Kiraboshi - Goddess of Neutrality and Balance

By Edward May.

      When the first warriors of Japan were coming into their own to battle the pale skin barbarian Ainu, they called upon different Gods than those that came later. At the time the patron diety of warriors was called Bioshita - a God of war and death that guaranteed that a warrior would die in a glorious fashion noble and true to the end. MOST called upon this God in times of war with the Ainu, any time an expansion would require invading more of their lands. A few noble houses however came to call upon a different diety as their patron - Kiraboshi. These people were those who did not believe in invading the Ainu and taking their lands, or the ideals of dieing for glory or nobility. Instead they believed in a true and ultimate balance. In a sense, these were the first Zen Buddhists or perhaps the first followers of Shugendo in Japan - long before either was truly established.

      In the heavens these two dieties saw each other as "friendly rivals". Bioshita was always fond of charging into battle solving all disputes with war, throwing caution to the wind - while Kiraboshi was much more fond to sit back and wait things out, or use diplomacy or subtlety to solve a problem. Despite their friendly rivalry there were certain issues they did not see eye to eye on. Namely in regards to the Ainu. Kiraboshi believed that their presence and their worship of their own pantheon of Gods served as a symbiotic balance with those who followed the Shinto. Meanwhile Bioshita believed that the Ainu must be either forced to change their beliefs OR be killed for their failure to do so. Amaterasu felt that Bioshita was very much in the right - she quickly grew to dislike Kiraboshi. As a result of these feelings she inspired her decendant Jimmo Tenno into chasing out all of Kiraboshi's worshippers and forcing them to convert to other faiths. Soon there after Amaterasu cast her out of the heavens. This would soon come to cause a number of effects on Earth.

      Those that followed Kiraboshi were not popular among their neighbors, in fact it came to pass that those who followed her beliefs were believed to be cowards or traitors. Thus under the rule of Jimmo Tenno, during the 6th Century BCE, a confederation of warlords began a campaign to force those few followers of Kiraboshi to stop their worship of the Goddess of the Balance. (Though several small followings of her faith remained for centuries afterwards.) Soon there after the war between the Emperor's forces and those of the Ainu began.

      Once the war began, Bioshita began a massive series of campaigns to expand and eventually conquor the Ainu people and their heavens. The resulting carnage and unbalance alarmed Kiraboshi. Famine, starvation, and massive loss of life unbalanced both groups - but the Ainu received much worse than they gave in terms of losses. Thus Kiraboshi intervened by granting them some of the very first rune weapons in Japan, and inspired them to use the natural terrain of their territories to their advantage. Around this time a quartet of assassin Gods of the Ainu pantheon ambushed and killed Bioshita. These two elements combined prevented the Japanese from having a sweeping victory over the Ainu handing them vast tracts of land. It would be many centuries later that the Japanese, under the influence of Hachiman, would eventually be able to conquor the Ainu entirely.

      Despite her virtual non-presence in Japan, she felt an unusual kinship with the people of those islands and deep down inside she sensed that they never truly stopped believing in her all those generations ago, especially with the later advent of Zen Buddhism. During the Second World War, however, she spent a great deal of time as close as she could to the conflict. The way Amaterasu lost control of Hachiman she felt was completely inexcusable. Thus when the timing was right, Kiraboshi decided to intervene slightly on behalf of the powers opposing the off balanced Japanese pantheon. She inspired the code breakers of the United States Navy to break a portion of the Japanese Naval Code, allowing them to adequately defend Midway Island and in doing so change the tide of the war in their favour.

      The result in the heavens was the only aspect of the conflict that shocked her - Amaterasu herself cast Hachiman out for losing a war she herself had said nothing against throughout. Kiraboshi had intended to cut Hachiman down a notch or two, but NEVER had she intended to oust him from his place among the Gods - and place him in the same situation as she. She actually felt sorry for Hachiman, and so she took it upon herself to take him under her wing. She offered him a place to relax and enjoy himself, offered him advice whenever he wanted or needed it, and offered him an alliance - for times when he is being chased down by forces that threaten to throw off a balance. He accepted, and thus was the start of the Samurai Triumvirate.

