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And Then They Were Gone

DarkHououmon

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Not sure how often this will be updated, but I figured I'd get started. I was playing the original Spyro game (first one) when this idea came to my mind. I did want to write a Spyro fanfic but never got a solid idea for one until now.




Prologue:

The Dream Weavers' realm was under attack. It was plain for everyone to see. There was a constant barrage of fireballs coming from the sky. The dragons native to this world fled inside whatever building was closest to them. The dragons unfortunate enough to get caught in the barrage of flames were severely injured. The fire singled their scales and many of them fell off. Still, they managed to get to safety before the second flame attack could get them.

Titan stood near the entrance of one of the shelters. The castles were very sturdy and he suspected they could take a lot of damage. But he didn't know for how long. He grew increasingly concerned as the fiery attacks were now focused on the buildings. Their attackers were trying to lure them out into the open.

He turned his head and looked at the Dream Weavers. He was appalled that they wouldn't turn and face their attackers. But there was no time to think about that yet. He walked up to the closest dragon to him, who happened to be the leader of this realm, Lateef. He was laying on the ground, likely knocked there after a fireball struck the building. Titan reached down and helped him up.

Lateef brushed the dirt off of his wings and said, “Thank you.”

Titan snorted softly. He could tell, from the tone of Lateef's voice, that he wasn't really grateful. But he wasn't going to press him any further. “What's the status report? Is everyone okay?”

Lateef nodded his head and gestured to the others. “Yes they're all fine. A few scratches I assume, but nonetheless okay.”

“What about the others in the other buildings?” Titan inquired.

Lateef turned his head towards the second building straight across the abyss that they floated above. He scratched his chin. “Hmm I don't know. I can't tell from here.”

Titan was confused. He could sense that something was very wrong. “But you Dream Weaver dragons have the ability to detect where others are, don't you?”

Now it was Lateef's turn to be confused. It took him a moment before he could think of an answer. “I have no idea what you're talking about, Titan.” He looked almost uncomfortable, but Titan couldn't tell if it was because of calling him Titan rather than Peace Keeper, or if it was something else. “Unless...do you mean our ability to sense when others are in distress? We do use that ability to help slay nightmares..at least we did.”

Titan felt uncomfortable himself right at this moment. “What did you mean..did?”

“I'm afraid we don't have that ability anymore.” Lateef said, sounding solemn. “That ability was...stolen from us.”

“Stolen...? By whom?” Titan inquired, suspecting the culprit already. His point was proven quickly.

“By them.” Lateef pointed upwards as another barrage of fire rained down on them.

The fireballs hit the building's structure, causing it to shake and rumble. Some rocks were dislodged and they fell on the dragons, who used their wings to shield their heads and bodies. Titan hissed to himself as the fireballs continued to crash into the building. When it finally ended, even though it would be brief, some openings in the building were now visible. Titan turned his head and looked up. He could see their attackers flying in circles overhead.

As he watched the attackers continue their assault on the Dream Weavers' realm, thoughts ran though his mind. The most prevalent was a question he'd been asking himself since this war had begun.

How did it come to this?


DarkHououmon

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Chapter 1:

TWO WEEKS AGO....

The Dragon Leaders, as well as their second in commands, met where they always did, in the land formerly ruled by Gnasty Gnorc until Spyro defeated him. The small circular platform, lined with a few portals, was a little uncomfortable and somewhat of a tight fit, but they liked meeting here. It was more secluded than the other realms and they could discuss matters in peace.

The dragons sat around in a circle, crossing their legs. It was somewhat painful to sit like this for very long. But it was nothing that they couldn't handle. They've handled worse than this when Gnasty Gnorc attacked about two years ago. The land had been at peace since then, that is until recently. There had been some troubling issues that has bothered them for the past few months.

The circle of dragons consisted of the Artisan leader, Nestor, and his second in command, Delbin, the Peace Keeper leader, Titan, and his second in command, Magnus, the Magic Crafter leader, Cosmos, and his second in command, Zantor, the Beast Maker leader, Bruno, and his second in command, Cleetus, and the Dream Weaver leader, Lateef, and his second in command, Maki. They kept a respectable distance. Dragons didn't like physical contact very much.

Nestor sat nearest to the platform where the balloonist would usually sit. He raised his paws in the air to quiet down the dragon chatter going on. “Alright everyone. I'm sure you're all aware of the issues going on.”

“Well of course we are.” Lateef said in a slightly arrogant voice. “It is as plain to see with the eyes as it is with the mind.”

“Yes...” Cosmos spoke up in a soft, polite voice. “The skies have been changing colors.”

Nestor nodded his head in silent agreement. He looked up towards the sky. Normally the sky was a bright blue, like it was everywhere during this time of the day. On this day, instead, the sky was a bright green. The sky changed colors all the time during sunrise and sunset, but never like this. And green was never part of the sky at any time.

And it wasn't just the sky changing color. He had gotten reports from dragons across the realms that the drowning pools, water that was poisonous to all dragons but safe for the other creatures, were all taking on a green color. The drowning pools had never changed color before. This was disturbing news indeed.

