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Story [Avatar:The Last Airbender] Son of Ocean and Snow (Pakku Pentathlon for the Summer Olympics)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by devilinthedetails , Jun 1, 2023.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Son of Ocean and Snow

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Fandom: Avatar the Last Airbender

    Genre: A medley of genres.

    Characters: Pakku; Kanna; OC’s; Iroh.

    Summary: An anthology of stories written for my 2023 Summer Olympics Pakku Pentathlon.

    Index of Entries:

    Betrothal Necklace: Romance; Drama. Pakku; Kanna. Single Sentence Shot Put. Post #2.

    Envying the Ocean: Romance; Drama; Angst; Poetry. Pakku; Kanna. Water Polo Poetry. Post #6.

    The Law of Threes: Family; General; Drama. Pakku; OC. 400 Word Cross Country. Post #9.

    One Hundred Words for Snow: General; Friendship. Pakku; Iroh. 100 Word Sprint. Post #12.

    The Way of Suppleness: General; Action/Adventure; Family; Drama; Hurt/Comfort. Judo. Post #15.

    Pentathlon completed on 6/16/2023. Thread remains always open for comments[:D]
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2023
    UltramassiveUbersue likes this.
  2. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Betrothal Necklace

    Genre: Romance; Drama.

    Characters: Pakku; Kanna.

    Event: Single Sentence Shot Put

    Summary: Pakku carves a betrothal necklace for Kanna.

    Betrothal Necklace (Single Sentence Shot Put)

    Pakku’s brow furrowed and his tongue poked between the white mountains of his teeth as he hunched over the cold stone of the betrothal necklace he was carving by flickering orange firelight, determined to craft the most beautiful design in Water Tribe history for Kanna to wear close to her heart.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Beautiful as we can picture the firelight, the lovely stone of the necklace being carved, and I love the detail of Pakku's concentration as reflected in his tongue poking out between "the white mountains of his teeth." LOL I liked that particular descriptor "white mountains." ;)

  4. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    a great scene about the craftsman making a necklace
  5. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Aw, he pictures it in its completion, right where it'll nest. Well done and in one sentence, too!=D=
  6. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for reading and reviewing![:D]Even though this story was only one sentence long, I wanted to make it as beautiful and evocative as possible to give readers a chance to really picture the scene and connect with it, so I'm so happy you could picture the firelight and the stone necklace being carved so vividly. I also really wanted to showcase the intensity of Pakku's concentration in this moment (a testament to how much he loves Kanna and wants to make this necklace perfect for her) and that you appreciated the detail of his tongue poking out between his teeth. I loved the image of the "white mountains of his teeth" (it felt very Water Tribe to me in that it made me think of snow and ice), and I'm so thrilled that it resonated with you as well:D

    @earlybird-obi-wan Thank you so much for reading and reviewing all my stories across fandoms:D I'm so glad that you thought this was a great scene of Pakku making his betrothal necklace for Kanna because I really wanted to emphasize that this was very much a labor of love for him[face_love]

    @pronker As always, thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment![:D] I think there is such a creative impulse, which Pakku showcases here, to picture the finished product as a vision and a guide while engaged in making something! And with Pakku in this case, that impulse is particularly strong as he is imagining how beautiful the necklace will look around the neck of the woman he hopes to marry[face_love]

    Title: Envying the Ocean

    Genre: Romance; Drama; Angst; Poetry.

    Characters: Pakku; Kanna.

    Event: Water Polo Poetry

    Summary: Pakku loves Kanna and envies the ocean that steals her from him.

    Envying the Ocean (Water Polo Poetry)

    Pakku stood at the snowy shore
    where ice bled into frigid ocean.
    Envying the frothing blue water.
    The cresting waves that carried Kanna
    farther and farther away from him.

    Envying the wind that swept her off her feet
    into adventures that didn’t contain him.
    That whispered seductively
    into her ear like the lover
    he would never again be to her.

    That rippled through her shining hair.
    That cracked and chapped her lips
    like the passion of stolen kisses.
    That made her skin pebble and shiver.

    Envying the snow that fell
    on her long, batting eyelashes.
    That dampened her flesh,
    soaking through the fur of her clothes
    to the strong bones beneath.
    That danced on her tongue
    when she held it out to catch
    the drifting white flakes.

