Dragonlance

Tayling

2105



Tayling
 TaylingTaylang
Climate/Terrain:Tropical/IslandTropical/Island
Frequency:Very rareVery rare
Organization:Solitary or small villagesSolitary or small villages
Activity Cycle:DayAny
Diet:HerbivoreCarnivore
Intelligence:Very (11-12)Average (8-10)
Treasure:K (I)J
Alignment:Neutral goodChaotic neutral
No. Appearing:1 or 10-1001 or 10-100
Armor Class:10 (8)6
Movement:1215
Hit Dice:48
THAC0:1713
No. of Attacks:13
Damage/Attack:1-4l-8/1-8/2-12+2
Special Attacks:SpellsKilling rage
Special Defenses:Immune to all Enchantment/Charm spellsImmune to all Charm sphere priest spells
Magic Resistance:10%Nil
Size:M (5’ tall)M (7’ tall)
Morale:Steady (11)Average (9)
XP Value:2,0001,400

Inhabiting an isolated jungle island in the middle of the Courrain Ocean, the taylings are a race of intelligent humanoids. Every birth results in twins, one bestial (taylang) and the other demihuman (tayling). The minds of the twins are telepathically linked, sharing each other’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences as if they inhabited the others body.

From the moment of birth, the twins cannot bear to be apart and are never voluntarily separated by more than a mile, which is the limit of their telepathic connection. If a separation does occur, the tayling becomes anxious and irrational, fearing something has happened to his twin, while the taylang simply becomes vicious, attacking anything in sight. Even after being reunited, the twins are seldom the same after such an experience. The tayling usually becomes unbalanced and paranoid, and is apt to accuse friends and acquaintances of plotting to cause him harm. The taylang grows unpredictable and violent, behaving affectionately one moment and attacking to kill in the next. Should the pair remain separated for a fortnight or more the tayling stops eating and wastes away. The taylang usually kills itself by attacking some creature of great power.

Though always vaguely human in form, the taylang may resemble any sort of woodland creature from a great bear to a slinky reptile. It is usually large, in the neighborhood of seven feet tall, and quite husky. In contrast, the tayling is rather small, with alabaster skin, a delicate frame, and possessed of fine features resembling those of an elf.

Combat: In combat, the twins make an efficient fighting machine. With his great strength and speed the brutish taylang is a natural fighter and warrior. On the other hand, the intelligent tayling is a cunning tactician and natural spellcaster. Given these complementary abilities and the capability of coordinating strategy telepathically, it is little wonder that these creatures receive several benefits in battle.

First, due to their telepathic connection, the twins receive two initiative benefits: They are surprised only on a roll of 1, and they receive a -1 bonus to their initiative roll each round. Second, they have a 75% chance of recognizing enemy spellcasters before the battle begins, and they receive a +1 bonus to their saving throws. Third, because the tayling telepathically knows the taylang’s condition at all times, the tayling can sometimes prevent his twin from falling unconscious or dead, even after the taylang’s hit points have fallen below 0. If the tayling possesses any means of healing his twin, such as spells, potions, or similar capabilities, he can use his next action to heal the taylang. Assuming the results restore the taylang to positive hit points, it is treated as if it had never died – no system shock or resurrection survival roll is needed.

During the battle itself, the most common tactic for tayling twins is for the taylang to hold the opponent at bay while the tayling uses spells to ensure a combat advantage. Taylings can cast spells either as wizards or priests varying in levels from 1-10. Wizards always choose their spells from the Alteration school, and priests only have major access to the Elemental sphere.

After the tayling casts his spells, the taylang then closes in to finish the job, supported by the tayling’s spells, or by physical attacks if need be.

Should one of the twins perish in battle, the survivor immediately loses its initiative and saving throw bonuses. However, the survivor enters a maniacal state of mind and attacks without regard to its own safety. For the tayling, this means casting the most destructive spells it knows, without regard to personal safety, then attacking hand-to-hand. The taylang enters a killing rage, during which it receives a +3 bonus to its attack roll, can keep attacking until reaching -20 hit points, and shrugs off all effects of magic. For example, if the tayling twin is killed during round two of battle, and an enemy mage casts a color spray on the taylang at the beginning of round three, the taylang ignores the effects of the spell.

As outlined above, a lone tayling twin that survives a battle soon perishes. For this reason, it is exceptionally difficult to make tayling twins flee combat. Neither twin flees unless the other is also fleeing. In effect, both twins must decide to flee, before either leaves.

