In Urchin and the Heartstone, Whitewings had been taken over by a mad King called Silverbirch and his sorcerer, Smokewreath. The true ruler, Larch, had been forced into hiding, along with the true priest, Brother Flame, as there was a strong threat of them being assassinated.
The creatures of Whitewings Island were forced to work in the silver mines to satisfy Silverbirch's demands for it. The mining caused the water to taste metallic. Many animals also had lung problems from inhaling dust.
At the end of the second book, Larch was restored to her rightful place after an earthquake knocks down the fortress there, killing Silverbirch, Smokewreath and their army.
Whitewings is home to swans, hedgehogs, squirrels and moles. There are few or no otters as they all left the island when Silverbirch took over. There are three large hills on Whitewings and the trees there are mainly larch and birch trees. The fortress, which was destroyed at the end of book 2 is a short march from the sea shore.