Yahg background Information

All information presented herein is taken from Myetel’s Spirit of Redemption fanfiction. Canonical information can be found on Mass Effect Wiki, http://masseffect.wikia.com.

Biology

From Chapter 113: Perspectives and Awakenings:

Dara looked off into the mid-distance. "Everywhere that intelligence evolves," she said, quietly, reflectively, "it evolves as a result of predation and need. Early humans weren't the most survivable mammals around. They weren't as strong as bears or as fast as lions. They needed intelligence to find food and get away from predators. Turians, same thing. Little faster than humans, naturally, but a more aggressive ecosystem around them. Krogan, well," she looked at Makur and smiled faintly, "everyone knows Tuchanka's a deathtrap of ecology. Krogan again developed intelligence as a survival trait, but they have the massive regeneration and the redundant bodily systems, too." Dara pointed at the frozen image of the yahg on the screen. "We're looking at something that should not, by any evolutionary pattern we've ever seen before, have intelligence."

Everyone in the room stopped and looked at her. Sam shifted in his chair beside Lantar. "How's that?"

"Enormously strong, like a bear. Poison bite, should be enough for predation and to deter other predators, like a snake. All the eyes, that's a hell of a lot of the brain taken up by the optic cluster. Apparently, some of them are scent hunters, too. That's another big chunk of the brain dedicated to sorting that sort of feedback. The bodies are massive—they have a secondary heart, low in the bowels, to help them pump blood through their bodies. What I'm saying here is, so much of their brain is dedicated to just doing the business of living, that they should only have instinct. And yet, they don't." Dara shrugged. "I'm sorry. I'm rambling."

Eli glanced at her. "Interesting rambling, though. Where are you going with this?"

Dara frowned. "I'm not sure, honestly."

"How about this," Siara offered, leaning forward, her eyes intent. "The yahg's instinctive urges may overpower their intelligence. If true, that's a weakness we can exploit."

Lantar nodded. "We've used their desire to hunt against them a couple of times. Rinus designed a very effective trap for them. Got them to chase a couple of Hammerheads, led them into a parking garage that he'd rigged to implode, and then detonated the explosives. End result: all three crews, including Rel, Melaani, and Seheve got free in time, and we killed about four hundred yahg."

Siara leaned back, making a rude noise. "Well, if you have the answers already… "

Dara shook her head. "Actually, I was thinking at a different level, I guess. I was thinking more, on what kind of a world would something like that need to evolve intelligence to survive?" She pointed at the picture again. "I think it would have to be worse than Tuchanka."

"Thanks," Makur told her, dryly.

"And by worse I mean more challenging," Dara told the krogan, scarcely missing a beat.


History

M'nav nodded. "Their homeworld is half jungle, half desert. Scorching hot. No ionosphere, so heavy radiation, like Palaven. And almost all the animals there are gargantuan, as I said earlier. They also have a wide variety of parasites and more tropical diseases than you can imagine. As such… they developed stealth technology very early. Their history is, incidentally, one bloodbath after another. Regional warlords pitted against one another. Feudal, hierarchical structures, at best. The females and the children are more or less protected, but the males are either hunting or fighting from the moment they come of age. As such, almost all of their scientists are female. And most of them have either dedicated themselves to finding ways to heal their people, or finding more efficient ways of killing. Their medical research is, honestly, staggering. There are plants in that jungle that they've developed into refined medicines… and very refined poisons. And they weaponized disease very early in their history, too. They told me a story of how a female, left clanless, deliberately infected herself with a hideous disease, and then allowed herself to be captured by the clan who'd killed her own. Every warrior of that clan mated with her, in the hopes of strong offspring… and, of course, to spit on the memory of the clan they'd destroyed. Inside of two weeks, not one person from the victorious clan was left alive. The female who had brought the disease to them? She cured herself. She's a cultural heroine. They chant her tale to their children as a bedtime story. Think about it." He paused. "Oh, and writing? They don't have it, other than mathematics. They didn't have computers. Consider that. They achieved spaceflight without writing or computers. All astrogation done with slide-rules and mental calculation."

— Chapter 125, Relations


Culture

"Are all their pilots female?"

M'nav toasted him with the water glass. "Yes. Without exception. Each regional alpha or leader is male… and he has an entire harem of females. The one I dealt with had fifty wives."

"How very Genghis Khan," Shepard muttered, rubbing at her face.

M'nav shrugged. "I don't know who that is, but I will say that Urukhurr… that's the alpha I dealt with… had a primary wife. And she was frighteningly intelligent. I only met her once, but I suspect she's the one who took our partial schematics of engines and began figuring them out.

— Chapter 125, Relations


"Did you get anything from him on the physical size of the females?" he asked.

Eli thought about it, sifting through several days' of interrogations in his mind. "They're smaller. Sexual dimorphism, more extreme than in turians or humans, I guess."

Rel nodded. "Fits with him saying that their alphas have large circles of wives. Typically, in species with pronounced sexual dimorphism, where one gender is much larger than the other, they tend to have harems." He frowned. "And, credits to kaulis, only alphas have breeding rights. They probably spend a fair bit of time proving themselves, defending their harems, and so on. Of course, since they're sapient, when an alpha is killed, the new alpha might have to be accepted by the females."

"The way a krogan clan-leader can't rule without the backing of the female clan," Eli noted.

