Ashley was a mage and the apprentice of the Black Widow, the sister of Alex (who would later take her name), daughter of Sophie, and granddaughter of Doris. She was killed several years prior to the events of the Defender and Ash, but the impact of her death drives the story forward.
Ashley was a red-haired young girl who carried an Ash wand with a red stone at the tip.
Ashley was a kind young woman, who was unable to turn away from someone in trouble and caring enough that even if she was bullied she'd be concerned about their injuries. However, she had a hunger for knowledge after being introduced to the magic by her grandmother. Her yearning was so great that she didn't even hesitate at the thought of leaving behind an ordinary life to become a mage. However, as a result, when the Black Widow came looking to take on an apprentice due to Doris sharing a master with her, she ended up leaving Alex behind. She would later regret this decision enough that she risked her life in an endeavor she knew she couldn't complete and ended up dying for it. She was also clever enough to take measures to ensure that her sister would be aware of her death and leave her wand behind for her.
Ashley and her sister Alex were born to Sophie, a woman who was born from a mage but didn't have the talent. As a result she kept her children unaware of magic and forbid them from anything related to magic, even fictional. However, one day she and her sister were visited by their grandmother and became aware of magic. And despite their mother forbidding them from seeing her, they studied under her in secret whenever she visited. Eventually their mother and extended family gave up on them and began to treat both daughters like they didn't exist, and Doris stopped appearing entirely, leaving the sisters alone. One day they were visited by the Black Widow, who decided to take Ashley as her apprentice. She went with her, leaving Alex behind in the process.
The Gold Yarn
The short story, Defender and Ash, reveals that Ashley had chosen to go to a haunted marsh at the behest of a letter she received from an unknown woman, begging her to save the soul of her sister. Being guilt-ridden over leaving her own sister behind, Ashley accepted the task despite the fact that her familiar begged her not to go. She was subsequently killed and her soul entrapped within the marsh, but she took precautions to ensure that her wand was left behind for Alex to find.
- The Sight: Much like her sister and grandmother, Ashley possesses the Sight. This allows her to perceive the supernatural to a greater degree than others.
- Magic : Due to receiving a formal education, Ashley learned magic under an actual mentor and likely was quite skilled.
- Familiar: Ashley possessed a familiar with the appearance of a little girl that came up to her waist. Upon her death, its likely the familiar died as well.
- Sophie: Ashley and her mother's relationship became strained as the disdain she had for magic and Ashley's love of it came into conflict. Eventually her mother treated her like she wasn't there and showed no signs of caring after she had left.
- Alex: Ashley loved her sister, always seeing her as her protector and someone she admired. As a result, she felt immense guilt for abandoning her and that guilt led to her death.
- (To Her Familiar) "True. I'm being selfish. But until I see Alex again, I at least want to do something. If I don't do this, I don't know that I'll ever find the courage to see her."