    Envying the egg-yolk sun
    that brightened her summer
    and defined her days.
    That heated her body,
    making her sweat.

    Envying the shifting shapes
    of the moon that shone in her hair.
    Its silver radiance reflected
    within her as she studied its cycles.

    And envying the stars
    that sparkled like ice chips
    in her wide eyes as she stared
    up at the constellations
    with an admiration
    she had never shown him.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    The first verse is so compelling as I can picture Pakku standing forlornly on the shore as Kanna sails away. :(

    Then we progress through the snow, the sun, moon, and stars, how each accentuates her loveliness and how she basks in each aspect of her environment and how cut off from her he truly feels, literally left behind.

  8. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Lovely, sensual work here - the forlorn mood, the remembering, the grim sense of acceptance ... :(
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you so much for reading and commenting!:D I'm so flattered that you felt the first verse was able to paint such a compelling picture since I always try to paint that sense of scene with my poetry, and it's wonderful to know I succeeded there! It was interesting for me to progress through the elements of snow, sun, moon, and stars in relation to Kanna's beauty and just how separated from her Pakku feels. I truly did feel for poor Pakku experiencing this heartbreak=((

    @pronker Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!:D I'm so glad that you found this to be a lovely and sensual poem that captured Pakku's forlorn mood and memories of Kanna's beauty. I hope that you will enjoy the next installment just as much!

    Title: The Law of Threes

    Genre: Family; General; Drama.

    Characters: Pakku; OC.

    Event: 400 Word Cross Country

    Summary: Pakku and his father camp in snow and ice.

    The Law of Threes (400 Word Cross Country)

    After an exhausting day hunting puffin seals, nine-year-old Pakku warmed himself beside a fire in the makeshift snow house he and his father had built before sunset. His father was the North Pole’s chief engineer, so constructing such edifices swiftly was never a concern on such excursions.

    As Pakku listened to the arctic winds howling against the domed walls of their snow structure, his father quizzed him on what the Northern Water Tribe referred to as the Law of Threes. A rule more implacable than any chief’s decree.

    “How long can a man survive without shelter?” Pakku’s father arched an eyebrow.

    “About three hours in the winter.” Pakku replied with the fact his father had made him memorize years ago. “More in the summer. But a waterbender can always create a shelter out of snow and ice in the North Pole.”

    Father ignored this. Pressed on with the impromptu examination. “How long can a man live without water?”

    “Three days.” Pakku took a sip from the waterskin hanging from his belt. Swirling the fluid around his mouth. Letting it bulge in his cheeks in a habit his mother abhorred. Would scold as vulgar if she were present. “But in the North Pole, we are surrounded by water in the forms of snow and ice, so that is not a concern either.”

    Father appeared unimpressed with Pakku’s logic. Demanded, “And how long can a man endure without food?”

    “About three weeks though he will become frail well before that.” Pakku shrugged. Dug in a pouch. Slid out slabs of salmon jerky. Made from fish dried and hardened in salt harvested from the ocean. Prepared by Mother to sustain her husband and son on this expedition. Chewed it. Tiring his jaw so it became weary as the rest of the bones in his wind-and-snow-battered body.

    “Thus, we have a man’s priorities when he needs to survive in the wilderness.” Father held up a finger as Pakku snatched up another hunk of salmon jerky and began to gnaw at it. “First, he must build a shelter. Then he may worry about finding a source of water. Only after that should he focus on feeding himself.”

    Pakku wondered where sleep ranked in the list of a man’s survival priorities. His eyelids felt heavy. Started to drift drowsily shut as he glanced longingly at the pile of fur blankets where he would rest that night.
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Interesting pop quiz ;) Essential for survival and definitely must be ingrained in case of a crisis. I was tickled by Pakku's extra commentary. Even though his dad didn't appear to take notice one way or another, I can't imagine he would be anything but impressed by Pakku's logic. @};-
  11. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Nice scene set in implacable nature - I can hear the wind howl. Sleep ranks high on priorities, Pakku and you've the advantage over folks in mechanized/industrialized societies because when the sun goes down, you might tell a story or two but then you'll head off to sleep. No YouTube vids or chatrooms ... or message boards ... [face_batting]
  12. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thanks so much for reading and commenting![:D] Yes, Pakku's dad can't resist subjecting poor Pakku to a pop quiz;) But Pakku does indeed provide some very amusing but also quite logical commentary (in that way that kids can do so well), and I do imagine that Pakku's father is impressed with his son and proud of him but he tends to hide it behind a stern, impassive face so it is hard for Pakku to tell just how proud of him his dad is. And yes a lot of these lessons are important to learn for survival in a place that can be as harsh as the North Pole! Though being a water bender does help with the survival odds as Pakku aptly notes!

