The Avatar's Return
Aged Governor of the Gaipan Province
Shen is bent with age, with a kindly face and deep brown eyes. He is bald, with a long white beard. His clothing is finely made but well-worn, showing him as both a man of nobility as well as labor.
Governor Shen was born in Ba Sing Se, and was a close friend of the late Earth King Guang. He is the governor of the once-powerful province of Gaipan.
Born into nobility in the Ba Sing Se court, his family had close ties to many of the ruling families in other provinces, such as Omashu and Yi. He became a high-ranking government official to the Earth Kingdom council. By his thirtieth birthday, he had enough popularity at court and with the people of Ba Sing Se to join the council. But by then, the people had grown tired of councils, and too many heads of families sought to broaden their authority and power. Thus the Kin Struggle began.
The Kin Struggle and Xin-Wu Dynasty
Shen lost many friends in the ensuing feud, not to battle but to pride. He decided to support his long-time friend Xin-Wu, who led his family and allies to victory during the short but brutal civil war. Xin-wu was crowned as the first Earth King in hundreds of years. Unfortunately, he died of wounds sustained from his last battle only a few months later, leaving his young son, Guang, to assume the throne and the task of healing a kingdom ravaged by bitter civil war.
Governor of Gaipan
Guang appointed his father’s friends to key positions in government, knowing that he would need trusted allies sooner rather than later. Shen, now 36 years old, was given the province of Gaipan, which supplied the northern half of the kingdom’s rice crop and controlled much of the trade between the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation. He has expertly managed the province since that time.
Gaipan is currently in a state of crisis. Bandit raids and pressure from both Ba Sing Se and Omashu have rendered the province broke and the roads highly dangerous. Shen`s primary concern is for his citizens. He has no real military experience however, and most the province’s guard has been ordered by the acting Council of Ba Seng Sei to defend Omashu from the sandbender incursions. Defenseless and broke, Gaipan is on the brink of starvation, and Shen is desperate to find help.
Shen is also deeply disturbed by the Earth King’s sudden passing three years previous. Without the resources or influence at court to conduct a true investigation, he is resigned to accept the official explanation of genetic illness.