Nestor wasn't sure what the cause could be, but he was determined to find out. He was the leader of not only the Artisan world, but he was also, in some shape and form, in charge of the stability and safety of the other realms. He was one of the smartest dragons, and the others trusted him to make decisions that could help them out for the better. He just hoped he could figure this puzzle out.

“So what are going to do about this?” Delbin asked, his gruff voice snapping Nestor back from his thoughts.

“I say we just find whoever is responsible and...” Magnus started to say. He was stopped when Titan laid a paw on him to calm him down.

“Relax, old friend. Let's not work up a temper.” Titan said. He paused, then said, “Though I'd like to get my claws into whoever did this myself.”

“Why must you Peace Keepers always resort to violence?” Zantor asked.

“What did you expect? They're Peace Keepers.” Mazi sneered. “They're too hard-headed to listen to anything but their fists.”

Titan snapped his head at Mazi and growled. “And if your head wasn't stuck in the clouds all the time...oh wait I'm sorry, it is always in the clouds!”

Mazi growled. “You're just a...”

“Enough already!” Nestor shouted sternly but gently. “We won't get anywhere this way!” He waited until the bickering stopped. He shook his head slowly. “I expected better behavior from you lot. I guess my expectations were too high.” He didn't wish to dwell on this any further. He looked over at Bruno, who was yawning. “Did you create any creature that could have done this?”

Bruno turned his head towards Nestor. He didn't seem angry that he was potentially being accused. Instead he just smiled. “Oh Nestor, I can't believe after all this time, you're still suspicious of my dragonkind's inventions. I can assure you that we haven't thought of creating anything that changes the color of the sky and drowning pools. What use would there be for such a creature?”

“Well for one, you could fix up the place, change the colors back to normal.” Cosmos suggested.

“Hmm..not a bad idea.” Bruno said. “But it will take some time.” He looked up at the sky. “And who knows if whatever did this is more dangerous than anything we can come up with?”

Nestor pondered this. Bruno did make a point. Perhaps fixing the problem like this wasn't the solution. The creatures could come back, whatever they were. They were lucky that nothing else had happened so far. But something told him it was only a matter of time. They would have to act fast. And he did have an idea that might work.

“I have a solution. But first...” Nestor addressed Cosmos. “..can you create a potion for me?”

Cosmos asked, “What kind of potion?”

“To detect left over traces of magic.” Nestor replied.

Cosmos looked bewildered. “But there's all kind of left over magic. You wouldn't...”

“It'll have to do. I want you to create a potion that will let whoever uses the potion to detect traces of magic older than a few hours, but younger than a year.” Nestor said. He noticed the confused looks on the other dragons. He knew they wouldn't get it, so he laid it out for them. “Don't you see? With this potion, one of us could find out the exact place where the creatures were.”

“So what?” Lateef said.

“Yeah. It isn't going to do us any good if the potion only lets us find where they stood.” Mazi said in agreement.

Lateef nodded and smirked at Nestor. “Were you going to try to see into the creatures' dreams. Only we Dream Weavers can do that.”

Nestor growled at him. Lateef and Mazi had typical Dream Weaver attitudes. They meant well, but they were cocky and felt they were always right. There were few Dream Weavers who didn't feel this way, now that he thought about it. He and Lateef got into the most arguments, though he suspected it was out of prejudice than anything else. The only reason he invites Lateef and Mazi to meetings was because it was required.

“I wasn't going to use it on me. I was going to use it on Spyro.” Nestor said. Now the smirks on Lateef's and Mazi's faces faded away. Spyro was one of the few nonDream Weaver dragons that they respected. He did free their lands after all. “Once he has located the source, he can get a whiff of the magical scent and use that to track down the culprits.”

The other dragons now seemed to understand where he was getting at. Magic did have a distinct scent to it, depending on who casts it. Older dragons didn't have a very strong sense of smell, not as strong as it used to be anyway. Spyro was young and energetic. His nose was in top shape. He would be perfect to find out who did this.

Nestor had hoped that a Magic Crafter would be able to create a potion to allow Spyro to find out where the spells were cast. They managed to create other forms of magic, so he believed it to be true. After obtaining the potion, he need only talk to Spyro and give him his task. The small purple dragon would be more than eager to carry out his mission. At some points, he envied the youthful dragon's energy.

“Yes..I believe I can create such a potion.” Cosmos said.

“We will have it ready for you as soon as we can.” Zandor said. “Are you going to come pick it up or are we going to deliver it to you?”

“I'll pick them up.” Delbin said, stomping his foot on the ground. Dust kicked up. “I'll be glad to have a chance to spread my wings up there on those beautiful mountains. I never been there before.”

“Very well then.” Nestor said, looking at Delbin. “It's settled. You will retrieve the potion for Spyro. Be sure you give it to him as soon as you get back.”

“I understand.” Delbin said.

“Good. Now that that matter is taken care of...” Nestor turned to the other dragons. “...I trust that the rest of you will not speak about this to the other dragons, correct?”

The other dragons shook their heads. It was plain to see something was wrong, but that didn't mean they had to divulge details to other members of their respected realms. The last thing they needed was some reckless dragon trying to figure things out himself, and then ruining everything for everyone. Spreading panic was the last thing they wanted to do.

