SkyWings are based on traditional Western dragons.[event 1] They have red, crimson, orange, or yellow scales. SkyWings typically have yellow, orange, or amber eyes, though Peril and Sky seem to be exceptions, due to their conditions. SkyWing scales are "jewel-hard." They also have the largest wings of any tribe, and long, curved horns on their heads. Most SkyWing snouts are thin and long, with a nose-spike, and an extra horn on their jaw. SkyWing eggs are pale red, orange, or red-gold.
Most known SkyWings have stereotypically been portrayed as short-tempered, militaristic, grumpy, mean, and fond of violence. Clay noted 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.
SkyWings are the fastest fliers of any dragon tribe due to their enormous wings and endurance. They are capable of breathing hotter fire than most tribes and are considered powerful fighters. They can see farther and have better cold resistance than most tribes, excluding IceWings.[event 2]
A SkyWing dragonet in a twin egg may develop a condition known as firescales. This is when a dragon has "too much fire," causing their scales to be incredibly hot to the touch, and burn almost instantly. Firescales are much hotter than the average dragon's fire. This may occur when one twin "sucks the fire" out of the other, leaving the non-firescales twin fireless and much sicklier. Due to the dangerous nature of this condition, SkyWings traditionally kill dragonets hatched with firescales by dropping them off of high mountains.
Firescales dragons are immune to frostbreath and are often difficult to injure due to weapons melting or burning before or on contact. Frostbreath causes temporary numbness to firescales dragons when they are hit. Hope states that she hadn't seen a firescales dragon in a long time, implying that there might have been a dragon with firescales in her time.
SkyWings are regarded as grumpy and aggressive by other tribes; under Scarlet's rule, many citizens appeared thin and grumpy. They seem to value entertainment a great deal, as they enjoyed gladiatorial combat in the SkyWing Arena during the war. SkyWings have orchestras who perform music during celebrations. SkyWings dance, sing, and clap wings at parties.
They do not tolerate dangerous differences in the kingdom. As such, they kill animus dragons and firescales dragonets as soon as they are discovered. SkyWings also kill dragons for having too little fire as well.
Most SkyWing dragonets are raised in a Wingery. The Wingery is a place for young dragonets to grow and play. As SkyWings learn flight early in their lives, the Wingery contains a place for dragonets to practice.
SkyWings have a ceremonial burial system, consisting of wrapping the body in white cloth and offering it to the sky for seven days before being burned. This allows the dragon's spirit to fly free, reincarnating into a SkyWing. The ceremony may have been stopped during the war, though it carried on in Ruby's rule. Jade Mountain is a notable location where SkyWings held this ceremony.
The SkyWing Arena was a gladiatorial arena where war prisoners would fight to the death for Queen Scarlet's entertainment. SkyWings, MudWings, and SandWings all attended these events as an audience and would throw gemstones to the fighters. The prisoners were chained to tall pillars, forming a ring around the arena, with their wings clamped and wires connecting them to one another.
If a dragon reached a certain number of victories, they would be set free. No prisoners were actually released in accordance with this clause, as they would be sent to fight Peril before reaching the necessary amount.
Queen Ruby turned the arena into a hospital for all the dragons wounded in the War of the SandWing Succession.
SkyWings can be named after mountain-dwelling creatures or birds (such as Osprey and Hawk), features of the landscape (such as Cliff and Sunset), gemstones or minerals (such as Ruby and Garnet), actions during flight (such as Soar), shades of red and orange (such as Vermilion and Scarlet), and generic fire-related words (such as Flame).
Click here for a list of known SkyWings.
Students at Jade Mountain
- SkyWing hearing is said to be sharper when they are flying.
- SkyWings were described as "the friendly tribe" in the time of Darkstalker.
- 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.
- Winter, when wearing the Pyrite mask, described SkyWings as "freer than any other tribe, more loyal to one another, and more independent."
- SkyWings prefer to live high among the peaks in their kingdom, instead of down lower.