"Since time began its wicked turn, primordial fires burn and burn. If Chrono Dragons raise concern, the Proto Dragons soon return."
I couldn't get that prophecy out of my head, ever since I touched it on the wall in the Rift... But now the Rifts are closed, and Chronos isn't giving me any answers.
(That's right, pup. I've given you enough to work with -- the rest is yours to figure out.)
AND its VOICE won't get out of my head either! AGH! I feel like I'm going nuts!
... It's a good thing I found you before Chronos transported us here. I don't know what it was thinking, but...
Now that you're, er, yelling at yourself, I don't know if I'd trust you navigating this strange place alone.
I've... never seen a dragon like that before -- at least, not in Dad's Codex.
(What is a "Codex"? Is it edible? And what are your names? Who are you? Are you edible?)
Wait, wait, wait! I can hear YOU, too?! Otto -- help! There are dragons in my brain! This is LITERALLY my worst nightmare!
Sorry... I'm not sure what to do. I've flown the great seas in my balloon, but I've never encountered anything like THIS...
(There's nothing to be afraid of, little human. The magma here makes life good for your kind and mine. It's what New Dragolandia is famous for.)
(Did you not know that? What else do you not know? Will I find out if I battle you?)
That dragon we fought told us we're in "New Dragolandia"... Otto, have you ever been to a place like that?
I can't say I have... But maybe we'll get some answers from this creature -- it looks like it wants to tell you something, boy!
(Your guardian is correct! I am called Zoli -- here on behalf of the Divines of the Pyramid. They wish to deliver you a message, hatchling.)
I don't wish to hear it!
(When you touched the ancient prophecy, the age-old bond between yourself and my kind was restored. Hooray!)
(It is good, because we will need human help in the future. The future that your kind have irrevocably marred...)
(Hello! Are you the new Scaleless? We're all very confused about you. Some are happy, some are scared. Me? I'm neither -- I'm Ik'ez.)
I-I'm... um... I'm Ned. A-And this is my friend, Otto. (I can't believe I'm doing this...)
(Okay! I'm gonna fight you and scare you away now. My hatcher will surely praise me if I do!)
(But if I don't, my hatcher might be angry... They're scary when they're angry. It's bad! That's why I have to beat you!)
I really don't like that logic!
Are you okay, Ned? Hoggie would never forgive me if I let anything happen to you.
I wish Dad were here right now, honestly. He'd handle this way better than I ever could. I bet he'd give up his Codex to have this power I don't even want!
(Quiet your noisy snout, Scaleless! Your kind is so loud, so disruptive, so ungrateful! I can't stand your kind!)
W-Wait, what? Um, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you mad -- I don't really know what to do about my... scaleless-ness.
It's rare for a dragon to show true anger at a human. How odd... Or is this how dragons have thought all along?!
(Oh, hello, sweet little humans! It's nice to see your species thriving, but I do hope you're not here to dig up my nice earth, like some of your kin...)
This one seems a little friendlier than the last. What's it saying, boy?
W-We're not here to dig up anyth-- Wait... YOUR earth?
(Well, I made it, didn't I? All the soft soil and soaring mountains -- those're mine! So please don't hurt them, okay?)
(Of course, my nice earth would be nothing without magma and heat. That's why I have to battle you, before I let you meet my leader!)
There you are! Are you two the newcomers that've got our dragons all worked into a tizzy? Ah -- and Audo, is that you?
RATHORN?! What in Dragolandia are YOU doing here? And who's Audo?!
Eh? Who is this "Rathorn"? My name is Delith, and it seems like I've misnamed you, my familiar-looking friend.
Well, confusion aside, I'm sure you two are here for some of New Dragolandia's famous dragon battles.
Unfortunately, I've only got time to entertain you with a single one! Strange things are afoot, and my presence is needed elsewhere.
So, either Rathorn's got another personality, and I'm hallucinating all this, or dreaming, or... Have I lost my mind, Otto? I'm scared.
