From the introduction:
Court of the Dragon Emperor is a game about animals trying to better themselves through intrigue, adventure, and conspiracy. The principle characters in the game are animals. These are not like Furries, Muppets, The Questing Beast, or any animal human hybrids. These animals are more akin to Animal Farm, Charlotte’s Web, or Aesop’s Fables. Court of the Dragon Emperor incorporates all animals as members of the court but only the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac matter in the court's hierarchical structure. Also, only the twelve Animals of the Chinese Zodiac possess a degree of power as their animal type and in the elements.