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Jaffa Priestess Ishta


Priestess Ishta is a Jaffa who once was in the service of the Goa'uld Moloc. She created a safe haven for female Jaffa who were being sentenced to die at birth. Once she met Teal'c, she joined her group, the Hak'tyl, with the Rebel Jaffa and began to use Tretonin.

Character Biography

Ishta told SG-1 the story of why she formed the Hak'tyl, which means "liberation" (7.10 "Birthright"):

Thirty years ago, Moloc decreed that only male children would be allowed to live. Only they could strengthen his armies and lead him to victory in the war of the gods. The Jaffa lifespan is longer than humans. This could go on for a hundred years. Any female child is to be sacrificed in the ceremony of fire, immediately after they're born.
As a temple high priestess, part of my duty is to keep record of births and to preside over the ceremony of fire itself. I could not sit back and watch my sisters being murdered and do nothing. As high priestess I, along with my seconds Mala and Neith, are allowed relatively free access to the Chappa'ai of the worlds under Moloc's rule.

Because she was a high priestess, Ishta could attend to many missionary matters on various planets, so she worked secretly to take the baby girls, usually without the knowledge of the parents, and gave them a chance to live in the Hak'tyl. Unfortunately, this operation required that the adults of the Hak'tyl, who had become highly skilled warriors, raid Jaffa patrols and take the symbiotes from the dead or injured male Jaffa so that the young girls could be saved at the point that they reached puberty, the time at which Moloc's Jaffa's immune systems could no longer protect them. (7.10 "Birthright")

Ishta learned of Tretonin from SG-1 and agreed to be among those to be tested for the transition from dependence on the symbiote to that of the drug, which had only been successfully tested with Teal'c and Bra'tac. Mala, one of Ishta's seconds, volunteered to go in Ishta's stead because she felt that Ishta, as the leader of her people, shouldn't take the risk. Mala was the only one of the volunteers to die, her body never accepting the drug, even at high doses. The symbiote was unable to save her after it was re-implanted. (7.10 "Birthright")

Ishta's leadership was challenged by Neith because Neith felt that switching to Tretonin would mean giving up one dependence for another. In the middle of their jon es say ko, or challenge to the death, Ishta and Neith decided to join together once more to raid a patrol so that Neith's young sister Nesa could have a symbiote. During their raid, Ishta realized that she was about to kill a fellow rebel, and Teal'c, who had been led to the raid by Ka'lel, reiterated that there was another way. (7.10 "Birthright")

Nesa, even as young as she was, showed great wisdom and paved the way for her generation by declaring that she did not wish that another die just so that she might live. She was the first Jaffa to go directly to Tretonin, having never had a symbiote implanted. Soon thereafter, the majority of the Hak'tyl switched to Tretonin and joined the Rebel Jaffa. (7.10 "Birthright", 8.09 "Sacrifices")

With these greater numbers, Ishta pushed for the overthrow of Moloc from within his own ranks. Teal'c asked that she reconsider, feeling that the time was too soon, but Ishta ignored his advice. Her summit location was discovered and raided by Moloc himself, but one of the Rebel Jaffa, Aron, successfully killed Moloc with the use of a small missile that was sent through the Stargate by the SGC. Ishta was happy for the victory, but it meant that her Hak'tyl had to be relocated and that Moloc's domain was taken by Ba'al, making him even more powerful, just as Teal'c had feared. (8.09 "Sacrifices")

Ishta and Teal'c became lovers almost as soon as they met, but their relationship was often strained by their strong feelings about their roles in the Jaffa Rebellion, which often put them at odds. Teal'c, however, didn't feel any loyalty to Ishta after he engaged in a sexual relationship with his Earth neighbor Krista James. Even after his liaison with Krista, Teal'c still acted on his previous relationship with Ishta and kissed her good-bye as she returned to the Hak'tyl after Moloc's death. Even Teal'c's son Rya'c insisted that the two should be married after he himself found his bride among the women of the Hak'tyl, but since that time, Ishta has not been mentioned as having continued her intimate relationship with Teal'c. (8.07 "Affinity", 8.09 "Sacrifices")

After the forming of the Free Jaffa Nation, Ka'lel represented the female warriors of the Hak'tyl on the High Council. Several Jaffa strongholds, including Dakara, the home of the Free Jaffa Nation, fell to the Ori, but the Hak'tyl was never mentioned as being one of them, and Ishta's whereabouts have not been mentioned since the time of Moloc's defeat. (9.07 "Ex Deus Machina", 10.07 "Counterstrike")


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--DeeKayP 08:47, 27 Jul 2004 (PDT)