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"For everything you take, give back something of equal value. For every prank you play, help in equal measure. For each favour you receive, repay it as soon as you can. This is the Law of Equivalent Exchange, which forms the basics of Reciprocity." - Keros.
Name (singular and plural): Kitsune
Sexes: Male, female, occasional trappy shemales or outright hermaphrodites
Height: Ranges from 4'9" to 6'0" (145 to 182 cm)
Weight: Ranges from 88 lb to 154 lb (40 to 70 kgs)
Hair: Red or orange are most common, but yellow is an option, as is every shade in between. Grey, black, silver or white are rare, but exist.
Eyes: Kitsune have two eyes in the normal humanoid position; green, blue, brown and gold are the most common colours encountered.
Lifespan: 80 - 150 years. Kitsune with more tails tend to live longer. Those particularly favoured by Keros can have much longer lifespans.
Maturity: As per humans, 18 years.
DescriptionMost kitsune look much like the average catfolk does, perhaps easily mistaken for one at a distance. Fox ears sit on top of their heads; these are capable of independent movement, and often continually twitch and swivel without any conscious input on their owner's part. Combine that with the fact that all of them have at least two fluffy fox tails, a number that only increases with age and power up to a maximum of nine, and they tend to look not that much different from the races of beast-kin which inhabit Savarra.
Kitsune tend to be diminutive and feminine in appearance - while strapping, manly fox-hunks do exist, they tend to be either rare or direct higher servants of the Trickster God, who appears to want to keep that appearance for himself. Males tend to be androgynous at best, or outright traps on the other end of the scale; outright shemales don't really exist, but the occasional hermaphrodite does crop up. Their women tend to be slender, agile and finely formed rather than short stacks, and while A-cup agony is uncommon, most don't go above a high B, with the exception of den mothers/matrons.Kitsune tails are long - sometimes as much as their owner is tall - prehensile, and often stronger than their actual limbs. They're not just extremely sensitive, but feel intensely good to pet and fondle on the part of both giver and receiver due to how fluffy they are. Tail number is a shorthand for one's age, experience, power and favour with Keros; the more one has, the higher one's standing in floof society.
HistoryAccording to their own tales, kitsune came into the world along with their patron deity, Keros, when he entered Savarra in physical form during the Godswar along with the other members of the Seven. As direct servants of the Trickster God, they were largely involved in strategy, reconnaissance and espionage against the wraiths and their minions, skills that they would ply later on in other conflicts. The homeland they claimed in the aftermath is rather removed from the Frost Marches, but in the same way catfolk have spread all over from Jassira, so have small populations been established here and there around the world, largely due to migrations during the Godswar and the continuous status games the Seven play as they vy for influence amongst Savarra's peoples. They have never been a very populous people compared to fast-breeding races like orcs and humans, and despite Keros' attempts to rectify that problem via various means they have eventually settled for a quality over quantity approach.
Society and CultureMost kitsune still stick to the culture of their homeland in dress, mannerisms and architectural style. Some adaptations do occur to better suit life in foreign lands when they move, but by and large the vast majority of their style remains unchanged. Groups tend to be fairly insular, often consisting of a handful of families who settle on the borders between grassland and forest and keep away from other bastions of civilisation. Where a den mother/matron does happen to exist, she and her small horde of children can claim a good swathe of territory from which settlers spread out into the frontier. Most settlements will know of a handful of other nearby ones, but most foxy floofs aren't usually bothered with events beyond their little sphere in their day-to-day life. Ostensibly, there is an entire civilisation of kitsune somewhere across the ocean, but few foreign-born floofs have ever seen their homeland, let alone made the trip back. This sometimes causes identity complications in individuals, resulting in a range of reactions from overcompensation to chafing to feeling disconnected from larger Marches culture and depressed.
Kitsune social organisation is generally a theocracy centered around their patron deity Keros, with those involved with clerical magic given great reverence; power structures tend to be largely informal, localised and run in family lines, given their way of life. Despite the chaotic overlay with which they live their lives, there's a fairly rigid underlying structure that denotes everything from how one greets another to when offerings should be made to the Trickster God.
