The tribe currently resides in the Rainforest Kingdom under the rule of Queen Glory the RainWing after fleeing the volcanic eruption that destroyed the island they had inhabited. Their former queen, Battlewinner, had been killed before the eruption in the after-effects of a frostbreath injury while lunging for Queen Glory. Many NightWings didn't like the fact that they were being ordered around by RainWings, so in Talons of Power the majority of the NightWings followed Darkstalker, the first known dragon king to rule. They moved to the old kingdom, in hopes of rebuilding their tribe's pride and a better quality of living. This was before Kinkajou transformed him into Peacemaker by using pieces of his talisman that she took from Chameleon, Peril's father, to enchant a strawberry. Kinkajou turned Darkstalker into a RainWing-NightWing hybrid dragonet.
AppearanceNightWings have forked, black tongues, and have dark scales which are usually black, dark blue, or purplish-black. They have silver, dark red, purple, dark green, or blue underbellies. On their neck, they have black spikes that stick up when provoked. They also have silver scales on their necks. Their wings have silver scales scattered across them like the night sky. These scales can be in different patterns, like curling inwards, or like a splash of water. These patterns are genetic. Mind readers have silver teardrop scales by the corners of their eyes like Moonwatcher and Darkstalker, however, there are currently no confirmed signs that display for seers. Fatespeaker has a smaller teardrop, as her powers are not that strong.
In The Dragonet Prophecy, when Morrowseer dropped off Starflight, it said that the sun picked up glints of purple and deep blue on his body. NightWings have been described with black, dark blue, dark brown, purple, or dark green eyes. The undersides of their wings are always black and speckled with silver scales that give them the appearance of a night sky filled with twinkling stars, allowing them to fly at night without detection. NightWings were once most active at night and tended to sleep during the day, but their nocturnal sleep schedule had been changed due to two thousand years of living on the volcano, so they now sleep at night, like the other dragon tribes. Starflight's father, Mastermind, has done studies about genetic wing patterns. Both Starflight and Mastermind have similar patterns (scattered outwards like a spray of stardust), whereas Morrowseer's were different, curled in like a snail shell. Mastermind's theory appeared to be that the star spiral patterns are genetic. NightWings are also known to be able to hang "from crags, rocks, and ceilings like bats," as described by Starflight in The Dark Secret.
The NightWings' diet does not differ much from the diets of other dragons in Pyrrhia. The tribe is omnivorous, though they prefer to eat meat. Before the NightWings found their way to the volcanic island, their food and hunting methods did not differ much from other tribes. It is canonically known for sure that they ate ravens, hawks, fish, bears, and wolves. In Darkstalker, the main characters (Darkstalker, Clearsight, and Fathom) celebrate Clearsight's fifth Hatching Day. As a surprise, Darkstalker arranged a small private feast for them, consisting of tomatoes, roasted nuts, baked bear, kiwi, and several other fruit species purchased from the RainWing merchant in the city. The queen was known for eating mainly birds, swallowing them whole. Some NightWings also ate fish usually set on fire a moment before it was eaten and swallowed, which allowed for better digestion of bones (Clearsight's father is seen eating a fish this way). In Darkstalker, it was shown that NightWings also eat squirrels and rattlesnakes, as when Clearsight was deciding what to eat for breakfast. After moving to the island, the NightWing dietary situation had changed radically. Lack of food, or a small amount, which was usually overexposed or completely spoiled, caused serious problems with their digestive system. All of them, even Morrowseer and Queen Battlewinner, had teeth problems. Most likely, the gums were not only solid inflammation but as in the case of scurvy, (lack of vitamins, mainly vitamin C) rotten. Probably then, they developed a new, temporary, way of hunting. NightWings would find prey, bite them, and then leave them. Bacteria in their saliva would quickly poison the body and kill the victim, making them now "edible". Morrowseer is seen hunting an albatross and Vengeance hunts a sloth in the rainforest in this way in the series. Life on the island forced these species to feed mainly on carrion. They also only ate about once a week, leaving most of them skinny and starving. The creation of a portal leading to the rainforest allowed the NightWings to hunt there and their state of nutrition improved a bit. In The Dark Secret, Princess Greatness mentioned that all NightWings who were able to hunt that week, could also gather, hinting they'd also gather fruit. However, after The Dark Secret, the tribe was forced to move to the rainforest and they began to hunt again like other tribes. In their diet appeared fruits and vegetables, however, the tribe continued to eat meat as in Winter Turning some NightWings are seen roasting a pig.
