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The Siren is one of a race with origins in Greek mythology, legend and folklore. Specifically, accounts of their existence first arose in The Odyssey (a work written by Homer) and Catalogues of Women (a work by Hesiod).
Most claim that the father of the original Sirens was the river-god Achelous, though others say their father was actually Phorcys (a sea deity who was also the father of the original Gorgons, and numerous other monsters).
Their mother is most commonly said to be one of the Muses (either Terpsichore or Melpomene), though others claim they were born of the nymph Sterope (one of the Pleiades) or even the goddess Mother Earth herself (Gaia).
In addition, some believe in the existence of only two original Sirens; others believed that there were three, while others thought that five existed. Though, most believe that there were as many as thirteen, and ascribe to them the names Aglaope/Aglaopheme/Aglaophone/Aglaophonos, Himerope, Leucosia, Ligeia, Molpe, Pisinoe/Peisinoë, Peisithoe, Parthenope, Raidne, Teles, Thelchtereia and Thelxiepeia/Thelxiope and Thelxinoe.
Many attribute the difference of the original Sirens' names to the sounds of the winds and the waves making their names difficult to hear. And the discrepancy in the number of the original Sirens is often attributed to their simply being present or absent at different times (some might only see Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia, while others only see Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia, and others only Aglaopheme and Thelxiepeia, etc).
Furthermore, though most accepted accounts state they lived on the island of Anthemusa (Anthemoessa), which was given to them by Zeus, there are other accounts which claim they live on Cape Pelorum, on the Sirenusian Islands (Seirenoussai, Sirenussae) near Paestum, or in Capreae. Some claim that this difference is due simply to wrongful identification of islands by lost or inexperienced sailors.
At any rate, it is widely known that, before they went to live on their island home, the Sirens were friends and handmaidens of the goddess Demeter's daughter Persephone (Kore), in her younger days. Though, eventually, Persephone would be abducted by the god Hades to be goddess and queen of the Underworld.
The Sirens took flight to search all over for her, yet they would look to no avail. And since their search turned out to be in vain, and they had been left without a mistress to serve, they instead settled down on an island, to live out the rest of their lives.
Or so the tale goes, in some cases. Other accounts claim that Demeter stripped the Sirens of their wings in anger, upon hearing their failure to find her beloved daughter. As further punishment, they were said to have been banished, exiled to live the rest of their lives in seclusion.
Though, some claim that the Sirens lost their wings because of the goddess Hera's sneaky wiles. In these accounts, she persuaded them to challenge the Muses to a singing contest. The Muses won the contest handily, and to shame them for their loss, took the Sirens' wings (or, more commonly, feathers from their wings), to make crowns.
There is even a myth for how the Sirens came to be winged in the first place. While many believe that they were born with wings, others claim that they gained wings at their own request (from Demeter to help search for her abducted daughter Persephone, or from Aphrodite to escape potential lovers and suitors, so that they could always be virgins).
Yet, some claim the wings were punishment from Demeter, because the Sirens failed to help Demeter search for Persephone (which implies they may have been useless to fly, and instead may have been a heavy burden to bear).
Regardless, one thing is known for absolutely certain about the original Sirens. Since going to live on their island home, they have spent nearly every day of their lives luring unwitting listeners to untimely death with their song.
Due to their divine heritage, Sirens are supernaturally beautiful. Though, their heritage manifests in numerous different ways.
While Sirens are of a divine lineage that ensures they will never be underweight or overweight, some have more of a lithe, sylphic beauty, and others are voluptuous, even buxom.
Likewise, while they tend toward human norms, as far as hair is concerned, they can actually have nearly any hair color, texture or length.
Furthermore, while their skin tends toward European complexions (namely, Caucasian white), it is also possible to see more diverse skin tones among them (even perhaps blues and greens, as befitting their lineage).
A siren is always a charming and seductive being to encounter. They will never be caught with a "bad hair day" and don't require all the tedious upkeep of the average woman. They are dainty and demure without trying, while alluring and sexually attractive all at the same time.
They are masters at the art of persuasion and enticement, knowing exactly what to do or say to get a man all hot and bothered. What's more, despite their demure feminine beauty, they are not above also showing off the beauty of their naked bodies, if it lures potential victims that much closer...
Though, Sirens' charms have no effect on women (even of a lesbian sexual orientation), which makes them natural rivals. While they refrain from physical combat or other physical shows of hostility (which would detract from their apparent charm and femininity), they often clam up, or even flee in a disdainful huff, at the mere sight of a woman (a behavior which gave way to the ancient Greek practice of not letting women board their ships, even as company on long voyages).
As for hierarchy, Sirens are often born in groups called "choirs", which stay together for their entire lifetime; the eldest sister often has the most enchanting voice, and as such, is the leader of the choir. If ever such an occasion arose, they would never allow another siren to join their choir, nor would they be expected to attempt joining another choir if, for some reason, their former one were to disband.
If ever a siren must leave her sisters (such as the death of her choir, her own impending death, pregnancy, or banishment), she often elects to go off on her own island (or other secluded area) and conduct business as required. Otherwise, a siren is not expected by her sisters to ever leave the choir.
Aside from their incredibly long life span, they possess, from birth, an ageless beauty and witty charm that a mortal would describe as nothing less than hypnotic. They are naturally gifted with a knack for temptation and arousing desire.
However, they are most famous for their "Siren's Song" (in Greek, Seireneion Melos), a beguiling melody which they use to lure sailors to their deaths, on the rocks of the Sirens' home shores. The intriguing melody itself, combined with a Siren's all-too-tempting lyrics makes the song a ready snare, but for some reason or another, it works only on men (while women won't even hear it at all).
With that song, some call out to entice passing sailors with promises of untold sexual ecstasy. Though, others claim they can reveal supernatural knowledge they've gained from the divine; knowledge of the history and fate of the world, of business, of the sciences, of the future, of the past...if that sailor would only drop by and stay a while.
In fact, the song of the original Sirens was said to be so powerfully compelling, it could make a mortal being forget his bodily needs; to this end, a myth exists about Centaurs listening to the first Sirens from the cliff of an island a short distance away, and perishing, having forgotten to eat.
Still, while that same insidious level and range of power is not to be expected of the Sirens' descendants, their song is better left unheard by any and all potential victims, who wish to bypass them and remain unaffected.