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A witch has discovered a kind of immortality that is granted with the use of a dark and ancient ritual. By using this spell on herself, she can continuously reincarnate through her own bloodline by using her unborn child as a sacrifice. The spell works through a form of parthogenisis, in which the sorceress conceives and gestates a genetic clone of herself. At the moment of birth, the witch's soul is transferred into her daughter, taking over the body and killing the original host. In this way, she can gaurantee that she will live on through her future descendents.

This witch has been using this method since the middle ages and has lived for hundreds of years. However, with the advent of current technologies, the world is getting smaller. How can she continue to reincarnate without drawing attention?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Mindwin, Pavel Janicek, Gryphon, EveryBitHelps, Frostfyre Aug 16 '18 at 19:00

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    $\begingroup$ What's the problem? Mothers still die in childbirth despite all modern medicine. It is not unusual for a child to look like a parent, and she can change her hairstyle and body weight when she grows up. She can dupe some dude into thinking he is the father, so pregnancy is not suspicious, and he takes care of the baby later. I assume baby will get the memories and intellect of the adult witch, but she will be smart enough to act baby-like. $\endgroup$ – Bald Bear Aug 16 '18 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ Does she need insemination to create the child? Why would current technologies reveal that she is reincarnated? Unless we are in a dystopian society where DNA sequencing is mandatory upon birth. Is this the case? $\endgroup$ – Mindwin Aug 16 '18 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ Is her offspring a 100% DNA match of her original self? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Aug 16 '18 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ what technology is the issue, for you? Most of the issues you would encounter could be found in the "how to hide an immortal" type questions. What particular identity issue are you having trouble with? $\endgroup$ – EveryBitHelps Aug 16 '18 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ One specific issue that I see is that a newborn baby, even with adult's intelligence, can not take care of herself. If mother has died, the child would be placed into someone else's care, and that someone may disregard the advice not to give DNA sample. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Aug 16 '18 at 19:24
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I was going to write more or less the same than Bald Bear as an answer (sounds like a good advice). So I will add only 3 more points where Mrs. Witch needs to pay attention to:

1) Never provide an DNA record.

Or never involve into anything where you have to provide an "organic" identification. Fingerprints are ok (they are not genetically determined, so even your clones may have different fingerprints), just avoid paternity tests or donating blood or tissues or anything that could leave a genetic trace that proves you were alive centuries ago.

2) Don´t open a Facebook account.

Never involve in any social network or app with facial recognition on it. Soon or later somwone will notice that the algorythm says she is the same person through the generations.

3) Change city (or town) each life.

Soon or later, the oldest persons in town will notice that the teenager looks exactly like the mother that died giving birth... and someone will recall that their grandma used to say the same about the grandma of the girl... Oh my god! All the womans in that family have died giving birth! And all of them are alike the mother! And eventually someone will look for old pictures, and, well... many ideas could cross their head. Better not to call the attention.

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To add to Carlos' excellent answer (which I upvoted)...

  • Never allow anyone to record your image, neither a painting nor a photograph. Never make the news or have any unofficial record made about you. (Official records are ignored much more often than the popular press....) Live a very, very quiet life, never drawing attention to yourself.

  • Never allow yourself more than one child — the child you intend to sacrifice. This avoids inconvenient genealogical research that would expose the statistically impossible mother-dies-at-childbirth-every-generation problem.

  • Run away or move away from your father at the earliest possible moment. Never allow your grandfather to see you. Never associate with any past-sire.

  • Make no friends, or go out of your way to never associate with past friends. Indeed, never associate with anyone from your past at all.

  • Ensure your adult remains are always cremated.

  • Go out of your way to never commit a crime.

On a tangent...

  • Pray that you always conceive a chid. Perhaps your magic takes care of that.

On a side note: that clone-of-myself requirement is a harsh taskmaster. 95% of the problems vanish if it's just another baby like every other baby, a mix of genetics from both parents with magic to avoid the genetic problems inherent with first-generation-conception. At that point the only two suspicions are the statistically-impossible-mother-dies-every-generation problem and the common intelligence ("dang, that child thinks just like her mother... and her grandmother... wait....")

