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Although the Ascendants had no official symbol, the black egg was used by the members of the order to recognize each other. The egg symbolized the beginning of everything — the Ehlnofey —, and its black color symbolized the corruption of the Ehlnofey heritage, which diluted in the blood of "lesser" races.

The Ascendants or The Order of Transcendental Ascension was a revolutionary group in operation during the late Third Era. Founded by Anelvus, the last survivor of the Old Ehlnofey race, it was led by him until his death at the hands of Talin Ashorak, at the time a high ranking officer of the Imperial Legion and of the Blades. Not much is known about what happened to the order after Anelvus' death.

Although it originated as a peaceful group in relative good terms with the Empire, as the Ascendants quickly grew to become one of the biggest factions in Tamriel, many members of the Elder Council were worried about its true intentions. Their worry was proven right when a few members of the order attacked the Mages Guild of Cyrodiil and stole several items of arcane power. For over seventy years, little to no information was known about Anelvus and his order. The Empire's greatest efforts to capture him were in vain. Even those who came close enough to him, who'd been nicknamed Nomad by the Empire, were quickly and effortlessly defeated by him or his followers. As one of the most magically powerful beings on Nirn and the last known Ehlnofey, Anelvus had a very high degree of influence among the elves, especially the High Elves, who viewed themselves as the closest descendants of the Old Ehlnofey race.

During his years leading the revolution, it was discovered that Anelvus had indeed made a deal with a Daedric Prince in order to achieve a forbidden knowledge — which lead many to believe the Prince was Hermaeus Mora — to supposedly help mortals ascend to godhood. However, it's never been confirmed.

Background

Origins

The Order of Ascension was founded by Anelvus sometime during Emperor Uriel IV's rule. At first, the Ascendants were a peaceful group which sought its goal — to lead all the mortal races, men and mer alike, to its next stage of evolution — by helping people within and out of the reach of the Septim Empire. They were famous for helping people to deal with monsters, bandits and other problems, and for the way they shared knowledge among people. With Uriel V's permission, Anelvus and his order created many of the first schools of the Empire. For over fifty years, education in all the provinces of the Empire witnessed an outstanding improvement. Anelvus' and his group's influence were immense on all Tamriel. Many scholars and new mages were born during that time. They helped the Empire in many battles, the most significant of them against the Camoran Usurper during Cephorus Septim II's reign. Not much is known of how Camoran's army of countless Daedra and undead was defeated, however it's been time and time again suggested that Anelvus and the Ascendants played a major role in the final battle. Anelvus himself is said to have slain the Usurper in the battle, but at the same time, out of mercy, spared his son's life. His son would later become the leader of the Mythic Dawn and a direct responsible for the Oblivion Crisis.

It's hard to say when exactly the Ascendants went from a peaceful and benevolent order to a revolutionary faction with plans to overthrow the Emperor and destroy the Empire. Anelvus himself seemingly saw the Empire as an obstacle to the ascension of the mortal races, claiming its omnipresence in Tamriel was something which caused those under it to not seek evolution. However, the exact whereabouts of Anelvus' treason are not known. For seventy six years he acted as leader of the Ascendants. Although their methods were still relatively peaceful — for example, the Order of Ascension did not kill citizens or common people, though it did kill soldiers of the Empire —, their revolutionary intentions were considered dangerous by both Emperor Uriel VI and Uriel VII, though many the latter many times tried to make a peace treaty with Anelvus and his order rather than fighting them in something similar, though to a much lesser degree, to a civil war.

The revolution would only come to an end seventy six years later, when Talin Ashorak, who'd later be known as The Eternal Champion, somehow managed to defeat and kill Anelvus. Even after seventy years as a revolutionary, Anelvus' name still had a very strong influence among the Empire. Though officially a criminal, his death was mourned by many people due to the things he did for the Empire. Uriel Septim VII himself did not hide his sorrow for the loss of a precious servant of the Empire. Talin, the one who killed him, held him in high regards even after his death in respect for his prowess in battle and wisdom. Many also were saddened by the death of the last known Ehlnofey. As for the Ascendants, most assume the order simply could not pull itself together after he died, though there are a few conspiracy theories that claim they are still active even during the Fourth Era. Some even claim that Anelvus did not really die, and faked his own death so that he could continue leading his group anonymously. Nonetheless, all these theories are not accepted, and the consensus is that the Ascendants were disbanded after their leader died in 3E 388.

Theology

According to Anelvus himself, the Old Ehlnofey were direct descendants of the Aedra. Believing himself to be above the other races, although not in a bad way — Anelvus' belief was that his duty was to lead all mortals to ascension —, he founded the Ascendants in order to help the other races to regain the divine status of their ancestors. They did not worship a god in particular, but instead their religion worshiped the spirits rather than gods the likes of Auriel and Xarxes. Indeed, Anelvus angered many Altmeri by openly speaking against their belief and mocking their gods. Though the details were only given to those members of the inner circle of the Ascendants, most believe that Anelvus somehow came to possess a very powerful object or knowledge, which he intended to use to give more power to the members of his faction, effectively helping them to ascend beyond Mundus. Anelvus himself had a strong belief in the self, the individual, saying the only true god worth of worship was oneself, because nothing else mattered. He revealed to the members of the order many secrets of the Ehlnofey, granting them new powers of almost divine nature. He and the members of his order were noted to be particularly well versed in Alteration magic, mostly due to their belief that the world should bend to their wills, and not the other way round.

Prophecy

Rituals

The Black Egg

Daedric Influence

Members

  • Anelvus (leader);
  • Uriel Septim IV (honorary member);
  • Trebonius Artorius;
  • Taris Rendil;
  • Salarth;
  • Veruine;

Trivia

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