The Fire Nation
The Fire Nation is one of the world's four nations and five sovereign states. It is an absolute monarchy led by the Fire Lord and home to most firebenders. Geographically, the nation is located along the planet's equator in the western hemisphere and is composed of several islands. Its capital is simply known as the Fire Nation Capital. The Fire Nation is the second-largest nation in terms of area, following the Earth Kingdom, while its economy is the most powerful in the world; its strong industrial sector and extensive technological developments not only enabled the Fire Nation to create an extremely powerful military, but also initiated the worldwide modernization and globalization. Before the foundation of the United Republic and the following global technological revolution, it was also the strongest and most advanced country in the world.
The military of the Fire Nation was engaged in an imperialistic century long war with the other three nations from 0 to 100 AG, during which the country committed genocide of the Air Nomads, conquered vast swathes of the Earth Kingdom, and instituted raids that annihilated the waterbending population of the Southern Water Tribe, save for one bender. The Fire Nation is curently ruled by Firelord Azula. The Fire Nation Capital is guarded by the Great Gates of Azulon, named after the grandfather of Zuko, a traitor to the nation, and Azula, Fire Lord Azulon.
Hunting expedition A hunting expedition preparing to depart into the Spirit Wilds. In the era of Raava, predecessors of the Fire Nation received the element of fire from lion turtles that granted the bending art through energybending. They could request the ability whenever they ventured into the Spirit Wilds, to aid in the gathering of food and resources while defending themselves from hostile spirits. These people eventually congregated to form the Fire Nation after the lion turtles renounced their roles as protectors of mankind. At this point, the ancestors of the first Fire Nation citizens left the lion turtle cities in favor of establishing settlements in the western hemisphere along the equator.
Nevertheless, several aspects of life and observances practiced by the predecessors of the first citizens of the Fire Nation became part of the nation's culture, such as in the use of hybrid pigs as a primary means of sustenance. More importantly, the longstanding desire to conquer and expand into the unknown, such as a failed attempt by several villagers to set up a settlement in the Spirit Wilds, and the development of a warrior culture which depended on central leadership emerged among the predecessors of the Fire Nation. These characteristics continued to remain prevalent as seen during the Fire Nation's imperialistic endeavors in the antebellum period that directly preceded the outbreak of the Hundred Year War.
Formation of the Fire Nation See also: Sun Warriors; Fire Sages Sun Warriors' ancient city The Sun Warriors were the first humans to rule most of the later Fire Nation. After Avatar Wan closed the spirit portals, the humans began to wage war among themselves and eventually the former residents of the fire lion turtle cities spread out across the Fire Nation archipelago. The first ones known to have ruled most of the later Fire Nation were the Sun Warriors, whose culture differed remarkably from those of the other Fire Nation predecessors. The Sun Warriors learned the firebending techniques from the dragons. Eventually, their civilization began to crumble and the remaining Sun Warriors went into hiding, leaving a great cultural and architectural influence on the later Fire Nation behind. Sometime after the Sun Warriors' disappearance, a group of sages descended from the Bhanti Tribe united the archipelago. They came to be known as Fire Sages and eventually formed a ruling council, establishing the early Fire Nation as a united, theocratic state. The sages' spiritual reign came to an end when their leader, the Fire Lord, took power for himself and reformed the country into an autocratic empire ruled by his family.
Prosperity and progress Fire Nation colony The first Fire Nation colonies, established before the war, formed the basis of the Fire Nation's later continental empire. Over the course of the following centuries, there were many dynasties under which the urbanization and cultivation of the Fire Nation steadily progressed. During the rule of the Pho Zei Dynasty, the komodo rhino was first domesticated, remaining the primary beast of burden in the Fire Nation until the industrialization after the Hundred Year War. At the same time, the country also fought many wars, though the Fire Nation experienced two centuries of peace since at least 270 BG.
Unlike the Earth Kingdom that went into decline following the War of Chin the Conqueror, the Fire Nation entered an era of great prosperity and modernization. Avatar Roku and Crown Prince Sozin were born into this time of progress. As the Avatar, Roku became a force for balance and peace in the world, while Sozin believed the prosperity of the Fire Nation should be shared with the rest of the world, dreaming of an global empire under his rule. These ambitions led the Fire Lord to initiate a number of reforms that militarized the country. As a result, both spirituality and respect for life rapidly declined, leading to the near extinction of the dragons and the brutalization of the Agni Kai.Eventually, several colonies were established in the weakened Earth Kingdom which in turn quickly became local industrial centers. Sozin's expansionism was finally stopped by Roku, but after his death in 12 BG, Sozin resumed his politics.
Imperialism and the War Many Fire Nation cities grew greatly during the war due to modernization and industrialization. With the coming of Sozin's Comet that greatly enhanced all firebenders' abilities, Sozin launched his attack on the air temples in hopes of killing the next Avatar, Aang. Even though the Air Nomads were completely annihilated, the Avatar escaped and disappeared. Over the course of the next hundred years, the Fire Nation built a global empire, subjugating most of the Earth Kingdom and the former Air Nomad territories. The resources of conquered lands were used by the Fire Nation for further industrialization and extensive technological developments, such as railways, steamships, and airships, making the Fire Nation the most advanced country of the world. At the same time, an ethnocentric ideology prevailed among its military and nobility, so that Sozin's idea of "sharing" prosperity in a great empire was abandoned in favor of imperialist ambitions.
Under Fire Lord Azulon, the process of expansion and militarization continued and the mass buildup of industry greatly increased toward the end of his reign. Even though many cities flourished as result, the growing environmental pollution led to the rural population's impoverishment in some places. His successor, Fire Lord Ozai, continued these politics. His reign saw significant technological advancements, the fall of the Earth Kingdom, and the reemergence of Avatar Aang.