9/12/2015 - Wow. Fantasy Flights is purchasing L5R from AEG. I've had some good experiences with Fantasy Flights game runners and team, so I'm hoping that going forward this will be a boon to the game. This past year, the AEG slot of the CCG area of GenCon was perhaps a quarter of its size only two years prior, so I'm not particularly startled by this news. Rather, I hope this is good news for the brand, as FF has the CGC and LGC know-how to make brands consistently attract players. It is certainly better than what I felt must be a looming doom for the game whose player base I mostly adore. I'm sad to see AEG go, but it has been pretty obvious that the company has moved on to different types of games. What this means for the RPG side of things, I honestly don't know. As with the change of any dynasty to new leadership, we'll have to hold on and see what happens. As for this site, AEG has been tolerant of its presence with the home rules I made and my collection of mons (the most clicked on page in my L5R section). It is far too early to tell how Fantasy Flights will regard this site. If they request it, I will of course remove the pages. Until such time, however, they will remain. And when the new RPG books roll out, I'll pick them up and see about maybe making these rules work with them. Until then, y'all.  And if nothing else, the Sith lady will come make faces at you next year at GenCon, too. ^.^  ...(( omg the number of you who didn't know that was me. XD ))

(And if you are from Fantasy Flights and want this stuff removed or want to ask me about anything I've done here, the contact me link below has an email address for me. I check that email regularly, so you can expect a timely response to a message from an official email account. Thank you.)

10/16/2015 - Fixed the clothing links. Upon glancing at the list, I realized that while it introduces some new styles, it still sadly under represents some majorly awesome styles, so I will try to poke around and find more pictures to add to that list.

To the left, see pages for mechanics and to the right, descriptions, explanations, and other non-number stuff.

 

Introductions to a Legend

Follows is a brief story I wrote to introduce the kitsune, weaving in some of the myth. I wrote this specifically as an introductory piece and it talks about several of the aspects that will be discussed in other pages. A version of this story was for a time posted under the title "Directions and Misdirections" in the L5R forums (before the reformat).

 

Links to the rules/setup pages

Links to description pages

These pages are focused to deal with the actual number crunching. There are details and explanations of the whys for some things over in the description pages. The sheer numbers are right here, though. I am going to add more in the way of schools traits and fame (rather than Honor) later. These pages are focused more on those aspects of daily or social life. Please note that characters and places are AU - in my game, the kitsune were more active and there were more relations between kitsune and humans. These pages were written for those who would play a kitsune - much of this information would not be part of the human's learning as, in general, most people don't sit down to have tea with them.

Illusions and skulls

Foxfire

Advantages and Disadvantages

Other Mechanics

 

 

Names and kanji readings

A cold, wet droplet of water gleefully struck his neck and slid down his back. Suzume Tsugi gasped and jerked upright as the cold water sent shivers down his spine like the insistent touch of a spirit. One hand covered his neck as he quickly glanced behind him, furtively looking …

Only to be struck in the head by another nearly frozen drop of rain. The cold of it was painful compared to the stifling summer heat of just a few moments before. He cursed softly and ducked, as if that would somehow help him avoid the cold assault. He wasn’t the only person in the field smothering curses now as more of the droplets rained down on them. He cast one last glance around him, to be sure, then squinted up into the sky.

The rain was hard to watch. Each droplet was a small pillar of crystal tossing light in bright sparkling color around it, and the sky was filled with crystalline strings passing light between each other in a playfully brilliant display of light and color. A wind suddenly picked up and tugged the rain sideways a bit. The light and colors shifted; soon the wind was pushing a rainbow through the air.

A soft, dry chuckle sounded next to him, and he glanced to his mother, astonished at the calm, bemused expression on her aging face.

“Now, there’s something you don’t see every day – rain when the sun’s still shining.”

Tsugi glanced to his father, and frowned, “What does it mean?”

“Ah?” His father grinned at him, then straightened, shifting his field bag farther onto his back as he squinted up into sky, “Well now, mind me, but I don’t quite recall that legend.”

“A wedding,” Yuuhana, his mother, stretched out her hand, smiling as a second rainbow swept across the fields and briefly touched her hand before moving on. “A kitsune wedding. It is said the kami all wish to celebrate their weddings at once, so they share the skies. When it rains and the sun still shines, it means there has been a kitsune wedding nearby. The air kami blow, the water kami make the rain, and the fire kami bring enough light to make the rainbows. The earth kami are bound to the ground, but they make flowers bloom.”

She peered about the field, then motioned towards the wood. At the very edge of the field, just hugging the edge of the tree line, a riot of flowers had blossomed. One of the trees was even sprouting out flowers, despite the promising load of young fruit already adorning its limbs. Tsugi wasn't certain if he was amazed or terrified at the completely unexpected show of elemental power, benign as it was.

Tsugi rubbed his neck, grateful for the respite from the summer heat, but perversely still a little annoyed at how cold the water was. He glanced at his mother, suddenly startled at the implication of what she’d said and the proof of the flowers, “There are kitsune nearby?”

