The nature of my work has involved many journeys into the spirit world. According to tradition I have always left my physical body guarded by a close friend in the Order. This ancient tradition - spiritual journeyer paired with physical observer - is as old as the age of the Avatar. It is ostensibly to ensure my body’s physical safety. The true purpose of the practice is to guard against a much more sinister threat. While my spirit is on its journey, an ambitious spirit may seek habitation within my body.

A rogue spirit moves through unwilling flesh like venom. Ancient records show that victims of possession exhibit signs of delirium when they awaken, as the foreign spirit attempts to assert control over the body. My guardian in the physical world watches for these signs. In the event of my possession, I must be prevented from deceiving my fellows within the Order, or all we are working for might be lost. My physical body must be destroyed. It is critical, therefore, that my guardians be chosen such that they know me personally, yet would have no compunctions against ending me for the greater good. Only the most fanatical members of the Order are entrusted with such a task. A young acolyte from the north with an interest in airbender philosophy is proving to be a promising candidate.

—The Journals of Xai Bau

I was once asked what it means to enter the void. I will tell you. An airbender may meditate for a hundred years trying to detach herself from the world, but she cannot do it. Humans cherish human life, and by that they are bound to this world. The only way to abandon the world is to abandon one’s humanity. New growth cannot exist without first the destruction of the old. The void is found in the sowing of death. From that death springs life on the wind.
-Guru Laghima

I was once asked what it means to enter the void. I will tell you. An airbender may meditate for a hundred years trying to detach herself from the world, but she cannot do it. Humans cherish human life, and by that they are bound to this world. The only way to abandon the world is to abandon one’s humanity. New growth cannot exist without first the destruction of the old. The void is found in the sowing of death. From that death springs life on the wind.

-Guru Laghima