“And if you want, we could create a monster to make the sky blue again!” Cleetus said in a cheerful tone of voice. He laughed to himself. “Or it could make the sky yellow or red.”

“That would create panic, you fool!” Titan shouted at the Beast Maker dragon.

“I'm sorry. I was only joking.” Cleetus said, shrugging his shoulders.

“Now now, let's not fight. Nestor has already figured out a plan, so let's just stick with it.” Delbin said, narrowing his eyes slightly.

Nestor sighed and shook his head slowly. He was hoping there wouldn't be another clash today. He was glad that it had ended quickly. He pondered Cleetus's suggestion momentarily, even if it was just a joke. It sounded like a good idea, but he wanted to think about that later. Right now, they had to figure out who did this and try to stop them...

...whoever they were.


DarkHououmon

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Chapter 2:

**

“And are you sure it was here?” Delbin asked.

“Yes, yes I just told you!” Spyro cried impatiently. He pointed at the drowning pool where the speedway portal was. “I tracked the scent to this spot.” Spyro stood on the ridge that kept the poisonous waters from splashing onto the ground. He looked back up at Delbin. “The scent is strongest here. I'm sure this is where..whatever they were, cast the spell.”

“Hmm...” Delbin said, scratching his chin thoughtfully.

Delbin was alone, well other than Spyro. Nestor was busy tending to issues elsewhere. He had been entrusted, as second in command, to send Spyro on his way to figure out where the magic was coming from. He would report to Nestor as soon as he was available to talk with.

Spyro had believed the culprit was Gnasty Gnorc, but Delbin corrected him. Gnasty was dead, defeated at Spyro's fire. It couldn't have been him. And it couldn't be any of his minions either. They were all converted back into their treasure form. The matter was pressing, Delbin thought, and they had to figure it out as soon as possible. He was grateful that Spyro found the scent emitting from this spot, thanks to the potion. Now they could begin tracking down the magic.

Spyro was already on the case, without needing Delbin to say anything. He lowered his head to the grass and took a few whiffs. He walked away from the falls, sniffing. He raised his head and said, “The source is this way!” He took off running, Delbin coming in close behind him.

The pair of dragons ran along the path. Spyro veered off to one side, heading towards the opening between the small hills that ringed their home. Inside was a very tiny valley with the dragon head that held the portal where Toasty used to reside. Spyro sniffed around and finally stopped at one part of the wall, close to the dragon head.

Spyro stared at it for a moment, looking confused. Then something seemed to hit him. Delbin tried to ask what he saw, but he didn't have time to. Spyro started to dig at the wall. His claws dug into the wall's rocks. Delbin didn't get why Spyro would do this. There was nothing on the other side of the wall except more rocks. He shook his head, wondering of the boy had finally lost it.

But as the small dragon continued digging, Delbin's perplexed look was replaced with one of shock. A hole was beginning to emerge in the wall. He walked over when Spyro was finished digging, looking exhausted. He was now staring at a space that was just barely big enough to fit him and Spyro through. He looked down at Spyro. The young dragon and his dragonfly, Sparx, looked just as confused as him. Where did this hole come from? It wasn't here before.

“Well this is new.” Spyro said, smirking. “I kinda wish this was here before. Perfect hiding place. Those gnorcs wouldn't know what hit them.”

“Well it's here now.” Delbin said. He took a step towards the opening. “Does the scent run through this?”

Spyro nodded. “Yep. The magic definitely originates in this hole. I am certain that we will find our culprits hiding inside.”

The pair of dragons stepped inside. The hole in the wall led to a tunnel that went through the hills. Delbin had to go down on all fours, a position that was a bit uncomfortable for him, due to the low ceiling. He and Spyro walked through the tunnel. It wasn't as long as they thought it would be. A few yards down and they already reached the end of the tunnel. The ceiling here was higher than the tunnel, much to Delbin's relief.

The small cave wasn't very dark due to the sunlight still being able to shin through. Even from here, Delbin could still see the now green skies that hung overhead. He examined the room they now stood in. It was small and circular. The walls were unusually smooth for a cave, though. This was no natural formation. It was obvious to him that the creatures must have built this place.

The walls, ground, and ceiling were the same color as the rest of the earth, what they would expect to see underground. Almost nothing about this area seemed suspicious. But there was one thing that was out of place. Delbin noticed what appeared to be a large chest. It wasn't like any chest he had ever seen before. It was much larger than most and it was green instead of yellow and red.

Delbin's eyes widened as he noticed the coloration. Green...just like the skies. This must be where the creatures magic originated from. He moved towards the chest cautiously. He looked at it intently. He placed his paw on the chest gingerly, running his claws along it. It definitely felt magical to him. And judging from the feel of it, he would have to exercise caution.

Spyro trotted over and peered at the chest. He tilted his head. “Do you think we should bring this chest to Nestor and the other dragons? Or should we investigate it ourselves?”

“I think we should take the chest over to him.” Delbin said. “This chest is too dangerous for just two of us to look at it. The magic in here is strong. I can feel it.”