    @pronker Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I'm so thrilled you found this to be a nice scene set in implacable nature:D It's awesome to know you could hear the wind howl, and I absolutely agree that sleep ranks high on the list of priorities! Without sleep, one's ability to make rational decisions quickly fades and overall health declines. So sleep is critical. And, yes, Pakku does have an advantage over those in industrialized societies since there are less distractions after sunset (like the Internet:p) and no artificial lights. When the world is lit by the sun, stars, and fire, bed times tend to be a lot earlier. With artificial light, work can be done late into the evening, and rest becomes more elusive!

    Title: One Hundred Words for Snow

    Genre: General; Friendship.

    Characters: Pakku; Iroh.

    Event: 100 Word Sprint

    Summary: Pakku and Iroh reflect on the Water Tribe’s many words for snow.

    One Hundred Words for Snow (100 Word Sprint)

    “Is it true–” Iroh inquired in the tone of a cultural anthropologist as Pakku took him on a tour of the North Pole– “that the Water Tribes have over a hundred words for snow?”

    “Why shouldn’t it be true?” Pakku eyed Iroh hawkishly. Wondering if his people were being mocked. “When there are over a hundred types of snow?”

    “In the Fire Nation, we’ve only one word for snow.” Iroh rubbed his chin meditatively, and Pakku decided that the honor of his tribe wasn’t threatened.

    “The Fire Nation is in the tropics,” Pakku pointed out wryly. “Where it rarely snows.”
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    I enjoyed this conversation and that Pakku and Iroh encounter one another in this comfortable almost casual fashion. :) It makes sense that depending on where you live and what climate prevails you would have more variations and nuances. [face_thinking]
  14. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    I like how he defends them, though.
  15. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thanks so much for reading and commenting!:D I'm so glad that you enjoyed this conversation between Pakku and Iroh and how they could have this comfortable, almost casual encounter! I like to imagine that Iroh and Pakku can have such casual conversations because they are both members of the White Lotus, so I find it fun to picture them as friends despite coming from two different cultures. And I agree that it makes sense that depending on where you live and what the prevailing climate is that you would have more or less variants and nuances to describe things like snow. It always fascinates me to contemplate such cultural differences!

    @pronker As always, thank you so much for reading and commenting on all my non Star Wars fics![:D] I'm so happy that you appreciated how Pakku defended the Water Tribe culture in this piece! I always imagine Pakku as being ever-ready to protect and defend the honor of the Water Tribe;)

    Title: The Way of Suppleness

    Genre: General; Action/Adventure; Family; Drama; Hurt/Comfort.

    Characters: Pakku; OC’s.

    Event: Judo

    Summary: A young and proud Pakku learns the way of suppleness.

    The Way of Suppleness (Judo)

    Pakku’s whips of water cut down Nanook as they stood in the sparring court by the fountain during their waterbending lesson. Nanook was three years Pakku’s senior. Only five months into his formal waterbending instruction, Pakku was such an advanced pupil that it required students years older than him to present a worthy adversary. An opponent that might challenge or even beat him.

    Pakku’s slashing whips of water had obtained him victory over a soaked and shivering Nanook. Yet Master Amaruq, their stern and eternally scowling waterbending instructor, did not appear pleased with Pakku’s performance.

    “Are you a firebender, boy?” he snapped at Pakku while waving an irritable hand at Nanook. Drying the other lad instantly.

    “No.” Pakku spat on the snow. Watching his saliva freeze a second after it flew from his mouth. There was nobody their tribe hated more than firebenders. Firebenders were the ultimate anathema. Had been ever since the Air Nomad genocide. Ever since the war began.

    “Then why do you fight like them?” Master Amaruq folded his arms across his chest. Snarling like the polar wolves for which he was named. “Aggressively?”

    “I don’t know how else I should fight.” Pakku’s jaw clenched. He loathed little more than admitting his own ignorance before a pack of his snickering peers. His classmates who would no doubt tease him remorselessly for this lapse. Make him relive this humiliation at least a hundred more times before they found another carcass to pick at like the ravenous scavengers they were.