For this same reason, a surviving tayling twin never forgives its twin’s killers. Should a party flee after killing a twin, the other hunts the party down and mercilessly attempts to slay every person involved in the twin’s death.

Among the taylings, war is unknown, for their villages have always co-existed peacefully. Should organized combat become necessary, however, it is extremely doubtful that they could adapt to the rigid structure and discipline required to forge a successful army. It seems most likely that they would use the rugged jungle terrain of their island home to engage in guerilla warfare.

Habitat/Society: The tayling species inhabits an isolated jungle island located far out in the Courrain Ocean, and remain blissfully unaware of the violent forces shaping the rest of Krynn. Their island, which they simply call Land, is the result of a large volcanic upthrust. At its center rises a huge, still-active volcano that sends a constant plume of steam and smoke into the atmosphere. From a distance, this makes Land appear to be nothing more than a cumulus cloud. (Perhaps this accounts for the fact that it remains undiscovered and uncharted even today.) The flanks of the volcano, which the taylings call Pillar-That-Holds-The-Sky, are covered with dense fields of ice. These glaciers are the source of the cool streams that keep Land watered and lush.

At sea level, Land is a jungle paradise, populated with all manner of beasts and plant. Food is plentiful and the weather is moderate, so the taylings living here experience little strife, other than occasionally falling prey to the ferocious animals that roam the jungle. As one might expect, those living at sea level tend to view life as a merry party.

Higher up Pillar-That-Holds-The-Sky’s slopes, life is not so pleasant. Here, the weather is colder and the land more barren, so those who choose to abide here have developed a harsher outlook on life and tend to be harder workers than their low-elevation fellows. The taylings here must work harder to raise their crops in narrow terraces built into the flanks of Pillar-That-Holds-The-Sky, and the taylangs must spend more time and trouble hunting. They regard low-elevation taylings and taylangs as lazy no-goods who would rather sleep all day than do any work. (Their low-elevation cousins find this rather amusing. They cannot understand what possesses their relations to live at high altitude and waste all their time trying to scratch a living out of the volcano’s flanks. At the base of the Pillar there is plenty of everything just for the taking.)

At both high and low elevations, the taylings live in individual huts in villages. The taylangs lead a more feral existence, prowling around the outskirts and hunting by night. Needless to say, it is very difficult to sneak up on a tayling village.

Not surprisingly, both the high-altitude and low-altitude taylings view the Pillar-That-Holds-The-Sky as the ultimate deity. They attribute it with making the land upon which they live, bringing forth the plants they eat, and spewing up the air which they breathe. Therefore, the low- and high-elevation taylings cooperate in maintaining a small monastery at the icy summit. It is the duty of the priests who reside here to constantly express the gratitude of the tayling people. In return, the rest of the tayimg population supplies the monastery with food, clothing, and other necessities.

The monastery sends a priest to each village to act as the local spiritual guide and counselor. At the high elevations, this priest serves the function of a chief and has authority over all aspects of community life, from planting to procreation. Priests serving in low-elevation villages, however, are seen as little more than party organizers for the many festivals of celebration.

At both low and high elevations, procreation is one of the more complicated aspects of tayling life. Like everything else in life, the twins must make their choices together, and must select another pair of twins as mates. Because the twins can be any mix of sexes (both female, female taylang and male tayling, male taylang and female tayling, or both male), finding a compatible set of twins can be quite difficult. The taylang twin must make his/her selection first, as the differences in taylang forms can limit his/her range of mates. The tayling twin then investigates the other pair’s tayling and, ideally, finds that the tayling is of the correct sex and attractive. When these arrangements are finally completed, both twins mate with their counterparts in the opposite pair.

No permanent bonds are formed between pairs of twins for no attachment could possibly be as great as that between the twins themselves. After the mating, the twin pairs part ways. A year later, the females give birth to a set of twins. The twins are raised by their mothers, with only occasional and accidental contact with their fathers. If a pair of twins is unlucky enough to consist of two males, it never enjoys the privilege of raising children.

Ecology: Taylangs subsist soiely on a diet of fresh meat, which they take great pleasure in hunting. Taylings are vegetarians. At low elevations, they meet their needs solely by gathering wild fruit, nuts, berries, and etc. At high elevations, they spend incredible amounts of effort and energy farming the grams that form the staples of their diet. When great strength is needed, such as during plowing, they often enlist the reluctant help of their taylang siblings.


Last Modified: January 23, 2014, 17:12:20 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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