(Nathan, Guild)

Kitsune swashbuckler 1

Strength: 8 Dexterity: 16 Constitution: 14
Intelligence: 10 Wisdom: 10 Charisma 16

Hi. I’m Mira. To get started, I’m gonna just say this: I’m a kitsune, from a village that has always hated my kind. So then you ask this: if the village hates your kind, why stay? The answer: I don’t know.

I spent most of my life as a human, trying to be like everyone else. Neither of my parents ever seemed like they wanted to leave, but I could never really tell. If anything, they seemed the most normal of my whole family. As far as I can remember, they only seemed to have turned into foxes once, in the safety of our little cottage.

My little brother, Hartford, had to stay at home and could never get farther from the house than the garden for his first five years because he constantly changed from human to fox. Although he had a hard time keeping a certain shape, he was the most level-headed of the family.

I was the troublemaker, always causing problems and nearly getting caught. One of the most risky things that I did (and I did a lot of risky things) was go walking in the inner part of the city. I know, it doesn’t make any sense that the most dangerous thing that I could do was go into the denser part of the city, but I was only fifteen at the time, and my ability to always stay completely human was not all that good. But I wanted to actually see city life from the inside. I wanted to see the heart, not the suburbs or some other dingy place, with just peasants and other small folk.

So, one morning, when we were going to the local market, buying a few things and selling some of the produce that we didn’t need, I slipped out of my mother’s sight and crept around until I was close to the heart of the town. Suddenly, I heard a cracking sound behind me, and I was so startled, I turned into a fox. I spun around, absolutely terrified, to see a rather nicely dressed large man and a boy with two small round pieces of wood, which I guessed he had smacked together, resulting in the cracking noise. Both the man and the boy looked as surprised as I was, but they came to their senses much faster than me. The man growled and pulled out a dagger, and I barely had enough time to slip into the shadows and run, faster than I ever had before, into an alleyway.

After turning back into a human, I ran back to the market and vowed to myself never to ever go into the city again. And I kept that promise, and still do. At least in that town.

My family lived in a cottage, and we usually could scrape by, with just enough money to keep our little farm running. We also shared most of the land with our many cousins, who helped pay the rent. My mother had had a lot of brothers and sisters, and we had set up little inner trading, where everyone could trade their goods for other things that they needed. And, as I said, we scraped along, until the towns started going on ‘kitsune hunts’.

In a kitsune hunt, a group of villagers (and sometimes a few nobles and guards) would go around waving torches, swords, and pitch forks, barging into poor peasants’ homes and clapping those wooden disks, which apparently worked on all kitsune, because some neighbors who turned out to be kitsune as well got caught in the kitsune hunts.

I later learned that those disks had been a way for wealthy people to tell the poor to get out of the way without speaking to them. But anyway, apparently the sound they made was just right to get kitsune to change form. Our family was sure that they wouldn’t come for us. We lived so far away from everything else that it took almost a day’s ride on horseback to get to the town, but in the end, they did come for us.

We were the first, because we were closest to the town, and the procession could be seen a mile away. My parents were smart. They had heard about the hunting and had prepared us for an emergency evacuation. After a bit of frantic movement, we had our necessities in the wagon and were off to a lovely drive with a murderous mob behind us.

We went as fast as we could to the next piece of shared land and warned our cousins. After a few more farms had passed everyone had been warned. Then we all fled together out of that place and have never gone near it again.

We spent a few months trying to find a new place to live, because living off of the wilderness wasn’t going to sustain us forever. My brother and I also started learning how to fight, until both of us were skilled warriors. I loved my father’s style of fighting. You had to be quick and agile, which I was both. I learned to use the rapier quite well, and became rather skilled with a crossbow. My brother went with a different approach, he liked bows and other long range weapons, and he even eventually trained a wild leopard. Of course, he didn’t do that until we had found a new home.

My family now lives in a farmstead in Gildhaven. We still share the land with our cousins, but I daresay that we are much better off now. I use many of the fighting techniques that I learned from my father to complete jobs for many of the people in the area. None of the people here hate kitsune, and I never have any trouble finding a job. I’ve even made a few friends on these travels, not to mention some extra gold from monsters, and the clients.

Once, however, I had to challenge a client who refused to pay to a duel. Everyone else in the party had little skill with swords, and they didn’t really want to challenge a powerful lord. He had enlisted us to get something that had been stolen from him by goblins a week before. For some reason, he thought that it had taken us too long, and therefore would only pay us half the price he had originally promised. Knowing that he was an expert swordsman, and that I really hated it when someone cheated you out of a deal,  I decided it would be a duel. If he didn’t pay full price, we would have to duel, and the winner decided how much money the group would get for the job. After this threat, he laughed and accepted the challenge. We fought back and forth, and I could never forget the surprised look on his face when I knocked his sword from his hand, sealing the deal. That night, I came home with enough money to feed my family for a month, plus a little more. That was one of my proudest moments.

I have definitely changed since we left that horrid town, and I hope that it’s been for the better.


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