Strix (Does not have a name)Age:
does not know/ does not age.Gender/Pronouns:
depends on the body it inhabits.Physical:
Strix, in its true form, is a 4-foot-tall owl with luminous yellow eyes, that resembles Bubo Virginianus
(The Great Horned Owl), and is seemingly comprised of smoke (or some kind of inky black vapor) and pooled shadow that defy any nearby light source.
When possessing a dead body, it can be identified by its eyes, which glow with the same eerie yellow light as in its true form, and the dark vapor that often seeps out of open wounds. Mental:
Strix is a sadistic hedonist, possessed of a terrible, and devious cunning. It enjoys, above all things, sensations. Its nights are spent seeking them out, and binging, glutting itself until completely satisfied.
Smells, tastes, and most feelings are all perfectly fine in Strix's opinion, but only in moderation, or as a light snack between meals. Strix covets most a depth of flavor. A rich, lavish, and hearty savoriness that it finds only abject misery can provide. It is absolutely ruthless in its pursuit of its coveted meal, and is not above using its shadowy talons, and sharp beak to cause direct harm to its victims if the need arises. But, Strix's cruelty does have its limits. As soon as it is satisfied, it stops its mischief immediately, seeking out other avenues of entertainment instead.
It enjoys watching movies-- comedies and horror to be specific. However, it finds modern horror movies, and toilet humor to be distasteful, and lacking in subtlety. As such, it often gravitates towards the classics.
It is unknown what the exact extent of its personality beyond that is, as Strix is a consummate (and possibly compulsive) liar, and its self-description varies from one telling to the next.Supernatural:
Strix has an entire host of supernatural abilities, that have been broken down into neat, little categories for ease of reading, and convenience:Basic Powers:
Strix's basic abilities draw more from its physical state (or lack thereof) than any innate magical ability.Shadow Form/Materialize
: Strix's body is made of shadow. It is immune to most physical damage, and is unaffected by physical impediments.
If it does encounter something blocking its path, Strix can flow, mist-like, or travel as a shadow along the ground, or walls, as long as there is an opening (for example, it can flow under a door, or through the keyhole, or through cracks in a wall, provided there is an opening on the other end). If Strix encounters something that does not have an opening (unbroken window, bank vault, air-tight container), it can attempt to phase through, though this process is quite slow, and takes far more effort that Strix would prefer.
The tradeoff is that Strix are weakened by bright light, and can be barred from entry by both flame, and sunlight. Sunlight, unlike artificial light, is actually harmful to Strix, and prolonged exposure can be fatal.
While materialized, Strix is affected by physical damage and obstacles like a normal bird, but can attack with both its talons and beak, and can absorb life force by eating.Owl Eyes
: The Strix can see unimpeded without any light, and much like a regular owl, can swivel their heads around to give them a large field of vision. Drink Breath:
While misery is a delicacy among the Striges, it is not what nourishes them. All Strix are able to drain the life force of living creatures to sustain themselves. Draining life requires that Strix be close to its victim, and that its victim be either restrained, or asleep.Possess Corpse/Raise Strigoi:
Strix is able to possess the dead (and only the dead, for now). While in a body, Strix can not use any of its abilities, and must absorb life the old-fashioned way (IE: Biting someone/ eating flesh), much like when materialized.
Strix is protected from sunlight while possessing a body, but can not move while the sun is shining down on it. The body is still susceptible to rot (and may break down faster, depending on how much wear and tear Strix puts it through), and wounds do not heal despite how much life force Strix absorbs. This might be because Strix is only focused on feeding itself, and doesn't actually care about what happens to its current meat-suit, or it could be that the body is not capable of retaining life because it lacks a soul.
If it chooses, Strix may expend a large portion of its power, and suffuse the corpse it is inhabiting with its dark essence. Upon leaving the body, it will animate of its own accord, becoming a strigoi.
Strigoi are mindless, shambling things, driven solely by their hunger for the life force that they lack. The dark essence the strix left behind now allows them to draw on the vitality of the living, and sustain themselves, but only to a degree.
Like vampires, Strigoi are exceptionally weak to sunlight, and will melt away if exposed to it, leaving behind a smoking skeleton, and a greasy, black puddle where their flesh melted off.
