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Dca5strix

Art courtesy of Holly Conrad

Strix is a player character by Holly Conrad. She is a Tiefling sorcerer, and she has a pet cranium rat named Stinky and an owlbear named Waffles.

Personality Edit

Strix is a paranoid and fearful individual, always ready to run away or hide. She doesn't like children and isn't one for physical contact, often disparaging Evelyn for hugging her, but she has accompanied her friends through dangerous circumstances nonetheless. Strix lacks basic manners and maintains a poor hygiene, exemplified by the collection of filthy oddities hoarded within her robes, including snacks which she refers to as "snicketty snooks." She speaks in a dialect known as planar cant.

As a child, Strix witnessed an unidentified monster slaughter dozens of innocents, but was spared for unknown reasons ("haunted one" past). She carries some form of survivor's guilt which drives her to try to make the world a better place (chaotic good alignment).[1] She puts no faith in deities,[2] although she has grown to respect Lathandar since she observed how much he helps Evelyn.[3]

Background (spoilers for season 1) Edit

Strix's background is still unclear. What is known is that she was born or summoned to the Wachter family in Barovia, along with her half-brother Izek, when she was very young. Calling herself Strix's aunt, Fiona Wachter claimed that she knew Strix's mother, "a lovely woman", and that "a deal was wrought to make [Strix]".[4]

Shortly afterwards, Strix and Izek were taken by the Vistani, under orders from Madame Eva, in order to protect them. Her brother escaped back to the town of Vallaki and was taken in by the burgomaster, becoming one of his henchmen. Strix grew up in the Hive (the slum district of Sigil) as an orphan, and supported herself through various jobs, which have included corpse collection and working as a pastry chef.[1] She learned to speak Infernal while in Sigil, but according to Chris Perkins, "despite years of being tutored by gnomes, she never mastered the art of talking to little furry critters".[5]

She has traveled to other planes by falling through portals or being transported there by others (she possesses no spells of her own to do so). After traveling to the Feywild, she stayed a few years with Baba Yaga, calling her "grandma".[2] During that time, she began to manifest sorcerer powers.

Eventually, her planar travels would land her on Toril, in or near the city of Waterdeep[6]. She had no money and was frightened of everyone, having to forage for food in the trash. She came to the attention of Diath Woodrow, who slowly befriended her and swore to protect her. They adventured together for several years, then ran into Evelyn Marthain at the Rusty Pommel Inn, where she defended Diath from accusations of thievery. The bard Paultin Seppa, who had been performing at the inn, decided to accompany them as they fled from the attention of the local guard. They adventured together for a short time before finding themselves camping outside the town of Daggerford, musing about finding waffles (henceforth becoming known as the Waffle Crew).

As an orphan from Sigil, she did not know her age (although it is later revealed that she was 32 at the start of DCA)[7] or her surname (which was also later revealed).[2,8] The only reason she even knew her first name was because 'Strix' had been written on her arm in green ink when she was found in the Hive.

Character Development (spoilers for seasons 2 & 3) Edit

When the Crew were transported back in time to Barovia, they attempted to stop Sergei and Tatyana's wedding in order to prevent Strahd from succumbing to the dark powers. However, their plan failed and Strahd killed Diath, Paultin and Evelyn, forcing Strix to flee and isolate herself in a swamp for fifty years. She learned how to take baths in goat's blood to keep herself from physically aging, although Waffles continued to grow older, and Stinky eventually passed away. Over the years, Strix befriended neighboring villagers and dusk elves, and to thank her, they bartered with the dark powers to help resurrect the Crew and Juniper the mouse. They also recovered all of Diath, Paultin and Evelyn's belongings (Strix had already lost several items by tossing them at Strahd, or being forced to sell them over time).

Initially, Strix's sheltered life prevented her from understanding how to interact with people. She shied away from Evelyn's attempts at friendship, although she eventually relented. She was also completely oblivious to Diath's approaches, with Holly even labeling her as asexual and aromantic.[9] However, having grown comfortable around the Crew, she chose to reject her own brother, saying that the Waffle Crew was her real family. When those friends were killed and she was forced to spend fifty years alone, she started to understand the power of those connections, such that she is now open to exploring deeper relationships.[3] While living in the swamp, Strix had fashioned dolls in the likeness of her friends to keep her company. She later gifted them to the Crew, as well as made promises not to run away, to be Evelyn's friend, and to provide Paultin with more wine.[6]

Strix was suddenly transported away from her party and onto the airship of Acquisitions Incorporated (AI), where she learned more about her background.[8] Omin had bought a contract that allowed him to summon the greatest member of the Skizziks clan, which turned out to be Strix. The Skizzikses were an old human family that made a deal with the devil Asmodeus to become tieflings. Asmodeus later became a god, and is presumed to be the origin of Strix's sorcerous power (Divine Soul).[10] Strix became an "indentured intern" to AI, but was allowed to return to the Crew after helping AI reach Omu. However, Strix later realized that she was being pursued by members of her family, who hired a Mercykiller to bring her back to Sigil. By this point, Strix had learned that running away was not an option if she was going to keep her new family safe. She offered herself up to the Mercykiller to save them, however the Crew managed to defeat him. Strix is now constantly worrying about their return, and has taken to drinking wine with Paultin to help calm her nerves.

