Fan Fic: Field Of Innocence

A Backstory fic that fleshes out Iroh's son Lu Ten (who despite his impact on his father is barely mentioned in the show), and shows his relationship with his family, especially his role as a Big Brother Mentor to Azula and Zuko. The story is halfway finished.

Page under construction.

The story can be found here.

Tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Lu Ten's swords Jianhuren can deflect and even slice through stones without taking damage. Justified, as they're made from dragon claws.
  • Abusive Parents: Ozai, as in canon, abuses the hell out of his kids. His first appearance in the fic is expressing how much he doesn’t regret burning a handprint into five-year-old Azula’s back for disappointing him during training.
  • Accidental Truth: This exchange before the final battle at Ba Sing Se combines this with Tempting Fate, to absolutely ridiculous levels -
    Iroh: Take a good, long look at it, Lu Ten. This may be the last time you see Ba Sing Se.
    Lu Ten: I have no doubt of it.
  • Action Dad: Iroh, before the death of his son.
  • Action Mom: Kei Rin before her death.
  • A Dog Named Dog: Combines with Bilingual Bonus. Near the end of chapter 2, Iroh says that he's going to go talk with Admiral Teitoku. 'Teitoku' means 'admiral' in Japanese.
    • One of Iroh's hawks is named Takamaru. "Taka" is Japanese for "hawk."
  • A Father to His Men: Lu Ten acts like an older brother to the soldiers under his command as much as he does to Azula and Zuko. He actually dies protecting a younger soldier from an attack that would have killed him.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Lu Ten ruffles Zuko's hair before getting on the ship to the Earth Kingdom.
  • Amazon Chaser: While in the Earth Kingdom, Lu Ten apparently had a thing for bounty hunter Jun, mentioning her “amazing” skills and strength in his letters home.
    • Iroh claims he was initially attracted to Lu Ten's mother Kei Rin when he saw her doing an extremely difficult firebending form perfectly.
  • Annoying Arrows: Vachir and Mongke's arrows only slow Lu Ten down as he fights, and they're not what ultimately finishes him: Ozai’s poison is.
  • Audible Sharpness: At one point, there's a shing sound as Lu Ten draws a sword.
  • Badass Boast: Lu Ten gives one to Ozai -
    Lu Ten: Now you listen to me, Uncle, and listen good. If you hurt either one of those kids again, if you say anything to make them feel bad, if you so much as look at them wrong, I will face you in an Agni Kai and I will break and humiliate you in front of the whole court. I don't care who you are. I don't care if our family is watching. I'll hold nothing back, I will destroy you!
    • It actually makes Ozai of all people back down.
  • Badass Family: In addition to being Roku's granddaughter, on the other side of her family Ursa is part of the Yuudoku clan, who traditionally serve as assassins.
  • Badass Princess: Before her death, Kei Rin was one by marriage.
  • Battle Cry: Iroh and Lu Ten do one before charging into battle at Ba Sing Se.
    Iroh: Warriors of the Fire Nation! This day, with Agni's blessing to give us strength, we end this siege!
    Lu Ten: For the honor of the Fire Nation, for the good of the world, (draws sword) FORWAAAARD!
  • Battle in the Rain: The last battle of the Ba Sing Se siege is fought in the middle of a raging storm.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At the very end of one segment, four-year-old Azula decides that she's going to be just like her father, great-grandfather, and cousin. She's right on the first two counts, but she has no idea what that actually means, only thinking that she's going to be a strong bender like them.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do, never hurt Lu Ten’s little cousins.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lu Ten is a polite, compassionate sweetheart by nature. Threaten his little cousins, however, and he gets scary.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Lu Ten acts like a protective older brother to Azula and Zuko. When he finds out that Ozai has been abusing his children during training, he bolts across the palace to hunt his uncle down, slams him against a wall, and promises to destroy him in an Agni Kai if Ozai so much as looks at the kids wrong. Beware the Nice Ones, indeed.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Lu Ten helps train his cousins in firebending.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Gisei when Iroh announces that he is surrendering and they will retreat from Ba Sing Se immediately.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The name of the Yuudoku clan's Perfect Poison, guówáng wànsui, which Ozai gives to Mongke and Vachir to kill Lu Ten with, and which it’s implied Ursa later uses to kill Azulon. It means "long live the king," something traditionally said after the death of an old emperor and crowning of a new one.
