|Obtained From||Water Dragon|
The Fox Rods are collectively the Dark Instrument of the Dark Lord Ninetails, and the source of all of its evil power. The power of the Rods consist of 9 fox entities, which can manifest as physical embodiments which are Tube Foxes. Whilst in use, the souls of the 9 foxes presumably inhabit Ninetail's body, 8 creating new tails and the 9th inhabiting Ninetails' own tail. Without this weapon, Ninetales is rendered much weaker than normal, the majority of its dark power unavailable to it.
 Role in plot
Sometime before Amaterasu reached Ryoshima Coast, Ninetails laid an attack on the Dragonian underwater realm where it fought the Water Dragon, and in this attempt lost the Fox Rods, greatly weakening it. It then killed the priestess of Ankoku Temple, Rao, and poses as her in order to get closer to Queen Himiko and to hunt for its lost weapon. Nobody was aware that this had happened, not even Amaterasu and Issun.
When they arrive in Sei'an City, 'Rao' (actually Ninetails) tells them that the Fox Rods are the ultimate weapon against the evil Dark Lord and asks them to search the Sunken Ship for them, however they are not there. However the duo then find them in an unlikely place, while searching the Water Dragon for the Dragon Orb. Following the removal of the Orb from the stomach of the dragon, they are attacked by Tube Foxes who produce the Fox Rods upon defeat.
After Amaterasu and Issun leave the Water Dragon and consequently kill it, they meet the spirit of King Wada who was the Water Dragon and the husband of Otohime. He tells them that the Fox Rods are the source of the Dark Lord's power. The Dragon Orb takes them back to the palace, where 'Rao' appears. Rao asks for the Fox Rods and Amaterasu gives them to her, much to Issun's despair. Upon returning the Orb to Otohime, the Dragon Orb shows the pair a vision of Rao being hunted down by a huge shadowy beast behind Ankoku Temple, prompting them to return there to save her. There they discover a hidden passageway from the Temple to Himiko's Palace, where they find Queen Himiko dead, and Rao standing in the sidelines.
Rao tells them that Ninetails came and killed Himiko, but it is then that the duo realise that Rao is actually Ninetails and that the Dragon Orb's vision was showing them how the real Rao was killed. Transforming, Ninetails mocks them with how they had just returned the Fox Rods to it, the source of its power, which it then had used to kill Himiko and thus eliminating the only one who could find Oni Island.
Much later on Oni Island, during the battle with the elusive Ninetails, the Tube Foxes can take the form of Rao with a fox's face, a form used previously by Ninetails itself. The actual Fox Rods are presumably destroyed upon the defeat of all the Tube Foxes, reverting Ninetales back to its original, less powerful state.
 Items Entry
"Rods containing the souls of 9 foxes. Bestows incredible power."
 Based On
The Fox Rods are based loosely on the mythical Kuda-gitsune from Japanese lore. These creatures were supposedly kept in a bamboo pipe until their advice and knowledge was needed. They were also said to have a tail shaped like half a pipe. This link is strengthened by the fact that Tube Fox, the protectors of the Fox Rods, are based on the Kuda-gitsune.