IceWings are a tribe of Pyrrhian dragons who have scales that can be white, gray, silver, pale blue, or varying shades of purple. Along with their deadly frostbreath, IceWings are equipped with whip-thin tails that have deadly spikes on the end, serrated claws, and the ability to withstand subzero temperatures, and bright lights. They live in the northwestern peninsula of Pyrrhia, or the "head of Pyrrhia", known as the Ice Kingdom, which is known for its cold winds, freezing temperatures, and the Great Ice Cliff. The IceWings supported Princess Blaze during the War of SandWing Succession, joining her alliance with the promise of a large portion of land near the SandWings' north border if she won. Some dragons, such as Deathbringer, thought that the area contained hidden treasure since there were no other obvious reasons as to why the IceWings would be interested in land that was far away from their home and practically useless to their tribe.
Before the events of Darkness of Dragons, the IceWing and NightWing tribes had hated each other for a very long time, going all the way back to a war that took place about 2,000 years before The Dragonet Prophecy. Later, in Darkstalker (Legends), it was revealed that an IceWing animus at the time, Prince Arctic, wasn't "stolen" from the IceWing tribe like they had been told by Queen Diamond and the history scrolls. The reality was that Arctic had fallen in love with Foeslayer, a visiting NightWing diplomat, and had run away with her because Diamond would have never allowed their relationship to thrive in her kingdom. The IceWings thus waged war on the NightWings, and even 2,000 years later, the IceWings were still bitter over losing Arctic, and therefore any future animus dragons in the IceWing tribe.
An IceWing's scales can range from silvery white colors to pale shades of blue and purple. Their coloring has been described as "silver like the moon", "pale blue like ice", "as pale as the moons," or "scales the color of sky reflected in the snow on the distant mountain peaks", and sometimes "moon white scales." The head of an IceWing heads is shaped like a diamond, and are very narrow. They are lean dragons that also have surprisingly strong but narrow whip-like tails with extra icicle-shaped spines, being very sharp at the tip of the tail. IceWings have blue, black, or stormy grey eyes, forked blue tongues, and ridged, serrated claws to grip the ice while traveling by talon around their habitat. They have also been noted to have dark blue blood, unlike the normal dark red blood of the other Pyrrhian tribes. Their claws are described to feel "four times sharper than average claws" due to them being serrated. Some IceWings, such as Lynx, have been described to have dark blue or purple freckles or markings on their faces and wings.
IceWings can withstand subzero temperatures and very bright light. Their serrated claws are incredibly good at gripping ice and can be used to tear into their enemies' flesh quite easily; being clawed by an IceWing is said to be about as equal as getting clawed four times. According to The Dragonet Prophecy and Moon Rising, IceWing scales radiate a chill, similar to SandWing scales, which radiates heat. Instead of breathing fire, IceWings exhale a deadly freezing weapon called frostbreath, sometimes known by other dragons as "freezing death breath." This vapor can quickly induce terrible frostbite, and if the frostbreath enters through another dragon's throat, it can kill them by fusing their internal organs together, however this can be countered by lava as discussed below. In the first book, it was shown that the frostbreath can cause limbs to fall clean off, as noticed by Clay as he flew over a battlefield. Clay described it as a cloud of glittering smoke when he battled against Fjord in the SkyWing Arena, and when Clay shot fire into Fjord's mouth, the chill of his scales swallowed the flame. Frostbreath can also be used to extinguish fires, demonstrated when Winter attempted to extinguish the flames in the history cave by exhaling frostbreath in Moon Rising. If it hits soil, ice crystals will grow. An IceWing can be stopped from using this defense for a short amount of time by hot metal, fire, or other warm and hot materials. This is showed in the prologue of The Dragonet Prophecy, where Burn first had her guards wrap Hvitur's snout in hot iron chains, and then had them removed, planning to kill Hvitur before his scales cooled down and enabled him to breathe his frostbreath. This is also shown in Winter Turning, when Winter enters the NightWings secret volcano, he mentions that this is the kind of heat that he will not be able to use his frostbreath in.
