Kitsune

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{{Lore}}
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==Introduction==
 +
 +
The Kitsune are many-tailed foxfolk from a distant land, notable for their ability to disguise themselves to blend in (mostly) with humans, their favored prey. This camouflage, their taste for human flesh, and their strategic aptitude and efficiency has led them to an unusual place in human society– hiding behind the red tape and trappings of nobility and taking advantage of governmental power and traditions to fabricate docile cultures fit for farming human organs as food.
 +
 
==Origin==
 
==Origin==
  
 +
Long ago, a god looked upon the humans. This god saw their advents in music, literature, art, and science, and saw the potential for society to blossom and boom. But humans were the wrong vessel, their minds too feeble and weak to see the possibilities their discoveries had created. This god, a god of wisdom and intellect, sought out the perfect creature, a brilliant but modest wildling flitting through the forests between the villages, and they smiled upon the fox.
  
 +
Blessing the foxes with a more humanoid appearance (but preserving the god’s favorite attributes, the intelligent eyes, keen and sensitive ears, dangerous fangs, and that trademark silky tail!), the god sent them into villages to hide among and, ultimately, replace the humans. For a time, this worked, but even blessed foxes are still beasts, and what is the difference from eating one creature or another? A human is far weaker than livestock and infinitely more accessible. Time passed. Villages fell. The Kitsune grew in number and power, consuming entire families, entire settlements. They stopped learning and succumbed to the hunt, and the god, instead of turning away their knowing eye and seeking a new project, offered the Kitsune one last blessing.
  
==Known Kitsunes==  
+
The consumption of the brain would yield the knowledge and skills of its owner, and the consumption of the heart, their strength and courage. (As the fox-folk completed this ritual time and time again, they began to sprout more tails as a testament to their power and wisdom, and that is why you see Kitsune with many tails today.) Using this new gift, the Kitsune re-found their purpose, and again attempted to hide within human societies.
 +
This time, under Kitsune influence, the human settlements flourished. Education became a societal focus, arts and sciences advanced, and the people knew peace and solace. Content in their ways, humans stopped warring, embraced pacifist belief systems, grew tame. The domestication of the human populous complete, Kitsune had created a new art form: farming humanity.
 +
 
 +
Over time, through many rituals and mass consumption, the Kitsune lost their connection with the god. Perhaps they became corrupt in the eyes of the god, or perhaps they strayed too far from their set path in a mad dash for power. Even so, many Kitsune still honor and revere this god whose name is lost to the ages, hoping to rekindle a relationship with them once again by continuing the traditions that they were given and seeking out new ones.
 +
 
 +
Of course, this is but one of the origin stories, as some Kitsune believe themselves to be physical manifestations of the forgotten god on this mortal plane, and yet others believe fox-folk to be a product of evolution, feral foxes adapting over time to specialize in hunting humans, but perhaps these alternative tales are the very reason Kitsune have forgotten their god in the first place.
 +
 
 +
 +
==Appearance==
 +
 
 +
Though they might hide themselves when interacting with their human prey, Kitsune racial identifiers are fairly distinct.
 +
; Paint
 +
: Perhaps the easiest way to identify a Kitsune is through their unusual facial markings. These bright, mask-like visages are representative of their personal journeys. Each Kitsune selects a color and design to best represent them, and these designs often change over time as they grow and refine themselves. Every paint tells a story, and it’s common for foxes to greet one another on a first meeting by sharing theirs.
 +
; Ears, Tail(s), and Fur
 +
: The forgotten god’s favored parts of foxhood, these clearly bestial traits are the most common giveaways for humans to recognize that a Kitsune is inhuman (as we all know humans are too oblivious to notice paint or all too eager to mistake it as cosmetic fad). While most Kitsune are swift to hide these with garb when among the humans, they are often proud of these features, and show them happily among other monsters. Some Kitsune go as far as to color their fur in bright colors so that they are unmistakable, even at a distance. These are usually the bravest and the strongest… or perhaps the most foolish.
 +
; Masks
 +
: While not all Kitsune will carry a fox mask, the mask is an important cultural signifier for many. Masks are traditionally given from an elder Kitsune to a younger one, from one friend to another as a sign of kinship, or, very rarely, from a Kitsune to a non-Kitsune as a sign of respect and acceptance within their family. These masks are hand-painted and unique to each Kitsune, often bearing patterns similar to the ones they wear as facial markings. Despite how grounded of a tradition this practice is, no Kitsune remember its origin or the reason for the designs. The prevailing belief is that the shape of the mask is all that they can remember of the forgotten god’s appearance.
 +
; Garb
 +
: As Kitsune can be acting nobility in their home lands and nomads in others, their clothing can vary widely. More traditional (and home-sick) fox-folk will wear clothing reminiscent of where they were born, donning kimono, yukata, and similarly styled garments made of whatever they have available to them, whereas created fox folk and those born in colonies would have ties to the clothing of those regions instead. It’s not uncommon for them to wear the garb of others, or to blend the garb of others with their own traditional tastes as they acquire more items and attempt to blend in with different societies to domesticate or hunt.
 +
 
