The Goddess of Secrets and Stars
And so the goddess Seiran turned her back on Fen and walked away, her night-black hair trailing behind her like a veil of stars.Seiran is a deity of the Gen Mai pantheon, worshipped by both the Koushan Mai and several clans of dragons. She is the Goddess of Secrets and Stars, of lost items and hidden places, of constellations and the night sky. She is present in the spaces in between breaths, and in the moments between sleeping and waking. Some know her as the Goddess of Lies, though it is said that she smiles only upon those falsehoods told with a selfless heart - an untruth to keep something concealed, or a whisper of comfort to a child about to die.
AppearanceSeiran is usually depicted as a young woman in her early twenties. She is slender-framed, almost ethereal in her appearance, and some have described her as fragile. Her skin is pale, almost white, and appears to faintly shine in certain lights. Her long, dark hair flows down to her waist, and within it glows a myriad of stars, shimmering like the night sky. Her eyes are solid black, including the sclera; like her hair, stars glitter inside them. She is often said to wear dresses formed of woven starlight, bright and insubstantial. In other tales, she wears gowns cut from the darkest night, that wreathe her form and swallow all light. It is taboo to depict Seiran naked; legend tells that the one mortal to see her unclothed was devoured by a pool of shadow.
OriginSeiran is one of the younger gods in the Gen Mai pantheon. She does not appear in many of the oldest myths of the Koushan Mai people, though she was clearly part of the mythology before the end of the Renewal. The myths are unclear and contradictory on the matter of Seiran's parentage. Most legends tell that Seiran's mother is Kore, the Goddess of the Moon, which is reflected in the fact that they are both considered goddesses of the night sky. Unlike Kore's other children - Rhod and Eodin, the Gods of Dawn and Dusk respectively - it is generally accepted that Seiran's father is not Hakan, God of the Sun. Some stories hint that Seiran's father is Lel, the God of Fate, whilst others point towards a mortal man. Though this man often remains without an identity, some candidates include the mythological heroes Deren, Soren, and Vesar, as well as an unnamed, crippled blacksmith that Kore took pity upon. One myth, only told within one isolated clan of Koushan Mai, tells of a different parentage for Seiran. This myth tells that Seiran is the result of a union between Lel and a mortal man; in this myth, Lel is Seiran's mother rather than her potential father. The mystery surrounding Seiran's parentage is one of the reasons she is worshipped as the goddess of secrets. Most of her worshippers agree that the truth is not meant to be known. The story of Seiran's birth, however, is largely agreed upon. She was born on a black, bleak night in the middle of winter. It was a long, difficult labour that had lasted much of the previous day. Her mother's tears of joy at her eventual safe birth became the stars that now glimmer in the night sky.
WorshipWorship of the goddess Seiran tends to be quieter and more personal than the worship of some of the other gods in the Gen Mai pantheon. Prayers are usually offered to her in the silent moments of night time.
TemplesBefore Vasethal became Caillah and Serukis, there were three temples dedicated to Seiran. Two were in the open grasslands of the Great Plains, where the skies were endless; one was called the Tower of Stars, and the other was called the Sanctum of the Lost. The other was located in the mountains of The Teeth, and was known as the House of Silence. In the current year, only the House of Silence remains, the others having been pillaged for their stone a long time ago. Each of these temples had a large chamber at their centre that was open to the sky, where priests could go to observe the movements of the stars. The temples themselves are shaped like six-pointed stars.
FestivalsThere are two festivals associated with the worship of Seiran in Gen Mai religion. One festival is held on the night of the summer solstice, and one on the night of the winter solstice. If the night of the solstice is overcast, the festival is held on the first clear night after. On both nights, followers of Gen Mai stay up late and look up at the stars. They try to find patterns in the sky by tracing from one star to the next. The pattern someone sees first is seen as an omen for the next few months to come. After that, fires are lit and people huddle around them, drink alcohol, and tell stories of the months that have passed. It is a time to share news and ensure that no unintentional secrets are kept between loved ones. People often choose these nights to announce good news, such as pregnancies or a new relationship.
SymbologyThe most well known symbol of Seiran is a six-pointed star with an eye at its centre. This is most often the symbol that worshippers of Seiran get tattooed as part of their fate markings. Another symbol associated with Seiran is the spider. Specifically, wisp spiders are considered to be sacred creatures to the goddess and it is taboo to harm them. Other symbols used to denote worship of Seiran are open eyes, stars in any form, and a gesture where the middle finger is placed on the lips. Shooting stars, when they are spotted, are said to be a good omen from Seiran herself.
The Spider Queen
Always check the walls for spiders, else they will spin your words into their webs.One of the most famous myths about Seiran is the tale of her relationship with the Lord of Spiders. One day, Seiran was wandering in the dark, ancient forests of the land, where most dare not tread. These forests were home to monstrous beings, many immortal and just as powerful as the gods. One of these was Isor, the Lord of Spiders, a creature with the upper body of a man and the abdomen and legs of a spider. Without realising, the young goddess trespassed in his domain, deep in the forest where the sky was completely choked by trees, and found herself hopelessly trapped in his web. Usually, Isor and his children devoured anything unlucky enough to get caught in his web, but Seiran was different from his usual prey. She did not scream when he approached, but talked to him. Amused and intrigued, Isor let the young goddess live, but he did not let her leave. Over the next few months, Seiran continued to talk, and the two grew fond of each other. When she told Isor how much she missed the stars, he created wisp spiders for her, pale spiders that glowed and created a false sky in the canopy. Time passed differently in the forest. Seiran bore Isor two sons, Akor and Esris, but it soon became clear that she was withering away in his starless realm. Isor loved her, so he let her leave, and she took with her Esris, who was still nursing. Akor remained with his father. Seiran never returned to Isor's forest, but from that moment on, spiders became a part of her domain.
by Dave Reed