When the Crew became trapped in Dendar's nightmare, Strix imagined a version of Ubtao who revealed that long ago the Skizzikses and Lorcatha (who had angelic aid) had been at war, and that an accord had to be forged to save the multiverse. Despite Strix later trying to get Diath to reveal what he knew, Diath remained closed-mouthed about his history. When the Crew later followed Paultin into the Shadowfell, Strix fell victim to a magical despair that made her even more fretful, but otherwise still sane. Just as they found Paultin, Strix was backstabbed twice by assassins, and was then once again teleported away by Omin.[11] Strix received healing from AI's C Team, and helped them on their mission to infiltrate a drow city in the Underdark. They bought her a magical watch and a petrified duergar as thanks, which she brought back with her to the Shadowfell, catching Paultin by surprise. The watch stopped time for all but elves, and Miranda managed to slip the ring off Paultin before Strix could cut off his finger. With the immediate crisis ended, Strix confronted Izek about the truth behind the Skizziks-Lorcatha situation, and he revealed that even their friendship risked "destroy[ing] everything". Refusing to accompany him back to Fiona to learn more, Strix turned Izek into a spider and left him behind. She used her mummified raven claw to help Meathook guide them to an area filled with death and a portal back to Chult. There, the group encountered a balhannoth that Strix tried to defeat with a fireball, but the flames were reflected back onto the party and both Evelyn and Simon died. Strix grew more insecure, feeling she couldn't do anything right, especially compared to Paultin whose magical abilities have progressively improved and who ultimately slew the monster.[12]

The portal brought them to the Sewn Sisters' lair, where Strix pretended to be a hag and they negotiated the retrieval of Shemeshka's items and a resurrection scroll in return for more hair. The hags also offered Shemshka's true name or the piece of Diath's soul Shemeshka had kept, in exchange for Strix carrying a hag child. Strix was too innocent to understand what that actually entailed, knowing only that she would do anything to save her friends, but Diath refused to let her. When they later encountered their clones the hags had made, and Strix saw Evalyn make out with evil Diath, Strix sent a fireball at them out of jealousy, even though that emotion confused her.[13]

Notable equipment (spoilers for season 3) Edit

  • Staff of the Horned Crescent[14] - black wooden staff with upward facing crescent at the top, marked with runes. Original staff was unmarked, which young Strix found useful for prodding corpses out of pools in Sigil.[15] Newest version can change form to a flying broom, cauldron, pie pan, quill with green ink, owlbear plushie, fishing pole or lantern
  • ring of protection +1 (blessed by St. Markovia)
  • Shemeshka's spellbook, i.e. 'X the Mystic's Arcane Grimoire' (according to Shemashka, it was stolen from her by Mr. Fox. It was retrieved by the Sewn Sisters)
  • magical pocket watch (can stop time for 2 seconds before it becomes too hot to hold; bought by the C Team from an Underdark merchant)[11] (the effect turns out to last much longer and not affect elves)
  • potion of stone to flesh (bought by the C Team from an Underdark merchant to reanimate Samite the duergar warrior)[11] (Samite's arm was broken off during the tavern's collapse, and he was left behind there as a statue)
  • piece of cloth cut from the robes of the Shadowfell's representative of Death
  • two gold coins salvaged from the remnants of a shadar-kai assassin's victim souvenirs
  • mummified raven's claw[2] (used as a scent for Meathook to track a location filled with death)
  • varnished basilisk's eye [2]
  • black wooden pipe that creates skull-shaped puffs of smoke [2]
  • broom of animated attack ("Whisky") (broken)
  • Driftglobe (lost; tossed at Strahd in episode 58)
  • Iron flask (can hold extra-planar beings once activated by a specific word, and force them to obey commands for one hour upon release) (lost or sold)[16]
  • tiny book about etiquette and manners given to Evelyn by her mother, along with a lucky four-leaf clover, bequeathed to Strix[17] (clover was stuffed into a potion by Strix, and the book was buried in Barovia as Evelyn's makeshift grave and now likely decomposed)[18]
  • A little black book that records your dreams, and yours alone, when you sleep (likely lost) [1]
  • Hag potions of laughter (likely lost), youth (used on Diath) and "mother's milk" (given to Dee)

Trivia Edit

References Edit

[1] Strix's character sheet: level 4.

[2] Strix's character sheet: level 9

[3] Waffle Talk: Discussing Dice, Camera, Action Episode 78.

[4] DCA Episode 7.

[5] DCA Episode 16.

[6] DCA Episode 73.

[7] DCA Episode 78.

[8] Acquisitions Incorporated Episode list. Penny Arcade.

[9] "I'm Holly! I play Strix! I know Magic! AMA!" DCA Reddit.

[10] Strix's Sorcerous Origin. DCA Reddit.

[11] Acquisitions Inc: C Team: S2 E7. Penny Arcade Website.

[12] Holly Conrad and Anna Prosser Robinson on Dice, Camera, Action's Third Season and the Dungeons & Dragons Livestream Experience. SyFy Wire.

[13] https://i.imgur.com/CoaxIAv.jpg. DCA ep 90 Twitch chat.

[14] https://twitter.com/HollyConrad/status/944689632079261696

[15] Tapped in the Birdcage, Ep 6. Twitch.com.

[16] https://mobile.twitter.com/hollyconrad/status/958376911742255104

[17] DCA Episode 52.

[18] https://imgur.com/aGEg9eQ. DCA Discord.