Dragons are the current dominant species of Pyrrhia and Pantala. Scavengers once ruled Pyrrhia (their history in Pantala is currently unknown - except for Blue and Cricket referring to them as "reading monkeys"), but dragons overthrew them in an event known as The Scorching. Dragons are fairly intelligent, as they are capable of speech (particularly Dragon), tool-making, and many other abilities that are common in advanced societies. Very few members of the dragon population are known as animus dragons, who possess a powerful magic that is capable of causing practically anything - with the exception of raising the dead back to life - to happen. These powers can be performed by speech or thought, and it has been confirmed that animus magic is not specific to any one tribe; additionally, animus dragons can be artificially created (see: Talons of Power), but animus power is naturally genetic. Also, if the animus dragons use their magic too much the magic can eat away at the dragon's soul. Although some dragons have died of old age, sickness, and/or injury throughout the series, dragons can live for more than one hundred years before they die peacefully in their sleep, according to Starflight. In addition to Tui T. Sutherland stating that the average dragon lifespan is roughly 150 years, Tapir, a RainWing, managed to live for 110 years before his death. Dragon to scavenger age conversions: four to seven-year-olds are teenagers, seven to eight-year-olds are young adults, and anyone above nine years of age is considered an adult.
Biology and AnatomyEdit
Pyrrhian dragons fall into one of seven known tribes: RainWings, SandWings, SeaWings, NightWings, SkyWings, MudWings, and IceWings. Hybrids between tribes are possible, but hybrid dragons are uncommon due to tribe rivalry. Pantala currently supports three known species: SilkWings, LeafWings, HiveWings; along with BeetleWings, which are now extinct. All tribe members are roughly the same size with the exception of MudWings, who are generally larger (and typically stronger) than dragons from the other tribes. Dragons have been confirmed to grow as they age, with the oldest dragons typically being the largest in size. Dragons grow rapidly for the first eight to ten years of their life, then grow at a much slower rate for the rest of their lives.
All dragons are primarily quadrupedal. Pyrrhian and some Pantalan dragon bodies possess six limbs, two wings, and four arms/legs. Wings are attached to a dragon's shoulders, and have slightly transparent wing membrane stretched between five small bone digits, each of which have one small claw on the tip. A larger claw is attached to the front of the third digit. HiveWings and SilkWings, however, have eight limbs, four of which are wings and four of which are arms and legs. SilkWing wings are softly curved and resemble that of a butterfly, while HiveWing wings are thinner and resemble those of a dragonfly. According to Tsunami, dragon bones are nearly as hard as diamonds and quite difficult to break, however, Tsunami's ribs do break in The Lost Heir. The average dragon height is around 18 ft.
All dragons have large claws at the base of each foot (five on the forelegs and four on the hindlegs) and all can fly, regardless of tribe. Each tribe has different abilities according to their environment, so although not all tribes can breathe fire, each has at least one ability. IceWings have deadly frostbreath, serrated claws, whip-thin tails, and a resistance to cold temperatures and bright light; SeaWings have gills, powerful tails, are strong swimmers, and are capable of bioluminescence; RainWings have color-changing scales and deadly venom; SilkWings can shoot silk from wrist glands; HiveWings have abilities that differ from dragon to dragon; LeafWings are sometimes able to have control over plants and can absorb sunlight for nutritional purposes.
Most species seem to be omnivorous, although the majority of their diet consists of meat. SkyWings are carnivorous, however. Most dragons have large, sharp teeth suited to their diet. RainWings and SilkWings, however, are prominently herbivores, subsisting mainly on fruit. Most dragons can survive for up to a month without food.
It was confirmed in Moon Rising that dragons can faint.
It is mentioned on several occasions that dragons have a hoarding instinct similar to crows, preferring shiny or brightly colored objects. Instead of a currency system, dragons on Pyrrhia typically barter these items or other valuables.
