|Family||Yukari Yakumo, Chen Yakumo|
Shikigami of Yukari Yakumo
Nine-Tailed Strategist, SUPPA TENKO, Scheming Nine-Tailed Fox
magic, specifically "black magic" and shikigami rituals
Ran Yakumo is a well-known figure within Gensokyo among Humans and Youkai alike. As the shikigami of Yukari Yakumo (hence one of her aliases as the Shikigami of Borders), Ran often runs a lot of errands for Yukari while she sleeps, often so many that some people have suggested that Ran’s treated more like a hostage than a servant. The reality is less “interesting”: Yukari does tend to give Ran a lot to do but primarily because she’s the only one who can actually do it all.
Ran is extremely intelligent and wise. She gets her nickname as the “Nine-Tailed Strategist” due to her ability to process mathematical equations to an astonishing degree. She can also visually estimate the exact distance of an object just by looking at it (an ability she once used to help the Humans of the Village to chart just how wide the Sanzu River was). As a kitsune-onna, her tails increase by one every hundred years, so possessing nine tails translates to her being over eight hundred years old. The people of the Human Village respect her, partly for her willingness to assist them from time to time but also because of her well-rounded personality. While most kitsune have a reputation for being tricksters and deceivers, Ran has rarely ever engaged in such behavior. That’s not to say she’s unable to play the prankster; she just chooses not to. The vast majority of the time Ran’s attitude tends to be patient, calm, and nurturing...almost motherly.
While Ran is the shikigami of Yukari, she also has several shikigami of her own. Some of her magical attacks utilize such bound spirits, but Ran’s most famous shikigami (whom she’s almost never separated from) is the little neko-girl Chen. Ran often takes pictures of Chen when she’s playing and just as often develops nosebleeds while watching her due to “cuteness overload”. Since Chen basically behaves as a little girl that might explain why Ran is often viewed as a mother figure.
Like everything with Gensokyo, rumors and gossip run out of control and Ran isn’t immune to them. The rumors of her being an exhibitionist who loves to strip naked and run around are greatly exaggerated. One of her other nicknames, Suppa Tenko (which translates as "Naked Heaven Fox"), comes from this. It only happened that one time. Well, twice. The first time occurred when Reimu and Marisa blew Ran’s clothes off during a particularly fierce Danmaku battle. The second time happened because Ran lost a drinking contest with Suika Ibuki (never make a bet with a drunken loli-oni).
The source of most of the gossip about Ran is none other than the Bunbunmaru Times. That says a lot right there given that the creator, writer, editor, and owner of that newspaper is one of Gensokyo’s biggest rumormongers and trouble-makers.
Interaction with the Langister Household
Ran gets along extremely well with the Onryo and his whole family. She and Inu-Kit are very friendly since they’re fellow fox-women. Ran has known the Kits since they were infants. During those early days all the Kits wanted to do was take naps in Ran’s thick, fluffy tails and play with Chen. Ran quickly grew to love all four of them and happily volunteers to babysit the Kits whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Unfortunately this just gives Aya Shameimaru more gossip-fodder to use.
Ran is rumored to be over 800 years old due to the number of tails she has (9) and usually doesn't carry or use weapons unless there is a FPS craze in Gensokyo.