(Scared? Of me?)
Huh...? NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT: YES! I am VERY scared of you, and I want to go home!
(I have never understood your human fears. Why fear the dark -- especially when it cools the oppressive heat around you?)
I don't know what that Darkfire Dragon is saying, boy, but we don't need to fear it. When we battle dragons, we understand them better...
And if you take a moment to understand someone, no matter what they look like, you'll find you're less afraid...
*sigh* I've been thinking about what you said, Otto... I'll try to understand dragons -- I mean, I have that ability now, I guess.
(Can you understand? That's good -- my human can't! I used to be able to talk with her, but she can't hear me anymore...)
That's--! (Take a deep breath, Ned, you can do this...)
*sigh* That's really sad, actually. It hurts to be misunderstood by someone you love. Um... is there anything we can do to, uh, help?
(Yes! Way to go, boy! Ah, if only Hoggie could see you now...!)
(Well, you could tell my human I'd like more fruit for breakfast... And you can battle me! My human never knows when I want to play anymore!)
(You must be the strange Scaleless from another realm, new to my lively caldera your kind call "New Dragolandia.")
Hm. This one looks important. What's it saying, Ned my boy?
(I am called Oyar. It was I who crawled forth from the earth's egg, split the land, and created this place where Scaleless and Scaled co-exist.)
Um... Otto, I think we're meeting God.
(Not God -- Oyar! You Scaleless can be so presumptuous. Come now, battle me so that I may know who you truly are!)
(It is strange -- I cannot get a proper read on you. I know the rest of the Scaleless here like the pads of my claw, but I sense chaos in you two...)
Oyar! Are you bothering these humans? You must remember to treat them as equals, with respect and empathy.
(Hmph. It is difficult, Delith, when so many of them turn away from us in favor of their futile industry. Why, we cannot even speak as we used to.)
I apologize, Audo, and you, young man. Oyar is frustrated that we humans have recently had difficulty "hearing" our dragon compatriots.
I... *sigh* It's Otto, not Audo. Otto.
(Let us battle again. I want to know more about these Scaleless. I sense they are from farther away than I once thought.)
(Oh, hello again! Did you just battle my hatcher, Oyar? No wonder you look like wobbly hatchlings!)
(But if you battled Oyar, and you're still here, that must mean you're "good." Good Scaleless can stay. I like them because they're fun -- like me!)
(I LIKE playing with their machines. Sometimes, I make them explode, and the Scaleless run all around like ants! Say, Tall One, can I make YOU explode?)
Um, Otto, you might want to step back. This one's a little unstable...
Yeah, I think I'm beginning to understand why it's so important for people and dragons to understand each other.
(I see you two've mingled with my more brutish comrades. They've become especially annoying since our understanding of humans grows thinner.)
(It's a shame for me, too. I enjoy learning about your kind. I always want to know more.)
(But I am young, and I'm told that before I was hatched, humans and dragons spoke much and were tightly intertwined.)
If... if it makes you feel better, where I'm from, I have lots of friends who love your kind, and take care of them...
(I see. It sounds like a beautiful future I can only dream of. Now, allow me to battle you. I am growing fond of you two.)
*sigh* All right... Wait, future--?!
Fill me in, Ned. It seems we've stumbled on quite a complicated situation -- and by some miracle, you're the one bearing the brunt of it.
Based on everything we've been told... AND everything I've read in what little written history I can find...
I think we're FAR in the past, like, at the beginning of everything we know... And I think that humans and dragons were ALL able to talk to each other.
But the humans can't really hear the dragons anymore, and it's making everyone sad, and confused...
Speaking of... Otto, you've been acting a little weird around Delith (and don't get me started on that Rathorn lookalike!) What's that abou--?
(Hey! Your clumsy claws are tromping too close to my nest! You Scaleless never listen to anyone but yourselves, do you?!)
