One of the seven Minor Houses, House Pyxis formed out of separatists who split off from House Vela in the latter half of The Shining Star's reign due to differences in policy toward exploration of Acheron Rho; while the popular voice of House Vela felt that exploration was no longer necessary, the dissenting nobles who would come to form House Pyxis insisted that there were was still much left to be uncovered.
Members of House Pyxis tend to be nomadic romantics ever searching for their next adventure or grand discovery, which they hone into dramatic tales vaunting themselves and extolling their virtues. These exploits make them notoriously hard to find, but also tend to show up in unusual locations. They are fond of the phrase "No one ever finds a Pyxis, they find you," for this very reason.
Roleplaying a Pyxis can be quite challenging as the House is quite young and the population can contain a wide variety of personalities, if you would like some help please visit the page How to Play a Pyxis
House Pyxis (The Compass)
In 3120, House Pyxis split from House Vela when longstanding differences regarding the exploration of Acheron Rho came to a head. Pyxis generally looks back on their former House with disappointment rather than contempt, and until the events of 3200 they maintained a relatively friendly relationship.
Main article: Vela-Pyxis Split
House Pyxis is based out of the Lodestone, a massive space object of unknown origin outfitted with unique and unexplained technology that allows it to reconfigure the drill lane configuration of local space. The families of Pyxis tend to be scattered among the galaxy, usually on smaller ships, and will rarely see each other outside chance encounters, return to the Lodestone, or the Annual Moot.
Hierarchy and Titles
Main Article: Pyxis Titles And Epithets
House Pyxis have abstained from a hierarchical structure, favoring earned titles based on their discoveries over those with which they were born. Within the House, a title is earned through the work one has done in their life, whether they were a Seeker, an Echo, an Orator, or something else entirely. Each title shows insight into the individual member who chose their title. They believe themselves all to be equal, choosing to place trust in and listen to the experienced and proven members of the House.
SeekerThe majority of the house is made up of Seekers. All who are born of House Pyxis originally hold this title. The members of House Pyxis are destined to scour the universe for knowledge. When they make their discovery, they will typically modify their title to one that reflects their discovery. For others of House Pyxis, they keep the title of Seeker for there is always discovery to be sought among the stars.
EchoA rare title for the bravest and best pilots of House Pyxis. Echoes take control of high-grade spike drives at suicidal speeds in order to keep the house connected. They are often used as couriers and transporters within the house. Their work is prone to catastrophe, often using notoriously dangerous variants of Pyxis mapping for their routes, and it is said that most Echoes perish before old age. Those who do survive tend to be VoidTouched.
RangerThe Rangers are members of the Pyxis Ranger Coalition, the paramilitary special service contingent of House Pyxis. The members of the organisation, long since evolved from their founding principles, are now deeply involved in multidisciplinary civilian and military operations for the noble house.
OratorThe voice of House Pyxis. There are 5 Orators in total: Orator of the North, Orator of the South, Orator of the East, Orator of the West, and Orator of the Rose. They act as the diplomats of House Pyxis for the other Houses. The four Cardinal Orators are tend to be highly respected fixtures of Pyxis Society and are elected at the annual Moot.
The Orator of the RoseActing not just as a voice of the people, but the face as well; the Orator of the Rose acts as the tie-breaker between the other Orators and functions as the highest level diplomat in Pyxis governance, representing Pyxis at the Houses Minor Council.
Exploring the unknown can come at great cost. Sometimes our Seekers and Echoes return but have lost a part of themselves on their way. VoidTouched are treated with respect, as the members of House Pyxis see it that price they paid is a burden that they all share, and are sometimes said to have taken their first step toward the great expedition into oblivion.
A small part of House Pyxis that has traveled further than most and changed more than others. Their prolonged exposure to both the alien races, warp space and whatever else the void has thrown in their way has made this small group immensely knowledgeable, diverse and almost entirely alien in their ways.
WardenMain Article: Warden
Those who choose to center their lives around the Lodestone and taking care of it, whilst seeking out its deep, dark secrets. The Wardens work closely with Granny Pyxis to run the Lodestone, apportioning responsibilities between them to ensure the successful running of the planetoid.
Main Article: The Rogue's Gallery
The title of Rogue is a new addition to the array of titles used by members of House Pyxis. It is used for those Pyxis who choose not to follow the path of Seeker, Echo or Warden and instead choose to leave the House for a period of time to learn the craft of another house. The etymology of the title comes from the fact that these Pyxis could be considered to have “gone rogue” from the house.
Main Article: Pyxis Serfdom
Quite often the naming conventions of the serfs of House Pyxis are even longer and at times even more pretentious than the name of the nobles they serve. Great pride is taken with their names as more often than not, great care was taken in the decision of the parents on what name to choose.
Pyxis utilizes a number of peer-to-peer programs to ensure their autonomy from The Empire. PATHS is used by almost every Pyxis to navigate the sector. Lesser used, but gaining popularity in recent times, PLANES is a digital distribution network for spreading content across the sector without the authority of any central entity. Both are loved by those on the fringes of society, whichever side of the Sector's conflict they happen to be on.
As a whole, the House Pyxis has varied cultural practices - no two Pyxis will worship, prepare a funeral or greet someone exactly the same. Below are guidelines to help a visitor learn more about the enigmatic Pyxis members.
