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Ishnah

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Ishnah
Profession Spy
Residence Urithiru
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
Please. The world is wrong now. Nothing makes sense. But you . . . your group . . . you know things. I don't want to be blind anymore.
— Ishnah requesting recruitment into the Ghostbloods[1]

Ishnah is an Alethi spy recruited by Shallan to train her guards in the art of espionage.

Appearance & Personality[edit]

Ishnah is a short woman[2] with straight, black hair and dark brown eyes. She usually wears makeup, including red lipstick and penciled eyebrows,[1] and a havah typical of a high ranking darkeyed woman.[3]

Her tenacity and determination are shown in the persistence she used to earn Shallan's consideration.[4][5] She exudes a great deal of self-assurance, between her comfort in Urithiru's underground and her willingness to take on the difficult task of training Shallan's men, and she portrays that confidence while keeping calm during high-pressure operations while in Shallan's employ.[6] She suffers little nonsense and is usually fixated on her work.[3]

History[edit]

Ishnah worked as an assistant[7] in House Hamaradin's spy network, where she was trained in several useful espionage techniques. Brightlady Hamaradin was eventually assassinated after vexing the Ghostbloods, and when her spies were named suspects Ishnah fled. She eventually came to work for a gang of petty thieves in Urithiru's underground.[5] She crossed paths with Veil, in a tavern in All's Alley, where Shallan revealed herself to be a member of the Ghostbloods.[2] With a desire to use her training for something greater, Ishnah sought out Veil in hopes of joining the secret society herself.[1] After being initially turned her away, Ishnah began spying on Veil, hoping to impress the woman with her skills. Shallan eventually caught her spying and the two spoke at greater length of Ishnah's past experience and motivations. Seeing the several uses for the woman, Shallan offered her the opportunity to train her men, and Ishnah accepted.[5]

All right. We'll see. Just don't blame me if the pigs don't end up talking.
—Ishnah agreeing to train Shallan's guards[5]

Ishnah began her instruction by taking Veil, Vathah, Gaz, and Red to a tavern where she explained the importance of learning to make observations without being noticed, pointing out an informant actively doing this, whom even Shallan had failed to notice. After the initial lesson she explained some practical observation and memorization techniques and insisted that they should learn glyphs for note taking purposes.[3]

A few weeks later, Shallan selected Ishnah, along with Vathah and Red, to travel with her on Elhokar's mission to retake Kholinar, under the pretense that she was Shallan's maidservant.[8] Upon the groups arrival in the city, Shallan confirmed Ishnah's growing suspicions that she and Veil were the same person.[9] In Kholinar, Ishnah supported Shallan's efforts to earn the notice of the Cult of Moments by helping her steal and redistribute food. Their first job occurred at Rockfall, where Ishnah, disguised as a rug merchant, distracted the Brightlady Nananav while Shallan and her men committed the burglary.[6] Ishnah often looked for opportunities to continue Vathah and Red's education during their time in Kholinar, going so far as to train Vathah to plan their operations.[10] She also acted as Shallan's assistant, taking care of minor tasks such as cleaning blood out of Veil's clothing[11] and tracking down a copy of Mythica.[6][10] Shallan later attached illusions of Veil to Ishnah and Vathah in order to increase her visibility. On one such outing, someone finally made contact with Ishnah, giving Veil instructions to join the revel.[12]

After Shallan's abrupt departure from Kholinar via the corrupted Oathgate, Ishnah, Vathah, and Red worked together with Skar and Drehy to rescue Gavinor Kholin and escape the city unharmed. They traveled south, where they were able to make contact with Dalinar Kholin, who sent Kaladin to extract the group.[13][14]

Attributes & Abilities[edit]

Espionage is about the careful gathering of information. Your task is to observe, but to not be observed. You must be likable enough that people talk to you, but not so interesting that they remember you.
—Ishnah's first lessons to Shallan's men[3]

Ishnah became somewhat skilled in the art of espionage while in the employ of Brightlady Hamaradin. She asserts that she is an excellent writer, able to take dictations, and has experience with message coding.[1][5] While Mraize claims that her position was only that of an assistant, Ishnah proves to know many practical field techniques. Most notably is her experience with observation and information gathering. Ishnah has a very good memory (using a "mind museum") and the ability to notice and track details on par with Shallan.[3] She also knows how to search rooms and manage infiltration operations.[5][9][10] Ishnah is comfortable in Urithiru's underground networks and claims to know contacts who are "expert" spies.[5]

Relationships[edit]

Ishnah respects Shallan's position among the Ghostbloods, and though she risks much to join Shallan, the extent of her loyalties are unknown. She is somewhat of a mentor figure for Vathah, having taken him under her wing more so than any of Shallan's other guards.

Notes[edit]

This page is complete!
This page contains all the knowledge we have on the subject at this time.
Jofwu (talk) 20:33, 27 August 2018 (MST)