His mother eyed him sideways, expression implacable, as always. His father chuckled and grinned, “Oh, I suppose they are every where, just not all of them like coming too close to humans.” He shrugged philosophically, “That’s probably for the best. They are spirits, of a sort, but they are tricksters and not all of them are nice.”

His mother murmured softly next to him, “And that, my son, is why we tell you not to wander far into the wood.”

Tsugi frowned. He liked going into the woods, the air always seemed fresher there, and he liked the sound of the bamboo and ancient trees talking together and to the wind. It was always a difficult hike, of course, but he was young, and strong enough to climb to places and gather the mushrooms and herbs that his mother and others liked to in cooking or in medicines.

His father grunted, “Aye, I mind myself that the one time I came across them, it was only a lady’s kindness that kept me in one piece.”

Tsugi blinked in surprise and stared at his father, “You’ve seen one?”

“Aye, two. It wasn’t all that long after I married your mother. I was gathering roots, like you like to, and heard a voice.” His father looked off into the distance, eyes glazing slightly as he remembered, “The most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. There was a breeze, but the leaves on the trees and birds in their nests sat still to listen, so the only sound was her voice. She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. She had skin pale as the moon and hair blacker than the wings of night. She noticed me- I never knew how- and looked at me. She had green eyes.”

He paused for a moment, lost in the memory, and then he blinked hard and shuddered, “But the man kitsune… Hair and eyes as red as maple leaves in the fall and a temper of flame to match. He picked me up and threw me easier than you toss a pebble across a lake. That’s when I noticed what they were. He had a sword out, ready to cut me in two, but she stopped him. And I saw her tails. Four of ‘em and as black as her hair. She said something, I don’t know what…” he trailed off, gazing back into the depths of his own memories.

The rain had stopped, but the wind continued to pet the rising stalks of rice across the fields. Other workers were brushing the still-cold droplets off of their clothing as they moved back towards the village. It was close enough to dusk anyway, but everyone wanted to get home and out of their cold and now mostly drenched clothing. Tsugi and his parents stayed standing in the field, his father looking absently off towards the woods.

“Tails…” Tsugi finally turned a disbelieving look to his mother when it became apparent no answer would come from his father.

She nodded slightly, “When kitsune are in a human form, there’s always one thing that stays… fox. Sometimes they have fox ears, or fur, or their eye color. It’s common for a fox to forget about their tails, so that is usually the easiest thing to spot.”

Tsugi turned his rapt stare from his mother to his father, hoping his father would finish the story.  His feet were cold, the brief touch of the cloudless rain had turned the water in the fields the same bone-chilling temperature. He stared down into the water, for a fleeting moment wondering if an entire field could turn haunted all at once, and he suppressed a fleeting shiver. The fields were almost empty now, and he looked to his father. Curiosity finally burst from his lips in a not-quite exasperated gasp, “What happened?”

His mother laughed softly and pushed a stray strand of graying hair back into her bun, absently, “We found him sitting on the edge of the wood. I yelled at him for days afterwards.”

His father chuckled and came back to himself with a slightly sheepish and apologetic look to his mother, “Yes, and then you got so ill… and made me promise never to go back into the wood again.”

“It is dangerous,” Yuhanna frowned firmly at her husband. “Some fortune smiled at you that night, for the woman to have been a black fox,” she huffed slightly, picking up her basket with a grimace.

“There is a difference?” Tsugi politely appropriated the basket from his mother. She may have been younger than his father, but neither of them should have been out here in the fields and the heat. Both of them were of the age that they really should have been at home, watching the youngest children of the village rather than toiling under the sun in the fields. She smiled gratefully up at him and patted his arm as they climbed out of the water in the rice paddy and began the walk home.

She nodded slowly in response to his question. A very faint frown crossed her lips, and her tone grew more measured as she thought out her words carefully, “Yes… the red foxes are the most common kitsune, and their personalities are as varied as humans. All foxes like to play tricks and all of them are curious, but only some of them like humans. They are an especially proud race and if they think you have insulted them, it can be dangerous. Some red foxes will help you for whatever reason that amuses them, and some would rather kill you.”

His father grunted, “Like that one I met. The lady was a black fox, and those are foxes of luck. If she hadn’t been there, that other kitsune would have surely killed me while I was gathering.”

Tsugi turned a puzzled look to his father, “But you said that was about the time mother got ill? How is that good luck?”

He looked over at his mother. A small smile crossed her features, but her attention was focused on placing her feet carefully as they climbed up to the road.

His father grunted as he straightened, pausing to pound his fist against his lower back a little to relieve the tense muscles there, “Aye… but there was a visiting shugenja at the time, and he didn’t know how she got better. I recon that the lady fox back then gave me enough luck to see your mother back to good health.”

He grinned over to his wife, who smiled patiently back.

Tsugi grunted softly as he resettled the basket on his shoulder and tried not to roll his eyes at the moon-eyes his parents still occasionally tossed at one another.

