Malazan Wiki
Malazan Wiki

For the novel, see The Jhistal.

A Jhistal priest [Jis-Tal][1][2] was a high priest who employed human blood in the ritual magic of an Elder God.[3] It was the Elder Gods' equivalent of a Destriant.[3] Jhistal had once been a name for Mael, the Elder god of the seas. When the colonists from the First Empire set forth, they made sacrifices to the salty seas in the name of Jhistal.[4]

The Jhistal rituals were so potent that they could even bind an aspect of Mael in place and force him to answer questions. These rituals were so awful that even former Malazan emperor Kellanved found them distasteful. It was implied that Kellanved, or perhaps Mael, had attempted to purge the cult, although some had survived.[5] Tavore Paran told Mallick Rel that she knew that the Gedorian Falari cult of the Jhistal was eradicated by Emperor Kellanved and that presumably he was among the very few survivors from that time.[6]

Although supposedly applying to High Priests of Elder Gods in general, the term Jhistal was actually only ever used in the books in relation to Mallick Rel or Mael (or god of the sea under other names).

Known Jhistal[]


"Heard troubling things about that sea cult of [the Falari]. What is it? The . . . Jhistal? Blood sacrifices."
―Comment by Cartheron Crust[src]


In a fan Q&A, Steven Erikson stated that a "Jhistal is both a title and a people, more the former now than the latter."[9]

Notes and references[]