SkyWings are one of the seven dragon tribes of Pyrrhia, characterized by their scales which come in many varying shades of red, gold or orange or sometimes pink and their exceedingly powerful wings. They are noted to be great fliers, often very grumpy and bad-tempered and the fastest dragons in the sky. They are also one of the four dragon tribes that can breathe fire, but their fire is confirmed to be more powerful than other tribes', because it has a much higher temperature. There is one dragon named Peril that has too much fire in her and burns everything she touches, a case such as hers is called "firescales". They live in the part of Pyrrhia that resembles a wing (since Pyrrhia is shaped like a dragon), which symbolizes their flight skills. They were previously under the rule of Queen Scarlet for the first arc and a small portion of the second, but the tribe is now under the rule of her daughter, Queen Ruby (Tourmaline in her original form), originally due to the disappearance of Queen Scarlet. Scarlet became outraged and began to develop a hate towards Queen Ruby. She eventually invaded the SkyWing kingdom and later, the ex-queen was killed in a royal duel by Tourmaline.
SkyWings usually have red, pink, orange, or golden scales with yellow, amber, and sometimes copper underscales, and orange or yellow eyes. Their scales have sometimes been described as having a color similar to a hibiscus flower. Some SkyWings can also have blue eyes, but only if they were born with firescales; an example of one such SkyWing is Peril. Their scales are described to be "jewel-hard." They have enormous wings and long graceful necks, making them excellent fliers and fighters. In addition, they can breathe fire at temperatures hotter than other fire-breathing tribes at any given time. They have also been shown to have a strong respiratory system, probably an adaptation from their high altitude home in the mountains, like their large wings. Their snouts are thin and long, with a nose-spike, and an extra horn on their jaw. Their horns are long, thin, and curved, similar to RainWing horns in shape. They're very thin, slender, and are biologically built to fly.
Most SkyWings seen are typically portrayed as short-tempered, militaristic, grumpy, and like fighting, but this might have been because Queen Scarlet didn't tend her tribe in a caring fashion, leading them to be this way. Clay once thought that Kestrel was exiled from the Sky Kingdom for her grumpiness, though he later changed his mind after meeting the rest of the tribe, realizing that she seemed to "fit right in" with the other SkyWings. This may have been because, as Clay commented, 'the soldiers looked underfed and like they needed rest', most likely because they were not treated as well as they could be by their queen, Scarlet.
SkyWings shown in Escaping Peril seemed considerably happier and less grouchy, as well as having more focus on nonviolent things (i.e. orchestra) in comparison to their appearance in previous books. The fact that the SkyWings were able to transform their lives under Ruby's rule may imply that they are adaptive, creative, and clever.
In Darkstalker (Legends), SkyWings were said by Prince Fathom to be the "friendly tribe", either meaning that their stereotype had changed from Darkstalker's time to the Dragonets of Destiny's time, or that he was just being sarcastic, which is much more probable. Even in Darkstalker's era of reign, SkyWings were cautious about differences, including animus dragons and any dragonets born with defects, and it is implied that SkyWings left dragons with abnormalities to die. SkyWings still do this in modern times, as shown with Peril and her deceased brother; however, this may change under the rule of Queen Ruby.
SkyWings are well-known for their superior skills in combat. They can fly faster than any other tribe, thanks to their large wings and keels, and are capable of breathing large amounts of fire at extreme temperatures (if they hold it long enough). According to Tsunami in The Lost Heir, a SkyWing beating their wings at full might sounds like a "hurricane whistling around your ears." They are also said to be strong, but, in some cases, very small. This leads them to deceive the enemy using their size. They also may have a small build so they can navigate through tiny cracks between cliffs and rocks in their mountain habitat.
In The Dark Secret, Flame, a SkyWing dragonet and a false dragonet of the prophecy, was the only dragonet that wasn't breathing heavily after a long flight from the Night Kingdom to an outpost in the Sky Kingdom. This may indicate that SkyWings have more cardiovascular endurance and better muscle toning than the other dragon tribes, but it may also be because his larger wings allowed him to go further with more ease than dragonets from other tribes.
