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  • Strix Species

    In the Parlement of Owls chapter (and I think Rose mentioned it here once) we're told that the Strix aren't one type of thing, and are instead many different species. So I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on the different types of Strix.

    Looking at the examples, there are the Tarot-named ones (Lord of Irons, Thief of Masks, Lady of Shivs) but I'm missing any similarities they might share.

    Then there are Hantu and Black Cat, who seem straight up hateful/angry. Like, they are getting revenge.

    Old Man Marsh and Anna Red both are almost nihilistically violent.

    I don't really see much of a pattern in their behavior or their Banes or Dread Powers. Do any of you have ideas?
    Last edited by DubiousRuffian; 01-30-2019, 10:32 PM.

  • #2
    How are Lord of Irons, Thief of Masks, Lady of Shivs) Tarot themed?

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    • #3
      From a writing perspective, it could have been something they added in after the mechanics were set. They may have come up with the idea later in the process, and only then added it to the book without giving it much teeth (or with the intent to let each ST define other varieties or differentiate sub-types). So no real rules as of yet, but homebrew may help.

      I know that LostLight did a homebrew idea building on the Edimmu from Ancient Bloodlines as a counterpart of sorts to the Strix. He also created an expansion of the Ale concept from the end of the Dhampir chapter of "Half-Damned;" this concept ties the nature of the Ale to signs of the Strix, having the Strix leave them alone and even resembling a Strix spiritually.

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      • #4
        The only reference to another kind of Strix I caught was in one of the Tokyo right ups (Hurt Locker?) where it mentions shadow spirits who posses corpses, protect shrines from Vampires and have eyes that flash blue (as opposed to yellow).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
          The only reference to another kind of Strix I caught was in one of the Tokyo right ups (Hurt Locker?) where it mentions shadow spirits who posses corpses, protect shrines from Vampires and have eyes that flash blue (as opposed to yellow).
          That's the "tengu" from Werewolf (it's red, not blue).

          This is the bit DubiousRuffian is talking about from the corebook:
          Originally posted by Shadowed Past
          Where are the Strix from? They don’t know. The Birds of Dis have been in the world since the human race lit their first fires, hoping to ward off the dark. They aren’t spirits, they aren’t ghosts, and they aren’t demons — though some Sanctified vampires would beg to differ on that last one. Legends tangle them up with the hidden origins of vampires, merging with the first Kindred, providing the catalyst for the first Embraces, or uplifting the first postmortem Embraces into Kindred. There’s every reason to believe that, like the Kindred, they are many types of being with strong similarities, rather than a single “species.”
          Last edited by Satchel; 01-31-2019, 01:16 AM.


          Resident Sanguinary Analyst
          Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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          • #6
            Are you sure the Tengu aren't a form of Strix?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
              Are you sure the Tengu aren't a form of Strix?
              I didn't say they weren't, but they sure as heck aren't the only reference on the books to the Strix comprising a lot of different things huddled together under a big old parasol labeled "Birds of Dis."


              Resident Sanguinary Analyst
              Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
                How are Lord of Irons, Thief of Masks, Lady of Shivs) Tarot themed?
                Literally just their names are kind of tarot-y sounding. Initially, Lord of Irons and Lady of Shivs sound like evocative medieval titles. Anna Red is an urban-legend name, and a lot of these Strix are very old, so it would make sense to have anachronistic names/titles. But I don't think 'shiv' was a name back then. And The Thief of Masks strikes me as similarly evocative, but not a medieval title. So I just bundled those three together in my head as having tarot-sounding names. And I kind of like the image of each of those titles actually being their titles or names.

                Having just read their descriptions again, all three are going to end up creating riots and unrest, so they might be omens of doom.

                @EndlessKing
                Thinking about it, you are right, the idea might not have much crunch behind it. I could see the idea being that each "species" has a corresponding type of Strix story -- each type acts in a characteristic way. Given their approaches, the pattern I'm seeing is broadly:

                Experience-junkies - they cause chaos, but only because they don't care about consequences. Their primary goal seems that they just want to have fun and don't care that it hurts people. (Ms. Gem, night horrors, maybe Old Man Marsh, probably The Baron, Marty Braxton)

                Hates You - they fucking hate *you* personally and it is personal and you are going to suffer. I don't know that Varney fits here, but torturing one family for generations feels personal. (Hantu, Varney)

                Hates Humanity - they're trying to destroy people's lives, but it doesn't feel personal? It seems like they hate vampires as a whole, but Humanity in particular. Attacking you is incidental. (Black Cat, Thief of Masks, Ringmaster)

                Bring Down Society (Chaos/Violent) - they are working to destroy society, but it doesn't quite feel personal. They aren't after revenge. But they are personally violent and are bringing down society. (Anna Red, Lord of Irons, Black Cat)

                Bring Down Society (Social Manipulators) - they bring social chaos, but not by being personally violent. (Granny, Mr Scratch, Lady of Shivs)

                Also, I'll need to check out those homebrews.
                @2ptTakrill
                I'm down to make it headcannon. If 'Strix' is a means of bundling several different "species" based on certain similarities (vampiric/smoke/shadow/looks like an owl/corpse stealing), I see no reason not to have offshoots that are even further. Kind of the Formosae to their Kindred.

