Ashen Eye (アッシェンアイ Asshen'ai): is a very old Faerie.
Ashen Eye is described in the Official Guide Book: Merkmal as androgynous; since English unfortunately does not have a neutral gender pronoun, I am going to use Ae as one for the purpose of this entry. Ae typically wears a brown shroud and veils that makes Ae look like a desert-wandering nomad, and wields a simple wooden staff. Ae shows two thin, almost mummified-looking limbs, that could be taken as human; Ae actually has four arms, two of which are usually kept hidden in Ae's shroud. Underneath the shroud, Ashen Eye's face has 3 purple eyes with spiraling pupils. Ae seems to have no other facial features, with Ae's face presumably being just a mass of shadow with eyes.
Ashen Eye has a perplexing relationship with humans, taking interest in the fleeting nature of a human life in comparison to a Neighbor's. Ae cherishes the moment a child becomes an adult, but also takes pleasure out of seeing a human shaken to the core of their soul.
Ashen Eye will often play very dark tricks on humans. They make those tricks into a game, where the outcome of a loss invariably results in tragedy for Ae's victims. However, there is always a way to win for those who are cunning enough, and Ashen Eye may even give cryptic hints to help Ae's adversaries figure out what they must do. Ashen Eye does not mind losing, as long as Ae gets to witness the struggle of Ae's victims, whom Ae may compliment and sometimes even reward if they manage to defeat Ae's trickery. While Ae does not seem to be inherently evil, Ae likes to amuse Aemself at the expense of everyone else. It is possible that in cases like the kidnapping of Ethan, and the pelt thrown unexpectedly over Chise, Ashen Eye considers Aemself as teaching life lessons.
Ashen Eye seems to enjoy watching the suffering of others. While this may indicate a sadistic personality, it is also possible that Ae simply finds pain to be the most interesting emotion to observe. This is what made Ae interested in both Chise and Joseph. Once Joseph chooses to stop struggling, Ashen Eye seems to lose interest in him.
Ashen Eye seems to dislike mages to some extent, apparently holding the opinion that they enslave and bind the faerie. This may be a reason why Ae often targets Chise and Elias in Ae's machinations.
Not much is known about Ashen Eye's past except that Ae has been alive for at least a millennia.
Ashen Eyes first appears during the arc where Ae's greets Chise and bequeaths her with the skin that she can use to shapeshift as a means of testing how loyal she was to Elias. They later are revealed as the one responsible for the disappearance of Stella's brother, having overheard her request and decided to take her up on the offer. Ae then challenges Chise and Stella to find Elias, who they take captive, and in succeeding Ae congratulates them and warns Stella against speaking so carelessly since one doesn't know who will be listening.
Later on, Ae works alongside Joseph in capturing Stella and Chise. Elias decapitates Ae in order to remove Ae from the barring the way, but Ae later returns to observe Joseph accepting his defeat before leaving. Ashen Eye returns shortly afterwards, once more appearing before Stella.
Skills and Abilities
Ashen Eye is an extremely ancient member of the Faerie and has the abilities to match. Ae seems to be affiliated with darkness to some extent. Ae can teleport using black smoke and is able to create portals of shadow.
Ae's magical abilities include feats such as erasing the knowledge of a person's very existence from the minds of others; Ae erases the older Barklams' memories of their son Ethan after Ae kidnaps him. His sister Stella remembers him, and is desperate to find him, but when she catches up with Ashen Eye holding Ethan, she can no longer remember his name. Ae is also able to effortlessly put Elias Ainsworth out of commission with Ae's magic. Once swallowed by one of Ae's portals, Elias was completely trapped, unable to escape his confinement.
Ashen Eye is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to kill. Even after Elias had decapitated Ae, Ae reappeared later, seemingly having suffered no ill effects aside from a short setback.
- (To Stella) "Maybe its the company you choose to keep, dear. You don't have the Sight and yet here you are, all caught up in this nasty business."
- In Official Guidebook: Merkmal, Ae's height is 169cm (5'7").