Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Desert Drake

Desert drakes are…yeah, you guessed it.  Drakes.  That live in the desert.  Powerful ones at that, besting all but their neighbors, the rift drakes, and the hardy lava drakes.

Like blue dragons, desert drakes are earth dragons with electricity-laced breath.  Unlike blue dragons, they come in mottled tans and yellows and reds, mirroring the terrain of their desert habitats.  Thus, they are more ambush predators and burrowers than fliers, creatures of dunes, cliffs, and rocky outcroppings more than the open sky.

In addition to the usual drake abilities, desert drakes have a Dazzling Emergence (Ex) ability they can use during a surprise round.  The Bestiary 3 doesn't really specify what that ability looks like.  The default assumption is it has something to do with the drake’s bite or gnashing of teeth because of its Weapon Focus (bite) feat, but there are plenty of real-world lizard displays you could steal from.  Maybe it flashes an electric blue tongue like a skink, raises a frill like frilled lizard, or spurts blood from its eyes like a horned lizard.

A pair of desert drakes takes advantage of a giant ant lion’s sand traps.  When a victim stumbles into the vermin’s pit, the desert drakes race in to pick off his companions while they are distracted.  The drakes may even snatch a bite or two from the ant lion’s victim, relying on their speed surges to avoid the bug’s giant pincers.

A rampage of drakes corners a janni just as adventurers arrive on the scene.  They are better fliers, they press their advantage too closely for invisibility to work, and the janni already expended his ethereal jaunt on one of the strange errands of his kind.  He strongly suggests that there is a flying carpet in it for them if the adventurers aid him.  But he is careful to promise nothing, because his flight is an inherent gift and the carpet he sits upon is merely for show.  He plans to hand it over and vanish before the adventurers call his bluff.

The Endless White is a nearly lifeless salt plain populated by only a few pure white desert drakes.  Even the pillars they nest on are salt.  Possibly these columns are natural; possibly they are all that is left of unfortunates who offended some god.  (They may also indicate the presence of a portal to the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Salt.)  The drakes’ dazzling display involves shooting blood from their eye ducts, and the crimson splash on the white salt crust is often the last color their victims ever see.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 105

Argh!  I keep forgetting to post my radio show.  Here it is!  Get it now!  The link expires Friday (11/21) at midnight, and it’s already Wednesday!

By the way, props to pierrotlunaire, brain-jack, eswynn, and pacific-resistance for showing support during the show.

Also, I’m getting this bizarre thing were my microphone vocals sound bad on my home computer but fine on my work one.  If it sounds bad for you, my apologies; I don’t know what’s up.  Listen anyway—the new Ex Cops track “White Noise” is awesome, and while I was never a rabid Shins fan, getting to hear early James Mercer vocals on the Flake Music reissue is just glorious.

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