As it was in their homeland, a lot of kitsune culture is centered about their need to feed at least occasionally from the life-force of other creatures, especially sapient beings; the ultimate goal is to prevent the kind of downward degenerative spiral that ends up with the floof being consumed by their hunger. Equivalent Exchange ensures that one is limited from taking too much from another. Levels of social etiquette and stricture that natives of the Marches would find excessive are in place not just to cultivate willpower, but awareness of one's surroundings and mental state. Activities from simple work to leisure emphasise the virtue of emptying one's mind and dominance over one's desires. All of this is underpinned by the constant concern that overindulgence is wont to cause the other peoples to band together and wipe them out, and so it is everyone's job to hunt down and eliminate at all costs renegades who've gone off the deep end.Most kitsune enjoy many hobbies and artistic pursuits originating in their homeland ranging from poetry, scroll painting, flower arrangement, music and martial arts. Instruction and education are often the function of the priests and priestesses of Keros when they are not otherwise occupied.
Metaphysical StuffKitsune are the closest and foremost servants of the trickster god, possessing a metaphysical connection with him inasmuch as dryads and treants do with Velun, the avanai do with Sorra, or valkyries with Lumia. As such, they are all considered touched by the Seven, and possess a strange resistance to corruptive influences. Their deity's direct patronage also means that, like other such touched races, they can't hold extreme changes to their physiology, nor are there half-breeds of any sort. The Seven do not stand for their imago dei being tarnished by something as simple as alchemy or corruption.
Kitsune can subsist on normal food like all other races, but their favourite form of sustenance - and easiest way to gain metaphysical power - is to drain life-force from other sapient beings. Copulation is the most common method of doing this for all sexes - travellers will speak of being lost in the woods, coming across strangely attractive foxy men and women, and being dragged into extremely exhilarating orgies from which they emerge considerably drained. Keros' teachings on such are extremely strict: reciprocity - for what you take, always give back something of equal value, and sustainability - never drain someone to death, so they keep coming back for more. Wanton disregard for such is often punished by divine smiting; a trickster has to have a good face, ya know? Where kitsune come from, it's not surprising to find the occasional young hopeful wandering the woods to try and catch the eye of a many-tailed foxy lover, but such isn't too common in the Frost Marches for obvious reasons.
Can you trust cannibals who use a knife and fork, and pay the tab afterwards? More powerful kitsune have the ability to directly rip physical essence from their victims, but it just isn't fun, and the poor people often run screaming. Not a good impression.It's said that kitsune can transform themselves into actual bestial foxes, but no one has yet to give a proven account of such yet. What is known is that they're inherently magical creatures, with a particularly affinity for fire magic. As opposed to the staves, wands and totems of the Frost Marches, Kitsune favour specially prepared scrolls for working magic, although the basics of magic do still require the presence of a focusing gem somewhere, which is traditionally set on the handle.
ReproductionMost kitsune are similar to humans when it comes to breeding - sex followed by nine months of gestation, which in turn is followed by kits. Like with harpies, kitsune women are dominant breeders, their children being full-blooded kitsune instead of half-breeds - this allows for their race to propagate without excessive inbreeding despite comparatively small numbers. Den mothers/matrons are an exception, though - designed to spread the Trickster God's influence through cranking out more minions for him, such - uh, gifted individuals are practically kit factories, having gestation durations of a single month, not to mention a host of other idiosyncrasies. Obvious to say, den mothers are extremely rare, and the capability to become one is usually passed on from mother to firstborn daughter; new bloodlines only arise through direct divine intervention.
Becoming a Kitsune
Becoming a kitsune entails a level 3 permanent transformation; this is not a light undertaking. In order to gain access to this transformation, players must choose to side with Keros over Taoth, and agree to be his champion. In exchange for the player's soul (ostensibly for safekeeping), Keros will grant the player the kitsune transformation, along with the relevant powers and perks.
Becoming a kitsune is planned to grant the following, subject to change. Additional quest rewards may also be in the works:
- The foxfire, mirror image and leech abilities.
- Permanent boosts to agility, cunning and willpower.
CharactersKinu - Kiyoko