Patron: Ja the Speaker of the Reefs (Scylla, redeemed)
Capital: Port of Silk
Primary Race: Elf, Half-Elf, Human
Primary Language: Elven
Suggested Traits: Child of the South, Islander, Laid Back, Levelheaded, Luck, Mercantile Background, Play Hard, Relaxing Patois, Sea Legs
Regional Feat: Any Port in a Storm
Marukeem is a place of happiness and joy, but hard-won nonetheless. It is not necessarily safer or more peaceful than its neighbors, but their patron—the scylla Ja, whom they have named the Speaker of the Reefs—does not protect her people because of nobility or honor or morality, but because she enjoys it and them on a personal level. That is reflected in their 'worship' of her, which takes the forms of festivals and celebrations. It is not unusual to see all the strongest, most handsome young men of a village out on the sands, performing acrobatics and feats of strength in the hopes of impressing Ja and maybe even stealing a rare kiss from their 'goddess.'
This love of life carries over into all aspects of Marukemi society, and often astounds those who have cause to meet them. And many have such a cause, for their ships ply the waters like few others save the Tide Princes and any port that is open to foreign trade will likely see their brilliantly-dyed sails and their ships with hulls painted a riot of whites, greens, and yellows.
Marukeem was supposed to be another tragedy of the loss of magic. Safe and secure, the island was home to dozens of small fishing villages and a prime retreat for many of the nobles and wealthy merchants of the Age of Heroes. They had almost no standing armies and their navy was a laughable assortment of pleasurecraft. When the Well was burned, they were a prime target for monsters, both those that emerged from the mountains at Isle Tymot's heart and the vicious creatures that emerged from the sea.
For a time, it was a terrible nightmare for the people and many of their villages disappeared in the night, nothing but wreckage left. Even during the day, it was not unusual for the fishing canoes to be pulled beneath the waves and their crews lost to whatever creatures lurked there.
But the most powerful creature in the southern waters of the Feidul Sea was Ja, a scylla who had long haunted those waters but remained quiescent for fear of the heroes of the age before. One day, on a whim, she intervened when a fleet of fishing ships was imperiled, under assault by a young kraken that had come north into Ja's territory. It was just a distraction, and to teach the wayward cephalopod whose waters it was in, but the reactions of the fisherman shocked Ja.
She stood there, a monster of the deeps, a terror of legends, and they cheered her. Men with tears streaming down their faces thanked her, for so terrible had been the tribulations of the last few years that they would accept any savior, even if their parents would have immediately condemned it as a monster. That awoke something in Ja, a warmth she had never known before. She tried it a few more times, among other groups of humans, and before long tales had spread along the whole northern face of Isle Tymot that the Ja was their defender. Over the years, even worship of her spread, though it is a more relaxed and joyful affair than most other such relationships, with her glory celebrated rather than strictly revered.
Marukemi love meeting new people and they trade less for profit and more to help goods go from one place to another. They are liked and trusted far more than merchants from the Tide Princes, but it is also acknowledged that their goods are usually of an inferior quality compared to those masterful traders. As they say, you get what you pay for. It is said the only way to offend a Marukemi is to insult Ja, which is generally all it takes to start a fight with one.