|Height||6'4 feet (190cm)|
The Four Heavenly Kings
|Previous Affiliation||Arma Clan|
|Occupation||King of the North|
Hadani Company Chairman
|Base of Operations||Soul Society|
|Education||Taught extensively in the arts of magic by his grandmother|
|Signature Skill||Black Magic|
|Japanese Voice||Kazuya Nakai|
While Shigenaga is a Shinigami of some power; he's far too disinterested in the simple life usually lead by what he haughtily refers to as mere commoners; preffering instead to continue honing his skills as an already accomplished spellcaster, and further amass his already tremendous wealth through extensive dealing at the Soul Society black market.
In the wake of recent wars, Shigenaga senses grand opportunities. And with the balance of power upset and Soul Society reeling from the destruction brought about by Yhwach he intends to secure his perimeters and expand his underworld empire. Not a man to let an opportunity pass him by, he intends to make use of his amassed resources to control as much of Seireitei as he possibly can.
Shigenaga stands at the great height of 6'4 feet and is known to appear quite intimidating; much due to the constant dissaproving scowl he keeps plastered over his face. Shigenaga is a tall man with a wide chest, broad shoulders and a fairly thick neck. He sports orange hair which he attembs to always keep neatly slicked back, but due to his hairs unruly nature it always seems to turn out in a somewhat spiky fashion; despite this, he always keeps his hair in excellent condition, hinting at a fair degree of vanity.
Shigenaga always dresses in garments of impeccable style and exceptional tailoring, in particular favoring crimson or black silk, lightly embroidered wirh golden thread. His most common attire, and the one he's most commonly seen in consists of an elaborate tailcoat manufactured with a smooth crimson texture; and accentuated by fur-trimmed sleeves; the coat seems to be made in a different style than most of its kind; which makes it suitable for casual wear. To complete the attire, he wears dark pants and a maroon sash, coiled snugly around his waist. Like any wealthy man he also dons jewelry, including three rings on his right hand, most of them being gold rings crafted especially for him, each set with a small variety of different jewels. He wears lesser amount of jewelry on his left hand, being content with just a single plain golden band of excellent condition; each of Shigenaga's four rings however are inscribed with a different spell, the nobleman being a very cautious man indeed.
While Shigenaga very rarely travels to the human world, on the few occassions where he's bothered to do so, he's dressed more sensibly, wearing a deep-red polo shirt over black pants and a simple belt, the only thing that hasn't changed is that he still dons his most iconic jewelry, namely a golden band emblazoned with a brown crystal at his middle finger; and his earrings. Both items being worth a fair deal to him.
Shigenaga's muscular and toned physique, warm hazel eyes and natural charisma has managed to mold Shigenaga into a rather coveted man. Commonly considered to be rather attractive, not merely due to his looks, but also in regards to how he rarely fails to make an excellent first-impression, his viewpoints initially coming off as profound, intelligent and charming. Which ensures that to people that don't actually know him, Shigenaga leaves a very positive impression behind; an impression which sometimes leads to desire. These cases seem to happen with so great a frequency that its widely understood that Shigenaga somehow uses magic to enhance his natural charm and looks; even as he makes the subject of conversation subconsciously ignore all of his negative qualities.
- "The man you love doesn't return your feelings, and your mind is conflicted towards spending time with me instead of him, thinking that you've just soiled your own perceived virtue by sleeping with another man when your heart belongs to him and him alone. Love is but an illusion, you claim to love this man yet you offered me no resistance and even took the initiative during our most enjoyable activity. Now, discovering that your virtues have been broken and your beliefs shaken you seek to blame your mistake and sin upon me? You've got no backbone, human - and you wonder why I consider you an inferior creature?"
- —Shigenaga speaking to Vladik Volkov[[src]]
Shigenaga is to most a rather cynical and sometimes even an outright cruel man - he has no qualms about speaking his mind in all situations and will often respond to people in a sharp manner; usually laced with an edge of sarcasm and contempt. He is generally unfriendly to people he meets and is quick to insult or otherwise berate them for even the slightest of errors. Having been taught from an early age that his quest for personal power, wealth and money is to take precedence for anything else, Shigenaga is ruthless in the pursuit of his own well-being and general self-interest, often being willing to double cross even trusted allies should the prize and rewards be great enough. Shigenaga is a man who is perfectly willing to charm, backstab and steal his way to the top and he has no qualms about double-crossing even his own men, although even so, he is extremely reluctant to do so, as loyal henchmen and workers are difficult to find, especially in his profession.
Having been forged into a ruthless businessman by his late grandmother and as one of the more prominent figures of Soul Societies underworld, Shigenaga typically interacts with people and individuals he encounters to acquire their assets, talents and resources for himself, he's content to make those he approaches well-aware of his objective interest in them. They're often dehumanized and objectified to suit the warlocks needs, Shigenaga has few qualms upon looking at others in this way and often resorts to blackmail, threats and/or manipulation to hoard these more abstract resources for his own benefit. Shigenaga's willingness to ignore the lives of those that work under him often paints him in a negative light, but even so, he's known to be one of the more dependable crime lords and is often inclined to pay very well for their services to him. This is a benefit which few other prominent figures in the underworld of Soul Society are willing to grant, and therefore Shigenaga enjoys markedly high recruitment rates despite his flaws.
Perhaps unexpectedly, Shigenaga, despite his unfeeling and cold disposition is still a man who knows how to appreciate beauty, sophistication and art. Shigenaga showcases this by frequently wearing high-quality clothing specifically tailored for his frame and is quick to respect or acknowledge people whom share his taste for finery and decadence. While the warlock usually thinks little of humans and their lack of backbone, he's still fascinated with certain cultures and ideas which he thinks holds merit, and which serve to showcase elegance of both himself and others. This is most strongly shown by the fact that Shigenaga is a surprisingly competent and sensual dancer, much despite what his outward appearance and mannerisms would otherwise suggest, having learned to dance by retrieving books on the matter from the human world libraries and from recently deceased souls. Though he's only had one or two teachers in his time, as its indeed very rare for him to encounter individuals willing to teach him, for this reason, Shigenaga sometimes visits the human world to pay for or at times, even force humans to teach him. Particularily interested in the classical ballroom dances practised by humans, Shigenaga has over time become highly proficient in a number of such dances, most noteably Tango, Rumba, Waltz and others. Among these, Shigenaga is known to be particularily fascinated with the Tango; having great partiality towards the dance, its immense sensuality, class and seductive steps each complementing Shigenaga's personality and demeanour excellently.
In relation to this, Shigenaga also seems to possess a twisted outlook on aesthetic elements, oftentimes employing his magic to change the nature of something to better reflect his own personal ideal of what beauty is. By far the most well-known example of this is the enormous rose garden which separates his personal mansion from the rest of Soul Society and which surrounds his home. The garden is so large, that it basically resembles a small forest and its composed of pretty much every single variant of roses, from climbing roses to massive bushes large enough to resemble trees, to massive vines much larger than what would be possible in the human world, all sporting innumerable thorns. Its believed that the nobleman simultaneously enjoys the macabre appearance of their thorns and black stems and the often vibrant and delicate colors of roses, being fascinated by the intense contrast. However, while they're visually identical to roses, Shigenaga is still a cautious man with eccentric taste, and thus he opted to bewitch his entire garden, turning the roses into abberations whose thorns siphon the very essence of life from anyone whom as little as pricks their finger on them. Once the victim is drained, they invade their body while they're still alive and release innumerable seeds within their dying host, which are so enriched by the victims blood and latent spiritual energy so as to grow to impressive sizes within the span of a few hours. Subjecting the victim to a slow and torturous death, with their very decomposing corpse serving as the nutrients and the soil for the flowers themselves, who bloom quickly in a crown of impeccable black roses of great radiance and beauty. The black roses are one of Shigenaga's most admired and dear pieces of magic, and several visitors well-versed in magic have expressed their interest and admiration of his work.
