The World Of Khoras - Fauna and Flora - Fauna - Mountains

Fire Drake

Other Names Pseudo Dragon, False Dragon, Lesser Dragon
Climate/Terrain Mountains and/or Hills
Frequency Rare
Organization Solitary
Activity Cycle

Any

Diet Carnivore

Physical Description

A fire drake appears as a large winged lizard. An average fire drake has a wing span of about 6 meters (20 feet), stands about 2 meters tall (6 feet) at the shoulder and weighs about 400 kilograms (880 pounds). Most firedrakes are about 6 meters long from their saurian snout to the tip of their long tail. Their reptilian scales are dark green and glossy.

Combat

The firedrake is an aggressive predator with sharp claws and long fangs. However, it's most devastating weapon also gives the beast its name. Like a true dragon, a firedrake has an internal organ which generates a flammable liquid. The beast is able to inject this flammable liquid into forcefully expelled air. This creates a flaming cloud which can be exhaled at will. The fiery breath has a range of about 8 meters. A firedrake can typically use its breath weapon 3 to 5 times per day. They are fast and agile flyers and like to attack from the air when they can. An adult firedrake is a dangerous opponent, able to keep a town militia busy and give a local baron cause to worry.

Habitat

Firedrakes can be on all three continents, all over the world. They are usually found in the foothills of great mountain ranges, forested hills, high mountain slopes and even mountain peaks. They range from tropical to sub arctic, able to adapt to almost any environment. Firedrakes typically live in shallow caves and hunt at any time of the day.

There are more than a dozen types of fire drakes including the northern emerald firedrake, the western great firedrake, the southern red-banded firedrake, the copper firedrake and the false dragon of Qeshir. They vary in coloration, physical characteristics and geographic habitat, but they are all fairly similar in behavior.

Ecology

They are solitary predators and only pair up to mate. Females will form a nest in their cave and raise the young until they are three years of age. Females protecting their young are extremely aggressive. It is important to note that fire drakes are not true dragons. Fire drakes, while much weaker than true dragons, are much smaller and much more common.

Every mountain range will be home to several dozen firedrakes. Firedrakes tend to be more of a nuisance than dragons as they relocate lairs frequently and attack caravans and villages from time to time. Private mercenary companies are often contracted to dispatch these beasts when they become a local problem. Firedrakes are often mistaken for dragons by scared farmers and peasants who will invariably exaggerate the beast's size. Reports of dragons often turn out to be nothing more than a common firedrake.

The Firedrake Steed

Firedrakes can be trained and used as steeds although this is very difficult and quite rare. To achieve this, a firedrake must be captured when it is a hatchling (or even better before it has hatched). It then takes 1 to 2 years of constant care and training to turn it into a useable steed. The firedrake is strong enough to carry about several hundred kilograms of weight without being unduly hampered in flight. Thus, it could carry a single armored warrior with saddle, bridle, bags and miscellaneous gear. A firedrake can carry about twice that and still get off the ground although its speed, maneuverability and flight distance will all be affected. Therefore, under dire circumstances, a firedrake could lift four or even five adult human riders, though it wouldn't be able to fly well or far.

There are several groups who are known to use firedrakes as steeds. Because of the relative rarity of the beast and difficulty in training and maintaining such a steed, only the wealthiest organizations can afford them and then, only the greatest warriors earn the privilege.

The firedrake can be found in the Baen Desert. The baenites call it a "cloud dancer" and sometimes use it as a steed. Due to its scarcity, only the greatest baenite warriors are able to claim one as a steed.

This website was last updated April 1, 2017 . Copyright 1990-2017 David M. Roomes.

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