Description: dark scales; semi-transparent bodies; enamel exocranium ("mask"); forked black tongues
Abilities: thin scales; breathe poison gas vapor
Location: small group of islands at the tip of the SkyWing Kingdom
Lady: Tawny Owl
Diet: fish, birds, rabbits, rodents, foxes, livestock, grown plants
- Please ask Wings-of-Bloodfire on her message wall for the following:
- high class/royals
- DeathWing hybrids [must read Hybridization section]
- Chamber members
- abnormal and/or "special" DeathWings
- Normal DeathWings are open to make; no permission needed.
- Normal DeathWings are in the grayscale color range. Any DeathWing not a shade of gray is abnormal and needs permission.
- DeathWings cannot produce animi.
DeathWings are an average to small dragon breed that are known to be island dwellers. They have a similar height of a RainWing, with shorter tails and smaller wings. Dragons of this tribe have eyes that reflect light due to an extra eye layer--the tapetum layer. This feature gives DeathWings a glowing-eye effect. They often have eye colors on the warm side of the spectrum: yellow, orange, auburn, brown, and red.
These dragons are rather thinly built, with little muscle and thin skin under their scales. They are quite flexible, and are very adept to living on the rocky cliffs of the islands. Their wings are on the small side, due to DeathWings preferring the ground. The wing membranes are translucent.
The scales of DeathWings are always in the darker end of the grayscale spectrum. Light colors are rather uncommon and could be the result of hybridization in the bloodline. The scales are not opaque; they are translucent.
The most notable feature of DeathWings are their exocraniums, often slang-called "masks". In the egg, the exocranium will start as a small, hard white spot on their forehead. The nerves in the exocranium will develop in the embryo, but the protective layer will form after the egg has hatched.
The whole exocranium will be complete when the dragon is 7 years old and has stopped growing.
This special protection is a layer of nerve tissue that is connected under the skin of the dragon. An enamel layer is the hard outside of the exocranium, and is often ecru or whitish, although can be stony or dark. The exocranium cannot be removed without severe nerve damage to the face, the most painful things a DeathWing can experience.
DeathWings have thin scales, making them much more agile than tribes with hard armor plating. Their small size gives them an advantage of speed, especially on the ground. All dragons of this tribe have the ability to see in the dark, like cats, and their eyes appear to glow due to light reflection.
The dragons of this tribe do possess a breath weapon, although it is unlike fire and the IceWings' frost breath. DeathWings can exhale a corrosive vapor. This "mist" appears like smoke--varying shades of gray and white. The vapor is halogenic, and is mainly made of fluorine and chlorine (with other compatible chemicals). This gas is stored in an organ near the lungs. The lungs are thickly lined so it does not hurt to exhale the vapor. It is painful to inhale, although not deadly in small doses. The gas corrodes scales and skin, leaving painful burn-like marks.
Young dragonets of this tribe have to be taught how to use the breath weapon correctly as not to endanger their own, since DeathWings are not immune to the gas. Hatchlings are noted to sneeze puffs of this gas. Hybrids cannot have this weapon, as it is a recessive gene and will not be compatible with different genetics of other tribes.
The DeathWing kingdom is located at the "wing" of Pyrrhia, three islands and a stretch of mainland near the border of the TempestWing and SkyWing territories. This land was once part of SkyWing territory, but now belong to the DeathWing tribe. The smallest island is named Cypress, the middle one is Gladiolus, and the largest is Nettle Island.
The weather is rather cool and crisp, especially in the morning and in the evening. It can get cold at night. It is warmest at noon. The DeathWings are used to the cool temperature, and prefer it to the mainland's tropics and desert. It is often windy on the islands, especially over the water. The ocean surrounding their home is cold--definitely not water to swim in. The isles have quite rocky terrain.