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                • #9
                  Who even says the strix all have to be offshoots? Maybe they are just different regional predators that adapted to hunt vampires in different regions with no relation. With the modern tech they are moving about and getting mixed up. In reality they have no connection but because of their habits get grouped.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RadioFreeDeath View Post
                    Who even says the strix all have to be offshoots? Maybe they are just different regional predators that adapted to hunt vampires in different regions with no relation. With the modern tech they are moving about and getting mixed up. In reality they have no connection but because of their habits get grouped.
                    Strix are not from this world, so why would they be limited to any particular region?

                    I mean sure, the tengu seem to be the Japanese equivalent of the strix, which we do not find here in Europe, so I guess they are limited to particular regions, but given their otherworldly origin, it's much more likely they're indeed offshoots from one and the same entity/phenomenon, just like how all humans and apes are offshoots from the same great ape ancestor.

                    Then again, who knows with these creatures. They're not from this world, so it would be foolish to think they're limited to our world's logic, so ultimately, your guess is as good as mine.

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                    • #11
                      If the Strix are one example of creatures that come from a particular Underworld then it wouldn't be much of a reach to have denizens from other Underworlds be mistakenly lumped in under that name. You could also create 'Strix' that are more focused on the other splats as opposed to Vampires.
                      Any ideas on what they could be? Werewolf ephemerals that aren't Spirits, or Mage ones that aren't Goetics or Abyssals?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                        If the Strix are one example of creatures that come from a particular Underworld then it wouldn't be much of a reach to have denizens from other Underworlds be mistakenly lumped in under that name. You could also create 'Strix' that are more focused on the other splats as opposed to Vampires.
                        Any ideas on what they could be? Werewolf ephemerals that aren't Spirits, or Mage ones that aren't Goetics or Abyssals?
                        That would kind of undermine what the strix are. What makes the strix... well... strix, is their vampirism. Strix might not be blood-drinking corpses with sharp fangs, but they're definitely vampires. That inherently ties them to the Kindred. That is not to say you can't have strix tormenting other splats, but their vampirism will always tie them back to the Kindred. If you'd take away the vampirism, you take away what makes them strix. It's the vampirism that sets the strix apart from the other spirits (and the strix are arguably not even spirits anyway, given that they are not ephemeral, they have a physical form, yes, it's smoke, but smoke is still physical matter, and they can't cross the Gauntlet, at best they can enter Twilight, but doing so traps them there, and getting out of Twilight again comes with a huge sacrifice for the strix).

                        That's my opinion at least.
                        Last edited by Ventrue Life; 02-24-2019, 12:13 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I mean, there are also vampires in the world that aren't Kindred. Changelings can be seen as a sort of vampire: they leech off people's strongest emotions, draining Willpower and leaving them exhausted and depressed. Psyvamps from Hurt Locker even more directly. Jiangshi, which steal life force in the form of breath, and Formosae, who take it through sex. Even the Atariya, as very distant cousins, who steal people's luck with a touch.

                          The Strix are definitely vampiric, but vampiric doesn't necessarily mean restricted to Kindred. A Strix creating a strain of Psyvamps might be an interesting plot hook. After all, Psyvamps drink breath instead of blood, just like a Strix…

                          To answer the question more directly, though, I could totally see certain other splat-specific antagonists being related to the Strix. The Maeljin in Werewolf, for example, come from a strange other place filled with shadows. I wouldn't make them actually be Strix, but the Strix and the Maeljin coming from the same "plane" could be an interesting piece of lore. Or perhaps a Tremere Mage makes a deal with a Strix, providing a steady supply of victims in exchange for the phylacteries created with Soul Bite. The possibilities here are endless.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                            To answer the question more directly, though, I could totally see certain other splat-specific antagonists being related to the Strix. The Maeljin in Werewolf, for example, come from a strange other place filled with shadows. I wouldn't make them actually be Strix, but the Strix and the Maeljin coming from the same "plane" could be an interesting piece of lore. Or perhaps a Tremere Mage makes a deal with a Strix, providing a steady supply of victims in exchange for the phylacteries created with Soul Bite. The possibilities here are endless.
                            I feel like I remember hearing that the Contagion Chronicles would include reasons for cross-splat antagonists to work together as well cross-splat protagonists. So we might get something like what you are describing.

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