Asher was a Red Hand war chief of one of the Mountain Clans called the Burned Men in the Vale. He lived throughout the end of 200 AC and well into the 300 AC. He is remembered for his merciless scorched earth campaign on the Vale and two wars on Dryn and Arga, killing the latter.
End of an Era - Backdrop Edit
At the end of The War of the Five Kings, the Red Hand named Timmet returned with a large amount of weapons, armor, and loot taken off of the fallen men of the army of Stannis Baratheon and paid to them in full by Tyrion Lannister. The first clan to have returned with the spoils of war, the Burned Men flourished as a whole, wreaking terrible havoc on the villages of the Vale and occasionally reaching out into the Riverlands. Asher was once such war chief that led raids, leaving destruction in his wake. Despite becoming stronger than ever before, they were not the only group to have received such a large bounty as noticed by Asher - a tribe known as The Black Ears had managed to secure the alliances of the other Mountain Clans and crowned a king known as Dryn the Deathless. Due to fear, the Mountain King had not sent any envoys to the Burned Men. Hostilities brewed and whenever the clans came into contact, often a blood bath would ensue. Despite this, Dryn preferred to pressure the Valemen proper and sought a war with them. Seeing an opportunity, the Burned Men convened at the behest of Asher.
Scorched Earth Campaign Edit
The First Fire Edit
Asher distinguished himself by plotting a strategy far ahead of time. Years of experience made up the man's thoughts and according to legend, he drew the Vale as he knew it in the dirt with a stick and coordinated raids with it based on defenses he had noticed. The simplicity of his proposed strategy was staggering, yet effective. While the Valemen set out to destroy the Horned King, Asher set out on a quest of his own. Having his men plunder houses and farmsteads that had been left open by the Valemen, he then targeted the defenses of the towns and hamlets. Unmanned walls and watch towers were set ablaze and women were stolen from their families. This became known as The First Fire. By the time that Dryn was dead, Asher and the Burned Men had left.
Conflict with the Second Horned King Edit
Shortly after the war between the Vale and the Mountain Clans, Dryn's brother named Arga attempted to crown himself. Despite being met with controversy, the new Horned King knew that his people had been severely weakened and decided it best to reach out where his brother had not - to the Burned Men. Arga chose a messenger by the name of Malla, now known as Malla the Messenger, who had a penchant for wearing golden rings that he had managed to loot off of someone in King's Landing. Malla took a woman by the name of Mara along with him. Malla entered the Burned Man's encampment seeking out the Red Hands. Asher received him. Upon hearing the proposal to swear fealty to the true King of the Clansmen, Asher had Malla suppressed and lashed to a kindle. Malla was set alight in a great pyre. Salvaging his now burned rings, he handed them to Mara telling her he had given his answer. Arga, now having his war chiefs demanding blood for blood, was forced to march out against the Burned Men. Along this route, they were ambushed by the Burned Men. Taking them by surprise, the Burned Men took an overwhelming victory. When Arga's corpse was brought to Asher, he chose to cremate the King and send his horned helm back with yet another messenger as a warning to any future Horned King.
The Second and Third Fires and Death Edit
Asher continued his campaigns on the Valemen shortly after, often leaving pillaged villages on fire and burning much of it to further delay any retaliation from the Valemen. Two such campaigns were coordinated on the Lands of Strongsong and later lands along the High Road. Despite his strategy often paying off, Asher would find himself eventually at an end during a confrontation with a man bearing the sigil of House Royce with a number of Hedgeknights seeking to collect the sizable bag of dragons put on his head. Asher died to a stray arrow during the battle, often causing Valemen to cite that he deserved to burn in the deepest of all Seven Hells and the gods had proven that.
Asher's significance while alive proved that despite being brigands and rabbles that strategy could make the Mountain Clans a very dangerous foe. Songs were composed following his defeat and many remember him as the terror of the Mountains. Stories featuring his habit of burning people alive remain told for many years after.