Avatar: Acts of Aggression
Zushi "Lily" Shin
A fire-bender raised in a strict and privileged military family
Zushi Shin, nicknamed “Lily” for her studies in flower arranging, was raised in a military family of the Fire Nation. Several of her ancestors held lower ranks in the Fire Navy, culminating in her grandfather, Sun Shin, obtaining the rank of admiral. Admiral Sun Shin is still a recognized name in military theory in the Fire Nation, especially for his work, The Art of Conquest. Zushi’s father, Mu Shin, is an active captain in the Fire Navy.
An only child and a capable fire-bender, Zushi was pressured to continue in the family military tradition, but she developed an aversion to military conquest. She grew close to her grandfather, Admiral Sun Shin, before he died of old age. In their conversations, Sun Shin repented that his military theories may be used for the violent subjugation of other peoples – he believed his people would go too far. Sun Shin spent his last days regretting his life’s work, and Zushi’s relationship with her grandfather sparked her pacifistic tendencies. Zushi was eight when Sun Shin passed away, and she turned to the arts.
The Shin family had become wealthy and well-known during the life of Sun Shin. They adopted a family mon: a golden komodo-rhino. Zushi and her mother, Zara Shin, went to live on the Shin estate on Ember Island every summer. Zushi sought training from a Master of the flower arts, or ikebana, who lived apart from others on the island. Master Ishio agreed to teach her, and from him she learned ikebana. Her friends on Ember Island gave her the nickname Lily. Lily continued studies in fire-bending during the rest of the year with Master Kazei in the Fire Nation Capital, where she attended the Royal Fire Academy for Girls with other children of privilege. Her father was often away on military exercises and diplomatic visits, but he brought Zara and Lily on a few trips.
On Ember Island, Lily befriended two unusual kids who were her age:
Shiro Toshi was the son of the governor of Ember Island. Having no fire-bending talents, he studied the use of single sword. Although Shiro was content to study politics and law per the governor’s wishes, his greater passion was medicine. Had he not felt the pull of familial duty, he would have become a healer. His character was unusually kind for a future Fire Nation politician.
Shoji Aoki was a fire bender who could only make smoke, not fire. She put her smokescreens to use as an orphaned thief surviving off the loot in the locked mansions of the wealthy, and their careless leavings on the beaches. The Aoki family had once been great, but had turned to crime after disgrace at the Fire Lord’s court. Shiro and Lily often snuck food out to her.
Lily has a pet named Fuzzy Chan, a black, long-haired bunny-cat. The cuteness of Fuzzy Chan endears her to many, and she is developing some of the fascination with neatness that characterizes her owner.
Lily is now 14. She has the greatest faith in Fire Nation arts, and admires most varieties of creative expression. She believes her people are destined to dominate the world through cultural superiority rather than through military conquest, and opposes violence, except where no peaceful option exists. Since Lily likes to try talking before fighting, she has developed a diplomatic bent.