Light, Darkness, and The Three Dragons of Aether (The Destiny of Cynder)

A bit of a… background info/history post for my fanfic series, The Destiny of Cynder. It’s a Legend of Spyro alternate universe where Cynder is the Purple Dragon while Spyro is the Black Dragon. You can read the first story here and here, although I should note I haven’t posted all the chapters yet and the AO3 upload is waaaay behind FanFiction’s. Sorry about that in advance.

IIIIIII’m not sure if this’ll actually come up in any of the stories I’ve planned to write in this series, at least not in-depth, so this shouldn’t be too spoilery or anything. It’s just history.

Anyway, onto the focus of this post! Buckle up, it’s a long one.

This is a world with a long and storied history, full of gods and mortals, warriors and monsters, life and death, peace and war.

The Dragons are no strangers to the worship of higher powers, and indeed have built an interweaving religious system that sees the worship and reverence for the Ancestors, the Elements, and the world itself as well as the Aether that flows through it and all beings.

Dragonkind has spent most of its days split down the middle on one particular issue, however.

Do they worship the Light, or do they worship the Darkness?

When the world was young and Dragonkind emerged, there were two tribes: The Light Dragons, formed of the Light energy and god as their name implies. And the Dark Dragons, crafted by the god of Darkness and filled with that energy.

For everything, there is an opposite. A balance. And so it was.

Like most of the young species, the Light Dragons and Dark Dragons did not find much in common with one another and broke off, forming their own societies, religions, and territories. While there was peace for a time, there was also misinformation and distrust, and soon enough, hatred and fear.

Before long, both tribes began to gear up for a devastating war.

The Light Dragons made the first move, attacking the Dark Dragons. The Light Dragons, seeing the Dark Dragons’ ways as barbaric and obscene, sought to wipe them and their entire culture off the map. There was no place for the worshipers of Darkness, they reasoned.

The Dark Dragons, in turn, fought back to protect themselves and all they had created. They saw the Light Dragons’ actions as proof of the evil underneath their pristine scales, and at first only intended to show them the power of Darkness and force them back. But as the war claimed countless lives with no end in sight, they decided that Light itself was a destructive force that needed to be eradicated.

Some legends say the brutal clashes between Light and Darkness radically reshaped the surface of the world, as the Elements and all their might was unleashed upon it.

As one era approached its end, the stalemate between the two finally came to a close, with disastrous consequences for the Dark Dragons. Forced out of their land, they fled to the lands of rust and bone, of famine and sickness. Badlands, as many would call them. Their cities overrun and seized by Light Dragons, their armies reduced to cinders, it seemed like the Dark Dragons’ time in the world was over.

But from the guidance of the Darkness, they found hope. One of their Oracles had been given a wonderful, yet terrible gift, and used it on many volunteers until one survived it. Using the spell he was given, he created a new type of Dragon, a master of the Darkness, their only salvation against extinction. One that could harness all of the Dark Elements and even the power of Dark Aether itself.

A Black Dragon.

The Dragon to survive having the complete power of Darkness flow through their veins was a Shadow Dragon, one who had lost their parents and siblings to a Light Dragon raid. They had nothing to lose, but oh so much to gain. They would avenge their family and take back what rightfully belonged to the Dark Dragons.

Their power proved devastating to the Light Dragon armies, who had learned how to exploit the weakness of each Dark Element. When up against the Black Dragon, who had no known weaknesses but could easily take advantage of their own, their armies began to fall one by one.

Naturally, the Oracles of the Light sought salvation from their gods, in turn receiving a similar gift with the same required sacrifice. From their blood and tears emerged another new Dragon, one that held the keys to every Light Element in her talons, one that could even control the terrifying might of Light Aether.

A Silver Dragon.

Formerly a Fire Dragon, the new Champion of Light took to her new life with ease. She had been raised from birth to despise the Dark Dragons, to believe the Guardians and Oracles and the Queen when they all said that Darkness itself must be destroyed. This was her only mission, and she alone would bring down the Black Dragon and finally finish what the Light Dragons had started all those years ago.

But when she and the Black Dragon first clashed, the seeds of doubt were planted, nurtured by an old memory of an experience she had as a dragonet. A chance encounter with a Dark Dragon the same age she was then, a dragonet who had helped her back then. More than that, she got to see the ruined cities of the Dark Dragons for herself, and a pit of sickness formed in her stomach.

On the Black Dragon’s part, something about the Silver Dragon seemed familiar. A long-buried memory of an unlucky meeting with a Light Dragon, a dragonet much like them, resurfaced. They had helped her find her way back home, and in spite of her arrogant attitude toward them, she helped them with a harsh wound they had gained from exploring. They wondered why the Silver Dragon reminded them of her.

More battles and doubts followed until both Dragons found themselves trapped in a storm. And what had started as a fight for supremacy and glory soon shifted into an uneasy partnership that slowly blossomed into an understanding of a fact that had been staring them in the face all along.

Without Light, there could be no Darkness. Without Darkness, there could be no Light. The war, as long as it had raged, was nothing but a waste that had ruined and taken lives. It was a war that needed to end.

And so together, the two Champions helped bring it to an end, even as the Guardians, Oracles, and Monarchs of their respective tribes demanded it continue. But the people had too grown weary of it, of the pain and suffering, and soon what followed was a shaky peace and an even shakier alliance.

The Dark Dragons slowly returned to their ruined cities to rebuild, but couldn’t fully let go of their distrust towards the Light Dragons. No one could blame them.

Time went on, and in a show of unity between Light and Dark, the two Champions set out to build a new city for all of Dragonkind to come together. A city nestled in the mountainous region that separated Light Dragons and Dark Dragons, a city that would come to serve as a capital for the unified Dragon race.

Its name was Warfang.

Warfang stood proud for over a century, but the scars of the long war still remained, and the Spirit of Aether itself, which had gone silent for many millennia, bestowed upon the world a gift that would change it forever.

A mysterious Dragon egg, one that was a vibrant purple colour. No one knew where it had come from, no one knew what type of creature slept inside it. No one knew what this Dragon would become. And then it hatched into an equally peculiar Dragon the same shade as it, and the other Dragons could only watch and wonder.

The young Dragon learned to harness Fire despite not being a Fire Dragon. And then he gained the powers of Wind and Electricity, gradually mastering every Light and Dark Element known to Dragonkind. But still his power grew to heights none thought possible, including the ability to control every facet of Aether itself.

This was Lucifor, the very first Purple Dragon.

He was a heroic Dragon, using his power for the good of all. Until something wicked entered his heart and it stopped being enough. He began to crave more and more power, eventually committing unforgivable acts against his fellow Dragons to satisfy his curiosity and desire. Soon, the Guardians cast him out.

But the reign of Malefor had only just begun…

For anyone here who actually played The Legend of Spyro series, I fully admit to changing Warfang’s backstory. I wasn’t too fond of the canon backstory, personally.

Anyhow, that’s enough for now.

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