- "Love is festering inside you, like a lethal cancer it spreads its influence within you as it takes root - forcing you to commit actions for someone other than yourself, your interests change and you become chained and restricted, trapped within your own heart like a proud beast locked away in a cage. Soon you realize your choices are no longer your own, but are constantly influenced by other factors - you lose control of whom you are and your inner self is forgotten, or left behind. Don't you see how much power you involuntarily given Abram over you?"
- —Shigenaga criticizing Vladik's feelings for Abram[[src]]
Shigenaga is known to enjoy flexible relationships with several romantic partners at once, although he very rarely keeps them around for extended periods of time, not particularly inclined to believe in love or affection -- Shigenaga believes that these emotions are but fleeting representations of mankind's wish for companionship meant to elude the simple truth of the matter; namely the lascivious nature of all humanoids. However, all of this is only at the surface, in truth, Shigenaga's promiscous and hedonistic lifestyle was brought about by how he even as a young child never received neither love or affection of any kind. His grandmother having been an extremely severe and ruthless woman, whom constantly denied him affection and care even as she callously taught him everything she thought he needed to know about how the world operated. It is later revealed that the reason that Shigenaga became such a promiscous man, is precisely because of how he was banished from the main household after his parents discovered his talent for magic and his unusually strong connection to the spirit realms. This coupled with the unloving nature of his grandmother spurred him into trying to prove to them, that someone wanted him. While Shigenaga believes he's long since forsaken these pathetic ideals and no longer seek companionship or affection, the fact remains that he deep down still longs for what he never had; even if he has forced himself into ignoring it.
A man motivated almost entirely by self-interest, Shigenaga is greedy, cautious and callous; constantly weighing his actions upon what they might earn him; whether he deals in information, status, pleasure or money (or sometimes all four at once) is of no concern to him and he guards his property jealously: a businessman at heart, Shigenaga firmly believes that money is the only true dependable thing the world has to offer, a belief strengthened by his late grandmother. For these reasons, Shigenaga finds himself incapable of sympathizing with those in need, believing that helping others without gain is a waste of his ever-precious time and generally scolds and mocks those whom do so, stating such acts of disgusting selflessness to be "insufferably charitable".
As a man with excellent connections in the underworld, and even in the Gotei 13 – Shigenaga commands an extraordinary amount of political power in relation to his age and status; having been capable of securing himself a position of nobility through extortion, blackmail and a great deal of bribery. However, unlike actual nobles, Shigenaga has no compunctions about using his resources to get aid from outsiders, using his name, wealth and political power to ensure that he's always got a sizeable batallion on his side. As expected of a man with that degree of political power, Shigenaga very rarely engages in combat directly and for good reason, because his abilities while powerful by all means aren't suited to combat at all and therefore, Shigenaga tends to react to confrontations in a cowardly manner, typically fleeing and having others fight his battles. Not being inclined to fight unless its absolutely necessary or when he's backed up into a corner with no way out.
As a highly accomplished warlock, Shigenaga is well-trained in a wide variety of esoteric magical disciplines. He's particularly knowledgeable and interested in the kind of dark magic which deals with displacing, changing or transfixing souls and spirits, cleverly manipulating them into his own devices and twisting them into something else. Shigenaga has no compunctions about using these various rituals of black magic, even though the damage they cause is frequently permanent and sometimes irreversible. He's demonstrated a willingness to practice his spells on captives and even servants, and often does exactly that, destroying their mind and body methodically with his spells while he's taking note and observing the long-term effects on their bodies and spirits – among his more atrocious experiments is locking a young boy into a painting, turning another into an inanimate statue and transforming hostages into animals and feeding them to one another. When Shigenaga met Vladik, he displayed a macabre fascination and admiration of the work his fellow spell caster had done to create such a powerful and a complex curse as the one which affected the Quincy, to the latters chagrin.
From the moment he was born, Shigenaga always possessed the gift of magic, a gift passed down from the lineage of his grandmother. As the youngest of three children, Shigenaga was not to inherit his clans name and riches for himself, and his parents had little use for him. His magical abilities were unfit in a house who prided themselves on superior knowledge and technology over fancy parlor tricks and excessive displays. He was therefore handed over to his grandmother, who raised him in place of his parents. But his grandmother, Nimhe Arma was a ruthless woman, embittered by how her sister had once forsaken their legacy and ran off with a mere mortal, for Nimhe and her sister were neither Shinigami nor Pluses. They were Ki-Rin.
Shigenaga's abilities were descended from hers, and knowing this, Nimhe decided to teach him the arts from an early ago. And with the knowledge she possessed, her grandchild grew by leaps and bounds, and learned spells which members of the Kidō Corps would covet, had they the knowledge. Shigenaga was taught how to bind spirits to his will, weave intricate illusions and ensnare the senses of friend and foe alike with arcane gestures and enchantments. However, the often brutal nature of his training made the boy hesitant to obey her commands, often, she would require him to practice his craft on live subjects, typically lower ranking members of the clan, especially if they had at one point wronged him one way or another. Against his will, the young Shigenaga was taught to misuse his powers by sowing suffering for others and enslaving those who lacked the strength to stand against his sorcery. These were the teachings Nimhe imprinted on her gullible grandson.
Although initially innocent, sweet and kind. Shigenaga came to understand these facets of himself as weaknesses to be thrown aside, and for every year, his previously radiant smile would fade bit for bit, until at last there was nothing left but an icy frown. Feelings like sympathy and empathy for others were deemed unnessecary and discarded. The world does not forgive kindness, your compassion will go forever unrewarded and feelings of love, however intense they might be, will always be misunderstood expressions. Beauty is meaningless, what ultimately matters is your own survival. Shigenaga accepted her views and emulated them and soon his mind was no longer plagued by feelings of self-guilt or conscience. What mattered from then on, was expanding his knowledge so that he could destroy his greatest enemy, his own grandmother, Nimhe.
As the years flew by, Shigenaga absorbed all knowledge that his grandmother would impart on him, but without her knowing he hired spies and scouts to scour the world of the living for anything he might use to gain an edge over the old woman. Old rituals and curses, passed down from witches and sorcerers of centuries past were collected and experimented with. Diaboli were consulted, deals were made and pacts were forged in the shadows. His knowledge of the occult grew by leaps and bounds, and although human magic might seem pathetic to most Shinigami, in the hands of someone truly capable, they could do wonders. Shigenaga even went so far as to have several Quincy captured and tortured for information about their unique brand of magic. The knowledge he gleaned was substantial, even if he had to exhaust every cruel enchantment and curse to wring it out of their mouths. After he had extracted what knowledge he needed, he donated them to the 12th Division for experimentation. Although his newfound knowledge of Gintō afforded him an advantage, it was not enough. Not nearly enough.
