Drakes are a species unique to Dragon Cave. They are often referred to as DC-Drakes to avoid confusion with the term "drake", referring to other types of dragons from other media. Drakes cannot breed with dragons, but can interbreed with one another.
Drakes are not actually dragons, instead appearing to be some sort of distantly related cousin-species. They are similar looking, yet have their own separate characteristics that set them apart from dragons. Unlike their dragon cousins, they are not sapient or as smart. They have antlers, tend to be very calm (unless bred to be otherwise), do not talk, and are shown to be more tame and easily trained.
Drakes tend to be smaller than most dragons, and TJ has commented that he headcanons drakes to probably be about the size of a large dog. Due to being smaller, they are known for being more nimble than dragons are, with underdeveloped forelimbs if forelimbs are present. These smaller forelimbs are made up for with larger wings that grant enhanced mobility in flight.
Dovealove, the creator of the first Drakes, removed the 'e' from the name to avoid confusion with the term drake being used in other media with different definitions. However, he had always originally intended them to be called drakes and preferred it as so. His original plan for drakes was to actually to continue the Ochredrake types in particular so that over time, ochredrakes would be the official dragon sub-type name, but this has since been changed to drakes since not all drakes are mostly yellow (or other earthy colors).
The official Dragon Cave Forums have rules and guidelines set out in the Dragon Requests board in order to help users better understand Drakes and what their design ideas for new Drakes should be based on. On March 22nd, 2016, these guidelines were updated following a small discussion held on the forums where users suggested changes for the guidelines. According to the current official topic, these are the guidelines set out:
- Have four limbs/legs with bat-like wings.
- Have antlers.
- Are smaller than the average dragon.
- Have a similar intelligence level to dogs.
- Only have an innate/natural level of magic.
- Lack a thumb.
The previous guidelines before the update were as follows:
- Possess no opposable digits on any limb (no thumbs)
- Have antlers which are shed bi-annually
- Are extremely good natured, obedient and eager to please
- Are no smarter than your average dog, have short attention spans, and tend to never forget training, despite the fact that it takes a long time to cement it in their minds.
- Are small, ranging in size between the size of a cat and as big as a husky.
- Are found in the same basic body plan as the ocredrake varieties, which are the most basal forms.
- Have branched antlers.
- Have only one wing finger and a sail of struts that make the membrane of the wing follow along the tail
- Have black eyes.
- Have three toes.