The criminal gnomish organization in aetherspace, known as the Gnafia, was able to wrest control of the entire Basin of Life by taking control of the nexuses of power in every city and commune. To do this, the leader of the Gnafia (known as the Gnodfather) had found ancient circular ruins on various aetherbubbles, which were known to the gnomes as the legendary Eight Rings of the Aether Kings. In truth, these ruins were what was left of artifacts from the days of the Elder Wars. In order to power the Eight Rings, the Gnafia Underbosses channeled energies from the Nine Seals that held the Soulless Gods by synergizing energies that resonated with the energies of the seals. Thus, the Basin of Life was plagued by erratic weather, plagues, invasions, kidnappings and worse. The Gnafia was finally defeated after the people of the Basin united and overthrew the Gnafia Underbosses, and then located the Eight Rings, destroying the machines the Gnafia had constructed over them to drain power from the Nine Seals and control the nexuses of power. Unfortunately, the Nine Seals had already weakened at that point, and the Soulless Gods were beginning to stir. As stated in the histories under Coming of Estarra, when the Nine Seals are weakened, there is only one way that they can be recharged: through the ascension of a mortal!
Throughout the months of January and February, there will be nine challenges, each representing the nine seals. The winner of a challenge will be marked by that seal and receive a special honour as well as a unique gift from Estarra herself. At the end of the nine challenges, there will be a final challenge whereby one of the nine winners shall arise to become a True Ascendant!
If you win a challenge and become eligible to be one of the nine finalists, that does not mean you have to participate in the final challenge. For those who have won a preliminary challenge and have decided to actively pursue the ultimate reward of ascending , you need not be a top combatant. However, you will most likely need allies to protect you while you hold the Staff of Ascension. Thus, the strongest contestants will be those who can gather the heaviest support from other members of the playerbase. This is important for everyone else to keep in mind when throwing support behind a contestant: You should be choosing who to support based on who you think will make the True Ascendant.
Seal of Chaos
Event: Amidst the hundreds of hamsters released during this challenge, the Purple Hamster of Chaos will be hidden amongst this furry hoard. This is not as easy as it seems as the Purple Hamster of Chaos is not as easy to hold as one might imagine! Whoever holds the purple hamster at the end of the challenge will receive the Seal of Chaos.
Seal of Justice
Event: Using the skills of debate, contestants will see who will come up on top in a series of debate challenges. The winner will receive the Seal of Justice.
Seal of Nature
Event: Who knows the geography of Lusternia best? This challenge consists of a scavenger hunt to find out the answer. The winner will receive the Seal of Nature.
Seal of War
Event: Four Wargames will be held with teams of 3. After all four are won, the winning four teams will have a final wargame against each other to determine the overall winning team. Once the final winning team is decided, the team members are given a choice. Decide among them who they support for Ascension and who will take the Seal, or enter a Free-For-All and the winner of the FFA will be the winner of the Seal of War.
Seal of Knowledge
Date: January 29, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m. PST
Event: This challenge is a rigorous quiz about the nature of Lusternia and its history. The winner receives the Seal of Knowledge.
Seal of Harmony
Date: January 30, 2011
Time: 3:00 p.m. PST
Event: This challenge will test the skill of influencing. Whoever influences the most denizens will receive the Seal of Harmony.
Seal of Life
Date: February 5, 2011
Time: 3:00 p.m. PST
Event: Who can save the most denizens? The winner receives the Seal of Life.
Seal of Death
Date: February 6, 2011
Time: 3:00 p.m. PST
Event: A rather dark challenge: whoever kills the most denizens wins the challenge and receives the Seal of Death.
Seal of Beauty
Deadline for Entry: January 31, 2011
Date Winner Announced: February 6, 2011
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Event: The Trademaster of each trade cartel may submit one design (either public or cartel-specific) on behalf of the cartel. The artist of that design must be specified as it needn’t be the Trademaster. For example, Trademaster Tom of the Lollipop cartel may submit a design and specify Jane as the artist. If that design wins, Jane would be considered the winner of the challenge. To enter, the Trademaster should message the Charites with the Cartel’s entry and specify who the artist is at that time. The winner of this challenge will receive the Seal of Beauty.
Final Trial: Ascension
Date: February 12, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m . PST
Event: The Nine Seals will merge together and form the Staff of Ascension. The staff can only be held by the nine challenge winners who are marked by one of the seals. When the staff is released onto the astral plane, it cannot be taken off of the astral plane. Whichever of the nine winners holds the staff for one full Lusternian day shall arise to become the True Ascendant!