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).[2,26] The scene of the crime was detailed in Holly's "Trapped in the Birdcage" series, where those characters arrive after Strix has already escaped through a portal. Strix carries some form of survivor's guilt which drives her to try to make the world a better place (chaotic good alignment). She puts no faith in deities, although she has grown to respect Lathander since she observed how much he helps Evelyn.
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]".
Shortly afterwards, Strix and Izek were taken by the Vistani, under orders from Madame Eva, in order to protect them. When the Crew later came across an old ruined Vistani wagon in the woods of Barovia, it triggered memories in both Paultin and Strix that implied that Paultin's family may have been the ones that had taken her. Strix's brother had 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 for the Dustmen and working as a pastry chef for Imbris. 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".
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". 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. 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). They were then pulled into Barovia where Strix learned about her family, who she had forgotten.
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) or her surname (which was also later revealed).[3,9] 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 I (spoilers for seasons 2 & 3) Edit
When the Crew were transported a second time to Barovia--this time to its past, 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's, Paultin's 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. 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. 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.
After leaving Barovia and investigating a plot between fire giants and dwarves, Strix found herself magically transported away from her party and onto the airship of Acquisitions Incorporated (AI), where she learned more about her background. 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). 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. Afterwards, Strix began constantly worrying about their return, and took 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. 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 her friendship with Diath 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 had progressively improved and who ultimately slew the monster.
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, led by the evil paladin of Shar, Strix momentarily fell under a fear spell that made her envision the rest of the Crew as being dead and herself left abandoned once again. Strix also saw Evilyn make out with evil Diath, and she sent a fireball at them out of jealousy, even though that emotion confused her.
Character Development II (spoilers for season 4) Edit
When the Crew fought over the best course of action to take against Aremag the dragon-turtle, Strix's impulse was to try and save the items the Crew tossed overboard as tribute, even though this only angered the monster further. She dove into the ocean and risked her life to return one of Diath's keys to him. The Crew continued to argue in the aftermath of the bomb, and frustrated with all of them, she refused healing from Evelyn and turned herself into a swarm of rats to escape. She was particularly hurt when Paultin remarked that Strix had "gotten us killed more than anything", and commented wryly when she had cooked his fish that it seemed there were some flames she could control. Despite this, Simon tried to comfort Strix and indicated that he didn't hold any grudges towards her. Strix tried to mend her relationship with Paultin, tag-teaming with him against the storm giants to counter their magic, and later lent him her magic staff to fly on, since he had lost his mandolin. She also tried to restore Diath's confidence, making him a captain's hat and telling him that "the only place that ever feels like home is wherever you are."
When Magnus let them rent his house, rather than find her own room, Strix slept on the floor in Diath's. She began decorating the house with body parts she had collected from their past kills, which got the attention of the City Watch, who had reports of her going through people's garbage. After clearing her name and agreeing to register as a magic user to defend Waterdeep, she also helped the Crew investigate a shambling mound that had taken on the form of a trash golem. They learned the creature was animated by magical symbols written on the back of news-sheets called 'The Little Birdie', which caused her to have a nightmare where she remembered scaring off a kenku when she had been living on the streets. When Mercykillers arrived to take her to Sigil, Rosie was able to distract them until the Crew and C Team found themselves taken in by the mists of a domain of dread. Both groups were then reunited in Nightstone as the city fell under attack by hordes of demons and devils. The Skizziks demanded that Strix go with them, and then sent their kazram to take her by force. Strix was dismayed to see that the kazram wore helmets with a crescent shape and the seven runes she had always considered to have been her own invention. Finally when Asmodeus showed up, he considered physically separating Strix and Diath by sending them to different planes, but agreed to Rosie's solution of Strix being adopted into the Beestinger clan, which would dissociate her from the conditions in the Ashtown Concordance. Afterwards, Strix felt the dread she had carried with her since birth finally lift from her shoulders (although she later learned from a tiefling banker that the Beestingers are also a nefarious crime family). She began to relax, drinking and playfully animating chairs with Paultin, and decided to finally choose a room for herself. She also found purpose in converting Trollskull Manor into a bakery, hiring three applicants to join her Chickenfoot Coven to help her bake and "learn magic". When a spiritual therapist came to visit, Strix had hoped it would make her friends reveal their many secrets, especially since Strix claimed that she herself had none. She freely explained that the purpose of her baking was to make Diath happy, since she had noticed how sad he looked. Ironically, although she assumed it would be reassuring for Diath to see how strong and independent she was becoming, Diath revealed that he felt he was no longer needed by the group and worried that they would soon abandon him. Everyone denied this, and Strix explained that her new goal was to solve problems and help others, bringing up Diath's missing soul piece and how she wants to recover it. However, she was hurt that her advice didn't seem to matter for most things, such as in the renovation plans for their manor.
