A drake is a degenerate, cruel, and evil cousin of the true dragons. Drakes share many traits with true dragons—they have sturdy leathery wings, reptilian forms, dangerous breath, and the ability to speak—but have two legs instead of a true dragon's four and lack their greater intelligence. A pack of drakes is called a rampage.
Drakes reach reproductive maturity earlier than true dragons do, and are consequently more common. Drakes breed every five years, laying clutches of eggs that must be incubated for three to six weeks under specific conditions particular to each drake species. Drake hatchlings imprint on the first creature they see, and reach maturity after two years.
Habitat and society
Drakes are typically less intelligent than true dragons, though they are intelligent enough to use language, reason with others, and make deals with other races. However, they lack the patience, diplomacy, and long-term planning of their greater relatives, making them more prone to violence.
Very rarely, drakes form strong bonds with other intelligent beings, with whom they become companions. Such drakes typically refer to their partners as their "charges", as they refuse to name any other being as their master. These bonds typically form after years spent by the other party winning the drake's trust. Due to both the time necessary to forge this bond and the rarity of drakes capable or willing to become another being's companion, these drakes are typically viewed as irreplaceable by their charges.
Species of drake
Drakes come in many species and have adapted to live in many environments.
Wyverns are often considered to be a type of drake. Although they exhibit a number of differences from most drake types, they also show a noticeable degree of deference and collegial behavior towards one another.
While pseudodragons are often called house drakes, they are not considered part of the drake family. Some primal dragons, such as brine dragons and crystal dragons, are sometimes referred to as drakes, perhaps due to their elemental nature rather than being adapted true dragons.
Thanks to the many adaptations and species of drakes, few parts of Golarion are devoid of their presence. Drakes are often viewed by humanoid races as pests—though especially dangerous ones—across parts of Golarion, with some governments issuing bounties to reduce their populations. Others make contact and cut deals with individual drakes to defend property in exchange for treasure. or ally with them to bolster a city's defenses.
Talented spellcasters have been known to take shadow drakes as familiars, though they might also independently align themselves with someone attuned to their mischievous nature. The legendary Orbs of Dragonkin include one capable of dominating drakes, and certain magic items can make certain types of drakes easier to summon. Beyond these exceptions, however, most attempts to domesticate drakes end in catastrophe.
Drake eggs are considered valuable commodities, and are used as spell components, eaten as food and, most commonly, incubated to hatch drake mounts and guardians. However, this trade is criminalized in many societies, as drakes are both evil and intelligent creatures.
In the Inner Sea region
The draconic monument known as the Sleeper, located deep in the Mindspin Mountains, draws drakes who lair in its chambers and the mountain beneath. Flame drakes favor the crest of Droskar's Crag as a nesting perch.
In Tian Xia
On distant worlds
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
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