The Yaggol

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The Yaggol

Postby Havard » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:22 am

The Yaggol came up in the thread about Psionics on Krynn:

Big Mac wrote:
Falconer wrote:Right, in the 2nd Edition era, Psionics were considered one of the no-nos in Dragonlance, along with Orcs and Drow and Lycanthropy. Even mind flayers lost almost all of their psionic ability once they landed on Krynn (becoming the Yaggol).


I've actually been wondering if the devolution of illithids into the yaggol, might actually be down to something else.

I believe that the Elder Brain have some sort of ability to extend into another dimension. If that ability was blocked by the Krynnspace crystal sphere, and if the illithid clerics are unable to connect to their usual deities, that would potentially "cut off the leadership" of any organised illithid force that moved into Krynnspace and leave them operating at a disadvantage (vs illithids in other crystal spheres).

Without the command and control abilities, it might be easier for illithid splinter groups to break off from the domination of the leadership, and to form their own groups.

The yaggol could perhaps have been one breakaway group. Perhaps they started off as an illithid colonisation force.

I think that, if you do want to have psionics in Dragonlance...and you want them to be restricted or rebooted, that tying in the idea with the yaggol might help.

Another idea for the descent of the yaggol, is that the people of Krynn (and Krynnspace) are psionically inert, and that when an illithid tadpole takes over the body of a native of Krynn, they are tying their brain into a nerve system that is psionically stunted.


I believe the Yaggol were introduced in the Time of the Dragons (Taladas) boxed set. What else is known about them besides the fact that they lost their psionic abilities?

Are there Yaggol Elder Brains? Yaggol Nautiloids?


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Re: The Yaggol

Postby ripvanwormer » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:46 pm

The ancestors of the yaggol had nautiloids (and/or other spelljammers), but they've devolved into primitive savages since their civilization was destroyed in the Cataclysm. They're larger and stronger than their ancestors, and their skin has chameleon ability, but their intelligence is low. They live in gloomy jungles rather than underground.

If they ever had elder brains on Krynn, they likely died in the Cataclysm. I suppose you could include one if you really wanted to, but you'd have to explain why they devolved into savagery if they still had elder brains to guide them. Perhaps the elder brain has gone mad, or it's guiding an isolated pocket of yaggol who barely understand it.

Their monster sheet suggests that the collapse of their civilization was caused by the Cataclysm rather than an inability to use psionics on the world of Krynn, though a slow loss of psionic power might have also been a factor if you want to go that way. I think the Cataclysm shattering their cities, collapsing their caverns, and killing their elder brains is probably enough explanation for yaggol degeneration in itself.

The "other dimension" that elder brains access is the Astral Plane. I don't think there would be a problem with their elder brains accessing the Astral Plane, since there's no general problem with accessing the Astral in Krynnspace. Perhaps an assault by githyanki might be a factor. It's not clear that elder brains need access to the Astral Plane, though, or if they just prefer to store some of their mass there in order to not take up so much room on the Prime.
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Re: The Yaggol

Postby Havard » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:29 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:The ancestors of the yaggol had nautiloids (and/or other spelljammers), but they've devolved into primitive savages since their civilization was destroyed in the Cataclysm. They're larger and stronger than their ancestors, and their skin has chameleon ability, but their intelligence is low. They live in gloomy jungles rather than underground.


Interesting! I could see them having a primitive stronghold built around a crashed/abandoned Nautiloid....


If they ever had elder brains on Krynn, they likely died in the Cataclysm. I suppose you could include one if you really wanted to, but you'd have to explain why they devolved into savagery if they still had elder brains to guide them. Perhaps the elder brain has gone mad, or it's guiding an isolated pocket of yaggol who barely understand it.


Both are possible. Could we see a kind of devolved/mutated form of elder brain too?


Their monster sheet suggests that the collapse of their civilization was caused by the Cataclysm rather than an inability to use psionics on the world of Krynn, though a slow loss of psionic power might have also been a factor if you want to go that way. I think the Cataclysm shattering their cities, collapsing their caverns, and killing their elder brains is probably enough explanation for yaggol degeneration in itself.


That opens up to a ton of possibilities! Could ruins of some of those lost cities still be found underground? Who would live in them now?

The "other dimension" that elder brains access is the Astral Plane. I don't think there would be a problem with their elder brains accessing the Astral Plane, since there's no general problem with accessing the Astral in Krynnspace. Perhaps an assault by githyanki might be a factor. It's not clear that elder brains need access to the Astral Plane, though, or if they just prefer to store some of their mass there in order to not take up so much room on the Prime.


Interesting stuff. The idea of a Githyanki assault is intriguing. :)


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Re: The Yaggol

Postby Big Mac » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:06 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Their monster sheet suggests that the collapse of their civilization was caused by the Cataclysm rather than an inability to use psionics on the world of Krynn, though a slow loss of psionic power might have also been a factor if you want to go that way. I think the Cataclysm shattering their cities, collapsing their caverns, and killing their elder brains is probably enough explanation for yaggol degeneration in itself.


I think there are some Dragonlance fans who dislike the idea of psionics, who may have added that thing in as a "this is how Dragonlance should work" concept.

There is actually a psionic Kender (or Half-Kender) in the Cloakmaster Cycle novels, so the people of Krynn do have the potential to learn psionics.
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Re: The Yaggol

Postby Big Mac » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:45 pm

Havard wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:The ancestors of the yaggol had nautiloids (and/or other spelljammers), but they've devolved into primitive savages since their civilization was destroyed in the Cataclysm. They're larger and stronger than their ancestors, and their skin has chameleon ability, but their intelligence is low. They live in gloomy jungles rather than underground.


