Chapter 64: The Riddles of the White Isle
Link awoke to one of Wash Buckler's crew member's shouting, "Land ho!" He got up and walked on deck. He looked up at the sky. Night had fallen and he could see the moons were touching tip to tip. He then spotted Sparx flapping towards him.
"Oh, good, someone's awake," he called.
"What's going on?" Link asked.
"We spotted the White Isle," Sparx explained.
After a few more minutes of travel, the ship stopped by the edge of a cliff. The gangplank was lowered and Link disembarked.
"Thanks for the ride, Wash Buckler!" He called.
"It was nothing," the captain replied. "Wouldn't be a Skylander for nothin'. Would you want us to wait for ya to return? I'm planning on raiding the Mountain of Malefor. Your help would be appreciated."
"If you want, Captain," Link replied. "But I recommend that you go on ahead without us. I'll catch up with you." He turned and set off up a sand dune and soon spotted a cave in the side of a glowing white mountain. Blue lights illuminated the whole area where books and scrolls were scattered everywhere.
"This is the place..." Link whispered.
"Oh goody," Sparx moaned.
The pair set off into the caverns, facing off against the soldiers that Link had faced in his dreams. Soon they passed through a marble hallway and came out in a great arena with two huge dragon statues watching over a massive temple next to a set of double doors. Dotted alongside the front of the doors were five empty holes like the Door of Time with the Kokiri Emerald, Goron Ruby, and Zora Sapphire. As they approached the temple, a sudden voice rang out across the grounds.
"Sacred threshold, hallowed ground... Pathways untold, lost is found... Prove your worth with quick desire... Ice and Earth, Wind, Electric, Fire...
"What the?" Sparx cried out. "Now I'm hearing voices..."
"This reminds me of when Fi was calling me to come to the Temple of Time," Link joked.
Just then, several strange creatures emerged from the temple. They looked like crystal balls with mechanical legs. As the duo watched, they did somersaults and flew over their heads before landing in the center of the arena and signaled with their legs.
"If they want a fight, they'll get one," Link stated, assuming his dragon form.
Link quickly apprehended two of the orbs into their slots when the third showed to be a problem. It attached the torn off limbs of the defeated orbs and turned the feet into hands. This caused Link to have a vision of a hunchbacked mechanical being with organic eyes and lungs under the chest armor. It wielded the energy swords from previous visions.
What made the likeness even more similar was that it pulled cylindrical hilts from the wall and igniting blades of similar blue and green energy.
"Skywalker..." the robot spoke. "Your blade will make a great addition to my collection."
"Skywalker?" Link asked. "I'm Link Spyro Avalon. The person that you speak of doesn't exist!"
"Oh really?" the robot replied. "Did Vader truly destroy him, then?"
"What do you mean by that?" Link asked as he blocked the blades with the Master Sword. Somehow, the Blade of Evil's Bane didn't melt when in contact with the energy blades.
Link quickly disarmed one of the arms and grasped the hilt that it held as he matched the machine's strikes one by one. He used a combination of earth and wind to crush the robot's remaining arms against the wall of the cave and rolled it into place. After that scuffle, Link made quick work of the remaining two machines and placed them into the remaining two holes.
"Great work, Link," Sparx stated. "What next?"
Sparx turned and realized that Link was rather disturbed. "Are you alright, bro?"
"Skywalker..." he mumbled to himself. "That name rings a bell, but I don't know why?"
"That doesn't matter now," Sparx replied. "We need to talk to the Chronicler."
Link nodded in understanding and activated the orbs with his powers and the door opened. They entered and found themselves in a long passage lit up with candles. A book hovered over their heads. As Link approached, the book floated down the passageway with Link and Sparx following close behind into a large room with a large pair of doors on the other end.
In the center of the room sat a spirit of some sort. It resembled a human clad in loose fitting robes. If not for his spectral blue aura, Link would have thought that his hair and beard were white with age. He was obviously meditating.
"Anakin?" the man asked in a familiar voice. "Is that you, old friend?"
Link's memory flashed to the vision of that giant volcano. This must be the man from that vision.
Link raised an eyebrow in confusion. "You must be mistaken, sir," he replied. "I am not this Anakin that you speak of."
The spirit chuckled. "That's interesting," he stated, standing up. "You have the same aura that my former apprentice had, the same soul."
The man stepped up to Link, sizing him up. "I am Obi-Wan Kenobi, former Jedi master," he replied.
He turned toward the door. "Only through the Force, may this door open," he stated.
Link was really confused now. "What is the Force?" he asked.
