The kitsune is a creature with two forms and a natural ability to shift between them; they may either appear in a quadrupedal vulpine form, a humanoid form, or rarely a mixture of both. A kitsune can have from two to nine tails, though the more tails, the more powerful they become. Nine-tailed kitsune are known to be almost divinely powerful, and are both well respected and feared in kitsune culture. Two variants exist: the more common Kuraian breed, and the rare - but original - Evylonian.
Starball A kitsune's starball is their Soulgem; their entire soul crystallized into an orb of solid reiatsu. Each one shimmers with the color of their spirit, varying by individual; they are often hidden and kept in secret on a kitsune's person at all times. All starballs are fragile and most are relatively small, generally no more than an inch or two in diameter at their largest.
These can be corrupted, and may be used to force a kitsune to do one's bidding - though corrupting a starball is nearly permanent, and results in a nogitsune before eventual death.
Death When a kitsune dies, and their starball remains intact, they have two choices. They may pass into the Spirit Realm as normal, which will allow their Gem to disintegrate and release the soul within, or they may choose to continue to 'live' within their starball. When this happens, they are unable to die naturally - they cannot use magic or craft illusions, though they may communicate through telepathy as long as they have strength to do so. The energy inside such a former starball may also be used by others (but not the kitsune), though if used all at once without being allowed time to recover, the Gem will shatter and the soul will be destroyed.
Those trapped within their Gems are often called 'the Kosoku', or the Bound, and do not need any form of sustenance save for the time to recharge their energy should another use it. However, many Kosoku lose eventually themselves to madness, and beg to have their Gems smashed as an end to the loneliness and inability to do anything by their own power.
Tailless and Single-Tailed A kitsune born with a single tail, with no tails, or that has had their tails removed by the goddess (tails that are cut off will simply grow back) will be completely removed from all magic. Those will a single tail will still be able to shift into humanoid form, but those without tails are stuck in their fox forms as simple, but sapient, foxes with unusual coloring.
Ninth Tail A kitsune's ninth tail is known to be divine; it grants them incredible power, and nearly omnipotent knowledge of the world around them. Because of the incredible power it grants, the ninth tail of a kitsune must be granted by an Ether, Sage, or god of any power.
After the ninth tail is granted, they will be visited by Torikkusuta - the goddess of the kitsune - and will be granted a unique gift that differs by individual.
Due to their rarity, a kitsune's ninth tail is obtained with a limited store item; please do not make one unless bought. Thank you!
The NineAlthough they, as a race, are largely independent, and lack a true homeland, they are loosely governed by The Nine, nine kitsune who have earned their ninth tails. Should one of the Nine die, a prospective replacement is sought. Although they are the official leaders of the kitsune race, they spend much of their time engaged in the Great Game, an ever-shifting contest of intrigue with and against each other, primarily for their own amusement, rarely ever taking an interest or direct role in kitsune affairs. Their primary interaction with other kitsune revolves around this-for-that negotiations. As they all know each other's true names, and trust each other greatly, the Golden Threads between them are quite strong, allowing them to work as one if need be, and making their Great Game all the more interesting.
Nine's Ascension Ascending to join The Nine is an arduous process. A willing candidate must tell a tale detailing their accomplishments, embellished just enough to remain plausible, crafted to be as entertaining as they can be. If the rest of the Nine approve, the candidate presents his or her starball to them, and reveals their true name. The Nine then proceed to question them thoroughly, forcing them to bare their very souls. If satisfied, The Nine then proceed to reveal their own starballs and true names to the candidate, who is then ordained one of The Nine. If the Nine are not satisfied, the candidate is dismissed, and ejected from the Celestial Palace.
