Dragonlings are a species of tiny scaled dragons, similar in size to typical housecats; they typically grow to be about 1 to 1 1/2 feet long, with an additional 2 feet of tail length. A dragonling’s typical wingspan is about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet – dragonlings usually prefer to stay aloft in sustained flight for no longer than ten minutes at a stretch. A dragonling’s tail is prehensile and can grasp small objects, and has a small, sharp, barbed stinger at the very tip. Dragonlings have sharp claws, and have been known to strike fiercely with a vicious biting attack. They have feral reflexes and can track targets through deep forest with little difficulty. For all of their combat capabilities, they are extremely risk-averse; dragonlings are herbivorous and are content to live peaceful lives in deep lush forests, subsisting on green leaves and meaty fungus. Dragonlings are talented at hiding – they can subtly change the color of their scales within a certain natural range to blend in with their environment, similar to the way chameleons do.
Dragonlings have been known to approach adventurers’ camps in the early morning or late night hours if food has been left out – they have extremely powerful senses of smell and are curious to explore new developments in their environments. At the first sign of humanoid activity, though, a dragonling will usually flee. Clever dragonling trappers will set up traps baited with sugary foods and then leave them for days at a time, knowing that dragonlings will never approach an area populated by larger creatures. Dragonling eggs can be sold for 15,000 gp; young dragonlings fetch a higher price, usually around 25,000 gp.
Two distinct strains of dragonlings have been observed; green dragonlings’ stingers produce no abnormal effects and contain no toxins, while purple dragonlings inject a powerful venom when they successfully hit with their stingers. This venomous sting has been known to cause victims to fall asleep suddenly, for varying lengths of time. Dragonling venom is black and viscous, and it can be harvested fairly easily from slain purple dragonlings by removing their venom sacs, which are found in the upper thorax. About .25 L of venom can be harvested from each slain purple dragonling.
Dragonlings are universally neutral good, with strong bonds to their home environments. They have little to no contact with any other kinds of dragon – their small size enables them to live in habitats where normal dragons would surely be noticed and pursued. Dragonlings are capable of telepathic communication with other dragon creatures; they cannot speak common, and their communication with non-dragon creatures is limited to a range of vocalizations including growls, chirps, and shrieks. Dragonlings are reluctant to engage in unsolicited telepathic communication, due to their solitary and aversive nature. Telepathic contact, however, is crucial in dragonling mating rituals and child-rearing, and it is hypothesized that dragonling mothers establish strong telepathic bonds with their young before they even hatch.