Kohaku's bust, by Moira
|Full name||Kohaku Kobayashi (小林 琥珀)|
|Nationality||The Old Country|
Heh. Well, if she's so eager to aid you in the cause of her patron deity, shouldn't she be giving you her stuff for free? After all, your fight is her fight, and things could get problematic should you fail in your quest.
"Eeeeh? I have perfect confidence in your eventual victory, my lord! Hence, payment is still required, nojya! Besides, that would be violating the first divine law of equivalent exchange!"
Ooh, she's a sharp one despite the disarming appearance. Chances are that most, if not all of the cutesy, ditzy persona is just a front. You'll have to remember that.
"The customer is god! Well, not literally so, but the point stands! If there is something you would like to requisition, my lord, please let me know immediately and I will see what can be done!"
Kohaku is a small, adorable pear-shaped four-tailed Kitsune, who oversees the storehouse in the Kurokawa kitsune den and serves as its merchant.
The first thing that strikes you about Kohaku is that she's short, even by kitsune standards. Most Marchers would consider the average foxen a little runty, but Kohaku is absolutely tiny at a mere four feet seven inches. Naturally, your eyes first come to a rest atop her head and the large fox ears that sit there. Ever perky, expressive and alert to the slightest sound in her domain, they swivel to and fro with a life of their own, complementing their owner's extroverted demeanour. Their insides are a pale cream instead of the deep, rich gold of her hair and fur, the tufts sticking out from each ear just begging to be tweaked and tickled.
While there's clearly been some effort to try and get it in shape, Kohaku's hair simply won't obey her. It falls from her head in a glorious mess, framing her face almost all the way to her pointed chin and parting at her red, slitted eyes; behind her, it extends all the way to her curves of her pert, squeezable butt, threads of spun gold gleaming in the light. Even with how fastidious most kitsune are, you can see why Kohaku simply refuses to pin it up or get it into shape: it's wild and fabulous.
Not that her face is worth hiding, either. A pretty face is an asset in a merchant, and she's got the looks — wide eyes, a small nose, and perpetually cheery, upturned lips with little vulpine fangs that're visible when she does one of her trademark open-mouthed smiles. Around her shoulders, Kohaku wears a thick fur cape that fluffs up against her neck and reaches the small of her back; it's clearly more a fashion accessory than proof against the cold of the Marches. It's held in place by a golden clasp in the shape of a fox's head, the details exquisitely etched into the soft metal.
The rest of Kohaku's attire is strangely out of the norm for the rest of her kind. While there're definite cultural influences from the Old Country, her clothes would fit in more on the streets of Tychris or even the Winter City than here in a kitsune den. A simple cloth top holds back perky Bs, joined to a figure-hugging leather piece for her midriff, followed up by short skirts that wouldn't look out of place on Cait at all. The whole yellow-and-black ensemble is held together by red string; it's obvious that Kohaku's fashion sense is experimental, to say the least. Not that there's any naked thigh visible — black silken leggings hug her legs all the way to her high boots, and one gets the impression that the amount of thigh between the hem of her skirts and her boots has been very carefully calculated for maximum effect on anyone brave or lecherous enough to ogle.
If Kohaku's hair is a mess, her tails are immaculately groomed. Numbering four in total, they're fat, fluffy, and promise to be an absolute joy to touch and hold if you ever got the chance to do so. The same colour of spun gold as her hair from base to tip, they constantly flick and twitch in accordance with her energetic, extroverted nature, refusing to simply lie at rest.
Most importantly, though, is the pendant that hangs about Kohaku's neck by a thick gold chain. Nestled in her bosom is the unmistakable deep blue hue of a warpstone shard, reminding you that you're not the only one able to use such portals throughout the realm. This is probably why she's got so much more time to dither about the storehouse while making forays of her own… an unfair advantage over most other merchants, to be sure.
History/Personality/Information of Note
Kohaku is a second-generation immigrant to the Frost Marches, the daughter of prospectors who hoped to strike it rich in new (well, by kitsune standards) lands that were supposedly full of valuable metals. However, these lands were also full of danger, which were no place for a young girl; without much recourse, they decided to house their daughter in what was arguably the safest place on the frontier while digging around. Over the next decade or so, Kohaku has done considerably better at finding metals than her parents, if by different means. Showing better skill than most with abacus and ledger, as well as wheedling things out of people, she was assigned by Matron Komari to take over the responsibility of the storehouse, whose previous keeper was finally moving back to the Old Country, having had enough of the colonies. This responsibility came with a warpstone shard, which allows her to use not just the den's torii gate to get to and from places quickly, but also to use the numerous waystone idols that are scattered across the Marches and beyond.