"That is a story for another time," Obi-Wan replied.
Link assumed his equine form and focused his energy on the door, forcing it open.
"I hope to see you again, Anakin," Obi-Wan stated as he vanished into nothingness.
"That was strange," Sparx stated. "Why did that guy call you Anakin?"
"That might be the same reason why that machine called me Skywalker," Link reasoned as he walked through the doors.
"Hello?" he called out. "Is anyone there?"
"Hey," Sparx cried, putting his hands over Link's mouth. "If there is, could we... you know... not wake it up? Because everything we've met so far has tried to kill us..."
"Or tested our worth with those machines from earlier," Link replied.
As if on cue, the mysterious voice spoke again. "Expose your heart to summon ghost, then face alone what you fear most."
Just then, a dark figure appeared around a corner, its breathing mechanical and labored. In its hand was an energy sword with a red blade. It radiated with anger, guilt, self-hatred, and fear. The towering figure somehow made Link think he was looking at a reflection.
Link blocked each one of the figure's swings with the Master Sword and utilized his powers to knock the creature off balance.
"Anakin Skywalker is dead!" the being stated. "He was weak and I destroyed him! You will face the same fate!"
"I can't give up..." Link replied. "Too many people depend on me!"
He swung his blade through the warrior's neck, causing the mask to roll on the floor face up. Suddenly, the face of the mask was blown off, revealing his own face.
Link panted in exhaustion as he walked through another set of double doors which lead to a massive library. A huge hourglass sat in the center, lighting up the room. Along the length of the walls ran long bookshelves filled with thousands, perhaps even millions, of dusty books and tattered scrolls.
"Oooh, what's this?" Sparx cried out, pointing to the hourglass. "I think it's a magic wishing lamp!" He buzzed up and tapped his hand on the glass, whispering, "Hello, genie? Are you in there?"
Link rolled his eyes. "Sparx, that is only an hourglass," he stated as he looked through the books on the shelves. "Genies usually live in lamps or bottles."
To his surprise, one of the books looked around five thousand years old. He pulled it out and flipped through the pages. To his utter shock, pages were being added to it as if by magic and the words on them were about his own life, even though it depicted Hylia's Chosen Hero at the very beginning.
"Why am I featured in a book that tells about the life of Hylia's Chosen Hero?" he asked.
Sparx flew over, noticing Link's confusion and sat on his shoulder. "Maybe it is because you are his reincarnation," he joked.
"Ha ha," Link said sarcastically. "Very funny, Sparx."
He put the book back and continued exploring the library. "This place seems to have everything," he stated.
"It is... well, most of it," an elderly voice replied.
Link turned and saw an elderly dragon sitting by the hourglass. He had curled, brown horns and large brown wings. A dark tattered cape was draped over his back, held on his shoulders by a small crystal pendant, and he carried a bag of scrolls from a belt on his waist. "The records in this hall date back to the beginning of time," he explained, "nearly."
Link smiled. "You summoned me, Chronicler?" he stated.
"Yes, young alicorn, it is I," the Chronicler replied with a smile. "And I have been waiting for you..."
"Oh really," Sparx retorted. "Well, I hope we didn't keep you waiting too long. We got a little held up back there with the er... well, you know... trials of doom!"
The Chronicler chuckled. "I took the last one from the experiences of a certain farm boy by the name of Luke Skywalker," he stated. "After all, I haven't had visitors for over a thousand years."
"Shocker!" Sparx called out sarcastically. "Try getting rid of the psychedelic dragon outside."
"You've been alone for that long?" Link asked. "That is pretty lonely."
"Aside from that old man earlier," Sparx pointed out.
"I was referring to before Master Kenobi became one with the Force," the Chronicler elaborated. "But I have my books... I watch and wait for things to come... and then add them to the books of time. "You are also written in books, young Spyro. Though most of the pages are incomplete..."
Link nodded in understanding. "I think I saw that book as I was exploring," he stated.
The book in question levitated toward them as Link raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Why is it so thick?" he asked. "My life can't have that much information. I'm only seventeen years old.
"Because you are one of the many reincarnations of Hylia's Chosen Hero," he replied. "The stories of the lives that your soul has lived through the millennia were all placed in this one book."
The book opened showing a picture of a man being burned alive next to a river of lava. A bearded man was standing up the riverbank, visibly crying. Link recognized it from his vision right before freeing Cynder from Demise's manipulation.
He pointed at the man. "Is that Obi-Wan?" Link asked.
