The culture of the Ishtu has changed dramatically since their arrival in Miradelle. The elders do not speak much of their life before Nabi, and as such this will be a recounting of their current cultural practices.
The Ishtu consider themselves a collectivist society – everyone works for the benefit of everyone else. As such children are raised by the group, not necessarily only their parents. Elder adults that have not sought to become Listeners take the role of educators, teaching children about the importance of Nabi and their history.
Children also have a certain respect from the Ishtu elders – it has been noted that Nabi loves children, and any time a new baby is born there is a celebration. It is in childhood that an Ishtu’s magical ability is first observed – and the Ishtu have developed several games that are meant to distinguish this predisposition to magic.
Marriage is percieved as a partnership moreso than a binding arrangement of love. Complementary skill sets tend to lead to grouping amongst the tribe, and from those groups come partnerships that would be regarded as marriage. While it isn’t necessary for a ceremony to be performed, some partners will ask for a blessing from Nabi. If this is the case, the couple will typically arrange and make their own ceremony as an offering.
Since the Ishtu have chosen the life of nomads, they have become accustomed to sharing their belongings with each other. When there is a lull in travel, everyone is expected to pitch in to repair, replace, or create new items.
Honesty is one of the leading tenets of Ishtu society. As Nabi and the Listeners converse, truths and history are revealed through the sands of time. While lying may be a temporary fix, the truth always comes out.
Funnily enough, the Ishtu and Marls both speak similar languages despite their geographical (and cultural) divide. This is because both Nabi and Jotur gifted their followers with the language of the mirror – a unique tongue that, when heard, reflects the language of those who hear it.
In addition, the elder Ishtu have incorporated some of the words of the old world into their prayers. They believe that worshipping in their native tongue helps them become closer to Nabi, and helps her to understand them.
The Ishtu have a very flowy demeanor. That is, they speak with their whole bodies and are very evocative with their expressions. Ishtu are very comfortable with each other and will touch, guide, or show others what they are feeling.
However when it comes to interacting with Humans or Marls, the Ishtu are much more similar to the traditional expectation of elf-like races. Humans and Marls see them as serious and ethereal. This is because the Ishtu are uncomfortable dealing with groups outside their own – they see the Marls as disrespectful to Jotur and the Humans as destructive. They find that conflict is often connected to miscommunication, and by keeping their interactions controlled they can avoid misinterpretation.