SkyWings, also known as Mountain Dragons by scavengers, are characterized most by their warm-toned scales, enormous wings, and tempers. Most SkyWings have been noted to be skilled fliers. They are also one of the four tribes that can breathe fire but are the one tribe exclusive to a rare and dangerous condition called firescales, in which the affected dragon has abnormally hot scales and will burn through and/or ignite anything they touch. Firescales are also noted to be hotter than normal dragon fire. However, it was mentioned in Darkstalker (Legends) that the SkyWing tribe, for centuries, has thrown any dragonet known to have the condition off of a cliff to die, so the only known living fire scales dragon is Peril. It was also confirmed by Princess Sunset in Darkstalker that at one point, the SkyWings had animus dragons, but eventually, they died out as they were usually killed as soon as they were discovered, same as dragons with fire scales. The majority of SkyWings reside in the "wing portion" of Pyrrhia and prefer to live high up in mountain peaks (which is what their kingdom mainly consists of), especially in the Claws of the Clouds Mountains. After killing Scarlet and obtaining the throne, Queen Ruby (or Queen Tourmaline) currently holds dominance over the SkyWing tribe.
The SkyWings were originally allied with Princess Burn and later the MudWings in the War of SandWing Succession, but it is unknown (and rather unlikely) if Queen Ruby continued the alliance with Burn after she took the throne; it is mentioned in The Lost Heir that Ruby wanted to rebuild her tribe rather than fight in the war alongside Princess Burn.
Typically, SkyWings have red, crimson, orange, or rarely a pinkish color (shown with Princess Sunset) scales with yellow, orange, or amber eyes. Their scales have been described to be "jewel-hard". Taking Peril and Sky as an example, it can be assumed that firescales SkyWings can have shockingly bright blue eyes and unnaturally bright copper-colored scales while fireless SkyWings have dull blue eyes and unnaturally pale orange scales. However, as she is the only living example we see, this may not necessarily be the same for all firescales dragons. It could also somehow be a result of Chameleon (as Soar) being their father, although he could become a full "SkyWing." SkyWings have enormous wings, larger than any of the other tribes, attached to their bodies by their shoulder bones. SkyWings also have longer legs than the other tribes. It has been implied that SkyWings have a strong respiratory system, probably because of their constant high-altitude environment. Most SkyWing snouts are thin and long, with a nose-spike, and an extra horn on their jaw. Their horns are long, thin, and curved, which are similar to RainWing horns in shape. Many SkyWings are slender but very powerful.
Most known SkyWings have stereotypically been portrayed as short-tempered, militaristic, grumpy, and fond of violence, although these attributes may have been caused by Ex-Queen Scarlet's long and brutal reign. Clay noted in The Dragonet Prophecy that "the SkyWing soldiers looked underfed and they needed rest," and an unnamed MudWing in the Talons of peace made a joke about how all SkyWings were either red and grumpy or orange and grumpy.
After Queen Ruby took over, SkyWings shown in Escaping Peril seemed considerably happier and less grouchy, as well as more focused on nonviolent hobbies and entertainment (i.e. orchestra) in comparison to previous books. The fact that the SkyWings were able to change their attitudes under Queen Ruby's rule may imply that they are adaptive, creative, clever, and not as grumpy as the books show them to be.
In Darkstalker (Legends), SkyWings was mentioned to be the "friendly tribe", by Prince Fathom, either meaning that SkyWings were friendlier during his time, he didn't know very much about SkyWings, or that he was simply being sarcastic.
SkyWings are well-known for their superior and refined skills in combat; many SkyWings have been shown or mentioned to be fairly strong. They can fly longer and faster than any other dragon tribe because of their large wings and are also capable of breathing large amounts of fire at extreme temperatures. According to Princess Tsunami in The Lost Heir, a SkyWing beating their wings at full force might sound like a "hurricane whistling around your ears."
