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Stryx (3PP)

Tiny monstrosity, neutral

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 10 (4d4)
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
3 (-4) 17 (+3) 11 (+0) 8 (-1) 15 (+2) 6 (-2)

Skills Perception +4, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Elvish
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)

Special Traits

  • False Appearance. Until a stryx speaks or opens its mouth, it is indistinguishable from a normal owl.
  • Flyby. The stryx doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy’s reach.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The stryx’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom. It can cast the following spell, requiring no components:
  • Keen Hearing and Sight. The stryx has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or sight.

Actions

  • Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 slashing damage.

Appearance

Stryx make excellent spies, and they delight in serving others. The strange owls often become outstanding spies and translators by bonding themselves to a master. Some spellcasters seek out the stryx and strike a bargain to gain the creature’s service as a familiar. While most stryx make a show of hard bargaining, secretly they are eager to strike the deal.

About

Familiar Bond. A stryx can serve another creature as a familiar, forming a telepathic bond with its willing master.

While the two are within 100 feet of each other, they can communicate telepathically, and as an action the master can use the familiar’s senses for one round. During this time the master is blinded and deafened to his or her own surroundings. Additionally, as long as the stryx is within 10 feet of its master, the master can benefit from its comprehend languages innate spell.

A stryx is a normal (if odd) living creature, however, not a magically-summoned celestial, fey, or fiend, so it has significant limitations as a familiar. It can’t be dismissed to a pocket dimension or magically summoned only when it’s wanted. The stryx can’t deliver touch-range spells.

When it is more than 100 feet from its master, the two can’t communicate except by prearranged signals (a hand wave or a whistle, for example). It rolls its own initiative and it can attack in combat, but if the stryx is killed, it’s dead and that’s that.

Stryx Familiars

Stryx are the result of the Moonlit King’s mad experiments deep within the plane of Shadows. They resemble owls and can pass as normal birds as long as they don’t speak or open their mouths.

The stryx have a larger mouth hidden behind their beaks, filled with gleaming human teeth. Stryx range in color from pale gray to sooty black, with gleaming eyes.

Strange Alchemy. The stryx are unnatural beings that came about through terrible manipulation of normal owls and kidnapped humans. The Moonlit King of the shadow fey, banished and imprisoned in his tower, is desperate to touch the outside world. His crazed experiments blended shreds of mortal souls into shadowy owls and thus brought the stryx into being.

The Shadow’s Eyes. The truth of the stryx is all but unknown outside the Moonlit King’s inner circle, where these creatures serve as the king’s eyes and ears.

Stryx thrive in the plane of Shadow and on the Material Plane equally, and they enjoy attaching themselves to powerful beings as spies, servants, and translators. Their purposes are muddied, however, because they constantly relay what they learn to their mad creator.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts. Copyright 2016, Open Design; Authors Chris Harris, Dan Dillon, Rodrigo Garcia Carmona, and Wolfgang Baur.