Shiseido, Baroness of The Harvest and Genetic Engineering

Aspect 2 ( 8 AMPs)
Domain 1,1 ( 8 DMPs)
Persona 0 ( 8 PMPs)
Treasure 3 ( 8 TMPs)

Passion and Skills:
Passion: There's nothing better than getting away with something clever 5
Skill: Theft 2
Cool 3

Bonds and Afflictions:
Bond: I bring fortune to those I like, and humiliation to those I don't. 3
Bond: I'm capricious and unpredictable. 2
Bond: You can't outfox a nine-hundred year old kitsune 3
Bond (Anchor): The Takanashi Family 3
Affliction: Plants bloom around me, and I find this annoying. 1
Affliction: I prefer not to be human 2
Affliction: I do not age and cannot die, but only while I possess my fox-fire 2

Estate Properties:
The Harvest provides for humanity 2
The Harvest holds humanity at it's mercy 1
The Harvest reaps the bounty of great effort 2
The Harvest clears away the old to prepare for the new 2
Genetic Engineering alters life 3
Genetic Engineering creates new forms of life 2
Genetic Engineering makes natural things unnatural 2

Shapeshifter 2
Domain (Consciousness) 6, (Simple -1), One Target (-2), One Trick (-3), Not Common (+1) 1

Shiseido is a kitsune; a nine-tailed fox with golden fur and elegantly angular features. A pearly, luminescent sphere of fox-fire floats above her head.

Domain Miracle Chart:
0: Know when The Harvest or Genetic Engineering is threatened.
1: Incite someone to collect the apples from an apple tree. Give a geneticist a moment of inspiration.
2: Know the number of potatoes harvested in one year across the entire world. Know when a new transgenic species is created. Ask a field to produce a very meager crop. Persuade a scientific paper on mRNA to alter it's conclusions.
3: Make a grain silo proof against napalm. Make a glow-in-the-dark kitten age very slowly.
4: Bring some farm equipment to life. Alter someone's DNA.
5: Remove all of the trees on a plantation. Erase a minor breakthrough in genetics. Discover what the rice paddies have overheard. Learn the future of genetic modification.
6: Make the farms of a family destined to prosper. Move the headquarters of a biotech company to Somalia. Make a water buffalo invincible and immortal. Make the viral vector of a gene therapy extremely potent and contagious.
7: Provide a feast for all of Africa. Populate the world with a new transgenic species.
8: Shut down a major agricultural corporation. Erase all of a country's knowledge of genetics.
9: Give a simple farmer a great heroic destiny. Move a technology of genetic engineering from science fiction into the real world.

Persona Miracle Chart:
0: Understand a thing's connection to The Harvest or Genetic Engineering.
1: Make someone more prosperous. Make a viral infection less potent.
2: Incarnate in a field of wheat. Inhabit the computers of a university lab.
3: Provide for humanity. Create new life.
4: Incite someone to sell their possessions, cash in their favors, and start fresh. Make a cup of tea a vector for gene therapy.
5: Prevent a stock portfolio from becoming valuable. Cause something to become more natural.
6: Incarnate in a thousand vineyards. Inhabit the minds of all of the world's geneticists. Make a dictator fear the harvest. Incite an autistic savant to become a geneticist.
7: Cause a wild forest to provide enough food for New York. Cause a country to begin widespread transhumanist experimentation.
8: Make a successful harvest completely irrelevant to humanity. Un-domesticate the world's dogs.
9: Give a starving homeless man the destiny of becoming one of the greatest food providers in history. Inspire widespread love for a new transgenic species.


Shiseido is a very old fox, as one might gather from her nine tails. She was once a servant of Inari, the Shintu deity of fertility and agriculture, and spent her days tricking those who offended the goddess, and bringing fortune (often by trickery) to those who revered Her. Even then, she was a fickle creature, sometimes abandoning tsukimono-suji families on a whim, or giving great boons to entirely random commoners. She longed, in those days, for control of her own destiny.

