“Lehran, you have ever been a wise and kind-hearted child. In deference to you, I will place my faith in your kind one last time. For the next thousand years, I shall sleep as well. When I wake again, I hope it is to a world of peace and order, where all prosper as equals. If I do, then I will know that you have advised me well. I will reward your counsel. I will also allow Yune to return to me. I will once again be the goddess of creation, whole and complete. Ashunera, the Dawn Goddess... The name your ancestors gave me so long ago. I should like to hear it again. However, during this thousand years, if the chaos of war should arise and awaken Yune from her slumber in the medallion... I will know that you have strayed from your path, and I will punish your failure as I would reward your success. And then you will know my judgment. You will pay for your sins, each of you to the last.”
—Ashera, speaking to Lehran in a flashback
Ashera (アスタルテ Asutarute, Astarte in the Japanese version) is the final boss and one of the main antagonists of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. She is the goddess of Tellius who is worshipped across the continent. She sleeps in Begnion's Tower of Guidance and is awakened when the war reaches its peak. She is one half of the creator Goddess Ashunera: she is the embodiment of order, stability, and law.
About eight hundred years before the events of Radiant Dawn, a great conflict arose between the Beorc and Laguz. Ashunera became distressed by the violent nature of her creations, and in a flood of emotion, Ashunera sank most of the world beneath a great deluge, sparing only the inhabitants of the mountainous continent of Tellius from drowning. The widespread loss of life only served to increase Ashunera's distress. Blaming herself, and believing that her emotions (personified as the childlike goddess Yune) were the cause of the disaster, Ashunera cast out her feelings.
Devoid of emotion, Ashunera became Ashera, Order Incarnate; her emotions became Yune, Goddess of Chaos. Ashera discerned that she should rid the world of chaos; she summoned her Three Heroes to seal away Yune in Lehran's Medallion, which would come to be known as the Fire Emblem. Ashera decreed that she would slumber one thousand years, and that if she were awakened by the breaking of the seal on the Fire Emblem, she would pass judgment on the beorc and laguz. She also told Lehran that, if during her slumber, he had doubts as to whether or not the world could be saved, to wake her up early by singing the Galdr of Release, after which she and Yune would speak with each other and decide on which actions to take. She then went to rest within the Tower of Guidance. To prevent judgment day from coming to pass, Ashera's heroes spread legends of the 'dark god' contained within the Fire Emblem to discourage warfare.
The mystical seal on Lehran's Medallion was what kept Yune imprisoned and what kept Ashera asleep. As the violence escalated, the seal on the Fire Emblem progressively weakened, threatening to release Yune and awaken Ashera. The seal becomes unstable, and the awakening of Ashera is imminent. Micaiah sings the Galdr of Release, releasing Yune from the Fire Emblem and awakening Ashera. When she awakens, Ashera is disappointed to see that the laguz and beorc broke their promise. Determining that her children were beyond redemption and had more than shattered their covenant, Ashera casts down her judgement, turning nearly all beorc and laguz to stone. Ashera soon discovers that her other half, Yune, had shielded a small faction of warriors from her judgement. To defeat Yune and make her will absolute, Ashera restores life to the loyal members of the Begnion military to fight for her named as Disciples of Order, even going so far as to restore the senators of Begnion, despite their transgressions.
With Yune's help, Ike, Micaiah, and their companions are able to power through Ashera's forces and make their way to Ashera's dwelling. At the top of the Tower of Guidance, a divinely empowered Ike strikes down Ashera with the divine sword Ragnell. After Ashera is defeated, Yune is able to reunite with her other half, and the Goddess Ashunera is reborn.
As the embodiment of Order, Ashera believes that her role as creator of the world and the Beroc and Laguz gives her free reign to enforce her beliefs on them and eradicate them should they be beyond salvation due to war and conflict. Devoid of her emotions, Ashera comes off as cold and unfeeling to the masses and only sees Beroc and Laguz in a black-and-white fashion.
However, she placed great trust in Lehran, allowing humanity a chance to show that they could keep Order for a thousand years of slumber, thus showing that she has some sentiment of hope for humanity as well as some lingering sense of trust in those who are close to her. Before going to sleep, she also expressed a strong desire to become Ashunera once again.
“You would face me in battle? I need no further evidence of your kind's imperfections. Perish, flawed one.”
—Battle conversation in Radiant Dawn.
Ashera: It is tragic that you are too limited to see how hopeless this is. You cannot hope to defeat the divine.
Ike: You're right. We can't hope to defeat you.
Ashera: Then why continue?
Ike: You haven't left us much choice. I'd rather die like this instead of being turned into some mindless statue.
Ashera: Simpleminded fool...
Ashera: Don't waste your energy, fleshling. You are physically unable to harm me.
Micaiah: Yune... I'm fine. I can hear you. No, I'm not afraid. I know you're with me.
Ashera: Ah, son of the dragon king... You may be great among the enfleshed, but you are no match for me.
Kurthnaga: Goddess Ashera, please listen to me. We know that we are clearly imperfect, but you, unnaturally created of pure order... Might that not be considered an imperfection?
Ashera: No, I am perfect. Free of emotion, I have no doubts. Therefore I commit no errors.
Ashera: Lehran, you have joined my enemies?
Lehran: My goddess... Never before have I defied you in even the least thing. But I have seen the error of my ways and wish to save the people whom I once desired to destroy. I am one man, and my life is precious. How much more precious are the lives of the countless multitudes?
Ashera's English name is likely derived from the name of the Semitic mother goddess Asherah. Her Japanese name, Astarte, is the Greek form of the name Ashtoreth, another goddess in Central Asian ancient mythology. She is also an ancient pagan goddess of Canaan, whose male counterpart is Baal.
- She can only retaliate with the Judge weapon she holds as her actions during her turn are limited to a scripted succession of her hidden Judge weapons. On Easy mode she never attacks on her first turn.
- If a unit tries to kill her with another weapon than Ragnell, she will recover all her HP (10 on Easy mode).
- When Ike defeats her, he will always use his non-lethal critical animation, instead of his usual attack animation.
- If the game is hacked to remove Ashera's Mantle, and she is defeated with Aether, Ike will do the normal Aether jumping slash for the first hit and non-lethal critical animation for the second hit.
- Ashera was mentioned in Chrom's conversation with the Avatar at the beginning of Paralogue 23 in Fire Emblem Awakening, where Chrom tells of Ike's sword.
- Ashera makes a cameo appearance on Micaiah and Sothe's SR cards from the fifth set of Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher).