Ashley Summerson Character in Mendala | World Anvil

Ashley Summerson




Ashley was born premature by several weeks and because of this and other factors, her parents, Adam and Maggie, often treated her as if she was delicate or fragile which became part of Ashley’s internal identity at a very young age. She tends to underestimate her own strengths and accomplishments, never seeing herself as someone capable of anything great or noteworthy. She has a lot of fears, mostly around being hurt or injured, and doesn’t like to stray outside her comfort zone.   However, she is kind to a fault, and tends to bring out kindness in those around her. She has an empathetic heart and loves to help others. In fact, the only time she ever strays outside of her comfort zone is to help someone in need. Even she doesn’t recognize the boldness she has when she is determined to help others, but it’s apparent to those around her and she’s able to bring people together around a cause without even trying.   Ashley radiates a type of positive aura that others gravitate to, despite her relatively shy nature. Still, even though she’s kind, popular and often surrounded by people, she doesn’t feel close to many people and often hides her insecurities behind her cheerful and kind façade.    

Early Life

Ashley lived in Greengale, USA her whole life, her parents having moved there just before her birth. Her mother, Maggie Summerson, and Veda Guardman became very close friends. Veda’s son, Wayne, was only a few months older than Ashley and the two mothers often spent time together, which meant their kids did as well. Because of this, Wayne and Ashley practically grew up together and have been friends for as long as they can remember, doing everything together.   However, in the summer of 2009, something would happen that irrevocably changed their friendship forever. At the time, Wayne was nine and Ashley was eight. As had been the case for years, the two spent every day of summer together. However, nine-year-old Wayne had been consistently teased by other boys his age about having a best friend who was a girl, and this finally got to him. One fateful day, Ashely arrived at Wayne’s house. There plan was to go into the woods together to explore—without their parent’s consent—but when she arrived to collect her best friend, he rebuffed her, saying he no longer wanted to be friends.   Hurt and upset by her friend’s betrayal, Ashley ran away and went off to the woods by herself. However, she fell into a deep pit and ended up breaking both an arm and leg. Scared and alone, she was in the pit for several hours with no way to contact anyone since she had no phone.   When Maggie Summerson appeared at the Guardman house looking for her daughter, only to find that she wasn’t with Wayne, it didn’t take long for the close-knit community of Greengale to start looking for the child. Wayne gathered a few friends, including Jandor and Ace, to search the woods. He ended up finding her in the pit and with the help of the other kids, they managed to get her out. They alerted the adults and Ashley was rushed to the hospital where she stayed for several days.   As a result of the incident, the relationship between Wayne and Ashley was irrevocably altered. Wayne blamed himself for Ashley’s injuries and hardly left her side at the hospital. He thought that Ashley would hate him or never want to see him again but something unexpected happen. Ashley was traumatized and associated her rash decision to go off without him as the reason for her misfortune. As a result, she never wanted Wayne to leave her side. In the hospital, she would cry if he wasn’t there, and for several months after, she would have nightmares and refuse to leave her house without him. Wayne felt so guilty that he obliged her every whim, even if it was unreasonable.   The two children quickly developed an unhealthy codependent attachment which persisted for years, and Ashley’s sense of fragility became even more embedded in her psyche. Neither set of parents knew how to handle this, and though therapy made some headway in easing Ashley’s trauma and Wayne’s guilt, it was clear that their relationship had taken a sharp turn. Over time, Ashley started to cling more to Wayne, and he began to regard her as someone he had to constantly protect and be there for.   At age twelve, Wayne became involved with helping Jandor form A&A and by the summer of 2013 he was very active in it, to the point where he was always at the Greengale Indoor Adventure Park helping out with the activities. Whenever Ashley was not at home or school, she was with Wayne and thus often at the adventure park as well, though usually bored with nothing to do. Seeing this as an opportunity, Veda Guardman encouraged Ashley to join A&A and help with the activities. Ashley was reluctant at first but soon she found that she had a knack for being a hostess, making people feel welcome, and also taking care of the younger kids. After a while she became even more involved with A&A and started to slowly recapture her own identity, make friends, and become less fearful as she participated in the club’s many activities.   Throughout her teen years, Ashley was able to somewhat detach from Wayne. She could finally go places on her own again and be more social at school. Her natural kind and friendly personality made her extremely popular, and she was often the center of her social group, even without trying. Still, she never lost her attachment to Wayne. Any moment that she could be with him, she would, and Wayne always accommodated her no matter what she asked of him.   Because of this, she rebuffed any romantic advances from other guys, and purposefully did everything she could to keep other girls away from Wayne. Ashley didn’t feel any romantic feelings for him, but she didn’t want anyone else to have his attention either. This became even more pronounced when Amber moved to Greengale in 2016. Wayne treated Amber as if she was his younger sister and the two had a good bond, which Ashley was extremely jealous of, despite the fact that Wayne always put Ashley first.   Things would have continued like this if it weren’t for the accident that happened in 2017 where several people, including Wayne’s father, died in a horrible gas explosion. Wayne was devastated by the loss of his father, but Ashley realized that despite this, he still put her feelings and needs above his own. It was then she began to realize the unhealthy aspects of their friendship, something that Wayne himself wasn’t aware of, or was actively ignoring.   From then on, Ashley strove to not be as dependent on Wayne, though it was hard to let go completely. Despite having grown and matured a great deal since the incident, she still depended on him as a stabilizing force, and couldn’t let go no matter how much she knew she needed to. This culminated in their senior year of high school when Ashley and Wayne were both accepted into multiple universities but ultimately decided to go to the same school so they could be together.   As she was beginning to step into a whole new life away from the small town of Greengale, she wondered what the future held for her. Realistically, she knew Wayne couldn’t stay at her side for the rest of her life and that the two would need to separate at some point, but she didn’t know how to do that while still maintaining a normal friendship and Wayne seemed oblivious to the problem. Only time would tell if the two would be able to find the right balance again.


