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The Sirens

Content warning: Mention of suicide and drowning

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

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 then 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 Mimu and Mykel agreed that Tudine had done enough for the world and was 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.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Silken
by Char Mulder
The Sirens are river folk, but their anatomy ranges enormously as Sirens are creatures so desperate that they attempted to drown themselves. Whatever creature the Siren once was adopts features that help it navigate the water such as webbed appendages and less or no fur.

Genetics and Reproduction

Sirens can reproduce only if they encounter a Siren of their personal origin species, and that individual is the correct sex. They then follow the rules for the land-creature origin. There are a few small communities of "pure" Sirens that exist this way, but they often risk in-breeding. The Siren population otherwise only grows when an existing Siren accepts a new individual.

Growth Rate & Stages

A female Siren will always lay eggs, regardless of of its land creature origin. The eggs take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to hatch, depending on the size of the creature and how developed its land origin creature is when it's born. A hatchling's growth rate then, again, matches that of its origin creature.

Dietary Needs and Habits

What a Siren eats varies again on its origin. Some will hunt fish or gather water vegetation, and some may even harvest things on land if they retained enough qualities to make them amphibious.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Sirens have a capitol city in The Great Lake in Kelunbar forest, and also many smaller settlements in almost all of the lakes there. The capitol, Srileniare, is run by the Tudines family, who are descended from the first Siren created by Mimu. Their primary concern is running a census every five years checking on who the new Sirens are and the needs of their people. Sirens value community and accepting above all else and are constantly attempting to do what they can to make everyone content in their new world.   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.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

When a creature becomes a Siren they are given the option to keep their current name, or choose a new one for themselves. If a Siren was born in the water, their mother chooses a name for them. Sirens often abandon any family names they may have had, instead believing that the Sirens as a whole are one large family.

Major Organizations

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 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 believe every lake should be self governed by those who have the real experience of what being a Siren is.  

The Freafel Family

In contrast to The True Ones, the Freafel and other families believe that the only true sirens are born-sirens, not those that became sirens later. This dislike is deeply intertwined with their resentment toward those above water who hate and stigmatize all sirens as evil.

Beauty Ideals

Since the appearance of Sirens ranges so greatly, defining beauty can be somewhat difficult from an outsider view.   Sirens value grace—moving through the water without disrupting the current more than necessary. Sirens also value eye color and the more adapted to water someone is, the better. If a creature had fur it needs to be otter-like. Scales should be uniform in size and shape but iridescent in color.

Gender Ideals

Gender is vague for Sirens as there is a blend of so many different cultures among them and because reproduction isn't particularly valued. Some Sirens choose to reject any gender roles that were placed on them by their origins, and others cling to them.

Relationship Ideals

Courtship and relationships typically takes on the form of a Siren's origin.   Many people enjoy the lack of boundaries between species they find in life as a Siren...as well as the lack of risk of reproduction. Sirens often choose to have one or more romantic partners. Straight, gay, monogamous and polyamorous relationships are all societally accepted and practiced and most people, after the initial adjustment to their new culture, take on a "if it doesn't hurt anyone else, it's fine" approach to relationships.

Average Technological Level

The Sirens primary advancement is their underwater buildings created to keep out any unwanted river or lake life and keep the water inside pure of algae. The largest Siren structure belongs to the Tudines, and is found in The Great Lake.

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.

Common Etiquette Rules

Non-judgement is very important to Sirens. You never know what somebody has been through or why they're here. Sirens are always expected to help new Sirens create some sort of home for themselves, and new Sirens are given a grace period of around a year before their community expects them to be as accepting to new people and ideas as they themselves are.   Again, since Siren culture is a mix of so many other cultures, etiquette is typically boiled down to "don't harm other people." Most Sirens will still use whatever traditions they grew up in.

Common Dress Code

Sirens don't wear clothing, as it would be extremely inconvenient in water, though they will wear jewelry made from (small) rocks and water vegetation.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Sirens, like with many things, will either practice traditions they observed as their origin, or they will abandon them completely, resulting in an eclectic blend of customs.  

A New Siren

There is a typically a small ceremony that happens between a new Siren and the Siren that found them. A Siren first asks is they would like to be welcomed by the water, and if they agree, the Siren transforms them into a Siren themselves. The established Siren provides the new one with their first meal and a place to rest for one night, before introducing them to the community and helping them create a home of their own.  

Awaiting Mimu

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. The Sirens 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.

Common Taboos

Outright rejecting any Siren is frowned upon, which often means bitterness and resentment comes out sideways in passive aggressiveness among communities toward an individual or group.

Common Myths and Legends

The 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.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Other species dislike Sirens, believing that they steal individuals to either drown them or convert them into one of their own. They are also often viewed as promiscuous to other creatures. For the most part, other species try to avoid them as they fear being drowned or taken captive, and Sirens avoid others in fear of their abuse.

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

Pets:

Sirens are prone to loneliness due to abandonment, grief, or other traumas and so are the only primary race that has the adopted the practice of domesticating animals. Lots of sirens have pet fish, frogs, turtles, or water snakes.

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