The Chronicler nodded. "This is the aftermath of their duel on the planet of Mustafar," he stated. "Your previous self, Anakin Skywalker, fell to the Dark Side of the Force in order to save Cynder's previous self, Padme Amidala, from dying in childbirth. These events led him to being encased in an armored suit, becoming Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith."
As he said that, the pages flipped to a picture of the dark figure from before dueling a blond haired man in a place comprised of metal.
"Who is that?" Link asked, pointing to the blond.
"That is Luke Skywalker, son of your previous self, Anakin Skywalker," the Chronicler replied. "He was the reason why your previous self turned from the darkness and sacrificed himself to save his son from the wrath of Emperor Sheev Palpatine."
That was when Sparx spoke up. "I have a few questions," Sparx stated. "Why do sections of Link's book have so many pages that are unreadable? Both before our trip through the Temple of Light and after this point in time?"
The Chronicler smiled. "The reason that the pages prior to your trip to the Temple of Light are illegible is because you are from the future and those events haven't happened yet in the timestream yet," he replied. "The many pages that are illegible after this point in time is because they simply haven't happened yet."
"Then wouldn't they not exist yet?" Sparx asked.
The Chronicler nodded in agreement. "They exist because of events similar to your existing at this point in time," he replied. "You traveled into the past from another time, causing those pages to appear. But I do not wish to divulge that information."
At that precise moment, a voice called from the doors.
"Spyro?" it called. "Are you there?"
Link looked at Sparx in surprise. "That must be Flame," he stated.
After a few minutes, Ignitus' son came around a bookshelf with a familiar pink dragoness at his side. Flame smiled at the sight of him.
"Spyro!" Ember exclaimed as she wrapped her arms around Link's neck in a hug.
"How did you get here?" Link asked.
"We found a map to the White Isle in a strange cave near the ruins of Castle Town," Flame explained. "It had glowing runes on some sort of raised platform and the walls of the cave bear the emblem that the strange slate that Grandeur gave you has."
From a pouch on his forearm, Flame procured a map and gave it to Link. Link unrolled it and gasped. The map had figures that resembled a lizard, a bird, a camel, and an elephant in the corners of the map. By coincidence, Link recognised the figures from Daruk's and Mipha's sashes, Revali's scarf, and Urbosa's skirt.
"The Sheikah," he muttered.
"The what?" Ember asked.
"The Sheikah tribe made this map," he explained. "Artistic representations of the pinnacles of their ancient technology, the Divine Beasts, are in the corners." He pointed to the bird. "The bird represents Vah Medoh." He gestured to the lizard. "The Lizard is Vah Rudania." Next was the elephant. "Vah Ruta is the one with the long nose." And last, he pointed to the camel. "And the camel represents Vah Naboris."
"Where are these marvels of science?" Flame asked.
"Buried under the earth," Link replied. "They won't be discovered for several decades."
Flame frowned. "So we can't use them against Malefor?" he asked.
Link nudged the red and gold dragon. "Don't feel down, Flame," he consoled. "At least you discovered the cave. Has anyone tried to translate the runes?"
"Tsunami is currently trying to translate them," Ember explained. "Without a full alphabet to utilize, it is nearly impossible. But the runes around the strange thing that seems big enough for an elemental dragon our age to sleep on keep repeating over and over in the same pattern. Glory thinks it might be the same word or phrase repeated around it. Segments of the walls that led into the cavern also had similar runes. Two specific runes were shared between the walls and the bed."
Sparx raised an eyebrow. "What runes matched?" he asked.
"These two runes," Flame replied as he pulled out a piece of paper from his pouch and showed them to Link as the Chronicler looked over his shoulder.
The Chronicler smiled. "Those are letters from the Sheikah alphabet," he stated. He pointed to the runes. "These specific letters are the letters T and U respectively." As he said the letters' names, he pointed to the rune on the left and then the one on the right."
Flame and Ember gasped in shock. "So each of those runes translates to a specific letter?" Flame asked the Chronicler.
The ancient dragon nodded. "They do, young fire dragons," he replied.
Ember thought for a few seconds. "So the message on the walls spell two unknown letters followed by 'ut' a third unknown letter and ends with another 'ut'," she stated as her eyes widened in realization. "'Shut out'! The message on the wall says 'Shut out'!"
The Chronicler smiled broadly. "Nice detective work, young dragoness," he complimented. "I must acknowledge that you have discovered what the ancient Sheikah called the Shrine of Resurrection. The ancient Sheikah built it to heal those that traditional medicine couldn't treat. The patient would be placed in the care unit within the shrine and put in the slumber of restoration until they are healed of their wounds."
Flame and Ember nodded in understanding as Link smiled.
