I - Dark Dreams
It's been nearly seven years now since Malefor's disappearance and I've been having these strange...lucid dreams. I've been very reluctant to tell anyone about them as they mostly seem very embarrassing or they are harbingers of my more darker past. Henceforth I even don't tell Spyro… He'd start telling everyone else and well, the secret will be out. Sure I couldn't lie to him, but these are something I should keep from him. I stand before everyone in the courtyard of Warfang, the Dragon City. I'm not sure what I was called here for...but it was most certainly for something important, as Spyro, Bläyz, and Adäh were here with me. So was Terrador, Cyril, and Volteer. As Terrador laid down the situation I was starting to remember why I was called here. I vaguely remember Cyril coming to my room and talking to me. He said something about…-
"Crystal Shards. We need these Crystal Shards. They hold the lifeblood of every creature living in the past. Someone is stealing them. Whoever here has a clue as to why these are happening...Please. Tell any one of us Guardians, or one of these four. About anything you may have seen, heard or talked about before. Thank you, that will be all. And remember, keep a lookout!" Terrador had concluded his small speech about these so-called Crystal Shards and proceeded back to his chamber in the Council Building, same with Volteer and Cyril.
"Come with us you four… We shall discuss this matter even more in private.." Cyril turned to us, giving this deep, concerned stare. "Please. It is very important."
"Of… Of course Cyril!" I spoke up, turning to the others. "Come on guys."
We made our way to Council Building with the Guardians. Walking into the meeting room, everyone took their seats. I didn't get much time to look around as we were all hurried into the room. All the guardians sat in their respective seats, me taking the open seat next to Cyril, Adäh, and Bläyz taking their seats opposite Terrador, and Spyro taking the seat that would be Ignitus seat. I took a good look at the other dragons sitting at the table with me. Everyone seemed tense, uneasy, very uncommon that they would all be so silent.
"Tell me… Why are we here Terrador..? How important is this meeting that we have to be pulled into private?" Bläyz spoke up finally, breaking the silence. "I mean… If it's actually about someone in particular...then...what is it?"
Terrador stared eye-to-eye with my fur friend, shaking his head softly. "Today, we have gathered you all here because we have someone very important to discuss, and they do relate to the stole Crystal Shards. Volteer if you could." Terrador turned to the yellow guardian and nodded.
"Of course Terrador. Now! Cynder, Spyro, we have called you and your friends here because, for one, each of you has this innate ability to master certain elements, which of course is special, and no other dragon could possibly possess. A few days ago we have surmised that the possibility of another dragon stealing the Crystal Shards very possible. As these Crystal Shards are only known to select few dragons. Those being us guardians, the Chronicler, and a few others out in the world." Volteer stared around the room as he spoke, looking over the four of us spread out amongst the table.
"But Volteer," I turned to him to speak "how do you expect us to find this unknown dragon?"
"Ah! I was just getting to that young one. You see, we have a few leads on the whereabouts of these few lone wolf dragons." Volteer turned to Cyril, who nodded and stood up.
"Volteer is correct. As you can see here," the ice elemental guardian tapped his claw gently on the table two times, and the table center sprung forth with some sort of mystical energy, revealing a sparkling blue map "the last known locations of these lone dragons are recorded here on this map." Cyril pointed to the first marked location. "One here in the Twilight Falls." He then moved on to the next. "One here at Duskdawn Coast." He pointed to the final one. "And the last one here at Medivah Valley."
"One quick question Cyril," Spyro asked, a slight tilted in his head. "how did you all know the Crystal Shards were being stolen in the first place?"
"Ah yes. We know because each of us Guardians has a strong connection with these shards. Every year we gather them and check to make sure all seven are accounted for. After finding all seven we then combine the shards into one crystal. The Ætherial Crystal. This crystal holds the powers of every known element to us dragons, along with the ones long forgotten that our ancestors knew."
"So that's why this crystal is so important.." I give a small nod and rub of my own chin, looking down to the sparkling map as it slowly faded from sight and the grey table top was revealed once more. "I see what we need to do now.."
"Wonderful! I suggest you all make haste and be on your way. We have to obtain all the Crystal Shards before this rouge shard stealer can get anymore." Volteer perked his head and gave each of us a nod of approval. We then got out of our seats and headed for the main hall doors. As we walked out into the main hall I could now get a good look at the surroundings, as this was only my second visit to the Council Building. The walls were lined with marble and opal as it seemed, and there were many, many doors. Large doors at that. Though most of these rooms were empty or unused. I must have gotten lost in the corridors as Spyro and the others weren't around anymore. Though… It was strange… It was like I was the only one there. It was oddly silent and dormant for a place that echoed the sounds of dragons and moles alike.
There was this strange voice in my head, or at least I thought It was in my head, but it was so quiet in the corridor that it was hard to tell.
-Come to me, Cynder… I can not be alone Cynder… Come, and find me…-
The voice echoed like a ghast in my ears, hard to get rid of without talking. "But...who are you? And how do you know my name?"
-I know many things young dragon… Come to me… Reunite me with my kin… I shall explain… later…-
I could feel my mind slipping away into sleep. But here...now? How? I wasn't tired in the slightest! Something was up.
The voice faded from my consciousness, but I soon lost it, and fell flat on my side, passing out right then and there. I wasn't sure how long I was unconscious for but for one thing I suddenly woke up. Though...I wasn't in the Council building anymore. I was outside, in some far away grassland. I could tell was above land though as the clouds were under me, all around where I was standing.
-Welcome, Cynder… To the Dawn Grasslands…-
"But...Why am I here? And how did I get here?" I had so many questions as to what was going on. "And who are you? You still have that to answer."