Customs and Traditions
Main Article: House Pyxis Weddings
As a young house, there are not many established traditions among the members of House Pyxis however it was quickly established that unique wedding traditions would be a vital part of setting the house apart from House Vela. These traditions rarely come up due to the small number of Pyxis nobles. So each time a Pyxis either marries another Pyxis or a fellow noble chooses to be married into House Pyxis it is a grand celebration. Some of these weddings take place at The Moot, but for those who are too impatient to wait there are other traditions to uphold. Rangers of House Pyxis notably have their own traditions with regards to marriage.
Funerals are often scattered through space, a long way from Lodestone, but they still manage to honor their dead. Due to their natures as storytellers, after the death of a Pyxis, they tell the stories of their kin. At a funeral where the body has been returned to Lodestone and the care of a Lyran Neshmet, rites are performed as per Lyran tradition and stories are told about the departed. Tales of their grand adventures and their discoveries are told before the departed is jettisoned into the void to continue on exploring forever.
In event a Pyxis is lost in space, or simply disappears, those close are invited to participate in a wake that tells the story of their lost one, before sending an effigy to symbolize the departed's eternal adventure. By telling their stories and remembering their exploits the members of the noble House Pyxis live on in the After.
At a Pyxis’ funeral, those in attendance each tell a story about the lost. After, every story they told at a moot is retold by those in attendance. In this way, every Pyxis writes their own eulogy.
With the death of a child the eulogy is replaced by an hour of total silence
A Pyxis ship is their home and companion among the stars. When a ship falls out of use, a ceremony is held to respect the ship where a part of the old ship (if possible) is incorporated into the new ship. These ceremonies vary slightly from family to family.
When Pyxis meet friends, relatives or important guests traditional greetings are exchanged (Welcomed Crossing!) and the members will meet in-person on one ship.
In the case of both parties being Pyxis, whichever Pyxis leaves their ship is expected to bring a small gift, food item or an assortment of collected stickers to the one who will host. Once together, the host and guest will prepare tea and share a meal together while trading stories of their own exploration or ones they have heard on the way. Once the initial merriment winds down, talk often turns to House business and the direction or destination of each ship.
When Pyxis meet others, or someone outside the House comes across a Pyxis the same courtesies are offered although perhaps, warily. The traditional greeting is offered, and the invitation is extended for tea and a meal. If accepted, the Pyxis member will offer refreshments. Pyxis tea preparation is meant to be a communal experience, and if the visitor knows of Pyxis customs, their participation would be most welcome and viewed as respectful that time was taken to learn about Pyxis.
If the Pyxis is a guest aboard another Houses ship, then they may bring a small offering of thanks - which may or may not be something only a Pyxis would find useful.
Depending on the size of a Pyxis ship, it is not uncommon to share a meal with a Pyxis on the floor of their ship, on soft pillows and mats. Although there are ships that have tables and chairs in their mess halls available for those who would prefer a more familiar setting.
When the meal and conversation die down, clearing up is the responsibility of the host and guest, and many Pyxis use this as an opportunity to gauge the personality of a non-Pyxis guest. However, there is no judgment if the guest does not help unless they are Pyxis (in which case, they should know to help). Guests are then encouraged to relax and enjoy another cup of tea while their host busies themselves with clean-up.
Before Pyxis ships uncouple there is a discussion about whether an exchange of Pyxis members on either ship would occur. Often times, Seekers without their own ships are invited to move to another ship to continue their mission if that ship is heading to a destination they are interested in.
When parting the traditional farewell is uttered, “Until another star”, and the visitor will return to their ship.
The Moot is an annual week-long meeting held in a new secret location each gathering. Those outside of House Pyxis may have only heard stories about the types of things that happen at these meetings. The members of the House share their tales and discoveries while having a party unlike that which most of the sector has seen. Many of Pyxis' most important elections also take place during the course of the Moot.
Among every system in the sector lies at least one of these small stashes left behind by a wanderer of House Pyxis. These often contain resources for other members of the House to stumble onto when they become stranded or lost, as well as a store of recent data and status of various Pyxis who have crossed the cache.
Many of the younger members of House Pyxis like to share travel stickers. Stickers may be general, such as popular symbols and greetings, well known discoveries, and popular locations, as well as more personal, depicting recent discoveries, favorite exotic locations, or family history. General Stickers may be mass produced at Lodestone, while the more personal designs are often designed and created in the time it takes to travel between caches and fuel stations, where they are often found layered centimeters thick.
Fashion and Aesthetic
Pyxis style varies wildly throughout the house. In general, Pyxis tend to wear loose, baggy layers inspired by Eastern European and Western Asian culture.
(Expand the gallery on the right.)
More House Pyxis style examples may be accessed here.
Food, Drinks, and Delicacies
Within House Pyxis, there are many who seek out new and unique flavors to share with the sector in creative dishes.
Main Article: Food, Drinks, and Other Delicacies of House Pyxis.
Secondary Article: Tea Pyxidis
"Granny" Pyxis, the founder and leader of House Pyxis.
Extended Universe Player Characters
Profiles of various House Pyxis members may be accessed here.