Juling & Chenzi Kitano: the vulpine sisters.

Juling and Chenzi Kitano are part fox sprite and two of Locksley's oldest friends. Jules has one fox tail, which she generally hides beneath short bustle skirts. Fox sprites have reputation for being untrustworthy, and Jules would prefer not to be judged on silly superstition.

Jules is 5'9", with honey-colored skin, hazel eyes, and dark, wavy hair with blonde and pink highlights. Her canine teeth are sharp and her ears are pointy, but not enough to draw undue attention. She has the lithe grace of a danc-er, the long, slender fingers of a pianist, and the right hook of a champion pugilist. Despite her willowy build, she is considerably stronger than she looks.

Jules is a clockwork artiste and a dead shot with anything remotely resembling a projectile. She and Locksley were raised together in the Bone Scythe assassin guild. They trained together, they fought together, they killed together, and they burned the guild down together. She's only a year older than Locksley, but whereas Locksley could pass for mid-teens, Jules appears to be in her mid-twenties.

Chenzi Kitano is Jules's younger half-sister. She appears around 21 years old, 5'6", with porcelain skin, dark eyes, and short, spiky hair. She usually wears obnoxiously bright plaid tights with adorable bubble shorts, with small holes cut into the rear to accommodate her two fox tails. Unlike her older sister, Chenzi doesn't bother hid-ing hers.

She runs the Leviathan Street clan's garage/chop-shop in Downside. She's the go-to for sky racers and anyone wanting serious machine work. She's the top source for high quality, if stolen, parts. Whereas her sister is a clock-work artiste, Chenzi is more of a mechanical Doctor Frankenstein. She's always cannibalizing other machines for the parts she needs, often without permission.

Her creations aren't always pretty, in fact they are sometimes descibed as monstrous, but they're definitely fast and powerful. There's also the possibility they might accidentally explode, but she just chalks those up as learning experiences. Chief among those lessons was to always keep fire retardant near at hand.

In addition to her ability to wreak mechanical mayhem, Chenzi can also see ghosts, but that's a skill she'd be ecstatic to be without. Ever since could remember, ghosts were always trying, and sometimes succeeding, to possess her body in order to resolve whatever issues they had tying them to the mortal realm. Various healers, priests, shamans, witches, mages, and sorcerers have all tried to help her, but with little success.

The only one who was ever able to help her was a nine-inch tall demonic familiar with sorcerous aspirations. A demon minken named Hex spent over a year perfecting a complicated protection spell to keep them out. When it was finally finished, the spell was tattooed in five vertical lines, from the hairline on the left side of her face, down her throat, to her heart. 

The spell prevents ghosts from possessing her body, but nothing can stop her from seeing them. Whenever a ghost gets too close for comfort, the shield spell activates. Once activated, her tattoo, which is normally only visible under ultraviolet light, turns black, as if ink is oozing from her pores.

Jules's and Chenzi's mother was a four-tailed fox sprite named Amara Kitano. Amara was raised among the elite citizens in the highest levels of Blackmire. She was adopted at birth by a wealthy, but barren couple through a private, closed adoption. Amara never knew her real parents, but there could be no doubt one of them was a full blooded fox sprite, if her own four fox tails were any indication.

Amara's adoptive parents weren't bothered by their daughter's biological parentage, but the children in her neighborhood weren't as open-minded. In stories, fox sprites have a reputation for mischief and malice. After being teased and bullied for most of her life, Amara ran away from home when she was thirteen, heading to Downside and never looking back. She had always possesed remarkable hand-eye coordination, and she was able to support herself by performing impressive knife-throwing tricks.

Her ancestry didn't bother the owner of a local spectacle, who took Amara in and trained her as a professional knife-thrower. Until one of the other acts, a charlatan tarot reader named Madame Dulcineia, discovered Amara had the exceedingly rare ability to talk to ghosts. Dulcineai took Amara under her wing and set her up with all the mystical trappings of a Ghost Seer. People from all walks of life would pay good coin to speak to their long lost loved ones.

As Amara's fame grew, so too did the number of her admirers. Among them was a handsome young man named Caston Tenzing. He hailed from the top tiers of the city, visiting Downside with his elitist friends in disguise to "slum it." He was extremely wealthy and extremely married. Amara wasn't interested in his money, as she was ac-quiring her own. And neither was she interested in any sort of serious relationship, so his marital status wasn't an issue. Until their contraception failed and they wound up with an issue of their own. Amara was content to raise the child on her own, but Caston had no intentions of abandoning his responsibility.

