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The Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls is the greatest of marid communities and the seat of the Coral Throne. From this court emanates the wise rulership of the Great Padishah of the Marid, the Keeper of the Empire, the Pearl of the Sea, the Parent of the Waves, the Maharaja of the Oceans, Emir of All Currents, and so forth. This citadel, set atop a free-floating coral reef, is bedecked with all manner of towers and halls carved from living shell and ringed with luminous, glowing pearls. About two hundred marids make the citadel their home, all of them nobility. Each marid has a set of personal servants, bringing the nonmarid population of the citadel to about a thousand.

The court of the great padishah is filled with intrigue and espionage because each marid has the heartfelt belief that he or she truly deserves to sit atop the Coral Throne. Assassinations are common, as are palace revolutions and exiles. The marids are individually among the most powerful of genies, but their strong wills and high opinions of themselves prevent them from banding permanently under any one leader.