Marasai is a small planet noted for its tranquil ecology, despite unpredictably rare and violent weather caused by Marasai's location within the surrounding turbulent nebula. Generally considered a barren planet of desert and rock, capped with glaciers at its east and west poles, Marasai does, however, have an area of swamp and marshland located next to a small ocean that covers just eleven percent of the planet's surface. Due to the barren terrain and fragile ecosystem, the cultivation of flora and fauna on the planet is quite rare in order to avoid upsetting the existing balance. Therefore, most food is produced in high tech facilities found in the cities or imported from offworld. Although during the day Marasai's skies are typical of a temperate, oxygen-based planet, on cloudless evenings the surrounding Marasa Nebula gives the night sky a slight hint of azure blue while also obscuring some of the more distant or dimmer stars.
While the poles of the planet are usually subjected to little more than soft snowfall, they are occasionally ravaged by sudden and violent blizzards. Similar events can be seen on the sober deserts, which give rise to rare flash sandstorms that rage across large portions of the planet. While protected from the planet's most violent storms by an idiosyncrasy in the planet's weather systems, the swamps have been subjected to heavy rainstorms that sweep in from the usually placid ocean. The tranquil waters of the ocean are not immune to the planet's variable climate, sometimes spawning vast weather systems causing waves that reach hundreds of feet in height and spectacular lightning storms so impressive that sentients have been known to risk their own safety just to watch them.
Much of the planet's biological life is concentrated in and around the swamps and fertile coastlines along the edges of Marasai's single ocean. Even with the harsh conditions found across most of the planet, many life forms have found a way to thrive away from the swamps and ocean. The mostly docile creatures found on the vast plains of desert, rock, and even glacier have developed keen instincts that cause them to seek shelter at the first sign of a storm, long before most sentients even realize that trouble is on the way. Many feed on the sparse scrubs and grasses that have adapted to grow in the deserts and across the rocky terrain, while others have developed a more predatory lifestyle. Other creatures have adapted to one of the many vast cave systems and have often been found to be extremely territorial and hostile in such confined spaces, despite being herbivorous in nature and feeding mostly on the subterranean fungi rather than the flesh of other creatures. The swamps, having been home to sentient habitation for such a long period of time due to its relative safety from storms, have seen much of the larger animal life displaced from its natural habitat to the point that any major creatures in the swamps are extremely rare and effectively non-existent.
Creatures are not the only ones to adapt to the planet's barren surface and destructive storms. The cities and settlements found on and around Marasai's vast deserts have either invested in some kind of thick, sturdy wall to protect them from the sandstorms or designed the outer ring of buildings to be toughened so that they take the brunt of the storm. Those who choose to live in the cave systems, while safe from sandstorms, have still been known to completely block certain tunnels with armor-plated walls to keep them safe from the small number of ferocious creatures that occasionally prowl the caves. Sentients who have chosen the oceans as their home do so under the surface, with intricate and costly underwater habitation systems keeping them safe even while storms rage overhead. However, the biggest concern of those settlements found on the planet's swampland has been raising their structures above the slow-moving waters, creating a complex network of canals and bridges to keep their buildings connected.
Marasai is the traditional homeworld of the Marasans, whose need to predict their world's chaotic weather patterns caused them to develop advanced mathematics. This, in turn, led to them discovering hyperdrive technology and becoming a part of the galactic community. To supplement their discovery, they also made extensive use of cybernetic implants to enhance their cognitive abilities for stellar navigation in the dangerous Marasan Nebula. Unfortunately, their greatest inventions also became their greatest weakness when the Empire turned its envious eyes on the Marasan's navigational skills and implant technology. The Empire made use of large-scale resonators to disrupt the cyborg implants of great numbers of Marasans, causing them all intense pain, and easily subjugated the race.
Lost by the Empire during one of its unstable periods, Marasai has changed hands on multiple occasions, becoming more cosmopolitan as time went by. In spite of its proximity to the Trellen Trade Route, many traders consider the surrounding nebula too dangerous to navigate without the help of the now enslaved and dispersed Marasans. Because of this, the prosperity and development of Marasai waned over time in the hands of criminal organizations. Most of the galaxy had little interest in a small, isolated planet with no major exports, making it the perfect planet for mercenaries and pirates to use as a main base of operations until the Empire returned.