“A lot of people fear change. And traveling. And disarray. Sidewalk crack avoidance is more common than one would suspect.”— Holly Ashwin,
Tulane math instructor, PhD candidate with an emphasis on formal and computational cryptography
Holly Ashwin is a Valkyrie and the current Vessel. Born to a human father and a Valkyrie mother Greta the Bold she appeared mortal and as is their way, she was given up for adoption for her safety. Holly grew up in a wealthy human home with loving adoptive parents. She always felt different and suffers from OCD. She is a math professor at Tulane University. She has a human boyfriend but remains a virgin.
As a child Holly displayed many Valkyrie traits, despite her mortality, including a fascination with lightning and storms, and a desire to go out in them. She was also much stronger than human men her age and more amorous, easily becoming aroused. Men became afraid of her so she voluntarily became chaste. She avoided diamonds and jewels because she may become entranced.
A year before the events of Dark Desires After Dusk, Cadeon met Holly while on a job and became fascinated with her. He would watch over her without her knowing. At the beginning of Dark Desires After Dusk it was discovered by soothsayers that the Vessel would be at the "Son of Gib's Hall", or Gibson Hall, where Holly teaches Math to struggling students. Holly is the Vessel but no one knows this until the Order of Demonaeus takes her, intending to get her pregnant with a child. Holly let's the Valkyrie in her free and kills all the demons present. Freaking out about this violence and power in her, Cade talks her down and helps her escape Lore beings trying to kidnap her.
She goes with Cadeon to Groot the Metallurgist's fortress believing Groot could make her a human again. On the journey she falls in love with Cadeon and accepts him as her mate. He takes her virginity and she goes to the fortress to support him. Cadeon instead appears to betray her by handing her over to Groot. In reality he is trying to trick Groot to giving up the sword and the Vessel. Things go awry when Groot casts Cade from his fortress.
Holly escapes Groot's fortress and then kills a pack of Wendigo as a part of her fury. She then goes north following the Northern Lights. Nix, Regin the Radiant and Cara the Fair find her and take her back to Val Hall. After hearing of her deeds the Valkyrie gI've Holly a page in the Book of Warriors and she is given the trailing name of Holly the Bright. They train her and give her a place to stay.
At Val Hall she discovers she is pregnant, with Cade as the father. Eventually she reconciles with Cade and they get married and have twin daughters, Alyson and Brianna.
She is Mated to Cadeon Woede.
- Strawberry blond hair
- Violet eyes