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The Sirens

Content warning: Mention of suicide and drowning

As seen in The White Death of Kelunbar
We are born of outcasts, misfits, the broken-hearted. We are those who wished for death but found new life. We are the Sirens.
-Siren Mantra
   

History

Tudine
Mimu, Being of Reception created the first Siren when they saw a baby turtle who had been injured by a sharp rock and struggled to make it into the water her first day out of shell. Mimu took her in, named her Tudine, nursed her to health, and gifted her with intelligence. Mimu taught Tudine about life as if she was her own child, and passed on the wisdom only a Being could have known. At this time, turtles only lived to be about twenty years old. When Tudine came to her dying day, Mimu begged their sibling, Mykel, not to take her, but to grant her many more years to live. Mykel agreed. Mimu tasked Tudine with the job to accept any creature that came to her needing a home, food, or family, and Tudine did as she was told. When the first person came to the lake to drown themselves, Tudine invited him into the water and cared for him, and taught him how to care for others. Tudine passed on this ability to grant water-life to her children, and lived to be 157 years old before she petitioned Mimu to let her leave this world, for she had grown weary. The Sirens grew from there, guided by Tudine's children and grandchildren, and for a time Mimu remained close to them, willing to accept anyone as her child. But then Mimu left  without explanation. All Sirens felt that abandonment, the kind that drove them to the water's edge in the first place, and the communities went into turmoil as anger and bitterness spread. It has been a few hundred years now, and things look calm on the surface. The Sirens still carry out their duty to accept anyone who comes to the water, but there is a deeply ingrained lack of trust in all of them.  

Becoming a Siren

Some creatures of Kelunbar reach a point in their life when they feel lonely, frightened, or desperate enough to attempt to drown themselves. A nearby siren will often rescue this person by transforming them into a siren, a power granted to all sirens by Mimu. The ethics of this are frequently discussed among sirens. Some believe that it is unfair to change someone into a siren without their consent. Others believe that offering someone a second chance at life where they can begin anew is an act of great mercy.  

Establishment

When an established siren transforms a new siren, they assume responsibility for the newly transformed person. The established siren is expected to acquire food and shelter for the new siren, as well as inform the local government. Established sirens may also assist in helping a new siren choose a new name, if they wish, and introduce the new siren to the ways and customs of the world underwater.  

Discrimination

Most creatures of Kelunbar are unaware of the true origin of sirens, believing that they are evil creatures lurking in lakes and waiting to drown unsuspecting people. Hatred for sirens runs deep through much of Kelunbar, and if a forest creature realizes that they come across a siren, they will often attack them or flee. For this reason, sirens tend to avoid above-ground interactions entirely and stay deep in the lakes of Kelunbar.   For many creatures of the forest, being transformed into a siren is quite terrifying at first. The culture is unfamiliar and the fear of sirens is difficult to overcome, even as they are one themselves. Most sirens are sympathetic to this plight, having gone through it themselves, and generally this transition is met with compassion.  

The Tudines

The ruling family of the Sirens is the The Tudines, descended from the first Siren. The Tudines are the only sentient turtles in Kelunbar Forest.   The Tudines choose leaders for the lakes and settle disputes between lakes, and also take a census of the current siren population and what everyone’s needs are—primarily considering whether or not there is enough food and leisure time for the entire population.   There is a very small group of Sirens who believe that the Tudines should not be the rulers over all Sirens, as they have actually never known what it is like to feel so desperate you want to die—the uniting feature of almost all Sirens. This group calls themselves The True Ones and believes every lake should be self-governed by those who have the real experience of what being a Siren is.  
The True Ones
Organization | Jul 2, 2020

A Rebel organization attempting to end the reign of the Tudines.

Civilization and Culture

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Sirens speak in Kelunbar Common with an eclectic addition of almost all dialects, because of their mix of origins. New terms and slang are more quickly created in the Siren dialect than any other dialect due to it's constant addition of new people who already have established speech patterns.

Culture and Cultural Heritage

Siren culture is a blend of all of the cultures of Kelunbar, with people of all sorts of backgrounds coming together. It is difficult, often contentious, and sirens of similar origin tend to naturally gravitate toward each other.    There are a few things that sirens tend to value as a whole:
  • Gracefulness: The range of bodies in sirens is quite large, even within the same origin species. Most sirens tend to value graceful movement through the water more than physical appearance. 
  • Acceptance: Even though there may be disagreements or incompatibilities between different cultures, sirens are expected to respect and honor beliefs that are different from their own.
  • Gender and Sexuality: Newly transformed sirens often realize that they are free from the traditions of their culture and begin to explore themselves and relationships in new ways. 
 

Pets:

Sirens are unique amongst the creatures in Kelunbar in that they often choose to domesticate animals as pets. Many sirens are prone to grief, abandonment issues, and discrimination from the rest of the forest. Many have found that pet fish, frogs, turtles, snails, or water snakes provide a sense of safety, companionship, and comfort.
Origin/Ancestry
Mimu, Being of Reception
Lifespan
Same as Origin Creature
Average Height
Same as Origin Creature
Average Weight
Same as Origin Creature
Average Length
Same as Origin Creature
Related Ethnicities
Related Materials

Further Reading

Anatomy and Reproduction

The anatomy of a siren varies greatly from person to person. When a creature is transformed into a siren, their body shifts from being adapted to living on land to living on water. Gills, tails, scales, and fins are common adaptations. Many sirens become amphibious and maintain the ability to breathe on land, but a few do not and must remain in the water for the rest of their lives. In general, a recently transformed siren keeps the lifespan, reproduction habits, and a similar diet of its origin race.   Sirens reproduce infrequently due to limitations on finding physiologically compatible partners. However, there are families of born-sirens, and some of these families believe that this status sets them apart as superior to other sirens, such as The Freafel Family.  
The Freafel
Ethnicity | Jul 31, 2020

They are above the foul ideas put forth by the Tudine family. The only true sirens are those that are born a siren.

   

Settlements and Governance

Sirens have a capitol in The Great Lake and also many smaller settlements in almost all of the lakes there. The capitol, Srileniare, is run by the Tudine family. Their primary concern is running a census every five years checking on who the new Sirens are and the needs of their people.   Within lakes there is a leader chosen by the current ruling Tudine. Their job is to mediate conflicts and send report if there are any needs from their lake. Beyond this, there is meant to be little hierarchy, but hierarchy tends to naturally occur in any community.  

Death and Passing

When a Siren passes, their people place them on the shore (a fair distance from where they live) and spend a night waiting for Mimu, Being of Reception, to come and take the soul of the dead Siren. Mykel, Being of Death, takes all souls but the Sirens. Even in death, Mimu receives them. Everyone mourn in their own ways as they wait, and during the night the presence of Mimu descends over all of them. When their presence leaves, the Sirens disperse. The body is left to decompose and return to the First Tree. Sirens believe that when you die, your body is left behind to nourish further life, but your soul goes to exist with Mimu and the other beings, wherever that is. Most believe that this place is on the moon called Kelustenar. A few believe that the spirit world exists on a different plane, in a place beyond what mortals can sense or understand.

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