As his search for more magical knowledge continued, he delved into books of summoning and eventually found the means to call upon evil spirits from the realm beyond. Whereas before his ability to summon Diaboli had been limited only to the lowish castes of Bestia, he eventually acquired the power to consult spirits of far greater power. Through these new contacts he began studying the form of demonic magic known as Sortiarius, an ancient form of magic responsible for the rise and fall of many a civilization. They taught him eagerly, inspired by ulterior motives. Far from being a gullible apprentice anymore however, Shigenaga exploited every verse and deal as best he could, and turned their own teachings against them, binding several devils of moderate power to his service.
For several decades he honed what he had learned, and extracted every bit of knowledge he could from Nimhe. Until at last the time had come to end her miserable existence. He thought he had the moment of surprise, but he was wrong, she was after all the one who had instilled in him these ambitions, and she knew it was inevitable. Minions were summoned, fire and ice flung back and forth, nefarious curses and enchantments woven against either one. Despite all his training and preparation, Nimhe proved too powerful to overcome in a battle of magic. Closing the distance as quick as he could, he struck the old woman down with his hand before ending her life with a precise stab at her heart. The deed complete, Shigenaga relished in his victory over the old crone, and his assured freedom. With her last breath, Nimhe smiled and uttered a short phrase.
"You've made me proud, my boy"
As expected, the clan was disgusted by his actions. Not only had he killed his own grandmother, the woman who had taken care of him since he was a child, but he had also killed two of her attendants on his way to bringing her down. Shigenaga had grown disillusioned with his ilk either way, and drawing upon what Nimhe had taught him, he seized hold of their senses and had them exile him from the clan as opposed to giving him the execution he rightfully deserved. He was content with that, but without funds he needed to support himself somehow.
When Shigenaga decided to become a male escort, it served a dual purpose, not only could he make surprisingly good money off of it, but it was also a way to worm himself into the social elite of Soul Society. To get to the top, his clients often divulged secrets to him or confided in him, and he made sure to exploit this as best he could. To make sure he was paired with as many clients as possible, Shigenaga employed transformative spells to appeal to their tastes, whether that be as a man, woman or otherwise. For many decades he engaged in this game of subterfuge, deceit and manipulation, forging several aliases and gradually rising in the ranks, until at last the time had come to make his breakthrough and have his ambitions come true.
The chance presented itself in the form of Marechiyō Ōmaeda, the heir to the wealthy Ōmaeda clan. Disguising himself as a woman after the mans heart, Shigenaga began courting him and slowly had him become enamored with this fake persona. Shigenaga aided himself in this endeavor by bewitching the man and his family whenever he came to visit, to prevent them from noticing until the time was right. Shigenaga played the part of "Lady Shura" for several years, eventually becoming his fiancée and being formally accepted into the family.
Of course, when the time showed up for them to be married, Lady Shura never showed up at the wedding. Instead, she hired someone to forge the documents and contracts required to formally take ownership of the entire Ōmaeda estate. Effectively transferring their entire wealth to him and forcing them to move to the Rukongai. Once there, they perished at the hands of an assassin hired by Shigenaga himself. The original documents were burned and Shigenaga was then free to use his newfound wealth to hurl himself into the business world and become the crime lord he is today.
Ring of Protection: A slender, elegant golden band worn on Shigenaga's left middle-finger at all times, it at first glance appears to be little but a trinket of vanity, meant to increase his appeal and act as simple jewelry, intended to showcase his great wealth and political influence. Despite appearances, the ring serves another purpose entirely - for within the Ring lies stored powerful defensive spell. Which once energy is channeled through the trinket; is released in the form of a vertical curtain of emerald energy which materializes directly in front of the ring - allowing it to act as a spontaneous shield. This effect requires no prior knowledge of magic to perform; although it does consume a small amount of spiritual energy. The shield produced by this ring has proved to be powerful enough to completely block an attack made by the lycanthrope Vladik Volkov in his transformed state, only slightly cracking under the pressure. Showcasing its significant potency and the masterwork quality of the enchanted item itself.
Ring of Assassination: Another beautifully engraved piece of gold, worn on the middle finger of Shigenaga's right hand. Unlike many of his other rings, this one does not bear an enchantment, but instead works as an expensive concealment of a hidden dagger, barely two inches long. When Shigenaga mutters a short word, the upper layer of the ring splits to the sides to reveal the weapon. Although the blade is of little issue to most, the true threat lies in the extremely potent poison that it's sheathed in. Unknown to most save members of the mysterious Kidō Corps, the poison goes by the name of Shishaotome (死者乙女, "Dead Maiden") and is extracted from the nectar of the silver-white windflower, and further enhanced through magic to reach it's true potency. Throughout the centuries, Shishaotome has remained especially favored among the Kidō Corps, because it reduces the stability of the subjects very spirit, causing it to break down of it's own accord, without an antidote it spreads throughout the spiritual body at highly accelerated rates, the exact speed of which depends upon the power of the spiritual body in question. It would take roughly a day to destroy a Captain-level Shinigami, but weaker souls could be destroyed in a matter of hours or even minutes. Rarely employed unless as a last line of self-defense or as a speedy way of ridding himself with a troublesome individual, the antidote is thus far unknown.
Powers & Abilities
Immense Wealth: Money is one of the oldest and most effective ways to gain power in the human world, and in truth, Soul Society is no different. This was a concept always understood by Shigenaga, and thanks to his late grandmother he possessed the means to acclaim it for himself, and so he did. To most individuals living in the Rukongai, this is by far the most fearsome aspect of the Northern King. Families have been destroyed or turned against one another due to the lure of Shigenaga's wealth, cause for the desperate people living in these districts there is nothing that can manipulate them quite as easily as money can. He's a saviour in their eyes, through his approval they might survive, get a place to sleep and raise thier children in peace, and through his wealth he can bribe those who would rally against him to stand down. Whenever someone rises against him, the rebellion is short lived as they're either brought low by his personal task force or bought off. Although he's capable of procuring enough hard coin to rival that of the illustrious Kuchiki Clan, the vast majority of his wealth lies in his investments in the current infrastructure of the Soul Society. In truth, it's easier to make out what doesn't carry traces of Shigenaga's influence than what actually does, for it's commonly accepted that the crime lord has his hands in almost everything going on in Seireitei. His wealth has been used to sway the decisions of the Central 46 at many an occassion, whether he uses it to bribe them or arrange for the swift and discrete demise of those who display open defiance to him. The result of this is that most individuals within the Central 46 refuse to mention Shigenaga's name entirely, for were they ever to upset him it could result in drastic consequences not only for them, but for their loved ones and the very infrastructure of Soul Society itself. In truth, there is little to be done against Shigenaga and it's because of this that the only ones capable of keeping his hold on Soul Society in check are the Eastern, Southern and Western Kings.
