"I hope the humans appreciate the spirit you bring."
"If they do not, then I shall retire to a doxhouse and devote my remaining years to the songs of Heefa."
Mayan was a childhood friend of Delenn and a member of the Minbari Religious Caste. Even as a child, Mayan was a gifted poet. In adulthood, she was considered one of the most gifted poets among the Minbari. She traveled extensively, studying the other races in the galaxy, and coming to believe that a common, defining aspect about all races was their ability to love.
In 2258, she travelled to Babylon 5 to give a series of public readings before going onto Earth. Upon arrival Security Chief Garibaldi offered her a security escort, but she refused, unable to conceive why anyone could mean her harm.
After her first performance of "In the Light of Two Moons" she stayed up late with her old friend Delenn, who was then acting as Ambassador for the Minbari Federation. When she finally left, she was stabbed by a masked assailant and her forehead was branded with a Homeguard mark. Her injuries were not severe, though she did have to stay in Medlab for a day or two. Even though Dr. Stephen Franklin offered to remove the brand, she decided to keep it to "remember the lesson."
Delenn voiced her outrage over the attack, saying that an attack on Shaal Mayan was an affront to the entire Minbari Religious Caste. The assault was one of a series of anti-alien attacks occurring by a pro-human group known as the Homeguard. While she was recovering, a Centauri named Kiron Maray was attacked and nearly killed by the same criminals. His lover, Aria Tensus, stayed at his side until he recovered. Mayan offered some words of wisdom to Londo Mollari that moved him to help the young lovers stay together.
Shaal Mayan returned to Babylon 5 for another visit later in the year, in light of the incident that occurred during her last visit Delenn had Lennier request that Mr. Garibaldi assign her a security team.
- Mayan's sole appearance and storyline occurred in The War Prayer.
- There is often some confusion over Mayan's name with many believe "Shaal" to be her given name. This is inconsistent with Minbari naming conventions and in actual fact "Shaal" is her title as a poet master. Note that when she and Delenn are alone and speaking informally, she is simply addressed as "Mayan". This follows in the same vein as other Minbari who are formally referred to by title, for example; "Satai Delenn", "Alyt Neroon" and "Entil'Zha Valen".
- She was mentioned as coming back to the station in Eyes, but not seen.