In the Strix Anthology short "There Are No Owls in Seattle", there's the following passage:

There’s Mackayla and her remarkable affinity for bolt cutters, of course, but there’s other ways, too. Ways they don’t know about. I’ve got the questions. Not exactly a usual trick of my bloodline—crushing minds and ruling beasts, sure, but a good bastard always picks up a few unexpected tricks, so while they’re smiling those empty smiles at me, I reach down into the guts of my soul and poke the Beast with a sharp stick. It snarls and rattles the cage, but when I ask it, it answers.

Question: Who here can give me what I want?

The hidden one.

Interesting. And who in this room is the most afraid, hmm?

The fat priest.

Well, no shit Sherlock, he’s sucking fire into his lungs for giggles. Last question: What can hurt me the most right now?

The owls.

What. The. Fuck? No, that can’t be right. There are no owls in Seattle. I’ve made damn sure of that. Sunk myself deep into debt with some particularly nasty fuckers to guarantee it. So let’s try again. What can hurt me the most right now?

The owls.

In this it seems like the Beast is a completely separate entity, and yet not. It seems to enforce the theory (much like Anne Rice novels) that Vampires are the result of some blood, shadow, and smoke spirit (a Beast? ancestor that is, or is a common ancestor, to the Strix).

I always assumed that the Beast is a sort of animalistic instinct, fight or flight and feed, just more overpowering than that.

Does the beast actually have a mind of its own? Is it, as an analogy, like a merged parasitic spirit that has continued your existence in exchange for feeding it's bans, whilst giving you its banes (kind of like a Geist, but you're dead)?


1 Answer 1


It looks like the Kindred in question is using Auspex and interpreting the answers as coming from the Beast.

The Beast doesn't have a whole mind of its own, but it is able to reason, as you can see when the Beast takes over in Frenzy. It's the vampire's equivalent of our lizard brain: with all reasoning and restrictions removed, what would your body do? Some people interpret their body as "talking to them." They half-seriously say "my stomach says it's hungry!" That's what's going on in that passage, but with the extra nuance of mystical Kindred senses.

Blood and Smoke heavily teases that this is indeed a mini-Strix merged with you. Some Kindred might argue you are the Beast, and that it's your undead human shell giving you illusions of thought and feelings and caring. This could be the viewpoint of Strix themselves, which could explain why they're so pissed about Kindred.


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