After their second visit to the Magic Crafters homeworld, where they learned about the various types of magic that existed in their world and had been given examples of each type, Spyro, Spike, and Ember returned to the Artisans homeworld and picked up where they left off. That meant they either spent their time following the lessons that Nestor wanted them to master, as in gliding or running through the maze, or working on whatever they wanted in their free time, such as Spyro picking up his book and seeing if he could use any of the other pranks that he hadn't tried yet. Nestor wasn't too surprised by that fact, as he could tell that Spyro was interested in trying out the various entries in the book, but, at the same time, he did have to chuckle every now and then as the young dragon's attempts were wrecked by another dragon accidentally ruining the prank before his intended target could return to the area he was in, always resulting in him having to clean up whatever messes came from his attempts. Ember continued to follow him and the other Artisans around, watching what they were doing and seeing if she could help in some manner, be it finding a way to carry stones or hauling pieces of meat to wherever they needed to be, something that pleased Alvar and the other dragons, as they were happy to have someone assist them from time to time.
Spike, on the other hand, returned to the Dark Hollow library almost immediately after their visit and picked up where he left off, but at the same time he pulled his new notes out and added a number of subjects to his studies, as there were several new topics for him to learn about and he was eager to get started... which resulted in him gathering a number of books and scrolls so he could have a starting point for his new studies, which brought a smile to the faces of the scholars that were around him.
"You seem awfully eager to continue your studies today," Argus commented, because when the trio returned from their trip to Cosmos' homeworld, where they learned about magic, Nestor had made sure they took the rest of the day off, meaning that this was the day following their return from their trip, before he focused on the tome that was on top of the pile that Spike had built.
"Well, Cosmos' test yesterday opened my eyes," Spike replied, where he glanced at the books and scrolls that were around him at the moment, because he knew this was exciting the other scholars, since it showed his interested in all the topics he had picked out, before shifting his gaze to Argus for a moment, "Spyro, Ember, and I went through the sphere test, to see if we had any latent magical talent, and while Spyro seems to have the lowest level of talent, based on the glow of his sphere, both Ember and I seem to have some talent, especially since I teleported my sphere down the hall by sneezing and breathing some green fire on it."
"Really now?" Argus inquired, as that was the first time he had heard of a dragon using their ability to breath fire to teleport something, even if the distance in this case wasn't all that grand, as he knew the room that Spike was talking about, before realizing why Spike was interested in the books he had picked out, "So that's why you picked out a book on all the various achievements and uses of teleportation magic, even though this does nothing to actually teach you how to wield this type of magic, since the book that does that is in the library of the Magic Crafters homeworld."
"I'll find some spell tomes when my siblings and I are called to Cosmos' homeworld to start our magic lessons," Spike stated, revealing that, while he was interested in learning about magic and the various spells the dragons had discovered, he knew that it would be some time before they actually learned anything else about magic and that he was willing to wait for that day to come, but that wouldn't stop him from researching the types and preparing for that day, "for now I'm adding the topic to the list of topics that I want to research and learn more about, that way I'll be ready for that day and surprise Cosmos when he asks us questions."
Argus and the other scholars laughed at that, not because it sounded like a crazy thing to do, but because Spike was a true scholar and he was making them proud with everything he did, and that included what he had done while Cosmos was testing him and his siblings. Nestor, who had come to Dark Hollow to check up on Spike, nodded his head and smiled as he returned to the main area of the Artisans homeworld, as he was curious as to what the other two were doing, even though he had an idea of what Spyro was up to, given his recent endeavors. As he walked towards the portal that would take someone to Nevin's castle he found that Ember was walking in the opposite direction and that Cinder was flying with her, which caused him to raise his eyebrow for a moment as he faced the open area that was his destination, where he found Thomas working on a new tune with his lute. From what he could tell there was no reason for Ember to leave this area, unless she was bored and was seeking out one of the other dragons to see if she could help with something, and he found the tune to be relaxing, which only made him more curious as to why Ember had decided to leave, though as he walked into the area Thomas stopped what he was doing and turned to face him.
Nestor suspected that Thomas might be working on another new tune, because when that happened he could be found in front of the dragon head containing the portal to Nevin's castle, making him wonder if the others had been finished or if he was taking a break from them to start a new one, something he'd have to ask about before he left, or at least some point in the near future.
"Ah, Nestor, what a surprise," Thomas said, though at the same time he set his lute on the ground, indicating that he was going to be giving Nestor his full attention, despite the fact that Nestor knew he'd pick it up and continue playing at some point, just to make sure the tune didn't disappear on him, "What can I do for you?"
