Her life began more than three score years and ten ago on the steppes of Ethengar. Her mother gave birth as the clan was moving from the winter to the spring grazing. A sturdy woman she was back in the saddle almost before the young Dest-tai had stopped her birth wailing. She gained a sister a brace of years later but lost her and her parents the following summer when a plague swept through the clan. Many others died and for a while the four year old Dest-tai lurked near death's door. She survived and from her hardship gained immunity from all disease. She was not untouched by the disease however, she was left short of breath, weak of limb and almost blind. The tribe did not expect her to survive long but Dest-tai was as stubborn as an ox. Her grandparents looked after her and she soon spent all the spare time she had listening to the clan histories and mysteries from her grandmother.
She had an ear for music and of an evening she would play the zither while other young maidens would dance to catch the eye of the young horsemen. Dest-tai knew that she would never catch the eye of the young men but she never grew bitter. Instead she concentrated on learning all she could of the secrets of the plants and animals of the plains and anything else she could glean from other members of the clan and those travellers that she met.
Her eyesight was so poor that she found it impossible to read so instead she honed her memory so that everything she heard she remembered. She soon became renowned as a wise woman even at a young age and clansmen and others soon sought her out for advice. Her mind contained all the wisdom of the clan and she soon became wealthy with gifts from those she helped. Some would give her a goat or a few cheeses, others would give finely woven cloths and others golden earrings.
Her favourite phrases are "As my grandmother used to say", "The wisdom of my clan was passed from mother to daughter" and "Life is too short to hurry".
This popularity brought here into conflict with her great-grandmother who was the clan's official wise woman. She was getting old and bitter that Dest-tai was getting the sweetest meats at feasts and all the kudos. She started to give deliberately contradictory advice and answers to her great granddaughter but once these were shown to be false she was shunned and soon died alone and unloved. With her dying breath she placed a curse upon Dest-tai but no one was around to hear what it was.
Dest-tai's wisdom soon became known beyond the borders of the Khanates and she began to receive visitors from Glantri. Fascinated by the tales they brought and exhausted with fifty years worth of the travails of the nomadic life she accepted the offer of employment with Lord Urmahid Kinigar, Count of Skullhorn Pass. This angered the clan elders as Urmahid was, and is, seen as a traitor by the Ethengarian people. Dest-tai became a close friend of Lord Kinigar as well as a trusted advisor and the Lord turned a blind eye when she carried out a relationship with one of his servants Davin Karabarov.
Her happiness was not to last. Agents of the Khan killed Davin's family and then kidnapped Davin himself. Dest-tai could not pay the ransom and Lord Kinigar refused to help her, fearful of the tensions building across the border. The despair of loosing Davin caused something in Dest-tai's mind to crack and she became obsessed with fire. Several fires were started by here in the Lord's keep until Dest-tai was confined to a suite of rooms in which nothing flammable was available.
She still advises the Lord, her bitterness has lost the sharp edges but she still dreams that Davin will be found and returned to her. She keeps a miniature portrait, painted by a famous Glantrian court artist, with her at all times. Even though he will be old and wizened like her, she would dearly love to see him again.
Her specialist subjects are: