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Greater drakes were a group of species of drakes that were known to be trained as steeds.[2]

Description[]

All greater drakes were typically draconic in form, with four legs, two wings, tails, et cetera; they were scaly, although the color and texture of their scales differed between species. Greater drakes were much smaller than true dragons, however, being only about the size of a large horse at most.[2]

Behavior[]

Greater drakes possessed a level of intelligence similar to that of a horse and they were not naturally inclined to be either good or evil. At most, their behaviors took after that of their riders.[2] They also lacked the instinct to amass hoards like true dragons.[1]

Abilities[]

All greater drakes could fly and some could also swim. Most, though not all, possessed breath weapons. Greater drakes were strong enough to easily carry a rider while flying.[2] Like other draconic creatures, they were immune to magically-induced paralysis and sleep.[1]

Ecology[]

Greater drakes uniformly lived in wilderness regions far from civilization, making them relatively obscure creatures, particularly because they were often mistaken for true dragons. Most were carnivorous, except for some that were omnivorous. The average lifespan of greater drakes was about 50 years.[2]

Greater drakes could all be domesticated and trained as steeds; their relatively small size (compared to dragons) and animal intelligence made training and keeping them more feasible than other dracoforms. Elves, orcs, and lizardfolk were all known to ride greater drakes that shared their habitats.[2]

Biology[]

All greater drakes laid eggs. They had scaly skin that they shed several times during their lives as they grew. In greater drakes, the breath weapon was not magical and originated from a bladder-like organ in the throat. This bladder could expand, similar to a bullfrog's throat or pelican's beak, and was present in all the greater drake species.[2][1]

Species[]

There were many known species of greater drakes. Additionally, the smoke drake, or fumarandi, was sometimes classified as a greater drake.[2]

Arsalon 
The arsalon, or hive drake, was a peculiar species that had a symbiotic relationship with wasps. Because of this, they were the least-often domesticated species. They lived in temperate woodlands and were primarily yellow or light grey in color, with darker vertical stripes.[2]
Barautha 
The barautha, or spitting drake, was a solitary species that was difficult to domesticate, with the only successful attempts involving raising one from the egg. They sprayed venom through a pair of large, hollow tusks.[1]
Ermalkankari 
The ermalkankari, or stone drake, was a mountan-dwelling species known for excavating large lairs in cliffs. They were sometimes trained by dwarves as beasts of burden. Ermalkankari carried small stones in their throat bladders, which they sprayed out when fighting.[1]
Kavainus 
The kavainus, or ghost drake, was sometimes trained for message-running or scouting by elves, as their ability to turn ethereal at will ensured their safety and that of their rider. Kavaini lived in mountains or hills, and were bone-white in color; they also glowed faintly at night.[2]
Mardallond 
Mardallonds, or mead drakes, were smaller than other greater drakes, and consequently were favored as mounts by smaller humanoids such as halflings and gnomes. They had golden-yellow to light-tan scales, and scythe-like bone spikes on their tails. They were among the few omnivorous greater drakes, eating grain as well as meat. Some of the grain they ate ended up in the throat bladder instead of the stomach, where it fermented into a mead-colored, strong-smelling alcoholic liquid; in the wild the strong scent scared larger predators away, but the liquid was also highly flammable.[1]
Retchenbeast 
The retchenbeast, or muck drake, was the smallest of the greater drakes and were predominantly tamed by the lizardfolk or bullywugs that shared the muck drakes' swampy habitat. Retchenbeasts were also the ugliest of the greater drakes, being grayish-brown in color when clean, but were more often covered in a layer of mud and slime.[2]
Rivilithis 
The rivilithis, or river drake, was a freshwater-dwelling greater drake that was closely related to the silislithis. They could not tolerate seawater and tended to be green or grey in color.[2]
Silislithis 
The silislithis, or sea drake, was a greater drake that lived along ocean coasts. They were known to be trained both by aquatic peoples and by coast-dwellers. Coastal land-dwellers especially favored sea drakes, as their breath weapon of a jet of water made them excellent firefighters.[2]
Trilligarg 
The trilligarg, or chameleon drake, was another smaller species. It was sleek and flexible, and lacking the horns and dorsal spines common in drakes. Trilligargs also lacked claws, and instead had sticky suction cups on the end of their toes. This species did not have a breath weapon, but the throat bladder was covered in spines that stood straight up when inflated, allowing them to use it defensively.[1]
Vallochar 
The vallochar, or web drake, was a dark-scaled species with pitch-black, midnight-blue, or dark-gray scales with white mottling on the sides of the flanks and undersides of the wings. The scales were always shiny on account of the slippery oil secreted by the drakes. Vallochars spat gobs of sticky goo to entangle opponents.[1]
Vandalraug 
The vandalraug, or battle drake, was easily domesticated and trained as a fighting steed. They were extremely loyal to riders who treated them well and were fearless in combat. They were also the largest of the greater drakes.[2]

Appendix[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Johnathan M. Richards (June 2001). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Return of the Greater Drakes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #284 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92–96.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Johnathan M. Richards (June 1999). “Greater Drakes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #260 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 29–31.

Connections[]

The Family of Dragons

Metallic dragons: GoldSilverBronzeCopperBrassElectrumIronMercuryPlatinumSteel
Chromatic dragons: RedBlackBlueGreenWhiteBrownGrayPurpleYellow
Gem dragons: AmberAmethystEmeraldSapphireTopazCrystalObsidian
Lung dragons: Chiang lungLi lungLung wangPan lungShen lungT'ien lungTun mi lungYu lung
Planar dragons: AstralBattleChaosEtherealFaerieHowlingMirageOceanusPyroclasticRadiantRustShadowStyxTarterian
Epic dragons: ForcePrismatic
Catastrophic dragons: Volcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: DzalmusMistRadiantRattelyrSongVishap
Draconic transformations: AirAscendant