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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 and their massive, powerful wings. They are noted to be great fliers,very grumpy and the fastest dragons in the air.They are also one of the only dragons that can breath fire. They live in the portion of Pyrrhia that resembles a wing (since Pyrrhia is shaped like a dragon). 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 another form), originally due to the disappearance of Queen Scarlet. Later, the ex-queen was defeated in a duel by Tourmaline.

The SkyWings were originally allied with Burn and the MudWings in the War of the SandWing Succession, but once Ruby became the official queen, she wanted to "restore order in the Sky Kingdom" before she would aid Burn in another battle outside her territory, leading to Burn disliking her even more than Scarlet.

Description

SkyWings usually have red, orange, or golden scales with yellow, amber, sometimes copper, and orange eyes. Some SkyWings can also have blue eyes, but only if they were born with firescales; an example of one such SkyWing is Peril. A couple SkyWings have been described with scales the same color as a pink hibiscus flower. 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.

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 ruled by Queen Scarlet.

SkyWings shown in Escaping Peril seemed considerably happier and less grouchy, as well has having more focus on non-violent things (i.e. orchestra) in comparison to their appearance in previous books.

In Darkstalker (Legends), SkyWings were said by Prince Fathom to be the "friendly tribe", meaning that their stereotype had changed from Darkstalker's time to the Dragonets of Destiny's time, or he was just being sarcastic.

Abilities

SkyWings are well-known for their superior skills of 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 with 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 on 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. 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.

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. It is unknown that the twin is the cause of the sibling having too much fire by having their fire 'sucked out of them', but it is very likely.

Society

SkyWings value excitement and oftentimes gore, 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.

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 on mountains (Avalanche), and since the SkyWings seem to be based off of the element of fire, fire-related names (Flame). 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, 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 though 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 thing to ensure the reproduction of highly capable soldiers.

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.

Click here for a list of known SkyWings.

The Prophecy

It is spoken in the prophecy that the largest SkyWing egg on the brightest night, was to be one of the Dragonets of Destiny. However, when Hvitur, a member of the Talons of Peace, stole the original SkyWing egg, Burn killed him on the spot and destroyed the egg. Webs replaced this broken egg with a RainWing named Glory as last-minute substitute, though he neglected to inform the Talons of Peace of this for many years. In the Backup Plan, Flame would be Glory's replacement. Clay also thought that Peril was their replacement but wasn't, as she hatched almost a year before the brightest night. On the Brightest Night, Queen Scarlet ordered the destruction of every egg due to hatch. They were all burned to ashes by Peril, who was only one at the time.

Arena

The SkyWing Arena is a fighting arena where prisoners of Queen Scarlet fight to the death. 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, and no one could, under the imposed rules, leave the arena alive.

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.

Known SkyWings

Trivia

  • 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)
  • Peril is the protagonist of Escaping Peril.
  • 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 did 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 overusing their magic and going insane.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Gallery

(Click here to see gallery)

SkyWings
Queens  Present: Queen RubyEx-Queen Scarlet

 Historical: Queen Carmine

Royalty

 Present: CliffHawkTourmalineVermilion
 Historical: Sunset

Jade Mountain  PerilCarnelianFlameGarnetPeregrineThrush
Other Dragons  AvalancheCardinalEagleEagle (Darkstalker)HarrierKestrelOspreyPeril's BrotherPyriteSoarThe SkyWing Dragonet
Kingdom  Claws of the Clouds MountainsDiamond Spray DeltaDiamond Spray RiverGreat Five-Tail RiverPossibilityQueen Ruby's Palace
Society  Champion's Shield

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