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Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 313
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Strix (used as both the singular and plural term) are a race of dark-winged humanoids who live in only a single region in all Avistan: the forsaken rocky spires on Cheliax's west coast known as the Devil's Perch. Grisly tales told by the local human population has made them the target of much hatred and fear; in truth, the strix wish mainly to be left alone.
Strix resemble humans in size and build, but are distinguished by their jet black skin, their 12-foot, raven-like wingspan, and their strange facial features. Strix have pointed ears, slitted nostrils, and eyes without pupils which, due to their large size, appear to glow in the half-light of the evening. Their eyes are fixed within their head, so to look around they have to move their entire head making them look either slow and sombre or jerky and skittish depending on how fast they move. Strix stand just over six feet tall, but considering their size, are quite light, weighing around 170 pounds.
Habitat and ecology
Devil's Perch is the only place in all of Avistan that the strange strix can be found. Most strix clans live among the rocky spires of the Perch itself, although at least one group, the Kitkasiticka tribe, lives in the Ravounel Forest to the north of Devil's Perch proper.
Their presence has given the area a dark reputation with surrounding human communities. The strix consider all the land they can see from their largest settlement at Ciricskree (the so-called Shrieking Spire) as their own, and they are fiercely territorial. Strix are not particularly fecund creatures, leading them to value every member of their society. Strix normally live to around 40 years old, though if they are lucky, they can reach 60. Strix are also nocturnal creatures, their large eyes helping them to see better in the dark, while their black colouring makes them virtually invisible against the night sky.
Strix society is small and isolationist, and as a result is very tight knit. While the strix would like nothing more than to dwell peacefully amongst the rocky heights of Devil's Perch, centuries of bloodshed and superstitious hatred from the neighbors in Cheliax have created a species-wide siege mentality. Strix have developed a deep hatred of humans; the precise origin of this hate is uncertain, but it is known that they deeply resent human intrusions and besiegement. Due to their limited numbers, strix have a very close-knit family structure, effectively all belonging to a single extended tribe. Within this tribe all work together to ensure the species' survival. Murder is unknown except when committed by outsiders. The strix respond to these occasional murders in kind, but as humans outnumber them so greatly, they do not hesitate to take dozens, even hundreds of lives in revenge for the death of one of their own. Their isolationist nature has led them to assume that human society is as tight-knit as their own, so they assume that the deeds of one human represent those of all others and take vengeance indiscriminately.
Perhaps the most feared of all Devil's Perch rebels are the strix witches who make pacts with dark forces. Their hexes and arcane magic allow them to infiltrate their enemies and pick them off one by one in darkness and silence.
The Strix language is a strange creole of Azlanti and Infernal, and can be understood by those who speak both languages, adding further to the mystery of their origin and the possibility of some sort of supernatural punishment. The strix refer to their race as itarii in their own language.
According to their own legends (ones never told to outsiders), the strix do not believe Devil's Perch to be their homeland. Legends claim the strix were delivered to their current home in a terrible green storm that sent the vicious and undeserving far from their original home. Here they were to suffer until the end of the sun. The sun did seem to end with the coming of the Age of Darkness, and the creatures thought that this freed them from their previous punishment. During the Age of Darkness, the strix lived more as beasts than people. This lasted until they found a fortress of stone next to the fish-filled ocean which was tall enough to be safe from the beasts of the land.
These legends still stain the strix's perspective, and most believe that they are still cursed for some ancient misdeed. While some would dismiss these legends as mere myth, images on scrolls in the library of Iadara in Kyonin have led to speculation of a relationship with winged humanoids among the men of Azlant and the elves of Adarshavir.
During the Even-Tongued Conquest of 4081 AR, Aspex was able to convince the strix to join in his insurrection against the Taldan Empire. After he won independence, however, the strix rejected his offer to join his newly-established nation, preferring to be left alone.
The strix lived in isolation for some time after the Even-Tongued Conquest, but Chelish expansion into Devil's Perch eventually caused a hostile relationship to develop between the strix and Cheliax. The growing presence of human settlements in what the strix considered their land, despite the original agreement with Aspex that would have guaranteed their independence, led the strix to consider outsiders untrustworthy and hungry for their land. Likewise, retributory attacks by the strix on human settlements close to and within Devil's Perch led the Chelaxians to consider the winged humanoids to be dangerous and violent.
The increase of doubt and distrust of outsiders within strix society is believed to have also affected their internal unity. Strix clans grew to distrust one another as well and to interpret slights from other strix tribes as signs of betrayal or as insults. This eventually led to the divergence of their clans into multiple separate and culturally distinct entities.
Paizo published the article "Ecology of the Strix" in The Kintargo Contract.
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
- Mike Ferguson, Sean K Reynolds, and F. Wesley Schneider. (2009). Bestiary. The Bastards of Erebus, p. 82. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-190-9
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 11. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Jim Groves. (2016). The Kintargo Contract. The Kintargo Contract, p. 40. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-800-7
- Robert Brookes. (2016). Ecology of the Strix. The Kintargo Contract, p. 73. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-800-7
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 313. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Robert Brookes. (2016). Ecology of the Strix. The Kintargo Contract, p. 70. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-800-7
- John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, et al. (2013). Inner Sea NPC Codex, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-594-5
- John Compton et al. (2015). Inner Sea Monster Codex, p. 55. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-752-9
- Mike Ferguson, Sean K Reynolds, and F. Wesley Schneider. (2009). Bestiary. The Bastards of Erebus, p. 83. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-190-9
- Jim Groves, James Jacobs, Rob McCreary, et al. (2012). Inner Sea Bestiary, p. 51. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-468-9
- Robert Brookes. (2016). Ecology of the Strix. The Kintargo Contract, p. 69. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-800-7
- Jonathan H. Keith, Colin McComb, Steven E. Schend, Leandra Christine Schneider, and Amber E. Scott. (2009). Cheliax, Empire of Devils, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-191-6