When Diath was later arrested as a suspect in the murder of Father Sunbright, she panicked and sought help from the Blackstaff wizard, a position she had always idolized and somewhat coveted. Although the Blackstaff did try to convince Omin to intervene on Diath's behalf behind the scenes, Strix was not told this. Even so, when she became angry at the outcome of Diath's trial, she chose to seek shelter at the Blackstaff tower rather than return home, believing she and the Blackstaff were now "best friends". She was later able to sneak into Diath's cell as a rat and give him a pie and the magical feather to comfort him. When Diath returned early to the Waffle House, Strix was at first suspicious, poking him to be sure he wasn't a simulacrum. He was in fact Plurio the doppleganger, and was able to read minds and fool the Crew into thinking he was Diath. He even tenderly pressed a hand to Strix's face, which caused her to blush furiously and hide, worrying she was sick from a curse. She agreed to go with Paultin and Evelyn to set up a performance at the Gralhund estate, but they were ambushed by Zhentarim and their leader, Manshoon. She was able to teleport everyone to safety using word of recall. When Diath learned Plurio had caressed Strix, he became merciless in his interrogation, eventually killing the doppelganger. Strix hadn't noticed, being preoccupied preparing for an inspection of her kitchen by the Waterdeep Baker's Guild. Ulkoria, the coven's silent business partner, had come to help, and Strix asked her if it was possible for Diath's caress to have cursed her (but the dwarf impatiently replied that such touching was normal). Ulkorria also revealed to Strix that Simon could be changed to a human boy with a permanent polymorph spell. When human Simon began pointing out the Crew's true feelings for each other, Strix did not outright deny it, but told Simon it was wrong to share his family's secrets (to her relief, Diath had been out of earshot).
While visiting Red Larch to help the C Team with their wedding and recover Evelyn's rings, Rosie welcomed her adopted granddaughter and showed her gifts and letters sent by the rest of the family. Strix asked Rosie what it meant when someone wanted to make another person happy all the time, and Rosie assured her she would figure it out in time. Asmodeus appeared at the end of the ceremony and Rosie admitted that she had made a deal with him in her youth to gain power, money and popularity; a bargain she now regretted.[28,29] After returning to Waterdeep, a fellow Beestinger appeared at the bakery and implied it was Strix's obligation to help him, or she would get kicked out of the family. Cowed, she and the Crew agreed to sneak into a prison camp and help free his sister, but Rosie appeared just as they were discovered, and helped clear the Crew's reputation and banished the offending Beestingers back to their asteroid. When Manshoon appeared and fought with Paultin over the Ring of Winter, Strix and Diath rushed to the Yawning Portal Inn together. Remembering how she nearly died the last time they had tried ambushing Paultin with the Ring at an inn in the Shadowfell, Strix broke down and confessed to Diath that she was scared for him, and that even though she didn't understand the meaning behind the caress Plurio had "cursed" her with and the feelings it gave her, she also didn't want that to go away. Diath took her hand to reassure her he wasn't going anywhere, but uncomfortable with the situation, he changed the subject to remind her that their friends needed help. Strix actually tried to be strategic and organize the large group of allies who had gathered. She bravely pulled out her scissors, ready to try to cut the Ring off again, but Diath took them instead, not realizing Manshoon was wearing an iron gauntlet. Strix saw Manshoon use Power Word Kill on Paultin and she tried to counterspell it but failed, and upset with her magic, she grew angry enough to melee Manshoon with her green flame-blade-frypan. Once Manshoon was dead, Strix happily looted his corpse, gaining his Staff of Power and Robe of the Archmagi. She tried to gift the Blackstaff with one of the goodberry "healing pies" she was experimenting with to help adventurers, but it ended up in the wizard's boot. Strix was a little jealous that Miranda, Gwenyth and Alisanda all left together with the Blackstaff to go stay at her tower, but Alisanda--who was a big fan of Strix's pies--whispered to Strix that she'd put in a good word for her.
