I bring you good news! We stand at the dawn of a new golden age. Where others merely survive, we thrive! And while I have led your efforts, it has been by your own strength that you have earned all the envy of the world. And most of all, they envy our victories in the struggle for freedom. Because, yes, freedom is what we all work towards.
”— Ishmael Ashur
Ishmael Ashur, known as Lord Ashur to The Pitt's inhabitants, is the lord of The Pitt and leader of the Pitt raiders in 2277.
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. During the fight, Ashur was caught in an explosion and was presumed dead, so the Brotherhood left him within the Mill. 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.
During the Scourge, Paladin Ashur was caught in an explosion and was presumed dead, so the Brotherhood left him within the mill. After being pulled out of the rubble by scavengers trying to steal his armor, Ashur impressed them, some even considering him a god. He then brought together the scavengers in the area, starting the city.
Lord of The Pitt
He chose to start the city in The Pitt because he was touched by the tenacious locals, and the fact that it contained the only operational steel mill the Brotherhood had ever run into. So he recruited everyone in the area, killed raider leaders and made the rest follow him. When that wasn't enough, he resorted to using slaves (whom he insists on calling "workers" to remind them that they all have a chance at freedom, no matter how slim); he admits he hates to do this, but claims "it has to be done" since citizens of The Pitt are unable to have children due to the Troglodyte Degeneration Contagion.
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.
Free Labor: After you're done fighting in The Hole, he will ask to meet you and talk to you about becoming a Pitt raider. You can then choose to side with him or Wernher, and if you side with him you fight to stop the slaves revolt, and if you side with Wernher you kill him.
Despite his insistence that the residents of Downtown be called "workers", he still refers to them as "slaves" a few times in dialogue.
If the player lets Ashur live at the conclusion of the Free Labor quest, the player can come back and kill Ashur and loot his body for negative Karma. Sandra and The Pitt raiders inside Haven (assuming they're alive) will attack you. However, The Pitt raiders outside of Haven will not attack you.
Both Ishmael and Ashur are Biblical names. Ishmael was the son of Abraham, who was exiled by his own parents. Ashur was the second son of Shem, the son of Noah. Ashur was also the name of the capital of Assyria, an ancient Mesopotamian empire in what is now modern-day Iraq.
pcxbox360 Sometimes after the initial meeting dialog with Ashur he will repeat the words "Don't let me keep you" a few times to before leaving. This appears to be a bug, supposedly caused by speaking to others in Haven before speaking to Ashur or by skipping through too much of Ashur's dialog.
pcxbox360 After accessing the computer in the room with Marie, Ashur's corpse is very likely to disappear if you have killed him, so be sure to loot his body before using it.
pc Ashur's speech prior to entering the arena is bugged. In the PC version of the game, he will skip every other text block, causing the speech to be much shorter (the skipped portions of the speech can be heard in the background playing at the same time as the heard portions). The full speech plays in the Xbox and PlayStation version of the game.