    “Waterbending is a passive art.” Master Amaruq shook his head. As if Pakku were guilty of the gravest folly. “It is the way of suppleness. It flows and changes like water. Adapting to whatever circumstance in which it finds itself. Adjusting to its location and terrain. Altering its shape to suit and fill any container. That is how you must fight. Using your enemy’s energy–his inertia–against him.”

    “I don’t understand.” Pakku was still confused. Mystified as to why it mattered how he fought when the only thing that should have meant anything was his triumph. Nanook’s defeat courtesy of his deftly wrought water whips.

    “Then your lesson is over for today.” Master Amaruq dismissed Pakku with a curt gesture. “Go home now. Return tomorrow with a humbler attitude. Ready to learn the way of suppleness.”

    Pakku, appalled to be sent home in disgrace, opened his mouth to protest this order. Only the realization that he was supposed to be demonstrating his suppleness–his adaptability–made him close it without a word.

    He gave a jerky bow and departed the sparring court with his ears burning. If Master Amaruq hadn’t explicitly commanded him to return home immediately, he might have loitered in the city. Seeking out fun and mischief in the markets. Perhaps buying a few mooncakes as an indulgent treat to cheer him out of his morose mood.

    As it was, he slunk through the icy streets back to his family’s snow house. Entered with slouched shoulders. Saw his mother boiling a pot of seaweed tea and sighed with the knowledge that she would notice the despair etched into his face. Wished that she hadn’t returned from her healing work at the infirmary before he was exiled in shame from Master Amaruq’s lesson.

    “You are home early,” she remarked. Pouring tea into two mugs hewn from whale-walrus bone.

    “Master Amaruq kicked me out of his class for the day,” he explained. Unable to lie to her as he accepted the steaming mug of tea she offered him.

    “Why did he do that?” Mother sipped her tea. Arched an eyebrow. “Were you impertinent to him?”

    “Perhaps a little.” Pakku’s shoulders rose and fell in a miserable shrug. “But that’s not why I got sent home. Master Amaruq was disappointed that I fought too aggressively. Not like a waterbender. That I needed to learn waterbending was the way of suppleness.”

    “Did you want to return home?” Mother lifted her mug to her lips again.

    “Of course not!” Pakku exclaimed. Shocked that this would even be a question his mother would pose. That his reluctance to return home hadn’t been obvious in every aspect of his demeanor.

    “But you did so anyway,” she observed. Soft and gentle as water warmed for a bath.

    “Because he ordered me to.” Pakku felt as if the conversation were going in circles. Retreading the same ground. Discovering no new territory.

    “Then–” she reached out to cup his cheek in a palm still hot from clutching the tea mug– “you are already learning the way of suppleness. Of yielding to that which you don’t want to do. Accepting the inevitable even when it is unpleasant. Enduring and adjusting as needed to survive.”

    “Father will be displeased that I had to be sent home in order to learn this lesson.” Pakku’s throat tightened. Feeling as if he could never earn his stern father’s approval no matter how much he strove to excel in his waterbending lessons. He would always fall short of his father’s exacting expectations somehow. Disgracing himself in his father’s eyes. “He will reprimand and punish me.”

    “He will not.” Mother’s voice was firm as rock. Unwavering as a spear in a warrior’s arm. “I recall that his stubborn self had some trouble learning that waterbending is the way of suppleness when he was a boy. I shall remind him of that if he starts to blister your ears too much on the subject.”

    “Thank you, Mother.” He wrapped his arms around her. Strong and supple as water. “I love you.”

    “Only because I protect you from your father.” She laughed and then resumed her tea drinking.
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Congratulations on completing this fascinating pentathlon. It's a hard lesson to learn for Pakku to learn that suppleness is strength and adaptability. It makes you more resourceful and resilient. I love his mother's warm supportiveness and I chuckled at her remark that she'll remind his Father that he was hardheaded as a waterbending pupil. [face_laugh]

  17. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Pakku has a ways to go and tries hard. This would be a difficult lesson because the way requires great patience and he's pretty young to have developed much.
  18. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    Ah, yes, Master Pakku. As I recall, you've written about him before.