Celestial Palace Ancient home of The Nine, although they often travel abroad for years or decades. The palace is arranged around a nine-spoke pattern, with a gate at each spoke. A mix of strong, beautiful, and elegant architectures combine in an opulent mix. At the center of the massive structure, The Cloister of The Nine sits, adorned by nine seats, each chosen to suit the tastes of the Nine, whether it be throne, couch, mound of cushions, or whatever they desire. The halls, chambers, and gardens are filled with many beautiful works of art collected from across the realms, and exotic plants. Illusionary animals of all kinds race through the gardens and halls. The palace hangs suspended in the air, kept aloft and hidden by a myriad of spells and soulgems, and hidden behind the powerful illusions cast by The Nine. At their discretion, the palace can be made to move between Realms, usually when something going on there has drawn their attention.
Species info credited to Bucketorandomness, Fyfergrund, Skyeh, Moonbleached, and Blazeh/Verridith.
Both:In fox form, the only ways to tell a kitsune apart from a normal fox is the number of tails and the color of fur. There are a number of instances where kitsune have been unusual colors, and there is yet to be a natural occurrence of multiple tails in a normal fox. Typically, there is a correlation between the vulpine fur color and humanoid hair color. As a humanoid, various vulpine features can show, such as ears or tails, though a number can choose to change completely or use illusion to hide their fox features. It is important to note that no matter what form they take, kitsune will have and hide their starball somewhere on their person. In the mouth is typically a popular solution to the need to keep their soul close, though others may hide it in illusion, with magic, or a variety of other ways due to the danger of becoming a foxling.
Fox - Kuraian: Kuraian kitsune are typically taller and rangier than their Evylonian brethren in both fox and human forms; in their vulpine shape, they have longer legs and larger ears, with a sleek build and delicate faces. Their eyes are always cat-slitted, and they have longer fangs and claws than both Evylonian kitsune and traditional foxes. The coloration of a Kuraian kitsune often ranges more towards the unnatural, with bold markings and sharp features. Sometimes, kitsune dwelling in Kurai will craft masks to wear in their fox forms, or wear demonic jewelry to warn demons that they are not simple prey.
Fox - Evylonian: Evylonian variants are seen uncommonly in Evylon's varied lands in the forms that they were originally given when created by the Old Gods. Much smaller than their Kuraian cousins, Evylonian kitsune are shorter and more subtle in both colors and features. They have smaller ears and larger tails, and often have thicker - if not longer - fur. Their eyes may have slitted pupils, rounded pupils, or an oval-shaped combination of both.
Humanoid - Kuraian: Most Kuraian kitsune in their humanoid forms tend to show very little of their vulpine features; most common are their trademark tails, and commonly ears, though otherwise they often appear to be completely human. Most wear traditional Kuraian clothing and jewelry, and may keep any masks they create to wear in their fox forms as accessories in this shape, sometimes wearing them as half-masks instead of full.
Humanoid - Evylonian: Shorter by far than their Kuraian cousins, Evylonian kitsune are apt to show much more of their fox features in humanoid form; ears and tails are very common, and those that choose to display anthropomorphic demi-forms are common. They wear garb closest to the cultural norm in the area which they live, from tunics and breeches to elegant gowns and courtly robes favored by elven nobility.
Kitsune are known widely to be the quintessential tricksters of our worlds. Their illusions are nearly unrivaled, and a playful prank is a common greeting between kitsune. When kitsune find another creature they trust completely - such as a pairbond - they will offer their true name, a possession as prized as their starball, and held just as tightly: giving either to another party creates a bond of nearly absolute control over the kitsune.
This technique has been used to create a system of accountability among the ruling set of kitsune; the Nine are judge, jury, and executioner in matters of their race The nine members of this elite group are rumored to be unable to pairbond because of the number of true-name bonding they share with the other members. They guide and keep the peace together as a group of nine-tailed kitsune, beneath their goddess Torikkusuta.
The most extreme punishment that the Nine can deliver is the taking of one's starball; as the starball is the Soulgem of each kitsune, without it an individual will begin to wither. Those who carry the Gem hold control over the kitsune its connected to, so to keep proceedings civil, the Nine will keep the starballs of those involved in the proceedings and make participants speak the truth as they know it. Many kitsune travel to the Nine regularly to settle disputes.
