Sirens of Sorrow's Sea
Nori Ankou, La Sirene de Diamant
A girl with a naturally dark style who has found joy and fulfillment as a fashion model as well as a soldier of justice. However, the pain of beauty and the suffering of a chevalier's path bring tears to her eyes.
Mizuki Aleksandrova, La Sirene de l'Est
A quiet student of the Infinity Institute who silently blames herself for her parents' terrible breakup. Distracts herself from the sadness with pursuits like archery, swimming, and musical composition. She can't decide to what extent she wants to embrace her Siren alter-ego, and hasn't got much experience to draw on yet.
Joy and happiness have their realms - so too does sorrow, a far-away Sea of Tears where great rocky shores weather eternally the endless storms that surround them, where strange creatures and stranger peoples live and love, in their way. This land is ruled by a queen - a descendant of the Mother of Sorrows, the patroness of this realm since time immemorial! And soon a new one will be chosen from among the Sirens - young women from this ancient bloodline called back to their haunting, ancestral home and given gifts by the Mother; sent out to "gather the sorrows of the world"... in whatever form they choose, and under their benefactor's mysterious eye.
The Sea of Tears is an alternate magical world. It is said, and may be literally true, that every shed tear finds its way to the Sea, which would explain why it is full of saltwater. The Sea is an inhospitable place to most life from Earth, but home to the Mother of Sorrow's many descendants. (She has taken lovers but never wed, and, of course, her descendants have themselves begun families.)
Those descendants are found throughout the world, a recurring thread in the tapestry of humanity. Touched as they are by sorrow, many have trouble living in the mortal world, but the Mother of Sorrows has granted them a boon: any of her descendants who should sail or swim into the water, with tears in their eyes and no thought for their paths, may find a way to the Sea of Tears, where houses have been prepared for them. These houses are not luxurious (save for those held by the queens); simple but comfortable furnishings, decorated by flotsam and jetsam. There is enough to eat, and peace, and others when you want them. It is a mercy and a blessing to many who come here.
Society, such as it is, is ruled by common agreement: luxury and ostentation rests upon the Queen, who is a lifetime appointment. (Little do at least one of the Sirens suspect that this role is more of a town mayor than a position of dominance and authority, but then, that is perhaps what they must learn.)
The Mother of Sorrows is herself an enigmatic figure, but not a wicked one. She appears typically as a mature but not elderly woman, and at times walks abroad in other worlds. Sorrow is inevitable, even in the most happy of places, and its full expression - from its creation, to its experience, to its resolution - is her business.
Theme Organizational Connections: Sirens walk their own paths, with no pre-destined affiliation other than to the Sea itself. The Mother of Sorrows has no stated opinion on the conflicts of Earth, and does not interfere with the paths Sirens forge for themselves, save to collect the beaten and the broken to herself.
"Gathering the sorrows of the world" is an unclear matter. Some Sirens address it by standing by and gathering pain as a witness or a watcher, others try to heal hurts, still others try to bring more pain to the world. The Mother of Sorrows does not seem to remark on which path is better or worse. Historically, all of these broad routes have led Sirens to the queendom.
Example Theme Paths to Power:
Artifact (the Black Mirrors)
The proof of one's role as a Siren. The Black Mirrors are formed from obsidian gathered from the shallow seas in the drowned tomb-city of Luxor in the Sea of Tears. They are usually highly decorated, if in a dark or flashy way. Through these mirrors, the Sea of Tears can let the descendants of the Mother of Sorrow shed the bonds of mortality and become truly fantastic. Individual Mirrors often have other tricks, such as serving as a physical portal to the Sea of Tears or reflecting images in one's heart.
Legacy (descent, however distant, from the Mother of Sorrows)
The Mother of Sorrows' human children all come (at a great remove) from the wedding of the Mother's one daughter, Melancholy, to a mortal man. This ineffable ancestry earns one the right to dwell in the Sea of Tears (if you can find the way). Some young women, of course, follow in the footsteps of Thalatte, the first of the Sirens. This touch of alien divinity wends throughout all of humanity, although it is most likely to be found in coastal societies.
Contract (agreement, however informal, to gather sorrow)
The Mother of Sorrows does not give many orders or instructions, but she is not distant or unpleasant to speak with.
If a brief explanation of their potential true place in the world is understood and accepted with their whole heart, one of these descendants is granted a Black Mirror and a vague instruction to gather sorrow, with the potential to one day be Queen. The method, the ramifications, and almost everything else are left up to the Siren to determine.
Quick and Dirty Rules:
- Sirens could be antagonistic as easily as they could be heroic, with only other Sirens and magical girls to serve as a moral compass.
- A Siren's purpose is vague, and the Mother of Sorrows does this deliberately. Should they feel compelled to step in and protect innocent people, or should they just hoover up tears and stay in the shadows? Or bring sorrow to the world themselves?
- Five exiled sons of the Mother of Sorrows represent the main antagonistic force of the Sirens. These exiles have access to the Cardiax worms, which can infest humans and dam up their natural sorrows, producing strange effects and shadowy echoes and, eventually, killing their hosts.
- Sirens may have mascot allies - intelligent talking animals, usually of coastal temperate species. (Otters, gulls, stranger things...) These friends are of other lines of descent from the Mother of Sorrows, and tend to be well educated as well as suited to providing emotional support.