Graven Ashe is an Archon and the legendary leader of a famed and feared Disfavored legion. Temperate and dutiful, Graven Ashe is a loyal officer to Kyros, and he both expects and commands great respect from his soldiers.
Graven Ashe is the Archon of War and general of the Disfavored, one of Kyros’ elite armies. Before serving Kyros, Graven Ashe fought against the Overlord in defense of his homeland around 330 TR. It was during this desperate defense that Ashe’s powers as an exarch began to manifest. His soldiers would rise from the battlefield, healed of all but the most lethal wounds. These abilities allowed his army to resist the Overlord’s invasion for longer than any other since the early days of Kyros’ conquest. They also brought him to the attention of Blood Ruin, then Archon of War and leader of Kyros’ invading soldiers.
As Kyros conquered the North under a single banner, there were those who resisted the call to unification. Ashe was a young bannerman at the time, petulant and inflated by pride by his own admission. He rallied the sons and daughters of the North to stand against Kyros. While Imperial armies could not stand against the forces of the Overlord, with battles routinely turning to slaughter, Ashe gathered what troops he had and retreated to the mountains. Their adaptive, pragmatic tactics and full use of advantageous terrain made them a killing shadow cast over the offensive. The uncanny resilience of Ashe's forces, including the ability to stand against the Archons of Entropy and Sorrow, fighting with sticks when their iron broke and countering sorrow with the proud songs of the North, were the first signs of Ashe's nascent power as an Archon. The women and men of his legion trained harder, marched farther, and endured more the longer he led them. His soldiers credited him with this new advantage: Ashe had given them total commitment, and they felt protected and strengthened by his presence. Ashe attributed the performance of the legion to their training and breeding, but soon it became clear that something greater was afoot.
Kyros finally noticed that Ashe's influence over the troops was a demonstrable threat when Graven Ashe slew Blood Ruin in a battle described as the greatest of the Age. Though Ashe ultimately emerged triumphant – claiming the mantle of Archon of War – he and his army were weakened by the battle. A relentless offensive by the Overlord, consisting of every army she could spare was sent after Ashe and his legion - all but sacrificing the Scarlet Chorus in the process. Ashe was apprehended eventually, but not until his army lay broken. and Ashe was captured by other Archons loyal to Kyros. They brought him in chains before Tunon. He said that enemies of Kyros would all be put to the sword unless he took that one opportunity to surrender and join the fold. Ashe seized the opportunity, pragmatically believing that life and service to the Overlord, and the lives of the men and women who survived the onslaught, were more important than his pride. So he bent the knee and swore obedience.
As a result, the remnants of his army were granted the rights of Kyros' Peace, and we lived on as servants of the Overlord. Ashe reformed the remnants of his legion into an elite troop representing all that the North holds dear: Perfect training, rigid discipline, respect for the law, and family. However, since they had transgressed and rebelled against the offering of Kyros' protection, his elite legion was stripped of their decorated name and dubbed 'Disfavored,' a mocking reminder of past crimes. Despite a century of fighting, Kyros' favor is still elusive and Ashe and his men continue to labor to win back the Overlord's love. Perhaps as a result of his humbling experiences, Ashe is a realist, a pragmatist, and his ego is only slightly inflated - a rare trait in Archons. He listens to the Court and the advice of his Iron Guard, making him a rare kind of leader indeed.
The invasion of the Tiers and the final conquest of Terratus (at the time) was supposed to be the final achievement of the Disfavored. Perhaps for this reason, Graven Ashe was opposed to the Scarlet Chorus' participation in the Conquest, as it was the last chance to regain the favor they never had.
The Archon's armor sports a pair of blinding azure gems and ironwork of unparalleled quality. There is no stamp of a forge smith anywhere to be found, suggesting that this suit is as old as anything found in the royal trophy halls celebrating the conquest of the Northern Empire. Regular treatments of oil have lent to the preservation of this adored defensive relic.
Boots show the wear of excessive training drills and long marches evident in most Disfavored armor, but these are plainly treated with greater devotion. Ashe was careful to let excess of moisture or dirt clog the tread. The names "Amelia" and "Brennix" are carved into each of the iron-shod toes.
