Äs Nödt is a high ranking member of the Vandenreich elite guard, Sternritter, with the designation of F - "The Fear".
Äs Nödt's history is largely mysterious and unknown, but at one point just before he became a Quincy he was in hospital dying of a seemingly fatal injury he sustained during an accident. He was constantly contemplating why life must be so painful to endure, and how nice it would be to pass on into Heaven and become impervious to pain. He then turned his mind to Hell and begins to imagine what he would do, should he end up there instead of Heaven.
At this point the leader of the Vandenreich and the father of the Quincy, Yhwach, appeared at his bedside noting that he was one of the few survivors and that he will grant him unimaginable power.
Äs Nödt was created by Bleach's author Tite Kubo, to serve as a minor antagonist in the final arc of the manga, The Thousand Year Blood War, and as a member of the powerful Quincy organization Vandenreichs Royal Guard, Sternritter.
Inspiration for his appearance and name has not yet been revealed.
Äs Nödt's appearance is that of a tall slim-built man with long, dark coloured hair and large dark eyes with small white pupils in the centre. His attire is a variation of the standard Vandenreichs Sternritter uniform, consisting of a large white cloak fastened in place at the neck which is then covering a large white trench coat with numerous buttons adorning the front, and large black boots.
He wears a large dark customized surgical mask, adorned with numerous spikes and is black in appearance. He uses it to cover up the fact that he has lost the majority of surface skin surrounding his mouth, leaving his teeth and jaws completely exposed. He has also painted his fingernails black.
His attire changes slightly during the second invasion, wearing a new type of coat that has a cross shape stitched into the entire front, with buttons running down the length of it and the arms. His hands are now covered with fingerless gloves that have spikes around the wrist.
Äs Nödt's likely suffers from some mental disorder akin to narcissism or sadism. This comes from the fact that he takes great pride in his own ability to induce fear into others and watch them suffer. He also seems to have a dark and twisted sense of humour, as he consistently laughs at the mental and physical damage he deals to others, even going as far as to joke about the sever physical damage he dealt against Byakuya after he had stolen his Bankai. Despite these tendencies, he can be quite arrogant and strangely philosophical during combat, frequently going into the intricate details of what fear actually is, and how his ability works while constantly undermining his opponent. His arrogance is shown when he genuinely believed that the Senbonzakura Kageyoshi Bankai, which he had stolen from Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, actually belonged to him and only him, and that his unique ability was absolutely impossible to beat.
Äs Nödt is seen for the first time, appearing in the centre of a large column of blue flames during the first invasion of the Soul Society alongside numerous other members of the Sternritter. After arriving Äs Nödt immediately started to make his way through the Seireitei and began to slaughter numerous low ranking shinigami by impaling them. At that moment, Renji Abarai arrived and started to fight and fend off Äs Nödt. Äs however casually dodged around and blocked all his attacks with his Blut Vene until they were inturrupted by the surprise arrival of fellow Sternritter member Mask de Masculine and Byakuya Kuchiki. Byakuya began by cutting apart Äs Nödt's hand with Senbonzakura and immobilized Mask by destroying the ground beneath his feet.
Byakuya then decided to end the battle the battle by releasing his Bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, only to have it stolen instantly by Äs Nödt's medallion. As Byakuya starts to counter attack, he starts to feel a strange sensation. Äs Nödt then begins to explain to him that the sensation he now feels is "Fear", commending his ability to resist its effects, and Äs notes that a normal person would have died from the sudden shock of his fear. Byakuya not succumbing to his words, strikes out with his sword and managed to hit him, only to become near paralysed by fear. Äs Nödt then wounds him and tells him that there is no escape from this fear. Byakuya manages to focus his mind in an attempt to assault him once again, but fails and is attacked with his own Bankai.
As Byakuya falls to the ground after the assault, Renji tries to initiate a counter assault which again is casually blocked by Äs with Blut Vene. And as Byakuya tries to make an attack of his own, Äs sends the full force of Senbonzakura Kageyoshi towards him which forces him into a nearby wall with great force and leaves him grievously wounded as a result. Renji, goes to activate his Bankai, only to be knocked through a wall by the sudden re-appearance of Mask. Äs tells him that he should have stolen his Bankai for himself before knocking him away, and then tells him that they should return to the palace and look over the Daten.