Kuraian: Kuraian kitsune are generally considered more malicious in their trickery than those that originated in Evylon; perhaps stemming from the demons that they once served, these vulpine creatures have a much greater tendency towards tricks that may end in bloodletting and violence. However, despite this, it is frowned upon if a Kuraian kitsune kills another without due cause - and the Nine may act against any that go too far. Most feared by Kuraians is the punishment of their goddess, and the roaming nogitsune who's tortured wails prove what awaits those who trespass in a god's domain.
Evylonian: Though rare compared to their Kuraian brothers anymore, Evylonian kitsune are an elusive breed that do not interact with others nearly as often, even their own kind. They are far gentler, and their trickery and illusions usually do not bear any ill will. However, many do not allow harm to come to those they see, and many a traveler has been saved by a multi-tailed fox driving away bandits, forestwolves, or other dangers of the road. It's said that to gain the trust of an Evylonian kitsune is to gain a protector for the rest of one's life, and to gain one's love is a gift from their goddess herself.
The abilities of a kitsune are directly tied to the number of tails a kitsune has. Any with two or more tails has an abundance of magical talent; rare are those that have none. The more tails one has, the more power they control - most gain a new tail every thousand years they live, but the final tail must be earned and granted by a divine being.
All kitsune may shift between vulpine and humanoid form at any time, differing in process, speed, and ease of change by individual. Most common among a kitsune's talents are their superb illusion skills, which may be anything from subtle changes around one's environment to those that involve all of the senses, very difficult to distinguish from reality.
Kitsune are weakest to naturally opposing elements, those that may see through their illusions, and illusions cast by other kitsune or those with illusionary abilities; even those with eight or nine tails may be swayed by more powerful visions. Every kitsune also has a true name - a binding name, usually very long, that is unlike any other name in existence. When spoken, it will resonate with their soul, and if known by another they may be completely and totally controlled by that individual.
The theft of a starball - their Soulgem - is also a common weakness. If a starball is destroyed, the kitsune will die almost immediately, and no trace of their soul will pass into the Spirit Realm. A corrupted starball will result in a brief-living nogitsune, and a a stolen or misplaced starball will result in a kitsune's withering and eventual death.
Two tails: Two-tailed kitsune usually have minor control over a single element, and mediocre illusionary skills. These kitsune do not often have good control over their reiatsu or any sort of pure energy, and thus magical barriers, wards, and shieldings of any kind remain weak and easily broken. Those with only two tails are most likely to use their illusions to hide what they are, and walk as either normal foxes, or humanoids of various types.
Three tails: Three tailed kitsune have much greater control over their illusions, and commonly have decent control over their reiatsu and traditional non-elemental energy. While a three-tailed kitsune may still only master a single element, they are powerful enough to show what they are openly, and are somewhat bold in their trickery.
Four tails: Kitsune with four tails are considered mature in their abilities; they usually have been able to control two elements naturally, and are very skilled in illusion. Their illusionary nature is able to tap into both sight and smell, though they are still insubstantial and may be found for what they are if touched.
Five tails: By a kitsune's fifth tail, they are considered to be dangerous opponents and respected allies; masters of non-elemental energy and up to three elements, they are capable both magically and physically. Illusions gain the ability to emit sound, and thus affect three senses: sight, scent, and hearing.
Six tails: Six-tailed kitsune are considered gifted in up to four elements, and often have greater magical resistance than kitsune of lesser tails. They are faster and larger than those younger or less powerful, and their illusions are doubly difficult to see through and break.
Seven tails: Kitsune of seven full tails have the potential for mastery of five elements, and their illusions include touch as well as sight, hearing, and scent. Most often, a seven-tailed kitsune's biggest weakness to their illusions are those that involve food; they cannot attach taste to an illusionary morsel of food, and thus can it be broken easily.