High Intellect: Shigenaga's intelligence is one not commonly seen, as he tends to conceal it beneath a clever façade of sarcasm and vulgarity; and this is evidenced by how, despite his appearances Shigenaga almost always manages to keep several steps ahead of all his enemies at all times. Further exemplified by how he's managed to keep his illegal activities as a crime lord a secret from the rest of Soul Society for this long, albeit admittedly, they've got very little interest in what takes place beyond their perimeters. Shigenaga's intelligence, while it could've been used for more altruistic purposes, it primarily used to constantly find new ways to exploit the system and come up with new ways to amass even more wealth; both of resources and of knowledge, both magical and otherwise. However, by far the greatest testimony to his exceptional talents is his mastery of illusions, or more specifically his capability of employing them as his preferred form of combat. This takes basis in that illusions, specifically the kind that has the power to inflict actual damage, are noted to be very difficult to create, and commonly requires intense meditation to perform competently, making them highly unsuited for combat. That Shigenaga can employ these with such amusing ease; and even more impressively, use them in combat as easily as others wield a blade is fearsome indeed. Proving that his resolve, concentration and insight is effectively worlds apart from that of ordinary Shinigami. Indeed, Shigenaga tends to rely much more on his intelligence and his more mundane abilities than his sorcery, preferring to rely on subterfuge, deceit, misdirection and cunning over his magical abilities. Reasoning that using magic to achieve a goal has a habit of weakening the end result significantly.
- Master Manipulator & Conman: Shigenaga is a very capable manipulator, being intricately aware of the workings of the human mind thanks to his long training in the magical school of enchantment, as a result, Shigenaga excels at turning people against one another and influencing the actions of others by playing upon their interests. Shigenaga is a man who is fascinated by the malleability of a perceived truth, knowing better than most how merely changing the tone of his voice while uttering such a truth can have immense differences on how the other part receives and processes the information. The subtlest emphasis, the clever lie disguised merely as the slip of his tongue - the mere rearrangement of facts, the simple hints. These are all invaluable tools for Shigenaga as they all allows him to sculpt and shape an opponent, business partner or allies very perception of him. For a warlock such as Shigenaga, who generally prefers subtlety, efficiency and cunning to raw magical might or even using magic to make his ends meet the way other warlocks in the underworld of the Soul Society does, the art of manipulation, the ability to make others think and do as he wants is an extremely useful talent to have and he relies more on mundane manipulation than enchantments. Beyond being a very skilled manipulator, Shigenaga also happens to be an extremely adept con-artist capable of lying and bluffing even some of the most powerful individuals in the Soul Society; having honed his words to offer the proper mix of charming compliments, veiled threats and promises to whet the desires of those he converses with and he's frequently thought to be one of the greatest con-men of Soul Society in the underworld. Indeed, so great is Shigenaga's skill at bluffing and tricking others that he's even reputedly capable of cheating Diaboli, creatures from hell whose entire being are based upon lies, deceit and misdirection, frequently engaging in long conversations of tongue-twisting and battles of wits where both he and the Diabolus pits their intelligence and wisdom against one another. However, Diaboli are much more difficult to cheat and bluff than ordinary souls and attempting to do so can be extremely dangerous, when it happens however - it is often quite rewarding and Shigenaga cites these creatures at some of his most influential mentors. His great reputation being attributed mostly to his ability to learn and at times even comprehend the minds of Diaboli, a task which is known to have driven lesser men insane. One of Shigenaga's most impressive feats as a con-artist was to swindle the Ōmaeda House of all their resources, riches and leases - stealing their entire properties and relegating the entire house to the Rukongai district. Their immense riches and owned shops and businesses providing the fundament upon what Shigenaga would base his growing financial empire on.
- Master Tactician & Strategist: As a greatly accomplished businessman, syndicate leader and crime lord: Shigenaga possesses astounding capabilities of deduction, long and short-term planning as well as an uncanny ability to organize both his business and his subordinates so as make them most profitable. A patient man, Shigenaga typically plans events and social gatherings well in advance, especially those whom include shady figures from the underworld of Soul Society, making it his business to take pretty much every single variable into account with contingency plans prepared beforehand in the regrettable scenario that something goes wrong. With his extremely thorough approach, Shigenaga is a respected man in the underworld and fellow crime lords flock to him as a result, earning him an envied position in businesses such as the black markets and even ties to the noble families of Soul Society, with him sometimes having traded with the prestigious Kuchiki Clan.
High Spiritual Power: Shigenaga is known to possess a degree of spiritual power which is roughly on par with that of a higher-ranked shinigami such as a seated officer or a lieutenant, though he rarely makes use of it directly or even tries to hone its strength. In stark contrast to most other shinigami who tirelessly attempt to increase their own capacity in order to advance in the ranks. Shigenaga doesn't possess much spiritual pressure and is unable to exert it to any significant degree at all, its large in quantity and great in quality but nonetheless seems to have little to no effect on the surrounding environment. When exerted it exudes from his body like a veil of smoke, concealing his features and making his silhouette out to be both ghastly and foreboding – his spiritual energy is finely controlled and perfectly harmonized. Colored a very vivid shade of violet it expands from his being like a palpable miasma. Those that come into contact with it do not experience any great sensations at all, aside from slight anxiety of some kind, not due to the emotions that suffuses the energy but rather because of a growing awareness that something has changed, even if they cannot understand what. The change is that, their own spiritual energy is often affected by Shigenaga's own, as the latters aura invades upon theirs, latching onto them and intertwining itself with their spirit. The nature of this phenomenon is often described as having a likeness to how creeping vines often suffocate trees with their presence, robbing them of sunlight and nutrients – and that's exactly what happens. Shigenaga's spiritual energy doesn't attempt to overpower that of others, it instead aims to suffocate them slowly and invade their spirit from the outside. The unique nature of Shigenaga's spiritual energy confers several immediate disadvantages on any individual other than himself in his immediate vicinity.
- Energy Suffocation: Precisely like how creeper vines suffocate other plants in their vicinity. Shigenaga's energy once its intertwined itself with the reiryoku of his opponent leeches and siphons spiritual energy from the individual whenever they attempt to employ it, whether it be an ordinary attack, personal improvement or magic. This suffocating presence on their energy makes it significantly more difficult to use techniques to their maximum potential without severe overuse of their own reserves. Whenever an opponent tries to use energy while under the influence of Shigenaga's reiatsu, they find that a significant amount of the energy they harness and expend is effectively wasted, suffocated by the peculiar nature of Shigenaga's spiritual energy. Casting spells and using the abilities of ones Zanpakutō becomes increasingly difficult the more prolonged the exposure is. Eventually the victim is forced to expend greater amounts of energy simply to perform basic actions such as defending or attacking and their reserves are exhausted at accelerated rates. Such occasions are however rare as its very unusual for Shigenaga to be cornered to the degree that he's forced to partake in combat directly - with the sorcerer usually remaining well-protected behind ranks of henchmen and hired mercenaries.
