Ashelia Dalmasca Profile
Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca, otherwise known as Ashe and by the alias Amalia, is a player character in Final Fantasy XII. She is the former Princess of Dalmasca and the only daughter of King Raminas. She is the last true descendant of King Raithwall, the Dynast King.
Ashe was raised as the Princess of Dalmasca, the sole heiress of the Dalmascan Royal Family. She had a relatively easy early life, but was raised with the duties and responsibilities of her rank. Besides being raised in royal etiquette, Ashe was no stranger to the defensive arts. Married at the age of seventeen to Lord Rasler of Nabradia, both Ashe and Rasler understood that the marriage was intended to cement an alliance between Dalmasca and Nabradia against the conquering empire of Archadia. Ashe said that she was "willing to play her part" in the marriage, and despite the political nature of it, both parties genuinely cared for each other. She was widowed shortly afterward, when Rasler was killed at the siege of Nalbina Fortress. This devastated the Princess and also fuelled her anger and hate towards the Archadian Empire.
Not long after this, Archadia made a full-scale assault on Dalmasca. Though Raminas intended to surrender willingly (though reluctantly) to save his people, he was killed immediately after signing a peace agreement with Archadia. Ashe's suicide was publicly announced by her uncle, Halim Ondore IV. Now unable to seek Ondore's aid, Ashe retreated underground and assumed the name Amalia. She was joined by Vossler, a captain in the Dalmascan army, and they formed the Resistance to try and win back Dalmasca's independence. The resistance moved slowly, not winning any major victories or causing enough unrest to be notable until Vayne Carudas Solidor traveled to Dalmasca to assume his position as consul.
The resistance made plans to attack the palace, unaware that the apparent opportunity was a trap set by Solidor. Coincidentally, a street thief by the name of Vaan and two sky pirates, Balthier and Fran, had both infiltrated the palace to loot it. The resistance's attack was quickly broken up by Archadian forces, and Ashe was separated from her companions and forced to retreat through the sewers. She and the thieves made a temporary alliance, fighting through the sewers but quickly being captured by Archadian soldiers. She was taken into custody by Judge Ghis on the Leviathan, who discovered that she was indeed, Dalmasca's princess.
Eventually, Vaan and his companions joined her in captivity on the Leviathan. When they were brought to the bridge, Ashe immediately struck Basch fon Ronsenburg, outraged that the man they thought had killed her father was alive after all (but the true killer of her father and Vaan's brother was Basch's brother, Judge Gabranth/Noah). This was forced aside when it became clear that Ghis was planning to execute her as an "impostor." Without the Dawn Shard or the Dusk Shard to prove her identity, there was no reason for Archadia not to execute her. When Vaan revealed he held the shard, it reacted strongly to her presence. Ghis immediately took it, again removing the means of proving her identity. However, Vossler and the Resistance soon revealed themselves, having infiltrated the Leviathan with Ondore's help. They escaped after defeating Ghis in battle. Ashe reaffirmed her determination to free Dalmasca, despite the seeming impossibility of such a task. After discussion with the others, she decided to speak with Ondore, whom she had mistrusted since the announcement of her suicide.
Ashe's concept art. Artwork by Akihiko Yoshida
However, Ondore told Ashe that it would be impossible for Bhujerba to openly join the Dalmascans in resistance without proof that Ashe was Queen--which could not be obtained without the Dusk Shard, or the missing Dawn Shard. He advised her to "do nothing until the time is right," counsel that Ashe immediately rejected. She walked out of the meeting, and attempted to comandeer the Strahl, Balthier's airship, in order to seek the Dawn Shard on her own. She was quickly discovered in the attempt by Vaan and Balthier. Both tried to persuade her to remain in Bhujerba, where she would be safe, and that it would be foolish to pursue such a quest on her own. Ashe suggested that--as a sky pirate--Balthier "kidnap" her, offering him the treasure of the Dynast King's tomb as payment. He agreed, but demanded her wedding ring as further payment. Though disgusted and unhappy, she reluctantly handed it over, to be returned when he found something "more valuable." She silently accepted the aid of Basch, who was determined to protect his queen.
While retrieving the Dawn Shard from the tomb, Ashe saw an apparition of Rasler, and vowed to avenge him. Vaan was the only other one in the group who saw the ghost, although he thought it to resemble his brother Reks. Directly after leaving the tomb, the party was again abducted by Ghis. He revealed that Vossler had struck a deal with the Empire. Vayne would allow Ashe to return to the throne of Dalmasca as a puppet ruler in exchange for the Shard. When she hesitated, Ghis threatened to execute her companions. With no other choice, Ashe handed over the stone. The scheme was derailed when Ghis inadvertantly destroyed the Eighth Fleet by experimenting with the Dawn Shard's power. Ashe and her companions narrowly escaped, and she witnessed the apparition again when it returned the Shard to her.
Throughout the journey, Ashe began to open up to her companions, including Vaan and Penelo (whom she had initially viewed with contempt). She started to trust Basch and became more accepting of Balthier. Her strengthening relationship with the party deepened her resolve to free her country.
In the weeks that followed, Ashe found herself caught up in a much larger struggle than simply breaking free of Archadia. Larsa warned Ashe that Rozarria would use her and the Bhujerban resistance as an excuse to invade Archadia. Though Ashe was initially resistant to the idea of an alliance with the Empire for any reason, she soon realized that she had no alternative if she did not want to see Dalmasca destroyed in a war between empires. But when Emperor Gramis was killed, this possibility disapppeared. Vayne, the new Emperor, would never allow Ashe to reclaim the throne. Ashe's goal became to destroy the Dawn Shard with the Sword of Kings so that the Empire could not use its power. Refusing to travel to Rozarria with Al-Cid Margrace to talk the empire out of war, she went to the Draklor Laboratories and confronted Dr. Cid. He lured the party to Giruvegan, where the Occuria spoke with Ashe.
Akihiko Yoshida has stated that Ashe's physical features were designed with the intent of making her look vaguely French, stating that "the base of her bone structure is a French person's. We were given orders from the start to not make her look like an Asian. But we modified her a bit to look more like a Japanese for the sake of the Japanese audience, and also since a character that looks completely French makes some of the CG expressions difficult." Ashe was voiced by Kari Wahlgren in English and by Mie Sonozaki in Japanese. Despite having been created for Final Fantasy XII, she was first introduced in the 2004 crossover board game Itadaki Street Special. She also appears in Itadaki Street Portable, and is set to appear in Fortress, as revealed in concept art for the game.