By Tooth And Claw Dragons

Kuraian Kitsune's Tale

The history of the Kuraian kitsune, and how they came to be. Also explains the existence of their goddess, and her original War demon heritage.

It is well known the tale of the First Kitsune; of the fox that sacrificed its life to save an elven priest. But who can tell what happened after? Little was known, secrets kept close by the kitsune. However, tales persisted, and now the truth is revealed to all.

For many long years, the First Kitsune and his elven priest companion traveled together; a merry game of chase it was called, though their camaraderie could not have been a closer bond. When the priest could not continue, the First departed, and joined his fellow kitsune in grand feats of trickery against all they came across. At first, it was simple fun, harmless tricks and amusing jokes. But as the many-tailed foxes grew bolder and their numbers swelled, they became more than a common nuisance to be encountered upon the road.

When a young Halgian child died because of a vulpine trick, the kitsune were labeled as a threat and menace. Hunters under the banner of the Light rose to seek out and destroy the foxes, often taking their starballs for trophies or - more rarely - control. Unwilling to go against the Empire in their endeavor, other countries soon persecute the kitsune as well. Over many years, this continued until they very nearly became extinct, and the threat of destruction or enslavement was enough to drive many to desperation.

A group of kitsune come together, the most powerful of their race. Each with nine tails, numbering nine, and called the Nine, they gathered to them what was left of their species, and sought to protect them from the Halgians' brutal ire. A decision was made - they could not fight the might of the Empire and its allies. The kitsune would have to escape… or die.

In twos and threes, kitsune fled from Evylon into Kurai - only the smallest, most elusive foxes remained, promising to the Nine that they would not allow themselves to be caught. The Council agreed, and followed the rest of their kin into the Realm of Demons.

It was a harsh land. The acidic rain burned and the bloodwater could not slake the thirst the kitsune felt for water. Demons hunted them gleefully, finding a new food source - their numbers suffered, and three of the Nine fell to their onslaught.

But then, the miserable kitsune were approached by a woman; a demoness with dark teal hair and bright red eyes, white markings curling across russet-colored skin. She wore sparse clothing in reds and blacks, accented with obsidian scales formed into armor across her chest, in thin pauldrons, and greaves that hugged her shapely form. "Newcomers," she greeted, sauntering up to those of the Nine that remained. "You appear to need help."

The demoness was a Clan leader; a feared and prolific n'vaen who ruled her Clan with iron talons. Answering only to her Lord, she offered the Nine protection for their entire race, and magic that would allow them to adapt to Kurai's hellish environment… for a price.

A promise of sanctuary that first required servitude.

For some time, this works well; kitsune integrated into demon culture and served the Clan leader for many years, training beneath her skillful weaponsmiths and mages. However, the mischievous kitsune soon grew bored of their servitude, and began to devise a way to escape their oath. Many approached the Nine, who found dislike in their way of life just as much, and they reach a decision: attempt to trick the Lord into freeing them.

Before they can, war breaks out between the Kingdoms, and all of War's forces are marshaled to respond. As skirmishes break out along the border, the kitsune follow their patron Clan to the front, bound to fight for their leader and her warriors. Amid the battle, however, the woman's honor guard - six samurai - are briefly incapacitated, and the Clan leader is slain by Death assassins. Suddenly, the kitsune are caught between two warring Kingdoms without direction, and begin to fight for their freedom alone. Their bid for freedom becomes a brave last effort against destruction as demons of both Death and War turn to wipe the vulpine shifters from existence.

As their numbers fall, two explosions of force great enough to knock all off their feet and from the sky rage as Lethias arrives to drive the War demons away; the bravery of the doomed kitsune touched her, and she is inspired to not only reward them for it, but also to spite her War-goddess sister. "You have shown great promise, foxes of the trees," she said, stepping towards the battered kitsune. Demons of War fled before her, but those of Death threw themselves prone, weeping for forgiveness. They were ignored. "I have seen enough of your kind in the chains of servitude. I give you free reign among the demons of Kurai; and protection from ever being the servants of another again."

The great wolven goddess looked down, her massive form graceful as she bent to touch the body of the Clan leader with her muzzle. Given new life, the War demoness gasps and rises as though she had never died, but not as she once was; instead, ten lush, beautiful tails waved behind her, and foxlike ears pricked forward in wonder. Rising, she shifted into the form of a teal-furred, glimmering fox, and looked up at Lethias with red eyes glowing like fire. "You are to be the protector of kitsune," the goddess intoned. "A goddess in your own right. See to it that they never fall to service against their will again."

With a second touch, Lethias forged her into a demigoddess. It is known that the goddess of kitsune is limited in that she may only guide the kitsune and never control them, and is plagued by the same mischievous nature as her patrons; she protects them from falling into servitude, and punishes those who seek too much control.

Written/Told by: Diakazu, kitsune bard
Contributed by: Verridith

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