"I'm happy that the two of you followed me, Flame," he stated, "but why did you come?"
"I wanted to see if the Chronicler's books can see the future," the young fire drake replied. "Ember just tagged along."
"My books don't exactly predict the future," the Chronicler stated. "They only show glimpses into the most likely future if events are not altered..."
"Then I want to know what will happen to Queen Cynder!" Ember exclaimed.
The Chronicler looked nervous. "Ember, you don't under-"
"Please," the pink dragoness pleaded. "I must know."
The older dragon sighed. "Very well, but hers is a dark tale."
With a wave of a paw, he sent Link's book back to the shelves and a book with a lavender cover emblazoned with the crest of the Goddess Hylia flew off a high shelf and floated down to the group. Ember opened the book to a series of pictures of Princess Burn throwing an egg off a cliff, the barely alive Cynder being discovered by an ape and taken to the Well of Souls to be healed by Malefor.
"Spyro, Ember, Flame, you must understand," the Chronicler continued, "when she was taken in by the Assassin, she was raised as his own daughter. Innocent of any evil actions." He waved his paw to flip the page to a series of pictures that featured Cynder discovering that her birth mother being Queen Scarlet and being transformed into her corrupted form that made Flame shudder. "But after discovering who her mother was, she was poisoned and corrupted, made into a vessel of the Demon King's bidding. Her entire life has been spent in shadow. She knows no other way."
The Chronicler then turned to a picture of the corrupted Cynder bowing down to a monstrous dragon. "And when the Demon King returns... she will concede. No one can resist the temptation, not even the strongest among us."
"That is only if the path isn't changed," Ember argued angrily.
The Chronicler shook his head. "Spyro, let me tell you and your friends another story."
"Oh, oh oh," Sparx called out, waving his hand up. "Can I pick the story this time?"
Cynder's book flew back to its spot with Link's book at its side as an old tatty book landed in front of Link. He opened it up on a picture of a small dragon with horns similar to Link's with a third jutting in the middle. As they looked at the other pictures of the dragon using different elements, the Chronicler told the story, "There was once a dragon long ago whose raw power was far greater than any dragon had ever seen or... could imagine since the defeat of the sorcerer named Strikor. At first, he mastered fire... which was odd because he wasn't a Fire Elemental. Then came ice, wind, and other abilities none thought possible. Is this story sounding familiar?"
"It was a Purple Dragon," Flame realized. "Like Spyro."
"The first Purple Dragon since the first dynasty of them were corrupted by Strikor and banished from this world by Eon and Kaossandra," the Chronicler confirmed, turning the page showing the dragon being taught by what Link assumed were the predecessors of the Guardians. "In the beginning, he was encouraged and secrets of elemental mastery were passed onto him willingly by the predecessors of the Guardians, the elders, because they viewed him as their own son. But his power was near limitless; it only knew the boundary of his reserves of elemental energy.
"When he heard rumors of people fighting for dominion over the Sacred Realm, the resting place of the Triforce, he and his wife fought against the greedy alongside the Sheikah to protect the Triforce." He pointed to a picture of the dragon fighting alongside a dragoness with scales of the purest white, the golden triangles of the Triforce hovering above them.
"That doesn't seem too bad," Flame stated.
"But that was short lived," the Chronicler continued. "He discovered the existence of Demise's Curse and gathered an army of his own to bring an end to that darkness. He and his forces consumed... everything." He pointed to a picture of the dragon leading Midna's ancestors into battle and the dragoness was absent. "But his followers turned on him and took the artifacts that were made, Majora's Mask and the Fused Shadows, and used them against him." He pointed to a picture of Midna's ancestors chasing after the dragon, a giant monster that wore the Fused Shadows trying to kill him. "Since that betrayal, he learned that the curse was necessary for the balance of the universe, but he wanted vengeance upon those that betrayed him. He found a chest that was sealed by magic up on a high mountain. Thinking that it might be the key to his vengeance, he broke the chains keeping it shut and released the evil within."
The dragons gasped in horror as the Chronicler pointed to a picture of the dragon cowering before an orb of darkness. "Realizing this, the dragon used his own heart to seal the darkness away," the ancient dragon continued. "But over time he felt the darkness getting stronger, sapping him of his power. He learned of the War Across the Ages from ancient texts and discovered that the darkness he sealed away in his heart was the spirit of the Demon King.