      Her alliance with Hachiman started a new surge of worshippers for Kiraboshi both on Earth and in Hachiman's diefic realm. On Earth, one of Tamiya Dogu's family line during the midst of the cataclysm was a gifted celestial clairvoyant, that allowed Kiraboshi's teachings to come to light again. Thus while the family line of Dogu called upon Hachiman they often breathed a prayer to Kiraboshi as well. Unfortunately few of that line remained after the attack that destroyed New Osaka. (See Hachiman for details!) Her strength is growing in Hachiman's diefic realm, and in Kyatashiro, however.

      Kiraboshi has very little influence on Earth, save for those in Kyatashiro, a handful of individuals in Wa-Daisho, and a few individuals in Desert Star. (Strangely enough MOST Kumo-Mi Dragons throughout the megaverse call upon her as their patron diety for guidance, though none now live that remember exactly why they call upon her - even Kiraboshi doesn't bring up the reasons for this.) She is one of the few beings aware of Hachiman's plans for North America. She plans to aid him to a certain degree, but there will be a point in which she will say, "This is enough!" She is perfectly comfortable with the Vampire Kingdoms being removed from power, and with the rise of the Alliance as a new power house in North America. However, she does not feel that the Coalition States need to be destroyed. Instead she sees them as the counterbalance for the rising Alliance. Were the Alliance to try to bring some overwhelming force down upon the Coalition States, she would somehow seek to tweek things so that they survive the onslaught relatively unscathed. It is not for lack of compassion for the cause of the Alliance, or for the liking of CS policy, she simply feels that they are an element of balance in North America.

      The shrine of Kiraboshi is located in a pocket dimension that is loosely attached to Earth. The only way to access it, however, is by way of traveling through the mystic triangle south east of the Japanese islands or the Devil's Triangle off of Florida, facing directly towards the stars on Orion's Belt, while envoking any God or Goddess at least once per hour. When emerging on the far side - her Island realm reveals itself in the midst of a dense white mist. According to a few scholars and some Yamabushi, an obscure legend survived from those times past stating that her shrine was transported via powerful magics to a small island somewhere to the South East of Japan to prevent it from ever becoming the power that it once was. The instructions to arrive there involve stating only her name every hour on the hour, as you pass through the magic triangle.

