SkyWings typically have red, crimson, orange, or, in rare cases, a pinkish color (as shown with 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, pale blue eyes and unnaturally pale orange scales. However, as they are the only living examples we see, this may not necessarily be the same for all firescales and fireless SkyWings. 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, in many forms, such as their ability to fly faster than many dragons, and are mostly all strong, without their powers. SkyWing eggs are pale, and red, orange or red-gold.
Most known SkyWings have stereotypically been portrayed as short-tempered, militaristic, grumpy, mean, 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. Ex- Queen Scarlet and Princess Burn had violent tendencies and were most likely to be the cause of the SkyWings' bad attitudes.
In Darkstalker (Legends), SkyWings were mentioned to be the "friendly tribe" by Fathom, either meaning that SkyWings were friendlier during his time (before Scarlet's reign), he didn't know very much about SkyWings, or that he was simply being sarcastic.
SkyWings are shown to eat mountain goats, cows, pigs, sheep, birds, and rodents. Since they live in the mountains, they presumably prey upon their lesser neighbors. In Escaping Peril, it is mentioned that SkyWings grow crops.
SkyWings are well-known for their superior and refined skills in combat; many SkyWings have been shown or mentioned to be stronger than an average dragon. They can fly longer and faster than any other dragon tribe because of their large wings. They are capable of breathing large amounts of fire at extreme temperatures at any time as they please. According to 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 very rare cases, SkyWing dragonets will be born with a dangerous condition called firescales. The afflicted dragon has "too much fire," causing their scales to be scorching hot. Their scale temperature is much hotter than an average dragon's fire. This happens when one of the twins in the egg sucks out the fire from the other. In Peril's case, she had a twin who had no fire at all, which may be the case for all firescales dragonets. Firescales SkyWings can be injured by sharp weapons, but their scales will usually burn or melt the item before it pierces them. Water and frost breath do not affect these dragons, although frost breath 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 most dragons, or sleep on anything flammable. They can also make dragonflame cacti explode upon touching it. According to Peril, firescale 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.
SkyWings historically had animus dragons, though these have likely been wiped out.
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 Gill, the former king of the SeaWings, water for months.
They seem to detest abnormalities, as it is mentioned that they kill animus and firescales dragonets as soon as they are discovered.
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 these may be exclusive 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. It has a place for young dragons to practice their flight. 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 turn 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.
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 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 SkyWings with a name outside this guide.
Click here for a list of known SkyWings.
Students at Jade Mountain
- 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, or the fact that they typically have more fire than other tribes.
- 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 tribes 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 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.
- 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.
- SkyWings look the most like a "generic dragon" as shown with the usual red scales, breathing fire, and curved horns.
- There are no known SkyWing hybrids.