Ascension is a communion with the six gods sought by many heroes. Ascending constituted of three trials and a final test within the Ascension chamber of Augury Rock. The deed of Ascension has not been attained in generations.
Sometime before the Exodus, the Margonites attempted to Ascend under their leader, King Khimaar. Misunderstanding the nature of Ascension, they attempted to build colossal pillars to reach the Six, as did many others. Even many hundreds of years later, these towers stuck out of the ground of the Crystal Desert.
During the reign of Turai Ossa, Ritual Priests Hehmnut, Kahdat and Nahtem cared for the shards of a vision crystal necessary for the trial in Elona Reach. However, mistrusting each other, they kept the shards of the vision crystal in separate camps, causing their colony to crumble due to this strife along with the battles with the Forgotten who they had attacked.
The Flameseeker Prophecies
In 272 AE, the dragon prophet Glint compiled the Flameseeker Prophecies that foretold a group of Chosen would rise and gain Ascension in the Crystal Desert. Many great human civilizations have traveled to the Crystal Desert to Ascend, seeking the guidance of the gods or believing that the prophesied few were among them, and almost all have failed.
On the advice of Vizier Khilbron, a group of Ascalonians and Shining Blade in 1072 AE were to travel to the Crystal Desert and Ascend to unlock the Gift of True Sight which would allow them to face the Mursaat. In the desert they encountered the Ghostly Hero—the spirit of Turai Ossa, still determined to reach the Hall of Heroes. Under his guidance, the heroes retraced the steps of the Elonians, seizing the Throne of Pellentia, cleansing their spirits at the Rune Circle, and reassembled the Vision Crystal.
The Pact Commander relived the Trials of Ascension.
Around 1330 AE, a group consisting of various races from all across Tyria and Elona had travelled to the Crystal Desert in search of ascending, calling themselves the Followers of Ascension. The group initally consisted of Kaidenna, their sylvari leader with a Wyld Hunt to discover the secrets of Ascension and the Forgotten, Xunn, Nyala and Dawnwynn with whom they had created the main camp for other followers. Kaidenna’s plan to reach Ascension was to activate the ancient teleporter to the Ascension room and there defeat the now-Branded Josso Essher, the guardian and protector of the place who used to test heroes during the Thirsty River Ascension trial.
Around this time, the Pact Commander arrived in the region, assisting the Followers of Ascension in their quest to Ascend. Dawnwynn noted to the Pact Commander that she believed that defeating Josso Essher would give the Followers of Ascension the ability to Ascend. She also noted that the Flameseeker Verses within Augury Rock would contain information on Ascension.
While traveling around the area assisting the Followers, Kaidenna began to enact her plan to access Augury Rock, protected by Josso Essher with a shield of Branded energy. Aided by the Commander and adventurers, she retrieved Forgotten magic from the corpse of a Branded Forgotten priest in an attempt to activate the teleporters to within Augury Rock. The group successfully activated the teleporter and faced off against Josso Essher. Despite him utilizing Branded earth elementals and summoning doppelgangers, he was slain. The catacombs beneath the Hall of Ascension soon opened up, granting access to several ghosts and additional information on Ascension.
Some time after, the Hall of Ascension was resealed, causing three of Turai's soldiers to appear and unbound magic to begin flowing out into the region. Attempting to stabilize the unbound magic, Kaidenna and her allies eventually caused the doppelganger which manifested as part of the Ascension trials to appear. Taking on the form of an ally of Kaidenna, it attacked the real form of the one it mimicked until it was slain.
The first rite of Ascension was the Thirsty River trial, where heroes would attempt to kill six Forgotten priests, guarded by enchanted armors, constructs built by Forgotten, alongside Forgotten themselves. The Forgotten guarding the priests were Goss Aleessh, Hessper Sasso, Issah Sshay and Josso Essher, with the enchanted armors Custodians Hulgar and Phebus guarding two priests.
