Ascension espouses a belief that each and every man is but an embryonic god. Through a concerted effort towards enlightenment, dedication to the church, and becoming a powerful leader in this life, one can ascend upon entering the afterlife, literally becoming a god.
This appealed strongly to many of the Salterri, and in the wake of the imperial instability following the capture of Qzare Xiu Wandao, many looked towards Ascension for guidance in this life and the next. The church teaches that the path of ascension has been suppressed by the Lord of Fire, and that he and his evil avatar on Telluris directly interfere in ascension and must be brought down for mankind to truly take its rightful place in this world and the next.
The first known appearance of Ascension as a meaningful sect was in the 360s, although it seems the religion in the long-separated Ri Chugang is rather similar, and may indicate a longer history than previously believed.
During the late 370s and 380s, the sect began to spread into neighbouring regions within the Imperium. In its early years it was encouraged by Qzare Xiu Hanyeo, who was himself believed to be an adherent, although his brother Wandao was more sceptical and remained wary of the sect and its governmental branch, the Priory of Ascension.
In 392, Chief Hierarch Zanper Fidious was at the centre of a miracle at the Moonshroud Festival in Xianzhi Urbe, which saw several of the church's followers "ascend", grow wings and become angels. Apparently Qzare Xiu Hanyeo was also transformed during this process, which would ultimately lead to the Wars of the Mandate.
During the wars, Anaphorica, the capital of the Priory's state, was captured, and some years later the Priory agreed to return to governance from Xianzhi Urbe. The cult of Ascension gradually withered, its last gasp of international influence - though unsanctioned by the Priory leadership - coming in the Calorum Uprising in the 460s. The population of Salteire, Bor-Teire and Bracia gradually converted to the new church of Panshén, with the last significant Ascension following remaining in Ri Chugang.
It was believed that her mortal life, the woman known now as The Ascendant was closely followed by sixteen disciples, each a founding member and patriarch of the ancient First Church. The Quorum of the Sixteen Patriarchs in modern times is a reflection of these original Patriarchs, serving the Chief Hierarch much as did those first apostles serve The Ascendant. The Quorum is directly responsible for anointing and organizing priors to head each province. They also anoint priests to spread the word to the people.
Of the Sixteen, four of the Patriarchs were within The Ascendant's inner circle, her closest friends and most fervent believers. Each of the Principles of the Quaternions are represented by one of the four inner circle while the supporting Virtues is represented by another of the Patriarchs. The 17th tenet, Spirituality, is represented by The Ascendant herself.
|Spirituality||The Ascendant/Chief Hierarch||Concern for one's inner being and how one deals with these virtues||White|
|Obedience||Patriarch Famulatus||Submission to authority, corporeal and spiritual||Green|
|Temperance||Matriarch Parsimonia||Freedom from that which impedes your mind or body||Dark Green|
|Readiness||Patriarch Procinctus||Being always prepared for action at a moment's notice||Spring Green|
|Vigilance||Patriarch Pervigilare||Cautious alertness against the enemies around one and within oneself||Vibrant Green|
|Ambition||Patriarch Gloriosis||Desire to achieve greatness for one's faith, empire, and oneself||Blue|
|Efficiency||Matriarch Inergiae||Prevention of waste of thought, time, or resources||Teal|
|Diligence||Patriarch Constans||Ability to seek out a goal and continue towards it||Turquoise|
|Precision||Patriarch Adamussius||Being accurate and exacting in one's tasks and attention to detail||Navy|
|Respect||Patriarch Dignatis||Regard for the worth of others and of oneself||Purple|
|Honesty||Matriarch Veritatis||Deference to the truth in any situation||Violet|
|Honor||Patriarch Viri||Maintaining worthiness in oneself and standing strong for the worthiness of others||Lavender|
|Loyalty||Patriarch Fidel||Faithfulness and devotion to one's faith, empire, and oneself||Indigo|
|Valor||Matriarch Militiae||Courage to follow one's convictions in spite of danger or self suffering||Red|
|Justice||Patriarch Aequitatis||Wisdom to discern right from wrong and do that which is right||Maroon|
|Mercy||Matriarch Clementia||Empathy for fellow creatures and the willingness to end suffering||Red-Orange|
|Sacrifice||Patriarch Hostimaeus||Willingness to give of one's possessions, including his life, for the sake of others||Gold|