 +
==Kitsune Society==
 +
 
 +
As Kitsune spread their influence and numbers to different settlements and countries, they quickly realized how futile and fraught with problems human governmental systems are and rejected them outright. Because of this, all fox-folk are considered autonomous equals, and there is no social or political hierarchy to position someone in power over others.  However, due to differing beliefs and interests, Kitsune generally fall into one of two categories: colonial or feral.
 +
 
 +
===Colonial Kitsune===
 +
 
 +
Colonial Kitsune are often quick to embrace each other and collaborate in the establishment and maintenance of a human farmland, often settling together in communal collectives to take the place of the established human nobility and then shift societal trends into fulfilling their specific needs. It’s not uncommon for two settlements to suddenly see an increase in trade due to their now-Kitsune nobility aiding and trading with each other through human means.
 +
 
 +
Fox-folk who have not created, joined, or settled into a collective find other means of sustaining themselves:
 +
 
 +
;Warbands
 +
:These pseudo-community groups exist solely for the purpose of slaughtering and consuming others. These militant traveling parties are only loosely held together by banding against a mutual enemy: everyone else. Because of their rage and love of bloodshed, hierarchical issues abound in these groups as Kitsune compete for power and control over the others, and in-fighting, as well as in-killing, are common among these violent fox-folk.<br><br>Some warbands have solved the social problems within themselves with the inclusion of a priest, who keeps everyone in check with rituals and fosters a sense of camaraderie. These warbands are the most dangerous, as their bloodlust and religious zeal transforms them into portable murder-cults who blissfully wreak destruction in all that they encounter, even to the point of killing other Kitsune. It is believed that these groups evolved into the Vulx.
 +
;Communes
 +
:Quite the opposite of a warband, Kitsune communes are not farming collectives, but often function in a similar cooperative manner, except without humans. Communes vary in size and purpose. Some function as traveling temples as priests group together in religious pursuit and evangelize as they roam. Some are walking libraries, packs filled to the brim with tomes of knowledge gathered by many hands over many years. A few function as clinics, with medically-knowledgeable Kitsune happy to help aid injured outsiders as long as they can offer a satisfactory exchange or sacrifice. Others are just safe living places as there is protection in numbers.<br><br>The most surprising aspect of communes is that they tend to contain monsters of other races. It’s not uncommon for communal Kitsune to live alongside other monsters quite comfortably. These fox-folk often have a reciprocal attitude toward others, recognizing that they can benefit from the presence of other monsters if they have something to offer in exchange. This trait can make a communal Kitsune seem very generous, but only if they see value or purpose in you. Unfortunately, sometimes, your purpose is eventually being on the menu.
 +
;Loners
 +
:There are a plethora of reasons a Kitsune might travel alone. They might be too aggressive to function in a warband, too self-centered to function in a commune, or too religious to be anywhere at all. Or perhaps they are simply looking for a collective to join. We wish them well.
 +
 
