In my universe I am designing anthropomorphic foxes similar in appearance to the japanese mythological kitsune. For those who are familiar with the game League of Legends: Ahri is a good example of what i have in mind. I use magic in the setting and do not care about topics like evolution (e.g.: creation of fox-fire) or concealing the existence of the kitsune (How would a kitsune conceal her presence in a city?).
I want to know how to use my version of the kitsune in a medieval army.
Here is how I want to design my version of the kitsune:
Look and magical capabilities:
- Basically humans, who grow tails and ears that look like those of foxes
- They store magical energy in their tails, which can be released to create magical flames
- They can create one flame per tail or they can also combine the magic from multiple tails to form a bigger flame. The flames are fueled by the magical energy in their respective tail
- The flames hover in the air and can be controlled by the kitsune
- Normally a kitsune with one tail is able to create and sustain a single flame that encompasses an adults hand for a few minutes
- The furthest distance a single flame can be moved, is a few dozen metres, depending on the ability of the kitsune
- Kitsune grow like normal humans up to the age of 25. At this point their first tail starts growing and they begin to age more slowly.
- A tail takes about 100 years to grow
- The magical capacity of each tail continues to grow even after the tail itself does not grow anymore
- The kitsune in my universe cannot shapeshift
- Their eyes, ears and nose are more sensitive than those of normal humans
- This is the only kind of magic that exists in this universe
View of society:
- The exitence of kitsune ist common knowledge, but they are rare
- A kitsune with one or two tails might be found every few villages. Kitsune with four or five tails can only be found in the biggest cities.
- Most of them do not live long enough for their sixth tail to start growing
- They do not possess magical healing abilities or better regeneration
- Because they are rare and they can use magic people view them very differently
- There are religions and cults worshipping them as their deities.
- On the other hand many people fear them, because they are different.
- The technological level of the world is similar to 15th century Europe.
My question is: How can kitsune be used in an army?
Here are a few keypoints that I was thinking about:
- Extra tails make them an easy target on the battlefield. By chopping off their tails they cannot use their magic anymore and they are heavily bleeding.
- Heightened sight and the ability to create little flames at will might be useful for archers that use fire arrows. But a kitsune will run out of energy pretty quickly when igniting the arrows of many people.
- Their heightened senses give them an edge in the night. Therefore they might be useful as spies. On the other hand their tails give them away pretty quickly.
- In the rear they can be useful by providing magical fire at will. This might come in handy when patrolling to illuminate the path or to warn others. But an army should have enough torches for this kind of task
- After a few hundred years you probably know a thing or two about war. Therefore kitsune might be good advisor. But as I mentioned above some people fear them and might therefore object to them advising the commander.
- There are only a few kitsune compared to the normal humans in the army.
- They can greatly vary in their ability to control their magical energy as well as the amount of magical energy they can store.
- Both sides have kitsune in their army.
If you have an idea but need to adjust the level of military technology, the power of the kitsune or other factors for your idea to work please feel free to do so. The goal is to find ways to utilize kitsune in an army.