Queen Ashen is the sister of King Ror of Lienid, and the daughter of Tealiff. She was born and grew up in Lienid. She was married off to Leck, king of Monsea, when she was around seventeen. She fell under the influence of Leck's grace, just like everyone else in Monsea. She and Leck bore a daughter and named her Bitterblue . Eventually, Ashen came to realize the horible power her husband had, and struggled to break free of his spell. Leck regularly hurt Ashen and made her watch while he hurt others, as a punishment. It is implied that Leck raped her once she would no longer sleep with him willingly. Ashen knew many ciphers and codes, which she taught to her daughter until Leck found out and put an end to the lessons. Throughout her marraige Ashen embroidered in cipher on sheets and pillowcases, thus keeping a secret diary which she could consult when Leck's Grace fogged her memory. Eventually, Leck developed a strange interest in Bitterblue and wanted to hurt her in a grotesque and eerie way.
Ashen refused and Leck attempted to persuade her, sending in cut animals and children. Ashen and Bitterblue made a desperate attempt to escape, fleeing from their towers on a rope of blankets. Thiel , who despite Leck's efforts had become a close friend of Ashen's, stole a knife from the kitchens for her. She used the knife to kill a guard as she and Bitterblue fled; they would not have escaped without it.They wandered into the forest and remained until they were found by Leck and his hypnotized guards. Ashen sent Bitterblue further into the forest in an attemp to save her. Leck found his wife, and shot her with an arrow. Ashen crumpled to the ground, dead. Before she died, Ashen caught sight of Po and made a silent plea for him to save Bitterblue. Leck tricked people with his words into believing that her death had been an accident. It is the Monsean tradition to bury the dead and the Lienid tradition to bury them at sea, but in the Dells the dead are burned, so Leck had Ashen's body burned on Monster Bridge in Leck City, in accordance with his obssession with the Dells. It is implied that no one who truly cared for Ashen was present when her body was burned.