The Mareen are the keepers of memory and conservators of the departed. Having harnessed the primordial power of the sea, cultists to the Elder Goddess Illuket safeguard the consciousnesses of their dead, collecting them for a future purpose. A single Mareen can have upwards of twenty lives within their minds and can call on their collective wisdom at will.
Deity — Illuket
As captivating as she is terrible, Illuket is an Elder Goddess of the Depths. Her preferred physical state is that of an enormous frilled shark with multiple, giant jellyfish tentacles reaching out from the underside of her trunk. Illuket is said to claim the lives of her followers, storing their memory and consciousness for all of eternity.
Cult History & Description
The Mareen were the first of the oldest cults to break off from the Ur. Built around a series of strict hierarchical circles, the Mareen function within individual schools known as Shoals. These Shoals, comprised mostly of women, have protected and cultivated the art of memory transference.
Preservationists of history, Mareen tend to collect mystical artifacts and personal effects of occult importance. They have discovered the means of extending their own lives through absorbing the lifeforce of others and do so until the capabilities of their body are stretched to the very end or they voluntarily choose to sink into the sea of eternity. When a Mareen’s time comes, the cultists gather so that her consciousness can be added to those who lay in the water with her. The practice stems from the belief that one only truly dies when they are no longer remembered. And true immortality can be achieved by becoming part of Illuket.
Transference occurs when a consciousness is added to the chorus of each Mareen who participates in the ritual. With water’s correspondence to the numbers 2, 7, and the master number 22, the transference takes place with 2 or 7 other cultists. And each cultist hopes to reach a chorus of 22. Once they have reached this mystical number, they are finally permitted to sink into the depths and be absorbed by Illuket. Within her, they live on for the rest of forever.
Conversely, those cultists who betray the Mareen or violate sacred tenants are erased from history through the denial of transference or through the purging of consciousness from the chorus of any cultist who carries them with her.
Just like an ocean, the Mareens are as powerful as they are serene and as beautiful as they are dangerous. They do not like to be far from bodies of water often residing in seaside towns and cities. Myths like the Inuit Qalupalik and Celtic Finfolk likely came from of encounters with them. And given their focus on history and the preservation of it, most Mareen build niche museums, cabinets of curiosities, or small collections of personal objects because of their belief that everyone’s pasts are valuable to the future.
Illuket is an illusive figure, never seen outside of water. Legends speak of her roaming the seas for sailors or along the coasts, snatching adults and children alike. These acts are said to be done to create a perfect world within her by preserving their consciousnesses for eternity.
She is reviled as much as she is revered, but all know that just like the sea, she must be respected. The complex pantheon of sea gods and mythical creatures are all born of Illuket, Elder Goddess of the Depths. Underwater earthquakes and tsunamis are also attributed to Illuket’s power as she swallows those she kills. She absorbs their lifeforce while keeping the consciousnesses she deems worthy and purging those she does not. It is not unheard of for Illuket to consume and purge the members of other cults as salvos fired in a secret war against the other Elder Gods and their pawns.
When the Mareen wish to pay homage to Illuket, they can do so on land and in the water. On land, they search out artifacts of historical and ritual significance as well as keep safe the most treasured personal effects of their shoalmates who have sunk into the sea. In the water, they perform rituals in the shallows during high tide and make offerings to the goddess. Through her blessings they are able to harness the powers of longevity and the ability to tap into the knowledge and skills of those consciousnesses they house. Most importantly, drowning is considered an honorable act, reserved for those Mareens worthy of joining a chorus.
In Numerology, 22 is the most important of all numbers and is referred to as the Master Builder. It is for this reason Mareens strive to acquire 22 consciousnesses before they depart. To do so means that they have achieved a quality of perfection in reverence to Illuket. As their reward, they are granted a role of deific authority in the utopia within her. This is also the basis for the strict hierarchy of Illuket’s followers.
Each member of the Mareen know their number, and therefore know their worth to Illuket and their place within the cult at any given time. ‘Ones’ are novices and tend to the most basic needs of the cult, often working the hardest to receive Illuket’s blessings. On the opposite end of the spectrum, are the ‘Twenty-ones.’ These are the women (as no man has ever achieved this rank) who stand as the precipice of Godhood. This group tends to be comprised of the oldest, most dedicated, and/or most politically ruthless of the Mareen. Reaching the rank of ‘Eleven’ is an important right of passage and is often considered the dividing line between those who are still learning and those who have become the teachers. Across the occult world, it is well known that a devotee of Illuket who has collected into the teens is someone who is not wholly unlike an avatar of the goddess herself.
Among the shoal, whether large or small, the highest rank leads. When shoalmates share the same rank, deference is given to the woman if there is a difference in gender or to the eldest if not. And in this way they honor age, history, and experience.
Want to join the cult of The Mareen? Spots will fill up quickly—don't wait to apply!