Eight tails: The illusions of an eight-tailed kitsune are rivaled by very few; they affect all of the senses, and may be nearly indistinguishable from reality. They also have the ability to master any element, and multiple elements, though it is thousands of years before full mastery in every element may be achieved.
Nine tails: A full nine tails is the apex of power for any kitsune to attain; their illusions are nearly unbreakable, and they are often very old and very wise, powerful both in body and mind. They are immensely rare, and are not well known beyond the governing Nine, the council of kitsune all with god-granted nine tails.
To encounter a nine-tailed fox is to be in the presence of someone the gods or an Ether have deemed favorable in their eyes. This ninth tail gives the kitsune a unique ability granted by the goddess Torikkusuta, and many see them as all-knowing because of the nature of their gifts. Many have recorded abilities such as hearing things far away, seeing a completely different location, or speaking to another across impossibly long distances. However, this is just a small sampling of what the divine ninth tail has granted; all gifts vary from individual to individual, and can be as varied as there are creatures in the Realms.
Many ages ago, in the very first few years of Evylon, the Old Gods watched their creations grow and multiply under a beautiful sky. A priest that had dedicated his life to them, one of the first elves they had created, took a fox as a pet - a white fox, with a pelt as beautiful as snow and eyes the color of the darkest sapphires. He traveled wide and far, dispatching dark creatures that came about in a variety of ways, born of the new Realm's chaotic magic… until he came to one he could not face alone.
The priest had found a monster that had left a path of destruction in its wake, and had come across a village of elves, new-built and yet to be established. They were without warriors, and were weak; nothing that could stand against such terrible might. Appalled, the priest could not stand idle and allow such a travesty to occur; as the beast grabbed its first victim and tore her in half, the man threw himself at the monster, hands aglow with the power of light.
His light was to prevail; the fox looked on in glee as the monster fell motionless, flesh charred away by brilliant light. However, the priest took heart too soon… and was dragged to the ground by a monster that still lived. Before the elven priest was dealt the fatal blow, a flash of white streaked past the battered man and collided with the creature. Latching itself onto the monster's snarling face, there was enough time for the wounded priest to scramble to his feet and grab his discarded staff - and he drove it into the beast's eye, just as it flung the little fox away with all the strength in its exhausted form.
Beset with grief, moment's later, the priest knelt before his companion and stroked the animal's snowy fur, whispering words of appreciation for the act. He had spent much of his strength on the battle; he had none left to heal the fox's horrific wounds. Instead, he clasped his hands in prayer and beseeched the gods of Evylon to carry this valiant creature lovingly to the afterlife. However, when the Old Gods heard his plea, they did not do as bid; no.
A warm soft glow surrounded the white fox, lifting it into the air. Words only the small creature could hear reverberated through the fox's still body, as the priest drew back in shock and wonder. We have seen what you've done, O fox; one that has given life for another, for a cause much more than you were meant for. We grant new life and purpose to you, and name you kitsune. With the body of man, know their humility; with the body of a fox, retain your trickster's passion. With the spark of immortality we gift you an everlasting playground to grow and live as you see fit. Rise as Yakizimo, First of the Kitsune.
The watching priest covered his eyes when the soft glow became a bright flash, and only lowered his hands when it subsided enough to look. Standing before him was not the little fox from before, but a man with crimson hair, streaked with white in the front looked down upon the priest with soft red eyes. But no, not a man was he - ten brilliantly white tails, streaked in reds and maroons and creams, and two large ears flicked forward with interest.
The elf knew the moment he saw this new figure before him that he was unmistakably his companion, and was overjoyed at such a turn of events. Embracing the kitsune, the priest smiled and his companion smiled back, before donning a glistening mask and shifting into the form of a gargantuan fox, nothing like the one before. It was masked and ten-tailed, with beads that swirled in color at the end of each tail, clasped in long hair, and around his neck. The First Kitsune fled, then, and led the priest on a merry chase - one that did not end for many, many years. It was only when their adventures were at an end, when the Old Gods were no more and the priest unable to continue, did the First fall into slumber, lost and forgotten...