  • Blood from the Mouth: It’s mentioned that there’s blood around Lu Ten’s mouth as he’s dying. Justified, as he’s suffered fatal internal damage.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to Azula when Lu Ten isn’t there to protect her from Ozai, and no one else is willing or able to.
  • Brother-Sister Team: What Lu Ten encourages Zuko and Azula to think of themselves as, and what he believes they will grow up to be. It's almost lucky for him he'll never know he is dead wrong.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Played with when Ozai burns Azula’s drawing of Lu Ten. It wasn’t important to him at all, but it certainly must have been to her.
  • Call Forward: Before he leaves, Lu Ten tells Zuko and Azula that, as a Brother-Sister Team, “the only way you win is together.” This is what Azula tells Zuko eight years later when convincing him to side with her at Ba Sing Se.
    • When explaining why he's taking her to train at sunrise, Lu Ten tells Azula, "We're firebenders, we rise with the sun." We can assume that he told Zuko that too.
    • Zuko’s lines from “Zuko Alone” about his dual swords being two halves of a single weapon turn out to be what Lu Ten told him in a letter to always remember if he wanted to be able to use the swords properly.
  • Cheerful Child: Azula, before her uncle and cousin leave and Ozai gets to her, turning her into the Creepy Child seen in canon.
  • Child Soldiers: Gisei and Nageki are sixteen, and presumably a good amount of the other soldiers are underage as well. The two of them mention that the minimum recruitment age for the Fire Nation army is fourteen.
  • Colonel Badass: Lu Ten has attained the rank of colonel by the time he fights his last battle, like his mother before him.
  • Cry into Chest: Azula cries into her mother’s chest while breaking down over the death of her cousin.
  • Curse Cut Short: “Y-You...You sick...twisted...son of a - !” Justified as Lu Ten was so angry and disgusted that he couldn’t speak.
  • Declaration of Protection: "I promise you, Zula, as long as I'm here, I'll always protect you."
  • Did You Actually Believe?: Played with. After a seemingly well-meaning Ozai bids them both farewell and good luck on their mission, Lu Ten asks Iroh if he honestly believed all of that. Iroh is Genre Savvy enough to know that, even though he wishes it were true, Ozai would never act like that and something is up. They're both right - Ozai was just trying to divert suspicion from himself as he plots their deaths.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Lu Ten dies in Iroh’s arms.
  • Diving Save: How Lu Ten saves his Red Shirt friend Gisei’s life at the cost of his own. Apparently this is something of a signature move for him, and he likely would have survived again if he hadn’t been poisoned.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: What Lu Ten tells Ozai in his Badass Boast. He personally hopes it won't come down to Agni Kai, but is ready and willing to demolish his uncle if it does.
  • Doomed by Canon: Lu Ten will die at Ba Sing Se; and with him, any hope that Azula would escape her father's influence.
  • Dual Wielding: Lu Ten ( and later Zuko) with his dao swords.
  • Enfant Terrible: Iroh implies that Ozai was this as a child, when he says that Azula is starting to turn out like her father after coming home from Ba Sing Se and seeing how she's changed.
  • Evil Uncle: Ozai is one to Lu Ten. The kind that arranges for his nephew to be murdered to clear his way to the throne.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Iroh dishes one of these out to the Earth Kingdom soldiers when he sees his son lying wounded on the ground. He defeats a legion of earthbenders on his own, drives off the rest, and essentially wins the battle singlehandedly.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Azula believes that Iroh’s failure to save Lu Ten makes him responsible for his death, and throws it back in Iroh’s face that he “killed his own son.”