Her First Theft

Before Shiseido, the Estate of The Harvest was imbued in an Incan woman called Mama Quilla, who one day foresaw her own death and devised a plan to transfer her enNoblement to her son upon passing. The only problem was, her only surviving son, a slightly dim fellow by the name of Ayar Cachi, didn't want to be a Noble. All he had ever wanted for the thousand years of his life was a quiet place to practice with his sling. But, Mama Quilla was not one to be argued with once she set her mind to a purpose.

All of this, of course, was meant to be a secret, but word travels fast in the agricultural spirit community. It wasn't long before even Shiseido, who was a very minor spirit, caught wind of the rumors of Harvest's immanent death and her reluctant heir. Eventually, Mama Quilla bowed to the inevitable and arranged a public celebration to mark her passing, to which she invited all of Earth's foremost agricultural deities, as well as several of the world's greatest farmers and the spirit of Ammonium Nitrate, among other luminaries. Inari, who was busy with a World War at the time, sent Shiseido to be her representative.

On the night before the final ball and Mama Quilla's prophesied death, Shiseido snuck into Ayar Cachi's bedchamber in the form of a beautiful Incan woman. After running away twice from the guards that Ayar Cachi immediately called upon seeing her, she convinced him to listen to her, and together, they devised a means by which he could escape his mother's plan.

The next day, Mama Quilla revealed to her guests her final will and testament, notarized by none other than her Imperator, which authorized a transfer of their power in the form of the estate of The Harvest. As the final moment approached, Mama Quilla stood before the assembled crowd, signed her name to the document with much melodrama, and passed it to her son. As he and Shiseido had discussed, he hesitated. For a long few moments, the assembly was silent. Just before his mother began to speak, however, Ayar Cachi signed the will. But it wasn't his name, nor was it truly his hand that signed the paper. Shiseido, employing an ancient power of the kitsune, had possessed his body and signed her own name. Mama Quilla opened her mouth to object, but just then, a magical bullet, fired from that very spot a year ago by her rival, the Duke of Slaughter, struck her in the forehead, overcame her defenses, and fulfilled her prophesy.

These days, Ayar Cachi spends his days slinging rocks over mountains, happy to be entirely unaware of the machinations of Excrucians and Imperators- and Shiseido is the Power of the Harvest. All in all, it was one of her easier tricks. Less difficult, in fact, than writing her letter of resignation to Inari- detailed calligraphy being particularly difficult to draw when, like Shiseido, you prefer not to have opposable thumbs.

Her Second Theft

Her interest in genetic engineering can be traced back to a dispute she had with the Soverign Power of Insects. Insects had, in her opinion, been taking more than their reasonable share of the harvests of humans, and so Shiseido devised a trick to stop him. First, she met with Insects to discuss the dispute. She explained that humans were a very rare species- a mere three billion in number compared to the trillions of insects- and as such required a stable percentage of the harvest to ensure their survival. If only humanity were far more numerous, she said, then she could allow Insects to take as much of the harvest as he wanted without having to worry about humanity going extinct.

Now, the reason there's such a large diversity of insect species in the world- far more than any other class of animal- is because the Power of Insects is also the Power of Genetics. Shiseido suggested a way in whichhe could use the one domain to benefit the other. if he transformed a part Genetics into science, she explained, than humans could use it to modify their own rate of reproduction. They'd become numerous and less individually valuable, allowing Insects to eat a larger percentage of their crops without threatening the species. This made perfect sense to Insects, who understand little of humanity, but assumed that their motivations were much like his own. And so, together, Insects and Shiseido gave a portion of the secret of Genetics to Watson and Crick, who founded a new science, which was almost immediately used to create insect-resistant crops.

When he realized his mistake, Insects was more than ready to put an end Genetic Engineering, although this would have meant pitting his power against Shiseido's, since the new science was as eternally and inextricably linked to The Harvest as Fire is to Steel. Shisedo, however, had one final trick. She contacted Insect's Imperator, a cruel devil that tolerated no failure in it's servants, but admired a good con, and claimed the new portion of Insect's estate.

