|Race: Dea al Mon/Nharkavan|
|Age: 279 (26)|
|Sexuality: Loosely straight|
|Social Status: Commoner/Ruhk|
|Playby: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers|
|Jewels & Craft|
|Birthright Jewel: Summer-sky (71)|
|Offering Jewel: Opal (41)|
| Strengths: Ishaq’s Craft is well suited to his role, which is hardly surprising considering he learned it from his parents. He knows most Basic Craft like speaking on the threads and riding the Winds and he can airwalk as well. He also knows how to strengthen himself through Craft and vanishing/calling in items is a fairly simple affair. His defensive Craft is quite well developed and he can make strong shields, aural, psychic as well as sight, with a little concentration and he has practiced a few quick woven traps that he can set in a few moments to cause a maximum amount of damage with the least amount of effort on his part. And he knows a few others that take more time to set up, but are, by way of the care required to make them, very difficult to detect and usually fatal, so long as they have the element of surprise. Offensive Craft has also been pounded into his head so strongly that he can use it instinctively. And he’ll use a combination of defense and offense to the best of his ability. Killing blasts, traps, shields, a paralysing touch, frightening illusions, that sort of thing, he can do fairly well.|
He also knows Hearth Craft, heating spells, cleaning spells, preservation spells, since those are fairly important in the desert, and a simple web to attract dust and sand away from everything else. It doesn’t get it all, but it does make dusting easier. He can cook too, simple fare for the most part, though that part doesn’t bother him. He doesn’t need amazing meals, he just needs good food. He’s learned some Healing Craft from his mother, since there is a possibility that it will be needed at the Altar if someone injured comes seeking aid or sanctuary, but he’s nowhere near as good as she was.
|Weaknesses: He finds it rather difficult to create witchlights and witchfire, and not through lack of practice either. It bothers him that he can’t manage it, since those are two rather useful bits of Craft to know. But practice doesn’t make calling them in or controlling them any easier. If he tries floating objects, it’s a wobbly sort of success and doesn’t last very long, especially if he tries to move the thing at the same time. He’s learned to let others move fragile items, or ones that are in danger of spilling. Nor can he pass things through one another or walk through walls himself. His mind can’t get around the notion that solid things bounce off other solid things. Nor is he very good with Caste oriented Craft. The illusions he knows are simple things really, and his Healing is only a small part of a whole. He knows only enough about Siti’s Priestess Craft to not get in the way and to do what she tells him if she wants his help. He doesn’t know much about Black Widows either, except that they can see the future somehow and he can’t and doesn’t want to.|
Of the utmost importance concerning Ishaq’s very self is that he lives and breathes to be of service to the Ancient Priestess. What once began as repayment and responsibility has become an honour and a duty. A welcome one. Every child of the Harakhty family, every spouse who marries into it, learns the truth about Siti Masika and is taught to serve. Not by her command, but by the simple gift of friendship. They love her and they serve her, for Ishaq, it is no different. He wants to serve her. He sees nothing strange about it or the fact that she’s a Guardian, and is perfectly comfortable in her presence.
His manners, when interacting with anyone, will generally reflect this fact of his life with a servant’s solemn ways. But while he is respectful, quiet and proper, he is only a little subservient and his pride at being Siti Masika’s Escort is very obvious. He is dignified, upright and never complains, as a servant ought to. That part of him that is her Escort and considers her a friend, however, is far less quiet, with an easy humour that lets him laugh well and often. Combined together, these two traits make for a calm, thoughtful young man who is quite capable in most situations and who can communicate his feelings and desires without words. Servants, after all, shouldn’t outright tell their superiors anything.
His loyalty is to Siti, the Darkness and Nharkava, mostly in that order too. He sees no reason for there to be any conflictions between the three since serving Siti serves the Darkness and she loves Nharkava just as much as he does. Behind that loyalty is his steadfast determination to do his best for her, in whatever she asks of him. If she wants him to be her eyes and ears beyond the Altar, then he will go out and gather the latest news and he will be sure to learn what is rumour and what is fact, and if no one can tell him, he’ll try to learn it for himself. Even if it means going somewhere dangerous or doing something foolish, though he is generally fairly good about being cautious, getting himself hurt or killed isn’t something Siti would forgive, and he knows it. And if she wants him to find someone and bring them to her, then he will, no matter how long or difficult a task it might seem. If she requires blood, it is his right and privilege to offer her his own. If she needs protection, he will stand between her and the danger, and he won’t back down until the threat is gone or he can’t move.
