Toph Bei Fong
|Toph Bei Fong|
Toph Bei Fong (北方拓芙) is a being of unknown race who has been said to be forced to travel from place to place to avoid either persecution or constant conflict. She was first introduced as a neutrally-aligned, largely obscure figure during the Uterio War. She is an Earthbender of notable potency and skill, but unfortunately, she is blind. As such, she can only see through connection to the element of earth through the use of her powers.
The potency of her skills come from how she learned by imitating Badgermoles - Creatures who were blind like her, and the very original Earthbenders - And discovering how to use her latent talents in the art as an extension of her senses.
Rude, callous, but otherwise laidback, Toph can range from abrasive at the best of times to an absolute nightmare for any one person to take on. She's shown significant pride in her abilities as a fighter, a short temper, and limited amounts of patience. Unrelenting, stubborn, and driven, Toph is as impossible to shake as a mountain and shows very little fear to situations which would terrify most.
She also lacks any sort of jaded attitude over her blindness, and seems to enjoy making jokes at the expense of those who forget the "disability" of hers. However, she becomes very agitated when her feet are injured - As they are highly sensitive and key to her perceiving the world - And she has shown herself to be a brutal Sifu, or teacher. As well, she seems to have a kind of crush on Ynot, for the time being.
Despite how far-reaching the Uterio War proved to become, Toph and her mostly unknown allies managed to remain neutral in the conflict. This was a feat which many could not achieve for the war's sheerly massive scope of combat, and the incredible drive of its leading commanders to trample their foes and/or exact justice for the wrongdoings of their longtime enemies. Nonetheless, Toph was never forced to choose sides in the battle.
She has become a teacher of Earthbending following the war, on a Springtime Planet called Fanrong at an unspecified location in the Universe. It is unknown what led her to become such a teacher, or why a notable number of students risked a savage forest and dangerous rogues like Killerbee to seek her tutelage. As well, she has consented to allowing Zev Raregroove and his allies to live in her school until the former regains his strength.
As of now, Toph has agreed to teach Ynot and his group, the number of whom have arrived at Fanrong for this specific goal. After leading them into her school, she decided to personally test Hokagetsu's skills before initiating training with anyone. Soon after, she took a bath - Apparently an event for her to do so - And soon returned after her student trained Hokagetsu with more sparring.
Later, it was revealed that Toph was the inventor of the sub-style of Earthbending called Metalbending, and struck a deal to help the arrivals train in exhange for Ynot helping her with inspiration for techniques. Then, at Ynot's behest, Toph began sparring with Trixitin to help him train his skills.
Despite her foot being scarred and thus having her abilities impaired, Toph was able to drive Trixtin into surrendering. After resting to let her foot heal, she engaged Sasuken in a sparring match. After Ynot and his group left, Toph presumably resumed her usual daily routine.
Much later, on Hei Fon 4, a massive ship appeared pursuing a death row convict. It deployed several armored beings, led by Toph - now twenty years old, but clearly recognizable. She recognized Zev by his voice, and by her Seismic Sense, recognized Ynot. It is unknown whether she intends to greet Ynot with hosility, or affection.
- Uterio: Uterio di Armechio was a large threat to the peace Toph and her allies strove to find; thus, he was likely considered their enemy. However, they successfully refrained from joining in the war against him until its end, and Toph seems to have at last found peace on Fanrong.
- Klak: In regards to Klak, Toph appears to view him similarly to Uterio; that being a threat to the rare peace she had found on a planet which became a battlefield between his allies and Uterio's forces. However, she held little to no animosity towards Klak in the short time they interacted with each other.
- Ynot: It has been seen that Toph respects Ynot for his confidence, leadership ability, and talent for using metal like her own invented style. This seems to have grown into a slight crush on him.
- Students: A tough, unrelenting kind of master, Toph's Earthbending students have learned to only refuse her orders if to follow them would be a criminal act or a suicide mission, and seem to be flourishing under her tutelage.
- The Badgermoles: Due to Badgermoles having been Toph's "masters" in Earthbending, Toph holds great reverence and affection in her heart for them.
Abilities & Powers
Earthbending: Toph is able to use practiced martial arts to control any rock and soil beneath her feet, directing all earthen substances to form projectiles, barriers, etc. with such movements. She is at least an adept-level user, but considering the fact that she is now a teacher, Toph is likely master-level.
Most Earthbenders use an amalgam of kung fu-like techniques - such as by rooting themselves in a Horse Stance to withstand attacks, striking with Tiger-style techniques, and after leaping, using Crane-style movements to land safely on their feet. These are all important, as Earthbenders require constant contact with the ground to maintain exact control over their element.
It has been confirmed that Toph's technique is unique compared to other Earthbenders, based on Chu Gar Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu rather than Hung Gar styles like other Earthbenders. As well, she seems to be unusually precise and flexible in the art compared to how rigid most Earthbenders are. Praying Mantis styles are notable for not focusing on a driving onslaught, nor for trying to break through defenses with brute force. Praying Mantis practitioners deliver quick, patient, precise blows; none of them intended to end the battle in a single hit. Rather, they slowly wear down the opposition, until a final accurate blow drops them. Economizing the user's strength, Praying Mantis styles also do not tend to involve much in the way of leaving the ground.
