Stern Ashakawa

Delusional Mortal and the Leader of the Closed Fists Faction


Leader of the Closed Fists Faction

Where Wisdom Whispered is the domestic advisor of the court, Stern Ashakawa is its military advisor. Living up to her name, this icy woman has cruel features and flinty eyes. She wears her white hair cut short, and she prefers to wear either a formal Thornguard uniform (though with a black armband, rather than red, for she is not yet a member) or finely tailored skin-tight reinforced leather bodysuit. She never goes anywhere without her weaponry, and she favors the blade, the shield and the bow.

During her youth, Stern Ashakawa served as a footman during Thorns’ ill-advised attempt to conquer the Scavenger Lands on the behalf of the Realm, and she has felt since that day that the armies of Thorns failed to live up to the legacy and prestige of her grand city. When offered the position of military advisor, she gladly accepted, determined to wipe out weakness within the armies of Thorns and right what her officers had done wrong. She fully intends to build Thorns into the empire it was meant to be.

Stern Ashakawa despises weakness in all forms. She regularly takes the time to mock Lilia for her pathetic position, and she ruthlessly upbraids anyone she feels doesn’t live up to her standards. The court of the Puppet King frustrates her, however, for she wishes to see the armies of Thorns move, to take to the field, but she perceives the decadence of the Silken Faction as slowing this process down and holding back her empire. She struggles to gain the Unrepentant Soldier’s attention to alert him to this—and to rid the court of Wisdom Whispered’s influence so that she can begin the conquest of local lands in the name of the Mask of Winters. Those militants and hawks who agree with her cluster around her in support and call themselves the Closed Fists.

Stern Ashakawa is not without weakness herself, however. To her great shame, her every application to join the Thornguard has met rejection. She yearns for this final honor and deeply admires the Abyssal who trains them. The captain of the Thornguard sympathizes with the Closed Fists, but her envy of his position and training makes it impossible for the two to work together.

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