Spyro looked a little disappointed. It was clear he wanted to examine it himself. “Well I think we can take them!” He did a few fighting moves. Sparx moved out of the way to avoid getting hit. “They should be afraid of us!”

Delbin laughed. “I appreciate your spirit, young one. But no, we take this to Nestor. It's what he would have wanted.”

“Oh...” Spyro said, lowering his head in disappointment.

“Go tell Nestor we found the source.” Delbin said, pointing towards the exit. “I'll carry the chest out.”

“Well okay.” Spyro said, sounding annoyed. He ran out of the exit, leaving Delbin alone with the chest.

Delbin walked around the chest, looking at where best to lift it. The chest was standing on very small legs. He lowered himself towards the ground. He pushed his fingers underneath the chest. He lifted it off the ground with little effort. He held the chest in his arms for several moments. Despite the magic inside being dangerous, it also felt almost welcoming. He pondered taking a look inside.

It only took a slight mental shake to make him realize he shouldn't do that. He turned around and look at the exit. Spyro would be back quickly. Nestor wasn't that far. He stared at the chest again before beginning his walk out.

He had only taken a few steps when his foot caught on something. He hit his toe against a rock that was upraised out of the ground. It wasn't much, just enough to make him topple a bit and drop the chest. He hissed at the rock and stomped on it, smearing the pebbles across the floor. He looked over at the chest. He felt his eyes widen in surprise.

The chest had been knocked open. It looked like it was empty, but something was definitely emanating from it. A bright glow shot out, completely illuminating the cave even more so than it already was. Delbin stared keenly at it, his mouth dropping open. He took a few steps towards the chest and placed his paw on it. He peered into the chest.

Suddenly a bright light shot out, hitting him square in the face. Delbin doubled over in pain and let out a huge roar. The light continued to shin and then, slowly, it died down. Delbin remained on the ground, curled up slightly by the entrance. His body gave off a slight green glow.


Petrie85

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Great job so far. Keep up the great work.


DarkHououmon

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Chapter 3:

**

Nestor said, “Really? You found it already?”

Spyro was a little perplexed. Had Nestor thought it would take much longer? “Yes. It's in an opening near Toasty's old entrance. There's some kind of chest with green magic in it.”

“Green magic, eh? I don't think I've heard of such a thing before.” Nestor said, pressing his paw against his scaly cheek. “But I am certain that one of the Magic Crafters can tell us more about this magic.”

Spyro was eager. He could feel it in his little legs. He wanted to run back to where Delbin was. He was hoping for some kind of action. He had been pretty bored since Gnasty's defeat. Sure he was able to do the speedways and he was a bit of a celebrity in the Dragon Kingdom, but he still got bored. He kinda missed the chaos Gnasty brought forth. He wanted to do battle once more.

This kind of interest he had was rare for an Artisan dragon. It was more common for a Peace Maker to look for a fight. The Artisans couldn't really explain Spyro's interest for battle, which became more exaggerated after Gnasty's defeat. Spyro himself couldn't really explain it other than he just has a lot of pent up energy and wants to use it in some way that felt good to him. And clobbering bad guys was what he believed felt good.

Spyro looked in the direction he had come from. He was confused that Delbin hadn't caught up already. That chest couldn't have been that heavy for him. He narrowed his eyes and looked up at Nestor. “I wonder what's taking Delbin so long.”

“Hmm it is strange he'd take this long with carrying something. Perhaps we should go back.” Nestor said.

Spyro nodded. When he had arrived to Nestor, they both agreed they would wait for Delbin, since he was going to carry the chest. They weren't that far away and they would be easy to spot. They both stood on the high pedestal, the same place where Spyro first freed Nestor.

They were both taken aback when they heard a roar coming from where Delbin should be. The roar lasted for several seconds and they clearly recognized it as Delbin. After it was over, they heard a distant thud. They looked at each other for a few seconds and then immediately took off. They ran towards the source of the roar and stopped in their tracks at what they were seeing.

Delbin was laying on the ground, on his belly, both his wings bent towards the left side. The chest was sitting in front of him, the lid open. The glow was a bit more intense than before. Delbin's body was also giving off a green glow of its own, but it was much less noticeable than the green glow coming from the chest itself. After a few seconds, the green glow on Delbin's body died down.

Spyro had no idea what he had just witnessed. In all his life as a dragon, he hadn't seen anything like that before. He had a strange feeling about the green magic and unconsciously took a step backwards. Something about the magic just didn't feel right. He stared at Delbin, wondering if he was dead. He wanted to rush over and check on him, but his better judgment forbid him from doing so.

He looked up at Nestor to see if he had any good ideas. Nestor was the first one who gave him advice when Gnasty Gnorc first struck. But instead of seeing a pondering look on the dragon like he had expected, Nestor was just as confused as he was. Nestor took a step forward, now standing out in front of Spyro. The purple dragon didn't understand what he was doing. Didn't he sense the danger?

Just then, Delbin's wing twitched. The two dragons stared to see if there was any more movement. Indeed there was. The dragon's wing twitched more and then lifted themselves up. Delbin raised his head, groaning softly. He pressed his hand against the ground and pushed himself up. He seemed to have some difficulty with standing up on his own, but he eventually managed.

