Ish-Tarri

Ish-Tarri is, or rather was, the ancient Akanic goddess of Fertility and Love. As with all the gods of Akanu and Unther, her responsibilities expanded dramatically following the Orcgate Wars and the merging of Unther and Akanu.

Until recently she was a demi-god (all deities of Unther remained trapped on the Material Plane by the will of Gil-Geamesq) of Love, Fertility, Land, Moon, and Magic, and one of the most popular godkings left remaining in Unther.

Now it is uncertain if Ish-Tarri is even Ish-Tarri anymore.

 

Mythology

The legends about the gods of Akanu, Mulhorand, and Unther are part of the history of those nations. Ish-Tarri has always been the golden haired goddess that cared deeply about the people and the land of Akanu and then Unther, and the people of those lands loved her for it.

Over the millennia, the history of the Akanic and Untheric pantheons and godkings have become confused, and not least due to Gil-Geamesq’s meddling with documented history.

Following the Orcgate Wars, and with the deaths of so many godkings of Akanu, Ish-Tarri assumed many of the responsibilities of Sin-An’na and his followers. When the Akanic and Untheric pantheons merged, Gil-Geamesq has history rewritten as though Akanu never existed. Furthermore, upon arriving in Unther, Ish-Tarri acquired yet more responsibilities over the former domains of Ina-Ninaki and Nin-Lliaruk.

As a result of the merged pantheons, rewritten history, and acquired responsibilities, most mythological tales speak of Ish-Tarri as the same being as any of the four godkings she later assumed the responsibilities of, other versions speak of Ish-Tarri being the wife, sister, or daughter of one or more of these same godkings. As typical for most mythologies, Ish-Tarri is spoken of as related to E-Anu, the head of the Akanic Pantheon (mythologies generally assign a paternal or grand paternal role to the head of a pantheon).

The truth of these supposed relations to other members of the pantheon are unknown as the godkings all arrived from elsewhere, have never spoken of their relation to one another, and quickly sired children with other mortals to create the noble houses of today.

 

History

Ish-Tarri was a member of the Akanic pantheon and travelled west with E-Anu to found a new land separate from Unther. She took part in the Orcgate Wars, supporting the armies of Akanu and Unther, feeding the troops and tending to the wounded.

Ish-Tarri was one among many who went with Gil-Geamesq to Unther when Akanu and Unther merged to unify the empires and pantheons in an effort to bolster their declining people.

Ever a servant of the people, Ish-Tarri was always the most popular goddess in the Akanic and Untheric pantheon (a fact that irked Gil-Geamesq to no end), and this popularity kept her safe from Gil-Geamesq’s paranoia and religious persecution (3 attempts to restrict her responsibilities during the Second Untheric Empire led to revolts and protests so large that Gil-Geamesq was forced to repeal his edicts).

Eventually Gil-Geamesq had eliminated all members of the Untheric pantheon except for Ish-Tarri and Ram-Manu, and in 1328 DR he began anew against Ish-Tarri and her church after a devastating plague ravaged Unther and Gil-Geamesq placed the blame for its severity squarely with the Churches of Ish-Tarri and Ram-Manu.

In 1328 DR Gil-Geamesq issued the Rain Ban edict, just one in a series of punishing acts against the Churches of Ish-Tarri and Ram-Manu. Crucially this prevented both churches from building or rebuilding any temples in Unther, and the Church of Ish-Tarri in particular suffered a series of accidents at many of its temples that rendered them unusable.

One such incident was a fire that destroyed much of Ish-Tarri’s high temple and home in Niz’Jaree. On the same night as this incident a tall figure dressed in white was seen fleeing Niz’Jaree, pursued by hooded, armed assailants. The following year; after her absence was noted, Ish-Tarri was declared by the church to have entered voluntary seclusion in the Spring of Eternal Hope in Shussel.

Ish-Tarri never escaped Niz’Jaree, her assailants caught up with her and bundled her dying body into one of the many Grave Pits around the settlement, but one much further out into Napi’Ther Eqlu near the River Angol. Her ensi; assuming she had fled like so many other godkings of Unther in the face of Gil-Geamesq’s wrath, declared she had entered seclusion in Shussel – the site of her next largest temple. The citizens of Unther are unaware of the deception, the authorities are confused as they had her assassinated but have verification that a semi-divine being that resembles Ish-Tarri is indeed dwelling in the Spring of Eternal Hope. Few would suspect that Ish-Tarri now lives on through the fungus that consumed her body and consciousness.