Toph's style, Southern Praying Mantis, was historically developed by the Hakka people of southwestern China. (客家, read in Cantonese as Ha Ka or Ha Ga, a reference to peoples of the Han Dynasty who later migrated south in the midst of political unrest) It primarily employs the hands and arms for its strikes, with a limited usage of low kicks, and emphasizes close combat; with aspects of both internal and external techniques.
The extensive application of the hands and the marginal use of low kicks has led to what some find to be a resemblance to "street fighting" styles. The hands are constantly kept ready to protect the martial artist's body, with a ruthless array of strikes intended to do serious injury. Careful footwork keeps the enemy in range, and the use of low kicks renders them vulnerable and off-balance.
As of recent events, it has been revealed as to why Toph's style is different from the primary Earthbending art: She was semi-taught by the Badgermoles, the original Earthbending creatures and the ones who first taught the art to humans. Due to most Earthbenders being tutored by other humans, the technique utilized by Toph is much different; as she was mostly self-taught while observing the original animals to use the art, creating a martial artform that only Toph can truly pass on to other Earthbenders in tutelage.
- Earthen Projectile: Mainly by use of stomps and sweeping kicks, Toph can extend her attack radius by launching masses of soil and stone.
- Earthen Barrier: Raises a stone and soil barricade of varying size. An Earthbender of Toph's level can form a barrier well exceeding their own height by several meters.
- Fissure: By swiftly stomping the ground, Toph can send a fissure through the earth that is typically disastrous for the enemy's footing and ability to approach her safely.
- Burrowing: Toph is able to rapidly move through earth and stone by herself, while she is also capable of making a larger tunnel so as to lead her company forward underground.
- Earth Armor: One of Toph's favorite techniques is to bend materials within her domain around herself, creating an armor with no eyes and some kind of openings to breathe through. This not only offers protection, but also acts as a controlled layer which can be made into a close- to mid-range weapon at a moment's notice.
- Substance Merging: By breaking a material like a crystal down, Toph can thread it all throughout a different substance in order to create a heterogenous blend.
Metalbending: A style invented by Toph, it was once thought that processed metals were impossible for Earthbenders to manipulate. However, as she recounted, while the blind Earthbender was trapped in a cage of processed metal to prevent escape, her Seismic Sense (see below) enabled her to detect the bits of earth and ore that were yet unrefined, and she was able to bend her way out to escape.
Metalbending requires constant contact with the affected element to work. Unlike Earthbending, in which the practicioner only has to retain contact with the ground to use their abilities, Toph has had to constantly use her hands in Metalbending, on the medium affected. It is possible that this is due to the technique being in its infancy, but this cannot be confirmed at this time.
By now, Toph is able to sculpt a finely-detailed dragon from metals like adamantium with just a guiding touch. It seems that she intends to use Ynot's expertise to develop new techniques for the style. As well, it has been hinted that Toph intends to teach others Metalbending - which she may have been able to do, in the decade or so training and teaching on her planet since she was last seen.
Seismic Sense: By keeping the soles of her bare feet in solid contact with any earthen structure, Toph is able to read vibrations in these surfaces and thus "see" her surroundings with remarkable clarity. It is unknown if other Earthbenders are capable of it, but it has been confirmed to be connected with her unique Earthbending style: As the precise, orchestrated foot placement of her technique is used to assist her in utilizing Seismic Sense to its fullest potential.
In the same way that a Badgermole navigates underground
tunnels by using their body as a medium for vibrations in the earth, Toph picks up the same movements in the ground beneath her feet to read the movements of her foes and detect those who attempt to sneak around her. In addition to this, Toph is able to detect vitals from a person from so much as their foot brushing the ground.
Acute Hearing: Though not specifically explored in the RPG thus far, it has been seen that Toph's blindness has also lead to her auditory perception becoming very keen. She is able to recognize a specific individual in mere moments just by the sound of their voice.
Sculpture: As seen briefly, Toph is highly adept at using Metalbending (and by extension, more likely than not the parent style of Earthbending) to sculpt highly-detailed works of art. This was seen where she manipulated adamantium produced by Ynot into forming an intricate statue of a dragon.
- "I just didn't feel like being a jerk when I woke up this morning."
- Toph explaining why she chose to help Zev and his allies.
- Oddly, Toph is among the few notably powerful individuals on the mortal spectrum whom Zev Raregroove and, more tellingly, the incredibly well-informed Yoruichi Shihouin have no knowledge of.
- Despite having a different style than other Earthbenders, Toph is the first named, confirmed Earthbender in BZPB thus far. As well, due to her honed connection to the earth, she is among the most potent.
- The school of martial arts upon which Toph's Earthbending style is based was rumored to have been founded by a blind woman, although this story of origin has never been confirmed by history.
- Killerbee and her group of rogues appear to owe some loyalty to Toph and her school. The specifics of their relationship to each other, however, are unknown.
- As an adult, Toph wears a black metal armor with copper trim, as the leader of some kind of police corps.