Northern Water Tribe

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orthern Water Tribe

The Northern Water Tribe is the northern division of the Water Tribes, the origin of the Southern Water Tribe. Its people are entirely contained within one city located at the North Pole, which is referred to by the same name. There are also a few small independent tribes scattered throughout the tundra, mostly around the coast. These clans have no connection with the Norther Tribe, being isolated family groups that live day by day. Many of them once lived in the tribe but were banished for various reasons.
Built inside high walls of ice, and in inhospitable tundra terrain, the city prospers in its isolation.

Ages ago, Waterbenders built the city as a way to unite most of the various Northern Tribes in one place. The Waterbenders used the ice and water to create the various temples, villages, and canals that comprise the city. Important to the city’s transportation and defense are the canals. The canals are a series of interconnected waterways that spiral through the city. Boats, powered by Waterbenders, use these waterways to transport people and things. To get into the city from the ocean, boats enter a series of water-locking chambers. Once in, Waterbenders raise the water levels, lifting the boats until the vessel finally reaches the waterways of the Northern Water Tribe. This special entrance ensures that no unwanted ships can make it into the city.

Head of State & Government: Chief
The Northern Tribe is a patriarchal monarchy but has the aspects of a tribal group because the Chief is the Head of State. Labor division is dependent on gender: men serve as hunters, fishermen and warriors, and women serve as homemakers. In the Northern Water Tribe, if a woman wanted to learn to fight using Waterbending, she would be denied.
There is a small council that advises to the Tribal Chief, including the tribe’s greatest Waterbending master. Politics can also be personal. For example, marrying the Chief’s daughter, the Tribal Princess, can be a significant step in a political career.

Layout and Description
Resting on the shores of the Northern Sea, behind high walls of ice and an ice gate and canal lock system passable only by the use of Waterbending, there lies a large and bustling monarchic nation-state. The capital city features a palace, an army, and many skilled warriors, Healers, Waterbenders, and a hidden oasis which houses Tui and La, the Moon and Ocean Spirits.

Located at the North Pole, the Northern Water Tribe is a huge, multi-tiered city built into the icy landscape. Looming over the city are giant ice cliffs from which it was originally built. The city rests on the shores of the Northern Sea, and behind it is an enormous frozen tundra.


  • The Palace
    The Chief’s palace is a large structure built on top the highest tier of the capitol city and is the most recognizable landmark. In here, the Chief sits and makes decisions regarding the Tribe.
  • Healing Huts
    The Healing Huts are small classroom-like structures. In these, young female students are taught how to use their healing abilities properly, with mannequins with human chi paths carved into them.
  • Spirit Oasis
    The Spirit Oasis is a verdant and lush garden located in a cave in the Northern Water Tribe’s capital city at the North Pole. Although the land outside is perpetually frozen, the Spirit Oasis itself is warm. This is where the mortal incarnations of the Moon and Ocean Spirit live. The water of the oasis is said to contain unique healing properties.
  • Armory
    Located on the warrior training grounds, the Water Tribe armory is where Water Tribe weapons are stored and kept in pristine condition. The armory doubles as a war planning room where orders are given to the warriors.
  • Underground Ice Cavern
    These interconnecting ice caverns are located underneath the city and were naturally created by the ocean water eroding away the ice. Seals and other animals live in these ice caverns, and the only way to get to them is to swim underneath the freezing water.
  • Frozen Tundra
    This massive stretch of arctic tundra covers most of the North Pole. The treacherous terrain makes it impossible for anyone to live there. Only highly skilled, arctic hunters travel on the terrain, hunting the animals that live there, and they never stay longer than a few days at a time. Heavy winter blizzards constantly pelt the tundra, and unstable ice sheets often give way under the slightest pressure. Even experienced Waterbenders and warriors think twice about venturing into this dangerous environment.

Women become marriageable at the age of 16. Some marriages are arranged, with the bride in particular having no say in the matter. Engaged women wear “betrothal necklaces”, navy blue chokers bearing blue stone pendants carved by their husband-to-be. It is forbidden by custom for female Waterbenders to learn waterbending for fighting purposes. Instead, they are trained as Healers, able to use bending to heal wounds and at least some illnesses and mental disturbances. Whether male waterbenders have the right to learn waterbending for healing purposes or not is unknown. Female waterbenders are allowed to learn waterbending for fighting purposes in the Southern Water Tribe. This discrimination in the North is one of the main reasons the Southern tribe split off from the north.

Natural Resources and Foods
Inhabiting frozen poles near the seas, the Water Tribes inherently are dependent on the oceans for a majority of their natural resources and well as the bounty of the frozen tundra. Sea prunes are a favorite, while giant sea crabs are considered a delicious delicacy to those in the Northern Sea. Squid and seaweed can be used to make a wide variety of dishes, including soup, seasoning, and even bread and cookies.

Skins from seals are used to create tents, while pelts from polar bears and other furry animals are used as clothing and to cover barren surfaces. Naturally, hunters and fishermen of the Water Tribes are some of the best in the world in their field.

One of the most prevalent natural resources of the Northern Water Tribe is ice. Ice is used as the main building material used to make buildings, walls, dikes, locks, and other structures, as well as a medium of bending.


Northern Water Tribe

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