The mainland border has watch-towers in the trees, camouflaged in the upper branches so enemy tribes or trespassers can't see them. There are five of these watch tower bases, each located at a different location on the border. DeathWing scouts patrol, waiting and watching for a sign of invasion. The tribe is extremely paranoid about the SkyWings taking over the land.
This is the name of the group of huts in the hilly clearing. It is like a city, but mainly consists of huts and homes built into the expanse of hills. Not all DeathWings live here, but it is a traditional living space. Many generations of a single bloodline may all live a hill away. Elderly DeathWings usually have lived in the Gathering all their lives and refuse to leave. There aren't as many young families here; they prefer to live in their own place to raise their young.
Most young, teenager DeathWings leave their home nest from the Gathering place around 5-6 years old. They often go live in Cliff Raize for as long as they want. The parents will likely stay in the Gathering place, as they could raise another clutch of eggs or live the rest of their life in peace.
Cliff Raize is a cliff near the islands. In the underside of the cliff, there is a brewing city. Many young and single DeathWings live here as they are completing training, sort of like barracks. It isn't required, many just like to be away from their overbearing parents and bond with other DeathWings.
This is also a popular spot for "fish-diving". This is when a DeathWing flies downward, wings tucked in, and dives in the water to fish. Only the most foolhardy of dragons do this, as the water is rather chilly. Many dragons traditionally scoop the fish out of the water.
DeathWings that live here are close to Gladiolus Isle, only a short fly away. This is the training center for young tribe members. There are many fields to devote their lives too. More described in the Gladiolus Isle section.
This is the forest to the east of the territory. It is a thick forest with tall pine trees. This area starts with the treeline and ends at the TempestWing-DeathWing border. Tallneedles is a primal place for hunting, especially the woodland creatures, such as mice, voles, rabbits, and a variety of fowl. There is a watch tower base here on the edge of the territory, protecting the forest from any stray TempestWings.
Nettle Isle is the biggest island. It is named after the nettle plant, which represents personal growth.
This isle is home to Evening's Temple, the home of the Lady and her family. The temple is very modest, ivy growing up the sides and wildflowers blooming on the rocky earth. The temple is built in the side of a mountain, the majority of the space inside the rock.
Besides Evening's Temple, there is an abundance of farmland here. The rocky earth has been terraced in order to grow crops. The main crops are wheat, corn, and various vegetables. There are wild berry patches growing just about every step.
The Spring Temple is also located here, half-built into a large cliff. It is a big temple and must be flown to reach it, as it is elevated. This temple is for prayers and personal sacrifices to the Life Spirit.
Gladiolus Isle is the middle of the three islands. It is named after the gladiolus flower, which represents strength and moral integrity.
This small bit of land is the training facility for young DeathWings. These dragons fly over from Cliff Raize every day to study and train. There are many fields to go into, the two most common being healing and combat. However, it is important to drabble in many subjects. Other subjects include navigation, blacksmithing/forgery, writing, mapmaking, trading, hunting, crafting, negotiations, diplomats, aerial, farming, and construction.
The dragons will have to take a physical and written exam in order to be released out onto the field. From there, they will be watched and mentored by other adults of the field.
Cypress Isle is the smallest of the three islands. It is named after the cypress flower, which represents mourning and despair.
This small bit of land holds Autumn Temple. This temple is located here so the Death Spirit can guide the lost souls to the afterlife. Besides the temples, Cypress Isle is where all the ashes of deceased DeathWings are buried. These ashes provide nutrients to the blossom trees and variety of wild flowers that have grown here.
Cypress Isle is where the living and dead DeathWings part. When a tribe member dies, the body will be brought here by the tribe. A fire will be made to burn the body and send the soul to the Death Spirit. Flower petals and spice will be tossed in the air during the cremation to celebrate them going to the afterlife. After the cremation, the bones and exocranium will be left. The bones will be buried along with the ashes, while the mask will be decorated by the family and strung up among the blossom trees.
