Sirens

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Sirens are very similar to Merfolk in their undersea appearance - human-like from the waist-up and fish-like from the waist-down. Unlike Merfolk, Sirens are not confined to the sea, but are able to go onto land, where they fish-like tails will become legs and allow them to appear as human. Some legends claim that they are even able to fly and appear like angels.


[top]Anatomy & Physiology

  • Skin: The skin of siren is very much like the skin of a human down to their waist and can come in various tones. They have a thin webbing between their fingers. From the waist-down while in the water, sirens have the bodies like the tails of whatever shark their particular subspecies takes after.
  • Eyes: A siren's eyes can be just like those of a human, although some sirens have been known to have a more beastial appearance, their eyes more like those of a shark, or completely black.
  • Digestion: Sirens are a carnivorous species and eat various types of fish. Some also feast on the flesh of humans they are able to lure into the sea. It is unknown if sirens, like merfolk, refrain from eating the fish-species whom they take after, but they have been known to eat members of their own tribe when one is killed.
  • Reproduction: Sirens are mammals, despite their similarity to sharks in appearance. They give live birth to their young, much like dolphins, and breastfeed their young. They are a very closed species, keeping their mating within their tribe and can react poorly to those sirens who choose to mate with other tribes, or worse, other species, with certain exceptions. Due to the low population of males in their species, it is not unknown for males to take multiple female mates.
  • Gender: Much like humans, female sirens have large breasts capable of creating milk to feed their young. The ratio of male to female in the siren population is somewhere around 1:20.


[top]Lifestyle

Sirens live in tribes based on their subspecies. Each tribe has a leader, known as The Mother, who controls that particular tribe. The Mother cannot be a male, but must always be a female who is currently capable of reproduction and has given birth to at least one child previously who survived to adulthood. If The Mother becomes barren or for some reason loses their ability to give birth, they will be killed by the tribe as a whole and a new leader will take their place.

Reproduction and the ability to grow their species is a large part of a siren's life. Being overpopulated by females who are unable to reproduce without the seed of their male counterparts, females are raised with the idea that they will reach the age where they can begin reproduction (sixteen for a siren) and immediately take a mate. Marriage is not something celebrated within siren tribes, as males often have multiple mates and females will pass that mate's sexual prowess on to others so that their population may grow.

[top]Male Births


For some reason not even sirens can understand, most of the young born to sirens are female. When a male is born, a celebration is had that calls together all of the siren tribes. This is extremely notable, as sirens are notoriously territorial and interaction between their tribes outside of male-birth celebrations usually results in a bloodbath and the death of almost the entirety of the tribes involved.

Male birth celebrations call together all of the tribes of the sirens and allow them to mate outside of their tribe, thereby keeping them from destroying their own tribe through inbreeding. During the mating of two different subspecies of siren, the young born will always retain the same subspecies as the mother, thereby negating the necessity of the child being sent to another tribe after birth. All male children born from the mating at a male birth celebration are considered gifts from the pleased gods and are seen as belonging to The Mother of the tribe. When they come of age, they become one of The Mother's Chosen.

[top]The Chosen


The Chosen are a select group of sirens, both male and female, who remain with The Mother. They are usually the children of The Mother or her predecessor, or males born due to male birth celebrations. They act as guards in defense of The Mother, protecting her against assassins from within and outside of the tribe. They will also advise her on what to do if there is trouble in the tribe, like a lack of food or a severe drop in childbirth.

The male members of The Chosen who are supposedly blessings from the gods will become mates of The Mother once they are of age. The female members of The Chosen are not expected to mate unless they choose to, as their first duty is to guard The Mother.

If The Mother becomes barren or loses her ability to give birth, it is also the duty of The Chosen to kill her and spare the tribe her poor leadership, lest her barrenness anger the gods and so move to the other females of the tribe.

[top]Mating Outside the Species


Mating outside of the tribe, with the exception of male birth celebrations, is frowned upon but generally accepted, since it still grows the siren species. Some tribes will celebrate the female of this union, as they took the initiative to grow the tribe despite going against the laws, but males will often be punished for raising the population of another tribe when they could have mated with many members of their own. For the most part, this action is forgiven, as it does harm to neither the male nor the female.

Mating outside of the siren species is considered a betrayal to all sirens. Depending on the tribe, the siren who has mated with a creature outside of the species might be forced into servitude, such as acting as a Broodmother (a female forced to mate with as many males as will take her and give birth to children she dare not raised) or a Seedfather (a male forced to mate with whatever females will suffer his tainted seed, to make up for spending his life-giving abilities outside of the species). Some tribes, however, will simply kill the traitor who has mated outside of the species. If they are female and with child, or who have given child, that half-breed will usually be killed. If they are left alive, they are considered an outsider, not a siren and a member of no tribe, who the tribe is cursed (or generous enough) to feed and house. Half-breeds can not be trusted by the tribe, can never be The Mother of a tribe, and rarely survive into adulthood. They are forbidden to mate another siren, considered, at beast, a species not related to sirens, and at worst, a beast.

The sole exception to the rule against mating outside of the species occurs when the sirens are so severely lacking in males that the extinction of their species is considered a foregone conclusion if something isn't done immediately. In this case, the females of the species will gather together in groups not restricted by tribe and sing a song to call men to them. Passing ships will rarely be able to avoid this call and sailors will dive into the waters to reach them. The females will mate with the entranced sailors to seed themselves, then drown the sailors and feast on their flesh. It is believed that consuming the entirety of the human men, body as well as seed, is what allows the children born to be full-blooded siren, as opposed to a half-breed.

Some sirens have been known to mate with sailors even when their species is not in dire need of outside male assistance. So long as the sailor is then eaten by the siren, it is frowned upon but not punished by death, since the child will be a full-blooded siren.

A male has never been known to have mated with a female sailor, of which there are blessedly few. It is unknown if this would birth a full-blooded siren, half-breed, or full-blooded human.


[top]Religion


Sirens worship the gods of the sea, of which there are as many as there all salt grains within the oceans. No mortals are permitted to know the names of the gods, so the sirens pray to the gods of whatever part of the ocean they believe may best help them or has best graced them. Some of the most well-known gods include:

  • She Who Controls the Tide - As a female's cycle shifts as steadily as a wave back and forth, it is known that She Who Controls the Tide also controls a female's ability to give birth. If she fears for her child during pregnancy or wishes to conceive, a siren would do well to pray to this god.
  • He Who Barters With the Wind - The wind is a foreign god belonging to those who live above water, but all sirens know that the seas and the wind work together to carry ships, so some sirens will pray to the god who trades favors with the wind, asking that a ship be brought near so a siren might sing the crew into the depths.
  • She Who Dances Like Thunder - One of the most powerful of the gods is the one who calls forth the fury of the storms that rage the sea so that she may dance her fearsome dance. A siren fearing bad weather would pray to this god to dance elsewhere and spare her the sight she is not worthy to witness.



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