Each tribe has specialized structures and abilities that differentiate them from the other tribes. Most typical is some sort of exhalation, most commonly fire. SkyWings, NightWings, and SandWings can breathe fire at any given time, whereas MudWings can only breathe fire when they are warm enough. IceWings exhale a freezing breath, while RainWings can spit corrosive acid that only affects biological matter. SeaWings are the only tribe on Pyrrhia that cannot exhale anything that may be used as a weapon, and none of the tribes on Pantala can, aside from the occasional acid- or poison-spitting HiveWing. The most commonly modified structures in dragons are either the wings, the claws, or the tail.
IceWings have modified claws to grip the ice, powerful frostbreath that has the ability to snap off limbs after contact, resistance to below-freezing temperatures so they can stay alive and comfortable in their habitat, and before Prince Arctic ran away with Foeslayer, IceWings used to have animus magic running through the royal family. They are also highly resistant to being blinded by bright light. IceWings have also been shown to be able to camouflage in the snow in their natural habitat. IceWings are shown to be able to swim, according to Darkstalker (Legends) and Winter Turning.
MudWings have nostrils located on the top of the snout to allow them to breathe while submerged in mud and water. In addition, they can hold their breath for up to an hour and have tough and armored scales for extra protection. However, occasionally, a blood-red MudWing egg will hatch, giving the dragonet inside the ability to resist fire. This power is strengthened or activated by being in the mud, which also strengthens MudWings in general. An example of a fireproof MudWing would be Clay.
NightWings were thought to have telepathy, as well as precognition, or the ability to predict future events. However, no NightWing has had these abilities in over a century (other than Moonwatcher), explaining why Starflight has no powers in the original series. It is later revealed by Darkstalker that these NightWing powers are gotten by at least one of the three moons being full and able to shine on an egg. One full moon gives the powers of either precognition or telepathy. Two full moons give both. Three full moons had once been thought to give animus magic, Darkstalker claims, but this theory was proved wrong. Now they are thought to give powerful telepathy and precognition, but this has not been proven. The NightWings have not hatched their eggs under the moonlight (besides Moonwatcher's and possibly Fatespeaker's) for around 2000 years, which may be because of the fact that they never wanted to have another Darkstalker. NightWings may also have bacteria in their saliva to help kill prey, similar to a Komodo dragon. They have created a veil of mystery around themselves, and not much else is known about their abilities, but it is thought they are slightly resistant to lava and fire, as shown when Vengeance didn't die immediately from the lava he was submerged in. Like the SeaWings and ancient IceWings, some NightWings have animus powers, passed down from Whiteout.
RainWings possess prehensile tails, similar to a chameleon's, used for navigating the forest. It was fairly recently discovered that they can also spit a deadly venom from their fangs which they rarely use. Most noticeably, they have the ability to change the color of their scales to help them camouflage, however, it can also express their mood.
SandWings possess a venomous barb on their tail that is lethal to other life forms, as well as also having the ability to exhale fire. SandWings are able to go for a long time without water, which helps them survive in the desert. Also, back in the time period of Darkstalker (Legends), there was one animus SandWing named Jerboa which proves that the SandWings may have previously had animus blood. It is revealed that Jerboa has one daughter, Jerboa II.
SeaWings are the most well equipped underwater, having gills, along with the ability to see in the dark to help them navigate their watery home. They have powerful webbed claws and tails that help them swim noticeably better than the other tribes, they also use bioluminescence to communicate while underwater by using a language called Aquatic. SeaWings also have animus blood running through the royal family. Some animus dragons include Prince Fathom, Princess Orca, Princess Anemone, and Prince Turtle.
SkyWings have large, almost overdeveloped wings with an extra digits on each wing, making them the best fliers among the dragons and having the ability to fly at a younger age than other tribes. They also have the ability to exhale fire. Sometimes, when SkyWings hatch in twin eggs, one of the twin dragonets absorbs all of their other twin's fire so that they have abnormally hot fire and can burn anything on touch, called firescales; their other twin becomes weak and loses all or most of their fire ability. An example of dragons with these abilities would be Peril and her brother. SkyWings are stated to typically kill off any firescale or animus dragons that are born as soon as they are discovered. SkyWings are also said to have animus dragons in Escaping Peril, although most of these special dragons don't survive since the popular tradition of the SkyWings is to drop them off a cliff before they can fly.