"He knew that Demise would seize control eventually. So he frantically got a world gate to one of the old colony worlds of the Dragon Realms working and sent his wife and children through so that once Demise had control of his body, his family will be safe." He pointed to a pair of pictures. One depicted the dragon giving the dragoness a hug. Tears were streaming down their snouts. Clutched in the dragoness' paw was an egg that no doubt held a Purple Dragon. The other depicted the dragon smashing the world gate, his eyes flickering yellow.
"Once Demise had control of the dragon's body, his power was limitless; it knew no boundary. He consumed... everything..." The Chronicler turned the page to a picture of the dragon swooping over a village and destroying it with fire. "Demise lusted for the Triforce so much, he didn't care who got hurt.
"When he would not stop, Demise was cast out into exile. And from his fortress in the mountains where he first appeared in his original form, he built an army... not of dragons, but of apes and his demonic servants of old. He taught the apes to artificially harness the power of spirit gems... our source of energy."
"You're talking about Malefor, aren't you?" Flame stated.
"Yes," the Chronicler nodded as they turned to a picture of the Dark Master watching his mountain changing into a familiar shape. "And his seclusion, Demise remembered the fissure he first emerged from and put more of his dark power into it. The sheer weight of his malice and hatred cracked the very foundations of the mountain, creating a pit of despair where the lost souls of this world would reside."
"The Well of Souls," Link stated.
The Chronicler nodded. "Created by the very beast who now seeks to escape it," he stated. "Eventually, the Light Spirits known as Faron, Eldin, and Lanayru banished those that betrayed the dragon to a realm of eternal dusk, the home of Giratina. Demise was defeated, his spirit sealed within Convexity with Malefor's while Malefor's body was sealed within the Well."
"But now, Demise and Malefor are free from Convexity," the Chronicler finished grimly, "and when the Night of Eternal Darkness falls, they will return to our world and Demise will continue what he started."
Flame was confused by this statement. "B-but my father said the eclipse would only allow the spirits to escape for a short while!"
"Yes," the Chronicler confirmed, "but if ever there was a spirit powerful enough..."
"Then how do we stop it?" Ember asked.
"There is no stopping it," the Chronicler replied gravely. "It has already been written."
"Then why have you called me here?" Link asked. "We are wasting time."
The Chronicler turned to Link, his eyes burning fiercely. "To ride out this storm, where you'll be safe... and live to fight another day!"
But Flame wouldn't allow it. "What about the others? My father, the other Guardians, Lady Luna? What about their safety?"
"I fear the worst for the others," the Chronicler replied grimly.
"And Cynder?" Ember asked. "Do you expect King Spyro to sit here and do nothing while his wife is out there and would most likely be a sacrifice to Demise!?"
"Um, let me answer this one," Sparx replied, pretending to think. "Yes!"
"No!" Link yelled back when he rounded on the Chronicler. "I agree with Ember. You keep talking about choosing a path. My path has been chosen for me, Cynder's fate is eternally tied to mine. Our souls are bound by the threads of the Fates. She didn't get to choose good from evil before now. I have to help her." He turned toward the doorway. "I'm going!"
"That is the mark of a true hero," the Chronicler said simply and he turned away.
"Well, I'm coming too," Flame stated. "Though I have a grudge against her, she is Hylia reborn and my queen. If she dies or gets corrupted again, your fight to free her will be for nothing!"
"And I'm with you as well," Ember added.
Link shook his head. "That is rather heartwarming, but no," he replied. "I can't have the two of you coming with me. Ignitus would be heartbroken if you disappear, Flame. Ember, I need someone to keep the throne warm until Cynder and I return. You are the one most qualified for that."
"But we can't let you go into that deathtrap alone!" Flame argued.
"I won't be," Link replied. "I have the Four Sword and Wash Buckler's crew at my side."
Link turned to leave, but the Chronicler wave a paw, causing the door to close. "You don't have to go that way, Spyro," he stated. The Chronicler stepped up to the hourglass and muttered an incantation of some sort, causing it to move out of the way, revealing a secret passage.
"This tunnel leads straight to the Well of Souls," he explained. "You'll have to fight your way through the fortress to reach the peak."
"Make sure Flame and Ember get back to the Dragon Temple," Link stated. "They are needed there."
The Chronicler nodded. "I'll have Luna come by to grab them," he stated.
Link turned to face Flame and Ember. "You won't hear from me for three years," he stated. "But it will only be for that long."
With that said, Link dashed into the tunnel as the hourglass shut the passageway behind him. He and Sparx flew down the caverns to the mountains. As they watched the pair go, Flame and Ember bowed their heads in prayer.
"May the gods be with you, Spyro..." Ember stated.
"Please bring the Goddess reborn back to us, Spyro..." Flame added.