"I was looking for Ember, but then noticed that she walked away from this area," Nestor replied, showing that he was curious about what had happened and that he was hoping that Thomas might have an answer for him, even though he was sure that it was because she was bored of listing to the lute and had gone off to find something else to do.
"Oh, I understand. You're curious as to why she left me to continue working on my tunes." Thomas stated, where he sighed and rubbed the back of his head, a sign that told Nestor that his thoughts on why Ember left the area might actually be wrong, as he had seen Thomas do this a few times in the past, "Well, I tried to put words to one of my latest tunes and, well, it seems that singing isn't something that Ember likes very much, regardless if she's the one doing or if someone else is singing near her... or at least that was what I assumed was going on."
"Huh, now that's something I wasn't expecting to hear." Nestor said, though Ember wasn't the first dragon to dislike hearing someone sing, as there were other dragons in the other lands that didn't like that either, so he wasn't too shocked by the information, before he shrugged and decided that it didn't matter in the grand scheme of things, "It does answer the question as to why she left the area, though now I'm going to have to see if I can Spyro and see what he's up to, since he's enjoying his attempts to prank everyone."
"I think he went back to Stone Hill, to rest and plan his next move." Thomas answered, as he had seen the young dragon in question enter that portal a few minutes ago, so he figured that telling Nestor was the best thing to do so he didn't waste his day looking for someone.
Nestor nodded his head in thanks before heading over to the portal in question, though when he appeared in the courtyard he found that Spyro was actually in the area around the tower, where he and Sparx seemed to be resting, which caused him to sigh as he left the pair alone, knowing that it was only a matter of time until Spyro, Spike, and Ember had to visit another homeworld and learn more about the dragons that called that land home.
Spyro, Spike, and Ember found that nothing major happened since their test in Cosmos' world, leaving them to do their normal activities and continue the lessons that Nestor gave them, and before they knew it they were three years old and had grown a little over the last couple of months, even though they weren't even close to a fourth of Nestor's height yet, something that would come in time they were told. They were fine with that and focused on getting better at gliding and working together with their dragonflies, and sometimes Nestor had the three of them work together to overcome one of the challenges that he had for them, to really test their skills and ability to work as a team. Other than that they spent their free time doing what they normally did, where Spike researched whatever interested him, Spyro made several more attempts at pranking someone, and Ember just wandered around the homeworld, helping whoever needed assistance and making things easier for some of the older dragons. Nestor knew that Ember wanted to visit Titan's homeworld and start their combat training, something that he had promised them they would do at some point in the future, but for right now it was best that they continued the lessons he was giving them, before they started pestering the Peace Keepers for lessons on how to fight.
It was a week after their third birthday, which was the day that the three of them discovered that they would be visiting the homeworld of the Beast Makers in the near future, where they gathered near the dock and waited for Nestor to arrive once more, as this time they would be heading to Bruno's domain.
"So, we're heading to the next homeworld, the home of the Beast Makers?" Spyro asked, because he wanted to be sure what they were doing today, especially since they had gotten up a little earlier than normal so they could be ready for the trip, though why they had done that he had no idea.
"That's what Nestor told us." Spike replied, as he had done some research into the types of dragons that called the Dragon Realms home, allowing him to discover some interesting facts about the dragons they might be meeting in the near future, but hadn't told his siblings because they wanted to be surprised, even if he didn't know everything about the other races and would be surprised as well when Marco delivered them to their destination, "I'm eager to see Bruno again, since the last time we saw him was when we had our first birthday party, and I'm interested in seeing if we might have the chance to meet some of the other dragons before we have to turn around and leave his homeworld."
"If it's anything like the other homeworlds that we visited, we'll meet one other dragon while we're there," Ember added, as she remembered the times they visited the home of the Peace Keepers and the Magic Crafters, where they were greeted by the Leaders of the other types of dragons and visited the home of one of the most skilled dragons in that land, though she had the feeling that the same would be true when they reached Bruno's land, "and see the area that the dragon in question calls home, all while seeing a few more dragons off in the distance. I bet when we're done visiting the other homeworlds, and seeing the other Leaders in the area that they watch over, we'll finally start our training under Titan, along with whatever Cosmos has planned for us, since he seems interested in teaching you about magic."
"I know, and I'm excited to learn what he has to teach us." Spike said, once more showing his excitement over the fact that he and his siblings would be taught how to wield their magic and use it in their everyday lives, even if Spyro and Ember weren't as excited as he was, which was understandable since Ember was more excited about Titan's combat training and Spyro was only disappointed that the glow of his sphere was lower than his and Ember's.