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Iroh mentions that Lu Ten has his mother's gold eyes.
  • Fatal Family Photo: On the ride to Ba Sing Se, Lu Ten's friend Gisei shows him a portrait of his four younger siblings, and talks about how he can't wait to see them again when he goes home. Coupled with his Meaningful Name, this seems to be clearly setting up Gisei to die. It's Lu Ten who dies protecting him, which gives him major Survivor Guilt.
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: After saying goodbye to Iroh and Lu Ten and the two leave for the ship to Ba Sing Se, Ozai gives a Slasher Smile and says to himself, "Give my regards to Kei Rin when you're reunited, will you?"
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It’s raining as Lu Ten dies in his father’s arms.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The heroic prince Lu Ten (the Fire Nation's Token Good Teammate) wields dual swords. He later passes them on to his cousin, future hero Zuko.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Lu Ten dies taking an Earthbender's boulder in the chest to protect a young soldier that he had befriended.
  • I Call It "Vera": Lu Ten named his dual dao swords Jianhuren, which is Chinese for “guardian.”
  • I Can Still Fight: Lu Ten tries to say something like this...right before he drops to the ground from all his wounds and doesn't get up again.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: When Lu Ten faces General How in battle to avenge his mother, How tells him he was only doing what was necessary to protect the Earth Kingdom when he killed her.
  • I Don't Want to Die: Lu Ten's last thought before dying is, Agni, I'm not ready...
  • I'll Kill You!: Nageki, Gisei’s friend who looked up to Lu Ten, yells this when he blames Gisei for Lu Ten’s death and attacks him.
  • In the Back: Three of Vachir and Mongke's arrows hit Lu Ten in the back. Two of them don't go in too deeply, though, and he powers through.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: It’s mentioned that General How killed Kei Rin by impaling her on a spike of rock. Ouch.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Gisei to Lu Ten before the Final Battle at Ba Sing Se -
    Gisei: Colonel, on behalf of all the soldiers under your command, if we don’t make it back from the battle today, we want you to know that we believe it is the highest honor to fight by the side of a warrior like you. You are truly great, my prince.
    Lu Ten: (smiles) Tell everyone thank you, if you can. And to be completely honest, the privilege of having comrades like you is my highest honor. When this is over, we’ll celebrate our victory together.
  • It's All About Me: Ozai all the way. Especially in the scenes where we get to hear his train of thought, he never thinks about anything but his own gain.
    • Even when Vachir calls Ursa a bitch, he gets angry not on his wife’s behalf, but because a possession of his has been insulted.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: When telling Lu Ten, Zuko, and Azula about his late wife Kei Rin, Iroh claims to have been this when he was younger, squicking out Lu Ten.
  • Leitmotif: Word of God says that “The Price of Freedom” from Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core is Lu Ten’s.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Lu Ten to his cousin Azula. He considers Zuko a younger brother as well.
  • Little "No": Gisei when Lu Ten dies, and Azula when she gets the news.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: By the end of the Siege of Ba Sing Se, Lu Ten's short and choppy hair has grown out long and glossy, down to his shoulder blades. He's mentioned to be quite handsome, with many fangirls in the Caldera alone.
  • Made of Iron: Lu Ten. Ozai hires Mongke and Vachir of the Rough Rhinos to kill Lu Ten in battle and Make It Look Like an Accident, but their poisoned arrows (combined with every other thing coming at him) only slow him down, not kill him. However, they do get the job done eventually: if not for what they'd done, Lu Ten would have survived Taking The Boulder in the chest.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: How Ozai arranges for Lu Ten to die.
  • Manly Tears: Lu Ten on the ship to the Earth Kingdom, when he can no longer see the Fire Nation.
    • Gisei and Iroh both when Lu Ten dies.
  • Mark of Shame: When Lu Ten is killed protecting Gisei, their friend Nageki blames Gisei for his death and attacks him with a knife, cutting his face multiple times before being pulled off of him. He specifically calls the wounds this in his subsequent "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Nageki: A failure like you should be branded, so everyone will know how you shame the Fire Nation! This won’t ever go away, and neither will those wounds! They’ll scar, you’ll always see them and you’ll always remember, and you deserve it. You deserve much worse than anything I can give you.
