Ba Sing Se
a Sing Se
Ba Sing Se is located in The Land of Earth, wherein it encompasses nearly all of the northeastern corner. Like Omashu it is a kingdom as well as the capitol city.
The city is by far the largest city in the world. Ba Sing Se means “Impenetrable City”; the city so named for its extremely secure location underground, the only way in being Earthbending. Ba Sing Se is the safest place for war refugees and anyone else escaping persecution. No army has ever been able to break through the Gates of Ba Sing Se since the underground city was built after the fall of the Exalted Emporium.
Ba Sing Se is ancient, arguably one of the oldest settlements in the world. Early in its history, Ba Sing Se was one of the first nations that was based on the bending art that originated from that region. After the fall of the Exalted Emporium, the remnants of the once great Earthbender nation reformed from the ruins of its’ conquered culture. Originally the nation was a collection of walled cities in the Eastern region of The Land of Earth, but the enhanced powers of the Emporium Saarebas were too great for the once thought unconquerable defenders. After the fall of the Emporium, the reformed leaders of Ba Sing Se built a massive underground city, to make future invasion attempts futile by all but an earthbender army; in which Ba Sing Se has the finest. As the benders further excavated, they came across beautiful illuminated crystals and began to mine them. The crystals currently serve as a common light source for inhabitants. Many people wonder about the practical long term application of a finite underground city with a rapidly growing population. Although it is common knowledge the underground city cannot be a permanent solution, it will be many centuries before it is an immediate concern. Until that time Ba Sing Se remains the largest and most secure city in the world. The massive gates leading to the city are the only conventional way into the underground metropolis city of Ba Sing Se. The giant wall is built into the side of a mountain through Earthbending, creating a wall that is easily defended by the Earthbender military inside the city. All who wish to enter Ba Sing Se must be admitted through the great gates
Ba Sing Se has been hailed in its history as the greatest fortress in any of the worlds Nations, having remained unconquered for centuries.
The government of Ba Sing Se is ruled by a king called the Earth King. This is a hereditary title and bears supreme power. Although the king has unlimited power, Ba Sing Se has a tradition of fair policies that support the well being of its citizens. Regional leaders are appointed to govern the other large cities in the territories of Ba Sing Se.
The Royal Earthbender Guards of Ba Sing Se serve as personal protectors of the Earth King. There seems to be hundreds of them guarding the Royal Palace. They have also been seen as the gate keepers of the Gates of Ba Sing Se. The guards use specialized surface-to-surface rocks against invaders approaching on foot, but the projectiles can also serve as surface-to-air rocks against airborne intruders. They wear dark green armor with a green plume on the top.
A platoon of elite Earthbenders that guard the walls of Ba Sing Se. Their name is clearly influenced by the Latin word “Terra”, literally meaning “earth”.
The people of Ba Sing Se have a variety of recreational activities available to them including spas, poetry houses, shops, restaurants, and the Ba Sing Se Zoo. Tea-drinking is one of the most common ways citizens relax after work, while strolls around the glowing green crystal caves are also enjoyed. As the largest city in the world their is almost no item that cannot be found somewhere in the massive underground metropolis. The University ensures that many families get a higher education. Earthbenders are highly valued, and operate many civic projects, from the monorail system to the city’s gates.
The architecture of Ba Sing Se is slightly different from many other towns in The Land of Earth. The majority of the buildings are made of stone, with wood supports and plaster covering the outside. The color of roofing tiles on buildings indicate their prestige. The capitol city consists of a collection of huge underground caverns consisting of different section of the city. These different sections are reached by taking the Mono-Rail. The Ba Sing Se Monorail is an enormous train network stretching across the whole of Ba Sing Se, connecting all the different Thaigs. It serves as its mass transit system. The monorail is pushed from one end of the rail network to the other by a group of elite Earthbenders. The monorail was the brainchild of Earth King Yi Ming, an ingenious, but impatient ruler who was tired of having to spend two full days traveling from one end of his city to the other. He tasked his engineers with finding a solution to his traveling woes. The result was the best (and only) mass-transit system in the entire world, with no equal in speed, safety or comfort. Throughout the city of Ba Sing Se, Earth symbols are often placed on gates, government buildings, and military sites. The citizens of Ba Sing Se sport considerably more color variation in their clothing than the other locations. – blues, turquoises, browns, and golds can all be seen while the lower class usually wears browns and off-whites. The clothing and hairstyles reference those from China’s Qing Dynasty, such as traditionally Manchu hair queues for men and Manchu-style dresses and hairpieces for the upper class women. The Earth King’s clothing is also based on the style of Qing Dynasty emperors.
Ba Sing Se is a divided city, with inhabitants sorted in different underground sections called Thaigs (Tie-gs). These Thaigs are all named and all encompass different aspects of the massive city.
South of Ba Sing Se, the cliffs, one white the other red, stand facing each other with a wide ravine between them. Early citizens noticed that the ground of the ravine was charred and black and legend holds that the cliffs were created in an ancient battle between Earthbenders and Firebenders, the conflict being awesome that the very ground they fought on soaked up their power and animosity. The cliffs currently are mined for “spark rocks”, small, craggy stones used by citizens to start fires.
Ba Sing Se is neutral with most nations, but has already begin fierce clashes with the Imperial Order that have recently turned into open war. However, many advisors in the government advocate against moving out of Ba Sing Se to fight back and instead to form a defensive strategy with the well-fare of the nation at heart. General Hung-Ru, the leader of the council of five, the 5 generals who command the kings armies, and great leader who had a new city named after him for advocating pushing back against the Order, was recently killed near the front lines in Session 2 and the new General that has taken his place is much more conservative, seeking to abolish the policies of the fallen general Hung-Ru and form a defensive policy based on bunkering down in the capitol city.