He wobbled to and fro for a bit until he regained his balanced. His expression was still that of confusion. He looked around at his surroundings, as if to recall what he was doing. He then noticed Nestor and Spyro. He blinked for a moment, and then offered a smile, a rather strange smile, one they had never seen before on his face. He took a few steps towards them. He used his tail to close the chest behind him. Despite it being closed, the glow still emitted from the space between the chest and the lid.

Spyro narrowed his eyes cautiously. He didn't know what that green magic had done to Delbin. And what made him even more worried was the fact that, a few times, Delbin would glow green again. It was only for a split second, but it was enough to be noticeable. So far, the green magic hadn't done anything outside of change the drowning pools and the skies green. It was uncertain if it was dangerous or not. But he wasn't taking chances.

“I don't like this.” Spyro said, lowering his horns slightly. If he had to, he would charge Delbin. “Something is wrong.”

Delbin chuckled, sounding just like how he did before. Spyro raised his head, a little perplexed. He was still on his guard however. Delbin continued walking towards him. When he got close enough, he lowered himself to look at Spyro in the eyes. Sparx darted around nervously, but seemed to relax when Delbin laid a hand gently on Spyro's shoulders, a gesture of reassurance.

“I am fine, Spyro. I am glad to see that you're so concerned, though.” Delbin said. He straightened himself back up. “After all, I could have been a real goner.” He chuckled again, then turned over to Nestor. “Happy to see that you're here too. We have much to...discuss.”

Nestor nodded his head. “Indeed we do. And here's what I'd like to know.” He folded his arms together. “What exactly happened here? Why did you roar?”

“I wasn't in any pain if that's what you're thinking. I was just..delighted. I apologize if I got carried away.” Delbin said.

“Uh huh...” Spyro said, uncertain if he should believe that or not.

“It's okay if you don't believe me, little one. I can easily help you understand.” Delbin turned his head to one side and eyed the chest. “And I can using that.” He looked down at Spyro, who had taken a defensive stance. Delbin laughed at this, as though amused. “Relax, you two. This magic isn't going to hurt you. I promise you that.”

Nestor stared at the chest. “But we have no idea what it does.”

Delbin took a step towards the Artisan leader. He seemed to sense his cautiousness towards the green magic. “I was hit by it.” Spyro and Nestor's eyes went wide. Delbin simply waved his paw at them. “No, it didn't harm me. I am perfectly myself. The only thing that happened was that I was..enlightened I believe the word is.”

“Enlightened?” Nestor inquired. “Like..it showed you visions?”

“Yes, exactly that.” Delbin said, his eyes getting an excited look in them. “A beautiful world, where we are all united in one kingdom, where we are all united as one people.” He looked down at the green magic. “A world where we live as peacefully as the plants, where we are a deadly force when someone threatens our way of life.” He looked longingly at the green magic. It was as if he wanted to get hit again to get more visions. “The green skies and the green drowning pools were not a threat, but a message from this magic. It was a message that we should take action...and unite.”

Nestor took a step back, shaking his head slowly. “Dear friend...we are already united.”

“But as separate factions.” Delbin said, his voice growing slightly deeper. “Why live as separate factions when he can live as one and the same?”

“Because that's the way it's always been!” Spyro yelled at Delbin. So far, Delbin hadn't threatened any of them, but he believed it was only a matter of time. Delbin was talking nonsense he never used to before. “Artisans, Magic Crafters, Dream Weavers, Peace Keepers, and Beast Makers...and that's the way it should always be!”

“Ah but it would be so much grander if we were a single group.” Delbin said. He raised his arms into the air and shouted, “All connected under the same sky, the same group, The Unity!”

“The Unity?” Nestor asked.

“That's the name of this magic.” Delbin said, pointing at the chest. “And it's the name we shall give our new, united group, in the dawn of a new era, an era of peace and prosperity, where we are the same, not divided.”

Nestor narrowed his eyes. “That's enough of that talk, Delbin! I'll have none of it, and neither will the other dragon leaders!” He walked towards Delbin. “Now come with me. That magic has obviously poisoned your mind.” He reached out towards Delbin to take his arm. But he cried out when his arm was swatted away. He looked at Delbin in confusion. “Why did you do that? I was only trying to help you. Please..that magic has done something to you.”

“The only thing it did for me was show me the right path.” Delbin's voice had gotten deeper, and his eyes narrowed angrily. He took a step towards Nestor, flexing his claws. “And since you don't see things my way, perhaps I should treat you to a visit from The Unity. Then you'll understand.”

With that, Delbin knelt down and picked up the chest. He grabbed the lid and opened it, allowing the light to shine out once more. Nestor and Spyro roared in shock. A beam of green light struck Nestor in the chest,causing him to double over in what appeared to be pain. The light shot out for Spyro next. The small dragon ran out, managing to dodge the light.

Spyro ran towards the hedge maze. He hid in the middle, lowering his haunches so he wouldn't be so easily noticeable. He wished he had done something earlier about that chest. He shouldn't have let Delbin stay behind. He should have been the one to stay there. He had a stronger will. It would take more than a few shining lights to make him change his way of thinking.

