Clay is a male MudWing, Dragonet of Destiny, and the main protagonist in The Dragonet Prophecy. He was told by Kestrel that he was born a cold-blooded killer, which couldn't be farther from reality; Clay actually is a very kind-hearted and empathetic dragon.
Clay is a sweet, protective dragon who is seen as a bigwings by most of his friends due to his selflessness and kindness. He is willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but he will stand up for himself and his loved ones at all costs, even willing to guard them with his own life. He is very loyal, honest, and open, and he would never intentionally hurt someone's feelings. He is also very patient as well as empathetic, as shown in Moon Rising when he kindly separated Pike and Carnelian during a heated argument. He also has an adorable love for food.
Clay is a muscular dragon with thick brown scales that seem richer and deeper when in sunlight, like the bark of a healthy mahogany tree with undertones of glowing amber and golden colors. He has powerful wings and warm hazel-tinted eyes, his face consisting of a flat snout with his nostrils near the top, with thick powerful jaws and small dark brown horns near his neck. Clay was also said to have very large talons and thick brown claws, as well as a large sloping back topped with dark brown spines. Ever since Peril burned the venom of a Dragonbite Viper out of his veins to save his life, he has a large burn scar on his right hind leg (on his thigh) and walks with a limp.
Note: The Dragonet Prophecy is based on Clay's perspective.
Clay is the son of Cattail, who, without hesitation, sold his egg for two cows to the Talons of Peace. Clay was brought as an egg to the hidden cave by the MudWing guardian, Asha, a member of the Talons of Peace who was also his aunt. Sadly, Asha died shortly after bringing him due to injuries she received when she had been caught in a battle between the armies of Blister and Blaze. Clay was the first Dragonet of Destiny to hatch, and tried to help break the rest of the dragonets' eggs open. (the bigwings of a MudWing clutch would be the first hatched and would help the other dragonets in his or her sibling group out of their shells by breaking them), but with Asha being dead and unable to explain this, the rest of the guardians misunderstood this action and thought he was trying to kill them, so Clay was forced into the river until the rest of the eggs hatched.
Clay grew up with his companions, Tsunami, Glory, Sunny, and Starflight under a large mountain in a cave in the Sky Kingdom. They were cared for by Kestrel, Dune, and Webs, members of the Talons of Peace, although they had low opinions of their guardians, calling their raising "imprisonment." Clay had trouble in battle training with Kestrel, who periodically attacked him with fire and complained about how he was too gentle, demanding to see more of the 'vicious little monster' he had supposedly been when he hatched, referring to his "shell-breaking" episode. When the dragonets were old enough, they were supposed to leave the cave and fulfill the prophecy. However, they all possessed a desire to escape their confined existence, excluding Sunny. One day, the deliverer of the prophecy, Morrowseer, visited the cave.
The menacing NightWing decreed that Clay, Tsunami and Starflight were worthy of staying, showing special favor toward Starflight, that Sunny was a possible candidate, and that Glory was an unworthy substitute for the deceased SkyWing mentioned in the prophecy. Clay eavesdropped on the guardians through a river that ran throughout the entire cave and overheard that they were planning to have Kestrel kill Glory the next night by breaking her neck. Tsunami was chained as part of this plot, as she was the only one who could stop Kestrel from killing Glory. Knowing that time was running out, Clay escaped through the underground river. Glory hid by changing her scale pattern to match the rocks and stalactites in the cave, gaining more time. Risking his life, (as MudWings are only able to hold their breath for over an hour compared to SeaWings, who have gills and can breathe underwater infinitely), Clay managed to get reasonably far down the river, but he was then covered with a substance that started to dissolve his scales (probably sulfur or sulfuric acid). He was rescued from this unfortunate fate by Tsunami, who finally succeeded in escaping with the aid of Sunny and Starflight by melting the chain links with their combined fire breath. After catching up to Clay, the two swam through the cave filled with glowworms and toxic white substances until they burst outside, emerging from the waterfall that dropped at the cave entrance. This caused the two dragonets to start flying, or trying to fly, in Tsunami's case. After Clay got over the bout of excitement caused by his first flight, he noticed that Tsunami had rapidly fallen. Upon looking closer, Clay guessed one of her wings was dislocated, and this was the reason she was unable to fly properly. He barreled into a dive and sped towards her as fast as he could. He wasn't strong enough to stop her fall, but he was able to slow her down until they crashed into trees and thudded to the grassy ground.
