Strytes are one of the races I created for the world of Calhortea. My primary villain Toarna is a stryte. Strytes have been interesting to develop, though I'm sure I don't know nearly everything there is to know about them.
Strytes are taller than humans, and always very thin. Their
skin is extremely pale and they have ebony black hair, which creates
quite a visual contrast. But the most striking aspect of their physical
appearance is their eyes. They are yellow. I envision it as the shot
from Revenge of the Sith where Anakin (now Vader) turns to
glower at the camera from underneath his dark hood out of his strangely
yellow eyes (strange because it's like one of two shots in the entire Star Wars saga
where his eyes are that color, the other being when he's burning in the
lava). Either that or Darth Maul's eyes. Creepy. Not that strytes are
really much like Sith Lords. Though the evilness of certain of them does
come close. Strytes have an average lifespan of about five hundred
years, making them the longest living of all of Calhortea's races.
Strytes are, unfortunately, generally atheistic and hold strong disdain
for anything supernatural. At first I was going to make strytes
telepathic, but I decided that was weirder than I was comfortable
writing, so instead they just have a gift of communicating with their
eyes. (Which I suppose would include the eyebrows so those aliens the
Third Doctor mentioned would fit right in. But I decided that long
before seeing Spearhead from Space.)
culture depends somewhat on location. Strytes are from the land of
Chalton, which lies north of the Headstone Mountains. It is a
mountainous country, but sort of Mordor-ish rock. Nothing really grows
there, so they depend on coal mining and
fishing. However, strytes are not ones to do manual labor themselves.
Well, other than "soldiering and war." In Chalton, they enslaved merfolk
and chained them to the mines. (More on merfolk in another week or two
or three or so.) Strytes have an extreme disdain for other races, and
think themselves superior. In the year relevant to our 1800 (there's no
sort of time warpish thing like between our world and Narnia), they
conquered the land of Calhortz and enslaved its people.
in Calhortz are slightly different. Calhortz is a beautiful fertile land
with a climate similar to Georgia and Florida. Down in the south, where
the palace, Crannig Castle is, is basically like Florida. The culture
is a sort of blend of classic medieval, stereotypical ante-bellum South,
and ancient Rome. They have a monarchy, and they have a medieval
castle, but the general populace is made up of plantation owners. The
slaves are the humans who lived in Calhortz and the merfolk slaves they
brought along with them. I credit Jaye L. Knight's Facebook posts for
the ancient Rome aspect. All her posts about gladiators made me want to
put some into my story, which added to the strytes' horrid blood lust
and made way for a plot twist my dad really enjoyed.
strytes didn't exist. Toarna was going to be a White Witch-esque witch,
but I decided I wasn't really comfortable writing that, so I decided to
create a race for her to be that was generally evil instead. And I
didn't even really know much about them besides physical appearance
until I wrote an interview with Toarna. I've learned a lot about them as
I've written Time Captives and, while I can't exactly say I like them, strytes add a very interesting dimension to the world of Calhortea.