— Chapter 125, Relations


"The females are apparently the source of cultural stability and progress. They handle all science, medicine, engineering, and even piloting, apparently. Given that, they're probably also the lorekeepers. The ones who keep history alive. That frees the males up to be… very specialized. Pure hunters, pure warriors." He shrugged. "Uncomplicated."

— Chapter 125, Relations

Dictionary


Government

We know they have no centralized leadership. Maybe we can make a deal with some other alpha on their world, to go after, um… . Urukhurr. Not that that will take care of the ones already on Alliance worlds, but it would keep Urukhurr from sending any more people off his planet." Eli grimaced. "Of course, then we'd have to arm whatever alpha we send against Urukhurr."

"At the moment, with advanced weapons and ships, he's probably threatening to dominate all other regional warlords on their planet," Rel pointed out. "The other alphas would be very willing to turn on him, I suspect. For their own safety, because his first move will probably be to kill them and appoint males loyal to him in their place. Assuming, of course, that he can appoint his own males." Rel frowned. "If his males have to fight the lieutenants loyal to the deposed leader… could take a while to solidify his hold on their territories."

"So between that and the fact that the yahg have limited numbers of ships," Shepard said, thoughtfully, "we'd have an explanation for why the yahg haven't been sending their own reinforcements."

"Still, he's been sending a lot of men," Dempsey said, thoughtfully. "Maybe not all from his own hierarchy, after all. Maybe he's got a couple of different lower warlords who've been contributing men."

"Which would explain the differences in fighting styles between different planets," Rel said, his eyes lighting up.

Shepard sighed. "So… can we negotiate, at all, with any of them?" She made a face. "I keep thinking back to the first yahg I killed. The, ah… one on Argus' ship, before she took over." She glanced around warily, as if looking for listening devices. "Everything I learn about the yahg tells me more about why he was exceptional. He was smaller than the ones we're seeing… and a hell of a lot smarter. He understood writing—wait." She paused. "Actually… he might not have," she said, in a tone of realization. "Ye gods. Maybe that's why the damned VI assistant was so damned broken. All he needed was to be told information… which the VI assistant did for him… and have a good memory. All the consoles… those could have been from the, er, previous owner… ." She trailed off, clearly thinking rapidly. Re-assessing things. "Still," Shepard went on, after a moment, "he was clearly highly intelligent."

"He was a hunter of information," Lantar said, quietly. "And a damned good one. He channeled it. An exception, a way forward, but one that his people clearly haven't embraced. And he clearly understood cut-throat politics. Coming from that world… who wouldn't?"

Eli shook his head now. He understood that they were talking about the Shadow Broker. Who'd owned the ship where his mom and his brothers and sisters were taking refuge right now. "Okay, that being said? I don't think we could negotiate with the males."

"You're right," Rel said, leaning forward and putting his hands on the table, frowning. "The males probably conduct all the alliances… which are solely temporary things. Conveniences, to be broken the instant one side shows weakness. The females are apparently more intelligent, but they don't have the political power. They probably advise their leaders… and the leaders, if successful, probably listen to their females… but we wouldn't be able to get to the females to talk to them. An alpha would ring his females with bodies, rather than allow an outsider to have contact with them."

— 125, Relations


Military

Military Classes:

Class: Yahg shocktrooper
Weapons: Assault rifles, Shotgun, Grenade launcher
Abilities:
Ogre strength: Yahg shocktroopers rely on their enormous physical strength and near-physical invulnerability to work in close combat. They are fully capable of lifting a grown man and beating his brains out against a wall. Alliance combat doctrine recommends close combat with a krogan over with a yahg.
Rend: A yahg who engages in close combat with a humanoid enemy can, on successful grapple checks, begin to tear the combatant’s limbs from their sockets.
Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth: Yahg have a mouthful of teeth and a bite like a komodo dragon. They have a poison in their fangs that necrotizes flesh.
Freight Train: A yahg shocktrooper charges at a run, in a straight line, for his target. Treat as a bull rush. Propels target backwards by 10’, or, if into a wall behind them, does double damage.

Class: Yahg hunter
Weapons: Sniper rifle, pistol
Abilities:
Stealth
Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth: Yahg have a mouthful of teeth and a bite like a komodo dragon. They have a poison in their fangs that necrotizes flesh.
Ogre strength: Yahg shocktroopers rely on their enormous physical strength and near-physical invulnerability to work in close combat. They are fully capable of lifting a grown man and beating his brains out against a wall. Alliance combat doctrine recommends close combat with a krogan over with a yahg.
Scent-tracking: Yahg hunters are the only yahg who use their sense of smell to hunt. They can track like a bloodhound. Sterilizing your hardsuit may help. It also might just leave the scent of alcohol wipes in your trail.
Infrared tracking: Yahg hunters have NV built into their visors, and can follow heat trails left on the ground.

Class: Yahg biotic
Weapons: Pistol
Abilities:
"Move" (Throw/lift/Pull combined as one telekinetic ability, as actually makes sense outside of a 'game' context)
Shockwave
Warp
Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth: Yahg have a mouthful of teeth and a bite like a komodo dragon. They have a poison in their fangs that necrotizes flesh.
Ogre strength: Yahg shocktroopers rely on their enormous physical strength and near-physical invulnerability to work in close combat. They are fully capable of lifting a grown man and beating his brains out against a wall. Alliance combat doctrine recommends close combat with a krogan over with a yahg.
Rend: A yahg who engages in close combat with a humanoid enemy can, on successful grapple checks, begin to tear the combatant’s limbs from their sockets.


Notable People


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