|“||To get home, we'll harness the power of the eclipse using a mystical relic. It's called an ascendant, and it looks like this, Damon... The last time we had it was in the Pacific Northwest—Oregon.||”|
Ascendants are mystical relics which were previously owned by the Parker Family. An ascendant can be used to harness the power of a celestial event to create a portal to a prison dimension and allow a person to travel through it. The Gemini Coven in particular used the relics to create prison worlds in order to trap former and current members who had broken their laws or had become too dangerous to the public.
There are five known ascendants to have existed alongside their respective prison worlds: one that could access the 1903, 1994, 2018, 2028, and 2029 prison worlds. Each prison world contains a replica of the ascendant that created dimension which can be used to return to the mortal world. Replicas are created since ascendants cannot travel between the prison world and mortal plane.
Very little information is known about the creation of the ascendant other than it originally descends from the Bennett bloodline and used primarily by the Gemini Coven to banish dangerous individuals.
Ascendants allow a witch to harness the power of a celestial event (such as a solar eclipse, the Aurora Borealis, etc.) to open portals thereby giving one the ability to transcend dimensions, specifically a prison world. Ascendant can only be activated with the blood of a Bennett witch and the power of a celestial event. Anyone standing within the circle of light, while holding or linked to the ascendant can then be teleported from one dimension to another. Additionally, an ascendant can be used to pinpoint the positions of celestial bodies, allowing one to determine where the power of the celestial event is concentrated. While it typically requires a celestial, in A Bird in a Gilded Cage, Kai reveals that the leader of the Gemini Coven doesn't need a celestial event to activate ascendant.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
In Black Hole Sun, the Ascendant was first mentioned by Kai after Damon gets upset. He claimed that in order to escape this dimension, Bonnie needed to channel the power of the solar eclipse through the Ascendant which will open a portal to the living world. He then reveals that the last time he had it was in Oregon, therefore, Bonnie uses his blood to perform a locator spell. After failing for some time and a few encouraging words from Kai, Bonnie finally manages to do the spell and figures out that Kai had it in his pocket the entire time. He then says he just wanted to make sure her magic is working as it should be. Later on, he is using the Ascendant to determine where the eclipse's power should be harnessed when Bonnie and Damon discover he's a mass murderer who slaughtered his entire family and is, in fact, a witch. Bonnie immediately refuses to release him and later on, she and Damon make plans to steal the ascendant, escape and leave Kai alone in this place, though he overhears them and claims that he'll kill Bonnie by draining her magic if they don't work together.
In The World Has Turned and Left Me Here, Bonnie discovers that the ascendant and the spell to activate it are a Bennett creation which the Gemini Coven used to make sure that Kai would never get out of the time loop. Therefore, only Bonnie can use the spell and the ascendant. She kills Kai and prepares to get her and Damon out of the time loop. However, Kai is resurrected as the prison world prevents him from escaping, even by dying. He injures Bonnie with a crossbow bolt and then fights Damon who is also injured. Bonnie uses her magic to incapacitate Kai before throwing Damon the activating ascendant and allowing him to escape alone, leaving her trapped along with Kai in the time loop. The ascendant is broken into pieces when Damon disappears and it falls to the cave floor.
In Do You Remember the First Time?, Bonnie managed to fix the 1994 prison world copy of the ascendant, however, Kai managed to keep one piece preventing Bonnie from being able to use it to escape.
In Fade Into You, Josette reveals that she is in possession of the 1994 ascendant to ensure that no one could rescue her brother, Kai, from his prison world.
In I Alone, Kai now free from the prison world destroyed the actual 1994 Ascendant; first, by breaking it apart by throwing it against a tree, and finally by using his stolen magic from Liv to set the ascendant on fire. Elena futilely attempted to save it with no success.
