Sonic and the Ringmaster is part of the Sonic Storybook Expansion series, expanding upon Sonic and the Secret Rings.
The theme for this game is Rings of the Rift
Sonic is on the balcony of the Night Palace, the seven World Rings floating before him. Shahra comes by and asks what's wrong, and Sonic replies with slight anger and strain, "I can feel power in these Rings that's hidden deep inside, but I can't distinguish what it is." Shahra reccomends he see the Ringmaster, and when Sonic questions who the Ringmaster is, Shahra replies "The Ringmaster is who forged the Rings' physical form. He could likely help you. Sonic rises his head and agrees that they see him. They dash out, but Shahra stares at his chest, where the Judgement remains, barely a millimeter of flame, and worries.
Sonic rushes through the Night Palace, which acts as the tutorial, and leaps down, where he meets Sinbad. Sinbad states that he didn't get to thank Sonic for saving him before, but Sonic states 'not now' and rushes off. Shahra lags behind, and Sinbad gives her a Chaos Onyx, a treasure he found in one of his travels. Shahra accepts it and rejoins Sonic.
Sonic crosses Inferno Desert, a desert of insanely hot sand, and comes across a great dragon that seems to form from sand. Shahra states its the Burning Sand Dragon, one of the Chaos Dragons of the land. Sonic screams, "Did you just say Chaos?" but is drowned out by the Dragon's scream. Sonic attempts to attack it, but is blocked by the sand's insane heat. Sonic ragingly grabs the red, green, and purple World Rings and becomes Darkspine Sonic, using the advantage of the flame to withstand the sand's heat. He defeats the Dragon and finds an Inferno Ruby as it fades into dust. Sonic picks it up, deactivates Darkspine, and rushes forward.
In Blackshadow Cave, Sonic meets the Ringmaster, who takes on the persona of Shadow. Sonic asks if the Ringmaster could harness the power of the World Rings. The Ringmaster replies that in response to combinations of the Rings' power, the body transforms. Sonic replies that he has met that, and nods. However, at that moment, Ali Baba rushes in, saying that there have been sightings of thieves in the distant Downpour Icefield.
Sonic rushes to the Icefield and finds it pure ice and raining heavily. He meets the thieves in a distant cave (impersonated by the Babylon Rouges), and they are greedily grabbing everything. One of them grabs a shining white gem, and in a boom, the whole cave collapses. The thieves and Sonic rush out, and Sonic finds a huge frozen dragon screaming. Shahra calls it the Raining Ice Dragon, and Sonic fights it with the yellow, aqua, and white Rings to become Lightspine Sonic, a reverse of Darkspine; bright skin, a black stripe, icy aura, and eyes darker than a newmoon night. Defeating it, he grabs the resulting Downpour Sapphire and turns to the thieves, who smile guiltily, empty their pockets, and dash off as Sonic deactivates Lightspine.
Sonic returns to Blackshadow Cave and apologizes for the interuption, asking how the true power of the Rings can be unleashed. The Ringmaster thinks, then says "Bring me the five elemental gems and I will show you." Sonic nods and rushes out to get them as Shahra explains what they are. The elemental gems are five crystals that hold the power of the planet's elements; air, fire, water, earth, spirit.
Sonic approaches the sky in search of the dragon of air, and in the Levitated Ruin, approaches the Lightning Wind Dragon. Sonic takes it as Lightspine, and after defeating it, dives for the Levitated Emerald. He makes it and grabs it just as he nears the ground. He searches around for the dragon of earth, and it forms from below as he swaps from light to dark, ready to fight. Defeating it, Sonic grabs the Stone Peridot and asks Shahra where in the world he would find a dragon of spirit. Shahra replies that she already has the Chaos Onyx, and pulls it out. Sonic is shocked, but recovers and says that they should go see the Ringmaster.
They reach the Ringmaster's lair, but Sonic finds it abandoned, and proceeds deeper to find him trapped by a creature of pure darkness. Sonic tries to fight, but it takes the Rings and a physcal form, and Sonic battles it with pure no-giving-up attitude. He takes victory, and frees the Ringmaster.
The Ringmaster brushes himself off and asks for the five elemental gems. Sonic hands them to him, and the Ringmaster calls him a fool, shouting that the power of the Elemental Gems are thousands of times more powerful than the useless emotions in the World Rings. He uses the power of the gems to transform into a great beast known as Shadow Force. Sonic escapes, and Shahra states that they cannot hope to win against Shadow Force. Sonic rages angrily and swirls the Rings around himself. Shahra shouts that he could kill himself if he used all seven Rings, but Sonic ignores her, and the energy transforms him.
Sonic lets the rings swirl around him as he transforms. He lets the energy flow into him, as he gains two shining limbs on his back. The Rings flash onto him, around ankles, wrists, the ends of the tentacles, and his neck. Sonic screams out in a fury as he shines gold, with ancient markings and eyes of silver. But the energy is too much: Shahra screams and dissolves into the ring on Sonic's finger, which shatters. Sonic cries "Shahra!" and grips the ring, then uses some of his newfound power to merge Shahra with himself, taking full form: He is now World Sonic!
Sonic approaches Shadow Force (a huge bipedal dragon of darkness with the Ringmaster as it's head), and Shadow Force screams at him angrily,
"This is my world! I created the Rings that bind these pages together!"
World Sonic slashes at him with the tentacles, shouting back, "I've slayed a thousand nights and one night!" then flies back and states, "You're just the last one again!" Shadow Force screams at him, and the battle begins.
After the battle, Shadow Force drops to the ground and dissolves back into the Ringmaster. Sonic drops by the Ringmaster and parts with Shahra, but at that moment, the Judgement flame extinguishes, and Sonic collapses, the Rings parting from him. Shahra drops by his side, but Erazor was right in the previous game; when the arrow of flame extinguishes, his life is forfiet. Shahra drops and cries at his side, but the Ringmaster places the seven rings around Sonic and says "Let an age-old forger forgive his mistakes, and let this young legend run free again." The power from the rings flows into him, and Sonic weakly rises again, and Shahra is shocked. But the Ringmaster asks Sonic a question;
Ringmaster: I don't understand. I created the seven World Rings. How is it that I could not overcome them?
Sonic: Frankly, you're foolish, Ringmaster. You only forged the Rings' physical form. The emotions entered the World Rings themselves. That is why you lost that fight. I beilieve you have my question to answer. How do I unlock the true power of the World Rings?
Ringmaster: You answered that question for yourself, Legendary Hedgehog. To unlock the true power of the Rings, one requires three things. A courageous heart. A whole lot of nightforsaken endurance.
Sonic: And the third thing?
Ringmaster: Unrivaled virtue. I had wondered why I could not attain the form you still haven't powered down from yet. It was because the one to save the Arabian Nights had not yet unlocked their power.
Sonic laughs, then vanishes in a gold-blue blur, the two tentacle-like protrusions from his back looking like swords. The Ringmaster watches him dash away, then starts to fade.
"Though the pages end, the story behind them continues. Farewell, Sonic the Hedgehog. World Knight."