[RPG] How are Githyanki effective against Mind Flayers

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The description of the Gith, particularly the Githyanki portrays them as deadly, implacable enemies of Mind Flayers, so much so that they took down the unbelievably vast and powerful ancient Illithid empire, and all but exterminated the brain-eaters.

Yet looking at their game stats in the Monster Manual reveals no major advantage the Githyanki possess. The average Githyanki is a CR 3, while their elite knights are CR 8. The average Mind Flayer is a CR 7, but has some pretty effective psionic powers compared to the Gith, who don't seem to have any particular resistance vs them. If you add in the variations and powers revealed in Volo's Guide, the Mind Flayers are even more formidable as a group.

Is there a description of the tactics the Gith employ against Mind Flayers that would allow them to all but exterminate them? They don't seem that mismatched, but the impression one gets from the text is that the Gith are the scourge of the Illithid.

I'm looking for either a game or game fiction source that describes how one race can so dominate the other despite only a tiny variance in stats. I would accept answers based on actual play experience, particularly if they point out some major factor I am missing.

Best Answer

The Githyanki had the help of Tiamat and the Red Dragons

On MM p. 159, it is mentioned that the githyanki are Red Dragon Riders -- that, in the uprising wherein they overthrew their Illithid masters, their leader Gith's advisor, Vlaakith (their now lich-queen ruler), sought the help of Tiamat. As a result of these dealings, Tiamat's partner Ephelomon accompanied Gith back into the Astral Plane, declaring that all of his allies would be allies of the githyanki as well, forever.

Not all Red Dragons honor this alliance, but at least most of them don't consider githyanki as enemies. And it is strongly implied that even to this day, githyanki are still Red Dragon Riders:

The githyanki plunder countless worlds from the decks of their astral vessels and the backs of red dragons.

Note that the bolded word is in present tense. They are still plundering countless worlds from the backs of red dragons.

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