 +
===Feral Kitsune===
 +
 
 +
Not all kitsune are satisfied to adopt the customs and manners of their human prey. These feral fox-folk seek to embody the cunning, viciousness and ferocity of the wild fox, and reject the double life more typical to members of their race. They view the trappings of humanity -- agriculture, art, cooking -- as the tools of domestication and lament how their civilized kin have allowed these weapons to be used against themselves. Though perhaps fewer in number and less well documented than their civilized cousins, feral kitsune are known through the path of bodies and blood left in the wake of their riotous hunts.
 +
 
 +
Feral Kitsune typically form small groups of free association dedicated to a specific method of hunting, foraging or dispatching their foes known as Skulks. As groups of free association, skulks have a wide range of focus and histories -- some are formed ad hoc in response to unusual concentration of prey, while others operate for years honing a particular tactic or controlling a specific territory. Long-lived skulks tend to form strong bonds and are known to share their food, shelter and knowledge freely with one another and have been observed engaging in communal grooming rituals involving the combing of fur and the application of blood and warpaint. Interpersonal conflicts within skulks are typically resolved through posturing and social pressure and rarely result in lethal violence, though raised hackles, nipped ears and ruffled fur are more common.
 +
 
 +
Where two or more Skulks meet, there is usually a short period of adjustment followed by either the separation of territories or the establishment of a Warband. Conflict between skulks is rare and typically takes the form of resource competition or ritualized combat between champions.
 +
 
 +
Like all Kitsune, feral kitsune are driven by a seemingly innate desire for knowledge, experience and mastery. Unlike their more civilized cousins, feral kitsune typically pursue less refined passions such as herb-lore, wild-foraging, tracking, hunting, augury, warfare, buchery and murder. As life in the wild often requires a diverse array of skills and knowledge, feral kitsune may display a wider array of interests than their more specialized and civilized kin, but are known to pursue all with the same pseudo-religious zeal.
 +
 
 +
==Philosophy==
 +
 
 +
In true reflection of their created purpose, Kitsune pursue knowledge above all things. Professions are treated more like passionate hobbies, with foxes devoting their lives to specialized studies, often immersing themselves in history, medicine, civil and martial strategy, and religion and mythos. These interests propel their societal roles, with some choosing their roles based on assistive functions (as a medicinally-incline fox may become an apothecary or a civically minded one a human farmer), societal development (becoming educators or researchers for their respective fields), and leisure (religious foxes holding festivals, artistic foxes becoming entertainers, and so on).
 +
 
 +
With knowledge and passion leading their society, Kitsune generally have no individual concept of money, as goods and services are offered freely to benefit the collective. Collectives with too few Kitsune in a given field use human labor to make up the difference, leading the populace into professions and activities to suit their needs. However, when this proves not to be enough to sustain a settlement, they must find or make more Kitsune.
 +
 
 +
==Birth and Creation==
 +
 
 +
There are two ways a new Kitsune can come into the world. They are either born, or they are made.
 +
 
 +
===Birth and Growth===
 +
 
 +
New Kitsune are rarely born, due to it being more convenient and less strenuous on a parent to create a new kit instead. For many, births are public affairs overseen by both a conversion ritual leader and a medic to ensure a safe delivery and to formally acknowledge the foxling as a member of Kitsune society.  The closest members of the collective gather to celebrate the occasion and offer support and assistance in raising the foxling.
 +
 
 +
Foxlings remain under the care and guidance of their local community until they are old enough to start asking questions. At this point, they are considered kits and begin their journey into discovering who they are and their place in the world around them. Kits often take apprenticeships under various Kitsune as a form of introductory schooling, studying many subjects and trades as they decide on the path that is most interesting to them.
 +
 
 +
A kit who has realized their passions receives their first mask from an elder Kitsune in recognition of their first steps as Kitsune.  This mask is typically only worn until the new Kitsune creates one for themselves, but on some occasions, a Kitsune may keep their first mask to give to another, younger Kitsune to become their first mask, to a loved one or cherished friend as a token of sincerity, or to use as the base for their own creation, updating the design over time instead of creating something new for each change.
 +
 
