Stryxis

From Lexicanum

The Stryxis are a race of wandering xenos traders that many consider to be untrustworthy. They established a permanent presence in the asteroids and system on the edge of the God-Emperor’s Scourge storm, in the Koronus Expanse, though most roam the region as nomadic tribes in fleets of barely space-worthy ships trading anything they feel to be of interest.

None truly know the origins of this species that have a reputation for being wanderers, traders, merchants and keepers of secrets. Their scattered nomadic tribes roam as bands throughout the region of the Koronus Expanse where they make their way through the stars in order to trade with all those they encounter. The Stryxis have since developed a reputation for being untrustworthy scoundrels but despite this being the case there are many who still deal with them should they manage to overcome their hideous appearance. The only known home of these xenos is their ramshackle barely operable caravans of voidships. It is widely known that these xenos take any vessel that they can find to be remotely space-worthy whereupon they convert it into a viable vessel for their needs.

In terms of appearance, the Stryxis appear truly hideous to human eyes with them being described as gangling, multi-eyed xenos beings who share a general appearance. An oddity amongst their kind is that there does not appear to be any gender variations and their young has not been encountered by outsiders. As such, outsiders do not know how these xenos breed and the Stryxis themselves tend to avoid discussing this topic. Their pugnacious faces have an upturned nose that is faintly reminiscent of Terran bulldogs with four small beady eyes.

This hierarchical species have a system of government that is so complex that it is incomprehensible to humanity or perhaps systems of law or government are non-existent in their society. Regardless, the Stryxis are known for betrayal and doubledealing with these habits being the norm amongst their people, whether this is in dealings with others or amongst their own kind. They often buy or sell whatever strikes their fancy but also deal in slaves, soldiers and vat-grown labour that they call “meat”.

They are known to hold a bizarre nearly irrational hatred of the Eldar that marks itself as a facet of their culture. This is seen when their kind go out of their way to attack Eldar and when they fail to do this they simply avoid them at all costs. Only the Stryxis and the Eldar known the true reason of this loathing with neither side offering an answer to this mystery.

Stryxis slavers have no qualms about attacking ships or settlements for slaves. They tend to prefer to have others do the work for them and simply purchase their “meat”. Slaves are seen as another commodity to be traded or sold. Their slave-pens though crowded are sanitary and their overseers rarely resort to lethal measures. This is because a dead slave is profit lost and thus some of their victims see a beneficial existence by being capture by the Stryxis. When a slave is sold, the Stryxis give little thought about their fate and some stories speak of entire cargos of slaves being traded to dark powers or other vile xenos for unspeakable sacrifices or perversions. In some cases, Stryxis are not hesistant in performing surgeries or behavioural medofications on their slaves to make them more valable or suitable to the needs of their customers. Ultimately, however, these slave-traders are reviled and shunned in the Expanse.

To those that require their services in warfare, these xenos are able to accomodate such a need by providing slave-mercenaries who are controlled by a single Stryxis handler. Each slave are fitted with a variety of devices ranging from bomb-collars to excruciators or controlled by the handler by way of mental conditioning to utilizing drug based forms of compliance. During such negotiations, the Stryxis are happy to contract out their soldiers for either limited engagements or even lengthy campaigns. After the conclusion of this matter, they pack up any survivors and move on to the next war. These slave-mercenaries are often both desperate and brutal with those doing well being able to survive to fight multiple conflicts as well as held the potential for their eventual release from servitude to wander the galaxy as they see fit. Such an act is a rare occurence but the possibility of such a reward makes mercenaries utterly savage in combat. This methodology is different during these rare moments when the Stryxis themselves participate in a conflict. In such circumstances, they do not make use of slave-mercenaries but instead rely entirely on their own vat-grown warriors with it being viewed that perhaps they seek utter loyalty over convenience and low costs.

It is generally thought that the Stryxis lack any form of advanced forms of technology as these void-nomads tend to scavenge for items. However, the xenos themselves tend to cultivate this ignorance of their true technology as despite their ramshackle fleets they do hold both sinister as well as complex technology.

They are noted for being flesh-crafters who combine their technology with biology to shape creations both functional yet extremely elegant. Flesh-crafters are able to grow as well as create virtually any manner of biological creatures that they need. These beings referred to as “meat” consist of hordes of slaves as well as other non-Stryxis in their custody. Stryxis gladly trade or sell these creations to the highest bidder and tend to outnumber these vile xenos aboard their many vessels. They are not above even taking custom orders for their fleshworks and are supposedly able to grow small armies for those that meet their price.2-p78 Notable creations include Vat-brutes that are massive slabs of muscle created for a variety of tasks. These vaguely humanoid beings resemble some form of protohuman with smooth featureless faces along with androgynous features. Their intelligence is more akin to a mono-tasked servitor as they have little in the form of creative thinking outside the tasks they are created for. They are capable of being used for a variety of tasks ranging from heavy labour to combat.

Stryxis tend to favour energy weapons with long range armaments primarily consisting of ornate yet archaic-looking las weapons similar to those used by the Imperium. Their melee weaponry is noted as being far different sch as Aether Blades holding an ethereal quality to them and have the capacity to pass through solid material to strike against the living being beneath. However, these Stryxis blades are highly vulnerable to psychic shields and wardens making them useless against the likes of Daemons or Warpspawn. In the Imperium, such weapons are known as “ghost blades” with the Inquisition keeping a vigilant eye on those that possess one who are quickly apprehended.

Their starships appear as ramshackle vessels with the Stryxis often taking anything capable of travelling the void which are in turn mounted with engines along with other necessary components. These xenos are even known to hollow-out asteroids or take Space Hulks, salvaged craft and discarded refuse which are retrofitted for travel through space or the Immaterium. It is often the case that the hulls of salvaged ships are towed in long strings and form massive caravans though none know how they accomplish this feat without blowing themselves into the vacuum of space. The appearance of their starships makes many assume that they are no match for a warship. However, this is in fact a deception as their vessels are in fact protected by powerful force fields and something within them defeats all but the most powerful of augers. In addition, they are able to project ethereal beams of “ghost energy” though these are no more effective than standard macroweapons in penetrating armour or void shields. Yet, they have a disconcerting and utterly lethal effect on the crew inside. Xenographers hold the view that the Stryxis equip their looted craft with examples of their advanced technology which supports the theory that despite their reputation as merchants tend to hold the most advanced of their devices for themselves.
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Stryxis

SalemBlackCrusade BrianMichaelHartman