    The Water Tribes are my favorites from the ATLA series. The poem you wrote for the Water Polo Poetry entry (how fitting!) was compelling -- a whole ocean of water for a Water Bending Master, and yet Pakku can't stop Kanna from leaving. And all those elements are closer to her now than he is.

    In your stories, I can see the stubborn, rather arrogant man that Pakku was when we met him in the series:

    When I read that, all I could think was, "Well, not everyone is a water bender, even in the water tribes." So maybe there's more than one lesson being taught here?

    This, of course, reminds me of the idea that the Inuit people have multiple words for snow, which should not be surprising. As someone who lives midway between the arctic and the tropics, I know we have several categories for snow: sugar snow, packing snow, drifting snow, etc. I wonder if the Fire Nation has a hundred words for flame? [face_thinking]

    For the Judo entry, I'm not sure that the lessons in suppleness really took, as Pakku seemed to insist there was only one way to do things in the series itself. Katana had to give him another lesson it it, I think. Still, he seems to have gotten the lesson in the end, proving that we're never too old to learn.

    Nicely done! Another fine pentathlon from the world of ATLA!
  19. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love your various tales with Pakku. The lessons in the snow. Shelter, water, food and what about sleep. The many words for snow. Kanna sailing away told in a beautiful poem.
    Congrats on finishing the pentathlon
  20. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you so much for the kind words of congratulations, and I'm so glad that you found this to be a fascinating pentathlon![:D]I agree that it is a hard lesson for Pakku to learn that suppleness is strength and adaptability but an important one for anyone to learn! Especially a waterbender like Pakku since water is the element of change and so supple!

    His mother's warm supportiveness warmed my heart as I wrote this last story, and I'm so happy to hear you loved that aspect of her character[face_love]And I admit that I got quite a chuckle out of writing her remark about how she'll remind his father about how hard-headed he could be as a waterbending pupil[face_laugh] I just love showcasing how wonderful the women of the Water Tribes are!

    @pronker Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Yes, Pakku still has a way to go, but he keeps trying hard and will go on learning and growing throughout the rest of his life! Even into his old age:)And I agree that this is a hard lesson for Pakku since it involves patience that is difficult at such a young age and is contrary to much of Pakku's proud, prickly nature. Patience does not come naturally to him, so he must work to cultivate it!

    @Seldes_Katne Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and, yes, I have written about Pakku before! Especially about him in his youth:D

    The Water Tribes are super interesting and some of my favorite characters from Avatar come from the Water Tribes. So I do find a traditionalist like Pakku a fascinating way of delving into the culture of the Northern Water Tribe and what it might have been like when Pakku was growing up.

    I'm so flattered that you found the poem I wrote for the Water Polo Poetry event so compelling, and, yes, there is a sad irony to Pakku being such a gifted water bender but unable to prevent losing Kanna to the ocean. And the fact that so many of those elements are now closer to her than he is even though he was to marry her.

    I imagine that Pakku was always a stubborn sort of person and could be prone to arrogance since he was so clever and gifted.

    I think that Pakku in that story had a bit of the selfish or at least self-centered perspective of a child in that because he is a water bender he finds it hard to imagine what it would be like to not be a water bender and have to survive in the North Pole. But it is good that Pakku was taught many survival skills and maybe to have more awareness that not everyone is a water bender. And even those who are water benders may not be as naturally gifted as Pakku either.

    I was influenced by the idea that Inuit people have many words for different types of snow since the Water Tribes are based on the Inuit people of our world. So I do try to borrow details from Inuit cultures when writing the Water Tribe. For example, most of my invented Water Tribe names are borrowed from Inuit names. I like to have those sort of nods to Inuit culture to honor how the Water Tribes are based on the Inuit in the Avatar series. I like to be true to what I see as the original inspiration for fantasy cultures when I can:)

    It wouldn't surprise me if the Fire Nation does have a hundred words for flame!

    I think Pakku being stubborn will always have to learn and relearn lessons of suppleness throughout his long life;)

    I'm so glad that you thought the pentathlon was nicely done and enjoyed another visit to the Avatar world[:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I'm so glad you loved these various tales featuring Pakku[:D] It was fascinating for me to write the lessons of snow survival, to explore the many words the Water Tribes have for snow, and the pain of Kanna sailing away into the ocean. And thank you so much for the kind words of congratulations for finishing this pentathlon, which would not have been possible without support from my lovely readers[face_blush]