Vulture is an elderly male SandWing and a main antagonist of Darkness of Dragons. He is the founder of the Talons of Power, an organization located in the Scorpion Den. Vulture created the Talons in order to kill Queen Thorn and enthrone Ex-Princess Onyx so that he could indirectly control the power of the SandWing throne through her. After bombing Thorn's Stronghold in Darkness of Dragons, he was lost in a sandstorm summoned by Qibli, and, after his latest appearance in the Lost City of Night, he has not been seen again.
Before his disappearance, Vulture was extremely wealthy, well-respected, and powerful within the Scorpion Den. After Thorn left the Den to fulfill her duties as queen, Vulture became its temporary new ruler.
Vulture has pale yellow scales dotted with numerous dragon skull tattoos, that symbolize the amount of dragons that Vulture has killed. He has a hooked snout (possibly his namesake), black eyes with golden rings like bottomless voids, and gold-leaf dip on his talons and tail barb. He wears several accessories, including two black-and-golden spider-shaped earrings, a black cloak lined with gold, and gold chains along his wings. He is also described as tall, with a long neck.
According to Darkstalker, Vulture is "a dragon made of paper who has never been happy one day in his life." Along with being cunning, deceitful, and sly, Vulture is selfish, conceited, and egotistical. He does not seem to care about anything other than wealth, infamy, and power, and deceived his own grandson, Qibli, in Darkness of Dragons in a ploy to steal the SandWing throne. He is willing to backstab or kill anyone who stands in the way of his plans, and often views dragons as though they equal to inanimate objects.
Near the beginning of the story, Moonwatcher had a vision of Qibli backed against a wall glaring up at three larger dragons, who were later confirmed to be Vulture himself, Sirocco, and Rattlesnake. Into their sneering faces, Qibli curled up his tail and shouted "Where is she?" In the vision, he was referring to Cobra, although in the book he never said those exact words.
When Onyx kidnapped Ostrich and took her back to the Scorpion Den, Qibli, along with Winter, came to rescue her. They were taken back to Vulture's compound by Sirocco and Rattlesnake, where Vulture took Qibli to see his mother's prison. He explained that if Cobra was to be free, then Qibli was to write down all of Thorn's secrets on a blank scroll and give it to Vulture. After Qibli, along with Winter, Ostrich, and Cobra, escaped Vulture's compound, Qibli had his mother arrested for treason - the plan all along had been to bring Cobra into Thorn's stronghold only to kill her via poison.
Later, Vulture bombed Thorn's stronghold, holding the "Eye of Onyx" in his talons - however, Thorn appeared and explained that Vulture was holding a fake, created both to trick thieves and spare their lives. As Vulture was making his grand speech, Onyx snuck up behind the queen, but Thorn was saved by Qibli's warning call. Thorn suggested a royal challenge instead of a covert assassination, since all the past challengers have come this way. Onyx accepted, and both she and Vulture believe she was worthy due to her royal blood. Afraid Onyx would be chosen, Qibli summoned a sandstorm with Princess Anemone's weather bracelets, and in the chaos of the storm, Vulture disappeared from the stronghold completely with no warning or sign.
Throughout the book, Qibli always had a suspicion that Vulture would end up working for Darkstalker and become a juggernaut, taking over the world. That suspicion proved to be true later on, where Vulture is seen in The Lost City of Night, bargaining and talking with Darkstalker about their alliance.
Near the end of the book, when Darkstalker tried to convince Qibli to become an animus and work with him, he used his power to teleport Vulture in front of him. Darkstalker then enchanted Vulture many times, including to make him act like a hatchling, make him feel guilty for everything bad he had done, and make him be the best grandfather for Qibli. Darkstalker then made Vulture disappear. It is unknown what happened to him after that.
"Oubliette. Ooooooooubliette. It sounds much friendlier than it is, like you should be able to eat it at parties." - To Qibli
"Qibli. Just the dragon I've been waiting for." - To Qibli
"It's perfectly normal to feel like your pet must think the way you do. It's happened to many dragons. The Camels' Rights Movement. Iguanas Are Dragons, Too. Save the Scavengers. World Walrus Fund. All very sweet, and very misguided. Save your energy for dragons, who can appreciate it." - Vulture to Winter Darkness of Dragons, 
"What a whimsical friend you've brought for my entertainment." - Vulture to Qibli Darkness of Dragons, 
"Oh, really, Prince Winter? And how exactly do you intend to pay me, when your family thinks you're dead and your royal funds have been cut off?" - Vulture to Winter Darkness of Dragons, 
"So, Grandson. I see that like many hundreds of SandWings across the kingdom, you've realized that Thorn is in no way qualified to be queen, and you've come to pledge your loyalty where it truly belongs." - Vulture to Qibli Darkness of Dragons, 
"Oh, yes. Her erstwhile popularity, such as it was, is plummeting. Everyone agrees that she's been quite useless so far. Has the kingdom improved in any way? No one's life is any better, except of course for her own Outclaws, who are now rolling in treasure up there in the palace. She pours wealth into the talons of those who bow and scrape to her, and she doesn't care a fig for anyone else." - Vulture to Qibli Darkness of Dragons, 
"Because we are ruled by a false queen, one who does not deserve this palace! She doesn't care about anyone but herself! She stole this throne to make herself rich! She's been letting SandWings die all over her kingdom without lifting a talon to save them." - Vulture to the SandWings stationed at Thorn's Stronghold Darkness of Dragons, 
"We're the new law and order in this town, and soon in the whole kingdom. I had them looking into these heartbreaking attacks and the dreadful mess Thorn has made of investigating. We discovered who's responsible and we'll bring them to justice." - Vulture to Qibli Darkness of Dragons, 
- A vulture is a bird of prey that is known for eating rotting animals.
- In Darkness of Dragons, he says "Great snakes", which is a famous expression the character Tintin uses in his movie.
- Each of Vulture's skull tattoos represents a dragon he has killed. This gruesome display was also taken up by two of his grandchildren, Rattlesnake and Sirocco. It is rumored they have the tattoos for the same purpose and not just for show.
- Vulture is the name of Upper Egypt, as Cobra is the name of Lower Egypt.
- According to Cobra, Vulture has always been interested in a business alliance with the IceWings.
Family Tree Edit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Darkness of Dragons, page 78
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Darkness of Dragons, page 54
- ↑ Darkness of Dragons, page 78
- ↑ Darkness of Dragons, page 100
Addax • Agave • Armadillo • Camel • Capybara • Cobra • Dune • Horizon • Jerboa • Jerboa (DoD) • Kindle • Meerkat • Needle • Ocotillo • Ostrich (Deserter) • Palm • Parch • Prickle • Quicksand • Rattlesnake • Saguaro • Sandstorm • Sirocco • Six-Claws • Tawny • Torch • Viper • Vulture