His wife, Adosinda, was barren, and after years of failed fertility spells, he was delighted with the prospect of be-ing a father. He had no intention of leaving his wife, though. Caston and Amara mutually decided to end their dal-liance, but he continued to visit his infant daughter in secret. He would steal away from his wife and head to Downside incognito as a lowly airship sailor in order to explain away his intermittent visitations to Jules as she grew older, without immersing her in his complicated life.

Although Amara remained on friendly terms with Caston, he was never more than a pleasant way to pass the time. When Jules was only a few months old, Amara met the man who would steal her heart. Appropriately enough, Jinzei Coe was a highly skilled professional thief. Born and raised in Downside, there wasn't a ward he couldn't get past or a safe he couldn't crack. They met when Jinzei came to ask for her help getting rid of a ghost that was haunting him in retribution for stealing an heirloom from her living granddaughter.

They became friends and eventually lovers. After they were together for a couple years, Amara and Jinzei decided to have another child. It wasn't long before they presented Jules with a younger sister, Chenzi.

Despite Amara's changing family, Caston was still welcome in Jules's life. He doted on his daughter, and he spent more and more time in Downside. Adosinda began to notice his increasing absence, and grew suspicious. She had him followed and was furious to discover his "other family." Instead of confronting him, she decided revenge would be more satisfying. She began poisoning him with trace amounts of lead. As the toxins built up in his system over the next few years, Caston began showing more and more signs of instability. He started suffering from memory loss, had difficulty concentrating, and was increasingly irritable.

Caston's behavior grew more and more erratic, and just as Amara was considering cutting him out of their daughter's life, the decision was made for her. Adosinda had bribed a doctor have Caston committed in an upscale, respectable "health sanitarium," which was really just a private mental asylum for the wealthy.

Amara was actually relieved. A few months passed, and her family settled into a new routine. But Adosinda was-n't done with them yet. She hired private investigators to follow and watch them. When Jinzei broke into an un-pscale flat, Adosinda anonymously notified the Metropolitan Guard. Jinzei got caught with his hand in a safe. He was convicted and sent to the ore mines, where he was killed by another prisoner Adosinda had bribed.

Then had rumors spread declaring Amara a charlatan. Madame Dulcineia had no choice but to dismiss Amara. Amara was blacklisted from every job opportunity in Blackmire. To make sure her prey didn't flee her grasp, Adosinda bribed a number of officials in the port authority to make sure Amara couldn't get any travel papers to leave Blackmire.

Then Adosinda bought Amara's building under an assumed name, raised Amara's rent, and made sure no one else would rent to her. Although Amara had some money set aside, and Caston had tucked away some money for Jules, it didn't take long to burn through their savings on astronomical rent. Amara and her daughters were turned out onto to street. Their neighbors shunned them, afraid Amara's "bad luck" was contagious, muttering among themselves that perhaps the stories about fox sprites were true.

They survived by digging through garbage bins for scraps and selling trinkets. Jules made a game of it for Chenzi, scouring through garbage bins for scrap metal and parts they could use to create clever toys. After they had spent a few months of living rough and fighting starvation, Adosinda approached Amara with a proposition. Adosinda offered to give Amara her job and apartment back if she agreed to sign over her parental rights to Adosinda.

Amara had no intention of letting that cold, manipulative woman near her children, but she also realized she was-n't in a position to care for them. So she went to Auntie Cora and begged for help. While Auntie Cora arranged the travel papers Amara needed to leave the city and start fresh, Amara and the girls spent a few days hidden in one of Auntie Cora's safe houses. Ignoring the ache in her chest, she spend every precious moment with her daughters. On the day her papers were ready, Amara couldn't bring herself to say goodbye. She waited until nightfall, and then kissed her sleeping girls goodbye, her eyes burning with unshed tears. Though it broke her heart to leave, Amara truly believed Auntie Cora would safe guard her daughters. She couldn't remain in the same city as the children she would never see again. So she joined a traveling circus as a Ghost Seer once more, and never set foot in Blackmire again.

Years later, when Locksley declared war on the guild, Jules's weapons helped bring about the guild's demise. Unfortunately, none of her weapons could have protected them from the demons the guild sent to stop them. Always seeing challenges as simply problems waiting to be solved, she wouldn't let an amputated arm slow her down. With Chenzi's help, she designed and built herself a mechanical prosthesis made out of a high tensile titanium and tungsten alloy. The new biomech arm was fused directly into her shoulder socket, responding to her will no differ-ently than her flesh and blood arm.

Years later, Jules and Chenzi tried to track down their mother. They discovered Amara had died only a few years after leaving Blackmire. After surviving a bout of pneumonia, Amara's lungs were irreparably damaged. She couldn't handle the cold temperatures and low oxygen of the vast wilds between city-states. But she wouldn't seek treatment, because the nearest city at the time was Blackmire, and she refused to return there. And then one night, in a hypoxia induced delirium, she flung herself over the railing of the circus's airship and fell to her death.