No one had ever tried to simply claim part of an estate from a living Power before, and any other Imperator would have dismissed the claim for the complete insanity that it was. But as Shiseido had guessed, Insect's Imperator was not the kind to pass up the opportunity for such a novel punishment for his least favorite Noble's inexcusable gullibility. So, after subjecting Shiseido to an appropriate amount of torment for her brashness, and working out some kind of deal with her own Imperator to recompense it's losses, the devil accepted her claim, and, through her Imperator, imbued in her the essence of Genetic Engineering.

Her Family

A century and a half ago, when Shisedo was still only a servant of Inari, she loved and married a mortal man named Takanashi Itchō. Though she appeared to him only as a human, and kept her nature secret, their love was no less genuine.

There came a day when Itchō expressed a desire to meet Shiseido's family, and, against her better judgement, she arranged for a visit. When she and Itchō rode out to the den where her relatives resided, she found, to her relief, that they had placed an enchantment over the entire section of woodland, making it appear to be a prosperous and urbane estate. Those of her kin who were sufficiently magical to imitate humans greeted Shiseido's husband warmly, and led him to a banquet prepared in his honor.

Though Itchō seemed at first to find the occasion eerie, he soon relaxed in the company of Shiseido's family, laughing, trading stories, and complimenting them on their cooking. The evening was going beautifully in Shiseido's opinion- until the meal was interrupted by a sound of commotion from outside. Suddenly, a wolfhound, it's mouth bloodied, appeared inside the dining room. It's was Itchō own hunting dog, which had escaped it's pen and followed it's master to the foxs' den. The dog was unfazed by the kitsune enchantments, and it set about chasing Shiseido's family, some of whom reverted to their natural forms in panic. In the commotion, the illusory estate began to waver and fade. The beast turned toward Shiseido, and before she could think clearly, she found herself in her natural shape, her kimono hung loosely over her body, cowering in a tree. Below, she saw Itchō sitting on the muddy ground, a half-eaten mouse carcass falling from his hand.

For some time, she'd believed, perhaps foolishly, that Itchō had somehow known about her true nature- that he'd only feigned ignorance for her sake, and that when the time came for her secret to be in the open, he would laugh it off as an irrelevance. When he saw what she was, however, he cursed her as a monster and fled. Since then, she's only returned to human form in times of absolute necessity.

Some months later, she bore his children. They were quintuplets, and appeared to be human, so she brought them to Itchō. She could not bear to live with his fear and mistrust, however, so she left them to be raised by his family. Still, she visited her children many times over the years, often in secret, teaching them of the supernatural and giving them help when she could. As half-kitsunes, they grew into powerful sorcerers, and with Shiseido's help, they prospered. As Itchō grew old, and his unforgiving influence waned, Shiseido took a more active role in the lives of her offspring, helping her grandchildren and their children attain positions of prestige and comfort through trickery, theft, and occasionally even legitimate business.

These days, supported by the power of a Noble, the Takanashi family is one of the wealthiest in the world. Through corporate smokescreens and sometimes illegal deals, they control such companies as Monsanto, Ajinomoto and Zen-Noh. Though their kitsune blood is diluted, many of them still have supernatural power, and they've gained a reputation as a family not to be trifled with. When a yakuza group tried to blackmail a member of the Takanashi family, for instance, they were met by dark summoned spirits, invisible assassins, and a demand of loyalty. As a result, the Takanashi family now also controls a significant portion of the Tokyo yakuza. It's well known among certain types of people that the family is aided by a powerful kitsune, although a nasty rumor persists that the kitsune in question betrayed the god Inari. This despite Shiseido attending Inari's most recent Vernal Equinox celebration- by invitation, even.

For a while now, the Takanashi family has been able to prosper without great help from Shiseido. Very recently, however, it's come to her attention that a new and extraordinarily innovative biotechnology company has emerged which Takanashi family, despite it's great influence, hasn't been able to take control of. Some of her offspring even suspect supernatural influence at work. As soon as possible, Shiseido intends to return to the prosaic world and take a look.

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