Legend of the Five Rings Aftermath
The Kitsu have perhaps the most bizarre creation story of any family in existence in the Empire. Their history is inextricably tied to the Lion’s early history, when Akodo led his armies against a mysterious race of lion-like creatures called the Kitsu. These creatures were misunderstood by mankind, and believed to be dangerous predators. Certainly the initial encounters with the creatures went poorly, and several accidental deaths as a result of panicked ambassadors were blamed on the Kitsu. At his Emperor’s command, Akodo took it upon himself to wipe the creatures from the mortal realm. The fighting was intense, as the Kitsu were elusive and possessed many mystical abilities. It was not until a terrible battle in the mountains, when Akodo faced the Kitsu’s leader in personal combat, that the Kami realized what a terrible mistake he had made.
The Kitsu were not bloodthirsty animals but intelligent, mystical creatures with a rich history and traditions all their own. Akodo made what reparations he could to the Kitsu, but the damage to their numbers was too sever. The Kitsu were dying. During the days of the first war with Fu Leng, when it seemed that the Lion Clan would disappear as well from the terrible toll of war, Akodo made one final attempt to save both. He offered his daughters to the five surviving Kitsu, who transformed into men in order to marry the young women. Thus, the Kitsu family was born.
The spiritual legacy of the Kitsu race has not been lost. The Kitsu have a rich magical tradition, producing powerful shugenja who aid the Lion armies on the battlefield. A small number, however, are born with something more. These individuals are trained as sodan-senzo, shugenja with the power to breach the barriers between the spirit realms and travel beyond Ningen-do. They can also see and interact with the ancestral spirits that are such an omnipresent element of samurai life.
Despite their average and largely unremarkable physical appearance, many Kitsu have a strange air about them that others describe as “otherworldly”. This is mostly due to the story of their origin, and is more a result of observer bias than anything else. Kitsu are of average build and dress even more conservatively than other Lion, giving them a somewhat drab appearance. Kitsu with bloodlines strongly tied to their family founders somethings have red hair and brilliant red-golden eyes.