The Marese were renowned for their maritime culture. The Warren of Ruse was a state religion and every vessel was sanctified to it. According to Marese ship mage Devaleth, "Every vessel carries a priest-mage sworn to Ruse. The rowers and crew are all initiates. Every board and rope is bound by ward and ritual to the will of the captain...our vessels cannot be sunk." Future Ruse mages attended the Mare academy and received hands on training, learning the trade through storms, battles, and becalmed seas. Mare mages were dismissive of the simple techniques and practices of Sea Witches.
Mare war galleys were low sleek vessels powered by sail and oar. Their primary offensive tactic was to shatter an enemy vessel with the bronze-capped ram in their bow, often working in coordinated teams to force the target into a vulnerable position. Mare ships also carried complements of marines who could fire arrows at enemy crews, slow vessels with launched grapnels, or board opponents as needed. Their ship mages attacked the enemy with Ruse magic.
The Marese never cultivated an organized cavalry force.
Marese ships were far superior to those of the Malazan Empire and bedeviled Malazan efforts at conquering Fist. During the Korelri Campaign, Fist Rillish Jal Keth recalled one instance where the Marese killed all but a fifth of the reinforcements he attempted to bring from Quon Tali. Corporal Pyke claimed that no Malazan ship had broken the Marese blockade for over twenty years before the Malazan Expeditionary Force tried in 1167BS. The Empire had twice tried and failed to send reinforcements.
Normal Marese tactics proved no match for the Expedition's Blue Moranth allies. Although they wreaked much havoc with their rams, the Marese had no experience with the Moranth's alchemical and explosive weapons. The majority of the Expedition's forces reached Fist, and the Marese were forced to sue for peace.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 5, US HC p.219-220
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.315
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 5, UK TPB p.227
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 12, US HC p.602
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 5, US HC p.231-237
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.297
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 4, US HC p.189
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 3, US HC p.177
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 2, US HC p.128
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 9, US HC p.482