If, however, a Strigoi manages to survive for long enough, they will begin to exhibit powers very similar to the Strix. It is rumored that the dark essence inside a long-lived Strigoi will one day escape, becoming a new Strix. Doom Powers:
In a lot of cultures, owls are seen as ill omens, portents of misfortune, and heralds of doom. As an embodiment of this trait, all Strix have an innate knowledge of fate, that manifests as their Doom Sense, and these powers. Doom Sense:
Like all of his kind, Strix is instinctually drawn to misery and tragedy, whether it has happened yet or not. Upon entering an area, Strix is immediately aware of any place where some great calamity has happened, or will happen, and is compelled to go there. See The Cracks:
With a glance, Strix can see the darkness in a person's soul. With this ability, it can pinpoint a person's worst traits, that it can exploit. Tip of The Tongue/ "Your next line is":
With its knowledge of fate, Strix can accurately predict what someone is going to say next, or rather, make a very educated guess, allowing it to lead a conversation, or appear to agree with its victims in order to better manipulate them. Web of Destiny:
Strix has the ability to perceive immediate possible futures. They appear to it as a massive, tangled web. By expending a portion of its power, Strix can strike at the strands, altering the course of events slightly (such as the outcome of a coin flip, for instance).Shadow Powers:Sudden Surprise:
Strix is able to blend in with the shadows, and then pop out of the shadows suddenly to attack.Talons of Fury:
Some Strix are more than just smoke and shadow. When materialized, Strix's talons are extra sharp, powered up by the shadows. Smoke and Mirrors:
Strix has learned to manipulate shadows outside its own body. With this ability, it can create illusory shapes to frighten and harass its victims, among other things. If it expends a bit more of its power, Strix can make the shadows more solid. Granted, its illusions still aren't able to deal any damage, but they can be used to form a very effective barricade. Background:
No one is really sure where the Striges came from, not even the Striges. But, there is a tale that all Striges know, and that they all tell, in one fashion or another, when asked.
Long ago, the founders of an ancient, dying city looked for a way to change their fate. They wandered near and far, but found no answer to their problem. At length, they grew weary, and began a slow trek home, heads hung in shame. Along the way, however, they became lost in a dark forest of dead trees. They stumbled their way to the very heart of it; a shadowy grove, at the center of which stood a tall, skeletal tree. And it was there that the founders saw them.
They saw the owls, staring down at them with their malevolent, yellow eyes.
Delirious and desperate, the founders begged and pleaded for a way to change their fate. It isn't clear if the owls took pity on them, or if they foresaw some grand benefit to granting the founders their wish, but at length, they proposed a deal. The specifics of it aren't clear, but the founders agreed, and were carried back by the shadows of the forest.
And for years since, the Striges watched. Unfortunately, the founders were not keen on honoring the deal, and reneged. And then The Striges vowed to wipe them, and their bloodline from the earth.
In that vow, they were all united. With that vow, they had direction. They had purpose.
And they finally succeeded, and the very last of the founders' line had died, and the Striges were free
And then, the Striges had no purpose. No direction. And then, they languished in their boredom, and took to spreading chaos to while away their time.
This particular Strix doesn't believe any of that nonsense, mostly because it was told to him by other Striges-- and they're an untrustworthy lot.
Then again, the story is at least something, and Strix isn't actually sure about its past. As far it knows, one day, the shadows just vomited it up, and everything after that is a blur.
It does, however, remember recently. Recently, it had been stuck in a large city. Strix forgets the name, but it was bright, and loud, and full of the living. It remembers going on a bender, of sorts. It recalls having burned through a lot of bodies, and trying a few things that it hadn't thought of before. The list was getting shorter and shorter all the time. It remembers that it was growing bored with all of it. The city, the people, everything. Even misery lost its flavor.
So, Strix decided to go home, back to the shadows that spawned it. After all, what else was there to do?
It was languishing. It was bored. Maybe there was some truth to the story after all?
But, when it tried to return to the darkness, something went wrong. It opened its eyes, and saw that it was in a cold, dimly lit room, surrounded by the dead, and the flickering, flourescent lights hurting its eyes. There was a peculiar feeling in the air that elicited what felt briefly like excitement from Strix.
It didn't recognize this place. It became curious.
What went wrong?
Where was it?
What was that feeling in the air?
What kind of trouble could it get into here? And then, Strix wasn't bored anymore.Notes:
Tootsie Pop references are its berserk button. It will make you suffer if you ask it how many licks it takes. Don't do it!