He watched the horrific scene play out before him. Dragons were running everywhere, trying to avoid the green light. Delbin soared overhead, laughing as the green beam hit more and more dragons. Spyro's eyes widened as his elder brother, Tomas, dripped on the ground and hit up against the pillars nearby. Delbin hovered above him for a moment, and the green light shot out.

Spyro turned away as the light hit Tomas. Soon, just like the other Artisan dragons, he was laying still on the ground. Spyro dared not to come out. He gestured for Sparx to remain hidden. He knew the hedge wouldn't provide much cover. He pushed himself as far into it was he could, trying to hide his body to the best of his ability. He did recall that he wanted excitement, but this wasn't the kind that he had wanted.

Just then, something ripped the hedge up from its roots. Spyro screamed in surprise as he fell from the bush and into the ground. He toppled over a few times, then shook his head. He looked up and noticed Delbin. Eyes widening, Spyro turned and ran away. He could hear the light crashing into the ground. Spyro ran towards the hill. He ran up it and took off gliding, hoping he would reach Stone Hill's portal in time.

A light shot out beside him. He screamed and was thrown off course. He crashed into the ground once again. He shook his head and looked up as Delbin landed on the ground. Spyro got up and growled at him. He looked all around him and noticed that all the other Artisan dragons had already been infected with the green magic. He was the last one left.

“Why do you resist, Spyro? Join us.” Delbin said, holding out the chest towards him. “It's for your...no..our own good.”

“No!” Spyro shouted.

Spyro, using whatever strength he could muster up, charged towards Delbin. He lunged into the air, flapping his wings to extend the length of his glide. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. As Delbin opened up the chest, Spyro struck against him. Delbin fell backwards, Spyro landing in front of him. The chest flew across the air and landed on the ground.

Spyro watched as the chest rolled across the ground, thudding loudly each time it hit the grass. It fell into the drowning pool and slowly sunk to the bottom. The green magic wasn't gone, but it was still safe from dragon hands. There was no way Delbin could get the magic now. There was no way The Unity could conquer the minds of any more dragons.

Spyro smiled softly, believing he had just accomplished his goal. Feeling tired, Spyro's head flopped onto the ground. He curled his tail towards his body. Sparx, who was next to him, laid on the ground next to him. As they slept, Sparx's glow started to take on a green coloration, a bit brighter than normal. Spyro's body started to glow green as well.


DarkHououmon

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Chapter 4:

**

Titan stared down at the purple drowning pool before him. Or rather, it used to be purple. In only a day, it shifted into a green color. He narrowed his eyes at this. Even though it was a small change, he was still bothered by it. He didn't like change that much. He liked things to remain the same. The other Peace Keeper dragons were similar minded, though some more extreme than others.

He knelt down for a closer look. He had been informed by Gunnar that, with Cosmos's help, the source of the foreign magic came from this spot. It was hidden underneath the drowning pool. He wasn't sure how it got there, or how it could still be doing these changes while underneath. But Cosmos did make mention that it was a good thing it was only underneath the pools. If it were on the surface, it would do something more.

This didn't satisfy Titan. He wanted the magic to be destroyed. The only way to do that was to reach into the pool and pull it out. Doing so would be suicide, however, and he recognized this all too well. Some of his comrades had been damaged from these wretched pools that liter the Dragon Kingdom. Before, the pools weren't too much of a problem and could be avoided. But now their current threat couldn't be abolished like it should because of the pools.

He began to wonder if the other dragons had found out the location of the foreign magic. He also wondered if they happened to be located in the drowning pools. If they were, then who, or whatever, planted this magic was a brilliant strategist and knew about the dragons' weakness against the waters of this world.

Titan looked over towards Magnus. He was sitting on the ground nearby, inspecting his arm. He had been foolish enough to stick his head into the water in an attempt to pull out the source of the magic. His arm was singed almost immediately. He pulled his arm out in time. Much of his skin was burned. He was now tending to his injuries. But despite the pain, he never cried out. Like most Peace Keepers, they believed crying out when damaged was a sign of weakness.

Waiting until Magnus was finished wrapping up bandages around his injured arm, Titan walked over. Magnus was his second-in-command, so perhaps he would have a suggestion on what to do. At the moment, Titan himself was out of ideas. “Any recommendations? Other than putting your hand into the poisonous water?” He chuckled lightly.

Magnus didn't appreciate the joke. “Very funny. And to answer your question, no.” He looked over at the now green pools. “We might need to create some kind of tool to reach down and pull it out. Or hire a Magic Crafter to create a spell to make us invincible...”

Titan's eyes widened at that. “But such a spell is forbidden. Especially after what happened during the...”

“Yes, I remember what happened then. The battle against the skybeaks. The skybeaks managed to get the spell themselves and they almost destroyed our home.” Magnus said, nodding his head. “But there are no skybeaks around now. We annihilated them.”

“Only after finding a way to negate the invincibility spell.” Titan shook his head. He wasn't sure how Magnus could be so foolish. They didn't know what was behind this strange magic. What if they got a hold of the spell too, just like the skybeaks?”