 +
===Kitsune Conversion===
 +
 
 +
Though their true origin was lost to the ages, scientific and spiritually minded fox-folk could not be swayed from the pursuit of that knowledge and sought answers to the questions, “What separates the Kitsune from the fox? From the human? If the Kitsune came from the fox becoming humanlike, can a human become Kitsune by becoming foxlike?”  This curiosity created a new branch of science, a metaphysical genetic study, in which medics and priests joined efforts to establish their makeup in both body and soul.
 +
 
 +
The research began with the humans, as they are bountiful in supply and failed experiments could be safely eaten for further insight.  In these trials, much was learned about human physiology: their unusually thick but brittle bones, the lack of flexibility and tendency toward snapping of their joints, their susceptibility to a broad range of infections.  Some researchers quit, citing the frail human condition as being impossible to improve, and focused instead on the medicinal tinctures developed to prolong experimentation.  Ephedra, opium, red seaweed, and many concoctions of fermented herbs and grains proved helpful in surgical and experimental procedures, and these became incredibly powerful tools in not only medicine, but controlling human populations and quelling unrest in settlements.
 +
 
 +
Despite numerous difficulties, the Kitsune spirit prevailed.  Skilled surgeons developed the means to graft the bodies of humans and wild foxes together to create figures that looked like Kitsune.  However, these bodies refused to heal.  The ears turned necrotic, tails hung limp and lifeless, and the test subjects continued to die.  It was the priests who discovered the answer– the created body was being rejected by the human soul, and the answer to this was simple: a chimera body requires a chimera soul.
 +
 
 +
Ritualists studied surgical techniques from the medics, injuring then practicing on their own bodies to fully understand the feeling and physiology of a Kitsune, mind, body, and soul.  They fused this knowledge with their rituals to surgically graft the souls of a living human and fox together in the same manner that their bodies were joined.  This combination of practices created the conversion ritual, the scientific rite of Kitsune creation.
 +
 
 +
Converted Kitsune bear the scars of their procedures, incisions on the head and base of the spine for the grafting of the fox eyes, ears, and tail, and one on the abdomen for the removal of the soul.
 +
 
 +
===Bloodlines and Inter-Kitsune Relations===
 +
 
 +
All Kitsune are Kitsune.  Whether born or converted, fox-folk are fox-folk, and once one has the blood of the fox in their veins, they are a part of the family.
 +
Newly converted Kitsune are regarded as kits, as they plunge into that phase of personal growth and self-discovery the moment they are created.  Converted kits are simply treated as the offspring of their ritualist and undergo the same schooling and journeys as their born peers to eventually become recognized Kitsune.
 +
 
 +
The conversion procedure, being performed on a living subject, is such an excruciatingly painful process that all born Kitsune who desire to learn it are required to practice the procedure on themselves to understand the pain they will be inflicting on a future sibling.  Though the soul heals, it does not heal perfectly, and converted Kitsune are born with a spiritual ache that will never go away.
 +
 
 +
==Kitsune and other Monsters==
 +
 
 +
From a Kitsune perspective, there are few reasons to quarrel with other monsters.  Most monsters are fundamentally inedible, and Kitsune are not territorial creatures.  Unless a monster group attacks a collective, Kitsune are generally accommodating and willing to ignore or protect passing groups.  In the event of an attack, the blame and anger goes toward not the entire race, but the culprits, keeping overall interactions civil and neutral.
 +
 
 +
Individual experience causes opinions to vary, but the general feelings of Kitsune toward other monster races are:
 +
 
 +
;Goblyn
 +
:Definitely inedible.  Each generation seems less intelligent than the previous one, signaling an unfortunate hereditary illness that must not spread to the Kitsune.  Most attempts at diplomatic relations have failed.
 +
;Gnoll
 +
:Sometimes edible.  They seem especially fond of consuming one another, but do not encourage or appreciate when Kitsune eat them.  Attempting to sample their meat is not worth ruining getting to enjoy playtime with a squeaker.
 +
;Kobold
 +
:Inedible.  The cause of their eccentricity is, as of yet, undetermined, and they should not be eaten for fear of contagion.  Their manageable size and fondness for simple items and food make them excellent pets.  A regular feeding schedule will ensure their return and make training far easier.
 +
 