After returning home from a beach party, Paultin and Diath were attacked by a rug of smothering. Instinctively, Strix polymorphed the rug into a chick, forgetting that Diath had just buried his dagger into the rug, and she had to watch the baby chicken die. She began to doubt her worthiness of having such power, and tried to give away Manshoon's items. Paultin convinced her to at least arcana check them, and she became impressed at what the staff could do and decided to keep it, giving the robes to Paultin. When she saw Diath talking to Alise, she admitted that she was "scared of that guard Diath is talking to, and I don't know why". When she accompanied Diath to get Lightfall reforged, she waited outside the elf smith's tower and was amazed at the elvish chanting and magical power she felt emanating from it. She then innocently asked Diath if the elf was having a baby, and Diath shook his head in disbelief that she thought that was where babies came from.
When planning their heist of the Stone at the auction, Strix offered to put herself in danger for the group, disguising herself as Manshoon to steal it. However, her magic was unable to locate it before the event. She considered creating a golem out of pastries to dress as Manshoon, but decided to use thaumaturgy instead to darken the room. In the chaos, Lord Cassalanter summoned a devil to threaten them, and Strix suddenly began yelling in infernal asking "why would you be slaves to these masters when you could be under someone who is stronger than them?", trying to intimidate it. Instead, she felt the intervention of a powerful evil force that lent weight to her voice, changing the language to something "akin to a dark speech", causing cracks to appear in the walls, her shadow to take on a fiendish countenance, and the devil to bleed from its skin. Strix had no idea what happened, and was all too eager to cast Word of Recall and bring everyone back to the House. There they were ambushed by drow, and Strix summoned an elemental to protect them. While discussing the plan, Strix supported Diath's need to get the Stone for the dwarves and keep it out of the hands of the Cassalanters, but realizing they had no good options, she suggested they run away to another plane. When Diath finally took command again and told her and Evelyn to recover the Stone from the imps, she was relieved. When they returned empty-handed and decided to take a rest, Strix coordinated a heist by Chickenfoot Coven in the local cemetery for material components for a ritual to merge her old staff with Manshoon's. She then received word that Rosie was dead and a request for her and the Crew to uncover the identity of her murderer. She was confronted by a fellow Beestinger who claimed to also be a sorcerer and a big admirer of Strix. Strix was very uncomfortable by that woman's advances and claimed to not understand how anyone could find Strix attractive (which Diath subtlety denied). They uncovered that woman as a demon in disguise and defeated her, and Strix was pleased to see that Rosie was only pretending to be dead. Rosie thanked Strix for being the only one in the family who had believed she was alive, and implied that Strix might lead the Beestingers one day. On returning to the Waffle House, they realized that Jarlaxle has stolen Paultin's chair and that the kids were in danger. She again offered Paultin her staff so he could fly to the drow ship, but he crashed it into the water and almost lost it. She and Diath swam to the ship to help, and on finding the kids trapped in a submarine under the ship, they held hands to misty step aboard together. To keep Squiddly quiet, she agreed to let him call her 'mom'. She then destroyed the idols to Lolth she found, and declared to the drow that the Crew were pirates and taking over their sub.
Notable equipment (spoilers for season 4) Edit
- Staff of the Horned Crescent - a black wooden staff with upward facing crescent at the top, marked with runes. The original version was unmarked, which young Strix found useful for prodding corpses out of pools in Sigil. Strix then imbued the runes with more magic so that it could change form to a flying broom, cauldron, pan, quill with green ink, owlbear plushie, fishing pole or lantern.
- Strix can combine the spell "green flame blade" with the frypan form of her staff, and add what she calls "divine bullshit" damage to it
- After acquiring the Staff of the Magi from Waterdeep's Manshoon clone, Strix continued to carry around her crescent staff as a lantern, then decided to merge the two in a ritual using skulls and pies. The shaft is from the Staff of the Magi, which lights up with symbols of the schools of magic it uses when Strix attunes to it. It also carries the crescent of the old staff with Strix's arcane symbols on top.
- magical feather - a black feather that Diath had Purloque enchant to give the bearer the feeling of being hugged. Strix returned it to Diath to comfort him during his imprisonment, but it is assumed he has since given it back to her as Holly continued to use it in her cosplay.
- a small handful of Strahd Prime's ashes, some of which she licked
- a tuning fork recovered from Audra Knell's mirror dimension, used as a material component for Plane Shift
- Heward's Handy Spice Pouch - a gift Strix discovered left for her behind the bar in the Waffle House.