The second rite consisted of assisting Turai Ossa in reclaiming the Throne of Pellentia from the Forgotten Dassk Arossyss, Byssha Hisst, Goss Aleessh, Ayassah Hess and Cyss Gresshla and the enchanted armors Custodians Fidius and Kora.
The third rite involves piecing together a vision crystal to create a doppelganger, with the three shards of the vision crystal being guarded by Tiss Danssir, Uussh Visshta, Vassa Ssiss and Wissper Inssani alongside Custodians Dellus and Jenus.
After the rites are completed, the one seeking Ascension will need to battle a doppelganger that will take the form of that creature, mimicking their appearance and abilities.
- Ascension bears many similarities to the Canthan rituals of Weh no Su, granting similar abilities to those who complete the rituals.
- Ascension is theorized by Follower Xunn to be a precursor to the Eternal Alchemy. He also theorized that Ascension would provide the key to the Eternal Alchemy.
- ^ Dialogue with Zuberi
- <Character name>: Can you explain Ascension to me?
- Zuberi: Many heroes of old sought Ascension—communion with the six gods.
- ^ Dialogue with Great Ritual Priest Zahmut
- Great Ritual Priest Zahmut: Hello. If you are here for Ascension, it hasn't worked for many years. I fear the gods have truly left Tyria.
- ^ Dialogue with Follower Kaidenna
- Follower Kaidenna: The ghost priest downstairs said Ascension hasn't been attained in generations. But I'm not giving up so easily. We'll crack the mystery, I'm sure.
- ^ Dialogue with Turai Ossa in Thirsty River
- <Character name>: How did [the Margonites] get here?
- Ghostly Hero: It might be hard to believe but many hundreds of years ago, much of the sand and sun-baked dunes were completely underwater. The Margonites, as you might have surmised by their architecture, were a sea-going culture, and they simply floated their way out here, looking for Ascension, back when only the tops of dunes stuck out of the water. They did not understand there is no earthly way to reach Ascension. Only by proving yourself worthy to the gods will they allow you access to their realm. [...]
- <Character name>: What happened to the Margonites?
- Ghostly Hero: They built towers, like so many others have, hoping to climb into the heavens and to come face-to-face with their gods, foolishly thinking they could read their petitions to Dwayna, Balthazar, and Melandru from their own lips. Their towers remain standing to this day, an eternal testament to their failure. Understand this: Ascension must be earned, and even then, only those few who are worthy of being raised to such a level will be admitted. All others will fall to the wayside, toiling in obscurity for a goal they cannot reach or becoming trapped like me, forced to wait for an eternity, their fate resting in the hands of someone they have not yet met.
- ^ Dialogue in Elona Reach
- Ghostly Hero: And so begins the test of the Elonians. This was where my people failed to Ascend.
- Ghostly Hero: When assembled, the Vision Crystal can focus the gaze of the gods and deliver to you the Ascension that you seek.
- Ghostly Hero: You've brought me the first shard, but you must still retrieve the others.
- Ghostly Hero: Ultimately it was greed that was our undoing.
- Ghostly Hero: The shards of the Vision Crystal were kept in separate camps, for we did not trust each other, not even our own kin. [...]
- Ritual Priest Nahtem: Just as the crystal was in shards and scattered, so were my brothers.
- Ritual Priest Nahtem: It destroyed us in the end. In death we can regain the glory of the gods.
- ^ Dialogue with Follower Xunn
- <Character name>: What's your interest in Ascension?
- Follower Xunn: I have a theory that Ascension may be a precursor to the Eternal Alchemy. Follower Kaidenna of Augury's Shadow Camp lets us focus on Ascension. She's been a colleague since before we arrived here.
- ^ Help Follower Xunn collect Forgotten Glyphs for decoding completion mail
- Follower Xunn: If my theories are correct, unlocking Ascension should—no, strike that, WILL—provide the key to Eternal Alchemy.