Vulture is an old male SandWing who is first seen in Darkness of Dragons. He is the grandfather to Qibli, Rattlesnake, and Sirocco, and father to Cobra. He is the leader of the Talons of Power, a cult/group of SandWings that wants to overthrow Queen Thorn. The Talons of Power have been setting bombs with Dragonflame Cactus plants off across the SandWing kingdom, and he blames the MudWings, bribing a MudWing named Bog (also known as Chameleon) to lie for him and say the MudWings caused the explosions with the promise of lots of treasure and stones. Vulture did this to gain trust from the SandWing subjects to originally allow Onyx onto the throne to overthrow Queen Thorn so he could be the power behind the throne, controlling Onyx's every move. However, once Vulture found out that Darkstalker had become the new king of the NightWings, he thought it wouldn't be such a bad idea for Vulture to rule the SandWings as a king instead, to be the direct power on the throne instead of Onyx. Vulture planned to dispose of Onyx once he got what he wanted before his plan was ultimately ruined by Qibli.
Vulture has pale yellow scales, with dragon skull tattoos all over his body, signifying that he has killed many dragons, supposedly making him look like a leopard from a distance. He has a hooked snout, likely a source of his name, and his black eyes look like bottomless voids, according to Qibli, and have gold rings in them, much like the Eye of Onyx itself. His gaze is often calculating and cold. He is a sly, cunning dragon. His barb, talons, and claws are dipped in gold leaf, and he wears several accessories, including enormous black and gold spider-shaped earrings, a black cape lined with gold, and draped gold chains all along his wings. He is obviously very wealthy and very powerful, and is said by Darkstalker to have not had "one happy day in his life." He looked like a dangerous dragon and he was one.
Moonwatcher has a vision about Qibli fighting Rattlesnake and Sirocco, with Vulture glowering at him as well. Qibli was shouting "Where is she?" into the sneering faces of his siblings. He was referring to Cobra, not Ostrich or Moon herself.
Vulture appears in Darkness of Dragons, working with Onyx. He keeps Ostrich as a hostage so he and Onyx can get to Six-Claws, Thorn's highest ranking and trusted general in the army, and then overthrow Thorn herself. He imprisons Qibli, Cobra, Winter, and Ostrich together, then tries to force Qibli to write down all of Thorn's secrets on a scroll. Qibli stalls, writing nonsense to distract him, and in this time the four of them escape and head to Thorn's Palace.
Later, Vulture bombs the SandWing Stronghold, and steals the Eye of Onyx. However, Queen Thorn has the real one, and the Eye he stole was fake; otherwise, he most likely would have been killed by the Eye. His plan unfolds when Onyx appears behind the queen, attempting to kill her. She was saved by a warning called from Qibli before Onyx could get to Thorn. Afterwards, Thorn suggests a royal challenge instead of a covert assasination, since all the past challengers have come this way. Onyx accepts, and both she and Vulture believe she's worthy due to royal blood. Afraid Onyx will be chosen, Qibli summons a sandstorm with Princess Anemone's weather bracelets, and in the choas of the storm Vulture disappears from the stronghold completely with no warning or sign.
Across the book, Qibli always had a suspicion that Vulture would end up working for Darkstalker and become a juggernaut, taking over the world. That suspicion proved to be true later on, where Vulture is seen in The Lost City of Night, bargaining and talking with Darkstalker about their alliance.
Near the end of the book, when Darkstalker is trying to convince Qibli to become an animus and work with him, he uses his power to teleport Vulture in front of him. Darkstalker then enchanted Vulture many times, including to make him act like a hatchling, make him feel guilt for everything bad he had done, and make him be the best grandfather for Qibli.
"Urple." -When Darkstalker enchanted Vulture to act like a hatchling.
"Oubliette. Ooooooooubliette. It sounds much friendlier than it is, like you should be able to eat it at parties."
"Everyone agrees they're no smarter than mice." -About scavengers.
"Qibli. Just the dragon I've been waiting for."
- In Darkness of Dragons, he says "Great snakes", which is a famous expression Tintin uses in his movie. (Tintin is a person from another book/movie series entirely, not a dragon)
- Each of Vulture's skull tattoos represents a dragon he's killed. This gruesome display was also taken up by two of his grandchildren, Rattlesnake and Sirocco. It is rumored they have the tattoos for the same purpose and not just for show and bragging rights.
- A vulture is a bird of prey that is known for eating rotting animals.
- Vulture is the name of Upper Egypt, as Cobra is the name of Lower Egypt.
Family Tree Edit
Addax • Agave • Armadillo • Camel • Capybara • Cobra • Dune • Horizon • Jerboa • Jerboa (DoD) • Kindle • Meerkat • Needle • Ocotillo • Ostrich (Deserter) • Palm • Parch • Prickle • Quicksand • Rattlesnake • Saguaro • Sandstorm • Sirocco • Six-Claws • Tawny • Torch • Viper • Vulture