Pyrite, also known as the Pyrite Mask, is a "false" female SkyWing who was introduced in Winter Turning. She was created as the result of a necklace enchanted by Chameleon to transform any dragon wearing the necklace into a female SkyWing with the following four conditions:
1) Completely loyal to Queen Scarlet and the SkyWing tribe
2) Insecure and weak
3) No memory of his or her former identity
4) Compelled to wear this necklace at all times with life-or-death urgency
Although any dragon can wear the enchantment, Pyrite was created specifically for Hailstorm, and the mask was used for years to imprison him.
Pyrite has pale orange scales that are close to yellow, like the inside of a peach, and innocent darker orange eyes that are the color of Qibli's earring. She wears a small brown pouch on a gold chain around her neck, tight as a choker, and a gold nose ring on one side of her snout. She is bigger than Winter but smaller than Avalanche, with a soft voice. She is thin, and quiet-looking and her wings are constantly twitching nervously. She has longer legs than Winter and a long neck.
Inside of Pyrite's pouch is a small, folded piece of paper, crumpled around the corners. The enchantment words are scribbled in dark red ink, with some of the words faded or caught in the wrinkles and hard to read. The writing fills every inch of the paper, front and back.
According to herself, Pyrite has an awful memory and a terrible sense of direction. She is fidgety, nervous, and insecure, as well as very clingy, flappy, and anxious whenever other dragons speak to her. As well as being skittish, secretive, and strange, she believes that she is clumsy and useless and not very good at anything. Moonwatcher said that it is very shallow inside Pyrite's mind, saying that Coconut's thoughts are not much deeper than hers.
The Jade Mountain Prophecy
|She first appeared in the prologue when Winter and his brother, Hailstorm, explored the Sky Kingdom. After Hailstorm was defeated and captured by a patrol of SkyWings, a dragon wearing the "Pyrite Mask" necklace, presumably Chameleon, put it on him.
Later, Winter and his Jade Winglet friends visited the Talons of Peace. Riptide brought the two SkyWings in the Talons, Avalanche and Pyrite, to see if they could help them. Moonwatcher showed them a sketch of an oddly-shaped mountain she saw behind Scarlet when Icicle was being dreamvisited by the ex-queen. Pyrite eventually agreed to take Winter, Moonwatcher, Kinkajou, and Qibli to the place where Scarlet was suspected to be after Moon pressured her to tell the truth.
Later, when Scarlet's unknown NightWing companion attacked, Pyrite's necklace was removed by Winter, and Hailstorm was revealed underneath. Winter described the change as "the scales sliding off as though she was melting and rowing and snapping into place at the same time. Her snout narrowed and lengthened. The orange color bled swiftly out of each scale. Sharp spikes shoved up through the skin all along her back and at the tip of her tail."
Even after Hailstorm took off the Pyrite mask, her memories still lingered in his mind. For a long while, he was not sure if he was an IceWing or a SkyWing. This confusion was most shown when he approached Eagle, thinking that he was still Pyrite. Eagle had been a friend of Pyrite, and since Hailstorm was no longer Pyrite, Eagle did not recognize him. He thought it was a "sick joke," and probably would have attacked Hailstorm if Meerkat had not shown up.
It is later revealed that Pyrite's mind and body were nothing but an animus enchantment on a necklace in which whoever wears it takes the mind and body of the SkyWing, Pyrite. Moon referred to it as the "Pyrite Mask." The "Pyrite Mask" was enchanted by a small piece of paper, ripped off from Darkstalker's scroll. The paper reads:
Enchant this paper so that when any dragon wears it in the form of a necklace, he or she shall fully become a female dragon named Pyrite, with the following conditions:
(1) Completely loyal to Queen Scarlet and the SkyWing tribe.
(2) Insecure and weak.
(3) No memory of his or her former identity.
(4) Compelled to wear this necklace at all times with life-or-death urgency.It still kept Pyrite's memories, even if someone different tried it on. Winter decided he needed to know how wearing it felt. When he tried it on, Qibli ripped off the fourth condition beforehand so Winter could take the necklace off. It appeared to have worked since Winter did not argue with Qibli once Qibli slipped the necklace off him.
Cirrus was a member of the Talons of Peace with Pyrite. He was protective of her, as he did not want her to leave with the Jade Winglet. Winter heavily doubted he was in love with her, and the case is later broken down as in Escaping Peril when it turned out that Cirrus was a RainWing named Chameleon who worked for ex-Queen Scarlet and created Pyrite as a secret enchantment.
Little is known about Pyrite's relationship with Eagle, but they appeared to be good friends. So much so that as Hailstorm, Pyrite was devastated when Eagle did not recognize her when she called out to him in Possibility.
Riptide is the leader of the Talons of Peace and took care of Pyrite when she was a member of his organization. He was gentle when speaking to Pyrite, and Winter got the impression that he had spent a lot of time managing her.
As per the enchantment modifications, Pyrite always does her best for Scarlet and is completely loyal to her. She stated that she would have kept fighting for Scarlet as long as she needed Pyrite and that she refused to sign an oath to Ruby because of her loyalty. When Pyrite thinks of Scarlet, a surge of powerful emotion rolls through her. She believes Scarlet is amazing and took care to see her at least once per day when Pyrite still lived in the Sky Kingdom, even if from a distance.
- "Hi. Listen, whatever it is you need, I don't think I can help you. It's not that I wouldn't like to. I would like to, really, I wish I could do all kinds of things, but the truth is I'm not very good at anything and I'm sure I'm not the dragon you're looking for, so …"
- ― to Moonwatcher (Winter Turning, page 145)
- "I can try. I mean… I might get us lost, but… I'll do my best, for Queen Scarlet. I always do my best for her."
- ― to Riptide (Winter Turning, page 148)
- "I'm completely loyal. I would have kept fighting for Queen Scarlet as long as she needed me. But when Ruby took the throne, she made everyone swear an oath to her, and I couldn't do that, you know? I'm completely loyal to Queen Scarlet. Always and always and always."
- ― to Moonwatcher (Winter Turning, page 153)
- "I feel sorry for her. Her brain is very odd. It's like her thoughts are stuck in a circle. I don't know if she's been hit on the head really hard or something, but they just go round and around: I'm completely loyal to Queen Scarlet. I'm not very good at anything. I'm glad to be a SkyWing. I'm clumsy and not very bright and generally useless. And then back to, I'm completely loyal to Queen Scarlet."
- ― Moonwatcher to Winter (Winter Turning, page 156)
- "There go my stupid talons, getting in my way as usual. I wish I weren't so clumsy and useless."
- ― Pyrite's thoughts (Winter Turning, page 218)
- The enchantment has an insidious dullness that leaves a miasma after only a few minutes of wearing it.
- Pyrite feels similar to the NightWing tunnels: the twisting of magic. It is a strange shifting of the world, like tugging apart a dragon's muscles from inside them.
- Whenever Pyrite slept near Cirrus or Winter, she would have strange dreams about snow.