The Strysavians are a collection of various intelligent and often cryptic or mystic bird-morphs. Their faction, the Strysavian Collective, formally holds a small amount of territory in the Central Northern woodlands, where their capitol, "Iyreeyphia" stands, built among the trees, a sprawling mass of treehouses, suspension bridges, towers, and aviaries. However, the majority of the Strysavian people live in scattered settlements in forests and jungles throughout the world, ranging in populations from a few hundred to a few thousand depending on location and species.
Strysavians, regardless of species, adhere to a few core tenants that define their civilization and people as a whole. They are extremely disciplined, patient, and honor-bound. Most Strysavians serve their community in one way or another, be it through Military service, theocratic servitude, or selfless lifestyles. In many of the larger settlements, military service is compulsory, and dedication to the Collective and the Settlement is expected above all self-oriented goals. They are bound by strict code of ethics, and those who deviate are ostracized from the Collective and will never be allowed back into a Strysavian settlement.
However, the various species that make up the Strysavian Collective are also known for their free spirits, generous nature, and love of song. A fair number of Strysavians play instruments in their spare time, and make good entertainers and bards. Their singing voices are often the stuff of legends, owed to their ability to switch between Common and Strys on the fly, combining flowing lyrics with hauntingly beautiful birdsong. Strysavians display many of the same mannerisms as ordinary birds. They are fastidious about their plumage, frequently tending their feathers, cleaning and scratching away any tiny passengers they might have picked up. When frightened or angry, it is common for them to ruffle their feathers and puff up to make themselves appear larger. Likewise, preening is extremely common, and being presented with a feather from a Strysavian's own plumage is considered the most meaningful of gifts.
Many Strysavians punctuate their speech with chirps, sounds they use to convey emphasis and to shade meaning, much as a human might through facial expressions and gestures. It isn't uncommon for Strysavians to forget non-avians cannot understand these mannerisms and get frustrated when they are misunderstood by others. Confinement terrifies them. To be grounded, trapped underground, or imprisoned by the cold, unyielding earth is a torment few Strysavian can withstand. Even when perched on a high branch or at rest in their mountaintop homes, they appear alert, with eyes moving and bodies ready to take flight.
Strysavians, like most animal morphs in the world, greatly resemble their nonsapient kin in many if not all forms. Like birds, they vary greatly in appearance, size, shape, and temperament. So far, the Strysavian Collective contains four distinct species of bird morph. While each has their own distinctions and differences, there are a few generalizations of the species. They range in height from as short as 5' to as tall as 7', and almost always have a wingspan double that of their height. Three of the four species are capable of flight, while the fourth is the currently only know species of Flightless Bird Morph. Their entire bodies are covered with feathers ranging from down to flight feathers, just like other birds. Most are digitigrade, with their legs bereft of feathers and ending in sharp talons. Their arms are similar in appearance, covered in the same scaly skin as their legs with shorter, but equally sharp claws on their fingers.
There are four currently known, distinct species of Strysavian. They do not belong to castes or a hierarchy, and all appear equal within the Collective, even the flightless.
The Styrgenweld were the first Bird morph to appear, and are currently the most numerous within the Collective. They are a predominantly Dirunal with a small percentage being Crepuscular. They are one of two species that have both arms and wings as separate appendages. They have no standard coloration, pattern, or specific non-sapient analogue. Their appearance is as varied as the species of dirunal birds.
The Venoctem are the second bird morph to appear, and are the second most numerous within the Collective. Venoctem are the second of two species that have both arms and wings as separate appendages. They are exclusively nocturnal, and similarly to Strygenweld, have no standard coloration, pattern, or specific non-sapient analogue. Their appearance, while slightly more concise, is as varied as the number of nocturnal species of birds.
The Inermis are either Strygenweld or Venoctem which do not have separate arms and wings, but rather slightly denser wings which function as arms at the same time. They are just as capable of flight as the Venoctem and Strygenweld but cannot wield or hold items while flying as they can.
The Noalatum are the one species of flightless bird morph within the Collective. They are either Strygenweld or Venoctem which do not have wings at all, either through parentage or by sustained wounds. The Noalatum is the only group within the Collective that one can join without being born into, as any Strygenweld or Venoctem which loses their wings automatically becomes a Noalatum.
Involvement in the LightwarEdit
During the Lightwar, the Strysavian Scout Corps was instrumental in several engagements with the forces of Kodan the Dark, as well as having great success with general scouting and assassination of enemy forces. Two of the most notable examples of the SSC's victories were with the Dwarves.
The first event took place in the Northern Wastes. While scouting ahead of a Dwarven push, the SSC detachment discovered an ambush in the path of the advance that would have decimated the Dwarf forces. By having a Strysavian fly back to warn the Dwarves while the remainder of the SSC took out key personnel in the ambush party, the ambush was averted and the forces were routed by the Dwarves.
The second event was a prolonged one, a large detachment of SSC forces escorted a large number of Wastefolk who had joined the Dwarves and needed safe passage to their territory. They connected with them in their home villages, got them together, and safely escorted them around enemy encampments and patrols, skirting in and out of the border of the Northern Wastes and the Kingdom of Varos.