SilkWings are born without wings, and they go through a Metamorphosis when they are six, getting their wings. Their scales can be absolutely any color under the sun except black. They can also spin/shoot silk from a set of spinnerets on their wrists. Very rarely they have an ability called flamesilk, where they shoot solid fire (this is genetic). An example of dragons with this ability would be Luna and Blue. SilkWings can spin different types of silk, sometimes like thread, sometimes sticky to be used as construction. Flamesilks can still make silk that won't burn things. All SilkWings can choose which kind of silk they want to spin. HiveWings use flamesilk to create lights and normal silk as an ingredient in treestuff, to create most buildings and Hives. Some silkwings, like Tau, have wing deformities that hinder them from flying, which may have happened as a result of metamorphosis
LeafWings can absorb sunlight and use it for energy, were accomplished gardeners, and some were rumored to have unusual control over plants (Sundew has these abilities, as she is shown controlling plant roots into pushing stones in The Lost Continent.. The LeafWings call it Leafspeak). Their wings are shaped like leaves. They usually have a coloring of brown, green, or gold-flecked scales.
HiveWings have wasp or dragonfly-like wings. Their abilities differ from dragon to dragon, usually involving poison or acid of some sort. Some have stingers on their tails, used to inject nerve poison or spray a deadly acid (similar to RainWing venom). Some HiveWings have stingers that spring from their claws or teeth, and some even have them on their wingtips. There are many other abilities, and the majority of HiveWings do not have any ability. HiveWing scales can range from yellow to red to orange, but always with a few black scales.
Dragons have a complex, matriarchal society where each tribe is ruled by a hereditary queen. Each tribe differs in its traditions and values of life due to habitat and physiology. They are advanced enough to have speech and writing - all dragons appear to speak the same language. The SeaWings use their bio-luminescent stripes to communicate with a separate language called Aquatic (only used because speaking underwater would be difficult, if not impossible). Additionally, they have kingdoms, and some, like IceWings and SeaWings, care deeply about one's loyalty to his or her tribe.
SeaWings and IceWings usually pair off in lifelong partnerships, and the royal family is extremely important. It has been shown that MudWings and RainWings do not appear to care about their offspring (aristocratic IceWings appear only to care if their dragonets are at the top of their rankings). SkyWings either have or had a breeding system, and it is unknown if it is because of the war and having ideal soldiers, if it is Scarlet's policy, or if it is how it has always been. If it was Scarlet's policy, Ruby has most likely ended it. NightWings might have lifelong partners, but it seems very unlikely, and seems to have a SkyWing-like breeding program, as Secretkeeper refers to Morrowseer as "the egg's father" not "her mate", and Starflight and Fierceteeth are half-siblings. SkyWings, SeaWings, and NightWings care for their offspring deeply, as shown with Avalanche and Flame, Queen Ruby and Prince Cliff, Nautilus and Squid, Queen Coral and her daughters (although it might be because of her troubles of producing an heir), Moonwatcher and Secretkeeper, Mindreader and her father, along with the parents and dragonets Winter noticed when in the Rainforest Kingdom.
On Pantala, the SilkWings and the HiveWings are united under a single queen, Queen Wasp. They all live in different Hives, governed over by sisters of the queen. The Hives are connected by webs of silk made by SilkWings.
It is stated in the books multiple times that dragons have a system of body language. Peril notes in Escaping Peril that there "appeared to be some kind of code" about the way Turtle and Qibli greeted each other in Possibility. Earlier in the book, Turtle lifts one of his wings to shush Peril. During Ruby's visit to Jade Mountain, Clay stands up and spreads his wings to catch the attention of her soldiers so that they can land. It is mentioned that nudging another dragon's wing, or twining together their tails, is a sign of affection, showing that they're both in the same tribe; a family in a way. Also, flicking one's tail at someone is another way to get their attention. Dragons often tent their wings over others as a way to comfort or embrace them in a protective gesture, and wrapping their wings around one another or pressing snouts together to show a sign of affection, basically showing they would be there for each other.