Clay was unsurprisingly delighted by the mud that was bordering the banks of the river they had landed beside. After convincing Tsunami he could push the dislocated bone back into its socket, a scavenger had appeared in the clearing. It was holding a sword and a burlap sack. Upon further investigation, they found the sack contained a variety of jewels, gold, and jewelry. The duo then encountered Queen Scarlet of the SkyWings, who insisted they would return to her kingdom after she had a conversation with Clay and decided they could be useful. Knowing they had to get back to their friends still trapped in the cave, they had no choice but to injure the regal SkyWing by stabbing the scavenger's sword into the vulnerable spot on her tail. They managed to quickly escape before Scarlet found them and find their cave in able to free their friends shortly afterward, but were captured by the enraged Queen Scarlet, due to the smoke signal the remaining dragonets had set so that Tsunami and Clay could find the cave and free them.
Queen Scarlet pitted different prisoners against each other in gladiatorial style battles in her dreaded arena for her and her subjects' entertainment. If the prisoner won enough battles, she would pit them against her champion, Peril. Peril was invulnerable because of a rare birth defect that caused her to be born with too much fire. This meant that Peril would burn anything she touched, so she couldn't read or write and had to be extremely cautious around other dragons. Clay made friends with Peril, who was attracted to him because he was resistant to her fire, despite the fact he did not know this. Clay volunteered to stand in for Starflight after learning he was next to fight in the arena. Queen Scarlet agreed to his request and he was pitted against Fjord of the IceWings, who managed to pin him down. Fjord was about to strike the killing blow with his deadly frostbreath when Glory secretly shot acidic venom that dissolved his face, and Clay was victorious. Later on, he decided to hide Peril during Kestrel's trial in exchange for the knowledge of Sunny's location.
After the trial, Peril did not speak with him, and he started to get the prisoners to sing with a wire Peril accidentally burned through earlier to try and get her attention. He, Starflight, and Tsunami were taken to her room, where Peril helped them escape. With the help of Peril, Clay and his friends tried to escape, only to be betrayed by Peril herself. During this vain escape, he learned that his scales were impervious to fire.
The following day, it was Queen Scarlet's hatching day. Of course, she had horrifyingly bloody plans for her and her guest Burn's entertainment. The three confused dragonets (Starflight, Tsunami, and Clay) were taken to the balcony of the queens, on which Burn and Scarlet were seated on as well. He helplessly watched as Tsunami was forced to fight a mad SeaWing, who was later revealed to be her father and the SeaWing King Gill. After Tsunami killed him, Clay was also forced to watch Starflight and Tsunami fight scavengers and IceWings. After Starlight was rescued by Morrowseer and the other NightWings, Clay was pitted against Peril. He surprised her with his ability to fight back, and quickly pinned her, but wouldn't kill her. At that moment, Glory shot venom from her longest fangs at Burn, who shoved Scarlet in the way, and then a part of her face started to melt. They were then able to escape with Peril's help, and succeeded in rescuing Kestrel in the process, the action in which Clay and Sunny were the only supporters.
They finally managed to escape, and then they traveled to the Mud Kingdom to find Clay's parents. Clay was disappointed to find that his mother didn't care about him and sold him to the Talons of Peace in exchange for cows, but he found the group of his brothers and sisters, Reed, Marsh, Sora, Umber, and Pheasant (though one named Crane was killed in a recent battle, later found that it was Icicle who killed her) that he would have belonged with had he not been taken by the Talons of Peace. Finally, at peace with himself, Clay leaves with his friends in the search for Tsunami's parents.
