Two separate though related races of Mermaids exist. 'True' Mermaids are
descended from dolphins and a rogue Grigori; 'lesser' mermaids are descended
from dugongs and one or more ethereals. Only 'True' Mermaids have their name
capitalised in Heaven's records. The two races cannot interbreed, but tend
to be fascinated by each other; friendships and doomed romances between the
species are common.
All True Mermaids have six or more Forces; those who lack the potential for a 6th Force acquire it anyway and become Nephallim. The deeds of these Nephallim gave rise to the legends of the Sirens. Because of their ancestry, Dominic has forbidden the Archangels to recruit the Mermaids; Mermaids are exclusively Soldiers of Song. She freely grants the Celestial Connection Attunement to any Mermaid who Masters the Singing skill.
True Mermaids add their charisma to the CD of any Singing roll, including improving Sotto Voce Song performances. Mermaids may have up to six levels of charisma, and only Sirens may have negative Charisma; even an Ugly Stick cannot reduce a Mermaids charisma below zero. They cannot be Sorcerers, necromancers or Alchemists, but can be Enchanters. Mermaids cannot walk, obviously, but move in water at the same speed as a dolphin. Their role in the War is not clear, but seems to be related to the Grigori need to watch for demons; Mermaids frequently alert Jordi's Seraphim to the presence of demons in the oceans.
Lesser mermaids are indistinguishable from dugongs unless the observer is Symphonically Aware. The Symphonically Aware will see the image of a mermaid imprinted over the dugong. These mermaids have between four and six Forces; they must have a minimum of 3 Corporeal Forces, but as few as zero Ethereal or Celestial Forces. A mermaid with six Forces can learn Corporeal Songs.
Poseidon claims to be king of the mermaids, and the few mermaid rebellions were crushed long ago. He requires mermaids to guard his Tethers, and watches them closely.
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