 +
==Additional Reading==
 +
 
 +
 
 +
*[[Kitsune/ConversionRitual|The Conversion Ritual]]
 +
*[[Kitsune/OfficialDocuments|Document and Report Library]]
 +
 
 +
==Known Kitsunes==
 +
*Hiemi, ritualist
 +
*Kit Foxwyfe, huntress
 
*Knives Shadowrunner
 
*Knives Shadowrunner
 
*Nanashi
 
*Nanashi
 
*Vixen
 
*Vixen
 +
*Yang
 +
  
 
[[Category: Monsterdom]]
 
[[Category: Monsterdom]]
 
[[Category: Races]]
 
[[Category: Races]]

Latest revision as of 20:41, 26 January 2020

Contents

[edit] Introduction

The Kitsune are many-tailed foxfolk from a distant land, notable for their ability to disguise themselves to blend in (mostly) with humans, their favored prey. This camouflage, their taste for human flesh, and their strategic aptitude and efficiency has led them to an unusual place in human society– hiding behind the red tape and trappings of nobility and taking advantage of governmental power and traditions to fabricate docile cultures fit for farming human organs as food.

[edit] Origin

Long ago, a god looked upon the humans. This god saw their advents in music, literature, art, and science, and saw the potential for society to blossom and boom. But humans were the wrong vessel, their minds too feeble and weak to see the possibilities their discoveries had created. This god, a god of wisdom and intellect, sought out the perfect creature, a brilliant but modest wildling flitting through the forests between the villages, and they smiled upon the fox.

Blessing the foxes with a more humanoid appearance (but preserving the god’s favorite attributes, the intelligent eyes, keen and sensitive ears, dangerous fangs, and that trademark silky tail!), the god sent them into villages to hide among and, ultimately, replace the humans. For a time, this worked, but even blessed foxes are still beasts, and what is the difference from eating one creature or another? A human is far weaker than livestock and infinitely more accessible. Time passed. Villages fell. The Kitsune grew in number and power, consuming entire families, entire settlements. They stopped learning and succumbed to the hunt, and the god, instead of turning away their knowing eye and seeking a new project, offered the Kitsune one last blessing.

The consumption of the brain would yield the knowledge and skills of its owner, and the consumption of the heart, their strength and courage. (As the fox-folk completed this ritual time and time again, they began to sprout more tails as a testament to their power and wisdom, and that is why you see Kitsune with many tails today.) Using this new gift, the Kitsune re-found their purpose, and again attempted to hide within human societies. This time, under Kitsune influence, the human settlements flourished. Education became a societal focus, arts and sciences advanced, and the people knew peace and solace. Content in their ways, humans stopped warring, embraced pacifist belief systems, grew tame. The domestication of the human populous complete, Kitsune had created a new art form: farming humanity.

Over time, through many rituals and mass consumption, the Kitsune lost their connection with the god. Perhaps they became corrupt in the eyes of the god, or perhaps they strayed too far from their set path in a mad dash for power. Even so, many Kitsune still honor and revere this god whose name is lost to the ages, hoping to rekindle a relationship with them once again by continuing the traditions that they were given and seeking out new ones.

Of course, this is but one of the origin stories, as some Kitsune believe themselves to be physical manifestations of the forgotten god on this mortal plane, and yet others believe fox-folk to be a product of evolution, feral foxes adapting over time to specialize in hunting humans, but perhaps these alternative tales are the very reason Kitsune have forgotten their god in the first place.


[edit] Appearance

Though they might hide themselves when interacting with their human prey, Kitsune racial identifiers are fairly distinct.