Magnus seemed to sense his concerns. “We could upgrade the spell, so that it only works on dragons.”

That's when Titan started to think the impossible, something that none of the dragons in the Dragon Kingdom would even think of. “What if a dragon is behind this?”

There was an awkward silence between the two. It wasn't normal for a Peace Keeper dragon to think like this, let alone Titan. Even they would admit they were often too one-sided about many of their beliefs. And one of their beliefs was that dragons could never do any evil, because they were creatures of purity. For Titan to even think that a dragon could be behind any of this, it was unthinkable.

The closest to evil any of the dragons ever got was the snottiness of the Dream Weaver dragons. They were an aloof bunch, caring little about what others thought of them. However, they were capable of doing good and have cured many dragons of nightmares, even those outside their realm. And none of them have ever been very hostile against other dragons, and would rather spout a few harsh words than get physical.

“Titan...I can't believe you'd say such a thing.” Magnus said. “Especially after so many years of peace and prosperity... It has been thousands of years since the last time any dragon species waged war against another.”

“Yes I know. Forget what I said.” Titan said, rubbing his head. “Just a rambling of a dragon getting up there in age. That's all.” Deciding to change the subject, he said, “Have you heard any word from Nestor yet? Did the Artisans find the odd magic in their realm yet?”

Magnus shook his head. “No. Sorry. I haven't heard a word from him since the last meeting. Though..I did get a message from one other Artisan..Tomas I believe his name was, Spyro's older breather. He says that Delbin wants another meeting.”

Titan raised an eyebrow. “Delbin? But he's second-in-command. What of Nestor?”

“Just telling you what I heard.” Magnus said. “The meeting will be tomorrow morning. I have no idea what it is about, but I am convinced it has to do with the magic.”

Titan nodded his head. That's what he was thinking as well. He didn't respond, and instead looked away. He looked at the drowning pools. Despite how dangerous the magic might be, he kind of hoped that the magic in the Artisans' world would be outside of the drowning pools so it could be examined and taken care of more efficiently.

He tilted his head upwards and looked at the green sky overhead. It was getting darker, telling him night time was coming. He stretched out his wings and yawned. He would need to get a good night's sleep. The meeting tomorrow will probably be intense, depending on what the Artisans have discovered. He jumped off the ground and took to the air.

He landed on top of one of the ridges that surrounded the main realm. He laid down on his belly and stared out at the land below him. Everything looked so peaceful now, especially since the gnorcs were long defeated. But he couldn't help but feel uneasiness now. He couldn't stand not knowing who the enemy was. He couldn't stand not knowing just how far the magic would go.

But that was thinking for tomorrow. Right now, he had to get some rest. He imagined the other Peace Keeper dragons, besides Magnus, had already gone to sleep minutes ago. He curled up and tucked his tail next to his head. He closed his eyes. As he started to go to sleep, thoughts began to run through his mind. The thing he was wondering the most was where things would go from here.

He knew only time would tell.

**

The following day, Titan was making his way towards Gnasty's old world for the meeting. This time around, he was going it alone. Delbin had made a strange request that only the leaders speak. He did not give a reason as to why he was the one speaking at first, but he eventually came out and said Nestor wasn't feeling good and he was taking his place. Titan rolled his eyes at the thought. Artisan dragons were more susceptible to illnesses than other dragons, apparently.

He looked down below and he spotted the tiny island. He flapped his wings hard a few times, then did a nose dive downwards. The island seemed to be ground out of the ground like an eager plant. He stopped when he was a few feet from crashing, and slowly landed. He walked across the island and looked around, trying to see where the others were. But something felt wrong.

Titan realized he was the only dragon there. He was perplexed by this, scratching his head. He was certain this was where the meeting was to be. He looked around, making sure he really was alone. He looked up towards the skies, looking for any signs of life. But he couldn't see any. He really was alone. He sat on the ground and tried to think of an explanation.

Perhaps he had gotten the time wrong. Maybe Delbin wanted the meeting to be later. No, that couldn't be it. Delbin did say that today was the day for certain. And he did say around noon, which it was now. The sun glowed straight up above him. And this was the right place. Delbin never mentioned any other location other than this. He scratched his head again. He couldn't make sense of this no matter how hard he thought about it.

Then he spotted something high above him. He stood up and put his paw over his eyes. There was someone flying down towards him. Titan wondered if it was going to be Delbin coming to apologize to him for the delay. But instead the individual happened to be a long smaller. It was Spyro, followed by Sparx, The two of them landed in front of him and stared up at him. Titan noticed Sparx was an unhealthy green, but he decided not to say anything.

“I guess you didn't get the word.” Spyro said, smirking slightly. “He wants the meeting in the Artisan homeworld.”

“So the meeting place changed? Hmm...I never got any word.” Titan said, tilting his head slightly.

Spyro shrugged. “Doesn't surprise me. The others were confused about it as well. You're the only one left missing from the meeting, so let's go.”

Titan nodded his head and took the skies. He followed close behind Spyro. He was going to say anything, but he felt something a little strange from Spyro. His aura, it felt weird. Maybe Spyro was just a little grumpy or tired. Yeah that had to be it. The little guy may have had to fly around finding the other dragon leaders and must be exhausted by now.