"Learning what Cosmos has to teach you will come later, after you get an idea of what Titan has to offer." a voice said, where the trio turned and found Nestor walking over to where they were standing, which meant that it was time for them to get underway and leave their homeworld behind, though they did notice that Nestor was carrying a container with several drinks in it, five to be exact, even if three were smaller than the other two, "I asked Gavin to make us a few cups of coffee before I came here, that way all of you will be energized for when we reach Bruno's homeworld, though the other two are for me and Marco, since this will be a slightly longer flight than our trip to the land Cosmos watches over."
Spyro, Spike, and Ember glanced at each other again, something that was quite common these days, because Nestor's comment revealed that the length of time from this land to Bruno's homeworld was longer than when they went to Titan's land or Cosmos' homeworld, hence why Nestor had gotten some coffee before their departure. A few seconds later they followed after Nestor as he headed towards the dock, where Marco and his hot air balloon would be waiting for them to arrive, and when they rounded the corner it was easy to spot the Balloonist, who seemed happy to see them again, though it was hard to determine that since the majority of his face was covered by his scarf.
"It'll take us two hours to reach the homeworld of the Beast Makers," Marco commented, answering the question that he knew was coming, because based on the last two trips he had taken with the group he knew that one of them was going to ask about how much time it would take for them to reach the next homeworld, before he noticed what Nestor was carrying and seemed to smile, or at least that was what Spyro and his siblings assumed he was doing, "Bruno's land is near Cosmos' homeworld, though I won't tell you anything about it, since I'm sure that one of you did some research on it and all three of you will be surprised by what you see when we arrive."
The trio nodded as they climbed into the basket, with Marco assisting them still, and waited as Marco climbed in as well a few seconds later, though before they departed from their homeworld Nestor handed over the container, with four cups now, and Marco set it down after taking his cup out of it, before pulling on the strings and igniting the fire so the hot air balloon could lift into the air and start their journey. As the basket started to move Spyro, Spike, and Ember pulled their own cups out of the container, where they were assisted by their dragonflies so they didn't spill anything in the basket, before sipping on their drinks as they focused on the activities they usually focused on during these journeys. Spyro took a moment to enjoy his drink before pulling out the book he had been given, so he could see if he could find a good prank that wouldn't fail, as most of the pranks he had tried either failed or missed his target, forcing him to clean up a mess when the prank failed. Ember, who didn't care about reading or pulling pranks on the other dragons, simply looked out at the lands they were moving by and focused on enjoying the scenery that they were going by, though Spyro knew that she was hoping to see Titan and the others, to see if they were training and if she could gleam some information from them before they actually started their lessons.
Spike, of course, pulled out one one of the books that he had brought with him and continued where he had left off earlier, since this was an interesting book and he wanted to complete it before moving onto something new, as it would help his future studies, causing Spyro and Ember to chuckle for a moment, as they knew he'd do that, before focusing on their own activities again.
It took them almost two hours to reach their destination, just like Marco said it would, though as they drew closer to the homeworld of the Beast Makers the trio stopped what they were doing and focused on what was in front of them, as all three of them were eager to see what Bruno's land looked like. The first thing they noticed were the trees, as it wasn't hard to spot massive oak trees off in the distance, or what they assumed were oak trees, though that was because of the fact that the trees reached the area the clouds were in and even a few more went even higher, which surprised them, since they weren't expecting to see this sort of thing. The next thing they noticed was that there appeared to be a barrier of some kind in the water below them, one that separated the water the balloon was flying over from the swamp water that was on the other side, something that Marco told them about as they grew closer to their destination. That also told them that the home of the Beast Makers was a swamp, a gigantic swamp from what they could see due to the fact that the trees seemed to cover a good deal of the area, though there were a good number of spots where trees didn't grow, where the trio assumed that it was due to Bruno and the others cutting them down and preventing them from growing again so they could make their home here. One other thing they noticed was a black ominous mist that lingered in the air, making Bruno's homeworld seem more eerie in the process, but based on the fact that Marco and Nestor weren't concerned with the mist the trio braced themselves as Marco had them descend down to where Bruno would be meeting them.
As they descended, however, the trio noticed a tall temple made out of stone, one that had been made in the shape of a square, at the base anyway, and the levels above it seemed to get a tiny bit smaller, as if heading to a central point of some kind, which turned out to be a large square structure, though what purpose it served they had no idea.
