Pyrite is a "false" female SkyWing, an animus enchantment by the way of a necklace. Anyone who wears this necklace instantly shifts into her, a female SkyWing under Queen Scarlet's rule. The animus enchantment was created by Chameleon using Darkstalker's Talisman. She first appeared in the prologue of the seventh book in the Wings of Fire series, Winter Turning. She also could be used on anyone. However, she was created "specifically" for Hailstorm.
Winter described her to be of an odd orange-yellow, like the color of a peach's core. She has warm innocent amber eyes that are a similar in color to Qibli's amber earring. Around her neck is a small brown pouch on a gold chain, tight as a choker, and she also has a gold nose ring on one side of her snout, a "fashion choice" Winter had never seen before. She was also noted to be thin and bigger than Winter, and has a soft and sweet voice.
She first appeared in the prologue when Winter and his brother, Hailstorm, were exploring the Sky Kingdom. After Hailstorm was defeated and captured by a patrol of SkyWings, a dragon wearing the "Pyrite mask", probably Chameleon, put it on him.
Later, Winter and his Jade Winglet friends visited the Talons of Peace. Riptide brought the two SkyWing members of the Talons, and Pyrite agrees to take Winter, Moonwatcher, Kinkajou, and Qibli to a place where Queen Scarlet was suspected to be after Moon pressured her. Moon describes her mind as shallow and continuously going in a well-worn circle in her mind. Winter felt the same feeling from her as from the tunnel to the NightWings' destroyed volcano, and declared to Moon that she must be an animus, but Moon counters, saying that Pyrite must not know that she is an animus, due to the lack of evidence in the "SkyWing's" mind.
Later, when Queen Scarlet's unknown NightWing companion attacks, Pyrite's necklace is removed by Qibli, and Hailstorm is revealed underneath. Winter describes the change as "the scales sliding off as though she was melting and rowing and snapping into place at the same time. Her snout narrowed and lengthened. The orange color bled swiftly out of each scale. Sharp spikes shoved up through the skin all along her back and at the tip of her tail".
Even after Hailstorm took off the Pyrite mask, her memories still lingered in his mind. For a long while, he wasn't sure if he was an IceWing or SkyWing. This confusion was most shown when he approached Eagle, think that he was still Pyrite. Eagle had been a friend of Pyrite, and since Hailstorm was no longer Pyrite, Eagle did not recognize him. In fact, he thought it was a "sick joke", and probably would've attacked Hailstorm if Meerkat hadn't showed up.
It is later revealed that Pyrite's mind and body is nothing but an animus enchantment on a necklace in which whoever wears it takes the mind and body of the Skywing, Pyrite. Moon calls it the "Pyrite Mask." The "Pyrite Mask" is enchanted by a small piece of paper, ripped off from a scroll (Darkstalker's Talisman). The paper reads:
Enchant this paper so that when any dragon wears it in the form of a necklace, he or she shall fully become a female dragon named Pyrite, with the following conditions:
(1) Completely loyal to Queen Scarlet and the SkyWing tribe.
(2) Insecure and weak.
(3) No memory of his or her former identity .
(4) Compelled to wear this necklace at all times with life-or-death urgency.
It still keeps Pyrite's memories, even if someone different tries it on. Winter decided he needed to know how wearing it feels. When he tried it on, Qibli ripped off Rule 4 beforehand so Winter can take the necklace off. It appears to have worked, since Winter did not argue with Qibli once Qibli slipped the necklace off him.
"What magic? I don’t have any magic! I never did anything special for Queen Scarlet!" – to Winter
"No. Please. I’m not supposed to take it off ever. It’s life or death. I need to wear it. Please leave it alone. Don’t take it. Don’t—" - to Winter while he's removing the necklace.
"Sorry, sorry, sorry. You startled me. " - To Qibli
"I'm completely loyal. I would have kept fighting for Queen Scarlet as long as she needed me. But when Ruby took the throne, she made everyone swear an oath to her, and I couldn't do that, you know? I'm completely loyal to Queen Scarlet. Always and always and always. "
- Pyrite's name is wordplay, as pyrite is a mineral that looks like gold and fooled many during the infamous and famous California Gold Rush, hence the popular nickname "fool's gold". Similarly, Pyrite is just a disguise.
- Despite her dislike for IceWings, she was attached to Cirrus and then later Winter, possibly because Hailstorm was wearing her. Cirrus possibly stuck around her to keep track of Hailstorm, as we later find out his real identity in Escaping Peril, and that he was the one who made the enchantment. It is also mentioned in Winter Turning that Pyrite might have stuck with Winter because the spell had developed so she naturally wanted to be near Cirrus, and by extension other Icewings.
- The Pyrite spell worked, but maybe not completely as she/Hailstorm still had IceWing dreams of snow, although this is only when she is near IceWings.
- Pyrite is described to have long arms and legs, but this is normal for SkyWings.
- According to Moon, her thoughts repeated over and over again in a loop, seemingly because she is an enchantment.
- Pyrite is described to have a nostril piercing; she is the first and so far only known dragon to have one.
- Moon describes her thoughts as "shallow."
- Pyrite is enchanted to be weak, but she fights with "sudden ferocity" when someone tries to take her necklace off.