If a dragon is shot by frostbreath on the inside, the only known way for them to survive it is for the victim to stay in lava or a similar substance. Queen Battlewinner of the NightWings survived an attack where an IceWing shot frostbreath down her throat, but due to her internal fire reservoir she could only survive for a short time; however, the fire could not hold it off forever and when she was desperate, she jumped into lava , which kept her temperature in balance. The ice in her body also discolored her eyes, teeth, scales, and throat. When she attempted to attack Starflight and Queen Glory in The Dark Secret, the ice overwhelmed her and, despite Mastermind's and Princess Greatness's efforts to save the queen, she froze to death within seconds. SkyWings born with too much fire like Peril are immune to their frostbreath, but the area that was hit by the frostbreath does go numb for a while, while the firescales fight the frostbreath.
In Moon Rising, Moonwatcher describes IceWings as having sharp, glittering, and bright minds that are hard to read, but even harder to read when they are clumped together because their minds are said to "reflect" off of each other.
Animus Powers Edit
IceWings were once known for having many animus dragons. These animus dragons were carefully bred into the royal line and monitored cautiously, with very strict rules for the use of their powers. IceWing animuses were only permitted to use their power once, for the benefit of the tribe, at the gifting ceremony on their seventh hatching day, although some dragons disobeyed this rule. The IceWings' line of animus dragons ended when Prince Arctic ran away with Foeslayer, leading the IceWings to believe that the NightWings stole their magic.
Animus Gifts Edit
- The Gift of Defense: The Great Ice Cliff, a wall on the border of the Ice Kingdom that shoots icicle spears at anyone who isn't an IceWing. Hybrids can also cross the cliff, as stated by Typhoon, a SeaWing/IceWing hybrid.
- The Gift of Diplomacy: Three bracelets that allow the wearer to get over the Great Ice Cliff despite their tribe and keep warm in the Ice Kingdom, as well as a heated dome near the SandWing border so they don't need to wear the bracelet; created by Penguin.
- The Gift of Elegance: An enchantment on Queen Snowfall's ice palace that makes the inner walls mimic the weather outside.
- The Gift of Healing: Queen Diamond's first official tribe gift. She enchanted a set of narwhal horns to cure any IceWings of frostbreath wounds.
- The Gift of Light: A tree made of ice, the Moon Globe Tree, enchanted by an animus named Frostbite. The tree grows moon globes which are used to light the area.
- The Gift of Order: A wall that shows every aristocrat IceWing's name and their ranking.
- The Gift of Splendor: The IceWing Palace, enchanted by animus twins to grow from the ground and never be cracked, melted, or harmed in any way from the outside.
- The Gift of Subsistence: A lake on the outskirts of the Ice Kingdom where if a dragon sticks his or her claws into the lake they will always catch a seal. Winter thinks it is narrow-minded because it is built only for the lower ranks; any dragon who cared about their ranking wouldn't accept food which came so easily.
- The Gift of Vengeance: The Diamond Caves were Queen Diamond's second animus gift, enchanted so that anyone who touches Foeslayer, a NightWing locked inside with animus-touched shackles, with a diamond-tipped spear can kill her (used for the Diamond Trial). It was originally created because Queen Diamond was not satisfied with killing Foeslayer just once.
The IceWings appear to be fairly sophisticated in comparison to the other tribes, being the only dragons to have social classes. The social order seems to be a little reminiscent of a lower-level Russian 1800's society combined with something that seems a little Spartan. Almost all of them are full of themselves. They also seem to be good planners due to their use of the animus IceWings in their tribe.
The IceWing tribe is divided into seven ranks, or circles, of status, with the First Circle being the best and the Seventh Circle being the worst. They separate dragonets and adults into two different divisions. Before their seventh hatching day, IceWing dragonets climb up the ranks by hunting, training, performing the proper IceWing customs impeccably, and surpassing various tests given by the dragonets' parents or guardians. (For example, Winter was sent out to spend the night in a blizzard alone while he was still very young.) The current rank possessed by the dragonet on their seventh hatching day determines the course of the rest of his or her life, although adult dragons are still capable of dropping or gaining circles. Dragonets who were ranked in a high-ranked circle are housed in the queen's palace when they are adults and are granted input on important political and tribal matters as well. This system is called the Gift of Order, a wall of ice showing the ranks of each and every noble dragon and dragonet. The place where you rank on your seventh hatching day determines where you will live as an adult.
However, the Diamond Trial is also another last-minute possibility. It is a test where a low-ranked IceWing challenges the highest-ranked. For the Diamond Trial, the low-ranked dragon must kill the highest ranked dragon in order for him/her to advance to first place. However, this is risky and the challenger may end up getting killed by the dragon that is being challenged. An animus-touched ice wall with the names of all of the dragonets shows their social rank. If a dragonet dies or is exiled for some reason, the name is slashed through. Once a dragonet turns seven, they are moved to the adult rankings, which determine where they live.