- Increased Vulnerability to Magic: There's many different schools and forms of Kidō but they all have one thing in common, they employ the latent spiritual energy ever-present in the environment and cause them to coalesce into the desired spell, using incantations to guide each of the fragmented wills and spirits the caster beckons into a singular purpose. However, some forms of magic rely almost exclusively on an interaction between the caster and the soul of a spirit, this kind of magic is known collectively as Henkōdō and is one of the unique branches of Kidō discovered and practiced by the Kidō Corps. Being one of the most advanced users of Henkodō currently alive, Shigenaga sometimes projects spells through his own energy and into the opponent in order to redefine, change or affect them directly. Such as changing the nature of their soul to make them incompatible with their own Zanpakutō spirits, inflict almost incurable ailments on their soul and even cripple them by damaging the eternal aspect of their existence. The unique nature of Shigenaga's spiritual energy however, being intrinsically connected to Shigenaga, and by extension whatever spells he'd cast, leads it to in addition to weakening the spiritual energy of its victim, also serve to empower any spells cast by Shigenaga against his target.
Kidō Master: Shigenaga's skill in demon magic is considered to be his main asset and thus he's exceptionally skilled, believed to be on par with that of a member of the Kidō Corps, a claim that seems fair enough considering that Shigenaga has used his considerable resources to buy tomes and scrolls normally only available to the previously mentioned Kido Corps: and he's capable of casting several spells which aren't known to most members of the Gotei 13. However, while most users of Kidō have honed their talents specifically for combat, Shigenaga's own talents are noted to be very different - for rather than specializing within the arts of binding or destruction the way most contemporary users of Kidō do, Shigenaga is actually one of the few current specialists of Henkōdō in Soul Society. As a result most of Shigenaga's spells are highly unsuitable for direct combat and he's often forced to rely exclusively on hired muscle or summoned creatures in order to defend himself, distancing himself from the heat of combat and casting spells while remaining untouchable. For this reason, Shigenaga has largely eschewed destructive arts, only employing Hadō spells in situations where he might do so safely, such as when fighting alongside allies.
One of the few destructive spells which Shigenaga is known to be capable of casting includes the ever-popular Shakkahō, which is noted to be very powerful when cast by Shigenaga, owing to his great underlying skill in the art when combined with the spells' apparent simplicity. Shigenaga's skill with this particular spell is evident on how he usually compresses it into the form of a compact red fireball which detonates with great explosive and concussive force when it comes with contact with something, typically incinerating the sorrounding area outright and sending both allies and enemies hurtling through the air. As a cautious man, and one whose talents are ill-suited for direct combat, Shigenaga's main use of contemporary Kido mostly includes various important defensive spells of note, which he's known to apply to himself very frequently as well as internalize into his own magical equipment to afford him added protection.
In particular does he favor spells which allows him to preemptively defend against a future attack, this category of spells being typically called wards by seasoned spellcasters. One of the most famous of these is the rather recently discovered Millon Escudo spell which Shigenaga most commonly affixes to his blind spot to protect him from would-be assassins, although beyond using wards Shigenaga is also skilled enough to perform general Bakudo spells up til the early eighties with minimal difficulty. Outside of combat, Shigenaga remains fond of using sorcery to ease his way of life and make himself generally more comfortable-- using spells to accomplish more boring or arduous tasks with ease and efficiency. Leaving much time to be spent doing more profitable work.
Shigenaga's innate skill and diligent magical research has earned him the ability to cast most mid-to-low level spells with but a single hand. He's furthermore capable of casting most low-level spells, including Shakkahō silently. It should be noted that although Shigenaga rarely employs Hadō spells, it's believed that he's skilled enough to perform spells into the nineties, although such a feat would require a full incantation even at his level of skill, due to his rather limited spiritual energy.
Master Evoker: Shigenaga's natural bond with the spirits, as granted to him by his fey heritage has blessed him with a rare talent for the art of summoning; in fact, during his youth he would frequently accidentally summon foreign spirits to his location. His grandmother realized his talents and worked to have him refine them over time, her knowledge of the art was imperfect though and she had soon taught him everything she knew. His growing skills in the art however soon caught the attention of Diabolus whom viewed his growing amibtions and desire for further enlightenment as an excellent oppurtunity to increase their own powers -- making use of their supernatural boons, they appeared in the young warlock's dreams and urged him to continue his craft, even resorting to mentoring him in the art of summoning their kin. It was meant to be just another investment on their part, no doubt - but despite their beliefs, Shigenaga was not as easily swayed as they had originally believed. When he first summoned one, he made certain that it was the most lowly Bestia he could find, knowledgeable about their innate cowardice in the face of greater beings - he never requested a faustian bargain from the poor creature, but instead used his magic to lock it away in its own pentagram, weak as it was, it could do very little but remain trapped. The young warlock then began to systematically experiment with finding out its epithet. A process that took several months of experimentation, and when it's true name was discovered at last he commanded it to tell him everything it knew about the art of summoning; and by extension revealed to Shigenaga the existence of the Yoriteishou; a group of human occultists whom specialized in the summoning and enslavement of Diabolus. It took approximately five decades for Shigenaga to track down a group of mortal spellcasters, reclusive as they were, in the form of a nomad group of gypsies who initially resisted his attembs at coercing their secrets out of them. Unfortunately for them, Shigenaga, having grown increasingly impatient over the decades he had spent searching was in no mood to tolerate it; and proceeded to slaughter most of the nomads - their fickle sorcery and weak devilish servants standing little chance against a Shinigami of his station. Despite having the knowledge and ability to employ Diaboli as servants, Shigenaga very rarely makes use of these creatures, knowing full well how treacherous they might be.
Sortiarius Adept: Having used his acclaimed knowledge to summon forth Diaboli from the The Realms, Shigenaga quickly used his newfound resources to conjure forth these powerful devils for his own purposes. Primarily to teach him more about the art of magic he had just had a taste of, seeing its great potential and power. The Diabolus were however reluctant to part with their secrets, and thus it became arranged that Shigenaga would allow the devils to feast on the souls of convicted criminals, sucking at their corruption and boosting their strength significantly - this tended to loosen the tongues of most Diabolus, but those with the greatest secrets were much more hesitant; and for those he arranged vessels through which they could physically enter and interact with the world, essentially freeing them from hell in exchange for servitude and loyalty to him. Through their counsel, Shigenaga's knowledge of Sortiarius blossomed and he became fairly proficient in the art - enough so as to use it to compliment in his Kido, in the few cases where it was appropriate.
Master of Curses: Since he was brought up in the care of his grandmother, Shigenaga has honed his skills at curses, jinxes and hexes. These talents being made available to him through his grandmothers contacts, most evidently by her having coerced some of the less trustworthy members of the Kidō Corps to provide her with the means to teach her grandson. Shigenaga's come to embrace this gift over the centuries, frequently making use of it to coerce, manipulate and destroy his enemies, finding that many curses offer a quick solution to any dispute or disagreement; especially if Shigenaga took his adversaries loved ones into consideration. Curses are very frequently mistaken for being powerful enchantment spells and mind-related magic, but there is according to Shigenaga a huge difference between the two categories of magic. Curses affect the physical aspect of a subjects body, changing the state of the subject; including what it is and how it is. Enchantment spells on the other hand focus on the emotional aspect of the subject, changing the behaviour of the subject, along with what the subject does, as opposed to what it is - differentiating it from its counterpart. The exact workings of casting a curse can also vary, some requiring elaborate gestures, rituals and ceremonies in order to cast; although most of the lesser curses can be adminstered simply by speaking a single word, a cryptic command of sorts meant to slightly allude to the spells nature. Curses work by establishing a forced bond with one or more targets, linking the subjects to the will of the caster and thus allowing Shigenaga, provided his resolve is strong enough; to literally change the conditions, peculiarities and situation of the targets physical body. Shigenaga has found that curses are especially effective against spiritual beings, where a single curse can redefine his subjects for as long as he wants, provided its properly executed. In these cases, Shigenaga strengthens the established connection to the point that it becomes more like a semi-permanent conduit - allowing Shigenaga to more easily imbue his victim with his own thoughts, experiences and desires with added strength, sending his intentions coursing along the conduit and into their own spiritual bodies, in essence; injecting and 'drugging' them with his own commands and desires, overriding their usual behavioural pattern and forcing their bodies to do as he commands, even if they themselves are entirely self-aware the entire time. The most important distinction with curses, is that the victim is always aware they've been cursed, or at the very least that something is terribly wrong; as it produces a distinctive feeling of sudden dread in the subject, like if they just realized they had lost something very important.
