The spirit foxes in this game are unique characters inspired by ancient Japanese myths primarily, as well as Chinese and Korean myths concerning spirit foxes, and modern interpretations of those myths. They represent one community of such foxes, with the assumption that there are others out there – and indeed a whole spirit world coexisting with our own world and sometimes interacting with it. The dramas which play out among them could be a mythology unto themselves – but in the game Of Foxes and Fools, the focus is on how they earn their nine tails. These short biographies provide some introduction to the characters who populate this game.
Akomachi is a traditional holy name among Kitsune, harking back to one of the foxes who gained the favor of the god Inari in ancient times. Ako-chan inherited the name directly from the line of the first Akomachi, and took up all ten of her mystical oaths to Inari. If Ako can prove herself and earn her nine tails, she will inherit the powers of the queen of foxes.Her children and students use the magic she teaches them to go back in time and see what she was like as a young fox.
Sadako was Ako’s best friend during their training. After an unfortunate romance, she turned to her spiritual side for solace – but instead of devoting herself to traditional fox mysticism, after her failed marriage to another Kitsune, she turned to western religion and a different way from her peers. As a result, she eschews some of the nastier tricks played by foxes, but has a source of inner peace and mystical strength her peers can’t understand.
Akomachi’s eldest daughter came from a romance with a powerful dragon. The two deceived and seduced each other, then competed in raising their daughter, each trying to shape her ideals differently. Shar eventually chose her fox side, but the shadow of her father always haunts her steps. When one of Ako’s students asked for Shar’s help in traveling back in time to see Ako’s training, she agreed. She was curious what her mother had gone through as a young Kitsune.
Sharmarali, through her mother’s and father’s manipulations, came to love a human man. By him, she had twins, of whom Akira is the boy kit. His mixed heritage led, in his case, to a strong aptitude for magic: Magic he is too quick to use, his grandmother often chides, when other tricks might work better. He and his sister often compete with each other, but when they decide to work together they are a force with which to reckon.
Shar’s girl kit does not have her brother’s magical aptitude. She prefers to use her sharp mind and feminine charms to get her way. She has a never-say-die attitude which sustains her no matter what kind of trouble she gets into. This is good, as she is constantly finding new trouble!
Akomachi had another child after Sharmarali, younger than Shar’s children, by a human who won her heart. They named their kit April after the month in which she was conceived, and she chose to grow up very slowly even though spirit foxes can mature very quickly if they want. She has an innate healing power, which feeds her sunny disposition – and the tendency of others to forgive her for any tricks she plays. When her elder half-sister went back in time, April tagged along, also curious about her mother’s past!
Aoki is Akomachi’s student in the ways of the fox. She acts very proper, but she has a curious streak and a deep love for mischief – like any Kitsune. After some particularly difficult lessons, she decided to find out how hard Ako found her training to assume her place as queen. Aoki recruited others to help her travel back in time. Although she was discovered by an Elder fox soon after arriving, her deft words and careful honesty let her avoid immediate punishment.
Naoko started life with the name Samantha. Ethnically Japanese, her family pretended not to speak Japanese, making a point of their American patriotism. They punished Naoko for befriending a Japanese-American transfer student in high school. She resented her parents’ rules, so she used the internet and her school’s library to research Japanese culture, just to spite them. She soon found a prayer to Inari Ōkami for children wishing for independence from their parents to get married. Being young and pining for her high school sweetheart, she fervently said the prayer – and found herself transformed into a fox spirit! Akomachi came to her and explained the ancient pact her family had been running from – that the first child of her generation would be given to the Kitsune, in return for Inari Ōkami healing Samantha’s grandmother as a child. Ako changed Samantha’s name to Naoko, taking her away from her parents as punishment for their trying to break oath. Inari rewarded Naoko for redeeming her family’s oath, with prodigious powers for a young fox – represented by her six tails – but her upbringing left her ignorant of the superstitions which might have guided her in their use.
Originally an escaped domestic fox, Kip wandered into a magical forest where Ako was teaching her students. He learned to imitate the other foxes and take on a humanoid spirit form. After leaving a note of thanks to his former owners, he sought out the spirit world to continue learning the ways of Kitsune. The neighbors all thought the note was a ploy by the parents to make the children feel better about losing their fox, but the family knows better: something magical happened to their pet. His attitude seems strange to the other foxes, because he once lived with humans. At first his shy and helpful attitude led the others to ignore him, but then he taught them by example that he could be trickier than any of them suspected. He has become Aoki’s good friend, and she might one day overcome his shyness and make him her husband.
Saski became Ako’s friend while she was raising Shar. Ako chose one of his human friends to push into her daughter’s arms. Though he is an incorrigible flirt, Saski is also a deeply loyal friend. He struggles to keep his tails sometimes, because he often annoys his elders with his constantly chasing – ahem – tail. Astonishingly, this tendency only increased after his marriage to Sareiko, despite how much of each others’ energy they take up. Apparently, they also egg each other on!
Coming from the noble line of Osusuki, husband of the original Akomachi, Sareiko is kurogitsune – meaning she has black fur, and is blessed by Inari Ōkami with good luck and fertility. This gives her a knack for all kinds of schemes, as well as a deep inherent sensuality. Initially resistant to her arranged marriage, some friends conspired to secretly introduce her to Saski. Only after the two had met and felt attracted to each other did the friends reveal that Saski was Sareiko’s intended fiance. The two have made an excellent match, though their competitions to top each others’ conquests of seduction do sometimes cause trouble.
Sareiko and Saski soon had a kit together. Kenji inherited his mother’s black coloration. His power from the blessings of Inari exceeds even hers. However, his parents have proven poor teachers of self control, and so his greatest weakness is a tendency to overindulge himself with mortal and fox alike. His great talents will take him far if he can ever master his own impulses.
As a Byakko, one of the heralds of Inari Ōkami, Hayaku represents fertility by containing both male and female selves in one form. Hayaku served for a long time in the court of a Chinese dragon, but was called to Ako’s side eventually. There, Hayaku met other foxes for the first time since childhood. Hayaku had romances with both Saski and Sareiko, resulting in some very tricky fox children.
Ai & Midori
Hayaku was the mother in the case of twin children with Saski, who scored a point in his seduction competition with Sareiko by gaining Hayaku’s affections first. Saski gave the byakko a pair of white twins, who have their father’s disrespectful sense of frivolous mischief, and their mother’s mastery of shapeshifting. The two usually act as though they’re joined at the hip, but they don’t agree on things very often. The fighting is all part of their game, though, and they can switch from bickering bitterly to working as if sharing one mind in moments.
Hayaku fathered a child on Sareiko, who turned out Akagitsune – a familiar red fox color. According to some legends, the red fox was a result of the love between Osusuki the black fox and Akomachi the white, after Inari Ōkami blessed their union and gave them a child. Seiki is a testament to the truth of that legend, and to the passion in Sareiko’s seduction of Hayaku. Seiki pokes her nose into absolutely everything she can, causing much embarrassment and many humiliations for herself and others. Her motivation is pure innocent curiosity, though, and she enjoys discovering new things more than the chaos she causes in her wake (although the chaos amuses her as well, when she notices it).