Ishmael Ashur without the helmet
Where others merely survive, we thrive! Our industry is the envy of the Commonwealth! Our safety is the envy of the Capital Wastes! Our might is the envy of Ronto! And while I have led your efforts, it has been by your own strength that you have earned all of the envy of the world. They envy the steel shaped by the workers in our mills, and they envy the strength of our traders and raiders who wield that steel for The Pitt. And most of all, they envy our victories in the struggle for freedom. Because, yes, freedom is what we all work towards.”
Born on the West Coast, Ashur used to be a Initiate in the Brotherhood of Steel. He was part of Owyn Lyons' expedition to the East Coast, sent by the Brotherhood's ruling council in 2254 to recover technology from cities and bases on the eastern seaboard. During their journey to the Capital Wasteland, the Brotherhood's expeditionary force came across the ruins of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In a single night, the Brotherhood swept through the city from their staging area at Mount Wash, eliminating any resident who put up a fight. The intent of the Scourge remains unclear, but several unmutated children were taken from The Pitt by the Brotherhood and placed into initiate training. Lyons' contingent left the city after capturing all unmutated human children they found, about twenty. Lyons' forces suffered only one casualty: Initiate Ishmael Ashur, who was caught in an explosion in the Mill and was buried under rubble. He was presumed dead by his peers.
Ashur was rendered unconscious by the explosion but survived. He was woken from his involuntary slumber by a scavenger, trying to pull him out of the rubble and strip him of his armor. He did not let her take it, and spared her life. After questioning the scavenger, he learned that she and her family were staging raids into other parts of the Pitt to gather supplies. Recalling recon data and his Brotherhood knowledge, he realized that this was the only operational steel mill the Brotherhood has seen. Ashur decided that it was a chance for a new beginning. To this end, he harnessed the scavengers, who were more than happy to appease the man they perceived as god, to build a city from scratch. Although he kept his origins a secret.
The city grew rapidly under Ashur's lead and management. In order to keep his city growing, he ruled with a necessary iron fist, (keeping the ragtag group of bosses in line) buying and capturing people for slave labor and pressing raider gangs into his military. The harsh methods were necessary, as the virulent, toxic environment of the ruined city of Pittsburgh and the related Troglodyte Degeneration Contagion precluded normal procreation. Ashur considered his brutal approach a temporary measure, until a cure for the mutations was found. He and his chief scientist, Sandra Kundanika (who also happened to be Ashur's wife), focused on developing it. The solution came in the form of a child, their child. Marie was born without mutations of any kind and soon exhibited immunity to them. Her parents were elated and focused on developing a way to share Marie's natural resistance to mutation with others, so that the Pitt can grow normally.
But until such a way is found, Ashur continues to lord over the Pitt, building his vast raider army and the economic might of the Pitt, until he can fulfill his goals of freeing his people from the ravages of sickness and uniting the wastelands under his banner.
Ashur is found in his office at the top of Haven, and gives speeches to the slaves of The Pitt every once in a while. He also runs The Pitt's radio station.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.|
|This character drops a finger when killed (Lawbringer).|
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- Unsafe Working Conditions: Ashur appears, giving a speech to the slaves and announcing the opening of The Hole, giving the player a shot at their freedom.
- Free Labor: Ashur invites the player to speak with him once they survive The Hole and prevail. At this point, the player has to choose between siding with Wernher or Ashur. The first requires the player to kill Ashur after supporting the slave revolt, the other will involve suppressing it and dealing with Wernher.
|Ashur's power armor|
Drops on death
- "Nice work in the hole, new blood. Knew you couldn't be one of our normal workers. So, that begs the question: who are you, and what are you doing in my city?"
- "Ever since the city was scourged, we've done what everyone does: whatever's necessary to survive. I know my city seems barbaric to you, but it's the only way we can carve out a home in this hellhole, and it's kept these people alive. But that's enough stalling for time. So, do you know Wernher?"
- "Right now, nothing. Until we can reproduce a treatment from Marie, they'll have to keep working. Otherwise, this city falls apart. But once we do have a cure, things will be different. We won't need to kidnap people for our city. We'll be able to grow naturally. Until then, this is the way it has to be. It's just what has to be done."
- Ashur smokes.
- Although Ashur insists the enslaved residents of Downtown are "workers", he still lapses and calls them "slaves" a number of times in dialogue.
Behind the scenes
- Ishmael Ashur's name is based on Biblical characters. Ishmael was the exiled son of Abraham, whereas Ashur was the second son of Shem, who himself was the son of Noah.
- Ashur was also the capital of Assyria, an empire that existed in the lands now belonging to Iraq.
- Ashur and Caesar's backstory are similar: both were born and raised in an highly advanced society where they received high education, only to venture far from home on an assignment that eventually failed. Unwilling to surrender, but seeing potential in the cults and tribes surrounding them, said individuals rallied as many people as they could and built a thriving, if barbaric society.
- Ashur's speech to the slaves may bug out, causing him to skip over every other text block, though the entire speech can still be heard in the background.
- The Lone Wanderer: "How did The Pitt get started?"
Ishmael Ashur: "Believe it or not, it started when the Brotherhood decided to loot this hellhole and wipe it off the map. We called it the Scourge. Back then, I was "Initiate Ashur." But that ended when the Brotherhood left me behind, and I came to see The Pitt in a new light. I was found by tribals who thought I was a god. I didn't argue, and with my leadership and their divine dedication, we began rebuilding this city."
