Preface: I am a HUGE fan of Borhes. If you are not familiar with him or Tolkinian storytelling, this is not for you. I am not interested in "sticking to the show" in ways others define it. This is indeed an AU, but alternate universes exist, both in this world and the world of Avatar, between which I don't see a true separation anyway.
The day after Sozin's comet passed and Zuko held his victory celebration was a day of reconcilliation and finding anew of old friends, once enemies, Sozin and Roku. Both lived to be incredibly ancient and wise, yet estranged from each other. Former best friends, now locked in a struggle with one another in the spirit world. Allah knows best and he has a reason for everything, yet we cannot see it with our eyes nor comprehend it with our minds unless we turn to storytelling.
Hence, the story of Sozin and Roku needs to be told anew in another light, The Avatar and the Fire Lord is one such case indeed for it reveals how plans develop and how mindboggingly wise and crafty old men can be, for indeed, all old men know each other, they understand the true nature of avatarhood, that everyone is the avatar of someone and anyone else. They see with their mind what things are hidden and what needs to be done and in their wisdom keep silent so that the young ones can listen and learn.
Alchemy, al Chemiya.
It exists in all of us and all of us can use it when we know it's laws and principles and how it manifests. Sozin was the Avatar of Azulon and Azulon the caliph of Sozin, his heir and successor, blessed be his name. In his mind he forsaw all, all that will be and all that can manifest. He forsaw Korra, the last Avatar, and he forsaw Aang and made his preparation for bringing them manifest, for the Avatar is nothing without the Fire Lord, his eternal brother.
Roku was limited and stubborn in his mind and would not listen, he was convinced he knew better just because he was able to summon all „four“ elements into being, when in fact, everyone was a bender, everyone an Avatar, just in a different form, a different place, a different time and different ability to manipulate her sorroundings and use the laws of alchemy, the true and only art, to their advantage.
Roku desired seperation, Sozin unity. Sozin was the one blessed with a clear mind and inspiration, Roku was not. Sozin would not listen to the Avatar because the Avatar would not listen to him, for Roku was convinced that there could be no greater wisdom than his, and his alone.
Mixing of elements happens all the time but Roku would not see, would not hear. In his mind, he was foolish and stubborn, boastful and proud enough to believe that he was the only one able to cross into the spirit world, the only one with the right to mix the elements as he pleased. But actually, what he termed stability was in fact stagnation, a crime against the true order of things, hence he had to be defeated for the world to move on to a better future.
Azulon forsaw the greatness of his sons, Ozai and Iroh and blessed them both with his grace. Iroh knew Sozin personally, his frail and ancient form kept alive through alchemy and communicating through his prophet Azulon. Hence Azulon transmited the wisdom of Sozin onto Iroh without Iroh ever having „talked“ to his grandfather himself.
Don't believe for a moment that, those who have become one with the Force are not alive, you just can't see it or feel. But death matters. Only after Roku was dead and departed could his friend truly reach him and tell him of his plans and visions, on his own terms. For once would Roku be the student and Sozin the teacher, and the student would transmit his knowledge to the student, Aang. Hence, what Avatar Aang understood, that all life was valuable, that even the Fire Lord deserved to be given a chance was a direct consequence of Sozin finally reaching him in the guise and guidance of Roku.
What Avatar Aang did in his limitless compassion and what he understood in his beautiful mind deserves another book in it's own. But this book is about Sozin and reconcilliation and vision, a vision whose fruits would not come to pass for more then a century, a world that was truly united, Republic City, the manifestation of Sozin's dream.
Hence it can be seen that Piandao, Jeong Jeong, Iroh and Bumi and the White Lotus were a means to an end, an end described in the essay, Ozai, son of Iroh.
Tea and failure lead to success after all.
When it comes to success, Azulon was king. He ruled the Iron Nation with an Iron grip and held everything together through his powerful magic, acting in the name of his father, Sozin, the Seer of the future. For years, Sozin was God, worshiped throughout the land, and Azulon his prophet and messenger, bringing peace to where peace was due. During his time the war stagnated, focusing on thinning out the waterbenders of the South Pole so that only one, THE one could remain and teach the Avatar what it means to be a master of water.
What happened THAT night is another matter. Sozin knew Azulon had to die at some point and he ordered him to leave the reins of power to Ozai. His plan came to fruition and avatar Sozin, that is Azulon, vanished.
For 25, 23 years Azulon was king.
