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"We have only one freshwater source on the island, and it's become rather contaminated with ash over the last few years, so I invented this magnificent contraption to provide safe water for the entire tribe"
— Mastermind to Starflight about one of his inventions, The Dark Secret

Mastermind is an adult male NightWing who was introduced in The Dark Secret. Before the events of the NightWing Exodus, he lived on the NightWing island and served as a scientist for his tribe. He currently resides in the Rainforest Kingdom, where he is imprisoned for his crimes against the RainWings. He is the father of Starflight.


Mastermind has black scales and curious, bloodshot eyes.[1] The silver scale patterns on the underside of his wing membranes spray outward, like a splash of water,[2] similar to Starflight's. He is whip-thin, and his snout is pockmarked with small scars.[1]


Mastermind is highly intelligent. He is passionately devoted to science and seems to care greatly about Starflight. Like his son, he has a tendency to use a wide and complex vocabulary. He gets nervous in difficult situations, such as when Battlewinner left her lava pool before her armor was complete, leading to her death. Mastermind was loyal to his tribe and was willing to follow the queen's orders. However, Mastermind did not have any intentions to torture the RainWings — he intended to create a defense to RainWing venom, and expand dragon knowledge for the purpose of science, as well as following the queen's orders. However, he seemed to believe that RainWings were inferior, barely considering them dragons, which explained his lack of remorse in their imprisonment and kidnapping. He is somewhat similar to Starflight and Cricket, as both are devoted to science. Unlike them, however, he seems to lack the critical thinking skills to question his orders and lacks both the moral compass and empathy that restraints him from experimenting on living creatures. Despite being willing to experiment on the RainWings, he was quite friendly when he met Starflight showing that he cares about his son. He uses large vocabulary, so elaborate to the extent that other dragons sometimes cannot understand him. He is obsessive about keeping others from touching his things.[3]


The Dragonet Prophecy

The Dark Secret
When Morrowseer and Starflight were hunting, Starflight remarked disgustedly that he would not have developed the correct antibodies to protect against the dangerous effects of eating rotting NightWing food. Morrowseer then commented that he now knew who the dragonet's father was, based on Starflight's so-called 'speaking style.' Morrowseer then took him to visit Mastermind.

Mastermind was in the middle of a 'crisis' when they arrived, the crisis being constructing venom-proof armor, and told them to leave because Princess Greatness had threatened to shut his research down. Morrowseer informed Mastermind that Starflight was his son, at which point he calmed down and first examined Starflight, overjoyed to have found his son. He then began talking about how the certain traits they shared (such as their jawline and the water spray silver-scale pattern on their wings) were genetically dominant, then showed Starflight some of the experiments he was working on, including desalinization (the process of making salt water drinkable) and volcanology. Starflight was awed by it all, and wanted to work with his father.

Mastermind then showed them his current project: RainWing venom and its capabilities. In order to study the venom, seventeen RainWings, three of which did not survive, were brought from their homes to the Night Kingdom against their will, and were then imprisoned so that Mastermind could safely conduct his experiments on them. He was working on Orchid at the time. He wanted to learn more about RainWing venom, such as what materials it affected and what it didn't. Mastermind learned that it only affected organic matter, and would quickly kill anything if the venom got into either the eyes or the bloodstream. He then began the construction of armor to resist the venom, but could not finish it due to being unable to find a suitable material as the eyepiece. However, he was so caught up in his research it never occurred to him that he was torturing the captive RainWings. This caused Starflight to decide that his father was sociopathic. He wanted nothing to do with Mastermind and his venom experiments and tried to avoid him.

Mastermind was also secretly working on lava-heated armor that would enable Queen Battlewinner to leave her pool of lava without freezing to death. This way, she would be able to lead the attack on the rainforest. Starflight saw it, but did not assume who it was for, and why. However, the armor never achieved completion before the eruption of the volcano, which destroyed everything on the NightWing island. The armor was presumably destroyed during the eruption.

Before the volcano exploded, rendering the NightWing island uninhabitable, Mastermind was among the evacuating dragons. He was bringing with him a bundle of scrolls, much like Starflight had tried to do so in the underground cave. He voiced his worries about the RainWings hating him for what he has done to their tribe to Starflight and Tsunami. Starflight sensed his father wanted to hear an assuring lie. Instead, he told his father to apologize to the Queen and take whatever punishment she gives him, and Mastermind escaped through the rainforest tunnel with the rest of the NightWings. His labs and research were all destroyed in the eruption; only the scrolls that he brought with him were saved.
The Brightest Night
Two RainWings brought Mastermind to Queen Glory. She ordered him to be tied up until she could decide what to do with him. As of the epilogue, he was awaiting to stand trial for his crimes against the RainWings.