During the Hyperion Uprising, Jules was conscripted into the militia along with Locksley. Instead of using her sniper training to kill for profit as she had been trained, she used it to kill for her friends and her city. She had the highest number of confirmed kills among all the snipers.

Jules has a little assistant automaton named Kip,who is no bigger than a toy. He doesn't have a voicebox, so he beeps and boops when he has something to say. Like the majority of Jules's creations, Kip is small, cute, and elegant.

Jules is quick-tempered, and her first response is usually noise and violence. Her swearing isn't particularly crea-tive, though, usually just various incarnations of words that begin with "F." And when words fail, she has a ten-dency to give whomever inspired her anger a good whack upside the head. Unlike Locksley, who enjoys fighting for the sport of it, Jules tends to fight only out of necessity or anger. Ironically, Locksley, whose violence is leg-endary and born of cold rage, is usually the first one to catch hold of Jules before someone gets brained with a wrench.

Cho gave her a flexible ball when she was a child. The ball was supposed to help Jules with her anger issues, al-lowing her to squeeze out some of her aggression. But she's just as likely to beam someone in the head with it. She carries it with her still, constantly fiddling with it, tossing it from hand to hand, etc. Her aim with it is impres-sive, and she can bank it off pretty much anything and still hit her target. Her closest friends have taken more than one hit to the head with her favorite toy. Locksley's the only one who's fast enough to catch it or duck out of the way without being hit.

Jules is fiercely competitive, and so is Locksley. They constantly make bets, but the prize is usually something in-significant like a few coins or a toy or food. Their rivalry likely would have turned antagonistic if it wasn't for Chenzi, whose compassion convinced them to see the best in each other. Once she has set a mind to her task, she will follow it through, even if it means her death.

When Chenzi is angry, she glares and mutters darkly under her breath. Unlike her sister, Chenzi can't swear to save her life, instead she uses the actual word "curses," and her insults are along the lines of "rapscallion" and "rotten snail." Unlike Locksley and Jules, she has few hand-to-hand fighting skills. Instead, her role is usually that of the peacemaker. However, when words fail, she has a tendency to throw things at people. But then she'll apologize and flee.

Unlike Locksley and Jules, Chenzi volunteered for the militia, unwilling to be separated from her family. While many soldiers cursed the gods during the war, Chenzi found comfort in her faith. She values tradition and never neglects honoring her gods or her ancestors. Unless she's otherwise engaged, she accompanies Hex on his monthly pilgrimage to the temple of Sahasa, the four-armed monkey god.

Chenzi possesses a wonderfully creative mind, but she's not remotely organized. In fact, she's a bit of a hoarder. Among her stacks of notes, bins of pieces of metal and gears, she also has stacks of newspapers, and towers of books. She reads historical romances, tends to overthink everything.

She's always scribbling notes on random scraps of paper. If no paper is within reach, she'll simple write on someone's arm. Not her own, of course. She'll just grab the nearest Leviathan and roll up their sleeve. The scraps are then tacked on the wall or strewn across her work area with no apparent rhyme or reason. At least a quarter of her time in her workshop is spent trying to find the right note or tool for her current project. It doesn't help that their house spirit is a mischievous grimling named Ratchet, who takes great pleasure in moving things around when no one is looking. It irritates Jules to no end, but Chenzi tends not to notice.

She has two pets. One is a lazy, three-legged pit dog named Chowder who rarely leaves her side. He's much too friendly to be any sort of effective guard dog, though. He's more of a therapeutic companion, helping her through traumatic experiences with the lingering dead.

Her other "pet" is a mechanical octopus, or rather, an "octomaton," but unlike real octopi, he has an aversion to water. It makes him rust. Like the most of Chenzi's creations, he's not particularly easy on the eyes, but he is strong. His name is Rodger, and Chenzi built him when she was twelve. She had intended him to be her assistant, but she didn't count on his artistic nature. He spends the majority of his time on arts and crafts, but he will deign to hand her the odd tool between brush strokes.

One of his favorite pastimes is knitting. He spends hours lovingly creating sweaters, scarves, mittens, and socks for the Leviathan Street clan and Auntie Cora's orphan misfits. His color blindness is a bit of a hindrance, though. He chooses balls of yarn based on the aesthetics of the names of their colors, which tends to make for some rather garish combinations. The clan and children love him, though, and they wear his monstrous creations with pride. He doesn't have a voicebox, so he taps morse code out with his tentacles, which makes it look like he's dancing, which he basically is.

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