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Deltora Quest Wiki
The Maris
General information

The town of Maris


The Keeper of the Crystal

Chronological information
First appearance

Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal

Last appearance

Two Moons

The Maris is a species of mer-like people who live on the east coast of the island of Maris, in the town of the same name. For 1,000 years their nation has been united under a single form of leader referred to as the Keeper of the Crystal, who wields the power of a magic Crystal.[1]


Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal[]

When the Crystal dimmed, a messenger, Perlain, was sent to Rin to call for the Chooser for the next Keeper. As the first born of the Chooser, his mother, Rowan went with Jiller and John to Maris by the coast. When his mother fell ill to a poison called Death Sleep, Rowan took her place as the next Chooser for the Choosing ceremony. The candidates for the next Keeper were Doss of Pandellis, Asha of Umbray, and Seaborn of Fisk. Although displaying blatant animosity, the three accompanied Rowan to the hidden part of the island as he intended to make the antidote.

"To mix the brew that wakes Death Sleep, fill one spread hand with silver deep. In hungry pool moons raise their heads-.Pluck one and add the tears it sheds. Stir slowly with new fighter's quill. Three times, no more, and let it still. Add venom from your greatest fear—One drop—and then the truth is clear."

Coming across the small pool of water they needed, Seaborn gathered the first ingredient but was attacked by the flesh-eating fish in the water. Rowan helped tend to his injuries as Seaborn refused aid from the other candidates. The next ingredient was collected by Rowan by creating a scarecrow resembling the fighter bird the fish were afraid of—which the three Maris folk were dubious about, allowing him to pluck the moon flower in the water to add to the antidote. When the next ingredient required a fresh feather of the fighter bird, Asha's silver cape was used to mirror the bird and lose a feather attacking its reflection. Rowan also helped tend to Asha's injuries as she also refused assistance from the other candidates. To retrieve the last ingredient, a drop of venom from the Great Serpent, Rowan asked Doss who seemed to have seen it one year prior. He explains that he was out with his family on his Day of Farewell when their boat was overturned, which was when he saw the Great Serpent. He recalls blacking out before being found on a part of his family's boat drifting from the shore. Since then he felt something in him was changed, as did everyone else.

"I alone of my family was spared. And I—was changed. I could feel it. Everyone around me could see it. It was as though something had been lost—or added. I do not know which."

Wondering how they could find the Serpent as Orin originally did, the Great Serpent appeared. As they hid, the Great Serpent moved to the small pool of water and began laying her eggs. Seaborn appeared fascinated while Asha and Doss were frightful. Seaborn offered to risk his life gaining the venom they needed to keep Rowan safe to choose the next Keeper. However, Doss brought up that the Great Serpent is familiar of Maris folk and will only be wary of Rowan who it doesn't recognise. As such, Rowan carefully retrieved one drop of venom from the Great Serpent before they all fled to the Keeper's cavern.

"The Crystal provides the knowledge, the experience, and the power. But the Keeper provides the care and cunning. The Keeper must be able to solve new problems as well as old ones."

Rowan manages to give the antidote to his mother but by then no time remained for the trials of the Choosing ceremony. The dying Keeper of the Crystal reveals that the tasks they completed were, in fact, the trial as Rowan realises she was the one who poisoned Jiller. She explains that the old trials of the Choosing ceremony led to the Maris folk adapting to only what was needed instead of the cunning and cleverness needed for the Crystal. With the Choosing completed, Rowan chose the next Keeper. He stated that although Asha is good and will do what she thinks is right, she still clings to the old ways and cannot become a Keeper who will try new ways. Rowan stated that although Seaborn is strong, brave, and willing to try new ways, he often acts in haste and provide the care and cunning the Keeper seeks. Rowan finally chooses Doss as the next Keeper and the other candidates are sent out.