For 50 or so years, he acted in the name of Sozin, as his co ruler. Sozin was so sanctified in that time that he couldn't speak to anyone directly, so his messenger Azulon would take care of things. It was only discovered 20 years later, when Ozai became king, that Azulon actually lived to be a hundred years old; that Sozin's form was manifest in a corpse, escaping the cycle of reincarnation until his time was to come. Hence, the chronicle tells us that Azulon's father "died" 20 years into the war.
Avatars are created all the time.
Sozin, son of Azulon was one of them.
First of, the true hero of Avatar is Sozin, not Roku, not even Aang.
He was, quite literally, a god.
He doesn't have a father, he was his own ancestor, an avatar, an avatar of light. He knew in advance ALL that would happen and planned for it. Wiping out the Air Nomads was part of his plan to save the world.
He needed to make them vanish for them to be reborn in Aang, that's why there is only one corpse, Gyatso, the man who wished to go against all that could or can be. Overprotective father indeed.
Aang wished for his spirit to be reborn into a better time, Sozin made it come true, hence the iceberg. The Avatar need to be made ready to fulfill his role as The Savior.
Azulon planned in advance what would happen, that there had to be only ONE airbender and Only ONE water master in the south pole so that the story could advance.
Hence, his search for the Avatar was more spiritual in nature than nurture than the show might make us believe.
Hence, all that happened in Avatar happened for a reason, the reason being Sozin's plot to save ALL
Sozin was the Avatar while Aang waited.
He kept the world stable, hence no war on Ba Sing Se for ages to come
Ba Sing Se had to fall in the time of Azula
Hence, his reluctance to be at war with the Earth Kingdom.
The Earth Kingdom started to be attacked only in the time of Ozai
The Cycle had to be fulfilled
Azulon represented the earth but he focused on Water
Hence his capturing of waterbenders
He didn't intend for them to kill
He intended for them to be locked up for safe keeping and being released after the war.
Hence why the Water tribe recovered so quickly once the fighting ended.
I am sure that Avatar Sozin kept the world in balance while Aang was asleep
In the first year of the war only Ba Sing Se was safe
Air Nation genocide showed the world what the Fire Nation was capable of
Showing that not to be messed with is Fire Business.
Hence why the Earth King didn't go to war with the Avatar (Sozin) immediately
Only later would he dare attack and provoke the Fire Nation into genocide against them
That's what happened when Ozai planned to burn the Earth Kingdom
It was a young war and it had to be done
No one else could save the Earth Kingdom from itself while Ozai was gone.
His effort to liberate Ba Sing Se from all that was corrupted backfired
But in a good way
Iroh LIBERATED it
That is the story of The War
A hundred years is nothing to an avatar for he lives immortal.
An avatar can be anyone and Sozin was the one who could do it
He kept the world stable during his time, knowing what was to come
The Fire Nation was officially at war
But that was just preparation
The TRUE war only happened when Aang was alive again
Reconciliation awaited and Sozin and Iroh both know the plan
Aang had to bring peace and calm to the world and take his place as the TRUE avatar
Hence why on the Day of Reconciliation, the finale, Ozai slept in his prison cell, dreaming of what is to come, planning for a time when Zuko would be his son again
Roku was wise and Zuko adopted him as his grandfather, fulfilling the prophecy of "The Avatar and the Fire Lord"
Ba Sing Se will fall
But fall for a reason
Reason being the cleansing, that abandonment of all that was bad and rotten while it was alive, bringing refuge and shelter to every Earth Kingdom citizen, The Last Paradise of Earth.
But Paradise can rot
That's why it HAD to fall, by Azula's hand, the trickster of common sense.
Why wait when all can be acomplished
Azula was part of the Masterplan
Freeing THE city and giving it a time to rest for what is to come
She didn't knew it at that time but she became the savior of the city
The Dai Li are hers
and Long Feng her commander, secret commander
She left them in peace
Only keeping them as souvenir
All ends well what starts well, and Sozin, God, made it happen
His prophecies are the stuff of legends and he is rightly worshiped and remembered as such by all citizens of his empire
Pljačka, plunder, that's what the Fire Nation was doing during his time
Gathering resources for the masterplan that awaited them all
No mention of the Air Nation army
They disappeared in one night
Sozin was the only one who fought, and he fought Monk Gyatso, the only one who could stand in his way
All battles between Sozin and Gyatso were recorded, for he, Gyatso, was a one man army
This is the explanation of why the Fire Nation didn't use divide and conquer, it was their plan all along to bring unity, not separation, and unity AGAINST them was part of their plan.
Sozin was also impatient
He wanted to BE with the Avatar, his only friend
Hence his cruel mercy when he killed Gyatso, the man who would keep him awake and hide the Avatar from him.