Ambush drakes grew to be 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length and 200 pounds (91 kilograms) in weight, with their bodies covered in scales of a dark gray or black hue. The leaders of their packs were typically larger in size and bore many scars.
These creatures had elongated jaws and muscular builds, though their wings were quite stunted for their size. These wings were only used when necessary, the ambush drake instead preferring to get around on its four legs. When attempting to fly, their glides typically could only cover up to 30 feet (9.1 meters).
Believed by others be of low intellect, ambush drakes were quite social creatures among their own kind. Towards other creatures they were quite vicious, sometimes attacking out of sheer malice rather than the typical need to eat. Being very fearless, they were willing to even attack caravans or large groups of adventurers.
Ambush drakes were known to display the typical draconic desire to hoard treasure, though their packs believed in owning treasuring collectively rather than individually.
Much like a green dragon, the leaders of ambush drake packs could exhale clouds of poisonous gas. They also could administer poison to their victims through biting. Within the poison administered by pack leaders was a sort of pheromone. This would drive other members of their pack into a sort of frenzied state towards the affected creature. It was typically used when fighting or hunting.
Ambush drakes possessed a general magic immunity. They were particularly unaffected by magical effects that induced sleep or paralysis.
These creatures were capable of communicating telepathically from up to 30 feet (9.1 meters) away.
Ambush drake packs would fan out and encircle their prey, scanning them for any signs of weakness. Often times they let their prey make the first attack, but sometimes pack members would grow impatient. Leaders typically led their ambushes, using their poisonous dragon breath before anything else. Packs would then focus further attacks on those affected. This was partially due to the frenzy-inducing pheromones released by their leader's poison.
Though they could be found solitarily, ambush drakes generally lived and hunted in large packs, with the strongest member among them being the pack leader. Rising to the head of one of these packs required an ambush drake to fight and kill their current leader.
These creatures were typically found to inhabit plains in regions with a temperate climate.
Many believed that ambush drakes spoke no languages and that they could only understand Draconic. However, ambush drakes were capable of speaking both Common and Draconic, they just rarely chose to do so, instead preferring to communicate among their own kind through their telepathic abilities.
Due to their vicious nature and stubborn behavior, ambush drakes were rarely ever domesticated except through force. Orc and hobgoblin clans were the most likely to capture and force one of these beasts into service. However, if the opportunity presented itself an ambush drake would attack their captors.
- Wolfgang Baur, Steve Winter (August 2014). Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Edited by Miranda Horner. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0786965649.
- Bruce R. Cordell, et al. (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 222. ISBN 978-0-7869-4980-9.
- Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- Bruce R. Cordell, et al. (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 223. ISBN 978-0-7869-4980-9.
Chromatic dragons: Red • Black • Blue • Green • White • Brown • Gray • Purple • Pink • Salt • Yellow
Gem dragons: Amethyst • Beljuril • Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz • Crystal • Obsidian • Ruby
Neutral dragons: Amber • Jacinth • Moonstone • Pearl
Lung dragons: Chiang lung • Li lung • Lung wang • Pan lung • Shen lung • T'ien lung • Tun mi lung • Yu lung
Planar dragons: Adamantine • Astral • Battle • Blight • Chaos • Ethereal • Hellfire wyrm • Howling • Mirage • Oceanus • Pyroclastic • Radiant • Rust • Shadow • Styx • Tarterian
Epic dragons: Force • Prismatic
Catastrophic dragons: Earthquake • Volcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: Cobra • Dzalmus • Mist • Radiant • Rattelyr • Song • Vishap
Draconic transformations: Air • Ascendant • Brainstealer • Hidecarved
Linnorms: Corpse tearer • Dread • Stygian
Drakes: Ambush • Black firedrake • Dragonne • Elemental (Earth • Fire • Ice • Magma • Ooze • Smoke • Water) • Felldrake (Crested • Spitting) • Greater • Guard • Mind • Portal • Rage • Space • Vulture
Dragonets: Crow's-nest dragon • Draken • Faerie dragon • Firedrake • Pseudodragon
Dragonbloods: Draconic creature • Dragonborn of Bahamut • Dragonspawn
Drow-dragon (shadow) • Drow-dragon (deep) • Half-dragon • Kobold (Dragonwrought • Urd) • Weredragon • Zar'ithra • Zekyl
Undead dragons: Dracolich • Dragonwight • Ghost • Hoarder • Rathrea • Vampiric • Zombie