The dragons re-appeared in the mortal realms after a long absence, beginning when Daine became a foster-mother to the newborn dragon Skysong (nicknamed Kitten) in 449 HE. Daine and Numair later had dealings with their ruling body, the Dragonmeet, during their visit to the Divine Realms in 452 HE.
Besides the winged dragons, the dragon ancestors tell tales of kindred beings made of stone, flame, and water. While it is unknown how the rest of this species fared, at least one escaped the sealing of the immortals in the Divine Realms.
As only one stone dragon has been encountered, not much is known about them. Wingless, they are also significantly smaller than winged dragons of assumed similar age. They have their own language that differs greatly from that of the winged dragons. Winged dragons are not born with an understanding of this language. While their flesh is described as cool and pliable, it is truly mad of the stone they are named for. Only opal is given as an example, but other types did and possibly still do exist.
Known adult dragons included Wingstar, Diamondflame, Jewelclaw, Cometfern, Moonwind, Nightbreath, Wingjade, and Riverwind. Flamewing, Skysong's mother, was considered an adolescent, at the same stage of life as a fifteen or sixteen year-old human. The eldest of all dragons is Rainbow Windheart, given the respectful title of Ancestor as he is more than ten thousand years old. Icefall and Steelsings (also known as Scamp and Grizzle, respectively) are relatively young dragons, being only a few centuries old. Skysong is seen as an infant, if a precocious one, even after several years.
Daine, Numair, and Kitten encounter a stone dragon (specifically an opal dragon) named Kawit in Carthak. She has slept for nearly two thousand years and is the mother of several children, so she is likely much older.
The winged dragons possessed many magical abilities. Some of these include:
- The ability to travel between the realms and across long distances through the use of a spiraling flight spell
- Materialization/de-materialization travel over an unspecified distance
- The power to alter their scale color at will, or according to emotions
- The power to magically "muzzle" others, in such a way that the affected could not open his or her jaws, thus making eating and drinking impossible as well
- Lightning generation along scales when angered
- Flight via wings, however, dragons under thirty years of age could not attain flight with their underdeveloped wings
- The ability to banish others, though this was only seen used on one other dragon, who was sent away from the Dragonmeet
- This appears to extend to dragon-kin such as wyverns. Skysong was unable to force them to permanently retreat due to her young age, but her grandsire sent them off with no issue.
- Mind-to-mind communication
- While young dragons are born knowing the language of dragons, it takes them many years to gain the ability to use mind speech so that they can communicate directly with other species who do not speak the draconic tongue.
- Bolts of heat
- This also includes the ability to hide themselves from all other mortal senses and magics, as well as most immortals. Considering that other dragon magics exceed those of gods, they may be able to hide themselves from deities as well.
- Invisibility detection and removal
- This extends even to other dragons. Mortals touching a dragon can see other dragons who have made themselves undetectable to the eyes of all other mortals and immortals.
- The power to read Chaos currents
- Light generation, seen used on the user's own scales and in stones
- Perception of magical ability
- Communication with, or at least the understanding of, animals
- Camouflaging of self and other objects, by drawing on the colors of the surroundings
- The ability to break or weaken wards with the dragon's own power
- The power to shatter objects as large as bridges and as small as human bones
- Rockslide generation
- Creation of a magical shield
- Illusion generation
- Aerokinesis, shown being used to create small whirlwinds
- Telekinesis of unclear strength
- Absorption of magic by the dragon's own power
- Lock opening
- The ability to remove or negate the human Gift
- Illumination of enchantments and other lasting magics
- Dragons can produce fire as they do in myth, but they do not actually breath it, instead producing it in their forepaws like a mage would conjure it in his hands.
- The power to test water for cleanliness
- The power to neaten a person's appearance
- This only works to an extent. Heavy stains and other damaging effects are not fixable, at least by the attempts of an admittedly very young dragon.
- Force-changing of someone who has shapeshifted
- This has only been shown on a wildmage, but would likely function the same on a Gifted shapeshifter. Since crows (and any other animals who could possibly become human) use wild magic, this would theoretically work on them as well.
Many abilities used by Skysong are sound-based, and require her to whistle, cluck, hum, or produce some other noise to take effect. She is able to learn other magics that are similarly triggered (such as a basilisk's stone-identifying whistle-croak and their petrification song). This could be because of the distant relationship between the two species. Other young dragons are not shown performing magic, so it is unknown if this expression of magic is unique to Skysong or not. Skysong is also stated to be more advanced than her age mates, so this may be an example of that. Older dragons do not appear to need sound to perform magic (although snarls were used by Wingstar and Diamondflame to ignite ships and enemy defenses).
It is stated that dragons are educated from scrolls and books among other things, meaning they likely know mortal spells for the Gifted that involve incantations as well as their own race's magic. However, they are never shown speaking a mortal tongue, using either mind speech or the dragon language instead.
The use of powerful draconic magic has two major effects on the user besides the usual exhaustion that mages suffer. The first is that it builds up a blinding rage within them. The second is that a heat that can become too much to bear. This heat can be counteracted by water, but is increased when a dragon absorbs aggressive magic directly instead of dispelling it. Young dragons cannot long withstand a magical assault without becoming so hot they cannot handle their magic anymore.
Kawit states that the abilities of stone dragons differ vastly depending on the type of stone that makes up their flesh. As an opal dragon, her magic revolved around ideas, illusions, and invisibility. This allowed her to hide herself from both her own people and the mages who locked immortals away for two millenia while she took an extended nap. A crust of stone formed over her in this time, but it is unknown if this was natural or magical. She is also able to negate a human mage's abilities, and when Skysong chews one of her scales, the young dragon gains the ability to mindspeak, an ability should would not have gained for centuries otherwise. She is able to make her self completely undetectable to all senses. Even Skysong was unable to sense her, despite normally being able to see through the draconic illusions of much older dragons.
Relation to Gods
Diamondflame, Skysong's grandfather, believes dragons to be superior over lesser gods such as Weiryn and The Green Lady. Even Great Gods have little power over them. Skysong defies the Graveyard Hag (despite the dragon's young age and the goddess' status as a Great God in Carthak) by accompanying Daine in a dream, and while the Graveyard Hag may have been restrained by her need for Daine's help, her only response is to literally silence Skysong. Later, the young dragon and her grandparents enter a meeting of all the Great Gods without any trepidation, and Skysong is quite rude till her grandsire commands her to behave. Diamondflame then states flatly that he will take Daine back to the Mortal Realm since he doubts the abilities of even the greatest of the gods, Mithros. He leaves after quipping that gods annoy him, a feeling that is mutual according to the Graveyard Hag.
Despite this, Skysong gives thanks to "the Dragongods" while exploring, suggesting that they do have and hold reverence for their own deities. However, no further information is given. Furthermore, the dragon elder, Rainbow states that there are mortals who are the equals of dragons in battle, and as such the gods would likely be at least a challenge for a dragon to fight.