Dragons are the dominant life form of Pyrrhia. Scavengers, or humans, were once the dominant form of life, but dragons overthrew them in an event known as The Scorching. Dragons are highly intelligent, being capable of speech, tool-making, and other abilities that are normal in complex societies. Some, animus dragons, possess a form of magic capable of causing practically anything to happen. Dragons have died of old age or sickness in the series, for example Queen Glacier of the IceWings. According to Starflight, dragons live more than a hundred years before they die "peacefully in their sleep" if they are not killed earlier. Tui T. Sutherland has stated that the average lifespan for dragons is roughly 150 years. A RainWing named Tapir managed to live for 110 years before his death, further confirming that dragons can have a naturally long lifespan. The dragon to human years goes like this: Four to seven are teens, seven to eight are young adults, and everything above nine years of age is considered adulthood.
Dragons speak Dragon.
Biology and Anatomy Edit
Dragons in Pyrrhia fall into one of seven general species, or tribes: RainWings, SandWings, SeaWings, NightWings, SkyWings, MudWings, and IceWings. They are capable of inter-tribal cross-breeding or hybrids and producing hybrid dragons, but this does not occur often, as tribe rivalry is quite common. It has been confirmed that there are more dragon tribes on another continent - known as Pantala - first introduced by Clearsight. Dragons in Pantala fall into one of three general species, known as the SilkWings, LeafWings, and HiveWings. All tribes are naturally the same size, (except for Mudwings, which are generally larger than other tribes) and it just depends on age for who is taller or shorter. Dragons grow rapidly for the first 8 to 10 years of their life, then continue to grow slowly until they die. .
The Pyrrhian tribes follow a hexapodal design, with six limbs, two of which have been modified for flight. The wings consist of a membrane stretched in between the bones of the five digits, with a large claw on the third digit, and are attached at the top of the shoulder, with the forelegs attached at the bottom. They are about eighteen feet tall, up to their head, and twelve feet up to their shoulders, when full-grown. The SilkWings and HiveWings from Pantala follow an octopodal design with eight limbs, four of which modified for flight. The wings of a SilkWing are spoon-shaped and resemble those of a butterfly's. HiveWing wings are thinner and resemble those of a dragonfly's. LeafWings, like the Pyrrhian dragons, followed a hexapodal design, with wings shaped like leaves. Dragon bones are nearly as hard as diamonds, so they are quite difficult to break.
All dragons are equipped with large talons at the base of each foot, five on the forelegs and four on the rear legs, and all can fly, however, not all can breathe fire. These dragons compensate for that with some other ability, usually depending on their habitat. IceWings breath frostbreath instead of fire, SeaWings have gills and are capable of bioluminescence, and RainWings have camouflage and an acid-like venom. Most species are carnivorous, with omnivorous exceptions such as the RainWings. Most of the dragons have large, sharp teeth suited for their diet. RainWings, though, are mainly herbivores, subsisting only on fruits. Dragons can go for up to a month without eating.
It is a theory that a dragon's human age can be determined by multiplying 2.5 or three to dragonet ages up to age six and then adding by ones to fill the rest of their age. For example, a 21 year old dragon in dragon age would be 3 x 6 + (21 - 6) or 18 + 15, 33 in human years. This is not determined by the creator but is plausible considering the rapid growth during the first years of a dragon's age and the slowing down of the growth later on.
Each tribe has specialized structures and abilities that differentiate them from the other tribes. Most typical is some sort of exhalation, most commonly fire. SkyWings, NightWings, and SandWings can breathe fire at any given time, whereas MudWings can only breathe fire when they are warm enough. IceWings exhale a freezing breath, while RainWings can spit corrosive acid that only affects biological matter. SeaWings, HiveWings, LeafWings, and SilkWings are the only tribes that cannot exhale anything that may be used as a weapon. The most commonly modified structures in dragons are either the wings, the claws, or the tail.
IceWings have modified claws to grip the ice, powerful frostbreath that has the ability to snap off limbs after contact, a resistance to below-freezing temperatures so they can stay alive and comfortable in their habitat, and before Prince Arctic ran away with Foeslayer, IceWings used to have animus magic running through the royal family. They are also highly resistant to being blinded by bright light. IceWings have also been shown to be able to camouflage in the snow in their natural habitat.