His mother chuckled and continued, “Yes, black foxes are felt to be good luck. Golden foxes are Enlightened. They are said to be over a thousand years old, so they are of course very rare. They tend towards doing art or music and are the most patient of the kitsune. And last, there are the silver foxes, who are the messengers and monks to Inari-kami.”

His father grunted, “Didn’t you tell me once they also were the fighters?”

She nodded in response, “Yes, they tend to also be the strongest of the kitsune warriors and… shugenja, for lack of a better term. The silver can be the most dangerous, but they are chosen by Inari. He turns their fur silver as a sign that they are his messengers and arbitrators among the kitsune clans.”

“So the silver kitsune aren’t really a clan?” Tsugi tilted his head towards his mother.

“Not as we would think of one, no,” she quietly replied.

“Ah! Yuuhana-chan!”

The three of them stopped and turned to see Yoshi, one of the village elders, hobbling towards them. His mother blinked and took a couple of steps towards Yoshi and bowed in greeting. Yoshi paused and dipped his head with a wry grin.

“Sorry to yell. You had a visitor today, Yuuhana-chan. An older gentleman. He didn’t stay, said he was on his way to a wedding.”

She blinked as she rose, curiosity crossing her expression, “Did he leave his name?”

Yoshi shook his head, “No, funny that. Just kinda laughed and said you’d know what it was about. He had two of the biggest white dogs I’ve ever seen. Well behaved too, though I guess they’d have to be to travel with him.”

“Ah. Yes, I know him. He is from my home village. Thank you for seeing to him, Yoshi-san.” She bowed to him again.

Yoshi grinned again and ducked his head in a bow back, “Said he’d be back in a couple of months, but left real soon after that.”

She chuckled softly, “Yes, he can move about rather quickly sometimes.”

Tsugi waited politely while his parents and Yoshi chatted for a few minutes before they ended the conversation and returned home.

~~~

Yuuhana settled down in front of the fire. Today’s supper was already prepared, it had cooked slowly for most of the day while they had been out, but she wanted to prepare a treat for after dinner. The men had gone to wash off the day’s toil, and that gave her just enough time to make Tsugi’s favorite snack. It was an easy enough dish to make, but she had to be mindful of her nails. They were long and thick, and slightly tapered. It was far too easy to get them hung on something, or for bits of food to get stuck underneath them while she was cooking. She wanted the dumplings to be perfect tonight, and so she would take extra care not to get her nails caught on the dough of the sweet rice. Otherwise it would accidentally catch and tear. Tonight, a tear would not do, they would ruin the consistency of the sweet rice. Tonight, she wanted them perfect.

Tsugi’s 16th birthday was in two months.

 

****

 

Hum. I know I wrote it a little vague, I meant it to be that way. The old man with the two white “dogs” was Inari (legend says he tended to appear as an old man with two dogs or foxes), on his way to the wedding that rained on them. The back story is that the mother is the black kitsune from earlier. The wife didn't recover from the illness, she died and Yuuhana sort of took over (she could do this with a massive illusion or by appropriating the woman’s skull and using it to take on the woman’s form). The last paragraph she's thinking about having to be careful with her nails. Or... talons, which is the one fox feature she’s not hiding. She has to be careful what she says because she doesn’t want her son or her husband, who she sort of stole, to figure out that she is a kitsune. The son really is paranoid about seeing spirits, because with his half-kitsune blood, he really can see them. But since he constantly is seeing things that others don’t see… he stopped telling others about the floaty see-through people wandering around occasionally. Inari's visit was a warning to Yuuhana - either he would require her to return to the den once Tsugi came of age, or he planned on appropriating the half-kitsune child to do something that the kitsune needed. Either way, it was a warning that Yuuhana would soon be separated from her child.

 

Kitsune clans/dens and fur colors

Some history and Den structure

Kamigami

Human interaction, Wandering and Enlightenment

Fighting, Fury, and Taint

Debts, honor, and learning

Tears, Inari, and Items of Power

Diet, tails, power, senses

Trees, twins, pregnancy, and half-kitsune

Social interaction, trickery and seduction

People and Locations (incomplete)

 

 

 

L5R mons compiled

Chinese clothing - Often to mix things up a little, I put my kitsune in other Asian style clothing. These are all stylized for TV, but one can see the other types of clothing.

Asian Beds (not just futons)

Movies to check out - Ashura and Omyoji

Old updates

 

 

 

Link to fiction

Stories that I post on this page are written by me, and belong to me. Fair warning, these stories will be set in an AU timeline where kitsune begin to involve themselves in the fight against Taint.

The information on this site (specifically those pages held in the /l5r folder of tehlorri.com) was designed as a Homebrew add-on to AEG/Alderac's Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying game. The world and such belong to them. The kitsune characters, rules, and societal information stuff is mine. There are kitsune characters in the L5R cannon, but I will not be using any of them, other than to perhaps reference a character in passing in a fiction. Feel free to use any of this information in your own games, just don't claim any of my work as your own. I'd be happy to hear of any ideas or suggestions that anyone has about the site or information herein. Flames,  however, will be met with wet blankets. <3

 

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