For almost all of The Lost Heir, Clay was imprisoned with his friends, chained by the ankles to a cave floor. When water levels rose due to a flood, he was willing to keep his friends away from the rising water by letting them sit on his back and stack on top of each other, showing the willingness to sacrifice his life to save them although MudWings can hold their breath for an hour. He was soon freed by Tsunami and they together sat in a dry cave and ate fish. When Blister arrived she called him "the burly one". Clay wasn't seen later on in the book until the Summer Palace Pavilion attack by the SkyWings. Clay was seen shielding Starflight and Sunny since his scales are immune to fire, surprising many of Burn's soldiers in the process.
After the dragonets escape from the Kingdom of Sea, they head to the Rainforest Kingdom, where Clay is knocked out with a sleeping dart to get to the RainWing village. While Glory was being toured around by Jambu, Starflight went right on torturing Clay through his sleep by rolling a melon in front of his nose and watching for Clay's reaction. Clay reacted by sighing in a really wistful way and his tongue lolled in and out of his mouth, later stating that the food in his dream "smelled like melon" and that it was kind of weird. Later when Glory becomes imprisoned by the NightWings (which happened since she was trying out an experiment), Clay and Deathbringer come to her rescue, and Clay helps fight off the NightWing guards near the tunnel to the rainforest by throwing red-hot coals at them. He, Glory, and a RainWing dragonet named Kinkajou end up escaping successfully, while Deathbringer stays behind with the NightWings. Clay later keeps watcher the tunnels to the Night Kingdom alongside with Starflight. After Glory becomes queen, he comes running back from the tunnel to tell her that Starflight is gone and falsely guesses that Starflight went to warn the NightWings.
He doesn't appear much in The Dark Secret as Starflight is imprisoned in the Night Kingdom. Starflight did try using a dreamvisitor to visit Clay in his dreams but Clay didn't find Starflight popping into his dreams were disturbing or even abnormal. He seemed to think Starlight was a part of the dream. Clay was seen to be eating or 'feasting' and was extremely pleased his siblings were there with him. However, when Starlight returns, Clay is the second Dragonet of Destiny to see him and is extremely pleased that Starlight has returned. When Starflight is injured by the volcanic explosion's fire, Clay shelters him with his wings, protecting him and carrying him through the tunnel.
Clay is first shown when he bursts out of the tunnel, shielding Starflight. Sunny mentions that the Dragonets of Destiny may have been like the alternate dragonets if not for his kindness and support. He is not mentioned much more until Sunny returns to the rainforest. Clay meets Sunny when he came out of the healer's hut and tackles her down, telling her how he knew that she would be alright. When the dragonets are in the stronghold, Burn rips off the top of the box Blister sent her and pulls out a dragonbite viper. A second one jumps out and bites Burn, so she releases the first viper. It heads toward Starflight, Fatespeaker, and Sunny, but Clay knocks them out of the way and gets bitten instead. Black veins soon start spreading out all over his right thigh. Peril then flies out of nowhere, says that "she would not let Clay die", and burns out the venom by placing her talons on the section of his leg that got bitten, burning the venom, and Clay survives, though he is left scarred and limping for the rest of his life.
It seems like Clay serves as a hall monitor for the Jade Mountain Academy, shown in how he patrols the halls and stops at least two fights. He is in charge of the Prey Center at the school, which turns out be much more chaotic than he originally expected. He also appears to be a doctor, treating injured dragonets.
When the Dragonflame Cactus exploded in the History Cave, he runs inside to help get anyone out who may have been trapped. He is unharmed again due to his fire-resistant scales. At the assembly later he talks, but Moon wasn't listening to him in her search for the dragon that caused the explosion.
Clay appears in the first part of the book. He is supposed to retrieve Peril from her cave as soon as Queen Ruby leaves. Peril follows him as he and the others fly out to face Scarlet, and promises to help Queen Ruby. When Peril asks Clay what he wants her to do, he replies that she "should make her own choices". Later in the night, during an argument with Queen Ruby about whether or not they are able to trust Peril, Starflight reveals to him that Peril is in love with Clay, and will likely kill everyone if she finds out that his feelings aren't mutual. Clay acts slightly embarrassed but then changes the subject.
