The Serpent's Treasure is the first book of the Skylanders book series, Skylanders: The Return of the Beasts.
Chapter 1: AwakeningEdit
In the darkest part of the darkest forest, a new evil was stirring. If it awoke, no one in Skylands would be safe. After thousands of years of sleeping, it was on the verge of conciousness, and it was hungry. Hungry for power. The reflection of the sun on the creature's scales glimmered. It was high noon, the time this creature would wake. It opened it's slitted eyes and gazed around. I have returned, the creature thought, The Serpent has returned, and Skylands is doomed!
Spyro the Dragon watched all this from the all-seeing mist in Eon's citadel. He looked at Master Eon, his mouth wide open in shock. 'Is this true? Have the beasts really returned?'
Eon leant on his staff. 'We don't know, Spyro. But the Serpent is awake. We can be sure of that.'
'We'll tell the other Skylanders, right? They've got to know.'
'Of course, Spyro. When the time comes, when the time comes.'
'No!' Spyro had never shouted at Eon like that, but he knew he should. 'I mean... They deserve to be told now. They became Skylanders because of their bravery. They can handle this.'
'I don't know, Spyro. The Beasts have never truly been defeated. I am sure that most Skylanders might cower in fear at this.'
'I don't care. I'm telling the ones that can bear the truth. Just in case... And I'll set up a quest! The Serpent shall be defeated before the other Beasts even have a chance to wake! Please?'
'Fine, Spyro, nobody can resist those puppy dog eyes. You may tell the bravest Skylanders you know. Make them swear to keep it a secret from the others.'
'Cross my heart and hope to die.'
'Good. Now can you change the channel, my favorite TV show is on.'
The hall was roaring with noise, Spyro felt guilty, knowing he'd lied to Master Eon. He stepped up to Eon's enchanted microphone and spoke into it. 'Hello? Stop talking, I have to tell you something.' The noise slowly died down, even though there were a few Skylanders that were shouting at the top of their lungs. Spyro ignored them. 'I bring bad news. Eon told me not to tell you... But the Beasts have returned. I the Serpent wake with my own two eyes.'
The room was so silent you could here Eon snoring.
'We need questors to defeat the Beasts before he can wake the others. Any volounteers?'
Nobody was prepared to fight the Beast except one.
'You must fight fire with fire! Serpent against serpent!' Cobra Cadabra called over the crowd. He slithered out of his basket and played a melodious tune on his flute. 'Send me.'
Spyro had a look that was a look of relief and shock. 'Okay, that's two! Anyone else!'
Cobra Cadabra frowned. 'Wait, who else?'
'Me, of course. We can bond, my Magic reptile friend! Anyway, it's a long journey to the temple of the Serpent. We start at dawn.' Spyro's voice fell to a whisper. 'I don't know what's coming. But you seem confident. I want to make you the leader of the quest. What do you say?'
Cobra Cadabra nodded as the Skylanders flooded out of the room. This was the moment he'd been waiting for his entire life. Dawn. Just have to wait until dawn.
Chapter 2: A Cursed RelicEdit
Cobra Cadabra woke up to a pleasant sound resonating through his basket. He remembered the quest, and shot his head right through the hole. Spyro gave him a big grin.
Cobra Cadabra groaned. 'Sorry! I forgot to wake up! It's just that -'
Spyro interrupted him. 'You slept in. Nothing wrong with that! We all need rest every now and then. But you're awake now, so let's get a move on.'
Cobra Cadabra slithered out of his basket.
'Okay. According to this map, the Temple of the Serpent is just around here. No, it's here. No, here. Ah, found it, it's here.' Spyro said.
Cobra Cadabra rolled his eyes and snatched the map of Spyro. 'Give me that!'
He read the map and the colour drained out of his face. 'You were right Spyro. This is going to be a long journey. First stop, Hourglass Citadel.'
Hourglass Citadel was the slowest place in all of Skylands, due to the Time Spellpunks. And the Core Hourglass... Cobra Cadabra shuddered at the thought. It was a long walk, and Spyro had a bit of trouble finding good conversation starters. He started with this. 'What do you know about Hourglass Citadel?'
'Are you referring to Hourglass Citadel altogether or just the Core Hourglass?'
'Don't answer my questions with questions. Just... Start with the core and then explain the other things.'
'The Core Hourglass is the source of time in Skylands. As the sand flows, so does time. If the sand runs out, it is said Skylands will disappear and restart. The place is inhabited by Time Spellpunks, making the sand go faster as if they have a death wish.'
'Wow! Sounds hardcore. So...'
'Unless we want to fight waves of enemies, we run straight past it.'
