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Pest drake

From PathfinderWiki
Pest drake swarm
(Creature)
Type Dragon
(swarm)
CR 9
Environment Any urban
Alignment

Source: Last Watch, pg(s). 84

Pest drakes are diminutive, colorful drakes often found living as pests in large cities.[1]

Appearance

Pest drakes are much smaller than other drake species, typically reaching a foot in body length and one to two pounds in weight at adulthood. They have colorful scales, with individual drakes displaying multiple different colors. Their bodies are adorned with spikes and frills, which also vary in shape and arrangement between individuals.[1]

Ecology

Pest drakes are highly social creatures, often living in large flocks and colonies. These groups claim large territories for themselves and aggressively defend them from potential threats, including other groups of drakes, rats, and construction projects that might disturb their nesting areas. Flock members communicate with body language, chirps, clicks, and whistles.[1]

Pest drakes breed quickly, forming mated pairs that lay clutches of two to three eggs each spring and fall. The eggs hatch after a two-month incubation, and the hatchlings reach sexual maturity after five months of life. Pairs tend to their eggs together, but seek other mates after their offspring reach adulthood. Juveniles are raised by all members of the flock, which contribute to teaching them how to best seek food and avoid danger in their territory.[1]

Pest drakes are omnivores, feeding on berries, seeds, insects, and small rodents. City-dwelling drakes also gain a large portion of their food by scavenging food scraps, frequenting parks and other areas where humanoid citizens gather to beg for or steal food. They are not as aggressive as other drake species, and rarely attack larger creatures unless provoked.[1]

Pest drakes strongly favor urban environments. Most flocks live within cities, while those who inhabit rural areas often gravitate towards towns and villages. They are considered pests in urban spaces, due to both their tendency to steal food and to the manner in which their acidic secretions damage buildings and statuary where they roost.[1]

History

Pest drakes were created when a wizard, jealous of a colleague's pseudodragon familiar, captured several pseudodragons and attempted to breed them into a new familiar species that would be less intelligent and more obedient. These experiments largely failed; most of the resulting creations were not capable of long-term survival, while those that were proved unable to bond as familiars. The failed experiments were cared for by the wizard's daughter. When a paladin of Apsu eventually confronted the wizard over his crimes against dragon-kind, the daughter attempted to free the surviving creatures to prevent their being harmed in the battle. The drakes' strong homing instinct led them to return to the wizard's tower, which they continued to do despite the daughter's attempts to release them increasingly far from it.[1]

In an attempt to make use of the drakes' homing and to rebuild her family's fortunes, the daughter established a messenger service using the drakes. This exposure led to the drakes becoming a decades-long fad among Golarion's nobility, particularly after it was discovered that they could be bred to possess multiple different colors and patterns of spikes and frills. The drakes eventually fell out of fashion, but by that point feral colonies had become firmly established in multiple cities.[1]

Pest drake are sometimes still kept into the modern day, chiefly as racing animals. These drakes are bred for either speed or endurance, and are kept in isolated housing to limit their ability to bond with one another. Drake competitions, referred to as Rainbow Races due to the bright colors of the flying animals, are strictly regulated to limit the number of animals that can take part in them. This legislation was created as a response to the Great Drake Disaster in Taldor, an event where thousands of underfed drakes were released at once, bonded into a large flock and ravaged the nearby farmland looking for food.[1]

References