  • Meaningful Echo: See Call Forward.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Lu Ten's.
  • Meaningful Name: A whole bunch -
    • The name of Lu Ten's dual dao swords, as mentioned above, and the name of his tigerwolf, Hakkai, that he rides in the Fire Nation's campaign to destroy the walls of Ba Sing Se. 'Hakkai' is Japanese for 'destroy.'
    • Iroh's wife, Kei Rin. 'Kei' can be read one way in Japanese characters as 'respectful,' and 'Rin' means 'cold,' making her cold but respectful, as Lu Ten remembers her acting to everyone outside her family.
    • Gisei Seigi, the young soldier that Lu Ten sacrifices his life to save. 'Gisei' means 'sacrifice' in Japanese.
    • All of Gisei’s younger siblings have the names of some kind of weapon.
    • Nageki Noha. In Japanese, nageki no ha can translate to "blade of grief." In his grief over Lu Ten’s death, he takes a blade to Gisei’s face, saying that he is responsible and deserves to be punished.
    • The name of Ursa's family, the Yuudoku clan, assassins who create Perfect Poison. "Yuudoku" means "poisonous" in Japanese.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. Lieutenant Kotai tries to tell Gisei this when he starts sobbing over Lu Ten's body, and Gisei fires back with this -
    Gisei: And why not?! Why shouldn't I cry?! Forgive me, sir, but it's not right to hold back. The prince...The colonel was my best friend, and my comrade. If a man can’t shed tears when his comrades are killed, then that man is heartless! To show that I feel something for my brother in arms can't be weak! This is just one way that I can honor him!
    Kotai: Quiet! Contain yourself, soldier!
    Iroh: Enough, Lieutenant. Enough. (Both look at him to see that he is crying too) Sergeant Seigi is correct. A soldier should never force down his grief.
  • Missing Mom: Lu Ten's mother, Kei Rin, was killed in battle when he was eight.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Sunstorm, and as in canon, the Dragon of the West. Lampshaded by Zuko.
  • Nice Guy: Lu Ten.
    • Gisei counts too.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Zuko sadly says this to Iroh after Lu Ten’s funeral. Just to recap, in the space of about a week, his cousin was killed, his mother’s gone missing, his uncle has been disgraced, his father became Fire Lord, and his sister is starting to really get into her role as Daddy's Little Villain. He’s absolutely right.
  • Oh My Gods!: Like in most Avatar fics, the Fire Nationals use Agni in place of God ("Oh, Agni above..." "What in Agni's name?!").
  • Papa Wolf: When he sees Lu Ten get hit, Iroh takes out an entire legion of elite Earthbenders by himself.
  • Parental Neglect: Ozai mentions that as a child, he was largely ignored by his father and older brother. However, Ozai is a fairly Unreliable Narrator, so it's debatable as to what degree this was true.
  • Peaceful in Death: Averted with Lu Ten. He dies in a lot of pain, afraid of what will happen to his loved ones without him, and thinking that he is not ready to die now at all. Iroh notes the distressed look on his face even after he dies.
  • Piggyback Cute: A decidedly non-shippy example - Lu Ten lets four-year-old Azula ride on his back on their way to the training field.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Ozai gives Mongke and Vachir a Perfect Poison to use on their weapons to kill Lu Ten faster if the initial shots don't do it (which they don’t, given that Lu Ten is Made of Iron). It's implied that this poison is what Ursa (who Ozai stole the poison from) later uses to kill Azulon.
  • Rank Up: How was promoted from captain all the way to general for being able to kill Colonel Kei Rin.
  • Red Baron: Lu Ten is known as the Sunstorm.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The morning before the last battle at Ba Sing Se. Nageki even says, “Red sky, take warning, bloodshed by morning.”
  • Say My Name: "Uncle Ozai!"
