They live primarily in the Kingdom of Sand. Most members of the tribe live in either Queen Thorn's stronghold or Scorpion Den, although some do live in Sanctuary and Possibility as well as other oases in the desert. Twenty years previous to the events of The Dragonet Prophecy, the SandWings were ruled by Queen Oasis until she was murdered by three scavengers who had stolen a few famous items from the SandWing treasury, including the Lazulite Dragon, the SandWing Sceptre and the Eye of Onyx. Oasis' three daughters, Blister, Blaze, and Burn started a continent-wide war for the SandWing throne. Burn, the eldest sister, was allied with the MudWings, SkyWings, and some of the SandWings; Blister, the middle sister, was allied with the SeaWings, NightWings, and the Talons of Peace; and Blaze, the youngest, was allied with the IceWings, and most SandWings.
The War of SandWing Succession reached its end when Sunny gave the Eye of Onyx to Thorn, her mother, declaring her as the rightful SandWing queen. Although Burn and Blister died on the false Brightest Night, Blaze accepted Queen Thorn as her queen and currently lives in Queen Thorn's stronghold.
There are currently two known animus dragons in the SandWing tribe, Jerboa and Jerboa II. Jerboa II is immortal, and currently lives in a small hut near the ocean bordering the Ice and Sand Kingdoms. She is the daughter of the only other known SandWing animus, Jerboa. In The Lost Continent, she tends to the SilkWing Luna, a SilkWing who had been blown into Pyrrhia from Pantala by a storm.
DescriptionSandWings have long necks and are biologically built to survive in the desert. They have pale yellow, pale gold, light sandy-colored, white-gold, light yellow-brown, or off-white scales that blend in with the desert sand. All SandWings have obsidian-black eyes. Some SandWings, like Thorn and Qibli, have been described with brown speckles on their wings and snouts, similar to human freckles. Their snouts tend to be short and compact, with a nose-spike, short horns, and a smaller horn under their ear. Some can also have black diamond patterns on their scales, like Blister, Cobra, General Sandstorm, and Smolder, the latter having black diamond patterns on his wings as well. Some have also been noted to have triangle patterns on their wings, such as Jerboa and her daughter, Jerboa II. They have a ridge going from their head to about 3/4 of their tails, forked black tongues, glittering obsidian black eyes, and are armed with venomous, scorpion-like barbs on the end of their tails which are black, and rarely white-gold (an example being Kindle). SandWings seem to walk on their toes.
SandWings are light eaters, possibly because they have adapted to the lack of sustenance in the desert. They eat animals from the desert such as camels and lizards and also appear to enjoy scavengers, with several exceptions such as Blister; who claims them to be "much too bulky and squishy". Sunny was shown to like wild carrots, Smolder was once shown eating dates, and Qibli was also shown handing his mother a coconut, so it can be assumed that SandWings will eat fruits and vegetables when they can find them since there is little prey to be found in their home. SandWings have been hinted as to not like raw fish, as shown with Qibli in Moon Rising. However, in the epilogue for The Lost Continent Jerboa offered Luna some fish stew to eat. In Darkness of Dragons, date cookies, dried dates, and roasted lizards are mentioned as prepared in the kitchen of the SandWing palace.
The two main SandWing defences are their ability to breathe fire and poison other dragons with their venomous barbed tails, which they use by stabbing their enemies' hearts, spines, and skulls.
The venom in a SandWing's scorpion-like barb acts similarly to scorpion venom. Webs' wound, inflicted by Blister, turned black and became infected, with the darkness spreading gradually. The venom sac, which carries the venom, is most likely located right under the barb. The venom's lethality depends on the dosage. A full dose can kill almost instantly, while a smaller dose kills slowly. If it is not a full dose, it can be countered by the juice from a brightsting cactus, which grows commonly outside Thorn's stronghold, outside the animus tunnel from the rainforest, and is sold in the Scorpion Den.
They are also able to survive extended periods of time without water and can bury themselves in the desert sand for camouflage. This camouflage tactic is usually used against enemies and for protection. SandWings also do not require extensive amounts of food to sustain themselves, as was shown with the quote "a lizard a day was good enough for Sunny," and when Dune stated that SandWings normally ate very little.
They can also radiate moderate heat from their scales, no matter what the temperature outside. SandWings have the best hearing out of all the tribes, as shown in the fifth book when the dialogue stated, "with Sunny's exceptionally sharp SandWing hearing..." SandWings also have a good sense of smell, as shown when Qibli reassured Tamarin that he wasn't smelling smoke in Darkness of Dragons, "And SandWings normally have a good sense of smell."
SandWing eggs are pale or white-yellow, and are often kept in sand to retain heat. SandWing dragonets are taught how to hold their tails in a certain way to prevent accidents involving their barb. SandWings are also known to coil their barb in a threatening manner that mimics the threat display of a scorpion.