In rare cases, a Skywing dragonet can be born with too much fire, with Peril being one of them. This is referred to as being a firescales. They possess so much fire that everything they touch burns or catches fire, which makes them invulnerable to any attack by almost any dragon but also curses them by making them unable to have physical contact with any other living being without it dying. These dragons are often shunned and alone. According to Queen Scarlet and Prince Hawk, the mother will usually drop the dragonet(s) off a cliff to kill them, as per SkyWing law. They are the only tribe that have firescales.
Peril has blue eyes, copper-colored scales, and gold wing veins, unlike other SkyWings, so this may be a trait for these special dragons.
At least once, a dragonet with too much fire had a twin with too little fire. These twins are presumably killed in the same way that their siblings are, probably because they would be too weak to survive. Many think that firescales dragons are the result of one dragonet twin sucking all the fire out of the other, hence the twin with too little fire. This theory has not been proven, but it is likely true.
SkyWings value excitement and often times the slaughtering of dragons, as shown with the SkyWing Arena, yet they still keep justice and honor in mind as with the Champion's Shield and trials (although only for SkyWings). Peril asked to use the Champion's Shield to save her mother, Kestrel. This is likely a more ancient custom, as Queen Scarlet did not seem very pleased to have to accept its use. Under Queen Scarlet's rule, the SkyWings used many torture methods, such as when they didn't give any water to Gill of the SeaWings after he created a rebellion against the arena. This caused him to try to drink his own blood and go insane due to dehydration.
However, perhaps the only reason SkyWings were intrigued by battles was because of their ruler, Scarlet, who was the monarch for so long that SkyWings could have been brainwashed into thinking that gore was acceptable and a source of entertainment.
The tribe was in a state of political upheaval and civil war from Scarlet's disappearance in The Lost Heir, to her death in Escaping Peril. SeaWing guards on patrol reported that they had seen a group of SkyWings fighting each other, some shouting for Queen Ruby and others replying that Queen Scarlet is still alive. In The Dark Secret, the SkyWing army's furthest outpost was told by Queen Ruby to leave, which went against what Queen Scarlet told them, saying perhaps Ruby is a better, kinder queen.
SkyWings tend to name their young after sky or mountain-related things, such as birds (Osprey), things occurring or features on mountains (Cliff), as well as natural sky phenomena (Princess Sunset), and since the SkyWings seem to be based on the element of fire, fire-related names (Flame), and minerals (Pyrite) and gems. The royal family seems to be an exception to this, with all of its shown members being named after shades of red or red gemstones, with Scarlet, Ruby, Tourmaline, and Vermilion being examples. However, exceptions include Garnet and Carnelian, who have gemstones as a name but are no more than soldiers. Peril probably got her name from how fierce she would be because of having too much fire and that her name means danger, as she herself defines danger.
It is unknown if SkyWings engage in lifelong partnerships like SeaWings and IceWings, but it is unlikely because there is a 'breeding program' like Kestrel was in. However, that could simply be a wartime custom to ensure the reproduction of highly capable soldiers. They probably do have relationships since it talks about Queen Scarlet's wedding in Darkness of Dragons.
Dragonets have been shown to be raised in a Wingery, similar to that of the SandWings, or, during Queen Glory's rule, the RainWings and NightWings. The Wingery is described as a place for young dragonets to grow and play, similar to a human daycare. Most SkyWing mothers are shown to care very much for their dragonets, doing anything to protect them. Similar to many customs, Queen Scarlet is not included in this normality, saying she "never saw the appeal" to dragonets. She most likely had them only for heirs.