Paint
Perhaps the easiest way to identify a Kitsune is through their unusual facial markings. These bright, mask-like visages are representative of their personal journeys. Each Kitsune selects a color and design to best represent them, and these designs often change over time as they grow and refine themselves. Every paint tells a story, and it’s common for foxes to greet one another on a first meeting by sharing theirs.
Ears, Tail(s), and Fur
The forgotten god’s favored parts of foxhood, these clearly bestial traits are the most common giveaways for humans to recognize that a Kitsune is inhuman (as we all know humans are too oblivious to notice paint or all too eager to mistake it as cosmetic fad). While most Kitsune are swift to hide these with garb when among the humans, they are often proud of these features, and show them happily among other monsters. Some Kitsune go as far as to color their fur in bright colors so that they are unmistakable, even at a distance. These are usually the bravest and the strongest… or perhaps the most foolish.
Masks
While not all Kitsune will carry a fox mask, the mask is an important cultural signifier for many. Masks are traditionally given from an elder Kitsune to a younger one, from one friend to another as a sign of kinship, or, very rarely, from a Kitsune to a non-Kitsune as a sign of respect and acceptance within their family. These masks are hand-painted and unique to each Kitsune, often bearing patterns similar to the ones they wear as facial markings. Despite how grounded of a tradition this practice is, no Kitsune remember its origin or the reason for the designs. The prevailing belief is that the shape of the mask is all that they can remember of the forgotten god’s appearance.
Garb
As Kitsune can be acting nobility in their home lands and nomads in others, their clothing can vary widely. More traditional (and home-sick) fox-folk will wear clothing reminiscent of where they were born, donning kimono, yukata, and similarly styled garments made of whatever they have available to them, whereas created fox folk and those born in colonies would have ties to the clothing of those regions instead. It’s not uncommon for them to wear the garb of others, or to blend the garb of others with their own traditional tastes as they acquire more items and attempt to blend in with different societies to domesticate or hunt.

[edit] Kitsune Society

As Kitsune spread their influence and numbers to different settlements and countries, they quickly realized how futile and fraught with problems human governmental systems are and rejected them outright. Because of this, all fox-folk are considered autonomous equals, and there is no social or political hierarchy to position someone in power over others. However, due to differing beliefs and interests, Kitsune generally fall into one of two categories: colonial or feral.

[edit] Colonial Kitsune

Colonial Kitsune are often quick to embrace each other and collaborate in the establishment and maintenance of a human farmland, often settling together in communal collectives to take the place of the established human nobility and then shift societal trends into fulfilling their specific needs. It’s not uncommon for two settlements to suddenly see an increase in trade due to their now-Kitsune nobility aiding and trading with each other through human means.

Fox-folk who have not created, joined, or settled into a collective find other means of sustaining themselves:

Warbands
These pseudo-community groups exist solely for the purpose of slaughtering and consuming others. These militant traveling parties are only loosely held together by banding against a mutual enemy: everyone else. Because of their rage and love of bloodshed, hierarchical issues abound in these groups as Kitsune compete for power and control over the others, and in-fighting, as well as in-killing, are common among these violent fox-folk.

Some warbands have solved the social problems within themselves with the inclusion of a priest, who keeps everyone in check with rituals and fosters a sense of camaraderie. These warbands are the most dangerous, as their bloodlust and religious zeal transforms them into portable murder-cults who blissfully wreak destruction in all that they encounter, even to the point of killing other Kitsune. It is believed that these groups evolved into the Vulx.
Communes
Quite the opposite of a warband, Kitsune communes are not farming collectives, but often function in a similar cooperative manner, except without humans. Communes vary in size and purpose. Some function as traveling temples as priests group together in religious pursuit and evangelize as they roam. Some are walking libraries, packs filled to the brim with tomes of knowledge gathered by many hands over many years. A few function as clinics, with medically-knowledgeable Kitsune happy to help aid injured outsiders as long as they can offer a satisfactory exchange or sacrifice. Others are just safe living places as there is protection in numbers.

The most surprising aspect of communes is that they tend to contain monsters of other races. It’s not uncommon for communal Kitsune to live alongside other monsters quite comfortably. These fox-folk often have a reciprocal attitude toward others, recognizing that they can benefit from the presence of other monsters if they have something to offer in exchange. This trait can make a communal Kitsune seem very generous, but only if they see value or purpose in you. Unfortunately, sometimes, your purpose is eventually being on the menu.
Loners
There are a plethora of reasons a Kitsune might travel alone. They might be too aggressive to function in a warband, too self-centered to function in a commune, or too religious to be anywhere at all. Or perhaps they are simply looking for a collective to join. We wish them well.