Wayne Guardman

Best Friend

Towards Ashley Summerson


Ashley Summerson

Best Friend

Towards Wayne Guardman



Wayne and Ashley have known each other since they were toddlers and did most things together when they were young.   When Wayne and Ashley were 9 and 8 respectively, Wayne grew tired of other boys teasing him for having a girl as a best friend and so one summer day when they were supposed to go to the woods together, he instead slammed the door in her face, saying he didn’t want to be friends any more. Angry and hurt, Ashley went alone, fell into a pit, and broke her arm and leg.   As a result of the incident, the relationship between the two was irrevocably altered. Wayne blamed himself for Ashley’s injuries and Ashley was so traumatized by what happened, that she was terrified to leave Wayne’s side for a long time, having associated her rash decision to go off without him as the reason for her misfortune.   This unhealthy codependence between the two has been the foundation of their relationship ever since and though Ashley has slowly grown more independent she still relies on Wayne and he still views himself as her protector.

Nicknames & Petnames

Wayne always calls Ashley by the nickname "Ash"

Relationship Reasoning

Wayne and Ashley's relationship, though incredibly close, is not romantic and neither harbor those feelings for each other. It can be best described as guardian/benefactor. Wayne feels an overwhelming sense of responsibility for Ashley but is not posessive of her. He won’t let anyone or anything hurt Ashley, but also encourages her to make friends and be independent. Despite this, their relationship is very codependent in nature, which can make their attachment to one another unhealthy at times.   For Ashley's part, though she recognizes some of the unhealthy aspects of their relationship, she's reluctant to let go. Because of this, she actively prevents any other girl from getting close to him because she doesn’t want anyone to take him from her.   She trusts Wayne implicitly, will typically do whatever he tells her, and unabashedly clings to him despite constantly being teased about it. As a result, Ashley really doesn’t have any other close friends even though she naturally gets along with everyone.

Age 17
Race Human
Gender Female
Height 5'5" (1.62m)
Build Slim
Complexion Pale Ivory
Eyes Blue
Hair Blond, sleek, falls just below shoulders
Father Adam Summerson
Mother Maggie Summerson
Set Rebecca Summerson
Mendalian Ranks
Adimus Rank Mentant
Hometown Greengale
Action & Adventure Club Member
Library Info & Links
Currently Held Titles
Other Affiliations

Character Guide
Groups & Organizations

Articles may contain some spoilers but I try to keep them minimal and not reveal major plot points beyond the first several chapters of the "Quest of the Seal Bearers - Book 1". Use the box below to reveal spoilers from the entire book.

View Spoilers from Quest of the Seal Bearers - Book 1

Character Portrait image: by AWGColeman (AI Creation)


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