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"Thick-skulled idiot!"
―Mogora, appraising her future husband[src]
Iskaral's bane by Jeanfverreault

Interpretation of Iskaral Pust by Jeanfverreault

Iskaral Pust was an old Dal Honese[1] High Priest of Shadow,[2] and the Magus of High House Shadow who lived in Tesem, an abandoned monastery in Seven Cities.[3] He claimed to be Shadowthrone's chosen mortal and Master of Rashan, Meanas, and Thyr.[4]

Pust was a scrawny figure whose subtly misshapen tattooed head was hairless except for a wild curly grey and black tangle over the ears. He had a large hawk nose, tufts of a wiry grey beard, perfect white teeth, and skin like dark honey. His eyebrows beetled and knotted to match the battling emotions on the wrinkled face beneath them.[5][6]

He was accompanied by an unnamed manservant (who had one arm which was a different colour than the other), and had an obsession with sweeping his temple clean and free of spiders. He had a habit of speaking all of his thoughts aloud, but appeared unaware that anyone within hearing distance had full access to his opinions and schemes.[7]

The large number of bhoka'rala who shared his home worshipped him as a god, which enraged the priest who saw them as little more than vermin.[8] Pust's own face shared disturbing similarities with the creatures.[9]

His wife was Mogora, revealed to be a Dal Honese D'ivers witch who tranformed into spiders — possibly the source of Pust's phobia. Husband and wife each bore a startling resemblance to the other.[10]

Pust possessed a "strange-looking" and seriously mysterious (sometimes black), (sometimes male), 'Mule' (which was sometimes a mule but which was sometimes clearly something else). Pust would sometimes ride it cross-legged using a high wooden saddle.[11][12][13][14][15]

As a High Priest of Shadow, he was an accomplished surgeon, healer, and alchemist, although he sometimes mistook poisons for healing elixirs.[16] He also possessed the power to disguise his presence within a deep cloak of shadow and could read the Deck of Dragons.[17][18]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Iskaral Pust.
Magi of High House Shadow - Iskaral Pust by Keezy Young

Iskaral Pust by Keezy Young

Iskaral Pust pursued multiple schemes in service of Shadow. It was the High Priest who planted the Path of Hands as a false trail for Soletaken and D'ivers to travel to Tremorlor.[19] This simultaneously led the dangerous creatures away from the true gate and set them up for imprisonment within the Azath House.[20]

Icarium and Mappo Runt stumbled upon Pust and the abandoned monastery, Tesem, which was now a Temple of Shadow, in their trek across the Pan'potsun Odhan in Seven Cities.[21] Invited inside, they explored Tesem and discovered the hidden gate which they deduced was sought by followers of the Path of Hands.[22] The presence of two powerful guardians served Pust's need to protect the gate.[23]

They were later joined by Fiddler, Apsalar, and Crokus who were making their own way across the Odhan.[24] Pust told Apsalar and Crokus that Fiddler sought the Azath House in the desert (also known as Tremorlor) to secure fast passage to Malaz City. Apsalar's father, Rellock, was revealed to be Pust's servant who made a bargain with Shadowthrone to serve High House Shadow in exchange for Apsalar's life and a new arm to replace the one he had lost. Pust used the relationship in an attempt to manipulate Apsalar into taking on the role of Sha'ik Reborn as well as maneuver Icarium to Tremorlor where the dangerous Jhag could also be imprisoned.[25][26] In both of these goals he was unsuccessful.

Pust accompanied the others to Tremorlor bringing the Hounds of Shadow to help eradicate the most powerful of the surviving Soletaken and D'ivers.[27] After the Path of Hands had ended, Pust returned home alone to discover that Mogora infested his clothing as a pack of spiders. After berating each other, he invited her inside to serve as his new cook.[28]

Significant plot details end here.