Clay comes out to the landing area with Sunny to stop Darkstalker, where he asks Darkstalker if he's a monster and if reading everybody's minds is nosy. He looks embarrassed, alarmed, and confused at the same time when Darkstalker says his thoughts are very kind about "certain dragons", most likely meaning Peril, although this is yet to be confirmed. Later, Clay gathers dragons to tell them the story of Ruby's fight with Scarlet. Peril says that she talked to him, and he hugs her, pleased with her as a whole. Qibli tells Peril that Clay likes her too, but doesn't know "quite what to do about it yet."
Clay first appears in the book teaching the herbs and healing class explaining his injury. Then he helps Qibli search for a weapon to break into the Scorpion Den to save one of Clay's students, Ostrich. Clay was showing the "weapon box" (as Qibli calls it) when Qibli complains about the limited selection of weapons, and that he'd be better off cutting his own throat and hanging himself from the alley wall. Clay then asks if Qibli really needs to be armed to visit his grandfather. Straight after Clay said no to Qibli's question of having any poison, Winter appears, stating that he will not need any poison because he will be there, accompanying Qibli. After a bit of arguing, Winter spots a replica of Qibli's earring on Clay's ear. Clay then proceeds to say that they're very fashionable. Qibli attempts to persuade Winter to put one on but fails. In the epilogue, Clay and Peril talk and fly in the rain together, showing that Clay most likely returns the feelings that Peril has for him.
Family Tree Edit
|Unnamed Siblings||Asha (Deceased)||Cattail||Unknown|
|Clay (Bigwings)||Reed||Pheasant||Sora||Marsh||Crane (Deceased)||Umber|
"I'm-uh-open to suggestions." -Clay to Tsunami when he was bitten with the dragonbite viper.
"I'll stick with friends who aren't trying to kill me, thanks." - Clay to Peril in the SkyWing arena
"Ow. Don't make me laugh. I think my ribs are broken." - To Tsunami in The Dragonet Prophecy
"I'm Clay. I think I'm your son." - To Cattail when he first meets her in The Dragonet Prophecy
"I'm awake. I'm just waiting until Glory and Tsunami stop fighting. I was dreaming about sheep and buffalo and bears. They were all on the table in front of me and I had to decide which to eat first. Oh, and they all smelled like melons. That part was kind of weird." - Recovering from being tranquilized in The Hidden Kingdom
"Are you going to eat that whole thing?" - Asking Glory about a mango
"Can I eat this?" - Asking Mangrove about a fruit in the rainforest
"Mishish vemmy shmewey." - About a very chewy fruit stuck in his teeth
"Can we eat them?" - Talking about the dolphins
"Aww. What happened to the hippos?" - After waking up, wishing for his dream to come back to him
"I'd like to be something more than alive. I'd like to be the kind of dragon she doesn't think I am - the kind they write prophecies about. That dragon would rescue her no matter how awful she is." - About saving Kestrel
"We're figuring it out." - To Blaze
"You should go. Fly across the sea as fast as you can. Maybe you'll make it before the volcano really explodes." - To Morrowseer
"I volunteer, I'm a world champion at sitting on my friends." - When Glory was told to sleep, and that if she didn't, she would be sat on.
"Sure. I mean I've eaten breakfast. What else do I need to do? Oooh, maybe some more breakfast. That's a good idea." - To Sunny
"Wow, everything hurts. Uh... Did I miss anything?" - After he regains consciousness and Thorn is queen.