"Nestor!" a voice exclaimed, where they glanced at the ground and found another familiar dragon, Bruno, standing at the edge of the village they were heading towards, as Marco told them that the Beast Makers lived in villages that were scattered throughout their homeworld, connected to the main village by portals, "I'm glad you guys made it here safe and sound, not that I was expecting any trouble since Titan and the Peace Keepers have been doing a good job maintaining the peace that we have been enjoying lately."
"With Gnasty Gnorc taken care of, and banished to the Junk Yard, the Dragon Realms won't have to worry about him causing trouble for a long time," Nestor replied, because at this point he wasn't even bothering to keep Gnasty Gnorc's existence a secret from the trio, as Spike had no doubt discovered several mentions to the foe he and the others had brought down, and both Spyro and Ember didn't seem worried at all, allowing him to focus on the reason they were here, even though he had to wait for Marco to land before helping the trio out of the basket.
Spyro, Spike, and Ember were glad to be out of the basket, as they could finally move around the area and explore a brand new homeworld once more, though the first thing they noticed was that there were a few wooden huts near them, ones that seemed to be around Nestor's height, meaning the dragons that lived in them had to be slightly smaller than the dragons they were used to meeting.
"So this is the Beast Makers homeworld." Spike commented, though while his studies had told him about how these dragons lived it was another thing to see it up close like this, as in the huts and the fact that their bridges were made out of split logs, and he was interested in seeing what else Bruno had to offer him and his siblings.
"This is the land I watch over and call home," Bruno said, where he turned and glanced at the area that he had come from before the hot air balloon had reached the area they were in, though while he did that Marco made sure to land in a spot where he could relax and wait for the tour to be over, before they had to return to the Artisans homeworld, "I know, it may not be as great as the Peace Keepers homeworld, or as grand as your homeworld or Cosmos' domain, but this is what the Beast Makers dragons call home, and we wouldn't trade it for anything else. Come, I have some places for you to see, and a dragon or two for you to meet, before you do anything else, though I'm sure all three of you will be excited by what you discover today."
"Forgive me for asking, but what do the Beast Makers do for a living?" Ember inquired, though at the same time she and her brothers followed after Bruno the moment he started walking, with Nestor following them like he did when they visited Titan and Cosmos' homeworlds.
"Well, as you know, the Artisans are craftsmen, the Peace Keepers are soldiers, and the Magic Crafters create magical items for every dragon to use," Bruno explained, as he knew that someone would have asked the question at some point, and honestly he was expecting Spike to jump forward and ask it before they got too far into their visit, but in the end it didn't matter, as he knew that the young dragon would write all this down later, when he had time, "the Beast Keepers, on the other hand, well, we spend our time tending to the various creatures of the Dragon Realms. We assist them when they are feeling sick, tend to them when they get old, help them bring new life into this world, and, in rare instances, we even bring new creatures into this world, ones that have never been seen before, and when they're ready we transport them to the area that will eventually become their home. The reason we decided to live in this swamp is because many of the ingredients and natural materials that we use in our everyday lives grow here, especially a few rare plants that you can't find anywhere else in the Dragon Realms, allowing us to do our jobs that much more effectively. The only hard part about our job is trying to deliver the creatures to their new home, hence why we try to deliver them a few months after they're brought into the world, otherwise they might grow too big for us to handle, even though we're trying to figure out a better method for moving creatures to their new homes."
Ember raised an eyebrow for a moment, where she determined that she shouldn't be surprised by the fact that the Beast Makers tended to all sorts of beasts, regardless of the condition those creatures happened to be in, and helped bring new ones into the world from time to time, but all that information told her that these dragons might be busy every now and then, and the fact that Spike was eager to write all this down when he had the chance. As they turned the corner, and approached the first portal of the area, Bruno pointed out a brown furred beast off in the distance, with a pair of tusks, that happened to be in the middle of charging at something that had annoyed it, a creature that Bruno called a boar and revealed that it was one of the more common beasts that shared this land with the other Beast Makers. Standing near the boar was a dark green scaled dragon, with a green chest area, that wore a hat made out of leaves on his head, had a necklace made of four teeth around his neck, and had moss on several parts of his body, though Bruno just laughed and said that Cleetus liked looking like that, even if Nestor and the siblings thought it was weird, and that he was busy tending to the boars of this area. Near Cleetus was an older dragon, who was slimmer than Cleetus and had dull yellow scales, that was carrying a round potion bottle in one of his hands, before he shifted his glasses for a moment and tended to a boar that was laying near a tree, showing that it must have been hurt, where Bruno said that the dragon in question was Damon, their remedy master.
