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Ishiti

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Ishiti
Ishiti was an enemy of Conan the Barbarian.

History

Much of Ishiti's history has not yet been chronicled. She has ties to Set, but her specific connection to him remains unclarified. The wizard Eshe Lon lived in the border kingdom village of Lucerthan with his daughter, Pelija. A boy, Ranj, who had been Pelija's lover was found brutally murdered, and the villagers, assuming that he had jilted her and been killed in retaliation, hired several bounty hunters to bring Pelija back for execution. Of these bounty hunters, the one who succeeded, was Conan. Upon learning of his daughter's capture, Eshe contacted Ishiti, but she could not prevent what had already begun, so she provided another course of action: she produced an asp, which bit Eshe. This immunized him to Ishiti's next step: stopping time. Ishiti also excepted an hour glass from the time freezing, as when its sand ran out, time would resume for those who had been frozen. (Ishiti did, however, freeze the effects of the snake venom in the affected person's veins, so that it would not start to act until the hour glass ran out.) Coincidentally, Conan and his horse were bitten by a viper just before Ishiti stopped time, excepting them both. Encoutering Eshe, Conan agreed to help save Peliga in hopes of an antidote to the venom. However, while Conan and Eshe could themselves move, they could not move anything that had been time-frozen. This presented a problem, as Ishiti had stopped time after the villagers had managed to roll a large boulder off a cliff so that it would fall on Peliga, who had been shackled to a chain anchored to a spike in the ground. The boulder was frozen in mid-air just before it would have landed on Peliga, but Eshe and Conan could move neither of them. However, Conan had had some rope on his horse when both he and the stallion were bitten by the viper. The rope, thus immunized, could be moved. So, Conan wrapped the rope around the time-frozen boulder tightly, while looping an end of it around the branch of a tree, and then tied that end around the stake anchoring Peliga’s leg. Conan came up with a bold plan soon implemented: when time unfroze, the force of the boulder resuming its fall tore out the stake, freeing Peliga, whom Conan immediately pulled to safety. Conan then quickly handed Peliga to Eshe, who, on Conan’ stallion, rode off with his daughter to safety. Conan then stole a horse from a villager after a brief skirmish and followed. Conan saw that his horse had succumbed to the viper venom, and could feel it resuming its effect on him. He confronted Eshe, who refused to provide him with an antidote—and revealed that he had killed Ranj, in fear that Ranj would take his daughter away from him in Lucerthan. Ishiti returned after learning of this, as she felt enraged that Eshe’s motives amounted to such selfishness. She cured Conan after destroying Eshe. Revelle, Pelija's uncle, and the brother of Eshe Lon, magically summoned both Consan and Pelija to his lair in order to use them as pawns in retrieving the mystic amulet of Set. Under the pretext of saving Eshe Lon, who languished in Ishiti's otherworldly realm, Revelle sought to obtain the return of the amulet that was the source of his brother's powers, taken with into the underworld where Ishiti had consigned her treacherous servant. Using his own sorcerous powers, Revelle transported both Conan and Pelija to the otherworldly Isle of the Living Dead, where Ishiti kept Eshe Lon captive. Once there, the two confronted, and fought through the hordes of snake people infesting the island. Bending the bars of his cage to gain entrance, Conan removed the ruby charm of Set from about Eshe's throat, only to learn from his sudden transformation and attack that Eshe was now a serpent demon, as well. Quickly passing off the amulet to Pelija, Conan engaged the transformed Eshe in battle, Eshe chained to the wall. Finally, Conan delivered a mortal blow. Realizing that Revelle had played them for fools, knowing there was no way to save Pelija's father; Conan and the girl decided to make their escape. The other prisoners of Ishiti's lair began to transform and break free. Conan tried to fight them off, but Pelija warned him to stand back, and called upon the Amulet of Set's power to crush the attacking serpent men. Fleeing back the way they came, Conan and Pelija fought their way once more through rooms full of snake people, writhing serpents, the altar where Pelija was to be sacrificed, and so forth. At one point, Conan performed the rather impressive feat of slaying enough snake people to form a pyramid of dead bodies, thus allowing him to climb up through an opening in the roof. Nearing the entrance, Conan and Pelija found the way blocked by a strange barrier, from which the snake people fell back into hissing confusion and fear. Turning around, they discovered that the barrier was, in fact, one of the coils of Ishiti herself, looped around the entrance to her dungeon. Conan promptly leapt to the offensive, only to be hit by bursts of Ishiti's fire, and slowly transformed into a snake demon, despite the protection of the amulet. In a last-ditch effort, Conan climbed to the top of the crypt and leapt straight down the gaping throat of Ishiti. The snake goddess was seemingly victorious, until a lump appeared in her coils—a Conan-shaped lump that cut its way out! Ishiti dead, her corpse collapsed into something like the sloughed off skin of a snake. Conan suddenly emerged, whole and unchanged once more, cured by the powers of the amulet once Ishiti could no longer overpower them.

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