- Mr. Fox's spectacles - pink-tinted glasses owned by the arcanaloth known as "Mr. Fox" (retrieved by the Sewn Sisters for the Crew. Strix's examination identified them as a Gate Key)
- Shemeshka's spellbook, i.e. 'X the Mystic's Arcane Grimoire' (according to Shemeshka, it was stolen from her by Mr. Fox. It was retrieved by the Sewn Sisters, but Strix is unable to read it)
- 2 magical rings taken off the eyestalks of the Xanathar's corpse. Strix was about to identify them when she was told by Chris that there were 3 rings, and she needed a pearl worth 100gp to identify each one.
- piece of cloth cut from the robes of the Shadowfell's representative of Death
- two gold coins minted in unknown lands, salvaged from the remnants of a shadar-kai assassin's victim souvenirs
- mummified raven's claw[3,26] (used as a scent for Meathook to track a location filled with death)
- small, worn book of Barovian nursery rhymes (Strix gave it to Critter but he wasn't very enthusiastic)[3,30]
- varnished basilisk's eye  (given to Critter as a gift, which he put in his mouth)
- black wooden pipe that creates skull-shaped puffs of smoke. [3,26] Although it wasn't shown how she got it, Strix later told Purloque when she gave it to him as a gift that it had come off Artus's corpse.
- jar of pickled ghouls' tongues (given to Dierne Hall as a gift)[3,30]
- Hag potions of laughter (likely lost), youth (used on Diath) and "mother's milk" (given to Dee)
- potion of stone to flesh (bought by the C Team from an Underdark merchant to reanimate Samite the duergar warrior) (Samite's arm was broken off during the tavern's collapse, and he was left behind there as a statue). (Strix ended up using the potion to reanimate a petrified Evelyn in episode 110. The potion even filled in the pieces that were missing after the statue had shattered and been reassembled, similarly restoring the max hit points that had been stolen from her)
- 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)
- A little black book that records your dreams, and yours alone, when you sleep (likely lost) [2,26]
- tiny book about etiquette and manners given to Evelyn by her mother, along with a lucky four-leaf clover, bequeathed to Strix[22,27] (clover was stuffed into a potion by Strix, and the book was buried in Barovia as Evelyn's makeshift grave and now likely decomposed)
- ring of protection +1 (carrying Evelyn's soul's blessing from St. Markovia)(given to Omin Dran to help resurrect Evelyn, but instead was packed with his things and later passed on to the C-Team) Strix was able to recover both after Walnut's wedding ceremony, and Diath later used them to reforge Lightfall.
- 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) (the effect turns out to last much longer and not affect elves)
- One of a magical pair of scrolls that allow changes or messages on one to appear on the other. Also adapted by a spell to allow small objects to be sent through the scrolls. Used by young Strix and Reader to communicate on the "Trapped in the Birdcage" series, but likely lost over time.
- Strix's current character page on D&D Beyond is found here
- Holly had said that Strix's favorite color is probably grey
- Holly reminded fans that Strix's skin is more grey than how she portrays her in her cosplays (she just doesn't like wearing body paint) and has white freckles, with some scars from her early adventuring days
- Holly has written an extended background for Strix, preceded by this story and followed by this short vignette.
- Holly has written about Strix's thoughts and experiences during episode 58 here and here.
- In the Trapped in the Birdcage season 1 finale, the characters noticed a shard of amethyst in the hand of Imbris's corpse. Strix wrote to Reader that Imbris sent her through a portal and still had the key. Fans have speculated that this may be related to the amethyst that Diath found in an enemy lair and later turned into a pendant.
 Trapped in the Birdcage, Episode 11. YouTube.
 DCA Episode 7.
 DCA Episode 16.
 DCA Episode 73.
 DCA Episode 78.
 Acquisitions Incorporated Episode list. Penny Arcade.
 "I'm Holly! I play Strix! I know Magic! AMA!" DCA Reddit.
 Strix's Sorcerous Origin. DCA Reddit.
 Acquisitions Inc: C Team: S2 E7. Penny Arcade Website.
 https://i.imgur.com/CoaxIAv.jpg. DCA ep 90 Twitch chat.
 Aquisitions Inc: Switcharoo. Penny Arcade.
 Tapped in the Birdcage, Ep 6. Twitch.com.
 DCA Episode 123.
 [Crossover Episode: Acquisitions Inc: C Team: S2 E34] Penny Arcade Website. (~58:08)
 DCA Episode 52.
 https://imgur.com/aGEg9eQ. DCA Discord.
 DCA AMA Session
 DCA Episode 131
 D&D Trinkets. D&D5e Wikia.
 Acquisitions Inc: C Team: S2 E35. Penny Arcade Website. (~1:21:00)
 Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms: Beestinger Q&A. Twitch.com.
 DCA episode 135