Each drake, by the time it has reached a century in age, will push past the size of an adult drake and start to grow into their full, adult, dragon body. However, due to natural predation, environmental factors, lack of food, etc., not every drake reaches the first century nor the other centuries. It is rare, perhaps only one in a thousand drakes, for a true Dragon to emerge.
Drakes and Wyverns are both cousins within the Dragon family Though both creatures fly, the principle difference between a Drake and a Wyvern is that a Drake can breathe fire in a large cone-like weapon and Wyverns cannot.Drakes can grow larger than their Wyvern cousins but smaller than true Dragons until they mature.
- Faux Dragon: A small, lesser version of a Drake with two arms, two legs, two wings and a tail. They breathe fire, possess no magic and the largest variety can reach the size of a tiger. They have an average life-span of approximately twenty years if well-treated.
- Drake: A lesser version of a Dragon with two arms, two legs, two wings and a long tail. They breathe fire and the largest variety can reach a size roughly several times that of a horse. They have an intelligence that ranges slightly above the average human, can speak draconic and have a life span of approximately a hundred years if well-treated. In many cases, Drakes are mistaken for Dragons and as they are more numerous than dragons have been given the name.
- Dragon: A large, lizard-like creature with two arms, two legs, two wings, and a long tail. 'They breathe fire, can possess some of all three types of magic and the largest variety can reach a size roughly several times that of an elephant. They have an intelligence that ranges well above the average human, can speak draconic and have a life span of approximately a thousand years if well-treated. Not to be mistaken for Drakes who are called 'Dragons' by the uneducated, True Dragons possess an intelligence that can rival humans and possess magic that would put any mortal caster to shame.
- Wyvern: A large, pseudo-like lizard creature with two legs, two wings and a long, spiked tail. They breathe fire like a drake but possess no magic, animalistic intelligence and can reach a size roughly equivalent to a mid-sized drake. They have a life span of approximately fifty years if well-treated.
- Black Drake: The smallest of all drakes, found in caves and swamps. They are cunning, mischevious and somewhat xenophobic of other drakes. They protect their territory visciously.
- Green Drake: Larger than black drakes, they are found in forests. They are slow to anger but quick to investigate any disturbance within their territory. They are the most curious of their kind.
- Blue Drake
- Red Drake
- White Drake
Drakes can grow very quickly if they're well-fed.
A Drake is rideable by a young adult human within three years assuming the human is not massively built. This level of flight is limited to gliding and such but as they grow into their fourth year they are capable of supporting a rider for longer periods. By their fifth year they are fully grown and able to support an adult rider.
Young drakes are almost constantly hungry. If they're not sleeping then they are usually looking for food.
ReproductionLike Dragons, Drakes will clutch their eggs in secluded nesting spots which vary depending on the type of drake. Adult drakes do not come into mating season until their fourth or fifth year though many faux dragons (yearling drakes) will feel the urge for a mating flight after one year.
Each female, when she clutches, can produce anywhere between eight and twelve eggs. The eggs are about the size of a small mellon, approximately eight to twelve inches in length and weigh approximately eight to ten pounds depending on the variety of drake who clutched it. Red Drakes, for example, produce slightly larger eggs than a Black. Clutching usually occurs once a year in spring when there's an abundance of food to support the new drakes.
When drake eggs are close to hatching, the mother and father will begin to gather live or freshly killed food and store it in a large ring around the clutch. Depending on the variety of drake this could be fish, or small rodents, etc. When an egg hatches, the drake is wobbly and dizzy but very hungry. A drakeling will stumble out of its shell and instinctually start looking for food. Once fed it will look around for its parents. It is during this point when the drake will impress upon its parents (or anyone else around) and will bond with the parent. This bond is crucial for the drake's survival as it imparts a sense of loyalty and identity within the drake from an early age. Many draconic scholars argue that the nature of the bond created by the drakeling and its parent is nearly empathic whereby one is able to sense the emotions of the other. It is this bond which allows the parent to more adequately meet the needs of the child in terms of food, etc.
During the first year of life, the drakeling is taught to fly, to use their fire, and all of the important things necessary to be a true drake. Fire does not develop within the drake until nine months after they are born and flight is not possible for them until at least six months after birth.
By the sixth month, most drakelings are being encouraged by their parents to start stretching out their wings and learning to glide. It is for this reason that many drakes will clutch in places were gliding would be relatively easy. Gliding soon evolves into soaring and soaring eventually leads to true flight when they can pump their wings enough to gain altitude. Usually a drake will have mastered flight, in so much as they can manage to take off from the ground and travel a given distance, by the seventh or eighth month of life.
Drakes as Mounts
Although intelligent, a drake requires training before it can bear a rider in combat. To be trained, a drake must have a friendly attitude toward the trainer (this can be achieved through a successful Diplomacy check). Training a friendly drake requires six weeks of work and a DC 25 Handle Animal check. Riding a drake requires an exotic saddle. A drake can fight while carrying a rider, but the rider cannot also attack unless he or she succeeds on a Ride check.
Carrying Capacity: A light load for a drake varies depending on the type but can range from 300 pounds to 600 pounds for a light load; a medium load, 601-900 pounds; and a heavy load, 901-1200 pounds.
Firey breath is a signature element of all drakes. By the ninth month of age, the glands responsible for producing the chemical which, combined in exhalation, produce the cone of fire, have matured enough to be functional. At first the breath is more of a napalm-like belch that sticks to nearly everything and will burn with a slow flame. Drake parents will often encourage the young to breathe fire - breathe as much fire as possible - every day to force their bodies to produce more and more of the chemical and encourage the development of the fire sacks on either side of the inside of their throat. By the time the drake has reached its first year the fire sacks have fully formed and been stretched to hold enough of the chemical so that they can breathe fire three times a day. Once fully exhausted, they will need to rest for a full day until the chemicals have replentished themselves.
IntelligenceDrakes, when they are born, are about as intelligent as a Faux Dragon , that is, they are more intelligent than animals and have roughly the equivalent intelligence of a small child. It is not until they have reached about the first six months in life that they start to develop language skills (originally draconic taught by a parent) and it's not until later than they begin to acquire addtional languages. By the time the drake has reached their first year in age, they have progressed to the intelligence of a ten-year-old human child and can acquire a second language. In the next years of life Drakes will seemingly acquire three years of intelligence for every year they are alive until they reach five years old where in they should be as intelligent as an eighteen-year-old human and have an equivalent intelligence (score) of 10. By the end of their first century, many drakes will have acquired an intelligence (score) of at least 16.
Like Faux Dragons, Drakes are incredible mimics - able to reproduce many of the sounds that they hear. There are, however, limits when it comes to the syllables that are possible with the drake's mouth and forked tongue. Drakes are able to reproduce most of the sounds required to speak Arness, some forms of Elven, Gnomish, Dwarven and Halfling. The easiest language for them to communicate, outside of draconic, is Medjia. It is for this reason, amongst others, that many a mage can speak with drakes - though they may not speak back.