NightWings are described to look like "the night sky coming down on you" when attacking (possibly due to the star-like scales on their otherwise black wings). They can move unseen through the shadows and blend into the night sky, which gives them a fearful reputation and makes them more deadly, harder to see, and excellent assassins, like Deathbringer, except for the fact that he didn't end up killing Glory, who was his supposed target but rather became her bodyguard in The Hidden Kingdom. In scrolls, NightWings are said to possess legendary abilities. They are claimed to have the ability of mind-reading, as well as being able to tell prophecies by foreseeing the future; this was proven false by Stonemover, who said that no NightWing had either of these abilities in the last few centuries, which, unknown to the NightWings, was because the NightWing eggs had stopped being exposed to moonlight. However, a young dragon named Moonwatcher obtained the power to read minds and see the future because she hatched in the rainforest, under two full moons, so she was born with the powers of prophecy and mind-reading, proving these powers do still exist. Later in Moon Rising, Moon says that other NightWings are having eggs in the rainforest, therefore under the moonlight, proving that these powers will come to thrive in the NightWing tribe and make the NightWings "all-powerful" again. Also, these dragons can breathe fire at any time, like SkyWings and SandWings.
NightWings also appears to have a slight resistance to fire and lava, as shown with when Vengeance, who gets shoved in lava, tries to force his way out. This trait likely evolved on the volcano, so if they fall in lava, they have the chance to quickly pull themselves out. This is also partly shown with Queen Battlewinner, who, although was frost breathed down the throat, wouldn't have been able to survive in the lava without some form of resistance to lava, because the frost breath wasn't on her scales. The NightWings who lived at the volcano seem to have a type of bacteria living in their saliva that does not affect them. They use it to incapacitate their prey, ensuring it can't go anywhere, then return later for it when its wound has become infected or it has died. However, other NightWings such as Starflight, Fatespeaker, Moonwatcher, or Deathbringer, who lived away from the volcano for a long time, ate freshly killed prey, making their saliva unlike those of the NightWings who lived by the volcano on the island. NightWings are more active at night, with Deathbringer and Fatespeaker as examples. They seem to have a very strong sense of smell.
Darkstalker told Moonwatcher in Moon Rising that a NightWing hatched under one full moon can either read minds or see the future, while a NightWing that hatched under two full moons has both. He also said that if an egg hatches under three full moons the dragonet still has both powers but most likely strengthened. He did not know if there would be any stronger ones, though there have been some arguments that there might be. It is unknown why Clearsight had a stronger version of foresight. NightWings were shown to be very good at making up prophecies, and they attended special classes to learn how to make them sound real. They were also skilled at making it seem like they could read minds, due to the classes they took about lying and making fake prophecies mentioned in The Dark Secret. A NightWing crossed with a BeetleWing created the HiveWing and SilkWing tribes. According to an interview, on full moons that are blood moons, seers get the ability to see natural disasters and terrible events particularly clearly. Mindreaders gain the ability to project their thoughts into any dragon's mind (unlike Darkstalker and Moon who can only project their thoughts to other mindreaders). NightWing eggs under the full moon will turn an eerie polished silver color, whereas when they are not under the moons, they will remain ebony black.
Queen Vigilance was the queen of the NightWings during the time of Darkstalker (Legends). She brought the young SeaWing animus Prince Fathom to speak with the first NightWing animus Darkstalker about using his powers more carefully. She also hired Clearsight to be her personal seer to help her win the war with the IceWings, which started during Vigilance's rein after the IceWing prince, Prince Arctic, fell in love with a NightWing called Foeslayer. When Allknowing told Queen Vigilance about Darkstalker's plan to take the throne, she attempted to have him assassinated. She presumably fled to the NightWing Island with her tribe after Clearsight's warning.