One thing he didn't understand was why Spyro didn't feed Sparx while they were down there. Sparx's green was making him feel worried. If the dragonfly died, the little purple dragon would be very vulnerable to harm. It didn't matter for someone as big as him, but Spyro was still a young dragon, lacking the physical power he and the other adult dragons had.

Oh what was he so worried about? This was Spyro he was talking about, the young dragon that took on Gnasty Gnorc and won. He was more than capable of taking care of himself. Besides, since Gnasty Gnorc was defeated, peace had been restored to the lands. There was hardly anything to worry about.

Well except maybe for the mysterious greening of the water and skies...

His thoughts were broken back to reality when he saw they had arrived at their destination. Flying to the different homeworlds was easy as they weren't that far apart, well at least when flight was considered. He flew towards the ground. Spyro landed on the ground first, and then made room for Titan to land behind him. Titan wiped himself off and looked around.

Sure enough, the other dragon leaders were here. They were all standing near the waterfall. In front of the speedway portal was Delbin, who looked like he was giving some kind of speech now. He had paused and looked over at Titan, gesturing for him to join them. Titan made his way over and stood next to Cosmos. It was a little hard to see Delbin as he was in the back grow, but he could hear him just fine.

“As you may all be aware, a strange magic is transforming the coloration of the sky and drowning pools to green. You may believe this is a terrible thing, but I can assure you it is not. This magic isn't our enemy.”

Titan looked around the Artisans homeworld. Something about it felt different. It didn't take him long to realize it. They were beginning to remodel it. The land still looked generally like what it used to, but now it looked like they were trying to incorporate things from other worlds. His eyes widened when he recognized a patch of land that looked eerily like something he'd find from his own homeworld.

But why would the Artisans do this? He knew they were artistic and all, and he could see them remodeling the place, but why would they try to copy certain features of other homeworlds? What could be the purpose of that? He narrowed his eyes as he looked around. Then he turned his gaze back towards where Delbin was speaking.

“This magic is only trying to bring order to our world. For so long, we have lived apart, as different tribes of sorts. We may be equals, but we live too differently from each other.”

Titan's eyes widened slightly at this. What was Delbin talking about?

“I for one like the way we live.” Lateef said, folding his arms against his chest. “It has worked for a long time. There's no need for us to change.”

“Yeah.” Bruno said. “Why are you so worried about us being different from each other? What's wrong with some variance and culture and lifestyle? We treat each other just fine, and share our resources. Isn't that enough?”

“No.” Delbin said, a broad smile on his face. “We have to do more. If we remain like this, well who is going to stop one dragon race from raging war on another? What's going to stop intolerance from spreading? How will we defend our homelands from other creatures, if we live apart?”

“Delbin is right.” Spyro said, causing the shocked dragons to look at him. “As I explored each land when fighting Gnasty Gnorc, I was wondering why we all lived separately. Each world has its own unique culture, and could easily be meshed together as one.” He paced back and forth in front of Delbin, his eyes leveling with the dragon leaders'. “Why live as many when we can live as one?”

Something was very wrong here. Titan couldn't believe what he was hearing. The Artisan dragons had never talked this way before. He took a step backwards as Delbin continued to speak, ranting on how they need to live together as a single people for true harmony. He looked up towards the skies, noting the green shade. His stomach tied in a knot when he realized what this meant.

He moved backwards slowly, taking care that Delbin didn't notice him. Titan managed to move away far enough to in the small valley with the dragon mouth. He peered over to make sure no one saw him leave. Delbin was too busy going on about what he was talking about, occasionally raising his arms for dramatic effect, to really notice him. He turned around and let out a soft sigh. He wasn't sure what was going on, but he had a bad feeling about it either way.

He walked over towards the dragon mouth, noting it too had undergone some change. It was no longer menacing like before, and instead had a more welcoming look. The portal itself also seemed to have changed. There were no words floating magically in front to tell him what it was, but the imagery had changed to shades of green. The dragon head was almost beckoning him to enter.

That was when Titan noticed there was a small cave structure off to the side. Curious, he entered it. He recognized Spyro and Delbin's scent. They were definitely here recently. He walked in as far as he could go and reached a dead end. He didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Disappointed, he turned to exit, but then stopped.

A new, familiar scent filled his nostrils, similar to the one the magic gave off in his own world. He turned around and walked back towards the dead head. He lowered his head towards the ground, sniffing a few times. His eyes widened at the realization. This was where the foreign magic was in this world. But if this was the spot then...where was the magic?

He didn't have time to think when there was, suddenly, a bright flash of light back where the other dragon leaders were. He looked over, but was quickly met with a loud explosion. He was flung back against the wall. He fell onto the ground, his body covered in partial burns and dirt.

“What...” He said in a coarse voice. “..happened?”

“I'll tell you what happened.” Spyro said, appearing in the small space.

Coughing, Titan struggled to get up onto his feet. “Spyro...?”

Spyro grinned. “It's the beginning of a new era...” With that, his eyes glowed green and a large green fireball blasted from his mouth.