As a man and a well-trained Escort, Ishaq knows his responsibilities and he takes them seriously, but he doesn’t let that make his entire life serious. Solemnity might have its place with superiors or someone he’s trying to impress, but he likes a good laugh just as much as the next person and sees no reason not to be himself when he’s out on the road gathering news of the realm. There is an easy grace about him that makes him appear comfortable in just about any situation, and he usually is, and a hard strength that seems capable of carrying him through just about anything. He doesn’t bend easily, and will hold hard to his ideas, values and opinions. He’ll only abandon one for another after a great deal of deliberation.
Generally, the man everyone comes to know is an individual with his own merit, one who has very simple needs and very simple wants. He needs only those things necessary to keep himself alive and healthy, and he wants only to see that Siti Masika’s wishes are dealt with satisfactorily and that Nharkava be made whole again. He doesn’t press himself on anyone and knows very well the value of silence and solitude, but he never pushes someone away if they need a sympathetic ear, and he isn’t afraid to speak up or start a conversation, with a stranger or otherwise. He is alert, as a warrior should be, and practical. If something needs doing, then there’s no reason not to do it. Doesn’t much matter what that something is.
A long time ago, a man came to this place searching for something he had found nowhere else. He came with a young son and his wife, and nothing more than the clothes on his back, a strong faith and a good heart. What he sought was a safe haven from the wars and the danger that Nharkava had become. He did not come thinking to find that here, at this Altar, he only wished for his son to undergo his Birthright Ceremony so he could have his own protection. Siti Masika welcomed him here and agreed to see his son safely through the ceremony. She knew the dangers of the world, and she wished to help. But gifting the boy with a Jewel was little enough to her mind, I think, and she wished to do more for them. So she offered them a place to stay, safe from the outside world, where the boy might grow without fear. And where they might raise him without worry.
Grateful to her, they accepted the offer. They did not know she was a Guardian then, but they learned soon enough. For the man and the boy, it changed little, though he was not sure what to think of her for a time. But for the woman, for his wife, it shook her to the core. She was a Black Widow, you see, and she’d woven her son’s future the night of his first birthday. She hadn’t understood the message she saw between the strands of silk at the time, but she did make sure to remember them. At that moment when they learned the truth, she knew more than she’d ever thought to. She urged her husband to remain with the lady and inside the safety of the Altar’s walls, but he was not as comfortable as she was with a woman who was neither living nor dead. So he wandered, choosing his own paths and coming back to them with news of the world beyond as his son grew into a young man.
He gave him lessons like the ones his own father had taught him. The responsibilities of a male to the women he accepted and trusted, and then, one day, he did not come back. He was a good man, that boy’s father, a strong man, well versed in the virtues he passed on to his son. What happened to him is a story nobody knows, and it was so long ago now, we will never find out. Yet while he was traveling, his wife was raising their boy. She took what his father showed him and made it his own. She showed him how to use those responsibilities and where. She encouraged him to make himself useful to Siti Masika and she would whisper to him, every night that she knew he would serve well. But she never told him who or what he would be serving, it was as though she did not even realise she was speaking, when he asked her. Still, her vision came to pass without any direct push from her, and, on the day after he made his Offering to the Darkness, Harakhty pledged himself to Siti Masika in thanks for all she had given him over the years.
She was a part of his family even without knowing it, and so, he made it the truth. And he gave her a promise, as you will promise the Darkness in your time. My head and my heart… That much she knows of it. And never miss the chance to remind her of that promise, for it is everything between us, boy. She took Harakhty at his word, and it soothed his mother’s heart. From the first, Siti Masika’s Escorts have been her watchers in the world. And that was where he met his wife. Beyond the Altar’s walls, as you might expect. And so the line continued, and, because she’d seen what would come, and knew that it was needed, his mother had him raise his daughter as he had been raised, and to the same responsibility. She told the woman what would come and asked that she keep the secret and make sure that she did what she could to be sure what was needed was there, when the time time.
