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When Samson set my brush afire
To spoil the Timnites barley,
I made my point for Leicestershire
And left Philistia early.
Through Gath and Rankesborough Gorse I fled,
And took the Coplow Road, sir!
And was a Gentleman in Red
When all the Quorn wore woad, sir!

(from) Fox Hunting Rudyard Kipling

Basic Information

Foxes are small canids, which are sometimes considered very catlike. Foxes are well known for being crafty, and being able to survive in almost any climate and terrain. The "common" fox is a reddish-brown creature with white details to its coat, but black and silver examples exist as well and some varieties will grow a white winter coat for snow camouflage. They also have pungent odour which, whilst doubtless attractive to other foxes, is generally offensive to humans. Foxes are very smart, and agile, they traditionally eat small rodents and fowl, but around humans also scavenge on all types of food: Noodles, scraps, that pie left on the windowsill, any food available to them. Livestock such as barnyard fowl and juvenile animals like lambs also appear to be fair game to them. Urban foxes are also known for raiding domestic waste bins, predating domestic cats and toy breeds of dog and, on occasion, invading homes and attacking human infants. These behaviours lead to them being classed as vermin in most jurisdictions.

Male, female and juvenile foxes are referred to as dogs, vixens and cubs respectively. Unlike most canids they are not social animals and tend to operate as individuals or mated pairs.

Eastern folklore makes mention of a potentially-multitailed, very powerful magic Fox called a Kitsune

Western folklore makes no mention of magical, or multi-tailed Foxes, and traditionally consider Foxes more malicious and untrustworthy. Where they appear in Western narratives, they will generally fulfil the trickster archetype1.

As a tough, cunning quarry, foxes are a popular choice for sport hunting - their game value is more or less non-existent but they provide a strong challenge to both the scent hounds pursuing them and, typically, to the humans following the hounds either on foot or on horseback. Foxes are also fur bearing, although those killed for their pelts are typically snared, poisoned or shot as it is unusual to get a useable pelt from an animal taken by hounds. Common fox fur is generally low-end material (being derived from vermin), but black or silver coats can be a lot more valuable.

It is possible - although not easy - to domesticate foxes: hand reared cubs can be bonded to their handler, and rare adult individuals will socialise to humans as well. Failing that, breeding a population for domestication has been shown to be effective within a few generations from wild caught stock. The advantages of this are hard to determine as most attributes of a fox can be matched by an appropriate breed of dog, which will also tend to be a lot less smelly.

Game and Story Use

  • Foxes are often seen in wildlife since their habitat ranges most of the known world.
    • A Fox could easily note an omen, be inspiration, or a sign of strength in adverse times.
    • Foxes could be a start of a more mundane errand of fetching something which was commandeered by the creature.
    • A sudden increase in foxes may note something like a Kitsune being near, or rain.
  • Foxes are often familiars or wild companions, and can traditionally have at least minimal skill in any type of magic.
  • Several Fox goddesses exist in stories from modern times
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