Dragons have been able to develop armor and handheld weapons, so technologically and socially they seem to be somewhere around the Middle Ages.
NightWings are the most technologically advanced Pyrrhian tribe as they were able to create large buildings before the events of the Darkstalker (Legends). Additionally, they know about making glasses and experimented with RainWing venom during the War of SandWing Succession.
Dragons know medicinal uses of herbs and blood vessels as shown in Darkness of Dragons. RainWings, in particular, know about poisonous frogs and fruit and use certain venom to create blow darts which can cause a dragon to fall asleep without injuring them in the first place during a fight. SkyWings also use dragonflame cactus bombs, in which a fuse is lit on a cactus, which, in a certain period of time, will explode and release all of its sharp seeds. This tactic is very deadly in the series.
Dragons on Pantala seem to be slightly more technologically advanced than dragons on Pyrrhia, as they have books rather than scrolls. They also have glasses, stores, and massive silk bridges between the Hives. Sundew shows impressive knowledge of plants and insects, similar to RainWings. There are also water towers in Pantala, used by members of the SilkWings and HiveWings living in the Hives, which may imply they could have indoor plumbing. This is further suggested in The Hive Queen when Cadelle is seen using a sink while talking to Cricket.
Before the dragons had queens, the scavengers ruled Pyrrhia. Eventually, the dragons rebelled and established tribes and queens, so dragons could get help when they needed it, as shown with Osprey. This was known to the dragons as The Scorching. It is unknown if scavengers ever ruled over Pantala.
There are no known wars in Pantala besides the Tree Wars, which took place fifty years before the events of The Lost Continent. The war was caused by Queen Wasp, who convinced the SilkWings to submit under her rule by telling them the Book of Clearsight said it must be so. The LeafWings, however, demanded to see the book, which Queen Wasp would not allow because it would expose her plan. The LeafWings were nearly wiped out in the following war and proclaimed by the HiveWings to be extinct. All the trees in the areas the HiveWings controlled were cut down, to prevent the LeafWings from coming back. HiveWings later lied about the war, saying that LeafWings had tried to wipe the HiveWings and SilkWings out.
Although there are many wars in Pyrrhia's history, such as the wars between the NightWings and the IceWings, the most notable war was the War of SandWing Succession. This was caused by Queen Oasis of the SandWings being killed by a scavenger, and her daughters, Blaze, Blister, and Burn, trying to claim the throne for themselves. This sparked a tribal war among the dragon tribes since each of the princesses tried to get alliances with the other tribes in order to defeat their sisters.
After the war was ended by the Dragonets of Destiny, the tribes were now at an uneasy peace, though hostilities and tensions are still high, as many dragons are still bearing grudges against certain tribes. After Darkstalker was released from his eternal slumber, he provoked a war between the NightWings and IceWings, almost leading to the downfall of Pyrrhia. However, Darkstalker was stopped by the dragons in the Jade Winglet, who transformed him into a young NightWing-RainWing hybrid named Peacemaker.
Most dragons are carnivorous, with the exception of herbivores like the RainWings and the SilkWings. LeafWings are also known to be omnivorous. SeaWings are shown to love eating lots of seafood, although most other tribes appear to dislike doing so (with the possible exception of the IceWings). Turtle gave Peril a raw fish in Escaping Peril and she spat it out, disgusted. Kinkajou was shown in The Hidden Kingdom to be disgusted by meat-eaters, and the RainWings were all seen eating fruit . To read more about dragon diets, read our page just for it!
- ↑ https://youtu.be/5WHz0enyNG0
- ↑ http://xthedragonrebornx.deviantart.com/journal/Tui-and-Questions-Answered-691255321
- ↑ http://xthedragonrebornx.deviantart.com/journal/Tui-and-Questions-Answered-691255321
- ↑ Escaping Peril page 107
- ↑ Escaping Peril page 47
- ↑ Escaping Peril page 38
- ↑ Escaping Peril, page
- ↑ The Hidden Kingdom, page