With a natural knack for negotiation, mimicry both physical and verbal, as well as disguise, it is Kohaku's job to infiltrate native settlements with her wagon and bodyguards (also appropriately disguised), do commerce with the natives for goods the den can't produce by itself, and ship those goods back home. It's also her job to prepare goods to and from the Old Country across the ocean, with similar results. She is the only one in the den with any reason to deal in Belharan electrum hawks, and thus is the only kitsune with any real use for the champion's money. By moving her and hers through the Ways Between, Kohaku is able to not just cut down on travel time and dangers, but also respond quickly to events, as well as easily ship goods that would be considered rare in several locales. Much of her business consists of sourcing iron ore, which the locals of the Marches consider a byproduct of copper and tin production and are only happy to see her cart off, and turning that around across the ocean in short order. The money and goods she handles aren't hers per se; she merely handles them on behalf of the den. If anyone owns the contents of the den's storehouse, it's Komari in her position of imperial governor.
Given her need to interact with the locals and mimic their habits as part of her job, Kohaku has adopted several of their habits and styles of dress for her own; she is the most westernised of the floofs, for lack of a better term to put it; her dress style is very Marches-esque, with a unique spin on traditional Old Country fashions. Of course, this draws an amount of derision from Nakano, to whom this betrayal of her roots and culture is obviously expected of a merchant but still disappointing.
"No matter how much you try to act like them, they'll never accept you. Once they know what you really are, they'll cast you out, or worse."
Kohaku is essentially the other facet of how second and so forth generations of immigrants deal with identity issues, adopting the mannerisms of the locals and trying to fit in, and the conflict that approach creates with both the people they're trying to fit in with and their own ethnic stock. Needing to relate to and get along with both disparate groups of people is pretty harsh emotional labour and can cause considerable dissonance in an individual, despite Kohaku's cheery attitude towards everything.
On a brighter note, Kohaku's big fluffy ears are a lot more sensitive and erogenous than those of other floofs. One of the reasons she has so much inner ear fluff is that she doesn't dare to trim it because it's so embarrassing to do so. Having ear fluff that's so unkempt and packed into cotton-like balls is a little embarrassing, but some people find it cute. She also enjoys taiyaki, having learned how to make it from her parents, and when not actively mimicking someone else, tends to end her sentences with "jya" or "nojya" as a verbal tic, even while speaking Belharan. She is also an incorrigible gossip; the best way to let everyone in the den know anything is to tell it to her and let her charisma do its work.
Like almost all other kitsune NPCs, Kohaku will recognise if the player is one of her own and change her attitude towards them accordingly.
The den storehouse is open from 0700 to 1700 hours every day, during which the champion may walk in and purchase items from her. Because it is surplus stock, everything is marked down to 75% of its cost. Because it is surplus stock, everything Kohaku sells is randomised from a pool which refreshes every day. She can sell items which would not be normally for sale, and when the champion walks into the storehouse for the first time every day, there is a small chance of a one-time offer of a rare item which is also drawn from another randomised pool. If such an offer comes up, the champion must decide on the spot whether to buy it or not.
Kohaku's inventory is drawn from a pool and consists of 4 consumable items, 3 equipment items, 5 transformatives and 1 tome. Her inventory refreshes every day.
Shameless players may also bribe the small fox with 3 metal bits to immediately reroll her offered items in stock without needing to wait for the next morning. The chance of rare items is not rerolled.
Kohaku may be approached in the last couple of hours before closing time and propositioned for sex.
- Tease Ears
- Ear Frot
- Hotdog Anal
- Foxfire Play (Requires kitsune race)
- Kohaku's name means "amber".
- Her joke about having white fur is because "Kohaku" can also be written in Kanji as "狐白" -- I.E. "white fox".
- At 4'7", Kohaku ties with Kinu for being the smallest grown fox in the den.
- Kohaku resents being called a merchant because in oriental cultures, merchants were on the bottom of the social strata despite the wealth and power some of them accrued, their social regard being under even the peasantry. Japanese merchants were an interesting case in that because they were regarded as barely better than thieves, they took their reputation as license to act as little better than thieves. Even internationally, Japanese merchants were initially regarded as probably the least honest merchants around, a reputation which has only recovered in the past century.
- Her verbal tic of "nojya" is a reference to the manga series Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-San.
- Weebshit time. じゃ (ja) is a contraction for では (de wa), which can be translated as the interjection "then" or "well then" (except in Japanese it goes at the end of the sentence instead of the beginning). の (no) is used to turn the verb phrase before it into a noun meaning "the act of doing X", sort of like the -ing suffix in English. Also, due to Japanese sentence structure, all sentences can be verb phrases. So by saying "I go to school のじゃ", someone is basically saying, "Well then, going to school." This is "softer" and less declarative, which can be more polite in Japanese since you're not making a hard assertion, which can be rude. Basically, it's archaic desu.
- By tacking it haphazardly onto sentences, even ones where it doesn't make grammatical sense, in an effort to sound more polite, it points at the fact that she's not too familiar with her own root culture when she uses "nojya" where it wouldn't be appropriate. Kohaku is supposed to represent the portion of the diaspora who cope with being away from the home culture by losing themselves in the foreign culture.