[edit] Feral Kitsune

Not all kitsune are satisfied to adopt the customs and manners of their human prey. These feral fox-folk seek to embody the cunning, viciousness and ferocity of the wild fox, and reject the double life more typical to members of their race. They view the trappings of humanity -- agriculture, art, cooking -- as the tools of domestication and lament how their civilized kin have allowed these weapons to be used against themselves. Though perhaps fewer in number and less well documented than their civilized cousins, feral kitsune are known through the path of bodies and blood left in the wake of their riotous hunts.

Feral Kitsune typically form small groups of free association dedicated to a specific method of hunting, foraging or dispatching their foes known as Skulks. As groups of free association, skulks have a wide range of focus and histories -- some are formed ad hoc in response to unusual concentration of prey, while others operate for years honing a particular tactic or controlling a specific territory. Long-lived skulks tend to form strong bonds and are known to share their food, shelter and knowledge freely with one another and have been observed engaging in communal grooming rituals involving the combing of fur and the application of blood and warpaint. Interpersonal conflicts within skulks are typically resolved through posturing and social pressure and rarely result in lethal violence, though raised hackles, nipped ears and ruffled fur are more common.

Where two or more Skulks meet, there is usually a short period of adjustment followed by either the separation of territories or the establishment of a Warband. Conflict between skulks is rare and typically takes the form of resource competition or ritualized combat between champions.

Like all Kitsune, feral kitsune are driven by a seemingly innate desire for knowledge, experience and mastery. Unlike their more civilized cousins, feral kitsune typically pursue less refined passions such as herb-lore, wild-foraging, tracking, hunting, augury, warfare, buchery and murder. As life in the wild often requires a diverse array of skills and knowledge, feral kitsune may display a wider array of interests than their more specialized and civilized kin, but are known to pursue all with the same pseudo-religious zeal.

[edit] Philosophy

In true reflection of their created purpose, Kitsune pursue knowledge above all things. Professions are treated more like passionate hobbies, with foxes devoting their lives to specialized studies, often immersing themselves in history, medicine, civil and martial strategy, and religion and mythos. These interests propel their societal roles, with some choosing their roles based on assistive functions (as a medicinally-incline fox may become an apothecary or a civically minded one a human farmer), societal development (becoming educators or researchers for their respective fields), and leisure (religious foxes holding festivals, artistic foxes becoming entertainers, and so on).

With knowledge and passion leading their society, Kitsune generally have no individual concept of money, as goods and services are offered freely to benefit the collective. Collectives with too few Kitsune in a given field use human labor to make up the difference, leading the populace into professions and activities to suit their needs. However, when this proves not to be enough to sustain a settlement, they must find or make more Kitsune.

[edit] Birth and Creation

There are two ways a new Kitsune can come into the world. They are either born, or they are made.

[edit] Birth and Growth

New Kitsune are rarely born, due to it being more convenient and less strenuous on a parent to create a new kit instead. For many, births are public affairs overseen by both a conversion ritual leader and a medic to ensure a safe delivery and to formally acknowledge the foxling as a member of Kitsune society. The closest members of the collective gather to celebrate the occasion and offer support and assistance in raising the foxling.

Foxlings remain under the care and guidance of their local community until they are old enough to start asking questions. At this point, they are considered kits and begin their journey into discovering who they are and their place in the world around them. Kits often take apprenticeships under various Kitsune as a form of introductory schooling, studying many subjects and trades as they decide on the path that is most interesting to them.

A kit who has realized their passions receives their first mask from an elder Kitsune in recognition of their first steps as Kitsune. This mask is typically only worn until the new Kitsune creates one for themselves, but on some occasions, a Kitsune may keep their first mask to give to another, younger Kitsune to become their first mask, to a loved one or cherished friend as a token of sincerity, or to use as the base for their own creation, updating the design over time instead of creating something new for each change.