The Lady and the Chamber
The DeathWing government is unlike the other tribes' governments. They don't have a "monarchy", and do not carry titles such as "queen" or "princess". The ruler of the DeathWing kingdom is known as a "Lady". If they are male (rarely), they will be referred to as "Lord" instead.
The term "Lady" is used to be on a more personal level with the rest of the tribe members. She is supposed to be approachable and kind to her fellow DeathWings, not some high and mighty royal on a pedestal. The Lady is seen as the mother of the tribe, a respected and loved leader.
She is always addressed by "Milady" within her own tribe, never by her actual name.
Chamber of Twilight
The Lady does not have absolute power over the DeathWings. She has to meet with the Chamber of Twilight, which is a committee of six respected DeathWings. The Chamber and the Lady will discuss issues and possible decrees or laws, and the majority wins via decision votes. The Chamber of Twilight members are decided by the public when there's a vacancy. The members can quit if needed, but most stay in the Chamber until their death. A DeathWing must be at least 15 dragon years before they can be in the Chamber.
Mistress titles are given to any females blood-related to the Lady. This does not apply to anyone not related to her.
These females are essentially "princesses" (as seen by other tribes), but they are taught from a young age to be considerate and support the tribe from a peasant to a soldier. Every DeathWing plays a role and no one is insignificant. These girls have a strong moral code built into them as they grow, loving each other instead of building a pyramid and being at the top.
Mistresses spend a lot of time with the DeathWing community. They do not dress fancy or show off. They are here to serve the wishes of their tribe and nothing else. If the Lady steps down, she will assign a mistress in her place. If the Lady dies, the community will vote on a mistress (that is, if there's more than one). There are rarely squabbles over the Lady selection process.
These titles are used for the mate of the Lady, any sons of the Lady, and any other males of royal blood. This does not include any males related to the mate of the Lady.
Masters are any male royal DeathWings that have mastered a level or occupation. They will train with other masters or greatly respected workers of the field for decades with no distractions and grueling training exercises. Once they are deemed ready, they will be given a master's ritual to be fully recognized.
- religious practices (priest/priestess)
DeathWings have a great respect for life and death. They are a peaceful group, having no allies and preferring to stay out of potential wars and intertribal issues. This is a familial tribe, meaning every member is treated like family. The only exceptions are those exiled from the Isles. They have broken the valuable trust of the tribe and are forced to never return.
DeathWing love starts young, about 6-9 years of age (dragon years). They often have small clutches of eggs, usually 1-3 in a batch. Eggs and hatchlings are celebrated by the entire tribe, not just the parents. The Lady can only have two clutches of eggs. This is to prevent future government disputes (like the SandWing War). Mistresses and Masters may only have one. Sirs cannot have any.
Dragons of this tribe often catch fish that are found around the Isles. This is their main source of prey, although some more skilled hunters can snatch birds out of the sky. Some DeathWings can stalk and catch land prey, such as rabbits and deer. They can and do eat some variety of berries, especially during All Death Day.
This tribe believes in two spirits, the Death Spirit and the Life Spirit, two sisters who determine the fate of each DeathWing. The Spring Temple (Nettle Isle) is where the Life Spirit receives her prayers. The Autumn Temple (Cypress Isle) is where the Death Spirit receives her prayers. Both are believed to be benevolent spirits.
DeathWings have never bred with any animus bloodlines from the other tribes (like the SeaWings). Since they never had animuses to begin with, this tribe has never had an animus dragon. The animus gene is obviously recessive, and if a DeathWing breeds with an animus dragon (a slim chance), the animus gene will be stamped out of the egg by dominant DeathWing non-animus genes.
The DeathWing tribe views animus magic as an abomination, a power no dragon should possess (as it is cruel), a major contribution to their hatred and fear of the SeaWing and NightWing tribes.
