Ipshank was an ex-priest of Fener, rumoured to be the last Boar-cloaked Destriant. He was described as having a squat broad form, a darkly tanned shaven head, a meaty thick neck, rounded shoulders, and gnarled, big-knuckled hands. He also had the faded remnants of blue tattoos swirled across his brow, cheeks, and chin, demarking a fiercely snarling boar’s head. His grin was described as broad and frog-like with large canines beneath a splayed, squashed nose. He appeared to be Theftian based on his blunt features and accent.
Ipshank had a long association with the unusual and often frustrating thief Manask.
While Noto Boil and Ganoes Paran were discussing Noto's career, which had started with the Korelri Campaign in Theft under High Fist Greymane. Noto said that he had gained his first tutelage under the famous Ipshank, a healer himself, who had been in the Malazan Army. He also told Paran that Manask and Ipshank had remained loyal to the High Fist till the end. Ipshank was famous enough for Ganoes to recognize his name.
Ipshank later turned up in Banith, a city in the Kingdom of Rool, where he consecrated a building (whose former owners now resided in a debtor's prison) and set up a temple. He was soon visited by Manask, an old acquaintance, who decided to stay with Ipshank despite the priest's misgivings.
Ipshank was continuously harassed by the local City Watch, and the priests of the Cloister of The Lady spread rumours to incite the common people against him. He also took on a local orphan girl named Ella, who had sought refuge at his temple.
After Rool was invaded by the Malazan Expeditionary Force, the City Watch was pulled out of Banith to join Rool's army. Ipshank was quickly arrested by the Guardians of the Faith, a religious militia under Abbot Starvann Arl. He was bought to the city courts where he was falsely accused of killing a young girl. Assessor Bakune refused to sign Ipshank's condemnation order due to lack of evidence, and was himself arrested for failing to do the bidding of Chief Diviner Arten.
About seventeen days into their captivity, Manask broke Ipshank out of prison. Ipshank insisted on bringing Bakune along for his attempt to spare the priest. Despite Ipshank having a boat ready for escape, the three were trapped in Banith since all harbours and gates were now sealed. Ipshank and Bakune hid out at the Sailor's Roost, an inn owned by the criminal Boneyman.
During the city's Festival of Renewal, Bakune determined to seek answers from the Cloister regarding the ritualistic murders plaguing the city and Ipshank insisted on accompanying him. On their way to the Cloister's gate, Ipshank was horrified to see a priest of the Lady preparing Ella for execution by fire. While Bakune watched on, Manask rescued Ella from the bonfire and Ipshank quenched the flames with a gesture and shamed the audience into dispersing. Afterwards, Ipshank thanked Ella for continuing his work and dispatched her to the settlement outside the city to remain hidden. Ipshank proceeded to the Cloister deciding it was long past time to confront the demon in her den.
Ipshank and Bakune entered the Temple of the Lady only to discover the broken bodies of the Abbot and his followers. In their place was young girl with long black hair, who served as the vessel body of Our Lady. She happily welcomed the priest who had once been one of the highest in her hierarchy, asking if he had reconsidered her offer to act as her Destriant. Ipshank declined saying he no longer worshipped any gods and instead chose to create his own. He warned the Lady that the Malazans were coming for her. The Lady angrily retreated from the vessel, leaving Banith for good, and Ipshank carried the young girl to safety.
Banith was seized by Malazan Admiral Nok, and soon occupied by Greymane and his army. Ipshank met secretly with his old friend Greymane and persuaded him that the relic of the Lady of the Lady previously stored in the Cloister needed to be destroyed. Before leaving to pursue Overlord Yeull 'ul Taith, Greymane left Fist Rillish Jal Keth and Adjunct Kyle in charge of the garrison so that they could aide Ipshank with his plans. Ipshank approached Rillish and proposed sending a small elite strike force to the network of caverns that formed the Lady's temple near Thol. He recruited the indigenous shaman Gheven to use his Warren to transport their forces, which included the 6th and 17th Squads under Sergeants Twofoot and Goss, along with Ipshank, Rillish, Kyle, Peles, and Manask.
Once in the labyrinthine tunnels that perforated the mountains on the border of the Fist Sea, the group was ambushed by the Stormguard and split into two. Ipshank, along with Kyle, Rillish, Peles and the remaining Malazan elements reached a widened cave tunnel with an opening to the sea, which served as a temple to the Lady. The Lady was in the form of a child, and the Stormguard and the priests guarding her attacked. Ipshank was run through by a spear thrust from a Stormguard, but was able to save the child whose mind had been occupied even as an entranced Rillish tottered off the cliff into the sea. Ipshank then ordered Manask to throw the chest that held the icon of the Lady into the sea below where it was destroyed by the Stormriders.
Before the first Malazan invasion of Fist around 1135BS, Ipshank had been a high ranking member of the church of the Lady. The Lady thought so highly of him that she attempted to persuade him to be her Destriant. But instead, Ipshank joined the Malazan invaders, becoming a confidant of Greymane and an adherent of Fener. During this time he fought with Manask at his side. Ipshank remained loyal to the High Fist even through Greymane's removal from command. He also declined the boar god's offer to serve as his Destriant before Fener was himself cast down.
- "[He had] the feeling of having been in the presence of a true priest, one less concerned with the welfare of the gods than with the real welfare of the people."
- ―Bakune, reflecting on Ipshank
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 14
- ↑ Stonewielder, Prologue, UK TPB p.27
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 5, US HC p.243
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 6, US HC p.285
- ↑ The Bonehunters, Chapter 20
- ↑ Stonewielder, Prologue
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 2
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 5
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 6
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 7
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 10
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 11
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 12
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 7, US HC p.377/387-388
- ↑ Stonewielder, Chapter 10, US HC p.517-518