    • "SHAN HOW!"
    • "LU TEN!"
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: Iroh in his Papa Wolf-rage-fueled Extreme Melee Revenge.
  • Slasher Smile: Ozai in his Give My Regards in the Next World moment.
  • Spare to the Throne: Ozai is just the spare prince there in case something happens to Iroh, and he hates his status with a passion.
  • Start of Darkness: Azula has hers after her big cousin dies, and there is no one left to stop Ozai from doing whatever he wants with her.
  • Stealth Insult: Ozai saying goodbye to Lu Ten and Iroh is basically just him and Lu Ten taking shots at each other like this.
    Lu Ten: (after Ozai mentions his requests to join them in battle being ignored) Well, Grandfather would know best, after all. Perhaps he sees that you would be of less use on the battlefield than you are here at the palace.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Kei Rin, according to her son.
  • Survivor Guilt: Gisei gets this after his friend Lu Ten dies protecting him.
  • Take Up My Sword: Lu Ten’s will instructed that his dual dao swords be left to Zuko, and his entire collection of firebending scrolls be left to Azula, so that they can continue their training if he’s not around to teach them.
  • Taking the Bullet: Lu Ten dies in a Heroic Sacrifice like this, taking an Earthbender's boulder in the place of a young soldier he'd befriended.
  • Talking to the Dead: Chapter 3 opens with Lu Ten (mentally) doing this beside a portrait of his mother, telling her about everything he’s seen and done in the Earth Kingdom.
  • Tears of Remorse: Iroh after Lu Ten dies in his arms. Like Azula, he believes it’s all his fault for not being able to help him. They’re both wrong - if not for Ozai’s little arrangement with Mongke and Vachir, Lu Ten would have been wounded, but not killed.
  • Tempting Fate: So much leading up to Lu Ten being killed. Lampshaded by the author.
    • The best (worst?) examples are Iroh telling Lu Ten, “You shall see [the Fire Nation] again. We will return,” on the ship to the Earth Kingdom, and the last line of Lu Ten’s letter to Azula being, “With Agni’s blessing, Dad and I will be back home with you guys before you know it.”
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The death of Lu Ten.
  • They Died Because of You: Azula blames Iroh for Lu Ten's death and tells him so. Combined with You Should Have Died Instead.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Lu Ten, Zuko, and Azula are all on the verge of tears as Lu Ten and Iroh board the ship to the Earth Kingdom, and all three are determined not to let them fall. Lu Ten is the only one who fails.
  • Token Good Teammate: Lu Ten for the Fire Nation. He does believe in war, but not in racial dogma or the cruelty of Ozai.
  • The Unfavorite: Ozai. He believes that Azulon doesn't even consider him his son, due to his status as the Spare to the Throne.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Gisei after Lu Ten pulls his Heroic Sacrifice, because he would rather have died himself than have his friend die in his place.
    Gisei: (in tears) Why would you do that, Colonel? I didn't ask you to do that, not for me! What were you thinking?!
  • Warrior Prince: Lu Ten and Iroh.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unlike the rest of the Fire Nation, Lu Ten does not think of the other nations as inferior races, believes there is a lot to learn from them, and wishes the Air Nomads hadn’t been killed. However, he does believe that the war is necessary to make the world a better place.
  • The Wise Prince: Lu Ten, like his father.
  • Why Won't You Die??: Mongke and Vachir both think this about the sheer amount of punishment Lu Ten is able to take before he finally dies.
  • X Marks the Hero: Sometime before the siege of Ba Sing Se, Lu Ten gets a cross scar on his face. He notes specifically that the X shape was formed by a separate cut he got after the first had already been made.
  • You Killed My Mother: When Lu Ten sees General How - who trapped and killed his mother Kei Rin - among the Ba Sing Se forces, he charges right at him to confront him and says the trope name word for word. He fails to kill him, but apparently left a nasty scar across his chest.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Azula tells Iroh to his face that everyone would be better off if he were dead instead of Lu Ten.