Ishtar was a Mesopotamian goddess and former lover of Destruction in Brief Lives. She was once known as Belili and Astarte, both of which she was called by Dream when they met before she emphatically insisted on Ishtar.
Ishtar was once a goddess, chief deity of Tyre and Sidon, based on the mythological figure who was worshiped as both a good and evil goddess by the people of the ancient Near East. They honored her as the protector of marriage and motherhood, of sexual love and fertility, and as a warrior and storm goddess.
She was also once the lover of Destruction, a relationship Dream did not approve of. She referred to Destruction as the one good man she had ever found, but in the end, they split up some 2,000 years ago; "Fights about his family and his job. You know how it goes." But she avowed she had loved him.
In Brief Lives, Ishtar was working as an exotic dancer at Suffragette City, a pale shadow of the "temples of desire" she was once a patron of. Another dancer, Tiffany, asked why she didn't do her best moves, that it was obvious she was only marking time, she explained that in a strip club, that wasn't what the patrons came to see..."and they don't want to see me dancing for real."
After a confrontation with Dream, who was assisting Delirium in her search for Destruction, Ishtar decided to really dance: "You've never really seen me dance...Once in every great year, the sacred king would see me dance. It was the last thing he ever saw...no man would ever desire to see anything more, once he had seen me dance...I'm going to dance now, I'm afraid."
Her dance drew all her remaining power, patrons died, and the club collapsed, Ishtar was destroyed, only Tiffany survived.