This creature looks like a wingless dragon about 12 feet long whose flesh is actually dark brown bark with a greenish hue. A bushy mane of twigs, branches, leaves, and vines circles its dragon-like head and a series of thorny spines runs the length of its back. Two backward curved horns, apparently constructed of the same hardened bark as its body, jut from the creature’s head. A dark brown snake-like tongue flicks across its fangs as it advances.
Speed 40 ft.
Str 27, Dex 15, Con 23, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
A splinter drake has two breath weapons, both of which emit razor-sharp thorns. The main breath weapon, useable every 1d4 rounds, is a 40-ft. cone that deals 6d6 points of piercing and slashing damage. Its other breath weapon is a volley of thorns spit at a single target as a ranged attack for 3d6 points of piercing damage.
A splinter drake can move through any sort of undergrowth (natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at its normal speed without taking damage or suffering other impairment. This includes thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are magically manipulated to impede motion.
Three times per day as a free action, a splinter drake can regurgitate its poisonous stomach acids into its mouth and either use it in conjunction with a bite attack or release it along with either version of its breath weapon. The act of regurgitating the poison is a free action. Once it makes a successful bite attack or uses its breath weapon, the poison is used up (though the splinter drake can “reload” again on its next turn if it has any more uses of its poison attack left for the day).
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure half standard
Splinter drakes are plant creatures that resemble large wingless dragons. They haunt dense forests and make their lairs amid the tangled underbrush, generally in hard-to-locate places. Much like true dragons, splinter drakes are extremely territorial and attack creatures that wander carelessly into their domain and remain for an extended amount of time. A typical splinter drake’s territory covers an area of several square miles around its lair. Unlike true dragons, splinter drakes do not value nor keep treasure. Any treasure found in or around their lairs are likely all that remains of a past meal. They generally keep company with evil fey, evil druids, and corrupt rangers. Such allies are allowed a bit of leeway when treading on a splinter drake’s territory, but if certain boundaries are crossed or privileges abused, splinter drakes have no problems eating someone they once called friend.
Splinter drakes generally do not associate with others of their kind, except during mating season (early spring) when a mated pair is likely to be encountered. During mating, the female splinter drake deposits a host of eggs (or seeds) into the ground. Within several months, 1d4 new splinter drakes grow from the ground. Splinter drakes reach maturity within 1 year. A splinter drake is about 12 feet long and weighs around 800 pounds.
Splinter drakes typically ambush potential prey whenever possible, striking from surprise with their thorny breath weapon and poison. Once it releases its first blast, it charges into battle and slashes and tears at its foes with its claws and bite. If outnumbered or combat turns against it, a splinter drake seeks the quickest means of exit possible unless cornered, defending its lair, or starving, in which case it fights to the death.