Albeit in possession of impressive magical powers, and a mastery in the spirit arts, Shigenaga has never been and will never be a fighter. Thus, to defend himself and his interests, Shigenaga has poured a fortune into acquiring esoteric tomes and pieces of forgotten lore on the subject of conjuration. Primarily concerned with summoning powerful entities to fight his battles for him, these entitites are typically either Shikigami or Yōkai.
Shikigami are commonplace in areas controlled by Shigenaga, composed of enchanted pieces of paper, these magical constructs are mostly invisible to ordinary souls and people; and merely patrol his perimeters without bothering his subjects. His underlings are usually never aware that they're being watched every moment of their lives by these invisible beings, which immediately notify Shigenaga if something seems out of the ordinary, or if an underling proves troublesome. Most of these Shikigami are forged out of the defragmented souls of willful subordinates, whose defiance inspired the sorcerer to shatter their souls into innumerable fragments to imbue them into inanimate objects such as paper, wood or even iron. These beings never retain enough of their memory to rebel against him, most merely containing the bare necessity of spirit to remain animate. The fragmentation of their spirit happens gradually, and Shigenaga tears away only a few pieces of their psyche, memory and being at a time, sending them home to their families after each such session in fewer and fewer pieces, until at last they're nothing more than living shells, devoid of happiness, emotion or purpose, save for a desire to obey. Feelings of revenge, anger or discontentment are the first to be removed, and thus it hardly ever occurs that a victim speaks up against his tyranny, never comprehending just what it is that they've lost, and why they should take offense to it.
Over the centuries, Shigenaga has become exceptionally capable at creating Shikigami, and has discovered means to impart upon his creations certain powers and abilities that his victims possessed while still whole, through this method he's succeeded in making some Shikigami with high battle potential to serve as his personal bodyguards whenever necessary, each can be called upon with a short incantation; manifesting before him to deal with whatever issue urged their summoning in the first place. These battle-specialized Shikigami are always made of far more exotic materials than the ordinary variant, typically including the skin of powerful Yōkai, rare minerals and symbolic treasures. Such reagents are usually exorbitantly priced, and often outlawed besides, requiring him to make deals in the black markets. Because of Shigenaga's wealth and influence, Kitsune, Okami and Nekomata-hunting has become a flourishing market in the underworld, with rogue Kidō Masters opening portals into Yuánrǎng for this express purpose.
Some of Shigenaga's more powerful Shikigami are commonly sighted in the underworld of Soul Society, where they typically serve the part of executioners, envoys and representatives of his interests. While the Shikigami themselves cannot speak on their own, Shigenaga is capable of directly controlling them through a fairly simple ritual, which temporarily affixes his mind to the Shikigami, allowing him to speak through it, see through it's eyes and sense things as it does. Each of these Shikigami were handcrafted by Shigenaga himself, and the souls used to craft them were meticulously selected. Consequently, they're one of a kind and an extremely important part of Shigenaga's arsenal.
Uragiri (裏切り, "Betrayal"): Among the very first Shikigami created by Shigenaga is Uragiri, it was given it's name as a mockery of it's primary donor, Shigenaga's very own grandmother herself, the cruel woman who had raised him to become the man he is. In life Nimhe was an exceptionally capable sorceress, whose knowledge of the darker kinds of magic was evidently only overshadowed by her grandson. These powers were desirable to Shigenaga, and thus he took the time to dissect her very spirit in her dying moments, removing all of her memories, emotions, leaving only her knowledge, such that her magic might continue to be of use to him. Through Uragiri Shigenaga was capable of learning more than he ever did while she was still alive, as the crafty witch had understood just what she was about to mold her grandson into. Uragiri employs specific spells taken from his grandmother grimoire, along with a selection of Kidō spells it has at it's disposal. Like many combat-geared Shikigami, Uragiri is not made of paper like most of the non-combat variants, but was instead fashioned from the fresh corpse of a powerful Ōkami spirit. The unfortunate Yōkai having been felled by bounty hunters sent by an underground mercenary company positioned on the outer reaches of the Rukongai districts, it belonged to the elite caste of wolf gods, recognizable for their dark purple fur, and it's four tails were permanently affixed to the Shikigami itself. It's essence was then dissected and used to empower the Shikigami with great spiritual power and physical strength, as well as priming the Shikigami to make use of the great power afforded by it's four tails. In addition to Nimhe, five unfortunate Shinigami were abducted to create Uragiri, one of whom was a seated officer of the 11th Division, renowned for her great physical strength and martial prowess. Because of the great power of the individuals of which it was composed, Uragiri was dormant for sixty-two years before it finally awoke, it's powers having fully developed at last.
Appearance: Uragiri is a fairly short Shikigami, standing at a meager four feet. It's body is humanoid in appearance and is covered entirely by dark purple fur, behind it sways it's four tails. It's form is lithe, and apparently genderless. Uragiri lacks a head, and instead merely sports a single large eye on a rounded torso, through which it processes information. It's legs are short and stubby, and it's arms are extremely thin, but this image of weakness belies the monster beneath the façade. At the time Uragiri was created, the thought had not yet occurred to Shigenaga to use Shikigami as a way to communicate with his subordinates, and because of this, Uragiri lacks a mouth and the ability to speak.
- Great Spiritual Power: Uragiri's spiritual power is the combined volume of five Shinigami of varying strength, and for this reason it's very large in quantity, and when it's exerted it's sufficient to bring weaker beings to the ground with little issue, allowing it to restrain unruly residents of Shigenaga's territories. Because of it's nature as a magical construct, and not a being of actual intelligence or personality, Uragiri's reiryoku is distinctly lacking in coloration or form, appearing instead as formless ripples in the air around the Shikigami. When it's felt, most tend to become unnerved, for while it's very powerful, it's a power without alignment, without purpose and without resolve. Being more akin to an overwhelming presence of nothingness.