They have a ceremonial burial system of wrapping the body in white cloth and setting it on a high altitude area for a week so that the spirit can fly into the sky and reincarnate into another SkyWing as opposed to another dragon tribe. Yet again, Queen Scarlet is said not to care for this custom, allowing it to happen to please her citizens but not particularly caring. The ceremony was possibly stopped temporarily during the war, as Clay once saw SkyWings burning corpses in a ditch. Though the SkyWings did watch over it for a second, they did nothing more and flew away before it finished turning to charred bones.
SkyWings have also been shown to have orchestras in the past, as Scarlet's death was celebrated by a hastily thrown together orchestra.
Most SkyWings fear too much power since they kill eggs that have firescales or animus powers. There are few (perhaps no) animi in their tribe so far. Some queens, like Scarlet, probably keep the dangerous eggs so that they do their bidding and can arise as a symbol of power through Pyrrhia.
Click here for a list of known SkyWings.
The SkyWing Arena is a fighting arena where prisoners of Queen Scarlet fight to the death. The prisoners are chained to tall pillars. The chains are fireproof, and make a strange thrumming noise when plucked. Apparently, if a dragon were to get a certain amount of victories, they would be set free. However, under Scarlet's rule, prisoners were required to fight Peril just before reaching this tally. As almost nobody could touch her, she could claw and burn them as she wished. Because of this, nobody had been set free from Queen Scarlet's imprisonment.
After Queen Ruby took over as Queen, she turned the arena into a hospital for all the dragons wounded in the War of the SandWing Succession.
SkyWing names can come from a variety of things. Birds, like Thrush and Cardinal work, as well as birds of prey, like Eagle. Some names have things to do with high up places or the sky in general. The color red is also important in the naming of SkyWings. Shades of red work, as do red gemstones. A few names come from the powers of the SkyWing, like Flame, since the tribe is associated with fire, and Soar, since the tribe has great wings for flying.
Known SkyWings Edit
- Queen Carmine
- Prince Cliff
- Eagle (Darkstalker)
- Prince Hawk
- Peril's Brother
- Queen Ruby
- Ex-Queen Scarlet
- Soar (Chameleon's SkyWing shape)
- Princess Sunset
- The SkyWing Dragonet
- Queen Tourmaline
- Prince Vermilion
- Many attributes of the SkyWing Arena are like the Roman Colosseum.
- According to the artwork in A NightWing Guide to the Dragons of Pyrrhia by Joy Ang, SkyWings and RainWings share multiple physical features.
- According to Clay, SkyWings make a particular hissing noise before breathing fire.
- According to Tui T. Sutherland in a forum Q&A, SkyWings have better cold resistance than other tribes (aside from IceWings).
- In Escaping Peril, Foeslayer said that she had not seen firescales in a long time, which means that Peril wasn't the only dragon with firescales, implying that there could also be another SkyWing that lived long ago who had too much or didn't have enough fire.
- SkyWings once had animus dragons but tried to kill off the bloodline in order to avoid any of them over using their magic and going insane, like Albatross.
- The mountains the SkyWings live in grow a special type of cactus known as Dragonflame Cactus: fire alights it and it will explode, throwing spiky seed pods to thrive in the ashes.
- The SkyWings are one of the few tribes that have been shown to have some sort of religious custom, as they believe in reincarnation.
- In Darkstalker (Legends), SkyWings were described as being a friendly tribe, showing that maybe SkyWings were less grouchy and angry back then. This might have to do with Queen Scarlet's violent reign. Or was possibly sarcasm by the speaker.
- The current day SkyWings seem to be extremely militaristic, as it seems like it is optional for SkyWing dragonets to attend school if they even have one at all. This is implied in Winter Turning on page 344 when the SkyWing (Eagle and his bodyguards) all are shown talking less grammatically correct than the other dragons portrayed.
- It is possible SkyWings are splendid at resisting high air pressures, because they spend most of their lives on high altitudes.
- Winter, wearing the Pyrite mask, described SkyWings as "freer and more open than any tribe."
- As in Escaping Peril, it is shown that at an early age SkyWing dragonets learn to fly.
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