MudWings have nostrils located on the top of the snout to allow them to breathe while submerged in mud and water. In addition, they can hold their breath for up to an hour, they also have tough and armored scales for extra protection. However, occasionally, a bloodred MudWing egg will hatch, giving the dragonet inside the ability to resist fire. This power is strengthened or activated by being in the mud, which also strengthens MudWings in general. An example of a fireproof MudWing would be Clay.
NightWings were thought to have telepathy, as well as precognition, or the ability to predict future events. However, no NightWing has had these abilities in over a century (other than Moonwatcher), explaining why Starflight has no powers in the original series. It is later revealed by Darkstalker that these NightWing powers are activated by at least one of the three moons being full and able to shine on an egg. One full moon gives the powers of either precognition or telepathy. Two full moons give both. Three full moons had once been thought to give animus magic, but this theory was proved wrong, Darkstalker claims. Now they are thought to give powerful telepathy and precognition, but this has not been proven. The NightWings have not hatched their eggs under the moonlight (besides Moonwatcher's and possibly Fatespeaker's) for around 2000 years, which may be because of the fact that they never wanted to have another Darkstalker. NightWings may also have bacteria in their saliva to help kill prey, similar to a komodo dragon. They have created a veil of mystery around themselves, and not much else is known about their abilities, but it is thought they are slightly resistant to lava and fire, as shown when Vengeance didn't die immediately from the lava he was submerged in. Like the SeaWings and ancient IceWings, some NightWings have animus powers, passed down from Whiteout.
RainWings possess prehensile tails, similar to a chameleon's, used for navigating the forest. It was fairly recently discovered that they can also spit a deadly venom from their fangs which they rarely use. Most noticeably, they have the ability to change the color of their scales to help them camouflage, however, it can also express their mood.
SandWings possess a venomous barb on their tail that is lethal to other life forms, as well as also having the ability to exhale fire. SandWings are able to go a long time without water, which helps them survive in the desert. Also, back in Darkstalker's time, there was one animus SandWing named Jerboa, which proves that the SandWings may have previously had animus blood. It is revealed that Jerboa has one daughter, Jerboa II.
SeaWings are the most well equipped underwater, having gills, along with the ability to see in the dark to help them navigate their watery home. They have powerful webbed claws and tails that help them swim noticeably better than the other tribes, They also use bioluminescence to attract mates and to communicate while underwater by using a language called Aquatic. SeaWings also have animus blood running through the royal family, some animus dragons including, Princess Orca, Princess Anemone, and Prince Turtle.
SkyWings have large, almost overdeveloped wings, making them the best fliers among the dragons. They also have the ability to exhale fire. Sometimes, when SkyWings hatch in twin eggs, one of the twin dragonets absorbs all of their other twin's fire so that they have abnormally hot fire and can burn anything on touch, called Firescales; their other twin becomes weak and loses all of their fire ability. An example of a dragon with this ability would be Peril.
SilkWings are born without wings, and they go through a Metamorphosis when they're six, getting their wings. Their scales can be absolutely any color under the sun except black. They can also spin/shoot silk from a set of spinnerets on their wrists. Very rarely they have an ability called flamesilk, where they shoot solid fire (this is genetic). An example of dragons with this ability would be Luna and Blue. SilkWings can spin different types of silk, sometimes like thread, sometimes sticky to be used as construction. Flamesilks can still make silk that won't burn things. All SilkWings can choose which kind of silk they want to spin.
LeafWings are presumed to be extinct, but when they were around, they could absorb sunlight and use it for energy, were accomplished gardeners, and some were rumored to have unusual control over plants. Their wings were shaped like leaves. They usually have a coloring of brown or green scales. It has been proven in book 11, The Lost Continent, that there are at least four LeafWings (Belladonna, Hemlock, Sundew, and Willow) left alive.
HiveWings have wasp or dragonfly-like wings. Their abilities differ from dragon to dragon, usually involving poison of some sort. Some have stingers on their tails, used to inject nerve poison or spray a deadly acid (Similar to RainWing venom). Some HiveWings have stingers that spring from their claws or teeth, and some even have them on their wingtips. HiveWings scales can range from yellow to red to orange, along with a few black scales, inherited from their common ancestor, Clearsight.
