"I see my brethren off to create all these fancifull works, but I can't help but wonder how they should be appraised, or what their relative worth is to other goods. I wish to know this, and master the art of it," answered Mei Lien, second youngest of the eight.
Much like Lithians and humans, Kitsunes are a very young race in Zeras. Their god, Mei Lien, is known as the god of commerce, subtlety, and illusions. Her associated element is ice.
Characteristic Bonus: +1 to Fellowship or Composure
Skill Bonus: +1 to Charm and Deceive
Power: Slippery : Whenever you successfully dodge a melee attack, you may make a free withdraw action, but you may only
move half of the normal distance.
Kitsunes, being close relatives to the Elves, Lithians and Humans, have a similar form to the others. The marking different between them and the other three is they have fox-like ears and tails, and slit cat-like eyes. They live to be around 80 to 100, same as humans and Lithians. An interesting trait among Kitsunes that most scholars have noticed, is that hair color doesn't have terribly much to do with the hair of the parents; it seems to be a completely random trait. In addition to this, Kitsunes are somewhat unique among the eight in that they have very noticeable sub-races within their genus, who have more feline or canine appearances, rather than the normal fox-like traits.
Among the eight, the Kitsunes are the only race with an absolute monarchy. Their entire culture is based around this principal, which is supported by a very strict caste system, and their queen or king is considered a reincarnation of Mei Lien herself, returning to Zeras to guide her people. Their caste system is based entirely on hair color, which as previously mentioned, is a highly random trait. When a child is born with a hair color different than their families, they are relocated to a new household to be raised within their respected caste. To Kitsunes, retaining caste purity is much more important than family ties.
The lowest caste is brown hair, which is the most common trait; brown haired Kitsunes are raised as farmers, peasants and laborers. Above them is black hair, who are considered somewhat a middle class; they are merchants, tradesmen, and can enlist in the military. The class above them is the red heads, who aren't quite nobles, but are more likely to be put in leadership positions the black haired Kitsunes. The nobles are the blonds. White hair kitsunes are an oddity, and are usually relocated to be trained as court magisters or royal knights; they fall outside the normal caste. The only other hair color known is the silver haired Kitsune, who are born once every hundred years or so, and upon birth are instantly declared king or queen of the Kitsune Empire; to the Kitsune, silver hair is the sign of rebirth of Mei Lien, and this belief is only further justified by the fact that there have never been two silver haired Kitsunes alive at the the same time. They are typically born within a month of the king or queen's death.
The sub-races also adhere to this caste system, but are considered lower citizens by their Kitsune peers, and don't share the same privileges. For example a noble of a sub-race might be a member of a noble Kitsune's house, but they are still subservient to their pure blooded peers. The exceptions to this are brown haired Kitsunes, who can't really get any lower, and white haired, who are considered equals on all levels. There has never been a king or queen of the sub-race.
An interesting tidbit about Kitsunes, is that they, as a culture, are compulsive liars. White lies, pleasantries, humbling oneself after being given a complement, straight up deceit, are just common speech for Kitsunes, and its something that works fine within their own society. However, when interacting with other races, things become a bit more problematic. A lot of Kitsunes consider themselves more privileged than people of other races, and talk down to them. These are traits that seem to fade with Kitsunes who live among other races for an extended period of time, and many scholars believe it to be a cultural phenomena that once separated, goes away. As a result, many races don't trust the Kitsune Empire on a whole, but are more tolerable with them as individuals. This is prevalently true since most Kitsunes found outside the empire are runaways of a lower cast, or white haired; white haired Kitsunes are actually the only ones of their kind taught not to lie, since they are trained for more professional military and adventuring roles. However, no matter where you go, no one trusts a Kitsune business man.
The empire itself, is an extremely domineering trade empire in the east. Early on in their history, the Kitsunes united under their first Emperor, established their capitol city of Shambhala, and conquered most their neighboring lands, integrating the sub-races of these lands into their own people, and establishing a trade empire with the other races of Zeras with their huge supply of natural resources and unique goods, such as silk and herbs. Throughout the years, many Emperors and Empresses have attempted to conquer the other nations of the eight, but these attempts have never really ended well; their current political stance is extremely apologetic and patronizing due to fairly recent aggressions.
- Kitsunes were the first race to establish a currency, which is something most races learned from them with time.
- Royal Magi and Kitsune Shrine Maidens/Priests are supurb illusionists, and are the world's lead in magic of the illumination school
- Kitsunes, curious of the secrets of the randomness of their hair color, are a bit farther ahead than most races in the fields of Biology and Genetics. Granted, they still haven't discovered genes and traits and such yet.
Relationships with other races
*Humans don't really mesh into the Kitsune caste system well, but are considered on good terms with them. Those who live with the Kitsunes are typically members of the black hair or red hair caste, with a few nobles or advisers to noble households.
*Kitsunes and Lithians are on fairly good terms with one another, which is surprising to most races considering Kitsunes are difficult to trust
*Dwarves,Trolls and Goblins don't trust Kitsunes do to recent aggressions, and Kitsunes are extremely apologetic to them in turn. It's a similar relationship to that between Dwarves and Elves. However, the Goblins, being great lie detectors, are slightly more put off by this behavior, since they are pretty good at detecting lies.
*Kitsunes are seen as good trading partners due to their wide empire and many resources, but Elves can't stand their views on citizen's rights and general haughtiness.
*Many Orc tribes around the Kitsune empire practice very aggressive forest expanding, to the point where confrontation with the Kitsunes is inevitable. Orcs themselves are fairly neutral toward the Kitsunes, but the Kitsunes themselves fear and loath the Orcs.