The unmarked formerly “dead” Grave Pit where her body was dumped is now filled with a midnight blue moss and nearby is a single tree over 50 feet in height that has been reported as being a range colours from black as tar, to bone white, to deep purple by various independent travellers.

Ish-Tarri’s consciousness survives now as part of this new organism; part flesh eating, mind altering fungus, part demi-goddess. Isolated from human contact and senses for nearly 20 years, she has started to lose her mind, and has on many occasions given in to a base desire to lure people into the pit and consume them. Ish-Tarri has retained her magical abilities and uses them to conjure visual and auditory illusions of people trapped in the pit in the hopes that passersby will attempt to rescue them, she has also charmed a few of the more reluctant victims as well.

Ish-Tarri’s new form appears to be entirely separate from the fungal growths in and around Niz’Jaree. If it was originally connected then the connection was likely severed millennia ago and the fungus died out until the blood of Ish-Tarri regenerated it. It now has abilities far beyond the mind influencing spores of its cousin in Niz’Jaree. Aside from the magical abilities of Ish-Tarri herself, the fungus can shoot out spiked tendrils from both the fungus and tree up to a length of 5 feet which pierce their victims and drain it’s blood.

 

Domain

Ish-Tarri’s current domain is a single Grave Pit about 50 miles north and east of Niz’Jaree, far removed from sight of the settlement, and in a region of the Napi’Ther Eqlu usually avoided because of the poor soil and wandering monsters.

 

Allies

As a demi-god of Unther, Ish-Tarri was allied with Ram-Manu, and could count on the support of just about every slave and non-noble in Unther, as well as the church that she founded. As a man-eating fungus, Ish-Tarri can count on none of those former allies to even know she exists in her current form, let alone assist her in times of need.

Bereft of all former friends and allies, and trapped in a new and totally alien existence, Ish-Tarri has found some surprising new friends. Tribes of lizardmen and other reptilian humanoids; that raid into Napi’Ther Eqlu from Azulduth, have discovered the new tree way out in the fields and have begun to worship it, bringing captured humans and throwing them into the pit while dancing around it (they are so far immune to Ish-Tarri’s mind influencing abilities and seem to become stronger in her presence).

 

Enemies

Ish-Tarri at this exact moment has no enemies because none know she continues to exist in her current form.

Ish-Tarri suspects Gil-Geamesq arranged her assassination, and reserves a special hatred towards the God-King of Unther.

Her nature as a carnivorous fungus puts her at odds with every sentient humanoid that passes by (except perhaps for the lizardmen that visit her). So far none have survived her predations to pass on knowledge of the danger she poses to travelers that venture to close to the strange tree.

 

Resources

Whatever resources Ish-Tarri had in her former life are now gone (although they likely still exist in the cavern beneath the Grave Pit.

In her current form, Ish-Tarri has only herself and her considerable powers to rely upon.

 

Fate

As Ish-Tarri consumes more people, she will grow in a manner similar to the firetrees of Niz’Jaree, expanding the fungal growth underground to reach nearby Grave Pits, and sprouting more fruiting bodies (trees) as she does so. It is unknown if the speed of growth and expansion is related to the power inherent inside an individual, but in theory if she were to consume a demi-god then the exponential growth rate might allow her to expand the 50 miles between her and Niz’Jaree.

Once Ish-Tarri reaches Niz’Jaree, it is possible she will completely subsume the fungal growth already present and become large enough, and have access to enough food to spread across the entire Napi’Ther Eqlu, and maybe even further.

At some point the danger of Ish-Tarri’s carnivorous fungal organism will become known to others, and it can then be assumed that adventurers will be hired to deal with the situation. It is possible that Ish-Tarri cannot be eradicated without destroying every last trace of the fungus; an oversight that adventurers may learn at their peril. Once Ish-Tarri has spread beyond her singular Grave Pit and fruiting body, the chances of eradicating all of her form rapidly approach zero.

 

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