Kitsune

A kitsune is a Japanese fox spirit native to the incorporeal realm but often appearing in the corporeal realm. Kitsune are followers of the god Inari.


Physiology

A kistune is a corporeal spirit whose natural shape is that of a fox with one or more tails, depending on their age and power. In addition, every kitsune can take on a human form, though even in this shape certain foxy traits can be seen - narrow faces, close-set eyes, high cheekbones, and thin eyebrows especially. Kitsune can also become invisible at will. In any form, they can be killed in any of the usual physical ways a human or fox might be killed.

For the first millennium of their life, kitsune have only one tail - if they live after that, however, they can eventually have up to nine tails. Kitsune have an intense fear and even hatred of dogs, their natural predator as foxes. They will at best grow agitated in the presence of dogs, if not flee outright.

Some kitsune seek out and marry humans, and even have children with them. Though these children are essentially human, they are always extraordinarily lucky and cunning, and usually have fox-like features.


Magical Characteristics

Kitsune can pass easily between the spirit world and the material world, and often use this as an escape mechanism. After the first century of their life, they also learn how to enter the world of dreams. Kitsune can also possess a body IF that body's soul is elsewhere (i.e. astrally projected) - which is why most astral projectors take precautions to prevent this from happening. They can of course be exorcised, and also have been known to leave if their host is beaten.

Any kitsune with at least three tails can fly. At this stage, they also gain the ability to create illusions that are almost entirely indistinguishable from reality (usually a household in which they live with their human lover, which vanishes or becomes an abandoned, dirty hovel if their lover discovers their true nature). Some kitsune also develop the ability to breathe or exude an eerie sort of fire, after they have grown at least four tails.

A kitsune's human form is not perfect - when they are agitated or distracted they tend to forget to hide their tails. Also, a reflection will show them for what they really are. Their shadows can also sometimes betray them, if they lose concentration and the light is bright enough. In order to change shape, a kitsune must hold a broad leaf, bunch of reeds, or a skull over their head.


Society and Habitat

Kitsune live either alone or in families. They can organize in full kitsune 'villages', of a sort, in which case they pick the oldest or most powerful among them as their leader, but generally they don't bother forming such an elaborate network. They are not territorial, though occasionally a kitsune or family of kitsune will 'adopt' a human household to live with/protect/play tricks on, and they do not share such a residence. Kitsune typically acknowledge the authority of older and more powerful kitsune, but there is no official supreme authority other than their god, Inari.

Typically, kitsune who are unattached will live in the spirit world, but venture into the material world. Kitsune with some sort of connection to households in the material world, however, will live there.