Bruno told them that Damon, despite the fact that he was one of the oldest Beast Makers dragons in the land, was still capable of doing his job and was able to make some of the greatest remedies of the Dragon Realms, allowing them to tend to the various creatures of the lands, and he was in the process of finding a worthy successor that could replicate what he was capable of doing, with limited success so far.
"You know, I've been thinking about that temple," Spike commented, though at the same time Nestor and Bruno helped him and his siblings over the log that brought them even closer to the large tree that was between where Marco landed and where the temple was located, and he could tell that Bruno was interested in what he was thinking about, "is there something special about it?"
"The temple? Oh, we hold our meetings there." Bruno replied, where he glanced in the direction of the temple, as he remembered the last time he had called such an event together, which had been when he told the other Beast Makers about the trio when they hatched, before he thought about something else, "Really, that's all the temple is used for, as most of the Beast Makers are usually busy with their various duties, be it tending to the creatures of the world or making certain items that will aid us in our everyday lives. Some dragons, like Bubba, don't rely on items to do their jobs, as he prefers to use his own strength to hold a creature back or pin it to the ground, if the creature in question is being difficult to work with, so someone else can tend to whatever is bothering the poor beast. Though the portal to Sadiki's home is located near the temple, giving him easy access to the area in case we need his help or a meeting happened to be called at some point, and he's very interested in meeting the three of you."
"Ah, there's no need to visit my temple today," a voice said, where the group stopped near the large tree for a second and looked around, before the trio glanced up in the air and found a bright purple scaled dragon, with his underbelly and lower chin being yellow colored, flying towards them, before he landed in front of the group, allowing the trio to see that he was carrying a staff with a large bird skull at the top and wore a necklace with an eye of some kind, one they were hoping was a crystal shaped to look like an eye, around his neck, "I just finished checking up on Sol a few minutes ago and decided to come see if you had greeted our guests yet... though I'm pleased to see that all three of you are doing well, as Bruno told me all about you guys, or at least what he knows anyway."
The trio assumed that this was Sadiki, the best of the best in terms of the Beast Makers, and from what they could tell that seemed to be the truth, despite the fact that Bruno hadn't been able to tell them much about Sadiki before the dragon's rather sudden arrival, but they were sure that he was just like Nevin, Trondo, and Altair.
"You finished tending to Sol already?" Bruno inquired, because he knew the creature in question and had known that it would take some time for them to do what they needed to do, regardless of whether or not Sadiki was one of the best Beast Makers dragons in the Dragon Realms, but he was still impressed that Sadiki had finished the task much sooner than what they originally expected, "Did the phoenix give you any trouble?"
"It wasn't anything major, as all I had to do was use one of Damon's remedies to fix the issue." Sadiki replied, his tone revealing that whatever the problem had been he had taken care of it quite easily, something that Bruno appreciated since it meant they didn't have to worry about Sol for some time.
"Wait, you guys take care of phoenixes as well?" Spike asked, because he had read about them in his studies and had been wondering if they were just myths, since he and his siblings hadn't seen any since they started visiting the rest of the Dragon Realms and encountered the other types of dragons.
"Like Bruno's told you, we're Beast Makers, and we tend to all the creatures of the world." Sadiki answered, though he did find it amusing that Spike thought that phoenixes didn't exist until he mentioned them, showing that he had more to learn about the lands they called home, just like Spyro and Ember had more to learn, before deciding on how he was going to answer the incoming question, "Listen, there's an island near this homeworld that the phoenixes call home, but it can only be accessed by flying to it or using the portal that's connected to this area, which we keep locked up in the temple, and Bruno is the only one that knows where the key to the temple is located. Of course our fiery friends have a way to contact us in case one of them gets hurt or falls ill, but they tend to want the best of the Beast Makers to tend to them and don't want to be interrupted during their visits, hence why I was busy when you arrived, since Sol wanted me to cure what was afflicting him. You three might have the opportunity to visit that island one day, if Sol and the others of his kind allow it anyway, but it would be an experience like no other and should be accepted if it's offered to you... but for now I think I'll introduce you to some of the boars and other creatures that we're currently tending to."
Spyro, Spike, and Ember took a moment to look at each other as Sadiki and Bruno started to move to another area of the land they called home, as they were hoping to learn more about the phoenixes and why they trusted the Beast Makers enough to keep a portal directly to the island they called home, as well as the secret that they actually existed, before they sighed as they followed after Bruno, knowing that they would get some answers one day... after they had a good bath when they got back home, to get rid of the swamp smell that was all around them anyway.