Scorpion was the queen of the SandWings during the time of Darkstalker (Legends). She allowed the NightWings and the IceWings to fight on the outskirts of her land only if each side paid treasure to her. She also might have stolen the treasure from the NightWings when they abandoned the old Night Kingdom, the treasures becoming the SandWing treasury that would be raided by scavengers during Queen Oasis's reign (almost 2,000 years later).
Queen Oasis once oversaw the Kingdom of Sand, yet none of her heirs challenged her to death for the throne. She was especially careful to make sure there were no other dragons to challenge her to the throne apart from her three daughters, Blister, Burn, and Blaze. Queen Oasis also had three sons. One of them, Prince Smolder, had a dragonet who he didn't know, having run off with Palm.
Queen Oasis was murdered by a group of three scavengers (Rose, Heath and Stone), who then took some of the SandWing treasure. It turned out that Blister had taken the rest, as stated in book five, and the rest of Pyrrhia erupted in the war along with alliances of the three successors. The Eye of Onyx, an animus-touched item that made whoever holding it the SandWing queen (although additional enchantments are placed on it as well), was hidden in Queen Oasis' jaws, buried with her in her grave. Flower the scavenger, who would later become Smolder's pet, placed it in her mouth before running to hide. Flower is later revealed in Dragonslayer as Rose.
Blister killed Burn with a package containing two dragonbite vipers and challenged Blaze, but she exploded into a pile of black ashes when she snatched the enchanted Eye of Onyx away from Thorn, who Sunny declared as queen. Blaze survived, but not as a queen.
The Prophecy also stated that the dragon who bows to "a fate stronger and higher" will have "the power of wings of fire", which happened to refer to the Eye of Onyx. However, it is probably not what Morrowseer, the maker of the prophecy, originally intended.
Before the War of the SandWing Succession, Blister promised that she would send Burn out to help kill the scavengers, but she didn't, leaving Queen Oasis to face them alone. Her death was Blister's plan, and when Blister, Blaze, and Burn couldn't decide who was going to ascend the throne, she started the War.
As of Moon Rising, Queen Thorn rules the SandWings peacefully with her heir being Princess Sunny, though Sunny does not want to be queen. At the end of Escaping Peril, Qibli said he thought Thorn deserved to live forever.
In Darkness of Dragons, Thorn was challenged by a member of the royal family, Onyx, who was the granddaughter of Queen Oasis and daughter of Prince Smolder and Palm. Qibli panicked and summoned a huge sandstorm (via Anemone's weather bracelets) while Onyx is fighting Queen Thorn. During the storm, Onyx is left crippled and cannot challenge Queen Thorn. Qibli also saw that Smolder and Thorn were getting along and thought they might have dragonets in the future.
SandWings often name themselves after the habitat and landscape such as Oasis and Horizon. They also name themselves after the desert plants such as Agave and Palm as well as animals such as Meerkat and Scorpion, fire-related words like Burn, Smolder, Char, and Kindle, and occasionally unique ones such as Six-Claws.
Click here for a list of known SandWings.
Known Animus Dragons
Students at Jade Mountain
- Brightsting cactus juice is the only known cure for a SandWing's tail barb venom.
- According to The Brightest Night and Moon Rising, SandWings are a musical tribe. They weren't able to show their talent in the last twenty years because of the War. Qibli and Ostrich have shown their musical talents by playing instruments at Jade Mountain Academy's music room.
- SandWings do not develop their tail-barb venom until they're older. When they're younger, they have a smaller barb that has not fully developed, which is not as effective.
- SandWing dragonets learn at a young age how to avoid stabbing other dragons with their venomous barb by accident by curling it up into a spiral.
- It is likely that the SandWings obtained much of their treasure from the NightWing and IceWing's payments to them mentioned in Legends: Darkstalker.
- They have a celebration called the "Full Moon Festival", which was not celebrated much during the War of SandWing Succession.
- In Darkness of Dragons, Qibli states that many SandWings including himself and Vulture have claustrophobia, which is supposedly an effect from living in the wide-open desert.
- SandWings with the diamond pattern on their bodies may refer to the diamondback snake, a venomous rattlesnake species found in the southwestern United States and Mexico.
- It is possible that SandWing tail barbs can give a dragon a stinging shock if the barb does not penetrate the scales, as Clay thinks in The Dragonet Prophecy that Dune would sometimes sting him for not paying attention. This may be an error in the series.
- SandWings are stereotyped as outlaws and criminals with a taste for music.
- In Darkness of Dragons, it is mentioned by Onyx that SandWing queens fight for the throne like any other tribe, except that they don't kill each other, as the Eye chooses the queen mid-battle.
Addax • Agave • Armadillo • Camel • Capybara • Cobra • Dune • Horizon • Jerboa • Jerboa II • Kindle • Meerkat • Needle • Ocotillo • Ostrich • Palm • Parch • Prickle • Quicksand • Rattlesnake • Saguaro • Sandstorm • Sirocco • Six-Claws • Tawny • Torch • Viper • Vulture