DeathWings consider themselves and isolated tribe. They rarely wander off their islands to the Pyrrhian mainland, therefore hybrids are few and far inbetweeen. This band of dragons is not made for travel, making hybrids with tribes at the southern end of the continent near impossible. However, hybrids with SkyWings and IceWings are not that uncommon.
DeathWing hybrids almost always are born with an enamel exocranium, but lack the corrosive vapor of their respective parent. A DeathWing hybrid will not have the corrosive vapor unless they are at least 7/8 DeathWing blood. This would occur if a DeathWing hybrid occurred in the bloodline as a grandparent or great-grandparent, breeding with pure DeathWings until the blood reset itself in the later generations.
All Death Day
This is a celebration that lasts 3 days. All Death Day is the last day of the festival. During the first 2 days, DeathWings are partying and celebrating their life. They are thankful that they are lucky to be alive. At these parties, there are lanterns and fireflies everywhere. Flowers are made into crowns and strung around Nettle Isle. There is a feast every night of a different type of food. Elegant wine is brought out only for this occasion.
DeathWings extravagantly paint their masks and bodies with dyes and flowers. They drape themselves in their finest silks and sashes, beads coiled around their necks. Feathers are a common accessory, frilling up on their horns or on their wings.
The final day is the All Death Day. The DeathWings head over to Cypress Island to visit their deceased family. They string flowers on the rocks and trees, placing herbs and lanterns on the island to give it a warm glow. DeathWings will send a prayer to the Death Spirit about taking care of their deceased loved ones. Usually this is followed by returning to the main island to visit the Spring Temple. DeathWings often send a thank you to the Life Spirit for allowing them to live.
The DeathWing naming system is unlike the other, one-word names of the other tribes. DeathWings are named after the first thing their mother sees or hears when they hatch, in a two-part name, both parts capitalized.
Some examples are below:
Icy Water, Bright Moon, Fluttering Grass, Steep Cliff, Swift Eagle, Owl Screech
The earliest DeathWings were believed to be mutated or cursed NightWings. They were nomads, moving from place to place in order to survive. These dragons were kicked out of every land they set foot on. One particular dragoness, named Dark Sky, had enough.
The early DeathWings, led by Dark Sky, decided to take a battle straight to the SandWings' Queen Scorpion herself. They wanted land and they were desperate for it. Unfortunately, sheer desperation wasn't enough to win. Dark Sky led her small band of dragons through the rough, mountainous terrain in order to find a home.
Dark Sky had crossed into the sky dragons' territory. The group was captured by a SkyWing patrol and promptly dumped in front of the queen to explain themselves. Stygian explained that they just needed a bit of land to live in. The SkyWing queen agreed to give them so land, but on one occasion.
They had to pay her back in labor. The early tribe reluctantly agreed, believing that this deal would be better than no land at all. The DeathWings had to mine in the mountains all day, every day, producing jewels and gems for the SkyWing queen. Dark Sky died in the mines, but her daughter, Loud Cry, took up the responsibility, along with her brother, Black Night.
Loud Cry and Black Night built the tribe, making their numbers grow and swell. There was an uneasy peace between the two tribes for decades. That is, until the sky queen died. Their agreement died with her, along with Loud Cry and her brother.
The DeathWings got to keep their land. The next queen didn't care, since that stretch of territory was so small. The two tribes managed to co-exist for a while. Then, the hatching of the Devil Queen came. Once Scarlet was old enough to be queen, the DeathWings became increasingly nervous. The new sky leader wasn't like her ancestors. She was cruel and savage and unpredictable. She could kill the tribe at any moment.
Crisp Wind became their new leader. Queen Scarlet strode into the DeathWing territory against the tribe's wishes. After being threatened by the SkyWing, Crisp Wind agreed to stay out of the Great SandWing War. If they didn't respect Scarlet and Crisp Wind's promise, the SkyWing would take back the land and kill the DeathWings.
The tribe was flourishing in the war. They grew in numbers, making a strong battle force in case any IceWings or other tribes came on their territory. Despite hating battle, the DeathWings wanted to stay strong and safe in this dark war era.
