Kitsune

Pronounced: KĒ-tsū-né
Introduced by: Tatsushu
Origin: Yamato


The kitsune are a fox people, and are often deceptive tricksters. They enjoy playing 'tricks', and if such tricks should prove harmful or fatal to humans, they care little. If a kitsune is found out, it will usually be killed.

However, not all kitsune are evil, and there is a group of kitsune known as the Inari (ē-NA-ɾ̠ē), or Shirogitsune, which are almost the polar opposite of their less disciplined cousins, the Nogitsune. The Inari believe themselves to be servants and messengers of the gods. Most No-gitsune are red, while Inari tend to be more of a cream-color, or even pure white.

They will occasionally attempt to blend with society, using magic to disguise themselves. Only the older kitsune have such abilities, however, and younger must often have an elder or a mage grant them such a disguise if they wish to go among humans, which many do for their martial and intellectual training.

Kitsune society reflects human noble society in that there are nine grades, or levels. Each level is noted by the number of tails a kitsune has, and as kitsune grow, they often manifest more tails. How this is done, however, is a complete mystery. The Inari claim that it is the gods showing favor on the age, wisdom, and deeds of an individual, proving their ability. Whatever the reason, it is a fairly good judge of a kitsune's power. Another feature of the tails is that they cannot be hidden by magic—they show up even when under illusions.

When going amongst human society, therefore, kitsune attempt to hide their tails. A display would seem vain, to most, and other subtle differences in clothing and the colors one wears often are used to show status. With the long, flowing clothes of the Yamato people, this can be deceptively easy.

Recently, the Inari numbers have been on decline as humans have taken over the island. The regular kitsune are affected as well, but have always been more numerous. Recently, however, the last Inari village seems to have been wiped out by an evil mage. Whether this is true or not has yet to truly be seen, but if there are any left, they appear to be in hiding.

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