Before the events of Darkness of Dragons, the IceWing and NightWing tribes hated each other for a very long time, going back to a war that took place about 2,000 years before the events of The Dragonet Prophecy. In Darkstalker, the IceWing and NightWing tribes' feud was revealed to have been caused by a relationship between Prince Arctic and Foeslayer, in which Arctic fled the Ice Kingdom and his mother, Queen Diamond, vowed revenge on the NightWings for taking him away. Queen Diamond believed that Foeslayer did not truly love Arctic, rather that she was sent to the Ice Kingdom by her tribe to steal Arctic's - and, by extension - the entire IceWing tribe's animus magic. Queen Diamond said that Arctic could only return if he killed both of his dragonets and brought them to her as proof in a letter made of metal.
DescriptionIceWing scales can range from silvery-gray and white colors to pale shades of blue and purple, intended to blend into their icy surroundings much like many other tribes (such as SandWings, MudWings, and RainWings). 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 is shaped like a diamond and is very narrow, with long horns and spikes going down their head, slender neck, and body. They are lean dragons that also have surprisingly strong but thin, whip-like tails with icicle-shaped spines, ending in a very sharp tip. IceWings have blue, black, or stormy gray eyes, forked blue tongues, and ridged, serrated claws used as an advantage on the battlefield or to grip the ice when traveling by talon around their habitat. They have also been noted to have dark blue blood, unlike the normal dark red of the other Pyrrhian tribes. Their claws are described to feel "four times sharper than average claws" due to them being serrated to help them walk on icy surfaces. 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, and being clawed by an IceWing has been said to be similar to getting clawed four times. According to The Dragonet Prophecy and Moon Rising, IceWing scales radiate a chill, contrary to SandWing scales, which radiate heat. Instead of breathing fire, IceWings exhale a deadly freezing weapon called frostbreath, sometimes known by the dragonets of destiny as "freezing death breath." This vapor can quickly induce terrible frostbite, and if the frost breath enters through another dragon's throat, it can kill them by fusing their internal organs. However, this can be countered by lava (and potentially other heat sources), 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. Fjord shot his frostbreath at Clay's wing and damaged it, though his wing was repaired with mud provided by Peril later. When Clay shot fire into Fjord's mouth, the chill of his scales swallowed the flame causing the IceWing to have a bad coughing fit. Frostbreath can also be used to put out fires, demonstrated when Winter extinguished the flames in the history cave by exhaling frostbreath. If it comes in contact with the soil, ice crystals will grow. An IceWing can be stopped from using this power for a short amount of time by warming up their body temperature by means of 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' volcanic island. He mentions that in this kind of heat that he will not be able to use his frostbreath, similar to MudWings not being able to breathe fire when they are too cold. IceWings are not comfortable in warm temperatures, as seen multiple times.
If a dragon is shot by frostbreath on the inside, perhaps down the throat, the only known way for them to survive is for the victim to stay immersed in lava or a similar hot substance. Queen Battlewinner of the NightWings survived an attack where an IceWing shot frostbreath down her throat, but thanks to her internal fire reservoir she was able to survive for a short time; however, the fire could not hold it off forever, and when she became desperate, she jumped into lava, which kept her temperature in balance. The ice in her body also discolored her eyes, teeth, scales, and throat to a frosty blue color. Much later, when she attempted to attack Starflight and Queen Glory in The Dark Secret, the ice overwhelmed her after she stepped out of her lava cauldron, and despite Mastermind's and Princess Greatness's efforts to save the queen, she froze to death within seconds. SkyWings born with firescales like Peril are immune to frostbreath, but the impact area hit by the frostbreath will go numb for however long it takes for the firescales to melt 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 a group of them are gathered together because their minds are said to "reflect" off of each other.
IceWings were once known for having more Animus Dragons than any other tribe. These dragons were carefully bred into the royal family and monitored cautiously, with strict rules for the use of their powers to keep their soul from turning evil. IceWing animus dragons 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, the last IceWing known animus, ran away with Foeslayer to the Night Kingdom, leading the IceWings to believe that the NightWings stole their magic, giving them the gift of animus powers. However, there could still be an IceWing animus out there because it is genetic and Prince Arctic was not the last royal dragon.
