Kamigami

 
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Void

Forward Element

Rear Element

Mid Elements

Inheritance

Plants

The actual, technical use of "Kamigami" means "all those little gods" and refers more to the thousands of spirits that inhabit the lands. Since Rokugan has "kami" meaning the elemental spirits, though, the term would translate to "all the elemental spirits." Kitsune use this term as a general reference to any of the kami.

Contact with the kami

Kitsune relations with the kamigami are a little different than those of humans. As they are, themselves, spirits, most of them speak the language of the elementals and they frequently gather "pet" kami who follow them around. To a greater or lesser degree, all kitsune can see all the kami, except those of void. They don't have regular kiho as the humans use them, because on a fundamental level they relate to the kami differently. A creative kitsune who practices often may be able to do any number of things with their forward element. Kitsune artisans often learn how to use the kami to create fantastic pieces. For instance, Itoko, a weaver whose strongest element is water and second is earth, uses the kami to extract the most brilliant dyes from the materials she collects, as well as using kami to weave fine metal filaments into garments. Ginyue, fire and earth, uses the kami to help her create fantastical hair ornaments and to seek out impurities and flaws in metal that would weaken a weapon. Their abilities are limited by the imagination and how much they have worked at expressing what they need to the kami.

Practically speaking, it may be easier to use kiho or spells in RP, but the GM and player should both recognize that the kitsune is not limited to just those kiho. Instead, keep in mind the levels. A kitsune who has power at the 1st level, can give spirits simple, straightforward orders (sort of like really basic yes/no programming). Each level after would be more complex or allow for the spirits to be active longer.

Void

Kitsune see and use only four of the elemental kami. They are unable to see or work with void kami, though they can usually tell when some are around or when the void kami are active. Kitsune, then, focus on the four other elements. They can see taint and blood magic spirits.

As far as void points are concerned, Kitsune can use tree leaves from their birth trees to the same purpose. Anytime a void roll is required for resistance, a kitsune will use the lowest of his other rings.

Forward Element

While kitsune can see all of the other elementals and spirits (including kansen), they do still have affinities. The Forward Element is really just the kitsune's strongest element, the one they have the greatest affinity for and practice with the most.

Usually, kitsune will take a name that somehow reflects whatever element they are the strongest at, though not always. Yokaze (night wind), En'arashi (Fire Storm), Amefuri (rain net), Shirisui (Written on Water), Sasayaku (whisper), and Ginyue (silver moon) are all character names and references to their forward element. In many of these cases, the name is also a reference to whatever attack they have developed. En'arashi's most devastating attack is a rain of flame that he can spread to engulf huge areas in fire. On the other hand, sometimes the name is as much about personality than the attack - Ginyue is a blacksmith whose early years were formed in the bloody aspect of revenge and death, thus the background of her name (silver for the metal, moon as a symbol of revenge and death). There are some exceptions to this, of course, when personality or some other aspect of themselves is more important to them than their forward element - Himitsu (secret), Wraith, Shiromei (white-eyes).

Weak element

Just as they have a forward element, kitsune have a rear element as well. This is the element they have most trouble working with, their deficiency. Indeed, a kitsune might not even be able to get a kami of their back element to even acknowledge them. Usually, the weak element is the opposite of the forward element, but not always.

A kitsune generally cannot do more than rank 1 kiho/kiho type things with their rear element. Usually a kitsune cannot even get that elemental to "listen" to them, and in extreme cases a kitsune might not really be able to see the kami of their rear element.

Mid Elements

The other two elements, then, are the mid elements. These are not the kitsune's strong element, and most kitsune do not go through the effort of training their mid elements to any greater degree. It is enough for most of them to be able to do minor things with the mid elements. A kitsune with air as their forward element will probably content themselves with knowing just enough fire to start a fire in their kitchens or to keep their tea hot for long periods of time.

Kitsune can train their mid elements for more precision, and some do. It is simply tedious, taking decades or more to make any significant improvement in skill and the kitsune must realize that they will probably never be able to do any of the greater order tasks with the mid elements. Some do get quite proficient in their mid elements - Kaikahun has a forward element of earth, but as a healer, she uses water far more often than any other element. As a result, over the centuries, her water abilities have grown to almost exceed her earth abilities, simply because she doesn't practice earth as much.

Sometimes, in rare cases, a kitsune's mid elements are so drastically off-balanced that the kitsune really has two forward elements and two rear elements.

 

Inheritance

Kitsune children generally inherit the same affinities that their parents have. A child of two kitsune with Air affinity will have air affinity.

However, if the parents are of two different affinities, the child has an equal chance of their affinity being in either element. It is usually the child of parents with opposite affinities (fire and water, earth and air) who can end up with two forward and two rear elements.

Likewise, if the line has a history where many different affinities have joined together (the parents are fire and air, but the dad's parents were fire and earth, and the mother's parents were water and air), the child would have a slightly stronger chance at fire and air, but it would not be unusual for the tendencies of the grandparents to skip a generation to bestow the child with earth or water.

The one exception is in descendants of Inari. Direct descendants of Inari may end up with any of the elements as their affinity, regardless of what affinity the parents have. Also, if the child is within three generations of Inari, they have a chance of their deficiency being weak. In this instance, the descendant might not be particularly good at any of the four elements, but they can access a little of all four. This, obviously, is a significant Advantage.

 

Plants/nature

All kitsune to a greater or lesser degree have an affinity for plants, and have a set of abilities that are related to plants. A kitsune might coax underbrush to grow especially snarly in an area that they want to keep others out of, or may do something entirely frivolous like making flowers bloom out of season. A kitsune's ability to work with plants is directly related to how much practice they have had and the concentration that they can devote to the task that they are setting themselves to. Kitsune with water, air, or earth affinities have an edge over those with fire, as those three elements are all essential to nurturing plants.

 

 
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