The SandWing Succession was still in place at this time. However, Queen Scarlet decided to break her promise to the tribe. She, along with a patrol, stormed into the hilly territory. Crisp Wind was unprepared, thinking Scarlet wanted resources. The SkyWing promptly snapped her neck, dropping her body to the ground.
"I want you out of my land by sunrise tomorrow," the SkyWing Queen had snarled, stalking away. Crisp Wind's two children, Roaring Thunder and Falling Ashes, were at a loss. The other DeathWings looked to them for guidance, but the two were still young, not even 8 years old yet.
However, Roaring Thunder was a natural warrior, while Falling Ashes was great with numbers. They refused to leave the territory, deciding that fighting would be better than running away once more. The two strategized and prayed to the spirits that they would win. The other DeathWings trained hard, harder than they've ever trained in their entire lives. This battle would be life or death.
The SkyWings came the next morning, expecting the DeathWings to be gone. Roaring Thunder and Falling Ashes were at the lead, attacking the patrol with all they had. The battle lasted for two days, but finally, exhausted and beaten, the remaining SkyWings retreated. The DeathWings won the Aerial Invasion.
Ever since then, the DeathWings have feared another attack from the neighboring tribe. However, the elder Lady, Falling Ashes, and Queen Ruby wrote a treaty, binding the two tribes in peace. Ashe died peacefully, leaving the tribe to her child, Tawny Owl, the current Lady.
DeathWings sometimes see IceWings while out fishing in the cold sea. They don't speak very much to each other, but exiled DeathWings sometimes go to IceWing territory to "settle down". IceWing hybrids are not terribly uncommon.
The DeathWing tribe hardly ever sees the MudWings nowadays. During the Great War, MudWings were commonly seen on the border, some hunting in their land. DeathWings don't appreciate prey-stealers. The tribe does not like the MudWings for this very reason, and the fact they were formally allied with their worst enemy.
DeathWings do not see the NightWings ever. They live at the other side of the continent. The tribe does not care for them based on the terrible stories. They seem stuck up and well, are cheating, stealing liars with no honor.
RainWings are hardly ever seen. Most DeathWings think of them as the stupidest tribe, and hates that the dragonets go their whole life without knowing their parents.
DeathWings don't rightly favor the SandWings. It was their fault that they had this long, bloody war to begin with. Besides, the desert is much too hot for them.
DeathWings and SeaWings rarely meet. Sometimes a lone SeaWing can be found in the cool waters of their territory. They don't have anything against the tribe.
The DeathWings are terrified of the SkyWings. They always fear invasion from the sky dragons, the reason why they have such tight patrol services on their borders. The DeathWings have an uneasy trade agreement with them, hoping to decrease chances of battle.
The bird tribe has never been seen by a DeathWing. Most of the tribe thinks the AviWings are a myth thought up by a dragon on too much cactus juice.
The DeathWings don't have much contact with the DriftWings, but they are seen occasionally traveling to the TempestWing territory. The queen, Queen Graceweaver, has stopped to talk to Lady Cimmerian and Queen Nightshade before. They are "kind-of-friends", but Lady Cimmerian will not endanger her tribe with an alliance.
The SwiftWing tribe is rather close, only on the other side of the SkyWings, so they see the occasional SwiftWing. They do not care for Queen Starbolt, believing she is much too foolhardy to be entrusted with such a responsibility.
The DeathWings border the TempestWings. The two have a cautious trading agreement. The masked tribe do not trust the wild fliers, but they seem more trustworthy than the SkyWings. Lady Cimmerian and Queen Nightshade are on decent terms.
The TrickWings hardly ever make contact with the DeathWings.
- Tawny Owl (current)
- Falling Ashes
- Crisp Wind
- Loud Cry
- Dark Sky (founder)
- Black Night
- Roaring Thunder
Chamber of Twilight: