Ok, so the updated plan is for Andi to model this dragon this week as scheduled, and once the basic dragon model is there i will be able to begin rigging and set the joint placements.
This diagram above is a rough plan for the joint placements, i am thinking to use an IK Spline handle
Dynamically drive a joint chain with Hair in Maya
This tutorial just covers how i can stretch the joints and geometry - which can be used on tails or tentacles.
This second video looks like i could perhaps try this for allowing me to exaggerate the animation when looking at the sapphire.
Stretchy Spine IK
This looks awesome in that i can get the movement and twists of the neck of the dragon, but i'd need to figure out how he did this because it's not a tutorial. But i'm sure if i ask around and have a dig through google i can source how it was created.
Spline Ik Rig Setup pt2
The man in this tutorial has added control handles and the constraints to the clusters allow great control over the movement of the joints separately.
These are just some references i have looked at to understand the type of movement i can get from Spline IK Handles.