Ash Leverian

The Ash Leverian was the 6th exhibit to be released, and was unveiled with the debut of Ash's Shroud deluxe skin.


[02]

Drusus Leverian: "Ash. Avatar of murder.

"Patron saint of the Orokin school of political assassination known as… The Scoria.

"Each assassin bore a mark: a swirling, smoky-black jewel between their eyes.

"'You are forever the Scoria. The Scoria is forever you.'

"No devotee knew of any life, any thought that was not Scoria doctrine.

"For every question, so the Orokin of the Scoria said, Ash was the answer.

"Two notable students of the Scoria's anthracite halls were also two brothers: Dom and Pilio.

"Dom was nimble, cunning, and a quick study with the blade.

"His brother Pilio, however, was not so gifted. While he idolised Ash, worshipped him, Pilio lacked Dom's grace and clarity.

"And Ash's ruthlessness. However… it was Dom who had been captured by the very target he was tasked to kill.

"A sin unforgivable to the Scoria. So it fell to Pilio – the lesser – to uphold the Scoria by taking Dom's life.

"By this, the Seven would have assurance that Dom's flaw was not a… familial trait.

"You see, as you might expect of an Orokin school of murder, the Scoria were ruthless when it came to… 'academic excellence'.

"With Dom dead at Pilio's feet, two essential killings would have taken place: that of a failure, and that of any shred of pity within Pilio.

"Ash would oversee Pilio's mission.

"Pilio's soul was to die that day, as the life drained from his brother's eyes… or, if he could not do so, beneath the blades of his lifelong idol: Ash."


[Edo armour]

Drusus Leverian: "A sliver of pale sun found them close to a stately tower in the dusty heart of Martialis metropolis.

"Coils of red Martian dust trailed tongues from the dark metal of Ash's Edo epaulettes.

"The boy idolised the warframe and was eager to prove himself – even as some part of him felt cold and afraid at what he must do.

"'Doubt is betrayal,' taught the Scoria. Pilio recited this, but could not quench the fear he felt.

"Fear of what he must do… and fear of what his hero and idol would do to him should his faith fail. Ash gave the signal.

"Pilio shot forward in a bold, unconventional Dying Vine pattern, readying the Scoria-favoured Dust Fang technique.

"The tower guards squinted into the amber light of the Martian sunrise as a flash-cloud of smoke flooded the lane before them.

"Shaking sleep from their heads and still thinking of breakfast, the guards readied themselves. From the smoke flew stars."


[Causta bow]

Drusus Leverian: "Staring into the lifeless eyes of the guardsman at his feet, bile rose in Pilio's throat.

"The boy berated himself this weakness, this disgust.

"Touching the symbol of his order, the smoke-gem between his eyes, he muttered a prayer for strength.

"Stepping over the carpet of bodies, Ash crept into the courtyard, knowing full well the fifty-strong house guard would show itself in force.

"With a sudden clatter, reinforcements lined the courtyard walls, balconies…. The Scoria had a saying:

"'You are immortal. One mistake makes that otherwise.'

"Ash had never made a mistake. Here were fifty.

"With one swift movement, the warframe swatted the boy into cover, unslung his Causta bow, and sprang into a flawless Gray Chrysanthemum combat solution.

"Shame reddened Pilio's face as the courtyard lit noon-bright with the glare of a half-hundred muzzle flashes, his blade dry in his hand."


[Dual Kamas]

Drusus Leverian: "Ash methodically met and disassembled each and every guard, mezzanine to mezzanine: a masterclass in the correct choices of stance, kata, technique, and attitude. Bodies rained into the courtyard.

"Wincing, the boy looked away. Within minutes, fifty corpses lay at their feet.

"When Pilio felt Ash's shadow fall across him, he forced himself to look, trembling.

"Ash's inscrutable gaze pinned him. Chest tight, breath terrified and quick, Pilio forced himself to stand and face his assessor.

"He could not look at the bodies. Truthfully, he expected to die where he stood.

"If the warframe approved or disapproved, he gave no sign.

"Rather, Ash opened an arm, showing the way toward Pilio's final trial."


[Ash Locust helmet]

Drusus Leverian: "In the target's chambers sat a middle-aged man with long, handsome moustaches, his eyes sad and kind.

