The purple dragon turned. "Oh, Hunter. It's been a while."
"Heh, yeah. Just dropped by to let you know, Bianca and I finally set a date."
Spyro's tail stopped lashing. "You did?"
"Yeah. The third of next month. Here's your invite."
Spyro breathed out again, thankfully, and took the letter. It was on thick paper, with stylized writing. "Wow, that's… fancy."
"Yeah, Bianca organized it. She's better at that sort of thing…" the cheetah shrugged. "Anyway, I've let you know, so I'm heading off to see James next."
Hunter sped off towards the permanent Lost Worlds portal sitting in the Artisan worlds, and Spyro began planning.
The third… so he had about twelve days.
Best to get started.
"You ready, Sparx?"
His faithful dragonfly buzzed in assent.
"Good. Magic Crafters home first, I want to find out if this'll work."
Sparx glowed brightly, then dragon and dragonfly vanished.
Multicoloured light in front of the Castle of Summer erupted into the form of a purple dragon. Spyro waited just long enough to check he'd ended up in the right place, then charged south towards the Glimmer portal.
Skidding to a halt in front of one of the largest trees in Summer Forest, he analyzed it for a moment. "Yeah, looks good. Let's see… that one."
A bolt of lightning split one of the branches off from the tree, and he caught it as it fell.
"Good. Back to Gnasty's old loot place, Sparx."
Another flash of light, and Spyro was gone once more from Avalar.
Spyro reappeared inside the room Gnasty Gnorc had once used to store the centrepieces of his stolen gem collection. It was still packed with valuable things, but they were Spyro's.
Finders, keepers. And that applied to the room as well as the contents.
"Thanks, Sparx. That warp power of yours is making this so much easier."
Breathing gently on his claws, Spyro began to carve away at the tree limb. The extra heat meant that he could scorch away stubborn layers of wood – and, slowly, the shape he wanted began to appear. As if it was there all along, and his claws were merely unpackaging it.
Several times, he referred back to the book Cosmo of the Magic Crafters had lent him. Intricate swirls were painstakingly scorched into the wood, forming channels into it.
"There." He said, finally. "That's as far as I can go with this one alone. Time for another trip, Sparx."
"Where this time?"
A storm had recently hit the idyllic home-world, damaging one of the oaks fairly badly. Spyro zeroed in on that one as soon as he saw it.
"It's no good, mate." Sheila said sadly, looking at the tree. "There's no way we can save this one."
"It might be worth it." Spyro replied. "I was hoping for a limb, but this'll be better. Stand back."
Spyro was already at work. First he breathed water all over the fallen tree… then inhaled massively and spat lightning.
The resultant steam explosion sent splinters everywhere, and when it died down a rather annoyed – and blue – Sparx made what was probably a rude gesture.
"Warn me next time, Spyro!"
Spyro shrugged. "I'll go blast a sheep or two. Besides, we've got what we needed – look."
Sparx followed where Spyro was pointing. Amongst the sodden detritus of the explosion was a large piece of heartwood.
"It might have worked, but there have to have been easier ways to do it!"
"What was that in aid of?" Sheila asked, shaking her head to stop the ringing in her ears.
"Sorry, it's a bit of a secret." Spyro answered. "Grab it, Sparx, and let's go!"
The kangaroo shook her head as her friends vanished in another flare of light. "Whatever he's up to, it better be good."
"Fragment of light gem…" Spyro muttered, carefully placing it on his first piece of wood. "Right, that's the last one."
"Just in time, too." Sparx said. "We'd better hurry."
"What? Oh, no! Quick, Sparx!" Spyro gathered up the products of his labour, and Sparx warped them both.
"If anyone has anything they could possibly say in impediment to this bond of holy matrimony, then speak now so I know to implement facial reconstruction on your cranium by application of a translucent crystalline implement." Bentley concluded, extemporising a bit on the normal wedding service.
There was nothing, so Hunter and Bianca were wed.
Spyro arrived in time to see them exchange rings, and slowed to a stop, panting.
"Hey, Spyro!" Hunter said, waving. "You were almost late, buddy!"
"Sorry." Spyro replied, depositing his packages in front of them. "I only just finished these. Here, this one's yours, and that one's for Bianca."
Nestor leant closer. "Spyro, are these-?"
"Yeah. I made them myself."
The Artisan leader gestured to the rest of his clan, and they gathered around to observe as Hunter unwrapped his gift.
The cheetah gasped. "Spyro, this is… beautiful."
He slowly withdrew it, holding the wooden implement up. It was an ornate oak longbow, carved with spiralling designs that met at the grip.
"Try it out!" Spyro encouraged.
"There's no arrows, and I didn't bring any."
"It doesn't matter. Go on."
Dubiously, Hunter took the weapon in a normal grip and made as if to nock an arrow on the string. With a flare of orange light, an arrow of solidified fire formed even as the string was drawn back.
"It doesn't need ammo." Spyro said, proudly. "And it'll do fire, lightning or ice – they're all the breath types I can do that might be useful."
"Wow… that's cool." Hunter released the tension on the string, and the fiery arrow dissipated. "What about Bianca's?"
"That's made with wood from Summer Forest – yours is from Sunrise Spring. I thought it was kinda appropriate, you know?"
Bianca drew out the staff Spyro had made for her. It had small fragments of all five colours of normal gemstone around the centrepiece, a light gem, and was carved with runes similarly to Hunter's bow.
"I'm not as sure how magic channelling works, so I got a lot of help from the Magic Crafters on that one." Spyro admitted. "It should help you put more power into spells, though – or, hopefully, control them better."
"Yes, that is a problem I have." Bianca admitted. "Where did the gems come from? Are they from your hoard?"
"They are." Spyro said, looking sad for a moment. "I had to smash them to get the right-sized parts. But hopefully it was worth it!"
Bianca concentrated for a moment, and the gems lit up in sequence. "Well, I'll give it a test. Come on, Hunter, we're going to Dragon Shores!"
Rabbit and Cheetah vanished in a stream of rainbow-coloured light.
A few minutes later, Nestor approached Spyro alone. "Well done, Spyro. I must admit, we had wondered about you."
"Thanks!" Spyro said, grinning. "It just… came to me."
"Well done indeed, then. We had long known that your Peace Keeper side was the more dominant, but to see you building objects of beauty warms my heart. You are as much an Artisan as any of us, Spyro. Treasure it."
AN: So, plot bunny again. This time I wondered about Spyro's heritage – he's popularly believed to be part-Artisan and part-Peace Keeper. So, what if that Artisan side of him came out?