A 1st-Gen Sparkwing
|Height Range:||1.68m (5'6") - 3.66m (12')|
|Length Range:||4.13m (13'6") - N/A|
|Weight Range:||330kg (700lbs) - 600kg (1400lbs)|
|Lifespan:||200 - 600 yrs|
Sparkwings are the result of mixed breeding between the Longwing and Sparkclaw dragon species. It is also the name that refers to any Dragon who isn't a purebred Longwing or Sparkclaw, no matter how different it may look from a first generation Sparkwing. They are the most varied of all Dragon races, ranging from very small, dull, and flightless creatures to magnificent, large, and powerful beings capable of flight and fire breathing. They are rumored to be more intelligent than their fellow races, although this isn't true biologically.
Sparkwings have a huge physical variance, disallowing any particular 'rules' to be set for all of the race. However, there are some very noticeable trends through the generations.
Generation One - Sparkclaw x LongwingEdit
No matter what gender parent is what, a gen 1 Sparkwing follows by rules almost as strict as their parent races. They tend to take on the primary colors and iridescence of Sparkclaws, although the color range expands to be nearly any color of the rainbow from the genes for a Longwing's marking color. (This excludes pink, since neither races have pink as a color.) Most of the time, the Sparkwing will also have markings much like a Longwing's, with a unique eye mark and all. The markings, however, will be their own color (generally lighter or darker than the base color) and follow the same iridescence of the rest of the body. The underside of wings follow Sparkclaw rules as well as the chest plates. Sometimes, the membranes lack iridescence and work much like a Longwing's, with the base color of the markings serving as its color.
Size heavily varies in Sparkwings. They can be as small as a Sparkclaw or as large as a Longwing elder. There is no dominant gene when it comes to height, so there's generally a large range. It is entirely possible for siblings in a Sparkwing clutch to be extremely different heights, though usually they stay in the same range.
The wings of Sparkwings can be either large or medium, but never as small as Sparkclaws; large wing size is a dominant gene. Medium wings refer to a mix of Longwing and Sparkclaw wings, and is rather rare. These wings are shaped less like a falcon's like Longwings and take on a more hawk-like appearance, shrinking down in length and overall size but expanding in width. This kind of wing is excellent for distance soaring and maneuvering, but not so much diving and speed flight. Due to the smaller size, Sparkwings with this kind of wing type often become very tired even after short flights, requiring updrafts to stay aloft for more than an hour.
A Sparkwing's "special ability" can be either or, but never both, at the first generation. The Sparkwing may be able to breathe fire or have venom, but a viable mix of the two is unheard of. This means that it is possible for a Sparkwing to have both, but they both are extremely reduced to almost uselessness; the venom requires a full gland's worth to effect even one Dragon negatively, and the fire is more of a hot liquid stream than flames. This mix-up of ability is considered a birth defect and rather rare. When a Sparkwing has only one or the other, it has the same capabilities as its racial counterpart. Size, however, is taken into account; a Sparkwing the size of a Longwing that can breathe fire has much larger fire stores than a Sparkclaw. It is similar for a Sparkwing the size of a Sparkclaw but with venom; the stores are heavily reduced.
Scales can also be 'either or' when it comes to which parent the Sparkwing takes after. They can have the thickset fire resistant scales of Sparkwings, but this can hinder powered flight by tacking on extra unnecessary weight. They can also have the thinner non-resistant scales of Longwings to help their flight, but for Sparkwings that can breathe fire this proves troublesome, considering that they need to be extremely careful of their own flame.
Longwing eyes are the dominant trait when it comes to eyesight, and probably for the best. They're the most advanced and overall 'better' choice when it comes to eyesight. The nose horns of Sparkclaws are a case-by-case basis, sometimes coming in and sometimes not. Frills versus spikes are often a 50/50 chance as well, though spikes seem to be more common. Sparkwings that end up having fins also end up being the more stable fliers, hinting that the frills might actually help in flight for balance.
Finally, a Longwing's novothermy applies to Sparkwings as well as the Sparkclaw's body temperature tolerance, creating an interesting beast that can survive all sorts of environments rather than just tropical ones without much issue. (Excluding tundra, of course.) For more on novothermy, read the Longwing's physical description, at the bottom. For Sparkclaw's temperature tolerance, read the bottom fo their physical description.