Cobr Cadabra realised he was getting tired, and fell on the floor, in desperate need of a rest. Spyro dropped down next to him and looked up at the clouds.
'Why didn't we bring transportation?' Cobra Cadabra asked. 'I mean, even Flynn and his terrible flying would have been better than walking.'
'You're right. That's why I got a surprise for you!'
A shadow fell over the two, and a hot-air ballon spiralled out of control in mid-air. It crashed straight into a tree, and Flynn poked his head out of the wreckage. 'So, are you ready to fly with Flynn, the awesomest pilot in all of Skylands?
'As ready as I'll ever be.' Cobra Cadabra slid to Flynn's balloon. As soon as Flynn stepped inside, it was back to its former glory. Spyro looked up in awe. 'How did you do that, Flynn? It was broken and then...'
'Boom! It's because of this thing I found. Check. It. OUT!'
In his hands he held a golden snake, his eyes made of ruby, and in his mouth were two pure white fangs.
Spyro opened his eyes in shock, so there must have been something wrong with it. 'Flynn... Do you know what that is?'
'It's awesome, that's what it is!'
'No. That belongs to the Serpent.'
'Oh yeah! Who is this Serpent guy again?'
'The father of all serpents! Born to oppose Thumpback! Guardian of the Beasts!'
'No, doesn't ring a bell.'
'Take us to Hourglass Citadel please. And give me the Serpent's treasure.'
'Do I really have to give...'
'Give me the Serpent's Treasure! It's to dangerous to be on this balloon.'
'It FIXED this balloon. Of course it isn't dangerous.'
'The Serpent's treasure has both healing and poisoning powers. This could destroy us. Take us to Hourglass Citadel.'
Cobra Cadabra listened to the whole conversation, flabbergasted. He stared at the treasure. He didn't see what all the fuss was about. It was a golden snake, seriously. But Cobra Cadabra sensed its power. Like it was linked to the Serpent itself. If he looked carefully, he could see the a ruby eyes blink.
Chapter 3: Hourglass CitadelEdit
A wave of time hit Cobra Cadabra hard. He could feel himself getting slower, but he was slowly getting back to his normal pace. A village stretched below him. He saw Mabu talking, continuing with their normal days. Houses came from every direction, and Time Spellpunks were patrolling the streets, probably slowing down time. And in the centre of this city... Oh no. The Core Hourglass was colossal in size, and more Time Spellpunks than below we're on top, keeping guard. The balloon was getting closer and closer into the guards' sight. It caught the eye of one of the Spellpunks and he screamed out, trying to warn the other ones of intruders. 'Look! They're coming in a flying... thingy and they're going to steal the Sands of Time! We've got to stop them!'
The other Spellpunks muttered under their breath, saying how stupid the other Spellpunk was.
'I'm telling the truth! It's not like the other 749 times! Why won't you believe me?'
What a whiner, Cobra Cadabra thought, time to put an end to his misery.
A dart flew out the end of his flute, striking the Spellpunk square in the back.
He fell to the ground, unconscious. That caught the other Spellpunks attention.
'Oh my god!' Whispered one. 'He's dead! Let's celebrate!'
'No.' Said another. He was the biggest, and obviously the leader. 'He must've been right. There's someone out there. Show yourself!'
'I said, show yourself!'
'Don't make me come over...'
Cobra Cadabra laughed as the Spellpunk fell to the ground, a dart sticking out of his head.
'I think you should stop,' Spyro said worryingly. 'I say we make peace. If that doesn't work, we fight.'
Cobra Cadabra looked at Spyro and shook his head. 'No. I have a better idea...'
'Are you sure you want to do this!?' Yelled Spyro over the wind.
'Yes! Just drop me down, and say it's a gift! This will go down in history, as the Woven Basket of Hourglass Citadel!' Came Cobra Cadabra's muffled voice from inside his basket.
Spyro released his grip on the basket, and Cobra Cadabra landed on the tip of the hourglass. The Spellpunks gathered round it, wondering what it was.
'It's a gift! A peace offering! We don't have to fight anymore!'
'Well!' A little Spellpunk said. 'I guess it's ours now!'
The little Spellpunk picked up the basket, and Cobra Cadabra burst out of the basket, bombarding the Spellpunks with darts. The little Spellpunk that was holding the basket dropped it, and backed away to the edge of the hourglass. Cobra Cadabra shot his last dart. Before it could hit the little Spellpunk, he held out his hands and froze Cobra Cadabra and the dart in mid-air. The Spellpunk jumped in excitement and turned for a jump off the hourglass, only to come face-to-face with Spyro.
'Let. My. Friend. Go.' Spyro said through gritted teeth. 'Or else... See these claws? Do they look painful? If you don't release my friend, you're going to find out.'
'Fine! I'll let him go! On one condition!'
Spyro tightened his grip on the Spellpunk's neck. 'What is it?'
'Ow, ow, ow! You've just got to take me with you. I mean, I could be helpful if you need to freeze time.'
'When would we need to freeze time? Okay, fine. We had a deal?'
'Yes, yes, yes.' The Spellpunk hovered over to Cobra Cadabra and held out his hands again.
'What the -' Cobra Cadabra said. 'How'd you do that, Spellpunk?'
'He's coming with us.' Spyro said as he walked past. 'He forced me to.'
Cobra Cadabra saw the devilish glint in the Spellpunk's eye, and knew he couldn't be trusted.
'If you're going to be coming with us... you're going to stay in here.' Cobra Cadabra grabbed his basket and jammed the Spellpunk into it. 'You comfy in there?'
'Good! Now, Spyro. Next stop?'
'Temple of the Beasts. We're almost there!'
Chapter 4: Temple of the BeastsEdit
Over the horizon, the Temple of the Beasts came into Cobra Cadabra's view.
'Land. Now.' Spyro ordered, and Flynn descended the balloon. Up close, the temple was beautiful. It was made of pure gold, with carvings depicting scenes of the Giant War. All that Spyro could manage was, 'It's... beautiful. Absolutely... beautiful.'
'I'm glad you like it,' A voice from inside the temple said. 'Finally. Guessstsss. What takesss you ssso long?'
'Are you... are you the Serpent?' Asked Cobra Cadabra.
'No, I'm jussst an innosssent Mabu... Of courssse I'm the Ssserpent!'
'Just checking. Why do you need us?'
'I thought it was obviousss. To wake the Beassstsss, we need a proper sssacrifissse.'
'Well you're not taking us.' Spyro said. 'We will survive.'
'Oh, that'sss fine. I sssenssse another being's presenssse in thisss room. Give me that basssket!'
The Serpent lunged for Cobra Cadabra and picked up the basket.
'Out you come, little Ssspellpunk. It is your duty. You will be known as the one who woke the Beassstsss from their ssslumber.'
The Spellpunk exited the basket, cowering in fear of the Serpent.
'Good! Now jussst lay on the altar, and drink thisss poison. All there is to it!'
Shuddering, the Spellpunk laid himself down on the altar and sculled down the poison. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, and he started floating up.
'Yesss! Yesss! The Serpent cheered.
'No! No!' Spyro screamed.
The ground split open beneath their feet.
'Come, my brothers!' The Serpent shouted. 'The ceremony is almost complete! You will soon be returned to your former glory!'
Seven Beasts crawled out of the chasm, positioning themselves next to the Serpent.
'Now,' The Serpent turned to face the two. 'You die!'
All the Beasts attacked the Skylanders simultaneously. Cobra Cadabra managed to fire one dart, but it bounced right off the Lion's skin. Spyro charged, at the bull, but all that came out of that was a twisted horn. Before long, the Skylanders were battered and bruised, and Spyro had been knocked unconcious. Cobra Cadabra scooped up Spyro in his arms, and looked back at the triumphant Beasts. 'We'll be back. And next time, we won't be alone.
Flynn was waiting at the balloon, tapping his fingers. His eyes grew wide when he saw Spyro's limp body. 'Ah! Is he... dead?'
'No.' Cobra Cadabra replied. 'He's just really, really hurt. Get us back to Eon's Citadel, ASAP! Spyro needs help.'
'You got it!'
Flynn's balloon lifted into the air, and set off.
Chapter 5: Home, Sweet HomeEdit
Once the group returned to Eon's Citadel, they were swarmed by Skylanders wanting to hear what happened.
'I'll tell you all later.' Cobra Cadabra announced. 'But right now, we need to get Spyro to the hospital.' Cobra Cadabra told the whole story, from start to finish. Eon was among, the crowd, both proud and disappointed. He had told Spyro to keep his word. He lied. But he succeeded! After the story was finished, Cobra Cadabra slithered up to Eon.
'Listen. I know Spyro lied to you, and that we weren't supposed to go on the quest, but what would've happened if we didn't!? I mean -'
'It's okay, Cobra Cadabra. I'll allow it. I've even assigned Pop Fizz the job of leading the next quest against the Octopus.'
'Wha... I don't know what to say...' To Be Continued!
- Hourglass Citadel is also a level in Skylanders: Fan Wiki.
- It references the Wooden Horse of Troy in Chapter 3.