"It'll be over soon, and then I can go have dinner." - Clay's thought when he's fighting Kestrel
"I will not! I'll feel colder! Stop it! Go away! Argh!" - When Tsunami dumped him in the river
"CHICKENS, GIVE UP! WE'RE GOING TO EAT YOU! THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT! STOP RUNNING AWAY NOW!" - At Jade Mountain Academy, to chickens in the Prey Center
"Well, I know what I want my destiny to be, I want it to be sleeping and being friends with you guys forever. Oh, wait, also feasting! Lots of feasting." - When coming up with ideas for Jade Mountain Academy
"You said stomping tails was cheating!" - While training with Kestrel in The Dragonet Prophecy
"THINK ABOUT COWS THINK ABOUT COWS THINK ABOUT COWS THINK ABOUT COWS THINK ABOUT DELICOUS FAT COWS" - when Clay meets [[Morrowseer ]] "Peril, I'm not going to be a new Scarlet for you. You get to make your own choices now." - to Peril
"So I guess this means no feast?" - When being shoved into a cave at the Summer Palace
"Maybe... maybe Peril is our wings of fire." - Clay after Peril burnt the poison out of him.
"Hey, that stick is very heavy. You wouldn't want to get whacked with that thing. Also, we have Tsunami! And now Peril. That's better than a couple of swords." - To Qibli in [[Darkness of Dragons ]] "This is a school, you know. Sunny and I thought perhaps an entire cave full of sharp objects might not be the best idea. We thought, maybe, hey, something that locks instead" - To Qibli about the weapons at Jade Mountain Academy
"Peril, I'd love to." - About Peril asking, if he wants to fly with her
Starflight is like a brother to Clay. Clay also stated he dreams of Starflight lecturing him. He takes a dragonbite viper bite to save Starflight and protected him when the volcano from the NightWing Fortress exploded.
Tsunami is one of Clay's close friends. She found and cured him when Clay got drenched in the white ooze in the underground river and his scales were burning with pain. Tsunami stabbed Queen Scarlet's tail to help her and Clay fly away from the SkyWing queen. Later, she calls Clay a "handsome idiot" and gives him a hint that Peril likes him (although it goes right over his head). Throughout the book, Tsunami often interjects when Clay talks about Glory and Sunny in front of Peril because Tsunami appears to understand that Peril gets jealous. After she and Clay escape from under the mountain, Clay notices how beautiful and shiny her scales were. And in The Lost Heir, she says she had feelings for Clay and Starflight but had gotten over her crushes when she realized Clay thought of her as a sister, and Starflight was too "annoying". In the second book, though, she seems to have a growing affection for Riptide, another SeaWing, the son of Webs.
Sunny is like a little sister to Clay, and he treats her like one. When Clay decides to travel down the river, Sunny says "Don't you dare die!". Clay also wanted to go save Sunny when she was trapped in a cage in the Sky Kingdom. When Sunny wants to explain her idea about the darts in the RainWings' attack, she turns to Clay because she thinks he will listen. He seems to be the dragonet she confides in the most. Clay takes a poisonous viper bite to save Sunny's life and says he would do it over and over again if he could. Clay is one of the only dragons to actually take Sunny seriously, as shown when Clay paid attention to the "weird crab" Sunny found.
Glory is also one of Clay's friends (he has no crushes on any of them, as he thinks of them as his brothers and sisters). He refers to her as beautiful once in the book, and feels bad about thinking that Glory was actually asleep when she was displayed as "artwork". When Glory comes into view after Kestrel said she's going to kill her, Clay twines his tail with hers. When Glory goes missing, Clay is very worried about her. Clay was devastated when he thought that Scarlet had killed Glory in Escaping Peril.
