In print, marids seem to be the least talked-about genies—djinn are frequent allies; the efreet are frequent antagonists but their City of Brass is a common planar destination; and 3.5’s dao had their terrible Great Dismal Delve while Pathfinder’s shaitans have popped up in a number of Darklands adventures. Which is a shame for PCs, since marids are relatively benevolent, if as capricious as the ocean itself.
As the Bestiary notes, “[m]any marids become dancers, storytellers, performers, or other types of artists,” when traveling—all careers that allow them to indulge their whims and conceal their identities. Able to travel the waters of the multiverse, they may be potential goldmines (er…oyster beds?) of information. On their own turf (coral castles and kelp forests, to be precise), they are gracious hosts—largely since they can afford to be thanks to their natural power (CR 9, the best of any genie, with shahzadas at CR 14), watery mastery, magical might (though their wishcraft is weak), and the wealth of many worlds’ oceans at their disposal.
That said, marids are impetuous, stormy, and can be quick to anger, especially if insulted. And those that do lean chaotic evil can bring powerful magic and allies to bear on the situation, assuming they don’t drown offending parties outright.
A troupe of acrobats has set up shop in Tailor Square. One of their newest acts is a gymnast who does high wire acts, then dives safely into a seemingly impossibly small barrel of water. She is actually a marid, and the acrobats are high-level shadowdancers. They are practicing for the heist of the queen’s rod of office and a tapestry depicting a sea battle, both reputed to be magical.
A nation of tritons wishes to repatriate back to the Plane of Water. The proposal outrages a sizable percentage of the marid shahzadas (primarily because their royal leave was not asked, but they do have valid concerns about the plane’s power balance being upset). Impartial mortal adventurers are sent to find a tojanida memory keeper who may recall old treaties between the two water powers; meanwhile piscodaemon and sahuagin insurgents seek to drive the races to bloody war.
Adventurers stranded on a desert island become pawns in an escalating game of risk and ruin played by a marid gunslinger and a shark-toothed larabay bard (Isle of the Shackles) who wants their skins for his drums.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 142
I’m on staycation! I’ve never done one of these before, except Christmas breaks, so we’ll see how this one turns out. I’m going to try to keep up the posts, though.
More on genie culture, including marids (with bonus erroneous description of them) can be found in Pathfinder Adventure Path #21: "The Jackal's Price."
Any Al-Qadim/Planescape fans want to weigh in on how those settings handled marids?
And yes, I’m as eager as you to figure out what’s up with that marid gunslinger. Anyone inspired to write a backstory?