Peaceful and contemplative, the Hou-chi are nature lovers. Forces of lesser Yang, many are sages and guardians of life. They revere the East, Springtime, the color Green, goodness and renewal. Many work in the Lin Fu (Ministry of Wood) while others care for nature preserves, forests, and even they greenhouses of humble gardeners. Usually gentle and tranquil in nature, they can become furious when their protectorates are endangered by humans or other shen. They don't care for land development in the name of progress and are not above violence if needed to defend their domains. At the same time, though, they realize that nothing lasts forever and don't stand in the way of death or change if it is part of the natural cycle of renewal; government interaction is wrong but tragic earthquakes and fires are quite acceptable.
The Hou-chi are especially attuned to the needs of animals, trees and other plants. More than any of the other Kamuii they are close to the Hirayanu and often serve as mentors and patrons. They also are more likely to overlook the faults of the commoners than, say, the Chu-ih-yu, and have been known to take the hirayanu's side in an argument even if they secretly disagree, waiting until later to give a scolding.
- Kwannon-jin Fortune: Wood
- Hsien-tsu - The young Wood Lords are impossible to keep in the house. They are constantly playing with the family pets or watching insects. They have an innate bond with animals and will beg their parents to bring in any stray they find... which will be many. Farming families will find their crops healthy and lands fertile. They love to hike and climb trees or any other sport that keeps the out of doors and do poorly at games that require strategy.
- Hsien-jin - The adult Hou-chu usually has a green thumb and keeps their home full of plants and pets. They value their privacy but will welcome other hsien visitors who want to learn about the joys of the natural world. Some know bits of lore about the Hengeyokai or nature spirits and are willing to share if they are approached respectfully.
In Kami Form, the Hou-chi have skin colors ranging from emerald to a loamy brown. Hair is black and their eyes have a greenish light to them. Most are tall and slender, with long limbs and flowing hair. In any form they favor simple clothes of natural materials. When using the Mask of Shintai their skin seems to harden and get glossy like a fine polished wood. Voices become loud and sonorous and limb lengthen giving extra height and reach. Their eyes flash verdant fire and the air crackles with the smell of leaves after a storm.
A surprisingly large number of the Wood Lords follow the path of the peasant Wu Hsien because protecting the environment is more important than war or enlightenment. A few keep close to their mortal lives and follow the Xian Mun while others like the idea of an orderly nature and join the Li Shen and the Lin Fu.
Luck & Curse
- Luck - With their attunement to the natural world, a Wood Lord may assist an injured plant or animal (including Hirayanu hsien in their animal form) by making a Charisma + Empathy roll, difficulty 4 to ease suffering. The creature affected takes one less wound penalty to actions per success of the Hou-chi. This also works for the Hengeyokai.
- Curse - Because of their connection to nature, the Hou-chi try to avoid cities and industrial centers. They become distracted and nervous when they are forced to be in such places and make all Wits rolls at +1 difficulty.