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.||
The Conqueror's Will|
Into the Maelstrom
Call to Arms
Strike at the Hearth
The Final Hunt
Against All Odds
- Act I
- The Conqueror's Will: Ashe is encountered at the Disfavored camp as you deliver the Edict of Execution. By remaining silent, you can learn a great deal of the struggle between the two Archons and their influence. Once they are done arguing, Ashe will reference your exploits at Edgering ruins, giving favor with the Disfavored if Drastus was saved. He will start The Battle of Echocall Crossing quest.
- Assault on the Citadel: Following the completion of the side objectives and march on the Citadel, Ashe will demand that you choose who assaults the Citadel. No compromise is possible and either has to be chosen. Choosing the Disfavored will anger Voices of Nerat who will openly engage Ashe and the Disfavored. Ashe will step in front of you and shield you from the attack, ushering in the next phase of the quest. Choosing the Chorus will piss off Ashe and Nerat will teleport away, while Fifth Eye drags you to safety outside the camp.
- Act II
- Into the Maelstrom: Ashe is found at the Iron Hearth, preparing to strike at the traitorous Voices of Nerat. Meet him and discuss the situation. He will point you to the Blade Grave and Sentinel Stand, requesting that you kill Straydus Herodin and retrieve his daughter Amelia.
- Making a Stand: Ashe can be pressed to save his daughter (and reporting to him while she is still alive allows an unique interaction where you encounter him deep in thought and can poke him), unlocking Effigy (and incurring major wrath).
- Extinguishing the Flame or Blades of Iron: Ashe starts the next quest, giving you choice of destination.
- Securing The Sea: Ashe signs off on the plan to blight the Stone Sea.
- Act III
- If you sided with the Disfavored, Call to Arms will instantly activate. However, as Graven Ashe is an Archon and there can be only one, Ashe will demand proof of your loyalty by killing Voices of Nerat. You can kill him to hamstring the Disfavored... Or convince him to swear fealty to you. First, use Lore 61 to point out that he's wrong about the Tiers and their culture. Then ask him to submit and state that you are the Disfavored's true General. With Disfavored Favor 4, Ashe will be given pause and then transfer command - and authority over him - to you. Otherwise, you have to kill Ashe and the rest.
- Strike at the Hearth, The Final Hunt, Against All Odds: Unless killed after convicting him during Final Judgment, you have to face Ashe at the Iron Hearth. He will first send three waves of Disfavored against you, captained by each of his remaining commanders (Iron Walkers under Iron Marshal Erenyos, Earthshakers and Crescent Runners under Radix Ironcore, and Oath Bound under Maric), then join the fight himself. He's a particularly difficult challenge with his immunities to fright, terror, stunning, and dazing, as well as numerous AoE effect. The best tactic seems to be to engage the old man in close combat with a tank (Barik if you're feeling cruel), with supporting party members pelting him from afar.
- During the first meeting at Ashe's tent, if you have enough Favor with the Disfavored (and, by extension, with him), you can request to speak with him and learn a bit more about his past.
- If you have higher Favor with Nerat than with Ashe, Ashe will make a blunder, allowing Nerat to steer the conversation towards Ashe's deal with the Vendrien Guard. You must then question Ashe, in order for the evidence to be counted when A Trial of Archons begins.
- If Verse is in the party when Nerat openly attacks Ashe (after you side with the Disfavored), Graven Ashe will demand her execution. You can:
- Extend the Court's protection to her.
- Rely on your standing with the Chorus to explain why she lives.
- Use Lore 41 to state that she can be a useful source of intell on the Chorus or Nerat.
- Use Subterfuge 41 to imply that you're using her to manipulate Voices.
- Kill her. This greatly raises the Fear among your other companions.
- Let her go.
- If you have the Noble Scion background, you can mention that Ashe being forced to bend the knee was an ignoble fate.
Ashe's reputation is linked with your standing with the Disfavored. The higher your standing with them, the better Ashe will react.
- Likes honorable words and actions, as well as favoring him in discussions - particularly with Voices of Nerat.
- Brown-nosing and emphasizing your willingness to work with the Disfavored is a good idea to quickly gain his liking.
- Major bonus for choosing the Disfavored to lead the assault on the Citadel.
- Dislikes lack of support for the Disfavored. This includes choosing the Scarlet Chorus over the Disfavored for pretty much any instance, particularly in Act I.
- Dislikes questioning him over his loyalty to Kyros when talking at Iron Hearth. He also doesn't respond well to mocking his old age.
- Pressing the matter with his daughter and refusing to accept his abandonment of his own kin incurs Major Wrath.