-You are still asleep, but I have brought your subconscious here… To witness… Two outcomes…-
The voice spoke so calmly, soothingly. I had nothing to worry about besides the fact of who this was exactly.
-I know you must have many...many questions, Cynder… For one…-
The voice stopped for a moment as a dark, purple light filled the space in front of me. I wasn't sure what was coming but I stood still and hoped for the best. Soon, a ghostly figure appeared, draconic in a way. Though...it had the similar body structure to Spyro, yet most of my features, and it even stood on two legs, unlike most dragons around where I'm from.
-I...I am Neztal. One of the souls destined to guard one of the dragons able to master four elements. I am shaped by your features and your best male's body structure...for an easier...connection between soul, and host.-
"Okay...Neztal… Why have you brought me here...I mean… My subconscious… here?"
-I have brought you here… Because I have information...about the oncoming threat you and your friends are going to face… Here… Come with me…-
I look around for a small moment before nodding and stand up fully. He guided me along the way to a large mirror pool. I could see myself, and Neztal, in the reflection of the mirror pool. "What is this mirror pool for?"
-Shhh… Close your eyes...and hold your breath…-
I looked to the spectral dragon hesitantly before nodding gently. I closed my eyes and take a deep breath before holding it, waiting for whatever was about to happen.
-Do not open your eyes until I say so... - I nod and continue to wait. I can feel his paw on the back of my head, and suddenly, my head was forced down into the mirror pool, though I continued to hold my breath, eyes remained closed until he said so. -Now… Open them… and tell me what you see…- I open my eyes and gasp in horror. Warfang was turned to rubble, I could see myself and what looked like Adäh standing next to me. There was...another large dragon standing in front of us, though I couldn't make out the face or any distinct details. As soon as I was about to pull my head up from the mirror pool my gaze turned to see my purple dragon friend approach the field but...something was wrong with him. He looked decrypted...almost like...a rotting corpse… The large pastel green dragon raised his wings and seemed to speak some ancient language before the walking corpse of Spyro began to charge at me, and lunge toward me, but Adäh jumped in front of me and he instead was pinned to the ground. He said something to me, and handed me what looked like one of the Crystal shards before it seemed like he was torn to pieces by that necrotic body of the purple dragon. I couldn't take it anymore, watching this was too much and I quickly pulled my head up, gasping for breath. -Tell me… What did… you see Cynder..?-
"Horror… Chaos…" I turned to the soul who was my accompaniment for now. "I didn't like it one bit… I saw Adäh… and myself...and Spyro...and a large dragon… I'm not sure I've ever seen that green dragon before but Spyro… Spyro on the other hand was...he...was…" I could feel a tear running down my cheek, I quickly wiped it away, this was not the time to be thinking of emotions. "He was dead but...not really… It was hard to tell but He seemed to be...undead. And my friend Adäh… He was killed by Spyro...right in front of me."
-Yes… Just as… I thought… Cynder...that is the future you and your friends shall face if things keep going the way they do… Cynder… You mustn't let the guardians… reunite the crystals… Destroy the shards… Or suffer that fate…-
"I can't just do that though! What...What if you're wrong...You must be wrong!" I stepped back from the mirror pool and shook my head. The sky became dark and so did the ground.
-You will...learn in time… Young Cynder… There is still much you have yet… To learnnnnnnnnn….-
The voice faded as I soon found myself floating in the endless, black void I was now stuck in. I tried moving, but I couldn't feel my wings or legs, nor my tail for that matter. I could hear another voice calling out my name in the void. I wasn't sure what or who it was, but a figure was starting to form, and it wasn't long till this...this figure started racing toward me. As hard as I tried I could still barely move a claw. As the figure got closer and closer I could see now that it was Spyro...but...just like the necrotic version I had seen in the mirror pool. He kept getting closer...and closer...and closer until he lept toward me. I could hear his raspy, hissing breath as clear as day, venom seemed to drip from his fangs. He grabbed me, and I suddenly regained feeling in my limbs but, he was too strong. "S-Spyro wait! Don't! It's me, Cynder!" He said no response, but instead with actions, he made a swift, single move, and bit down into my neck. I screamed out in pain, and suddenly awoke from the horrid nightmare. I was in my chamber, laying out on my bed. I was sitting up though and I quickly looked around, confused, afraid, and panting severely. Out of nowhere, Spyro, Bläyz and Adäh rushed into the room, looking over me with my fear filled face.
"Cynder what happened?! Are you alright? We heard screaming and came rushing back!" Spyro stumbled closer and looked over my body, inspecting for any possible damage. I couldn't tell him what happened… I didn't have the heart in me to say that Spyro...the one dragon that cares so much for me...was trying to kill me.
"I'm okay Spyro… Don't worry." I put my paw over my neck where the bite from my nightmare had been, and upon removing my paw and looking to it, I saw nothing. Thank goodness.
"We found you out in the fifth corridor, passed out on the ground… You were mumbling something but we couldn't understand you." Bläyz spoke out, standing by my side. "Are you sure you are okay? Is there anything you need to tell us?"
"No… No, nothing at all. Thank you for the concern though." I nod and smile softly.
"Okay… Please, if anything is bothering you or something is happening, let us know, okay?" Spyro had the deepest, utmost concern in his eyes. I gave another nod. They soon sighed, said their goodnights, and moved out of my chamber. "We will be leaving early noon, so be ready Cynder." He said before moving back to his own room. I sighed and laid back on my bed, slowly closing my eyes. That's when...he came back.