Before Doss could join with the Crystal, Rowan soon noticed that there was something amiss with Doss' story of first meeting the Great Serpent a year prior. Realising this mistake it is soon made clear that the Zebak must have arranged for his boat to be damaged and sent him back with a false memory. In the face of Doss not becoming the next Keeper, the brainwashed Doss attacked the Keeper with his knife but was restrained by John. With the other candidates unable to enter the cavern again, Rowan was the only other person who was recognised by the Crystal and who could become the next Keeper.

Refusing to give up the the things and people he loved, Rowan began joining with the Crystal before he realised the truth. With the Keeper's help Rowan brought Doss forward to replace him. Completing the ceremony, Doss became the new Keeper and they all moved outside. The people greeted him and pointed to the sea. Once the new Keeper held the Crystal and it flashed like a beacon, the brown Zebak sails leaped forward. Rowan doubted his decision but the new Keeper confirmed that he was correct. When the Zebak were close, the new Keeper called a storm and lightning cracked on the sea. Angered at their waking, serpents rose from the depths and attacked the Zebak ships.

"When an old Keeper dies, all his learning and experience passes onto the Crystal. And from there is passes into the new Keeper. So nothing is lost. Everything is remembered."

Afterwards, Rowan, John, and Jiller were ready to return home and said their farewells to the Maris folk. The Maris folk were told what transpired between them by Perlain by the new Keeper's orders so at last they understand nothing can stand against the power of the Crystal. Rowan bade farewell the new Keeper in the Cavern of the Crystal as they shared a moment of understanding of different lives. Also saying farewell, Asha thanked Rowan for choosing Doss as she would've ordered out the boats as they always did, resulting in many deaths. Seaborn also invited Rowan to his and Imlay's wedding in the summer before they left.

Rowan and the Zebak[]

When Annad is captured by the Zebak's flying grach, Rowan asks Perlain to prepare a sailboat for him to reach the Land of the Zebak. Perlain disapproves of the journey into danger but willingly sails Rowan, Allun, and Zeel across the sea. Perlain gives them cork vests to help them float and explains they are used Maris who are injured and those who cannot swim safely in rough water. When Allun becomes sea sick, Perlain explains that land-bound creatures often suffer the same and remarks he cannot understand it, stating there is nothing he loves better than sailing. When a storm comes, Rowan remarks that without Perlain they would have perished at sea without reaching the Zebak as only Perlain could understand the sea's power and feared it. Their sailboat, however, does not stand the storm and they are thrown overboard, leaving them to wash up along the shore.

When they all gather on shore, Perlain suspects where they are but hopes against it as they wait for dawn. In the meantime, he first suggests they start a fire. When they uncover Sheba's gift, Perlain's face was stern as he suspected Sheba played a trick on them for his previous warning for Rowan not to trust her. In the morning they had found that Perlain's suspicions were correct, and appropriately delay their journey's start until night to avoid the scorching sun and lack of water. When Rowan argues to Perlain that he cannot journey into the wastelands due to the danger, Perlain answered that there would be danger whether he went or stayed. Adding that if he were to die he would do it with his friends than alone, consoling Rowan that he does not regret his decision to join them.

As they begin their journey, Perlain is soon dragged under the clay by an ishkin. With the help of the others, Perlain is saved but is injured. Now with their best chance to cross the Wastelands in the day, Allun guides them across the safe stones and tries to put their mind off of the danger below with his attitude. By the time they reach the smooth metal walls of the city, Perlain is very weak and weary. Sneaking their way into the city when the walls open, Perlain guides them to where he senses water. When they reached the locked door marked forbiddon, Perlain weakly plucks at the lock and door but cannot get through. After Zeel unlocked the door with her knife, Perlain immediately runs inside. They soon find a vast underground lake, of which Perlain rests and soaks in to regain his strength.


Rowan of the Bukshah[]

Maris is mentioned when the people of Rin decide to make their journey to the coast in hope of waiting out the harsh winter weather. The Travellers are also camped near Maris to avoid the winter. When Rowan is struck with great dread for the journey to the Mountain's heart, his prophetic dream of the consequences for running away is so vivid and clear that the Keeper of the Crystal shares it. The Keeper then calls for Odgen at dawn and Zeel is sent to help Rowan and his group.