In The Dark Secret, Flame was the only dragonet that wasn't breathing heavily after a long flight from the Night Kingdom to a remote outpost in the Sky Kingdom. This may indicate that SkyWings have more cardiovascular endurance and much better muscle toning than the other dragon tribes, but it may also be because his larger wings allowed him to go farther with more ease than his companions.
In rare cases, very few SkyWing dragonets will be born with a dangerous condition called firescales, in which the affected dragon will be able to burn anything they touch with abnormally hot temperatures. In Peril's case, she had a twin who had no fire at all, which may be the case for all. Firescales SkyWings can be injured by sharp weapons, but their scales will usually burn or melt the item before it pierces them. Water and frostbreath do not affect these dragons, although frostbreath has been noted to numb the affected area until the ice melts away. Firescales SkyWings cannot wear metal jewelry, hold ordinary flammable/meltable items, touch normal, non-fire resistant dragons or sleep on anything flammable, as it will all be destroyed within seconds of contacting their scales. They can also make dragonflame cacti explode upon touching it. It is unknown if firescales SkyWings can cry, but, likely, they cannot (at least without the water evaporating as soon as the tears are released). According to Peril, firescales dragonets are usually dropped off cliffs after hatching.
At least once, a dragonet with too much fire had a twin with too little fire (Peril). These twins are presumably killed in the same way that their siblings are, probably because they would be too weak to survive. Many think that firescales dragons are the result of one dragonet twin sucking all the fire out of the other, hence the twin with too little fire. This theory has not been proven, but it is likely true.
It seems that once SkyWings did have animus dragons, but eventually killed them off by dropping them off a cliff once they were exposed, as stated above.
SkyWings value excitement and, during Queen Scarlet's rule, gladiatorial combat, was very exciting for the SkyWings, as shown with the popular appreciation of her SkyWing Arena. SkyWings used justice and honor within their combat systems, an example being the Champion's Shield. Under Ex-Queen Scarlet's ruler-ship, the SkyWings used many torture methods on misbehaving prisoners, once refusing King Gill, the former king of the SeaWings, water for months.
The tribe was in a state of political upheaval and civil war from Scarlet's disappearance from the Kingdom in The Lost Heir. SeaWing guards on patrol reported that they had seen a group of SkyWings fighting each other in defense of Queen Ruby and Ex-Queen Scarlet.
It is unknown if SkyWings engage in lifelong partnerships like SeaWings and IceWings, but it is unlikely because of a mentioned 'breeding program'. However, this could simply be a wartime custom to ensure the reproduction of highly capable soldiers. It was mentioned in Darkness of Dragons that SkyWings do practice weddings, although weddings may be exclusive only to royal marriages.
Dragonets are raised in a Wingery. The Wingery is described as a place for young dragonets to grow and play, similar to a scavenger daycare. Most SkyWing mothers are shown to care very much for their dragonets, doing anything to protect them. Similar to many customs, Ex-Queen Scarlet is not included in this normality, saying she "never saw the appeal" to dragonets. She most likely had them only for heirs.
SkyWings have a ceremonial burial system of wrapping the body in white cloth and setting it on a high altitude area for a week so that the spirit can fly into the sky and reincarnate into another SkyWing as opposed to another dragon tribe. Yet again, Queen Scarlet is said not to care for this custom, allowing it to happen to please her citizens but not particularly invested in it herself. The ceremony was possibly stopped temporarily during the war, as Clay saw SkyWings burning dragon corpses in a ditch in The Dragonet Prophecy. Though the SkyWings did watch over it for a second, they did nothing more and flew away, leaving the bodies to burn into nothing more than singed bones.
SkyWings have also been shown to have orchestras in the past, as Scarlet's death was celebrated by an orchestra.
The SkyWing Arena is a fighting arena where prisoners of Queen Scarlet fight to the death. The prisoners are chained to tall pillars. The chains are fireproof, and make a strange thrumming noise when plucked. The dragons in the arena had their wings clamped so they couldn't fly away. If a dragon were to get a certain amount of victories, they would be set free.