Otto, you... Will you tell me what's going on? Why does Delith keep calling you "Audo"? Who IS Delith?
... There are a few things you and your dad don't know about me. What I can tell you is: I think-- no, I KNOW Delith is a distant relative of Rathorn.
I'm sorry, boy, I'm not ready to say much more. And I've got no clue what made Delith's descendants eventually turn their backs on dragons...
(Ah-ha! Humans! I positively adore humans! They used the caldera's magma to give my scales this GORGEOUS shape! Isn't it magnificent?)
(Won't you battle me, you darling humans? It'll be such fun to show off my moves!)
(You're looking less fearful than the last time I saw you, little human. I'm glad, although it makes me want to give you a fright...)
(Forgive me. As a being of shadow, I enjoy a trick or two! But I am much more interested in unusual specimens like you and your guardian, and Delith...)
And I am grateful for your fondness, Molim! This dragon is an excellent ally in my efforts to ease the growing divide between our species...
Alas, this crusade of understanding is why I've been so busy. How can we live together when humans and dragons look ever-away from each other?
This... this is exactly what Dad fought for all those years ago! Delith, I think I understand you, and I think I get why dragons are so special...
(The hatchling is growing before my eyes. Won't you humans entertain me with a battle of brain and brawn, in celebration?)
(Delith! My earthquake made a whole new island! I think I'll call it "Arto." Will you ask the other humans to start planting trees upon it?)
Arto! Otto, did you hear that? They just MADE Arto! Is this really how the Dragolandian islands began?!
Delith, this might be hard to understand, but... Ned and I are from the far future of Dragolandia. We've been sent here, but we're not sure why.
And the boy's suddenly been given the ability to understand dragons, as you can see. It's... probably a good thing, but there's a lot we don't know.
That's... er... quite a lot to take in, although it's in line with Oyar's suspicions of you.
(Enough of this serious talk -- I'm so excited, I want to battle!)
(Hatchling Ned, I sense great reluctance, but also great resolve in you. I am drawn to creatures like you and your guardian, who exist between worlds.)
That's pretty spot on... I think I know what I have to do now. Like the prophecy said, I need one -- or all -- of you guys to come with us to the future.
(It's as I thought. The oddest of us always have the best stories. I can only urge you to do what's right with your knowledge and your gift.)
I... I will. I'll try.
(Come, it does no good to frown. Let us have a rollicking battle to send you off on your great destiny!)
(Molim told me you two are leaving, so Oyar is going to put me in charge while they accompany you!)
Oyar is coming with us...? Wow-- Wait, YOU'RE gonna be in charge?!
(Yeah. Yamad doesn't think I can do it, but I can! I can help humans with their machines, and make sure everything's hot, and... stuff.)
Um, Ik'ez, right? I know what it's like to be different from your dad. Or hatcher. It's hard, but I hope you do what's right. And not explode stuff.
(If that's what it means to be a good leader, then... I guess I'll try! Hey, Ned, will you battle me again?)
(I hear Oyar is going to the future with you two. I'm worried what it will mean for us, but I know it's important.)
(I like to worry, and I like to think. Others say that's unusual, but I don't care. I want to see the future one day. I hope it's interesting.)
It's... definitely interesting. And I think it's good to think hard about stuff, Yamad! Here, I'll give you one of my books so you can study the future.
(... Thank you. I like you, Ned, and your quiet guardian. Will you battle me before you go?)
Yeah -- we'd be happy to!
Oyar, if my thinking is right, we need your help to stop a really bad future from happening -- a future that threatens dragons, and all Dragolandia.
*sigh* I can't help but be anxious about all this, but I know it's for the best. Tell me, at least, has my work mattered at all in your future?
It... ... Actually, yeah, it has. It mattered a lot, a-and I'll make sure it continues to matter, Delith!
Come on, Ned. We've got a lot of work to do.
(Indeed. I'd like to battle one last time before we get to it! Scaleless-- no, humans, let us celebrate!)