It is the weight of the Time, Space and Dimension of the world that the Goddess carries on her shoulders. This burden is known as the Great Time.
A Goddess is chosen by the "mark", which spontaneously appears on the successor's body upon the death of the previous Goddess. The Goddess must always be a female. For the women who try to hide it, it becomes a spiral-shaped string of incantations much like a brand. The "mark" is always accompanied by pain, and its burden on the body is great. Once the Goddess is found by the priests, a sealing ritual is performed upon her, tying the Great Time to her existence.
The price of becoming the Goddess and keeping the world from descending into chaos, is that the woman chosen may not lead an ordinary life. She is never to see her family or anyone else, aside from the hierarch in charge of taking care of her (this rule is only enforced by the Hierarchs to prevent the Goddess from commiting suicide or running away with her loved ones, however). She may never marry or give birth, either. However, if the state of war forces her to travel, she will be able to have contact with other people.
Before the mark appears on the chosen successor, a magical creature, such as a dragon, can have the seal placed upon itself of its own volition.
The databook implies that the world has undergone several other goddesses before the main story. While Goddesses have closely guarded and sheltered lives, a primary cause of death for previous goddesses was suicide due to the immeasurable pain they had to endure.
The 12th goddess. A character who is unseen in the games and only appearing in official artwork, the cancelled manga Drag-On Dragoon Judgement, and mentioned in the glossary of Drakengard's databook. Not much is said about her character, but the commoners and aristocrats opposed her being the Goddess. A false rumor stated that she selfishly fell in love and eloped with her lover, Gaap. She did not elope, but the manga confirms that she was sleeping with Caim's father Gaap, and also priest Noire. Her affair earned her the Gods' wrath and led to the kingdom's fall. Her reasons for leaving her duties was clearly death, however the cause is not stated but appeared to be due from consumption.
The 13th goddess. She was a quiet girl. She wasn't able to get married to her lover, as she was announced the Goddess after they were engaged. Hunted down by the Empire, she was under a great deal of stress. However, as time went on, Manah revealed that Furiae hated being the Goddess, that she'd rather let the world die and rot than stay the seal. After this was revealed, Furiae committed suicide.
- In branch A, Inuart took her body. Her ultimate fate is unknown.
- In Drakengard 2, it is revealed that Inuart took her body to a Seed of Resurrection, giving birth to Nowe. Despite popular belief however, Drakengard 2 doesn't follow branch A of Drakengard.
- In branch B, she was reborn as a monster and killed by Caim.
- In other branches, she dies after the Sky Fortress collapses.
The 14th goddess. After Furiae's death, a new seal was needed. Angelus offered to become the seal, not for the sake of humanity, but for Caim. Before she disappeared, she told Caim her name. After eighteen years of pain, which was made more painful by the traiterous Verdelet, she forgot why she became the seal. All she knew was that she was in pain, and it was the human's fault. After the other five seals were destroyed, she was able to roam freely again. Deciding to take her revenge on the world by burning it to ash, Nowe and Legna went to stop her. They succeeded, and she died with Caim, finding peace at last.
The 15th goddess. In branch A of Drakengard 2, the seals need to be established once more. It is revealed that Eris is the new goddess, and she gladly accepts the burden. She is last seen having the seal painfully burned into her skin and being sealed away into the Castle of the Goddess. Nine years later, Eris is still the Goddess of the Seal, though she is weak and in a lot of pain, as well as on the verge of immobility.
Connection to Seal Weapons
It has been revealed in Drakengard 2, that a blacksmith made weapons with the power of the goddesses to destroy the gods.
Many speculate that each seal weapon is related to a different goddess. An example would be the seal knife, which is related to fire, thus related to Angelus.
Whether or not this is true is unknown.