Scattered throughout the mountainous islands of the north, the highest of the Air Temples hides amongst the clouds. Nomads hop from temple to temple, exploring their worlds inside and out. The temples were created over time, by students of Aang, as places of practice and study, each with a focus designed to assist travelers along the path to cosmic enlightenment, the common path of all Air Nomads.

Quick, Responsive, Sporadic

People of the Air Temples live free-spirited, uninhibited lives. They live light and take time to enjoy the breeze. They often spend time in thought or meditation, focused on their study and the rest of their time in practice, putting their ideas into motion. Air Nomads are particularly good teachers, philosophers, and students.

Air Nomads typically shave their heads, allowing them to better feel the movement of the air around them. Their eyes range from blue-gray to hazel and they tend to have lighter toned skin. Many monks bear tattoos, traditional markings given in some Air Temples to indicate mastery of certain studies and practices.

Leaves on the Wind

Air Nomads are constantly on the move, whether it’s physically or mentally. They stay in perpetual motion, allowing the world to move them, looking ahead, on the lookout for the next step in their path.  Because of this, the Air Temples always keep their doors open, allowing people to come and go as they please. Many Nomads search down a path for years then find that it takes a turn and they need a change to keep growing and learning, and they move on. A Nomad may stay in one place for an hour or a lifetime, avoiding any feeling of attachment or identification with a single place, constantly seeking freedom from the heavy, burdensome material world. The wind may blow an Air Nomad from place to place for years and they will accept that each movement is another step on their path.

Lofty Ideals

Air Nomads take inspiration from Aang and strive to follow in his footsteps. In the modern Air Temples, three different paths are taught to reach the peak of the human experience, to be free from earthly attachment, allowing the pure cosmic energy to flow in and through, the state of cosmic enlightenment achieved by Aang. The paths were uncovered and described by students of Aang throughout history, each representing a different interpretation of Aang’s path to detachment. Every temple has their own foci and practices, but all temples teach some version of one of the three paths.

Every Nomad is free to follow the path of their choice and is never beholden to one path or one temple, but those who have committed themselves to a path believe strongly in the rightness of its way.  Monks of the old, high temples believe that they have been on their paths for lifetimes and look down on those unable to commit themselves to a path. They believe that detachment is an achievement that takes many lifetimes and as such requires focus and persistence. Others believe it can be accomplished in one lifetime through practice and good living. Some Air Nomads find their paths early on, and some are left untethered and unknowing for many years; but even on the most twisting, winding path, an Air Nomad can at least take comfort in knowing that every step they take is one step closer to Aang.

As the Wind Blows

An Air Nomad’s path can change course at any time, for many different reasons. If something catches their interest or needs their attention, they trust that their path will lead them in that direction. They are quick to entertain their curiosities, and driven to see them out, but as soon as they lose interest, they have no problem walking away, moving on to the next curiosity. Once in a while, an Air Nomad will get overwhelmed by the possibilities of their path, and their most common defense mechanism is to flee.

Most nomads strive to stay completely open to the possibilities of the next step in their paths. Those who are dedicated to their paths will weigh their options, and giving favor to experiences that they feel will unlock their energy and bring them closer to their state of enlightenment. It is rare for a monk of a high temple to leave their practices and studies, but they should not feel attachment to the temple itself.  If their path takes them away, they are to take their study with them, always practicing, working themselves toward the next step in the path.