Interesting! I could see them having a primitive stronghold built around a crashed/abandoned Nautiloid....


The yaggol actually feature in the Taladas trilogy of novels. In there, they have communities based around step pyramids inside the jungles.

IIRC they were being led by another type of monster, but I've forgotten what type of monster it was. I think they had turned into a religious cult worshipping one of the evil Dragonlance deities.

For some reason, the novel said they were called "crawling maws" (or something similar to that). So after getting used to the idea of DL illithids being called yaggol, I got a third name to remember.

Havard wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:If they ever had elder brains on Krynn, they likely died in the Cataclysm. I suppose you could include one if you really wanted to, but you'd have to explain why they devolved into savagery if they still had elder brains to guide them. Perhaps the elder brain has gone mad, or it's guiding an isolated pocket of yaggol who barely understand it.


Both are possible. Could we see a kind of devolved/mutated form of elder brain too?


I didn't see any sort of mention of elder brains in the Taladas trilogy, but I suppose there could be other yaggol outside the jungles of Taladas that still have elder brains.

You might want to look at Monster Manual V, if you have it. It has some Thoon stuff that is related to illithids. It's not the same as what is going in with Taladas, but the changes between regular illithids and Thoon-illithids could give you a guide to the way to depict the difference between the original illithids that were in Krynnspace and the devolved illithid culture that now worships a DL deity, instead of the default illithid deity/deities.

Havard wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:Their monster sheet suggests that the collapse of their civilization was caused by the Cataclysm rather than an inability to use psionics on the world of Krynn, though a slow loss of psionic power might have also been a factor if you want to go that way. I think the Cataclysm shattering their cities, collapsing their caverns, and killing their elder brains is probably enough explanation for yaggol degeneration in itself.


That opens up to a ton of possibilities! Could ruins of some of those lost cities still be found underground? Who would live in them now?


I don't get the impression there is a lot of underground stuff in Dragonlance (and Taladas). I remember one underground city (where Bupu lived) but got the impression that there was not a full-blown Underdark. Maybe I got that wrong. Perhaps there are some Underdark adventures that I don't know about.

Havard wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:The "other dimension" that elder brains access is the Astral Plane. I don't think there would be a problem with their elder brains accessing the Astral Plane, since there's no general problem with accessing the Astral in Krynnspace. Perhaps an assault by githyanki might be a factor. It's not clear that elder brains need access to the Astral Plane, though, or if they just prefer to store some of their mass there in order to not take up so much room on the Prime.


Interesting stuff. The idea of a Githyanki assault is intriguing. :)


Illithids are certainly one of the major Spelljammer elements that don't quite add up in Krynnspace. I never thought of a githyaki attack as a way to smack the race down (and cause it to devolve).
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Re: The Yaggol

Postby ripvanwormer » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:05 am

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Re: The Yaggol

Postby Dragonhelm » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:58 pm

Here is the Dragonlance Lexicon entry on the Yaggol.

Dragonlance Lexicon: Yaggol

The yaggol feature prominently in book two of the Taladas Trilogy by Chris Pierson. In that trilogy, they lived in the jungles of Neron in ancient pyramids reminiscent of Meso-American pyramids. They full-on had their mind powers (perhaps creative license taken by Chris Pierson). They were scary as hell.

Personally, I find this as further proof that psionics do exist on Krynn, but they aren't necessarily in the form of pseudo-science. Rather, it may be more in the form of Mentalism (a sphere of Mysticism), or it may be the form of 5e psionics, currently under development by WotC.

The Taladas trilogy does not mention Spelljammer at all. Saying they are from Beyond works well enough to explain it.
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Re: The Yaggol

Postby Big Mac » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:51 am

Dragonhelm wrote:Here is the Dragonlance Lexicon entry on the Yaggol.

Dragonlance Lexicon: Yaggol

The yaggol feature prominently in book two of the Taladas Trilogy by Chris Pierson. In that trilogy, they lived in the jungles of Neron in ancient pyramids reminiscent of Meso-American pyramids. They full-on had their mind powers (perhaps creative license taken by Chris Pierson). They were scary as hell.


From what I recall, the yaggol were only supposed to loose some of the powers of illithids. Not all of them. And I think they were supposed to retain their mind blast abilities in the Time of the Dragon boxed set. I'll have to go reread my books at some point, to get a better idea of what is supposed to be different.

Dragonhelm wrote:Personally, I find this as further proof that psionics do exist on Krynn, but they aren't necessarily in the form of pseudo-science. Rather, it may be more in the form of Mentalism (a sphere of Mysticism), or it may be the form of 5e psionics, currently under development by WotC.

The Taladas trilogy does not mention Spelljammer at all. Saying they are from Beyond works well enough to explain it.


I think that psionics is the default for mind flayers, but that you can also have illithid priests, via divine magic and illithid wizards via arcane magic. I've also seen people say to use arcane magic rules for illithids, but pretend that it is psionics. I think that means that there are various ways to go with yaggol, but they definitely would work in some way.

I wouldn't have expected the Taladas novels to mention Spelljammer (or space in general) as a background for the yaggol, because they were described from the point of view of local people who were terrified of them and who avoided them as much as possible. You would really need a bunch of people to dig up an intact nautiloid ship to have a clue that the yaggol were once mind flayers. And if they crashed a naultiloid in a jungle, I'm not sure how long the ship would last.
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