Author's Notes: Hey everyone, this is an idea that I have had bouncing around in my head for a while so I thought I would give it a go. I own nothing Nickelodeon owns Avatar the Last Airbender and BioWare and EA own Dragon Age.
Some things are so unexpected that no one is prepared for them-Leo Rosten
Aang looked around, a mixture of fear and his natural curiosity forming within him. The last thing he remembered was going to bed after planning for the invasion of the Fire Nation. He had been really stressed out and had had trouble sleeping but they had at last helped him relax enough to fall asleep and when he opened his eyes he was here, wherever here was. It looked nothing like the Spirit World.
It was dark, as if it were very late at night. The ground was rocky but it felt wrong in some way that he could not quite explain. Rising up from the ground were stone columns, some of which had blue spiral veins in them. Looking up Aang could see no stars, though it appeared to be night time. To his surprise instead of stars there were floating islands of rock in the sky.
There was one thing that caught his eye, high above him, floating among the other islands, was a massive black shape. Unlike the others it was not moving but standing still in the sky. It was larger than the others and appeared to be man-made. It was a city composed of a mass of black spires. To Aang it seemed like a king looming over his subjects. Aang quickly looked away, just looking at it made him uneasy, he felt a sense of wrongness from it, as if something terrible had happened there. Not sure what else to do he started walking.
As he walked he got an uneasy feeling, one which he was all too familiar with, the feeling of being watched. He whirled around seeking the source of his unease but saw no one.
"Who are you?! Show yourself!" He called out. At first there was nothing but then a movement caught his eye. It was a floating ball of bluish white light, looking around Aang saw several more of them. As soon as Aang focused on them they shot towards him. Bending did not work in the Spirit World, if that was where he was, but he instinctively went into a defensive crouch, but they did not attack him. They circled around him as if they were investigating, if they had had noses Aang was certain that they would have been smelling him. They seemed fascinated by him, his tattoos, his robes all of it. Gradually, Aang relaxed and smiled.
"Hello there, I am Aang, who are you?" They did not answer, of course, but they seemed to understand him. "I need to go home." This they did not seem to understand. "Could you help me?" This they did seem to understand as they flitted off, which Aang interpreted as them wanting him to following. Not having anything else to do he set off after them. He was not sure how long they walked, or even in what direction, the ground and the rock islands seemed to shift and alter constantly, only the city-like structure seemed to remain fixed in its position.
Suddenly the area around him began to alter, the rocks rising up to form walls and roofs. His strange guides vanished but Aang hardly noticed them go, he was too busy staring at the transformation going on around him. Buildings were being raised all around him but familiar and utterly alien, they seemed a bizarre mixture of Air Nomad and Earth Kingdom architecture. Even as they formed they began to burn and blacken till Aang was surrounded by burning buildings. Then came howling of people burning alive, Aang looked about but could not see anyone, only hear them. To his horror he was certain he heard his friends.
"Katara! Sokka! Toph! Where are you?!" He cried as he looked about but he could not see anything through the smoke as he ran through the burning buildings. Then came the laughter. It was a low bass laughter and filled with malicious glee.
"They will die, you will fail and they will die. As have all who have ever trusted you." Aang heard movement behind him, he turned around and froze in horror. It was his people! The Air Nomads, but they were dead. Their flesh was burned and charred bones poked through. Leading them was Monk Gyatso. As they approached they began to speak.
"You abandoned us." They said in unison; their voices emerging from burned throats in little more than hoarse whispers. "We needed you, you ran away and we died." The monks were then joined by others, Katara, Sokka and Toph.
"We will fail and we will die. You already did." Katara said; "I brought you back once, I cannot do it again. When you die again it will be forever." Aang backed away, fighting back a rising sense of panic. This wasn't real! This could not be real! That was it! This wasn't real. He sank into a meditative pose and focused inward, clearing himself of all fear and past grief, just as he had when he Guru Pathik had taught him to let go of the pain of the loss of his people. He focused on the joy that he had known among the Air Nomads and forced away the grief that their memory caused.
He turned his mind to his friends in the present. He acknowledged the fear that had, of them and or himself dying and the fear of separation that that caused. He took that fear and let it go as well. When He opened his eyes and saw that the sectors had vanished, as had the burning buildings.
