Drake

About

Ravenous, bestial, and driven by instinct—drakes are primitive draconic monsters who bear a fraction of the terrifying might of their larger cousins but little (if any) of the cunning. While they’re weaker, slower, and less inclined toward reason than dragons, drakes are nonetheless a menace to creatures and settlements around them. Their propensity for forming raiding parties—small social groups fittingly called “rampages”—makes them all the more dangerous; a single rampage of river drakes can quickly lay waste to a waterside village, and roving rampages of desert drakes are a plague to caravan traders.

Drakes share a number of physical characteristics that unite them as one species despite their wide variety of habitats and abilities. For example, drakes lack forearms, leaving them only their formidable jaws and thick-scaled tails with which to attack if engaged at melee range. Most drakes would rather avoid close combat, however, preferring to use their breath weapons to wreak havoc in wide swaths from comfortable distances while flying overhead. Finally, all drakes have small reservoirs of their ancestral draconic power that they can tap into to perform incredible feats of speed.

Distant cousins to dragons, drakes menace and terrorize settlements. Most stand as tall and long as house cats and have charcoal-colored scales and membranous wings just translucent enough to pass for shadows. Attracted to shiny materials, they employ deception, teamwork, and even rudimentary traps to create opportunities to make off with ill-gotten gains. Shadow drakes have a particular fascination and admiration for umbral dragons—a notable exception to the norm for drakes and dragons.

Although drakes and dragons are related to one another, little love is lost between them, and even the most territorial drakes know better than to remain in a dragon’s territory longer than they have to. In rare cases, large rampages of drakes band together to attack an encroaching dragon, especially if the dragon is young and inexperienced.

While the different species of drakes are adapted to different climates and environments, many drakes share similar preferences regarding nest location, searching out high places that offer cover from above, such as cliffside or mountaintop caverns, jungle canopies, and so on.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Bestiary (Second Edition) © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Alexander Augunas, Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, Eleanor Ferron, Leo Glass, Thurston Hillman, James Jacobs, Jason Keeley, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Robert G. McCreary, Tim Nightengale, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Chris S. Sims, Jeffrey Swank, Jason Tondro, Tonya Woldridge, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.