Äs Nödt then appears as a part of the surprise attack with fellow Sternritter Bazz-B and NaNaNa Najahkoop, on Captain Yamamoto as he confronts Yhwach face to face. The attack is short lived however, as Yamamoto easily counters them and they are all scorched by the incredible power of Ryujin Jakka. Äs Nödt somehow survived Yamamoto's attack however, and was later present at the meeting where Yhwach nominated Uryu Ishida as his next successor, news of which shocks all the Quincy’s present.
During the Second Invasion, Äs Nödt intercepts Rukia as she is waiting to meet with Renji. After realising who Rukia is, he asks her where her brother Byakuya is currently at, and after she refuses to answer he begins attacking her. Firing off his arrows at Rukia, who dodges them and releases her Shikai, just in time to block one of the arrows from hitting her. Äs however tells her that it’s pointless, as a black substance starts to leak out of the arrow and seeps into her, infecting her with fear. Äs is shocked however when Rukia appears unharmed and asks him what it is he fears. He responds by firing more arrows at her, only to have them frozen before they could touch her. Äs then tells her that her attempt at stopping his arrows by freezing them is futile. Rukia then explains that the real power of Sode no Shirayuki is to lower the temperature of the wielder to that of below zero, and that the wielder is just an extension of the blade. Äs Nödt tells her it's an absurd notion, because freezing the body like that would kill the user, but Rukia tells him that she has mastered it, which makes her immunes to his power. Äs, does not notice Rukia cut his shoulder, which freezes the cut instantly. Rukia then prepares for her final attack which she claims is Absolute Zero, and and as Rukia cuts him once more, Äs is frozen completely solid.
Äs however reveals that he is still alive and states that the only fear he has is the wrath of his majesty, as his body and mask begin to crumble and fall off. Äs then releases his Quincy: Vollstandig, "Tatarforas", turning into a monstrous looking man. His new appearance frightens Rukia, who immediately goes on the offensive only to be paralyzed by fear the second she got close. Äs Nödt tells her that his fear is now enhanced and is reliant on sight alone and that as long as she is gazing upon his form she will continue to feel fear. He then encases them in a dome which sprouted numerous eyes all over the walls, and laughs at her attempts to avoid eye contact. And as he begins to gloat and laugh about his victory, the wall of Tatarforas is destroyed from the outside by the sudden arrival of Byakuya.
As Rukia tries to warn him to avoid eye contact however, Äs states it's too late as numerous eyes sprout around Byakuya. Byakuya cuts through them all with his shikai however. Byakuya tells him that after he had stolen his Bankai, he decided to commit himself to honing his Shikai, and thanks him for giving him the chance to do so. Annoyed by this he begins to transform again and his body grows larger and even more decayed and monstrous than before. He states that it's the end. Byakuya affirms it, but states that he will not be not be the one to kill him, as Rukia steps forward, readies her blade and activates her Bankai, Hakka no Togame, which envelops the entire area in a column of light and mist. And as the mist clears, Äs Nödt is revealed to be frozen solid once more and as he starts to fear, he begins to ask Yhwach for forgiveness as his frozen body starts to crumble away into fine dust and is blow away in the wind, finally killing him and leaving Rukia the victor.
Äs Nödt is a powerful Quincy and a member of the elite guard, the Sternritter. His spiritual power is vast, being equal to, if not greater than a Captain of Byakuya Kuchikis level, due to being able to steal his Bankai Senbonzakura Kageyoshi and then swiftly defeat him without any visible difficulty. His ability to absorb reishi is likely masterful given his rank, but also shown in how powerful his Quincy Blut Vene is, being able to effortlessly deflect Renji Abarai’s Shikai, Zabimaru, with a single arm while it was enhanced by Blut Vene, which also shows an incredible level of strength given how powerful and strong Zabimaru is when wielded in combat.
Reishi Thorns - Äs Nödt’s signature weapon of choice, spikes created from reishi which float near him until he either impales them into his targets, or fires them at high speed towards his target. These "thorns" also serve as a highly effective medium to transfer his "fear" into a target.