So great was her conviction that her granddaughter did as she asked…
It took time, of course, to bring our family into the pattern we have now, and long enough that was that we moved here to the village when it grew up around the well. Siti Masika did not need so much company as young children and grandparents. She only needed one companion, and if she wished, the rest would not be so far away. And so our role as Escort was inherited. As they continued it, so do we. As my father served her, so I served her and so will you, when you are grown. Remember that promise, boy.
Ishaq’s family has been a part of Siti Masika’s life for a long time, every male raised to know the responsibilities of serving a Priestess and all of them used to the idea of a Guardian almost before they could talk. The children, as loud young pests, were never outright introduced to the Priestess unless they happened to come along with their mother if she went to visit, until they were considered old enough to behave themselves properly, But they were all introduced to the idea of Siti Masika at a very early age. In the village, they hold a place of interest to the locals because children, of course, find it hard to keep secrets, but no one quite has the nerve to question their parents about the truth of the matter. However, since they do not openly speak of the matter with others, it is assumed that they do not wish to have it shared with just anyone who comes along. In that, they are well respected at least. They have a small house, a small patch of land and a horse and a few goats, which makes them almost respectable.
Ishaq’s grandfather was the last to serve as a full Escort before him. He was the one who found the woman wandering the road looking lost and frightened. Well, only until he stopped her to ask if she needed help, then she got fierce and threatened him. Likely thinking he’d do her some harm. Well, of course he’d never, and he managed to convince her eventually. Her being Dea al Mon only added to his desire to have her think well of him, being trusted meant having questions answered, and he wanted to know what a Child of the Woods was doing outside her woods. Her story, when it came, was a rather strange one, but no stranger than some of the tales circling about the rest of the Realm. She said she was run from her home as a thief, and held out the object she was accused of stealing. It wasn’t much to look at, but from what Tarik could gather, it was the act of theft itself that was so terrible. However, despite all the evidence to the contrary, her being here rather than back home, and her having the item that was stolen, she claimed she’d done no such thing and had merely been in the wrong place at the wrong time. That, and it was her damnable brother’s fault. He was the thief, she’d actually been trying to return what was stolen without anyone the wiser, but she wasn’t as good at sneaking as he was, so she’d been caught and chased off and now there was sure to be folks coming after her and she needed somewhere to hide until she could figure out what to do. If they did cross the border and end up chasing her down, they’d shoot first and question later, it was hard to question someone running away from you. But if she went back while they were still riled up, it was a rival family she’d ‘stolen’ from, there wasn’t any guarantee of civility then either.
Since he could tell she had a bit of a problem on her hands, Tarik decided to speak on behalf of his lady and invited her to find sanctuary at the Altar. It was easier to hide there, and no one else would have to question the appearance of a Dea al Mon witch. Had she not been so noticeable, he would not have imposed on Siti Masika’s hospitality, but it was better to be safe than sorry, and he hadn’t any idea what the laws were among the Children of the Wood, that she was so fearful boded ill. Although the truth of the matter was that she was almost as frightened by being beyond her Territory as from fearing what might happen if she was caught. It didn’t help her state of mind that she was also worried about her brother.
As it turned out, no one came after her. Her brother had confessed and it would have been safe to return, but they did not know. It was lucky though, because she had no wish to stay hiding forever, and wanted to go back to explain. And had it not been safe, her return might have ended very differently. But it did not.
Having taken a liking to the young witch, Tarik’s daughter elected to return with her, as support and a hopeful surety that she could keep anything too terrible from happening. They were found quickly enough when they crossed the border, and taken into custody, they were brought to the house of the Dea al Mon Territory Queen, Syl’ael Dwin’itryn, and were joined soon enough by Obron, the real thief. He told them that the case had been brought to the Queen’s attention because of the power and rivalry that ran between the two families, and also, because the item he’d stolen was of greater importance than he’d thought it was. He apologised for endangering his little sister, and, when introduced to Akila, he apologised to her as well. He also admitted, quite readily, that it had been a foolish thing to do, but he would not explain his actions, he could not. His words were well spoken and courteous, and, despite the situation, she found herself wondering what it might have been like to meet him had the situation not been so tense. She might have pressed him to explain anyway, since she very much wanted to learn that he was as innocent as she wanted him to be, stealing is considered unethical, after all, but his words seemed to have a deeper meaning for his sister, and since that woman held her tongue, so did Akila.
