This minuscule dragon’s transparent wings and large eyes resemble those of a praying mantis. Its form glows bright with an inner fire.
Speed 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +7 (1d3–2 plus 1 fire)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (10-ft. cone, 1d4 fire, Reflex DC 9 half, usable every 1d4 rounds)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +2)
A tiny spark of flame that acts as a pyrausta’s heart beats within its chest. Whenever a pyrausta takes cold damage, including damage from environmental cold, its little heart stalls. It loses its fast healing and breath weapon, gains the staggered condition, and takes 1 point of damage each round. This continues until it is exposed to a source of flame that would normally deal fire damage or until it successfully uses its spark spell-like ability to reignite its heart (doing so requires a successful DC 11 concentration check because of the ongoing damage).
Environment any warm
Organization solitary, pair, or swarm (12–20)
Though perhaps the smallest of dragons, pyraustas are not insecure about their size, for they lack the inflated egos so common among their larger kindred. Instead, pyraustas delight in being what they are, and live in the here and now.
Though their natural life spans are similar to a human’s, their dependence on flame to keep their hearts beating means the average pyrausta meets its end much sooner.
Some scholars believe that pyraustas, sometimes called “insect dragons” or “true dragonflies,” are spawned from the very hearts of volcanoes, where flickering flames are common. In truth, young pyraustas are conceived in the warmest months of the year, when swarms of the creatures gather high in the night skies and perform elaborate courtship rituals with their colorful flames, frolicking playfully in mid-flight. These swarms are often mistaken for fireflies, auroras, or other phenomena. A pyrausta’s flame and its heart are one, and its fiery breath changes color depending on the creature’s emotions. Pyraustas use their inner flames primarily to express themselves, creating vivid pyrotechnic displays to communicate their feelings. They can also use this flame as a weapon if necessary, but prefer not to.
A typical pyrausta’s body is 9 inches long, though its wingspan is longer, and it weighs 1 to 2 pounds.
Pyraustas who outlive the short life spans their frailty often imposes on them can grow to become far larger and more dangerous than their younger kin. They gain the giant and advanced simple templates, and the range of their breath weapons increases to a 15-foot cone. Elder pyraustas don’t usually grow arrogant as their might increases; they instead either offer wisdom to other pyraustas, settling disputes and acting as guardians and mentors to their younger kin, or else travel far and wide, bridging the gaps between disparate pyrausta communities.
A spellcaster within one step of chaotic neutral with an arcane caster level of 3rd or greater can gain a pyrausta as a familiar by taking the Improved Familiar feat. This causes the pyrausta’s heart spark to glow slightly less brightly, but more steadily. This removes its fast healing ability and heart of flame special abilities.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 5 © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, John Bennett, Logan Bonner, Creighton Broadhurst, Robert Brookes, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Thurston Hillman, Eric Hindley, Joe Homes, James Jacobs, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Ben McFarland, Jason Nelson, Thom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Alistair Rigg, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, Wes Schneider, David Schwartz, Mark Seifter, Mike Shel, James L. Sutter, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.