- "Bo nu zeymah, nu alok fah lingrah felniir su'um. Aam in!
(Come now my brothers, rise now for the long breath of winter. Obey your master!)"
- ―An undead Asterion rises the dead Blackgards
Asterion (Wastelandic: Pah-Bormah "All-father"), also known as Asterion the Black, Asterion of the Wastes, Black Asterion and later Lord Asterion Blackgard, sometimes referred to as Asterion Durrandon or Asterion Storm by historians, was an ancient Borderman nobleman, explorer, military general, philosopher, and mystic. He is perhaps best known for being both the founder of House Blackgard and the cultural founder of the Bordermen race.
Asterion was a legendary First Men figure of the Age of Heroes and ruler of The Borderlands. He was a distant relative to Durran Godsgrief and founder of House Blackgard. Some believe that he was the very first Borderman and father of all Bordermen. However, some maesters claim this to be false, as Asterion was accompanied with approximately 500 other First Men who were not related to him. Nonetheless, because of this popular believe, sexual intercourse between members of the culture's upper class is extremely rare. Asterion's borderman name is "Pahbormah" ("Allfather").
It is rumored that Asterion had approximately nine wives and over a hundred children. Therefore, the legitimacy of House Blackgard was often debated and some people believe that Trevyr Blackgard actually descended from a bastard bloodline instead of a legitimate one.
It is believed that Asterion earned his nickname because of his black and sarcastic sense of humour.
It is common belief that Asterion was born a bastard of House Durrandon, while others claim that he was trueborn.
When the Wall is breached by the White Walkers, Asterion and all the dead of the Blackgard Ancestral Tomb arise in The Borderlands, allowing the Army of the Dead to gain a foothold south of the Neck. Asterion and his army invaded Blackgard until they were defeated following the death of the Night King.
Asterion's exact date of birth is unknown. According to Xarxes, he was born on midwinter's eve to Dorian the Elder and Egeria. The Citadel has not fully agreed whether Egeria was Dorian's lawful wive or mistress, which also questions Asterion's legitimacy.
After a raging war between the First Men and the Children of the Forest, the once lush and flora-filled borderlands were viciously attacked by raging thunderstorms, active volcanoes, and dry winds. This rendered the Borderlands uninhabitable and created an unstable and highly toxic atmosphere. This event is known as the Cataclysm. After a few years, the Borderlands became more and more stabler and fresh oxygen returned. Although many plants and natural wildlife have gone extinct, the Borderlands were once again habitable.
Asterion, a distant relative of the famous Storm King Durran Godsgrief was granted dominion over the wastelands to rule as its Lord Defender. However, nobody has ever returned to the Borderlands, and the journey there would be very dangerous.
Asterion, along with his two eldest sons Orroman and Saloman, took a journey into the heart of the Borderlands. He, his wives, his children and over 500 companions took an exodus into the wastelands to find a place which they could claim as their own. They founded the Men of the Black, the precursors of House Blackgard.
The road was dangerous and many First Men died. However, Asterion and his remaining companions and children reached a ruined castle which once belonged to the Children. Asterion and his men claimed the castle, naming it Blackgard in Asterion's honor. Asterion and his children took the name of "Blackgard" as their surname and thus, became House Blackgard.
According to popular and contemporary belief, Asterion died of natural causes at the age of 106. In reality, as revealed by the Hahnuiel, Asterion died much sooner at the age of 55 after being murdered by his Men of the Black.
According to the Hahnuiel, Asterion claimed that he received visions from the Old Gods telling him of an impending war that would soon swallow the world and advised him to unite the warring First Men against it. Asterion brought this news to his cousin Durran, but he claimed it to be superstitious nonsense, and declined his request to unite Westeros. Angered, Asterion decided to move against his cousin's orders and unite Westeros himself. Upon hearing of this, the Men of the Black turned on Asterion. Sixty-six of the Black's members launched at Asterion and stabbed him 23 times. Fearing House Durrandon's and the bordermen's wrath when news of Asterion's murder reaches the public, they decided to keep his death a secret. They mummified him in a private ceremony. Fifty-one years later, the descendants of the Men of the Black would tell the world of Asterion's death, claiming he died naturally. Asterion's wives and children remained oblivious of his earlier death, because of the fact they were so many and they barely stayed in Blackgard for longer than a month.
News of Asterion's final breath went over the Stormlands as a huge dark cloud. It is said that even the fiercest of warriors put down their mighty axes, and in grief swore to never pick them up again. The death of Asterion ended the period of the Journey. Most of the Black Clan settled. It is them, whom the clan-based bordermen had evolved from.
Despite the crypt that had been already built for him in Blackgard, Asterion was mummified and buried on a small piece of land looking in the direction of his birthplace, Storm's End. Asterion's Tomb was located on the most eastern side of the Borderlands.
Asterion is the founder of the Borderlands and "allfather" of the Bordermen. Therefore many feudal-based bordermen originate from his bloodline, with the exception of House Skinner. In the years that followed, Asterion was remembered for his extended knowledge, honourable demeanor, but also his fiery temper.
Asterion left a legacy that stayed ever so powerful for almost 8,000 years. Every borderman and Stormlands child grew up with tales of the wise, strong and brave Lord Asterion.
When the Wall is breached by the Night King, Asterion simultaneously was resurrected as an undead Draugr. The reborn Asterion then calls out to the other dead of House Blackgard, who all answer the call and also arise.
Asterion was an ancient figure of legend. He lived approximately eight thousand years before the War of the Five Kings. As a result, credible information of his physical appearance are hard to come by. According to Xarxes, Asterion was tall, broad-shouldered, and muscled. He had a bald top, long hair descending from the sides of his head and a beard, both decorated in braids. Xarxes also mentioned that Asterion had one eye that was pitch black, and another that was light green. Therefore, it is assumed that Asterion suffered from heterochromia iridum.
Asterion was notorious for his hundreds of sons and polygamist family of nine spouses. Those who have the strongest of Asterion's blood in them are, obviously, the Blackgards themselves. Other noble houses also possess some of Asterion's heritage, except the Skinners, whose bloodline can be traced all the way back to a member of Asterion's 500 companions. Asterion was thought to have over a hundred children, and these are all collectively known as the "Black Bastards".
Powers and abilities
After his resurrection as the Lord of the Draugr, Asterion gained a multitude of supernatural abilities:
- Raising draugr
- Asterion can raise corpses as draugr. He doesn't require physical contact to do so, and can raise hundreds of draugr at a single time just by speaking a few words.
- Superior strength
- Despite him being a walking corpse, Asterion has on occasion demonstrated extraordinary strength. He has shown to be capable of lifting a well fit full grown adult into the air several feet with great ease.
- As a draugr, Asterion has shown to have no need to eat, drink or breathe to survive.
- Regenerative healing
- Asterion has demonstrated that he can heal from any form of physical injury.
- Pestilence inducement
- Asterion has the ability to manipulate both diseases and pests such as locusts and spiders.
"Asterion the Black"
|Lord of Ebonheart
? - ?
- "Let my little cousin wander off into the west! Lest he awaken the dangers of my kingdom's borders. For a day, he will not last."
- ―Durran's bet to his cousin Asterion
- "A man chooses. A slave obeys."