Medallion - A medallion with the insignia of the Vandenreich etched into it, given to all members of the Sternritter. It contains the ability to steal the Bankai of a Shinigami, but in order for it to work effectively, the wielder of the medallion must have the necessary power to control the stolen Bankai, else it will fail to steal it from the owner. Äs Nödt used his Medallion to steal Senbonzakura from Captain Byakuya Kuchiki during their invasion of the Soul Society, it was later returned to him however when Kisuke Urahara devised a way to hollowfy a Bankai and force them to relinquish their control. While in possession of a Bankai using the Medallion, Äs Nödt was incapable of using his Vollstandig.
Blut Vene - A skill inherently known by all pure blooded Quincy. By allowing reishi to flow through their veins, a Quincy is able to dramatically bolster their defence to levels where they are able to fend off direct attacks from a Captains Shikai. The defence is not completely absolute however, as sufficient power is able to tear through it, such as power from a Bankai or by a sufficiently powerful individual.
Blut Arterie - The counter to Blut Vene, a skill inherently known by all pure blooded Quincy. By flowing reishi through their arteries‘, a Quincy is able to boost their damage potential to incredible levels. Very little else is know about this skill, but it's said to be the only way a Quincy is able to deal sufficient and decent damage to a Bankai wielding Shinigami.
The Fear -Äs Nödt's signature skill, and his moniker, "The Fear". A powerful ability that allows him to infect his enemies with a paralyzing and deadly feeling of unstoppable and limitless fear. He uses this in conjunction with his Reishi Thorns, which pierce the target and then infect them with his fear. He states that the fear is so strong that it can cause a normal persons heart to simply stop beating due to the intense shock caused by it. It is possible however for someone with a strong will and experience to be able to somewhat resist it's effects, but it nearly impossible to block them out completely, and was confident enough to say that all would succumb to it eventually.
During his battle with Rukia, The Fear takes the appearance of a black liquid substance that spreads out from the Reishi Thorns. He then states that it does not require the piercing of skin to enter the body and that it simply needs to touch his target to infect them.
Tatarforas - Äs Nödt's most powerful ability, his Vollstandig Tatarforas, or "Fear of God". When activating this power, Äs Nödt rolls back his eye to reveal a hidden Vandenreich symbol on his sclera, which begins to change his appearance greatly. He loses his standard clothing and gains a robe with the appearance of decaying and emaciated skin, showing a large prominent stitch line down the midsection of his torso. The cloak is highly form fitting as it clearly shows his highly emaciated body, with his complete ribcage in full view. His Reishi wings take on a very different appearance than that of his fellow Vandenreich soldiers, appearing as a partial circle of barbed thorns floating just behind his back, and with the wings he also gains a halo like star that floats above his head. His arms appear to be covered in his black fear substance, and his eyes are fully rolled into his head to give him a truly intimidating and frightful appearance.
In this form his stats are boosted greatly, having speed that threw off the likes of Rukia, when he appeared behind her without warning. The most notable increase is his enhanced "Fear". In this form the nature of his fear changes, from a liquid substance that must touch the opponent to simply being seen by their optical nerves. This makes his fear even more deadly as the opponent is incapable of looking at him with succumbing to his power. He also states that despite the fact Rukia was able to shrug off his earlier attempts to infect her, he said that in this form as long as she perceives him with her eyes then she becomes infected. He also notes that even shutting your eyes won't help, as the fear will fester in your memories. To further amplify his enhanced Fear, Äs Nödt is capable of creating a large dome from an unknown substance, which sprouts an innumerable amount of eyes over its surface. It's purpose is to make it completely impossible for his opponent to avoid his gaze, and therefore his ability.
Äs Nödt also displayed one final ability, and that was a large scale transformation. When transforming, he absorbs his "eyes" back into his body, which causes him to balloon up causing the stitch down his chest to burst open which spews forth an even large body. This body is very large in comparison to his last one, and has an even more frightful appearance. In this form his legs are replaced by a large mass of tentacles, and his ribcage has completely burst through his chest revealing bone. His face has also changed greatly, appearing even more decaying and rotten. His eyes are seemingly melting out of his head and his skin beginning to sag down his face, quite a few of his teeth are missing, and what remains of Äs Nödt previous body is hanging from his chin, held in place by a few strands of skin wrapped around his giant head. He did not get to display what this form did, as Rukia killed him with her Bankai before he got the chance.