When Princess Anidori is sent to wed the Crown Prince of Bayern, Ishta volunteers to be part of her royal escort. However, he follows the orders of a fellow guard named Ungolad rather than Captain Talone and agrees to help with the plans of the princess's lady-in-waiting, Selia, to kill Anidori and steal her identity.
After some weeks of travel, the party comes across a river and takes the opportunity to bathe. A metal basin is filled with heated water for Ani to privately soak in and Talone, captain of the guard, assigns Ishta to guard Ani as the rest of her company wash in the river. As Ani dries her long blonde hair by the fire, Ishta asks her if she likes being a princess. She responds uneasily, saying that it is who she is and asks if he likes being a man. Ishta walks to her, leans his face in much too close for her comfort, and asks if she likes that he is a man, frightening her. She weakly orders him to step back, but he merely sneers. Before he can do anything else, however, the rest of Ani's escort returns and he casually walks away.
Only a week away from Bayern's capital, the tension between Ungolad's men and Ani's loyal guards snaps when Yulan removes his shirt in the summer heat. Talone orders him to stay properly dressed while he is in the presence of a lady, but the man refuses as Selia insists she does not mind. Gritting his teeth, Talone states that while they are the princess's guard, they will act as such. Scornfully, another man of Ungolad's named Terne points out that they are a long way from Kildenree and Bayern hasn't claimed Ani as their princess yet, causing several of Ungolad's men to hail Selia as their new princess. Realizing that the traitors want to kill Ani in order to replace her with Selia, Talone commands the true princess to escape. However, Selia spots Ani hiding behind a tree and sends Ungolad after her. Talone's right-hand man Adon moves to defend her, but Ishta stabs Adon through the back and through the heart, grinning as he kills him.
His death sparks a battle between the two sides and in all the chaos, Ani herself manages to escape. Nevertheless, Selia and her supporters are victorious and by midnight are digging graves for all the men that they have slain.
Soon, Ishta and the others successfully manage to trick Bayern into believing that Selia is Princess Anidori-Kiladra. Ungolad keeps him and the other Kildenrean guards on the lookout for the real Ani in case she survived the Forest, but there is no sign of her until the Wintermoon festival.
Ishta is wandering throughout the festival with Yulan when Ani, disguised as a simple goose girl complete with a headscarf hiding her Kildenrean blonde hair, bumps right into them. Hardly believing their luck, the two men lose no time in trapping her with a knife pressed to her back. He and Yulan attempt to drag the struggling Ani up the road to Ungolad, but she resists fiercely and tries to call out to her friends, causing Ishta to hit her hard in the belly to stop her yells. Nevertheless, she refuses to budge, even at knifepoint. Ishta holds one of her hands to his mouth and threatens to bite off a finger unless she walks with them, yet she still refuses. But before he can follow through on his promise, they are interrupted by the local peace-keepers. Yulan tries to convince them that nothing is wrong as Ishta casually holds Ani's hand, but the peace-keepers wait for Ani to speak. In a perfect Bayern accent, she wastes no time in informing them that there's a knife held to her back. Almost instantly, she is wrested away from Ishta and Yulan and placed in the center of the peace-keepers. Yulan loses his temper with the peace-keepers and their total disregard for his royal orders and tries to attack them, but the peace-keepers are experienced in fighting and they give Yulan's head a deathblow with one of their quarterstaffs. Ishta flees before he, too, can be killed, and informs Ungolad and Selia both of Yulan's fate and the fact that Ani is alive and hiding disguised somewhere in the city. Ungolad redoubles the search for Ani as Selia begins to enact her plan that will prevent anyone from Kildenree -including royal envoys, Ani's siblings, and the queen- from ever exposing her.
Selia tells the king that Kildenree is plotting to attack Bayern and that she, Princess Anidori, was sent to act as a decoy to pretend all is well and keep Bayern off-guard, but she has grown to like Bayern and doesn't want to be a part of Kildenree's deceitful ways. Outraged, the king prepares Bayern for war.
In the meantime, Ungolad and his men search for Ani everywhere they can think of, but no one reports seeing a girl with foreign yellow hair. Their search remains fruitless for weeks until the goose boy is summoned to see the king for valiantly defending his flock from thieves. The boy deliberately seeks out the Kildenrean guards and tells them that the yellow girl they've been looking for is none other than the goose girl he works with. Selia sends Ungolad out that very night, instructing him to kill Ani in her sleep. However, when he returns he is forced to report that she got away, albeit with a dagger wound in her back. Selia isn't pleased at all that her former friend escaped into the deep woods -again- but consoles herself with the fact that Ani's chances of surviving in the Forest with a severe dagger wound are very slim.
It is soon decided that the wedding between Selia and Prince Geric will take place in a grand manor house on the way to war. Ishta is instructed to stay behind, and is overjoyed that he did when he catches Ani and Talone in Selia's rooms. The violent man is delighted at the prospect of killing Talone and fights him fiercely, but his bloodlust proves his downfall as his anger makes him too reckless, allowing Talone to push his sword through Ishta's back and heart, just as Ishta had done to Adon.
- Ishta is often mentioned to have brown, decayed teeth, giving the impression that he is rotting from the inside out.
- Ishta is one of -if not the- most violent men among the Kildenrean traitors.