Clay befriended Peril while trapped in the SkyWing arena by Queen Scarlet. They become good friends, and Peril developed feelings for him because he was the only dragon that liked her the way she was. Queen Scarlet had only been using her for entertainment. After Clay fights Fjord, Peril brings hot mud to treat his scratches and wounds. He soon finds out that Scarlet ordered Peril not to talk to him, but she does anyway. Peril seemed jealous of the other dragonets because she wanted Clay to herself. When Peril helps the dragonets escape (but later betrays them) Clay touches her and figures out he's immune to her heat. This helps when he fights Peril against his will in the arena, leaving Peril to admit she wanted to save him after Kestrel and for him to like her more than the other dragonets. She says she does not want to kill him, and Clay says she has to. Clay and Peril's fight ends after Queen Scarlet is sprayed with Glory's venom, and they escape. Glory says Peril might be the missing SkyWing, but that is proved false. Peril chooses to stay behind to distract the other SkyWings from the escaping dragonets where she states that that's all she's good for. But then Clay delivers the award-winning line when he finally gets it and says "that's not the only thing you're good for, Peril." and gives her a dragon equivalent of a hug. Peril leaves but sees the dragonets again in the fifth and sixth books. Peril saves Clay's life in the fifth book by taking out the poison in his flesh after he is bitten by a dragonbite viper. In the sixth book, he invites her to the Jade Mountain Academy. In Talons of Power, Qibli tells Peril that Clay likes her but just doesn't know how to tell her. In Darkness of Dragons, Peril and Clay go flying together. In this scene, it is likely that Clay is in love with Peril too, although the ending is vague.
Reed, Marsh, Crane, Pheasant, Sora, and Umber are Clay's siblings, and he met them when he tried to visit his mother. Glory went with Clay disguised as a MudWing. Crane died before Clay came back. If his egg was not taken by the Talons of Peace, Clay would have become the bigwings. So instead, Reed became the bigwings. Clay is shown to appreciate this because he's glad to have Reed protecting his sibs when he can't. When Starflight used his dreamvisitor, he saw Clay dream about his siblings. Starflight said, "More dragons we have to save in this war." He seemed shocked and saddened when Sora set a bomb off in the school.
Clay cares about the students at Jade Mountain Academy and their safety.
- The substance mud, which includes clay, comes in some varieties, such as red, brown and white.
- Clay has the desire to eat many different types of foods and enjoys trying new types which is a common trait among MudWings.
- Clay appears to have a liking for more meaty meals. In The Dragonet Prophecy, he loves cows. In The Hidden Kingdom, Blaze wants to plan a party with the Dragonets of Destiny and offers Clay a camel. Glory then assumes that Clay would love to be offered a camel.
- Clay was actually dreaming about food when Starflight visited him in The Dark Secret.
- Clay sometimes dreams about Starflight giving him lectures.
- Clay seems to be skilled in first-aid as shown in The Lost Heir and Moon Rising. He also teaches Herbs and Healing at Jade Mountain Academy.
- Clay, Tsunami, and Sunny are the only original Dragonets of Destiny who have met their mothers.
- Clay is the fifth dragon to appear in the series, the second MudWing, and the first dragonet.
- In the annotated version of The Dragonet Prophecy, Tui revealed that she had originally wanted him to have a crush on Glory, but decided that didn't work at all. 
- Clay knows of Peril's crush on him, and Qibli says that Clay likes her back but doesn't know how to feel about it.
- Clay never did truly believe in the powers of the NightWings.
- Clay currently has a limp in his leg resulting from Peril saving his life from a Dragonbite Viper's venom by burning it out with her firescales.
- Clay is the second dragon known to be bitten by a Dragonbite Viper and the only dragon known to have survived the bite.
- Clay has displayed his concern for the safety of young dragonets, such as the students attending Jade Mountain Academy.
- Clay, alongside Starflight, are the only Dragonets of Destiny whose lineage past their parents is unknown.
- Clay is the only Dragonet of Destiny who doesn't have green eyes.
- The orange-brown dragonet in Moon's vision in Moon Rising may be the future dragonet of Peril and Clay; however, no clear evidence has confirmed this.
- It is very likely that Clay loves Peril just like she loves him throughout the series and knows of her love for him. This is mostly displayed during the epilogue of Darkness of Dragons in Peril's point of view, and when Peril left at the end of The Dragonet Prophecy.
- Clay is named after a real-life material of the same name, which is a stiff, sticky fine-grained earth.
- Clay is the second known dragon to have survived being burned by Peril, the others being Kestrel and Prince Winter.
- Tui has said that Clay was one of the easiest characters to write just because she adores him, and she says "affable/kindhearted/loyal/hungry is exactly my type of hero".