Fan art by botanicaxu
|Appears in||Words of Radiance|
Iyatil is a short, tan-skinned woman who wears a carapace mask tied to her face.
|“||The arrangement of red-orange carapace pieces was like a mosaic, giving a hint of eyebrows, of anger and rage.||”|
Behind the mask, she has unblinking dark eyes and an impassive mouth. She wears simple, dark brown clothing tied with an intricate belt, studded with more carapace.
Iyatil is very self-contained, revealing little about herself, until she encounters Shallan. She professes to Shallan to be Mraize's master (instead of the other way around, which Shallan has assumed, based on her previous encounters with Mraize).
|“||He is not my master. He is my student.||”|
In fact, Iyatil is Mraize's babsk, which suggests that both she and Mraize are Thaylen. However, Iyatil is 'from' three different planets. She now lives on Roshar, but she's from a different planet, but that planet isn't the planet from which her people come. (Likely, one of these three planets is Scadriel: in Shadows of Self, there's a story in one of the broadsheets about someone seeing a woman with a scary mask emerging from a pool of water in the mountains. This is likely Iyatil, returning home from Roshar.)
Iyatil attacks Amaram with her blow darts during his attempt to remove Taln from Dalinar's temple complex. Taln intercepts the darts by grabbing them from within their projection. Rather than defending Taln, Iyatil was attempting to kill Amaram because his maps and possible attempts to find lost Urithiru appear to be in conflict with the plans of the Ghostbloods.
As stated by Brandon in a Q&A at the 4/23 & 24/16 JordanCon8, there is a place - yet not a planet/world - in the Cosmere where a lot of Worldhoppers have settled; it is where Iyatil is from, even though her ethnicity is not from there.
That Iyatil is not a native of Roshar and that she uses carapace to disguise herself indicates that she might have knowledge of the Parshendi, though to what extent remains unknown.
Iyatil's ethnicity might be that of a Malwish Southerner from Scadriel; one of the Hunters. She wears a mask that (might well) grow into her face, just as do those of the Hunters. And, just as the Malwish feel about Northerners on Scadriel, Iyatil has the following exchange with Shallan (as Veil):
|“|| "Why the mask?" Shallan asked. "What does it mean? Why do you hide?"
"I have many times asked," Iyatil said, "why those of you here go about so brazenly with features exposed to all who would see them. My mask reserves my self. Besides, it gives me the ability to adapt."