In the end, Obron’s sister was judged innocent and Obron was sent away for a period of 100 years as penance, since he had not known what he was stealing. It was not terribly harsh, but it was worse than he’d been hoping for. Still, making the most of the situation, Akila invited him to stay with her family, if he had nowhere else to go and, since he didn’t, he agreed. After a year, she told him about Siti Masika and what would be expected of him should he join her family, she also told him that she loved him and wished to marry him. He disappointed her then; he returned her love, but not her sense of duty. He was no one’s servant, and had been born to a different life than her. He told her that he would do as she asked of him, but only until such time as his hundred years ended, or another came to take his place at Siti Masika’s side. It was enough…
Their first child was a daughter. A sweet young thing as feisty as her father and twice as cunning. She had him wrapped about her little finger before she was 20. Their second child was a son. A beautiful boy she named Ishaq, for he was a pleasant child who laughed more often than he cried. And Obron served Siti when Tarik became too old. And together, they raised Ishaq on stories, legends, truths and laws. Almost everything he knows, he learned at their sides, and he grew up well. His father, being a Dea al Mon and proud of that heritage, taught him his weapons as soon as he could be trusted not to hurt himself on them. And Tarik showed him the desert, that he might survive on his own if ever he found himself without a roof over his head during his travels. He grew up knowing his place in the world, and, though his father told him there was always a choice, he liked that place. He liked the certainty of it.
Together, he and Hafsah would explore the desert about their home during their free time. They carried water and gathered about the elders to hear their stories. They herded the goats and caught scorpions to fight against each other. And when the time came, they each went to visit the woman they’d heard about since their birth. She was the one who would help them through their Birthright Ceremonies, and who comforted a terrified Ishaq the first time he learned of his fear of heights. And when his mother died, she was the one he ran to. It was hard, growing so slowly while she seemed to wither away. But she never begrudged him, and he knows she felt no jealousy, she told him though, the day before she died, that she wished she had more time to see him grow. She was a Healer, and knew her time had come, but he didn’t, and now, he sometimes wonders if it would have made a difference had he understood what she meant. Maybe he would have been there when she died, instead of off across the sand looking for a lost goat.
He was 71 when she died. And 18 years later, his father’s exile finished and he was free to return to his own home. Having been gone from it for 100 years, he could could keep away any longer. But he did, until Hafsah was old enough to make her Offering and then he could wait no more. He told his children he would return, but that it would be some time, and that they were to look after themselves while he was gone. But he never told them to take care of Siti Masika, and Ishaq had always known his father did not understand. Almost the very night he left, though he wasn’t sure he was as ready as he could be, he begged Siti to let him make his Offering. It was only the two of them left, himself and Hafsah, to watch over her, and he wanted to be as strong as he could be, and ready. For whatever might come. Because he’d never seen that look in Siti’s eyes before, and he thought it meant things were going to change, when she came out of her room with power dragging at her. He knew that meant she’d done a reading, and he trusted her reaction to it, even if she didn’t tell him exactly what she saw.
It took time, but eventually, she agreed and told him what to do. So, he made the Offering and he came away with an Opal in his hand. And the power fit him well, he found. Since that night, he has been her Escort. Obron came back as he said he would, but he did not stay. And he took Hafsah with him. She promised Ishaq she would not forget their promise to the Ancient Priestess, and he trusts her to remember. He knows he has a little nephew, born only two years ago, but he’s never met him, nor the father. And now, it is only Siti Masika and him, but Hafsah will come back when the time comes, and she’ll bring little Mosi with her when she does, to introduce him to the Priestess. And he’ll see him then.
For now, he knows his place and his duty, and he prays to the Darkness every day that whatever Siti saw, it was not a worsening of the horror the newest Queen has brought to Nharkava, but an ending of it…
|Helping get Chione in the Nharkava ruling position. I don't think he knows this yet...|
| Siti Masika (Her servant) - Summer-sky to Green Jeweled Black Widow Priestess|
FIRST & LAST NAME (RELATIONSHIP) - BR to OFF Jeweled CASTE