The Jade Mountain Prophecy

Moon Rising
In the prologue, Secretkeeper accidentally ran into Farsight and Mastermind while trying to get to the Rainforest tunnel to see her daughter, Moonwatcher, hatch. Secretkeeper feared that Mastermind somehow knew about Moon's egg, judging by the expression on his face. Mastermind seemed impressed when Secretkeeper yelled at Farsight about her having two living children, after Farsight was trying to calm her about her "broken" egg.
Winter Turning
When they were talking about prisons, it was brought up that the RainWings don't have such things. Mastermind was mentioned to have been submerged in quicksand, since the RainWings didn't have prison cells and don't want to kill him. The RainWings had to haul him out every few hours so he didn't sink to his death.
Talons of Power
When Darkstalker created a prison, he mentioned that Glory could put Mastermind in there instead of leaving him in quicksand.


Mastermind yelled at Strongwings when he was his assistant, telling him to never come back again because Strongwings ruined Mastermind's lab somehow by knocking over a bottle of "uh, something" into a vat of "something else."



Farsight was Mastermind's partner. They seemed to like each other, but otherwise, they did not interact much.


When Mastermind first met Starflight, he was overjoyed and happy, finding out that they have a lot in common. Starflight was also very enthusiastic, and Mastermind thought he would be a great lab assistant. However, when he showed his son the RainWing experiments, Starflight lost all interest, being disgusted at his father. However, Mastermind did not seem to notice. It is unknown what their relationship is currently, or if Mastermind is now aware of his son's true feelings of him.


Strongwings was once Mastermind's lab assistant. Mastermind immensely disliked him because he was big and clumsy, knocking things over and not being on time for work. Strongwings did not wish to be the lab assistant but his parents forced him to.

Family Tree


    = Possible timeline


"No, no! […] I must not be interrupted! This experiment is at a critical juncture! And Greatness says I might be shut down at any moment! Everyone please leave!"
― to Morrowseer, Starflight and Fatespeaker (The Dark Secret, page 47)

"Three moons, […] What a handsome dragonet. He does look like me; I knew he would. As I suspected, his jawline is genetically dominant. […] Ah, and yes, see the way the star scales on our wings spray outward, like a splash of water? Whereas Morrowseer's, for instance, curl inward, more like a snail shell. All theories at this point, of course."
― to Morrowseer, about Starflight (The Dark Secret, page 47-48)

"But I have a son! I, of all dragons! Let's see Strongwings laugh now! Just wait until everyone sees my handsome offspring. […] So strong and healthy! You can be the assistant I've been looking for. What are you interested in, son?"
― to Starflight (The Dark Secret, page 48)

"Fantastic! […] I have lots of scrolls. How about desalinization? Know anything about it?"
― to Starflight (The Dark Secret, page 48)

"Very good, […] We have only one freshwater source on the island, and it's become rather contaminated with ash over the last few years, so I invented this magnificent contraption to provide safe water for the entire tribe…"
― to Starflight (The Dark Secret, page 49)

"Here is where I do all my volcanology, […] I'm testing for materials that can withstand eruptions, and working on scale models of barriers, and outlining possible implementation systems. No wonder I need an assistant, right?"
― to Starflight (The Dark Secret, page 49)

"Not going very well, as you can see! […] Queen Battlewinner isn't pleased about that. Of course, she has her own ideas about where I should be focusing my attention. Come, come!"
― to Starflight (The Dark Secret, page 50)

"Mastermind was our science teacher, and the tribe's resident genius, if you can believe all the hype about him. I say, if he's such a genius, he should be able to explain stuff in a way that dragons can actually understand. Instead he showed up once a week, blathered on for hours using the biggest, most made-up words possible, and then slithered back to his lab, leaving all of us even dumber than we were before."
Fierceteeth about Mastermind (Prisoners)

"I'm sorry, […] It was… I was just… for science…"
― to the RainWings when they confront him for capturing RainWings and experimenting on them (The Brightest Night, page 7)

― to Strongwings (Prisoners)

― to Strongwings (Prisoners)




Present: GloryDarkstalkerBattlewinner
Historical: Vigilance



Jade Mountain


Other Dragons


Other Dragons





NightWing island: NightWing tunnels
Lost city of night: Borderland MountainDarkstalker's homeGreat DiamondNightWing libraryNightWing palaceNightWing schoolNorth Beach
Rainforest Kingdom: NightWing village


NightWing Exodus