Mentioned Animus Dragons
The IceWings appear to be fairly sophisticated in comparison to the other tribes, being the only dragons to have a social hierarchy. Their social order appears to be somewhat reminiscent of a lower-level Russian 1800's society combined with something that is somewhat Spartan. IceWings are commonly full of themselves. They also seem to be good planners due to their use of the animus IceWings in their tribe.
The aristocracy of 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-ranking 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 every noble dragon and dragonet. The place where a dragonet ranks on their seventh hatching day determines where he or she will live as an adult.
In Winter Turning, there was an instance where an adult IceWing wore an accessory to indicate their ranking. It was shown when Winter met the first guard that stood outside the gate after he had rescued Hailstorm and returned to the Kingdom of Ice. The accessory wore by the guard was describe as a chain of five concentric silver circles which indicated the guard as "Fifth Circle" among the adult rankings. In Darkstalker: Legends, Prince Arctic also observes that Snowflake only has one circle hanging from the silver chain around her neck, meaning she is in the First Circle.
However, the Diamond Trial is also another last-minute possibility for rank movement. It is a test where the lower-ranked IceWing challenges the highest-ranked. For the Diamond Trial, the low-ranked dragon must kill the highest-ranked dragon 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. If a dragonet dies or is exiled for some reason, their name on the ice wall of the Gift of Order 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 have a strict behavior to uphold; Winter describes it as "undignified" when Moon hugs her mother.
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).
IceWings believe their stories are the true history and the only correct retellings of legends and events, with every other tribe's version being an altered retelling tailored for the tribe, despite the IceWing stories being exactly that.
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.
IceWings are proud of their system with handling animus dragons, which was part of why they got so angry when they lost their animus line.
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 Lynx, Narwhal, and Ermine, words for "white" in various languages such as Hvitur, polar landscapes such as Tundra, and polar weather such as Hailstorm. It is also possible for them to be named after blue and white gemstones such as Diamond and after seasons such as Winter.
Students at Jade Mountain
- Winter (currently living with the Talons of Peace)
- Icicle (on trial in the Ice Kingdom, for attempting to kill Starflight , Glory and killing an unnamed NightWing by the orders of Queen Scarlet)
- 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.
- IceWings appear to other tribes as stuck-up, haughty, rude, and snobbish, due to their belief they are superior to all other tribes.
- It is mentioned they only interact with other tribes if they stand to gain something from it.
- 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 the dragonets of destiny did not know the actual term for it, although in The Dark Secret Starflight did use the word "frostbreath." This is likely because he is the smartest of the dragonets.
- When it is too warm, IceWings can't use their frostbreath, much like MudWings (who can only breathe fire when they are warm enough, as seen in The Dragonet Prophecy).
- In Moon Rising, Winter Turning, and Darkstalker it is noted that IceWings have dark blue blood, but in The Dragonet Prophecy, it was described as bluish-red. In The Dragonet Prophecy (GN), 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.
- 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.
- It is possible that animus magic originated from the IceWings, as so far, SeaWing and NightWing animi have been confirmed to be descended from IceWings.
- 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 when it is mentioned that Icicle dives into the frigid ocean six times a day, 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 like Skywings.
- 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. This accent is described as "high-pitched with a tinge of deep in certain words. "
- The IceWings have four palaces - the Queen's palace shown on the map of Pyrrhia, as well as three outer ones as mentioned in Darkstalker (Legends).
- In IceWing society, the dragon with the highest rank in the family chooses their dragonets' names, and the queen must approve them.
- IceWings eat frozen fruit, sometimes impaled like popsicles.
- A typical Icewing's diet consists of seal, polar bear, fish, whales, and other arctic creatures.
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- ↑ Winter Turning, page Chapter 20
- ↑ Moon Rising, page ? (Chapter 24)
- ↑ Moon Rising, page ? (Chapter 18)
- ↑ Runaway, position ?
- ↑ Runaway, position ?
- ↑ https://wingsoffire.scholastic.com/forums/topics/328664