Dragons have a complex, matriarchal society where each tribe is ruled by a hereditary queen. Each tribe differs in its traditions and values of life due to habitat and physiology. They are advanced enough to have speech and writing - all dragons appear to speak the same language. The SeaWings use their bio-luminescent stripes to communicate with a separate language called Aquatic (only used because speaking underwater would be difficult, if not impossible). Additionally, they have kingdoms, and some, like IceWings and SeaWings, care deeply about one's loyalty to his or her tribe.
SeaWings and IceWings usually pair off in lifelong partnerships, and the nuclear family is extremely important. It has been shown that MudWings and RainWings do not appear to care about their offspring (aristocratic IceWings appear only to care if their dragonets are at the top of their rankings). SkyWings either have or had a breeding system, and it is unknown if it is because of the war and having ideal soldiers, if it is Scarlet's policy, or if it is how it has always been. If it was Scarlet's policy, Ruby has most likely ended it. NightWings might have lifelong partners, but it seems very unlikely, and seems to have a SkyWing-like breeding program, as Secretkeeper refers to Morrowseer as "the egg's father" not "her mate", and Starflight and Fierceteeth are step-siblings. SkyWings, SeaWings, and NightWings care for their offspring deeply, as shown with Avalanche and Flame, Queen Ruby and Prince Cliff, Nautilus and Squid, Queen Coral and her daughters, Moonwatcher and Secretkeeper, Mindreader and her father, along with the parents and dragonets Winter noticed when in the Rainforest Kingdom.
On Pantala, the SilkWings and the HiveWings are united under a single queen. They all live in different hives, governed over by sisters of the queen. The hives are connected by webs of silk made by the SilkWings.
It is stated in the books multiple times that dragons have a system of body language. Peril notes in Escaping Peril that there "appeared to be some kind of code" about the way Turtle and Qibli greeted each other in Possibility. Earlier in the book, Turtle lifts one of his wings to shush Peril. During Ruby's visit to Jade Mountain, Clay stands up and spreads his wings to catch the attention of her soldiers so that they can land.. It is mentioned that nudging another dragon's wing, or twining together their tails, is a sign of affection, showing that they're both in the same tribe; a family in a way. Also, flicking your tail at someone is another way to get their attention.
Dragons have been able to develop armor and handheld weapons, so technologically and socially they seem to be somewhere around the Middle Ages.
NightWings have been shown to be the most technologically advanced tribe as they were able to create large buildings before the events of the Darkstalker Legend. Additionally, they have knowledge of making glasses and experimented with RainWing venom during the War of the SandWing Succession.
Dragons have knowledge of medicinal uses of herbs and of blood vessels as shown in the Kobo preview of Darkness of Dragons. RainWings, in particular, have knowledge of poisonous frogs and fruit and use certain venom to create blow darts which can cause a dragon to fall asleep without injuring them in the first place during a fight. SkyWings also use Dragonflame Cactus bombs, in which they lit a fuse on a cactus, and in a certain period of time, it will explode and release all of its sharp seeds. This tactic has been shown to be very deadly in the series.
Dragons on Pantala seem to be slightly more technologically advanced than dragons on Pyrrhia, as they have books rather than scrolls. They also have glasses, stores, and what appears to be massive bridges between the Hives.
Before the dragons had queens, the scavengers ruled Pyrrhia. Eventually, the dragons rebelled and established tribes and queens, so dragons could get help when they needed it, as shown with Osprey. This was known to the dragons as the Scorching.
Although there are many wars in Pyrrhia's history, such as the war between the NightWings and the IceWings, the most recent war was the War of the SandWing Succession. This was caused by Queen Oasis of the SandWings being killed by a scavenger, and her daughters, Blaze, Blister, and Burn, trying to claim the throne for themselves. This sparked a tribal war among the dragon tribes since each of the princesses tried to get alliances with the other tribes in order to defeat their sisters.
After the war was ended by the Dragonets of Destiny, the tribes are now at an uneasy peace, though hostilities and tensions are still high, as many dragons are still bearing grudges against certain tribes.
- ↑ https://youtu.be/5WHz0enyNG0
- ↑ http://xthedragonrebornx.deviantart.com/journal/Tui-and-Questions-Answered-691255321
- ↑ http://xthedragonrebornx.deviantart.com/journal/Tui-and-Questions-Answered-691255321
- ↑ Escaping Peril page 107
- ↑ Escaping Peril page 47
- ↑ Escaping Peril page 38