Queen Battlewinner became queen of the NightWings sometime before the winglets book Assassin. Her heir was Princess Greatness, but Greatness did not want to be queen herself. During an expedition to find a new home, Battlewinner was attacked by an IceWing. She escaped alive, but the IceWing blasted her in the mouth with frostbreath, which should have frozen Battlewinner from the inside out. The only reason that she didn't die immediately was her ability to breathe fire: her internal fire reservoir counteracted the ice long enough for her to fly back to the island. In desperation, she dove into a lava pool, hoping to die quickly, but instead, it created a balance where the external heat prevented the ice from killing her. However, this left her unable to ever leave the lava without the ice completely encasing her body and becoming an ice statue, and then dying. To prevent other dragons from learning of her weakness, Battlewinner had a hidden room created behind the NightWings' council chamber and lived in a cauldron filled with lava as big as two Morrowseer's. This way, she could watch her tribe and make her image more mysterious and powerful. When she "spoke", she used Greatness as a voice. When Starflight and Fatespeaker crept into Battlewinner's private chamber from behind a map in the NightWing Fortress and found that she lived in a cauldron of lava. After Starflight burst out about the scientific impossibility of surviving these conditions, the queen explained more about her reasons for keeping herself hidden. Starflight said that he could hear the ice breaking as she tried to talk. She was planning to wage war on the RainWings in lava-filled armor designed invented by Mastermind so she could lead the battle. When she left her lava cauldron to attack Starflight and Glory, the balance between fire and ice in her body tipped. Despite Mastermind's efforts to save her using the special armor, Battlewinner froze to death within a matter of seconds.
After Battlewinner's death, the NightWings were queenless since Greatness had no interest in becoming queen. She notices Glory, who says she will take her RainWings back and protect her rainforest from the NightWings, but Starflight suggests that the NightWings accept a new queen, Glory, and move to the Rainforest if they promise allegiance. The NightWing Exodus begins as the NightWings all meet at the NightWing tunnels. The dragonets make the NightWings pledge themselves to Glory as their queen before they go through. Afterwards, Queen Glory designates an area for them to live called the Night Village, and the RainWings teach them to build huts suitable for the rainforest.
Over 2,000 years after the Scorching, the Night Kingdom was located on the talon peninsula that is currently a part of the Sand Kingdom, which was described to have been riddled with valleys and mountains. After Darkstalker's abilities were shown, and he was believed to be a danger to the tribe, the entire Kingdom fled the continent and migrated to a volcanic island a day's flight from the Sky Kingdom. More than a thousand years later, the long-dormant volcano erupted, destroying their home. The dragonet prophecy was written by Queen Battlewinner and Morrowseer during the war, and they delivered Starflight's and Fatespeaker's eggs to the Talons of Peace after a volcanic eruption on their island. The prophecy was their plan to invade and take over the Rainforest Kingdom, which was and still is inhabited by the RainWings. IceWings and NightWings have hated each other going back to a war they once fought against each other.
It was revealed in Darkstalker that this war was started because Prince Arctic fell in love and ran away with Foeslayer. Morrowseer ordered the death of all eight IceWing prisoners in the rescue of Starflight in Scarlet's arena, possibly because of the tribes' long-held grudge. This is also shown in the prophecy, which does not include an IceWing dragonet. Another possible effect of this hatred was Queen Battlewinner being blasted by an IceWing's frost breath in the mouth, forcing her to live submerged in lava. The NightWings gradually captured seventeen RainWings for their experiments on RainWing venom, what Mastermind called "science." Their goal was to make venom-proof armor for an attack on the RainWings to take over their rainforest. However, all this data was lost when the NightWings fled their home from the erupting volcano. Additionally, they have animus dragons, however, Stonemover and Darkstalker are the only known animus NightWings.
In The Dark Secret, it is shown that the NightWings were being threatened by the volcanic island they inhabited, which slowly built up to an eruption and diminishing the main source of food. Although Princess Greatness claimed that scientific estimates had placed the eruption at least twenty years into the future, at the end of the book, the volcano had erupted. Shortly before this, the NightWings surrendered to the RainWings in exchange for a safe place to live and food to eat. Most of the NightWings escaped through the Rainforest Kingdom portal unharmed. However, Morrowseer was killed by the eruption, with what is believed to possibly be his remains found in the NightWing tunnel in Winter Turning, and where Starflight was blinded. The event where the NightWings traveled from their Kingdom to the Rainforest Kingdom is known as the NightWing Exodus.
