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Darkings are a creature in Tamora Pierce's Tortall fantasy books.


Darkings are small and blob-like. They were created by the former Emperor Mage Ozorne, turned into Stormwing, with his blood to serve as his spies. He made them in the Divine Realms. They dwell with dragons and though most left during the events of Trickster's Queen some lived on with the large lizards. They are dark and shiny, though they sometimes have distinct patterns on their surfaces, bright streaks of colors, or objects inside them. They can form different shapes, talk to other animals, communicate instantly with other darkings, and show moving pictures on their surfaces of what another darking sees. They also do not need light to see. Darkings do not need to sleep (except after reproducing, when they split in two), eat, drink, or breathe. They like to have fun, and they repeat the word 'fun' many times.

Because Darkings aren't made of mortal magic and don't employ mortal magic for communication, they can't be detected with spells to find spy magic. It is not even certain that any spell could be made to find them.[1]


The Immortals

In The Realms of the Gods, Daine the Wildmage discovers while in the Divine Realms that her archenemy Ozorne has sent these creatures to spy on her and Tortall's military leaders for the ongoing war. Daine befriends the darkings Gold-streak, Leaf, and Jelly, and the darkings decide to spy for her and Tortall instead. They also fight, attaching themselves to the faces of the enemy and suffocating them.

Daughter of the Lioness (Trickster)

In Trickster's Queen, Daine sends her adoptive niece, Alianne (Aly) of Pirate's Swoop, a gift: a pouch of darkings by the means of Tkaa the Basilisk. Aly, as spymaster for the raka (Copper Isle natives), uses them to spy for her. She finds them very useful because they are trained by both her father (the "Whisper Man of Tortall") and the dragons that live in the Divine Realms. They help her find useful information, and she later gives one to each of her fellow leaders. Aly's chosen darking is called Trick, others mentioned include Secret (used to be known as Spot), Peony, Foul, Flame, Ace, Midget, Quartz, Feather, Bean, Olders, and Lace. They are very flexible, and Winnamine Balitang's darking is used to wrap around her hair. The other darkings that have met their companions wrap around the people's necks in order to talk in their ears in a discreet way.

Tortall and Other Lands

In the short story Lost, Adria Fairingrove befriended a young darking named Lost. He protected her from her father and gave her comfort and confidence. He had three other darking friends in Tusaine, Silvery, Puff, and a third one who was unnamed.

Notes and references

  1. Random Buzz; "Darkings, Varice, Maps, Matched Sets and Beka/TV"; April 20, 2009
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