"And with him? Dom, in civilian clothes… sharing a glass of aged claret.

"Pain cracked through Pilio's brain, the smoke-gem between his eyes flashing hot!

"Sudden images of sunlight. Vineyards. A woman's face.

"The gem burned as it pushed these images away.

"A young man with grand moustaches smiling and saying, 'Of all the sons I could have had, I'm glad it was you two.'

"Pain! Dom leapt to his feet, urging his brother to hear what the target had to say, but Pilio saw only the scabbed-over divot between Dom's eyes where a black jewel had once rested.

"Dom had turned his back on the order. Why? Why had he done this?

"The moustachioed man leapt to Dom's defence, snatching his sidearm from beneath his ironwood desk – a foolish mistake.

"Ash split into impossible multiples. The man opened fire on the three, before being seized from behind by the fourth.

"Ash's illusory clones vanished. The weapon clattered to the polished wooden floor, even as his feet left it, dangling three feet above, helpless – those sad, kind eyes locked on Pilio's in a regretful farewell. 'Ask the warframe,' Dom said. 'He knows exactly why.'

"Fear filled Pilio's heart. Pilio turned to his idol, that saint of murder. The same question, but this time for Ash: why?

"That moment of breathtaking impudence stretched for an eternity. Ash released his grip.

"His prisoner flopped to the floor, gasping. With one great hand, Ash reached toward Pilio's face… and sank a vicious talon beneath that midnight jewel.

"Pilio screamed. Blood flowed.

"The gem flew free with a nauseating pop, cracking against the wall to die in a weak plume of rancid smoke.

"Blinding white insight descended upon Pilio DeNas."


[Cremata syandana]

Drusus Leverian: "Pilio was Pilio DeNas. Everything the black gem had walled off within his mind was now laid bare.

"The Scoria had stolen the sons of Lio DeNas. Lio DeNas – kind-eyed Lio DeNas – was stealing them back.

"'Of all the sons I could have had, I'm glad it was you two.' Father and son beheld each other truly for the first time in almost twenty years.

"Pilio had long aspired to wear the Edo armour, the highest honour, to signify his faith – but now he saw only the bare ribs of Ash's Cremata syandana, signifier of death, and knew with certainty that was the sole credo of the faith he had followed.

"Had. The boy – who until that moment had thought himself a lifelong killer – was now torn between the nocturnal life he thought he knew and the sunlit life he had been stolen from.

"Torn between doctrine and family. And, blade in hand, torn between saving himself by killing his brother… or dying alongside him at the hand of his idol.

"Ash waited, patient as the death he signified, in a room, in a moment, that felt suspended in eternity.

"Waiting for Pilio's decision. The blade fell from Pilio's hand. Dom reached out and gently took that hand.

"Ash did not move.

"Lio DeNas swept his boys up and out of that room, and as a family, they fled the Tower, the city, and Mars – forever. Ash did not move."


[Ash]

Drusus Leverian: "So. What are we to make of this?

"Why did Ash – focal figure of the Scoria – go against doctrine and permit two boys who were both failures and traitors to fly free?

"What was it this killer saw in two near-orphans that, shall we say, softened his heart?

"We do not know. Neither did Pilio, whose memoirs bring us this story.

"But, we do know this: in the final days of Orokin rule… as towers fell and death came for the white and gold gods… the Scoria were not spared.

"No. Rather, their senior ranks – the mentors and chief assassins – were exterminated to a figure in a pogrom of ruthless and breathtaking efficiency.

"A near-total destruction led… in the main… by Ash. Curious, no?"


Baro Ki'Teer sells a pistol skin, Operator cosmetic, and Orbiter decoration related to this tale. Their descriptions are as follows:

  • DeNas pistol skin: "This skin immortalises the pistol Lio DeNas used in self-defence when Ash came calling, in the story told by Drusus Leverian."
  • Scoria Diadem: "During the Orokin era, those who bore this symbol inspired both admiration and fear. The jewel that adorned the Scoria, alumnae of the Orokin school of political assassination, is now yours to wear. Details of the school's ethos can be found in Ash's section of the Leverian."
  • Aged Claret of DeNas: "A claret with notes of golden sunlight. The Leverian's history of the warframe Ash brings into question whether blood runs thicker than fine wine."

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