Only noble IceWings use this class system.
IceWings tend to be very proud, stiff, and arrogant dragons. Tribal pride isn't a secret among the IceWings, and thus their tribe consists of very haughty and uptight individuals. On the rare occasion that an IceWing interacts with a member of another tribe, it's usually very formal and forced; the IceWings believe that their tribe is superior to any other and that the other tribes are just a footnote in the great IceWing sagas that told the history of Pyrrhia. Thus, the entire time they're talking to someone, it's usually with disdain. (See scrolls for more on their education.)
The royal family has a procedure of decapitating dead members before proceeding to store the IceWing's frozen head on the wall of dead royal family members and then slide the corpse into the ocean, according to Snowflake in Runaway.
IceWing names are chosen by the family member with the highest rank and must be approved by the queen. They can be named after ice formations such as Glacier, arctic animals (terrestrial or aquatic) such as Narwhal, words for "white" in various languages such as Hvitur, polar landscapes such as Tundra, and polar weather such as Hailstorm. Also, it is possible for them to be named after blue and white gemstones such as Diamond.
Known IceWings Edit
- Prince Arctic
- Cirrus (Chameleon's IceWing shape)
- Darkstalker (also half NightWing)
- Queen Diamond
- Queen Glacier
- Prince Hailstorm
- Princess Icicle
- Prince Narwhal
- Penguin (Darkstalker)
- Queen Snowfall
- Princess Snowfox
- Princess Tundra
- Whiteout (also half NightWing)
- Prince Winter
Known Animus Dragons Edit
Students at Jade Mountain Academy Edit
- Prince Winter (former, now studying scavengers)
- Princess Icicle (former, now awaiting trial)
- Some IceWings seem to be minimalists, describing Blaze's fortress decorations as "garish and gaudy", possibly because their homeland has very little to offer in the way of decoration: mostly ice and snow.
- Their breath has been referred to as "freezing-death breath" and "frostbreath". Freezing-death breath was used in the first arc, while in the second arc, it is always referred to as "frostbreath". It is highly likely that it was only called "freezing death breath" because they did not know the actual term for it.
- When too warm, IceWings can't use their frostbreath, much like MudWings, that can only breathe fire when they are warm enough as seen in the prologue of the first book.
- In Moon Rising and Winter Turning, it is noted that IceWings have dark blue blood, but in the first book, it was described as blue-red. In the graphic novel, it is portrayed as a dark shade of blue.
- Winter, Icicle, and Snowflake have made references to "the great ice dragon" and "snow monsters" which means they likely have mythological figures, or at least mythology, as they read sagas of IceWing history.
- IceWings have bright, glittery minds, as shown in Moon Rising.
- Albatross was descended from an IceWing, meaning that all animus magic came from IceWings.
- IceWings have incredibly weak night vision, though it may once have been stronger before the Gift of Light.
- SkyWings with firescales are immune to frostbreath.
- IceWings were the first known tribe to use their animus dragons in a controlled manner, whereas other tribe's animus dragons were killed before they could use their magic or went insane from overusing their magic.
- Being clawed by an IceWing is described as being clawed "four times with each claw instead of one" by Peril in The Dragonet Prophecy.
- IceWings are portrayed as knowing how to swim, in both Winter Turning, when Hailstorm reflects on how he felt in the body of Pyrite when he saw water, and in Darkstalker (Legends) when two IceWings leap out of the water on a beach to kill some scavengers set loose by Clearsight and Listener before they jumped back into the water and swam away. This also proves that IceWings don't have as many issues with water as other tribes do.
- IceWings are shown to have scheduled sleeping times in Runaway. When Prince Arctic is caught out of his room, the Queen sends him back to bed, after talking about the scheduled IceWing sleeping cycle.
- In Winter Turning, Winter's thoughts revealed that IceWings can see very far.
- Tui has confirmed that IceWings have accents that are different from any other dragon tribe, probably because they live the most isolated from most dragon tribes.
- The IceWings have four palaces - the Queen's ice palace shown on the map of Pyrrhia, as well as three outer ones as mentioned in Darkstalker (Legends).
- When IceWings blush, it is blue, as shown in Winter Turning.
- In IceWing society, the dragon with the highest rank in the family chooses their dragonets' names, and the queen must approve them.
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