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  • $\begingroup$ "Never allow anyone..." - "Hey, sir! I want you to delete this picture! And you too! And you... Arrg, I should never have come to New York!" $\endgroup$ – Alexander Aug 16 '18 at 19:23
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To add to other answers, It would almost certainly be recommended that the sorceress performs this reincarnation and grows up in a remote area (preferably lacking in high technology like internet access), and drastically changes her physical appearance once she has grown to a specific age, both using magic (should that be possible) or using modern disguise techniques, like prosthetic makeup, color-changing contact lenses, etc.

Also important, is that should the witch plan to live in a major city, or even in somewhat urban areas, she should also change other fundamentals like spoken language, career choices, group identity etc. and make sure that she has the resources to disappear and start over (faking their own death, backup aliases, and identities etc.)

She must also avoid being arrested, or indeed having identifying data like DNA or fingerprints taken by authorities, this isn't difficult as long as she avoids criminals or criminal activity.

Given the amount of time that she has to practice such skills as language learning, and mastering careers, she can easily assume any type of identity that she wishes.

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    $\begingroup$ You know, the time limitation deserves more focus. Women tend to enter menopause somewhere around age 50. That's really only 30 years of adult life before starting over. If she stayed with the same career path, she could fake being "naturally talented" at it and save some college time, but after a while that would be hard to hide. At least 4 years lost to college/career training. Round it off to 25 years of happy adulthood before starting over. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 16 '18 at 17:32
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, in such a position I would repeatedly enter biochemistry until we have immortality without the whole dark rituals thing, then it would be much less conspicuous. For solving the time limitations, she can fake being 'naturally talented' if she fakes such extreme talent that it begins appearing like a savant. This would give an excuse to incredibly withdrawn an avoid public appearances, and talking in person, preferring written communication, and her own environment. $\endgroup$ – Direwolf202 Aug 16 '18 at 17:38
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I am going to go in a different direction than most people Have a lot of children one every other year or so if you can afford them and find which one likes you the best/is the most competent/ is the most trust worthy. You are going to need them when you are reborn due to the fact that if they are at least some what clued in to the magical heritage of the family they will probably let you fake being homeschooled (honestly who wants to to back to school every 50-60 years, I can't imagine 18 years of school is that novel)

The having lots of children also helps with what other people have been pointing out that it is unlikely for a family to have every woman die in child birth, your family just has one woman per generation who dies after having their 9th-13th child (assuming your magic can help you guarantee you won't die on the other children)

By having lots of children you can also pass off the "you look exactly like your mother did factor" since out of that many children one is almost guaranteed to be the spitting image of their mother, People would have to put a lot of effort into figuring out your last child always looks like you and always kills you in childbirth.

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I feel the danger of similar looks is greatly exaggerated. You can google up tons of pics of people who look like their parents, or even grandparents. Facial recognition routinely fails to distinguish between siblings or even between parent and child. And it can fail to recognize the same person with new makeup or hair.

So Have the "child" clone get more or less body fat, getting different hair color, feed them a different diet, get them different amount and type of exercise, and different amount of sunlight. As a result, the "child" look sufficiently different from the "parent" to avoid any suspicion, from humans or machines.

The only threat is DNA tests. First and foremost, paternity test by a suspicious "father". A witch can either get rid of him, or have other children that are his. Even then, lack of match just proves infidelity. And he cannot easily provide a sample from the mother since she is dead. She probably should avoid pre-natal DNA tests, e.g. by claiming not to believe in modern medicine.

Government DNA tests are currently limited to criminals. A witch can avoid crime, or avoid getting caught. Universal DNA tests would go against modern human-rights, but that might change. One solution is to switch countries each generation. Another is to do gene therapy after the mandatory DNA test, but before conceiving the child.

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  • $\begingroup$ As an anecdote in support of the "looks aren't a problem" bit - my Jr. High Yearbook photo and my father's look practically identical. His was in black-and-white; mine was in color. His glasses are different. My smirk is different than his smile. Otherwise, we appear to be the same person, in the same pose, in the same shirt... $\endgroup$ – Ghotir Aug 16 '18 at 20:44

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