Fighting

 
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Weapons

Wounds

Trickery

Fury

Taint

Kitsune grow up playing tag with air kami and dancing with fire kami. It would never occur to them to not use the kami in a fight, unless they were specifically trying to not draw attention. Even then, if they were reasonably certain that there was no one around who could see the kami react and catch them, they will probably do so.

I could spend a great deal of time enumerating and detailing this, but the best example has recently found its way to television. Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender, or at least the intro to get an idea of how beings who breathe the elements could mix the elements into their fights. (I did, in fact, have a *squee* moment when I first saw the show, because it was exactly what I had been imagining for the kitsune.)

Weapons

Kitsune have traditional weapons of varied strength and size, but the only kitsune who know how to use a sword are those who have spent time among humans and who have somehow contrived to learn sword fighting. A few of the older kitsune who managed very early on in the formation of the Empire to spend time in the then forming clans have knowledge of sword fighting. Sometimes these kitsune pass those skills on, but most of them have an acute understanding that they did not master the style and are thus uneasy about presuming to teach others. In the cases where the style had been taught, the style is archaic. Humans have changed and refined their fighting over the years, but few of the kitsune have done so.

The one exception is one of the oldest kitsune who has not yet gone gold. Ki, the Tree Guard of the Chigonoha Denmother, spent some time in both the (very) early Crane and the Dragon. He has developed a combination style of what he learned from the two, a two-sword technique that he uses with astonishing precision. Perhaps fortunately for everyone, he refuses to teach others the style, claiming that he would only teach his son or a son of the DenMother.

The most common weapons for kitsune are Hankyu, bo, and any small bladed weapon. Less common but still prevalent are polearms, staves, spears, and small axes. Several kitsune lines are known for their skill with the spear's heavy cousin, a weapon resembling a Chinese Chunqiu Dao (Kwan-dao).

Wounds

Unfortunately, kitsune are not sturdy creatures. Except for one or two exceptionally stout lines, kitsune are by and large more fragile than humans. They are innately faster and rely more on not getting hit than they do on surviving a hit. Though extremely fast and astonishingly agile, kitsune are more prone to broken bones than humans, and when they do sprain something it tends to not be minor. Once injured, a kitsune needs more time to recover from the wound than a human would, even if they are healed by spell or kami. See here for mechanics.

Trickery

Kitsune are pranksters at heart. Worse, they don't have the exact same idea of "honor" as humans do. So, when the kitsune get into a real fight, they cheerfully play dirty especially if they aren't hiding that they are kitsune. They'll add claws to their hands and sport the teeth more appropriate for their fox form, and are not ashamed to bite, kick or claw if need be. They'll create bogs, have trees pull up their roots to trip pursuers, throw sand, change to fox form and back as the need arises, speak to animals to get them to riot, and so forth. Any mischief that the kitsune can cause during a fight, they will. Foxes have been known to purposefully get sprayed by skunks so that they smell so bad that hounds will not chase them. The kitsune cousins are no less wiley.

Sometimes kitsune are almost playful, not particularly trying to harm anyone, up until the people they are fighting with anger them. At the point where they are protecting someone or they get angry, they have no qualms about getting dirty to end the fight as quickly as possible. For them, the honor of the fight is in surviving and winning.

Fury

Kitsune in Fury have gone berserk. They don't care what they kill, who they hurt, or what they do because they are simply that angry. The kitsune in Fury is arguably not sane, and no amount of reasoning or appeasement will calm the fox down. This is a relatively rare occurrence, heralded by some sort of extreme upset in the kitsune's life. Initially, the kitsune in Fury has an individual or group that they feel the need to strike out at, but along the way they lose control.

Even kitsune will admit that it is probably safer for all to simply kill the kitsune in Fury, but the kitsune in Fury is difficult to kill because they hold no ability to rationalize or recognize that a given attack may harm them more than the person they are attacking. There are cases where a kitsune in Fury has been subdued without killing it, but it almost always involved a concentrated effort of several other kitsune.

Worse, though, a kitsune who is killed while in Fury stands a strong chance of haunting. These kitsune sometimes are so focused on their rage that once their bodies are destroyed, they simply possess another's body to continue doing damage.

Taint

As creatures of nature, kitsune are very susceptible to the dangers of taint. They can smell even the slightest bit of it, and any direct exposure to it will immediately make kitsune with lower stamina to become ill. Depending on the strength of the taint and the kitsune's own stamina, the illness may be as mild as nausea or so strong as to knock the kitsune out.

Kitsune with high stamina can train themselves and work at limiting their susceptibility to the Taint. These kitsune usually find their ways into the dens that work to clear away taint from woodlands.

A kitsune who dies from taint will become a wandering spirit that possesses others until it fades. The time it takes to fade varies greatly on the kitsune and depends on how long they spend possessing others. The spirit with a body - any body - can sustain itself longer than the one without.

 

 
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