In House of ChainsEdit

Pust and Mogora were now married, a marriage Pust considered perfect because they had not seen each other for months. Pust hid in Tesem's shadows while Mogora stalked the halls hunting him.[29]

After Kalam Mekhar was nearly killed in the desert by a demon-possessed bull Enkar'al, Pust was brought to him by an Azalan demon. The High Priest of Shadow had been expecting the assassin as well as the bag of diamonds he carried. Pust brought Kalam back to Tesem and healed him with salves and magic.[30]

To speed Kalam on his way, Pust gave back some of the diamonds the assassin had delivered. Then they travelled by warren to the edge of the Whirlwind where Pust summoned the Azalan demon to carry Kalam inside undetected.[31] Later Pust welcomed Cutter and Apsalar back to Tesem[32] before riding out into the desert on his mule to return with Heboric, Felisin Younger, Scillara, and Greyfrog.[33]

In The BonehuntersEdit

Iskaral Pust vs Dejim Nebrahl

Interpretation of the clash between Pust and Nebrahl by Enaglio

Shadowthrone and Cotillion met with Iskaral Pust and gave him directions of what was required of him in upcoming situations. After Pust left, the two Ascendants agreed that Pust had significant drawbacks, but that he would "just have to do". Cotillion, in particular, felt that Pust's involvement was a bad idea.[34]

Iskaral Pust successfully fought the T'rolbarahl D'ivers named Dejim Nebrahl in Seven Cities.[35]

Cotillion found himself impressed by the power Pust unveiled in his clash with Dejim Nebrahl and told Pust that Shadowthrone had chosen his magus well.[36]

In Toll the HoundsEdit

Mule sees mule DA

'Mule sees mule...' by Corporal Nobbs

Iskaral Pust and his war mule by Enaglio

Iskaral Pust and his war mule - INterpretation by Enaglio

Iskaral Pust by Corporal Nobbs

Iskaral Pust by Corporal Nobbs

In the middle of a cobbled street in Darujhistan, Kruppe and Iskaral Pust engaged in a mounted mule charge against one another. Kruppe inadvertently punched Pust in the nose and Kruppe, Pust, Mogora (as spiders), and the Bhokarala all ended up toppling into a writhing heap upon the cobbles - a mass from which Kruppe somehow disappeared.[37][38]

While being the Magus, he also plotted against Shadowthrone.[39]

QuotesEdit

"Shadowthrone… uh… my worthy Lord of Shadow… is thinking. Yes! Thinking furiously! Such is the vastness of his genius that he can outwit even himself!"
―Iskaral Pust[src]
"No mule can match wits with me. Oh yes, many have tried, and almost all have failed!"
―Iskaral Pust[src]
"None could guess my confusion, my host of deluded illusions and elusive delusions! A mantle of marble hiding a crumbling core of sandstone. See how they stare at me, wondering, all wondering, at my secret wellspring of wisdom…"
―Iskaral Pust[src]
"It's a fact that men don’t need words, but women do. We have penises, after all. Who needs words when you have a penis?"
―Iskaral Pust[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.342
  2. Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.17
  3. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.111
  4. House of Chains, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.551
  5. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US HC p.59-60
  6. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.75-76
  7. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.295
  8. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.293
  9. House of Chains, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.459
  10. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.926
  11. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.75/76
  12. The Bonehunters, Chapter 9, US HC p.334-335/336-338
  13. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US HC p.522
  14. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 3, US TPB p.89
  15. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 11, US TPB p.301/302
  16. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.223
  17. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.224
  18. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 6, US HC p.164
  19. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p.927
  20. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, US HC p.441-442
  21. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 2, US HC p.75
  22. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 4, US HC p.115
  23. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.292
  24. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 8, US HC p.221
  25. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.295-296
  26. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 22, US HC p.554
  27. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, US HC p.442
  28. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, US HC p.592-594
  29. House of Chains, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.459-460
  30. House of Chains, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.458-459
  31. House of Chains, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.551-552
  32. House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.674-675
  33. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.847
  34. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US HC p.59-60
  35. The Bonehunters, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.501-503
  36. The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.614
  37. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 23, UK HB p.860-862
  38. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 24, UK HB p.888/889
  39. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 23, US TPB p.771
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