NightWings form lifelong partnerships, similar to SeaWings. Their dragonets live in dormitories located in caves on the sides of the volcano. They were not allowed to go to the mainland until they are at least ten years old because they "can't keep NightWing secrets safe," although this rule must have changed after they moved to the rainforest, as multiple NightWing dragonets attend Jade Mountain Academy. NightWing names are very literal, although sometimes ironic. According to Foeslayer in the prologue of Darkstalker, traditionally, NightWing mothers name their dragonets.
These dragonets are usually named according to their talents; for example, Morrowseer got his name for "seeing" the "morrow." Morrow is short for tomorrow, meaning the future. Deathbringer's name refers to his occupation as an assassin. Queen Battlewinner presumably got hers for military strategy, or perhaps a future battle which was predicted to be won by her. Moonwatcher was named for as she hatched, her eyes reflected the moons. NightWings are occasionally named for physical traits, like Fierceteeth, Mightyclaws, Bigtail, and Strongwings, or after character virtues, like Greatness or Vengeance. Exactly how they know what a dragon's talent will be when it hatches is unknown. It is plausible that they might wait and see for it to appear, or have another NightWing predict it, although this is unlikely because it was revealed NightWings have not had powers in several centuries.
Glory mentions in The Hidden Kingdom that in scrolls, NightWings always had "mouthful names". This is probably because most of them have two-part names. Also, in Moon Rising, Winter says to Moonwatcher, "We know all your names are lies," stating that NightWing names may be what the parents hope their dragonets will be, rather than what they may be. Complete loyalty seems to be an emphasized NightWing trait, as many of their actions (abducting RainWings, false dragonet prophecy, murders) point towards a "blind loyalty" to their tribe, the willingness to do anything for their tribe, even wiping out another tribe of dragons. Before the NightWings fled to the volcanic island, they were, as Clearsight told Darkstalker, a tribe with social culture, gaining from trades with the other tribes. Clearsight once told her friend Listener that every NightWing dragonet needs an education, which shows that NightWings highly valued intelligence.
NightWing names can be compound words that describe NightWing powers, such as Fatespeaker and Mindreader. The names can also describe the dragon's personality, ability, or talents, such as Mastermind, Deathbringer, Quickstrike, and Quickdeath. Descriptive words, such as Thoughtful and Listener, are used as well, as are night-themed compound words such as Starflight and Moonwatcher, and volcanic words like Obsidian, or character virtues like Greatness, Wisdom, or Prudence.
Also used are body descriptions (Strongwings, Fierceteeth, Bigtail, Swiftwings), astronomical events (Eclipse), and words used to describe their shrewdness and ferocity (Discretion, Slaughter). In The Hidden Kingdom, Glory had thought that Deathbringer brings death because his name consists of "Death" and "Bringer." This could also possibly mean that their names reflect who they were, as Deathbringer was an assassin.
Click here for a list of known NightWings.
Students at Jade Mountain
- Bigtail (formerly; deceased)
- Mightyclaws (formerly; currently making new homes for the NightWings in the rainforest)
- Including Legends and Winglets, there are five books with NightWing POVs, and six main NightWings POV's total, making them the tribe with the most main POVs.
- NightWings appear to have excellent night vision, but still can't see in total darkness as well as SeaWings can.
- NightWings, in Darkstalker, are portrayed as nocturnal before moving to the NightWing island, but in the epilogue of Darkness of Dragons, it is mentioned that the NightWings are trying to readjust to their natural schedule.
- According to Foeslayer, in Darkstalker, NightWing mothers are the ones that name their dragonets.
- NightWings are shown to be very loyal to their tribe and have an arrogance similar to the IceWings. Morrowseer once explained to Starflight: "We assumed NightWing superiority was something all NightWings hatched with."
- In the audiobooks read by Shannon McManus, all NightWings speak with a British accent, except for Starflight and Fatespeaker, who were raised away from the NightWings and did not develop this accent.
- NightWings are stereotyped as incredibly smart, secretive, deceitful, and arrogant.
| Other Dragons|
Deadlyclaws • Deathbringer • Eclipse • Farsight • Fierceteeth • Mastermind • Morrowseer • Obsidian • Preyhunter • Quickstrike • Secretkeeper • Shapeshifter • Slaughter • Stonemover • Strongwings • Vengeance • Wisdom
| Other Dragons|