Names: Kiraboshi, otherwise known as Glitterstar, or Glittering Star.
Alignment: Principled - with a chaotic twist.
M.D.C.: 76,500 in her realm, 15,300 on Earth. (Weapons made of silver do full damage to her, and she takes double damage from Earth Elementals.)
S.D.C.: 5,355 S.D.C. and 2,295 Hit Points.
Description: Kiraboshi essentially is a Kumo-Mi Dragon (See RIFTS World Book 8: Japan, page 212-214 for details.) who managed somehow to attain Godhood several millenia ago. When among her fellow dieties or among Dragons, she prefers her serpentine form. In her serpentine form she can be anywhere from 15' in length to 110' in length, with tiny white scales with green accents and jade colored wiskers, and a dark green plume all the way down the back of her spine. In this form she appears to be an oriental dragon with only two arms - thus she seldom even touches the ground choosing instead to float about and undulate lazily above the ground. When among mortals, worshippers, or heroes she prefers to assume the form of a beautiful silver haired human woman, clad in a shimmering and slightly luminescent gown of white and jade. She has no set preference for height and weight, preferring instead to rely upon the standard for the culture she is appearing to.
Age: None truly know her age, but some speculate that she was the first Kumo-Mi dragon - possibly created by the Old Ones themselves.
Attributes: IQ: 25, ME: 29, MA: 26, PS: 48, PP: 24, PE: 24, PB: 26, Spd: 124 Flying.
Disposition: Kiraboshi is a very dedicated diety towards keeping a set balance and harmony among all things, so much so that it is an obsession. Among her fellow dieties she is very kind and attentive listening carefully for all details involved. She will ask many questions, but stopping short of sounding too terribly interested. Later she will most likely use any interesting information she has attained to keep balance. When among her followers and other mortals she is rather maternal, very quick to give advice and ask that things be done in a certain way. HOWEVER, if a person is not a follower of hers, and chooses to start things in motion that could potentially endanger her beloved balance to things, she is liable to take action. For instance, if someone created a bomb that was designed to eliminate all life on Earth and she learned of it - she would quickly eliminate by revealing it's location to heroes or something to that same effect. In the instance of whether or not the Alliance will eventually defeat the Coalition States - if the Alliance hired the Megaversal Legion to attack the Coalition States, she would choose to warn the Coalition States and manipulate things to where the Coalition could count on aid from the New German Republic or Columbia.
Horror Factor: 18!
Experience Level: 25th Level Dragon/Ley Line Walker, and a 13th Level Rune Master.
Natural Abilities: Nightvision 2,400' and can see in total darkness, she can see the invisible and turn invisible at will, she can climb at a 98% efficiency, prowl at a 80% efficiency, adjust her size and metamorph at will, and she can bio-regenerate 2D6x10 MDC per minute. She can also dimensionally teleport with a 98% efficiency, and is impervious to cold, poisons, disease, and possession.
Skills of Note: All technical skills, Basic Math, Caligraphy, Land Navigation, ID Plants & Fruits, gardening, dance, sing, and play wind instruments at 98% efficiency.
Combat Skills: Equivalent of Hand to Hand Martial Arts at level 22.
*Number of Attacks: 10 (11) attacks per melee, or 5 by magic.
*Bonuses: +8 to initiative (+27), +8 to strike (+10), +11 to parry (+13), +14 to dodge (+16), +6 to roll, +2 to pull, +13 vs Horror Factor (+32; Impervious), +11 vs Magic, and +7 vs Psionics.
Magical Knowledge: Knows all spells levels 1-15. P.P.E.: 4,200.
Psychic Abilities: Has all minor psychic abilities plus psi-sword, psi-shield, Mind Wipe, and Mind Block Auto-Defense. I.S.P.: 275.
Allies: The term Ally is a very strong one to Kiraboshi, because that could change ... like the wind! At present she is on good terms with Hachiman but that could change if he ever found out about her past dealings OR about her plans to eventually try to thwart his attempts at dominating North America. She honestly likes Hachiman - he's a good kid - but he doesn't have what it takes to rule the whole of North America. In her opinion, nobody does - not even herself. She has had dealings with an ancient Lost One in the past, and actually was starting to fall for him. However, something happened between them and she was forced to wipe his memory and send him back out into the world - completely unaware of the alternate dimension he was once in. Other than these two individuals, she has had dealings with and is on friendly terms with Quetzalcoatl, Splyncryth, and Thunderbird - none of which would she consider full allies however.
Enemies: Any agent who seeks to inspire chaos or a one sided world. If light appears to be ready to eliminate all elements of evil, then the light is her enemy. If the Gods of Darkness are plotting to eliminate all life on Earth - then they are her enemy. She's really quite ambiguous and is rather dedicated to that.
Minions: As mentioned previously most Kumo-Mi call upon her as their patron diety for guidance. At least a hundred reside at her palace in her pocket dimension. Plus several hundred thousand in Kyatashiro, and a handful between the other allied nations call on her here on Earth. She has a couple of other dimensions where she is rather powerful - all told she has around 15.5 million followers. About twice that of Hachiman.
Weapons & Equipment: Kiraboshi is a Rune Smith, one of the few outside of the Splugorth control - as such she and all of her most powerful lieutenants wield at least one of these incredibly powerful weapons. Kumoken however, is her prized weapon. Kumoken is a very thin sword resembling an Ama-Goi-Ken, but that is much longer and much thinner. It is a mottled sky blue and white color, weighs approximately 3 Lbs, and can adjust in size to match her size as well. It inflicts 2D6x10 M.D., and inflicts double damage against supernatural evil. Her armor is a suit of Rune Armor named Tenyoroi that has 745 M.D.C. and regenerates 1D6x10 M.D.C. every 5 minutes, or completely restores itself 24 hours after it's complete destruction.

* The attacks and bonuses listed in parentheses are those so modified using RRVGG House Rules regarding high level modifications and skill advancement, as well as the Rifter indicated Initiative bonus of +1 per every three levels of experience. Although these bonuses seem to far outweigh those of other Gods - under our advancement rules the other Gods are equally powerful.

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