Generation Two +Edit
Generation two and beyond varies depending on what race the parent is.
Sparkwing x SparkclawEdit
A line of Sparkwings with consistent Sparkclaw parents gives more and more Sparkclaw-like traits to their hatchlings. The first generation of this - generation two - just generally has the markings disappear or fade, and spikes are guaranteed over frills for a body adornment. They tend to be smaller, as well, and are more likely to breathe fire.
As the line continues, the trend of shrinking and firebreathing becomes much more apparent. By the fourth generation, venom and frills are almost unheard of. However, a Longwing's wings remain the dominant trait for many generations to come. It's unknown whether the wings would shrink once more or the gene remains fully dominant in and beyond generation twenty or so. The eyes also take a very long time to change back to a Sparkclaw's eyes, if at all - it's still a rarer trait even in the nests of tenth generations. The scales of Sparkclaws, however, come in rather fast in only the third generation as the dominant scale type, the Longwing scales being phased out nearly immediately after. Novothermy, sadly, disappears from this continued breeding.
Sparkwing x LongwingEdit
Sparkwings that consistently breed with Longwings for generations give more and more Longwing-like traits to their hatchlings, as expected. Generation two already sees a slight different in the darkening of the primary body color and a slight lack of iridescence. Frills come in instead of spikes nearly immediately, although nose horns persist sometimes. Size becomes generally larger and fire is phased out.
Following the line through, most Sparkclaw traits are replaced by general Longwing ones. Sparkwing lines that continue through this pattern often look much, much more like Longwings than a Sparkwing that follows a Sparkclaw line does. Nose horns are often a pesky, annoying trait associated with fire-breathing hatchlings, looking rather random on an otherwise identical copy of a Longwing. The Longwing scale type also becomes dominant once again, and their eyes continue their dominant streak. Novothermy thrives in this breeding, but a Sparkclaw's heat/cold resistant fades rather fast.
Sparkwing x SparkwingEdit
This 'mix' of race generally results in just a varied splattering of the traits of prior races at first, swapping around with the same traits of generation one Sparkwings.
Sparkwing x VariousEdit
After a bunch of generations of random, haphazard, and patternless breeding, Sparkwings begin to look like their rumored raceless ancestors spoke of in hatchling tales, myths, and legends. They lose their iridescence altogether without darkening their scales, grow fins rather than frills occasionally, and their horns and coloration expand and differ greatly. Red Claw scientists can't truly explain why this happens, but they only have very few examples of these dragons known to live.
Sparkwings do not truly have their own culture outside of what is placed onto them by their parents. They live with a mix of Longwing and Sparkclaw values, sometimes with their own twist to things.
Sparkwings do still follow the idea of strong bonds to siblings, as nature of their species. They cling to their parents much more than the other races, as well, for the reason that Sparkwing hatchlings take a lot longer to develop than others do. Due to this, rather than at age ten or twelve, Sparkwings are considered juveniles at age fifteen. They're adults at age thirty instead of twenty or twenty-five, and they are considered elders at age four hundred. They tend to have a higher life expectancy overall, many hitting the age of elder rather than dying of disease or accident beforehand.
Pure Sparkwing families raise their hatchlings with whatever their parents taught them, mixed together even more. Oftentimes, it happens that new traditions are born and spread from this, leading to cultural diversity.
Bonding ceremonies with Sparkwings tend to be just a smattering of old and new traditions - while Sparkclaws touch snouts to throats and Longwings dance in the skies, Sparkwings tend to try new things, such as a competition as to who can hunt the largest game or carry the heaviest weight when airborne as a sort of a game. They continue the tradition of a feast, usually, as nobody can really deny the attraction of food.
Sparkwings tend to be a little more open than Longwings and Sparkclaws when it comes to relationships, especially in their early years. Young adults will tend to hook up with and break away from many more of other dragons than their racial counterparts, often causing adults to look down upon them morally. Once they become adults and start to mature and settle down, Sparkwings will usually become as monogamous as the other races, mating with a single Dragon for life.