- Kidō: Uragiri is highly proficient in most forms of Kidō, and consequently is typically summoned to aid Shigenaga in particularly difficult rituals or conjurations. Like it's creator, it's capable of using the esoteric arts of Henkōdō to impressive effects, including being able to curse the crime lords enemies and raise the dead as Jiangshi, something it's known to do fairly frequently to threaten individuals who have somehow displeased it's master. Aside from it's ability to employ the Way of Change, Uragiri is capable of using both the Ways of Destruction and Binding to exceptional degrees, and it has no issue casting even spells into the nineties without anything more than arcane gestures alone, all of it's spells being cast silently. Unfortunately, being a Shikigami, Uragiri lacks the ability to properly govern it's magics, and is prone to both under and over perform certain spells, such as hitting a Captain-level opponent with a basic Shakkahō while later completely eradicate a poor stable hand (along with about fifty unfortunate bystanders) with a fully powered Kurohitsugi spell. While ordinarily, many of the high-level spells Uragiri so often employ in combat, would greatly weaken it's reserves and overall power as a Shikigami, the immense power of the Ōkami it was fashioned from allows it to cast spells of this magnitude with little impact to it's reserves. Shigenaga himself has remarked that looking away from it's inability to properly choose the proper spells for any given situation, it's spell casting ability is far superior to his own.
- Curse of Weakness: A simple but highly effective curse, the Curse of Weakness, as it's name suggests afflicts it's target with great weakness. The way this is accomplished is by strangling their spiritual energy, suffocating it by infusing the casters malign intentions into their very being. In much the same manner as vines creep across the trunk of a tree, deriving it of much need sunlight and nutrition, the caster binds a portion of their own energy to the unfortunate victim and covers their internal energies with their own, preventing them from fully harnessing their power and bringing about an overwhelming sense of exhaustion. Because of the curse, opponents find themselves incapable of fully exerting their spiritual power, with large portions of their power being kept away from their grasp. Although it can be cast without the need for external foci, acquiring such a foci massively increases the potency of the curse, to the point that it can render it impossible to release ones Zanpakutō and a wide range of other similar powers demonstrated by other races. Fortunately, because of it's simplicity, most Kidō Experts knowledgeable on curses can reverse it's effects with minor discomfort to the subject. The matter is as simple as cleansing their soul. Because of it's four tails, and how Henkōdō is so intertwined with Yōkai, Uragiri can perform this curse entirely silently, and with few hand gestures, allowing it to curse a foe mid-combat. Once weakened, Uragiri is typically capable of killing it's enemy with little issue, as they struggle to perform feats they previously considered easy.
- Enhanced Strength: Strongly contrasting with it's appearance, Uragiri has great physical strength on par with a Hollow many times larger than itself. It's punches can leave gaping holes in the body of it's victims, and it's grip can tear off limbs with strict ease. In combat, it's mastery of hand-to-hand combat capitalizes on it's immense physical strength and few are those who can successfully stand against Uragiri. It's four tails, which might initially appear harmless, are likewise extremely lethal weapons, fit to crush bones and send foes hurtling many yards away with a single sweep, due to their size, they can even produce sufficient force to generate shockwaves of raw concussive force. Once it's engaged in combat, the environment is often torn apart with the force of it's blows, as the earth shatters underneath it's enemies, and powerful defenses are broken with little issue. Those who are enlightened enough to have witnessed Uragiri's destruction rightly fear the creature, regarding it as a monster. In the underworld, Shigenaga is admired for his hand in it's creation, and many others have taken to research Shikigami, following in the footsteps of the esteemed sorcerer.
- Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Among the six souls used to forge Uragiri, was the former 5th Seat of the 11th Division, Nobiume Himegata. The promising young Shinigami was noted for her mastery of Hakuda, an art she practiced daily. Then one day she had simply vanished into thin air, they went looking but they couldn't find her, eventually they received a message from one of Shigenaga's envoys that she had perished fighting a Hollow, and soon afterwards, her body was found in the outskirts of Soul Society, where it had already begun decomposing into reishi particles. The day before her death, Shigenaga had had her kidnapped and stripped her of all knowledge of Hakuda she possessed, along with the parts of her spirit that governed her great physical strength. The anguish this process caused her lead to her committing suicide once Shigenaga informed her that she could never again pursue her dream of becoming a Captain, nor would she ever be whole enough to acquire a Zanpakutō or continue her craft as a martial artist. Her knowledge, her power, and her skill was then granted to Uragiri. In battle, Uragiri fights with supernal skill, and whenever it employs Hakuda, most can sense a great change within the magical construct, as it's body language becomes that of an entirely different person, it's movements are perfectly executed, it's stance is well-adjusted and whenever it attacks, there's not a wasted movement to note. Like with it's Kidō, Uragiri's Hakuda is unpredictable, as while it often employs powerful techniques such as Ikkotsu, there's rarely an indication of their use, with the techniques being spontaneously used for little to no reason at all, and oftentimes they're used against opponents of insufficient threat. There's however no denying their immense power however, and an opponent caught off guard is often killed outright by such blows. Perhaps the most threatening aspect of Uragiri's Hakuda lies in it's four tails, which are wielded as weapons in and themselves, and with the same expertise and power as it's fists, replacing the use of kicks, which Uragiri, due to it's short legs, is unable to use to any sufficient degree whatsoever. Uragiri is even capable of using Ikkotsu through it's four tails, in addition to it's fists, sometimes surprising opponents into an untimely grave. It's use of it's tails is interesting, as it was never an option Nobiume had while she still lived, that it employs it's tails so readily is a true tribute to Nobiume's martial spirit.
- Shunpo Expert: As Uragiri is composed of the fragmented wills of several Shinigami, it's a capable user of the principles of Hohō. It's mobility in combat often surprising opponents who mistake it's stubby legs for being incapable of producing great speeds, but even these legs, deformed as they are are capable of making a step, and in the principle of Shunpo, a step is all that is necessary. The air convulses as Uragiri moves, and it's speed is such that it can keep up with most other experts with ease, although to keep up with masters requires significant effort, and is known to tire it at a fast rate, exploiting this weakness might mean the difference between life and death for it's designated target. Uragiri's skill at Shunpo is noted to be an amalgam of five different Shinigami, and the way it moves in combat is known to change abruptly between the personal styles of these five. Sometimes the conflicting movements of two momentarily causes a lapse in it's movement, a moments hesitance garnered by a sense of confusion at it's predicament. Because while it's superficially fast enough to fulfill it's tasks, Shigenaga's inexperience at it's point of creation has had significant side effects on it's performance.
Shirogoken (白護憲, "White Guardians"): Although a man who'd much rather stand on the backlines and support his summoned creations from afar with powerful spells, it's an inevitability that he'll sometimes be caught unable to summon immediate aid, in such situations it's imperative that he has at least a simple way to defend himself. The Shirogoken is his answer to that particular situation, unlike pretty much every other Shikigami in his arsenal, the Shirogoken is not only composed of a hundred different beings, but the containers used to house these fragmented spirits are entirely composed of paper, folded through origami into delicate paper mannequins. Although frail, each of these creations are marked with an enchantment that allows them to siphon energy from their surroundings, enabling them to continue protecting both themselves and their master for extended periods of time. The greatest difference between them and the other Shikigami at Shigenaga's command though; is the fact that they're controlled entirely by the sorcerer himself, who functions as a hive-mind of sorts, employing his mighty intellect and strategic knowledge to effectively micromanage them according to any given task. When not in use, they're commonly attached to the inside of Shigenaga's sleeves, and whenever he requires a simple Shikigami of above average power he simply fetches one and has it complete the task as intended. Once Shigenaga detects hostile intent, or someone draws their weapon close to him, the Shikigami pour out from his sleeves in large white clouds that slowly dissipate to orbit around him like a whirlwind of paper, their formation shifting and changing according to the sorcerers whims.