In A Bird in a Gilded Cage, Bonnie, Kai, Damon, and Elena use the 1903 ascendant to travel to the 1903 prison world to find and release Lillian Salvatore. However, they learned that they had to find the replica of the ascendant in order to leave the prison world, as ascendants cannot travel between the worlds. Bonnie and Kai leave to find the ascendant while Damon and Elena search for Lily. Taking revenge for what Kai did to her in the 1994 prison world, Bonnie attacks Kai and leaves him for dead after finding the replica ascendant. With Lily found, she transports them back to the mortal plane, leaving Kai in the 1903 prison world with Lily's family, "the Heretics".
In I Never Could Love Like That, Damon gives his mother, Lily, the 1903 ascendant.
In I'd Leave My Happy Home For You, Kai manages to use Qetsiyah's blood from Silas' tombstone with the replica 1906 ascendant to free himself and the Heretics from the prison world.
In It's Been a Hell of a Ride, Bonnie helped Josie and Lizzie in creation of another ascendant, as it was the only way to stop Kai. Bonnie had said to Kai that there is no eclipse, which he could use to escape this time, but it is unclear if another celestial event was used, given the creation of the previous two.
Throughout Legacies Series
In There's Always a Loophole, when magic is nullified at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted, Josie finds a box in Alaric's office that was previously cloaked. She later breaks into the box and finds the ascendant that was used by Bonnie in 2018 to imprison Kai Parker. The ascendant looks familiar to her and Lizzie and Josie recognize it from the Merge research.
In I'll Never Give Up Hope, Josie continues to try and pry information from Alaric about the ascendant and how it relates to the Merge. Alaric tells her that it has nothing to do with the Merge and that she should drop it. After confronting her father, culminating in a public argument, he comes clean and tells her that it's a "lock" to a prison world and it holds their murderous uncle - Kai Parker. He is the only other living member of her and Lizzie's lunatic family. Lizzie wants to go to the prison world - he's been through the Merge and believes that he's got to have answers. They can't, however, Josie returned the ascendant to Alaric and that contacting him is their last resort, seeing as he killed his own family and his sister on her wedding day.
In This is Why We Don't Entrust Plans to Muppet Babies, Lizzie, Josie and the witches of the Salvatore School create a new ascendant and the corresponding 2028 Prison World to send the mora miserium to the dimension and lock it away. Unbeknownst to them, Alyssa Chang linked the transportation spell to the 2018 ascendant, thereby sending Alaric, Lizzie and Josie as well as the mora miserium there instead of the newly created 2028 prison world.
In What Cupid Problem?, Alyssa, having been found out by Hope for sending the Saltzmans to the prison world, cloaked the 2018 ascendant to prevent her or anyone else from bringing them back. However, MG was eventually able to convince her to do the right thing and give it to him. Instead she dropped the ascendant causing it to break in multiple pieces.
In You Can't Save Them All, Alyssa previously spelled the 2018 ascendant to break each time it was reassembled. Hope attempted to fix it, but the spell could not be removed and ascendant couldn' be repaired. For the Saltzmans to escape the 2018 prison world, Josie created doors within the world by siphoning the world's magic. Josie's spell allowed them as well as Jade and Wendy to escape; however, the world became unstable and eventually collapsed within itself. As a result, the ascendant on the mortal plane broke with the destruction of the world.
In Goodbyes Sure Do Suck, in order to save Rafael Waithe's life, Hope and Lizzie used the 2028 Ascendant to send him and his parents, Walt and Lucia, to the 2028 prison world. The Salvatore witches also projected the school to the prison world so that the student body could say their goodbyes.
In Hold on Tight, Alyssa, Lizzie, and Josie, create a new prison world and its corresponding ascendant. Together, they link the ascendant and all the spells that Alyssa linked to the mortal plane and send them, Malivore, the Necromancer, Landon, and Hope to the 2029 prison world. With Malivore defeated, Alyssa gives MG the ascendant for safekeeping.
In This is What It Takes, Lizzie mentions that Alyssa destroyed the ascendant that she previously gave to MG without telling anyone. Despite this, she was still able to astral project into the prison world.
In Yup, It's a Leprechaun, All Right, MG reveals to Lizzie that Alyssa didn't destroy the ascendant and he has been hiding it in his room with Alyssa's cloaking spell. After it's stolen by the leprechaun, Hope eventually finds it and confronts MG.