- However, under Scarlet's rule, prisoners were required to fight Peril just before reaching this tally. As almost nobody could touch her, she could claw and burn them as she wished. Because of this, nobody had been set free from Queen Scarlet's imprisonment.
After Queen Ruby took over as Queen, she turned the arena into a hospital for all the dragons wounded in the War of the SandWing Succession. Likely, the arena was already one even before Scarlet’s reign due to its specific construction working for a hospital rather than Queen Scarlet's violent ways.
SkyWings tend to name their young after sky or mountain-related environments and creatures, such as birds (Osprey), things occurring or features on mountains (Cliff), as well as natural sky phenomena (Princess Sunset), and since the SkyWings seem to be based on the element of fire, fire-related names (Flame), and minerals (Pyrite) and gems. The royal family seems to be an exception to this, with all of its shown members, besides Prince Hawk, Prince Cliff, and Princess Sunset being named after shades of red or red gemstones, with Scarlet, Ruby, Tourmaline, and Vermilion being examples. However, exceptions include Garnet and Carnelian, who have gemstones as a name but are no more than soldiers. Peril probably got her name from how fierce she would be because of having too much fire, and that her name means danger, as she defines danger. Peril is one of the few to the only SkyWing(s) with a name outside this guide.
Known SkyWings Edit
- Queen Carmine
- Prince Cliff
- Eagle (Darkstalker)
- Prince Hawk
- Kidney Breath
- Pyrite (Mask)
- Queen Ruby
- Ex-Queen Scarlet
- Soar (Chameleon's SkyWing form)
- Princess Sunset
- The SkyWing Dragonet
- Queen Tourmaline
- Prince Vermilion
- Many attributes of the SkyWing arena are similar to the Roman Colosseum.
- According to the artwork in A NightWing Guide to the Dragons of Pyrrhia by Joy Ang, SkyWings and RainWings share multiple physical features, such as long, thin necks and horns at the tip of their snouts.
- According to Clay, SkyWings make a particular hissing noise before breathing fire. This same hissing noise can be used as a threat of anger, as shown with Kestrel, or of a respectful noise as shown by the spectators at Queen Scarlet's Arena.
- According to Tui T. Sutherland in a forum Q&A, SkyWings have better cold resistance than other tribes (aside from IceWings). This is probably because of their environment, high up in the mountains.
- In Escaping Peril, Foeslayer said that she had not seen firescales in a long time, implying that there could have been another dragon with the trait during her era.
- SkyWings once had animus dragons but tried to kill off the bloodline to avoid any of them overusing their magic and going insane.
- The mountains in SkyWing territory harbor a special type of plant known as dragonflame cactus. When this plant comes into contact with fire, it explodes, launching spiky seed pods in multiple directions. From each surviving seed pod, there may grow a new dragonflame cactus. As shown in Escaping Peril, dragonflame cactus can hurt firescales.
- The SkyWings are one of the few tribes that have been shown to have some sort of religious custom, as they believe in reincarnation.
- In Darkstalker (Legends), SkyWings were described as being a friendly tribe. This contrasts with how they are viewed during the later books, probably having to do with Queen Scarlet's violent reign. However, this may have also been sarcasm by Fathom (the speaker).
- It is possible SkyWings are skilled at resisting high air pressures and lower oxygen levels because they spend most of their lives at high altitudes. There is no evidence to confirm this, however.
- Winter, when wearing the Pyrite mask, described SkyWings as "freer and more open than any tribe."
- SkyWing dragonets learn to fly at an early age, as demonstrated by Cliff.
- Scavengers call them "mountain dragons".
- SkyWings have larger wingspans then other dragon tribes.
- Skywings look the most like a "generic dragon" as shown with the usual red scales, breathing fire, and curved horns.
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