The kitsune Ancient First has two primary forms, often changed or added to with illusion. First is that of an absolutely gargantuan fox, his pelt colored in whites and creams, only marred by the dark maroon of his markings. He wears large beads painted with golden swirls on two of his ten tails, and one to clasp the thick mane of dark red hair that frames his vulpine face, often hidden with a white mask. Around his neck are paper talismans written in Demonic from long years spent in Kurai, colored white and gold and written in red ink. Each talisman has a different spell on it, and each is bound to the rope about his neck with a single maroon bead.
In his humanoid form, the kitsune often wears a much smaller version of his fox-mask on one side of his face, and allows his ten tails and ears to show freely. He has pale skin and scarlet eyes, and has two-tone white and dark red hair that falls well past his waist. He wears Kuraian robes of white and red, and a variety of red beaded jewelry.
Yakizimo is a master of illusion unrivaled by any who walk the earth. He may make living things appear, feel, and sound completely different than they are, and may alter reality with his magic to a certain degree. His illusions often live on without him and siphon energy off of those they affect, though once detached from their creator, may be broken. Little else is known about any elemental or magical affinities he has beyond this.
Classification: kitsune frozen in time. Location: abroad.
When a kitsune reabsorbs their Soulgem as a child, time freezes them at whatever age they were; never to become an adult, these creatures are trapped as children for the rest of their immortal lives. While some may retain a child's sense of the world forevermore, some recover and gain wisdom over their long life - with the mind of an adult and the body of a kid, these foxlings are most prone to become excessively malicious and are prone to violent trickery. Those that do not recover may attach themselves to a parent figure, and may follow their protector to the end of days. It is said that a foxling is stuck with however many tails they were frozen with, though stories tell that under special circumstances, this may change. Shifting from human form to fox form and back, as well as any magical abilities, depends on the individual.
Classification: corrupted kitsune. Location: abroad.
The nogitsune is a malnourished, primal kitsune; they are those who have had their starballs - Soulgems - corrupted by either their goddess, or an outside party. A nogitsune's coloration will darken over time in fur coloration; if they are still able to transform, skin, hair, and eyes will likewise darken. Markings seem to grow brighter and bolder the longer a nogitsune is sustained, and may shift in hue depending on the individual. Their starball will become black and will radiate evil intent; most begin to crack as if under great strain, and often shatter anywhere from after a single year up to a decade of corrupted life. As a corrupted starball begins to deteriorate, the nogitsune will slowly starve and lose what little is left of its control until eventual death.
Nogitsune abilities remain largely the same, though tainted in a variety of ways. Illusions, however, become more and more nightmarish the longer the nogitsune lives, and may corrupt the dreams of those they touch for days after the initial contact.
Rarely, a nogitsune will be granted a second chance: a purification of their starball and release back into becoming a proper kitsune once again. If the nogitsune was recently turned, this requires one whom they trust completely to take their corrupted starball and offer it to the goddess with a plea and prayer for their safe restoration. However, if the individual that offers the prayer is not completely trusted bu the nogitsune, it will fail and the goddess will ignore them. If the nogitsune is older, the trusted individual must not only offer their starball but also speak their true name in the plea, garnering the attention of the deity. Depending on what the nogitsune did to become corrupted in the first place, this may cost the trusted individual's life.
A purified nogitsune will retain their darker coloration, and their Soulgem will remain fragile, but it will regain the hues it had before. They will still act primal, and have bouts of insanity, for some weeks after purification, and their illusions will be marked with nightmarish traits for some time. Purified nogitsune all will be marked in some way that cannot be fully hidden by any illusion - a marking or scar. These, if touched with illusion, will flare and distort wildly, marking them for what they had once been.