Two Moons[]



The Maris is divided into three clans, the Pandellis clan, the Fisk clan and the Umbray clan. There was once a fourth clan, the Mirril, which the first Keeper Orin was a member of, but it was eradicated by the Zebak.[1] The clan have been united under a Keeper of the Crystal for a thousand years after Orin first found the crystal. In doing so, the Maris folk were able to prosper instead of warring with each other.

When each Keeper nears their end, the crystal fades until a new Keeper is chosen. Each new keeper is chosen among the candidates by the chooser at that time. Orin made his clan, the Mirril clan, the first Choosers in exchange for no Keeper to be from the Mirril clan. When the Mirril clan were killed by the invading Zebak 300 years ago, the Keeper of that time chose a rebelling Zebak slave to become the next Chooser; Rowan's ancestor, Leith. Since then this duty has been passed down through Leith's descendants.

"It does not matter which clan brings forth the Keeper. Nothing can stand against the power of the Crystal. Not love of family, or friends, or home. Not loyalty to a clan or a country. Not even the mind games of an enemy.

Each clan is known to carry animosity towards other clans, which has resulted in the deaths of Leith's descendants. Regardless, no Keeper will ever use the power of the Crystal to ever betray the people of Maris.


Maris homes and buildings are typically rounded.[1]They are made sturdy to protect from external threats such as serpents.

Physical appearance[]

Though they walk on land, they have webbed hands and feet to make living on the coast easier. They have glistening, pale, hairless skin, ranging from white to blue-grey, and pale, flat, glassy eyes, usually expressionless.

The Maris are all clothed from wrist to ankle to ankle in tight-fitting shining garments with cloaks and hoods in the colour of their respective clan, blue for Pandellis, green for Fisk and silver for Umbray. Typically Maris are armed with knives, which they keep at a belt.[1]


The Maris have on average far greater lifespans than humans, however the Keeper of the Crystal reaches a far greater age than any regular Maris, because of the power of the Crystal. Still, there comes a time when each Keeper knows death is near.[1]

The Maris folk cannot survive without water and will become weak if they dehydrate. Additionally, any Maris can locate water wherever it may be.

Notable members[]


Rowan of Rin​[]

Star of Deltora[]


  • Maris is both the name of the race, the town they live in[1] and the island that the town is located on, although the island is seemingly only called that by the Deltorans.[2]
  • It is common for Maris folk to believe that the loss of one makes no difference.
  • Before becoming the first Keeper of the Crystal, Orin belonged to the Mirril clan. After becoming the keeper, the Mirril clan became the first Choosers until they were all killed by the Zebak invasion 300 years ago.
  • The Mirril clan were experts in poison and are known to have made one thousand and one poisons, each with an antidote.
  • For the Maris folk, their greatest fear is the Great Serpent who is the mother of all serpents.
  • Orin found the Crystal after fleeing from the Great Serpent in a small, rocky cavern deep below the sea.
  • When a Chooser dies, the next Chooser in line takes his or her place for the Choosing.
    • The Keeper of 300 years ago chose Rowan and Jiller's ancestor, Leith, to become the next Choosers. This tradition has since been passed down through family generations.
  • Candidates for to become the next Keeper cannot harm one another.
  • Keepers never leave the Cavern of the Crystal, see their homes and friends, breathe the open air, nor see the sky as the Crystal becomes all to them.
  • In Rowan and the Zebak, Perlain gives his companions cork vests that would help them float, commenting that they are used by injured Maris who cannot swim safely in rough water.
  • Although usually expressionless, Maris folk do, in fact, express emotions. Perlain specifically has shown he can be humourous but other Maris who may do the same are not shown.
  • A food the Maris use on long voyages is seaweed cake, which Perlain explain is nourishing and light to carry.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
  2. Rodda, Emily. Shadows of the Master. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. 2015.

See also[]