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Master Piandao is the greatest sword master and sword maker in the history of the Fire Nation.
Piandao was born to two Firebenders. Ashamed that their only son wasn't a bender, his parents left him on the doorsteps of an orphanage. Growing up, Piandao was a nervous and agitated child, but he showed interest in the arts and enjoyed painting and calligraphy. It helped him relax and focus his mind. At the age of 10, Piandao attended Fire Nation boys' camp where his natural talent with the sword was recognized. He furthered his studies in the army, where he developed a vicious and fearsome sword fighting style. Piandao fought many battles for the Fire Nation and won them all. But after several years of fighting, Piandao lost his taste for war and wanted to become a more enlightened person. He realized that what the Fire Nation was doing was wrong, and so he left the army and traveled the world for many years, studying under a variety of benders, warriors, and artisans. He then returned to the Fire Nation and settled in the town of Shu Jing. One day, the Fire Nation army came to arrest him for deserting the army. In a legendary battle, Piandao defeated all one hundred soldiers. The Fire Nation Army never bothered him again.
After Sokka figures out he does not openly contribute to the group, he seeks out Piandao. Sokka then travels to Piandao's palace. During the interview, Sokka humbly admits his own unworthiness to the master, much to Piandao's surprise. Having grown accustomed to potential students bragging about their own worth, Piandao found Sokka's humility not only refreshing, but exactly what he was looking for. He decides to take Sokka under his wing. He is set about to do tasks such as landscape painting and calligraphy, as well as practicing against one of the master's underlings. Piandao believes him to be worthy enough to choose a steel to make his sword. Sokka makes a sword out of a meteorite. When Piandao gives Sokka the sword, Sokka refuses, though, and confesses the truth about actually being from the Southern Water Tribe. The master attacks him, and they then engage in a duel. As the duel between Sokka and his master moves outside, Sokka uses the techniques he's learned--coupled with his youth and agility--to get the upper hand (something the master points out several times). However, the swordsmaster finally gains the upper hand but sheaths his sword before delivering the final blow. He now reveals that he had known Sokka was from the Water Tribe all along just from his name, and also notes that Aang is the Avatar. Nonetheless, he claims that the art of the sword does not belong to any one nation, and gives Sokka his sword back.
When the group leaves, they are given a bag with a Pai Sho piece, the White Lotus tile. As the doors to the master's home close, they notice that the symbol of the White Lotus can be seen surrounding that of the Fire Nation.
During the Series Finale, when the group goes to find Iroh, they run into Piandao. They find him near the destroyed outer wall of Ba Sing Se, along with Master Pakku, Jeong Jeong, and King Bumi. It turns out that they are all members of the Order of the White Lotus, and were summoned there by a Grand Lotus, Iroh. The masters take the group to their camp, and Piandao shows Zuko to Iroh's tent. Piandao takes part in taking back Ba Sing Se in the name of the Earth Kingdom along with the rest of the Order.
Piandao is a master of the Jian sword. When testing Sokka, he was fast enough to move in front of Sokka before he realized it. He has an acute sense of hearing; he was able to ascertain Sokka's position when temporarily blinded by hearing him step on a twig.
- A Pian Dao is a "Slashing sabre", which was a deeply curved Chinese sword, which was very rare. This is probably a reference to Piandao being a swordmaster, which is rare because of the war and the commonality of bending.
- Piandao's character design is a reference by the makers of Avatar to Sifu Kisu, the martial arts consultant for the series.
- On Piandao's door is a symbol of the White Lotus, foreshadowing the events of "Sozin's Comet: The Old Masters".