Kitsune are Light Youkai and are found almost exclusively in Territories on mountaintops and plateaus. They dwell in monasteries and temples with open roofs as close as is safe to the haunt. Kitsune originating in other kinds of Light haunts are sought out by their brethren and brought back to their stronghold.
Most Kitsune are primarily motivated by reverence for their element, which they consider to be a manifestation of their nameless Goddess. This makes them no less aggressive than Tengu or other Youkai, though it means they will attempt to convert interlopers rather than kill them. The monasteries of the Kitsune are full of carefully-watched mortal worshippers … whose deaths produce more Kitsune and continue their race.
The morality of any given Territory’s Kitsune will be compatible, as newly created Youkai are indoctrinated by their older peers. The views of different Territories are unpredictable and not always compatible; this can lead to religious wars over what the Goddess’s word consists of. What can be predicted is that Kitsune are highly judgmental, enforcing their own moral standards with great prejudice.
Kitsune can also be very liberal in their definition of their Territory. The influence of their element has no clear boundary or border, and a Territory may consist of however much land the Kitsune are able to hold onto and control. Any nearby mortal settlements will definitely be considered part of the Territory.
The tight religious strictures and solemn demeanor of Kitsune masks their own inherent Youkai nature: quicksilver, luck, and chaos. Their iron discipline is a means of keeping themselves in check and maintaining some measure of coherence and predictability in what might otherwise be a completely random and amorphous group.
It’s not uncommon for an older Kitsune to simply “snap” from the stress of going against their true nature and find themselves exiled. Kitsune who rebel against these strictures or are never exposed to them are termed “noh-Kitsune” by their fellows and hunted as outlaws.
Noh-Kitsune (and temple Kitsune in moments of weakness) manage to be hyperkinetic and enthusiastic without ever seemingly truly ’’happy’’. Their moods are ever-changing, and while they have the capacity to remain on topic (unlike Kappa) they try to explore every possible ramification of an idea at high speed regardless of the practicality of the situation.
The Kitsune do not technically have a sense of humor of any kind, but noh-Kitsune try their best. They attempt pointless practical jokes that no one else would find funny, such as laying out pinecones in a meaningless pattern in the center of a well-traveled road. They also tell jokes that make even less sense.
Kitsune have the power to increase the energy level of an object or reaction. This can be used to prevent decay, halt the effects of worsening injuries, or prolong fire or chemical reactions. It can also be applied directly to a living mortal’s brain, causing an fatal stroke. Naturally, Kitsune can also produce the same effects as Light magic.
The majority of Kitsune are demihuman with fox-like styling, though the Kitsune have the odd ability to reconfigure themselves into any human or quadrupedal form of roughly equivalent mass. This doesn’t grant them any special abilities of the assumed form, but a fox does not have to have special abilities to run faster than a hunter can catch it.
Kitsune frequently use this ability to pose as mortals, either as a generic type or as a specific individual. (Expedience demands that the copied individual be dead or already spirited off.) From this vantage point the Youkai can subtly influence mortal societies, spreading their Goddess’s ideals and acting as instruments of their Goddess’s wrath.
Such “missions” are most often undertaken by Kitsune who find their discipline slipping and need some time alone to recover. Many find they prefer life among mortals and never return to the temples, accepting status as noh-Kitsune.
Unlike most other Youkai, Kitsune are victims of their own society. At one point in the distant past their discipline may have kept them from degenerating into complete randomness, but over time their practical solution became fanaticism. Newly created Kitsune are subject to brainwashing as much as their human victims are.
The only thing most temple Kitsune Territories have to offer mortals is the use of the haunt to harvest Spirits. Mage-ruled villages occasionally combine the two, allowing the Kitsune to carry off townspeople selected by lot in exchange for a ready supply of Spirits or the right to settle near the Territory unmolested.
Noh-Kitsune can be useful traveling companions, especially since their powers are an effective counter to Vampires. They can also be found living secretly among mortals to escape their kin. The most daring noh-Kitsune stir up resentment and aggression towards the temple Kitsne.
Kitsune possess the following powers:
- Partial Immortality. A Kitsune is born in its final form, and they do not grow, age, breathe, or get sick. They do not thirst, hunger, or tire, though they may engage in drink, food, and sleep for reasons of pleasure.
- Shapechanging. Kitsune may take the form of any natural, mammalian, mortal creature within 20%. of their own natural weight. They retain all of their normal abilities while shapechanged, and do not gain any special abilities of the new form (such as special senses or poison). A Kitsune’s carried items are not shapechanged.
- Psionic Flight. Kitsune fly purely psionically and can hover.
- Psionic Illusion. Kitsune can create any illusion so long as part of it is bathed in light. They primarily use this ability defensively, creating distractions or falsifying stronger magic than they possess.
- Spellcasting. Kitsune may use mortal-style magic freely as though they had embodied an unlimited number of Light Spirits. The effects produced cannot exceed those that a mortal could perform with four such Spirits, however, and the Kitsune cannot embody Spirits or use any non-Light magic.
- Minor Abilities. Kitsune possess physical strength and resilience equivalent to the strongest of mortals.
Unlike other Youkai Kitsune have no telekinetic abilities.