- Spiritual Power: Each mannequin has a level of spiritual energy that is roughly on par with that of a 10th seat, potent, and impressive in it's volume but not nearly enough to fight extended battles against powerful enemies. Even so, their ability to passively absorb reishi from the environment seems to aid their prowess significantly, allowing them to cast spells the typical 10th seated officer could not. By themselves though, they're quite weak all the same, but they can be deadly if they're driven to cooperate in casting higher-ranked spells, at which point they can potentially produce enough energy to cast spells beyond that of the Central One-Hundred-And-Ninety-Eight.
- Kidō: Each of the paper mannequins are granted enough spiritual power to be capable of fuelling a single high-ranked spell or multiple lower-ranked ones by their own power alone. While most Shikigami use magic instinctively, the Shirogoken are bound entirely to Shigenaga's will, and only utilize their magical power as he deems fit, ultimately functioning as a hundred separate mediums through which he can focus his spells, although the amount of Shikigami he can utilize in this manner is much less than their total number. The complexity of the spell determines how easily he can control them, and how many Shikigami he can utilize to cast the spell in unison, mostly the Shirogoken utilize many weaker low-level spells in long and extravagant chains, such as unleashing a continuous barrage of fast-moving lightning bolts or conjuring forth powerful blasts of red fire against his foes. The force of the spells cast by these Shikigami are approximately equal to that of their creator, Shigenaga, and as such, they're much more dangerous that they might appear to the untrained eye.
An excellent conjurer though he might be, Shigenaga's true talents lie within the art of Henkōdō, an elusive way of magic called the way of change. As one of the few devoted specialists of this art within the Soul Society, Shigenaga wields the power to manipulate the very essence that composes a spirit, allowing to change what something does, is or behaves. There is two areas in particular that he is known to excel at, those being transfiguration and curses, both of which are typically used to extend his reach, influence and power wherever he might wish it. Due to the rarity of this form of magic, there is only a few individuals in Soul Society capable of undoing his work, and most of these have received hefty bribes to ensure that they do not use their spells for any purpose other than those that coincide with his.
Thirty-Two Transformations: Shape shifting is a talent rarely seen within the Seireitei, although the Shihōin are noted for their ability to assume the forms of cats. Shigenaga, being an expert on such matters as he is, is aware of the true reason that some of them possess this ability, for in their ancestry they count Nekomata. To magical beings such as these, the act of changing ones shape is a simple matter indeed, dragons, kitsune and ōkami all possess this ability to various degrees. Although it's secrets have often eluded spell casters like he himself, a large-scale experiment conducted on inmates of the Maggot's Nest several centuries ago made great progress for the cause. As a testimony to his skills as a sorcerer, Shigenaga is capable of assuming the shapes of a variety of different animals, both mundane and fantastic in nature. Unlike others with similar abilities however, there's comparatively fewer restrictions and limitations in place for someone who shape shifts through the use of magic; unlike the majority of other shape shifters, Shigenaga's transformations occur precisely as he imagines them upon casting the spell. Clothing vanishes and reappears according to his whims, upon assuming a shape they simply cease to exist until he resumes his original form, and unlike many others he's capable of assuming the shapes of creatures many times larger than he is, including massive serpents and Yōkai. There's however a couple limitations in place, holes in his transformations; the first is that even though he might change shape with ease, he's not automatically proficient in using them and oftentimes needs a while to adjust to a new form. But the most important thing about Shigenaga's shape shifting is that each animal or being he transforms into shares a few core characteristics; namely crimson skin, fur and hide with traces of gold. Shigenaga has not yet found a way to hide these traits, although he's tried - claiming that it's a reflection of his soul in his newly assumed shape. There's also potential dangers associated with changing shape, for while he's mostly protected from losing his identity as many novices have done in the past, it's possible to prevent him from changing back into another form by striking at his spiritual core; which serves as the lynchpin that keeps his consciousness, spirit and true self in place.
Despite possessing the ability to assume such terrifying shapes, Shigenaga is mostly content assuming the forms of mundane animals, typically large birds such as hawks or eagles. A pragmatic man, it's very rare for Shigenaga to assume the form of an animal that prevents him from effectively utilizing his magic, although he's in theory capable of transforming into anything from an elephant to a simple fly. By far his preferred animal form is that of a large hawk with crimson feathers and wings tinted with gold, in this form he surveys his kingdom from high above, noting any irregularities and spying upon subjects which he deems suspicious. As his most utilized animal shape, he can change in and out of this form at will, and he's likewise capable of enhancing his natural abilities far beyond that of a normal hawk - such as enhancing the eyesight to such tremendous degrees that he can observe the flow of spiritual energy in a targets body, noting it's flaws, irregularities and weaknesses; in this manner he can systematically pick the best subjects for his curses at a later date. His speed is also exceptional, with his movement causing him to become a feathery blur streaking across the sky, his movement rivalling that of Shunpo.
Albeit the ability to transform into animals can prove useful indeed, that is not the primary focus of the Thirty-Two Transformations when used by Shigenaga. As an extremely wealthy and influential man, not to mention one with at least a thousand enemies - the ability to assume the forms of other people is invaluable. With a simple thought, Shigenaga can freely define his physical appearance, such as changing between a male and female form. His womanly form serving as his representative within the underworld, even having her own identity as an enigmatic beauty known as Lady Shura; a woman renowned for her almost otherworldly beauty and charm, the golden rose of Seireitei. Shigenaga modelled her appearance after women like Rangiku Matsumoto and the current 4th Division Captain. Although he often changes her appearance in accordance to his victims tastes, sometimes she's a simple young woman, plain looking but sweet, other times she appears instead as a temptress with long golden hair and alluring curves. When he seduced the young Quincy Vladik Volkov however, Shigenaga saw no need to transform at all, with his true form being more than sufficient for the task.
Maji Tenka (蠱転化, "Cursed Inversion"): There's a reason why the sub-school of transfiguration is so well-known in comparison to the other branches of Henkōdo. Several centuries ago the Kidō Corps, lead by the infamous Sakura Ywagashi, received permission from the Central 46 to conduct experiments on the inmates of the Maggot's Nest. The result was a complete disaster for the poor inmates forced to partake in the project, as their bodies were violently changed by the magics woven by baleful sorcerers. This was how the cruel spell Maji Tenka came into existence, developed at the expense of more than fifty criminals over a period of three months of continuous experimentation. When cast by a skilled sorcerer, Maji Tenka twists the very spiritual characteristics of a being into a forced change, churning their core until it regresses into a desired form, typically that of a weak animal, such as a rabbit, squirrel or frog. This process is extremely painful, and often constitutes a form of death, as most individuals lose their identity through the transformation, as their entire spirit is bound to their new reality. It's become a habit of Shigenaga to turn spies and other unwanted people into animals, only to have them kill one another, finding the irony most amusing indeed. Although a powerful spell, it's limited by Shigenaga's own power, and it therefore poses little threat to powerful spiritual beings such as Shinigami or Arrancars, although it's often sufficient to deal with lesser hollows.