaning bear, Ursa in Latin, the name choice was originally a reference to Fandomme's Stormbenders. Specifically the legend Zuko told Katara about the first Agni Kai in Chapter 10. Sen knows of this legend and absolutely loved the name as a child.
- I also got a lot of help with locations from this map created by *AlisaChristopher

::Navigation::
Prologue || :pointl: Back to Ch 2 | Forward to Ch 4 :pointr:

The Avatar universe, including all canon characters and locations, are (C) Viacom. Sen and Rokia are my creations.
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