(Ishmael Ashur's dialogue)
- Confirmed with GECK.
- The Lone Wanderer: "So what's your long-term plan for dealing with the Brotherhood?"
Henry Casdin: "The Brotherhood came out here to recover technology from the eastern cities and bases. If Lyons won't do it, then we will. And when we resume contact with the Western Elders, Lyons is going to be put in his place. Even if that place is in front of a firing squad."
(Henry Casdin's dialogue)
- The Lone Wanderer: "What kind of changes?"
Reginald Rothchild: "We were dispatched with a specific mission. We were sent to locate and secure any technology remaining from before the war. Like our robotic monstrosity. That was our greatest find. Damn thing still doesn't work, but at least it's ours. But those damned Super Mutants... They changed things. Lyons changed. He decided they were a threat. Not just to us, but to everyone. And so he altered the mission. Finding the source of the mutants and putting a stop to them was his goal. Our original mission became an afterthought. We've failed both."
(Reginald Rothchild's dialogue)
- The Lone Wanderer: "How did you escape?"
Kodiak:"As they swept through, the Brotherhood policed up every non-mutie child they could find. Turns out, there weren't that many. Me and maybe twenty others. The younger we were, the less of a chance that we were mutated. It was ugly work, no doubt, but it had to be done. I'll never forget the sight of the Brotherhood of Steel breaching the breast of the mountain at dawn."
- Diary 3: The Mill
- The Lone Wanderer: "Who's in charge of The Pitt?"
Wernher: "He's a guy named Ashur. I don't know where he came from, but he's strong enough that he keeps all the other bosses in line. The bosses, well... they're a ragtag group of vicious little fucks. But they have the guns and the power. Ashur keeps them from killing each other, and keeps them forcing us to work."
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.43-44:
Following the Great War, survivors established a settlement on the remains of a city at the confluence of rivers. The rivers seem to provide a clear resource, and enough of the city was cleared by the bombs that a new settlement could be established. However, radioactive material and unidentified mutagens mixed into the groundwater, causing it to become slightly mutagenic and highly carcinogenic. As a result, the people in the new settlement began to change ever so slightly.
The changes were subtle, not nearly to the degree of the Super Mutants or the various Wasteland creatures, but over the next 140 years, it became undeniable that something was affecting the people of The Pitt. Starting from the first few years, children were often born with strange growths or extra vestigial limbs. The mutations never went far beyond the occasional hunchback or cleft palate, but it wasn't long before the vast majority of the residents of The Pitt developed some sort of physical deformity in their lifetimes. Although many children were born "clean," the older they got, the more likely that a problem would develop.
The most disturbing change that the environment caused was not nearly as noticeable as the physical deformities. The infected water and poisoned sky began to cause neurological damage to those exposed to it. People became more hostile, violent, and short-tempered; they became known as "Wildmen." Their emotions became out of control, and their actions often teetered on primal. In severe cases, mutated humans devolved into hunched, savage beasts nicknamed "Trogs." Over the first 50 years, The Pitt quickly degenerated into a dangerous den of murderers and rapists; even cannibalism was not uncommon. The only loyalty was in strength, and the only organization was between those who were strong enough to control others and those who were controlled.
Rumors of the horrors of The Pitt spread throughout the Wasteland, and all travelers knew to avoid it at all costs. However, The Pitt became one of the most self-sufficient communities in the Wastes. Granted, their self-sufficiency relied on the citizens occasionally eating one another, but they functioned without trade or export.
In 2042 , Star Paladin Lyons of the Brotherhood of Steel led the Scourge, a large-scale military action that wiped out nearly the entire population of The Pitt. In a single night, the Brotherhood swept through the city, eliminating any resident who put up a fight. Although the intent of the Scourge remains unclear, several unmutated children were taken from The Pitt by the Brotherhood and placed into initiate training. The motivations for the Scourge are unclear to this day, but many in the Brotherhood note that it was a marked change in the way the Brotherhood operates. Additionally, it is known that something was recovered from The Pitt during the Scourge, although to date it would seem that only Elder Lyons knows what it was.
It is said that a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin from the Scourge stayed on in The Pitt, seeking to bring law and order to the unwashed masses and creating an underclass of Pitt Slaves in the process, guarded by Pitt Raiders under his personal command. However, in the decades following the events of the Scourge, nobody has heard anything from The Pitt. Travelers who have gone to investigate have not returned, and no survivors have emerged."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- Diary 4: The Cure
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.61: "Ashur
Leader of the Pitt Raiders, Ashur is an imposing force in The Pitt, commanding respect through fear and accomplishments and his part in past atrocities. He was part of the Brotherhood of Steel forces that tore through The Pitt in a cataclysmic clash known as the Scourge. He remained, ruling the masses while seeking technological breakthroughs that could help heal the population from the ravages of "the sickness." His secondary plan is to continue to build up his army of Pitt Raiders, weaning out the infirm or incompetent in the Arena, and then march on the Wasteland, reuniting it and The Pitt. He is married to Sandra, who has recently given birth to a beautiful baby daughter."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
- Member of SmokerFaction.