[edit] Kitsune Conversion

Though their true origin was lost to the ages, scientific and spiritually minded fox-folk could not be swayed from the pursuit of that knowledge and sought answers to the questions, “What separates the Kitsune from the fox? From the human? If the Kitsune came from the fox becoming humanlike, can a human become Kitsune by becoming foxlike?” This curiosity created a new branch of science, a metaphysical genetic study, in which medics and priests joined efforts to establish their makeup in both body and soul.

The research began with the humans, as they are bountiful in supply and failed experiments could be safely eaten for further insight. In these trials, much was learned about human physiology: their unusually thick but brittle bones, the lack of flexibility and tendency toward snapping of their joints, their susceptibility to a broad range of infections. Some researchers quit, citing the frail human condition as being impossible to improve, and focused instead on the medicinal tinctures developed to prolong experimentation. Ephedra, opium, red seaweed, and many concoctions of fermented herbs and grains proved helpful in surgical and experimental procedures, and these became incredibly powerful tools in not only medicine, but controlling human populations and quelling unrest in settlements.

Despite numerous difficulties, the Kitsune spirit prevailed. Skilled surgeons developed the means to graft the bodies of humans and wild foxes together to create figures that looked like Kitsune. However, these bodies refused to heal. The ears turned necrotic, tails hung limp and lifeless, and the test subjects continued to die. It was the priests who discovered the answer– the created body was being rejected by the human soul, and the answer to this was simple: a chimera body requires a chimera soul.

Ritualists studied surgical techniques from the medics, injuring then practicing on their own bodies to fully understand the feeling and physiology of a Kitsune, mind, body, and soul. They fused this knowledge with their rituals to surgically graft the souls of a living human and fox together in the same manner that their bodies were joined. This combination of practices created the conversion ritual, the scientific rite of Kitsune creation.

Converted Kitsune bear the scars of their procedures, incisions on the head and base of the spine for the grafting of the fox eyes, ears, and tail, and one on the abdomen for the removal of the soul.

[edit] Bloodlines and Inter-Kitsune Relations

All Kitsune are Kitsune. Whether born or converted, fox-folk are fox-folk, and once one has the blood of the fox in their veins, they are a part of the family. Newly converted Kitsune are regarded as kits, as they plunge into that phase of personal growth and self-discovery the moment they are created. Converted kits are simply treated as the offspring of their ritualist and undergo the same schooling and journeys as their born peers to eventually become recognized Kitsune.

The conversion procedure, being performed on a living subject, is such an excruciatingly painful process that all born Kitsune who desire to learn it are required to practice the procedure on themselves to understand the pain they will be inflicting on a future sibling. Though the soul heals, it does not heal perfectly, and converted Kitsune are born with a spiritual ache that will never go away.

[edit] Kitsune and other Monsters

From a Kitsune perspective, there are few reasons to quarrel with other monsters. Most monsters are fundamentally inedible, and Kitsune are not territorial creatures. Unless a monster group attacks a collective, Kitsune are generally accommodating and willing to ignore or protect passing groups. In the event of an attack, the blame and anger goes toward not the entire race, but the culprits, keeping overall interactions civil and neutral.

Individual experience causes opinions to vary, but the general feelings of Kitsune toward other monster races are:

Goblyn
Definitely inedible. Each generation seems less intelligent than the previous one, signaling an unfortunate hereditary illness that must not spread to the Kitsune. Most attempts at diplomatic relations have failed.
Gnoll
Sometimes edible. They seem especially fond of consuming one another, but do not encourage or appreciate when Kitsune eat them. Attempting to sample their meat is not worth ruining getting to enjoy playtime with a squeaker.
Kobold
Inedible. The cause of their eccentricity is, as of yet, undetermined, and they should not be eaten for fear of contagion. Their manageable size and fondness for simple items and food make them excellent pets. A regular feeding schedule will ensure their return and make training far easier.

[edit] Additional Reading

[edit] Known Kitsunes

  • Hiemi, ritualist
  • Kit Foxwyfe, huntress
  • Knives Shadowrunner
  • Nanashi
  • Vixen
  • Yang
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