Jastara was born a White Face Barghast of clan Gilk. At some point she had become the wife of the eldest son of Gall, Warleader of the Khundryl Burned Tears. Jastara and Gall's son had had at least two surviving children. Another child, their first and a girl, had died shortly after birth.[1][2]

In The Crippled GodEdit

Jastara's husband had been killed in an unexpected encounter between the Khundryl Burned Tears and the K'Chain Nah'ruk in the Wastelands of Lether - which had led to the demise of more than two-thirds of the Khundryl warriors, including all of Gall's children. This had resulted in Jastara becoming a grief-stricken widow, and in Gall becoming a broken man - overwhelmed with unsupportable feelings of loss and unbearable guilt at having led so many to their deaths.[3]

Jastara was haunted by Gall who took to spending all of his time in her tent in an effort to avoid his heavily pregnant wife, Hanavat, and the rest of the devastated Burned Tears. At first, all Gall wanted from his daughter-in-law was for Jastara to kill him - which she refused to do, wanting him, instead, to pull himself together and to pick up the reins of leadership of the Khundryl again.[4]

Eventually, however, Jastara and Gall tried to find surcease of their pain in each other's arms - much to the disgust and disapproval of the rest of the Burned Tears, especially of the older women - who ostracized the two - particularly Jastara.[5][6] Hanavat was the only one to view Jastara with understanding and compassion and to try and convince the other Khundryl to do likewise.[7]

When Hanavat went into labour, Gall hid out in Jastara's tent and refused to attend his wife as was his duty at this time. Jastara was able, however, with the aid of her knife, to finally 'reach' Gall and to get him to go to Hanavat's side in the birth-tent to support her and to be witness of her giving birth to their child.[8] Thus, Jastara was instrumental not only in bringing about the reconciliation of Gall and Hanavat, but also in bringing about Gall's rebirth as the Warleader of the Khundryl Burned Tears.[9][10]


"Why are you here? You come to my tent like the ghost of everything I have lost. Am I not haunted enough? What do you want with me? Look at me. I offer you my body--let us share our grief--"
―the widowed Jastara berating Gall, her father-in-law[src]
"Does not the father kneel before the mother? In the time of birth? Does he not bow to the strength he himself does not possess?...Be our Warleader one last time. Be a husband. Be a father."
―Jastara exhorting Gall to do his duty to Hanavat and to the Khundryl Burned Tears[src]


Late in The Crippled God, Jastara told Gall "I am Semk.[11] Earlier in the book, however: Gall told Jastara, "You are Gilk."[12] ; Jastara said, "I am Gilk..."[13] ; and the phrase occurred, "...look hard at that Gilk, Widow Jastara."[14] "Semk" is probably an error of some sort on the part of the author as it seems an unlikely misprint.

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