"Well that was disappointing." Said the voice from before. Aang turned around and at last beheld the speaker. Aang had never seen anything like it. It was dressed in tattered black hood tied with a rope at its waist. It had grey and loose skin, it had small eyes and large incisors which gave it a rodent like appearance and it also had large hands and feet. To Aang it was more hideous than Koh the Face Stealer.
"Yes, very disappointing. There is such despair and grief in in you young dreamer, it is truly delectable. Yet you deny them."
"What are you?" Aang asked. "What is your name?"
"What I am is despair and that is what I want you to feel." With that it attacked. It rose up into the air and launched blasts of ice at Aang.
Without thinking Aang jumped to the side, instinctively using airbending to push himself further away. To his amazement his element responded though not as smoothly as it usually did, it almost seemed as if it were struggling against him, or as if something was wrong with the air. Still, it was more than he had hoped for.
His thoughts were interrupted by the creature launching a fresh assault. Knowing now that he could bend in this strange realm he reached out to seize the ice shards being shot at him. To his surprise he found that he could barely influence them. They were made of ice but they did not feel like water should it was…strange. He had intended to shoot them back at his opponent but he found that he could barely affect them and was forced to jump away again. He reached out to the earth but again the results were disappointing, it felt more like sludge than solid stone. He regretted his lack of knowledge of firebending and his continued inability to enter the Avatar State.
His opponent flew about from point to point, sometimes higher sometimes lower, and at each point it launched attacks of ice. Aang, focusing primarily airbending, was able to evade most of the attacks and launch several attacks of his own. However, these were hampered by unpredictability of the air that he was bending, at times the attacks were stronger or weaker than he wanted them to be and at times they would veer from their intended course. Finally, some of the attacks of the creature got through and several ice bolts speared Aang and with a cry of pain he fell to the ground.
As the creature drew close to him Aang tried to get up but he was unable to do so. He tried to bend at it but with his wounds his already slippery control deserted him entirely, leaving him helpless on the ground. Seeing this the creature landed and walked towards him.
"Ah, now this is more like it. I do so love that look you have, the look of hope dying when one realizes all has been lost and one sees that there is only despair. Truly it is a look of beauty." It approached closer, clearly intending to deal the killing blow. Then the situation changed again.
"AWAY CREATURE!" Cried a powerful voice from behind Aang's attacker. The attacker spun to face the newcomer. This gave Aang his first view of his savior.
It was a tall man, at last it was shaped like a man. He was a golden white and clad from head to foot in elaborate armor of a design which Aang did not recognize as well as a shield and sword. He aimed a powerful blow at the creature. It flew back into the air and launched more ice bolts but the man brought up his shield and blocked them and then moved to stand between Aang and the creature. It hung in the air for a moment, clearly evaluating its odds against the newcomer and Aang. Clearly it did not favor its odds as it turned and vanished. Slowly Aang was able to clamber to his feet.
"Thank you." He said, bowing in the traditional manner of the Air Nomads.
"No thanks are necessary mortal. I merely fulfill my purpose." Aang did not understand.
"What purpose is that?"
"I am Guardian, a spirit which defends the weak. Might I have your name dreamer?"
"I am Aang, why did you call me dreamer?"
"This is the Fade the land of dreams. Did you not know this? Are you not a mage?"
"Mage? What is that?" The spirit turned to stare down at him.
"I observed you employ magic against the demon. Not very well mind you but surely you know of magic."
"That was not magic, that was bending."
"I have never heard of this 'bending'"
"Well I have never heard of the Fade."
"The Fade is the realm of dreams, of spirits and demons. It is strange that you have never heard of it." Aang stopped and stared at him.
"This is the Spirit World?!"
Author's Notes: Hey everyone, this is just an idea that has been bouncing around for some time. I read that magic works strangely in the Fade so I did the same to his bending. Do you think that Aang overcame the illusion too easily? I look at as something that still hurts him but he has come to terms with. Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions let me know. Till next time please pray for the Japanese held by ISIS and all others who need prayer. Bye and may Jesus bless you.