Trees of Prophecy
Ishtara has a somewhat unusual appearance even for a psilon. From the waist up, she appears almost completely human, with pale skin and straight, black hair that she loose wears to her waist. However, her eyes are flat, golden slits and she has small fangs that fold down in the manner of a snake. From the waist down, she has the body of a of a python, with the brilliant green scales of a jungle snake. She tends to wear a fitted, sleeveless black leather jerkin that has seen better days, and around her waist a slightly more ornate chain belt. Clipped to various links of the chain are multiple pouches of varying sizes and materials, along with a battered scabbard that appears to hold a rather fine knife, judging by the hilt.
Ishtara’s parents, Islina and T’sukar, were a poisoner and assassin, and she was raised with a casual disregard for most of the laws of life and property, although she does make a token effort to follow them (in order to be allowed free rein to pursue her research).
Ishtara’s mother taught her well in the arts of herbalism and poisons, while her father attempted to teach her the arts of the blade. However, he realized that Ishtara was much more interested in following in her mother’s footsteps and turned his attention to teaching her twin brother Sslin instead. However, T’sukar did ensure that Ishtara had at least some skill in defending herself, and continued to drill her during his infrequent stays between jobs.
During Ishtara’s teen years, Islina accidentally partook of one of her own poisons that had been distilled quite a bit stronger than anticipated, leaving her with little rational mind. T’sukar arranged for the best care that could be found for his mate, as she had lost little of her skills, just her sense, and that could be a dangerous combination. Considering both his children old enough to fend for themselves, he gave them both a decent amount of coin and asked their desire for their future. Ishtara’s brother wished to become an assassin, and pleased, T’sukar made Sslin his apprentice. Ishtara wished to stay in the city and continue her work, so T’sukar granted her the small house and lab that had belonged to Islina, and took Sslin off for training.
So Ishtara continued her research into the various uses of herbs for several years, creating solutions for discreet problems for the merchant and noble class when she needed money. However, one day while creating a high-potency poison (a custom order for one of the nobility who needed a circumspect exit from an alliance marriage), she became so caught up in reading an old tome that had some very unusual recipes that she neglected to watch the distiller. The infusion boiled over onto the flames, quickly filling the lab with a deadly gas and Ishtara fell unconscious before she could open more than one of the windows or escape the cluttered room.
Luckily for Ishtara, she had always had a strong constitution, and was eventually able to fight off the effects of the gas and retain all her faculties. But during the time when she was unconscious, she experienced an out of body experience wherein she had visions of the Old God Psil and the time of creation of the Psilon race.
Mind afire with such a spiritual experience, from that day she altered her research from that of poisons to drugs that might allow her more visions and experiences similar to it. She spent years combing the areas around her home city for new herbs and combinations (although this research was rather sporadic, considering her extensive ‘testing’ of said new herbs and infusions).
When word came that Il’ Mendrash was being resettled, Ishtara set out for the Old God’s Holy City, eager to see what new herbs might be available in the area that might allow her once again a glimpse into the world of spirits and the Gods….
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