Ascension is a short story that was released in the leadup to the release of Legacy of the Void.
Alarak, being the Fourth Ascendant, is one of the most powerful among the Tal’Darim. Eager to serve Amon and further his own power, Alarak is presented with a choice that will change his future, and that of his people, forever.
The faith of a Tal'darim warrior is put to the test as he uses guile and deceit to rise through the violent path of Ascension.
Fourth Ascendant Alarak was wandering the planet Slayn, when he encountered a surge of terrazine that pushed him closer to Amon's will. He saw that the day of ascension was close at hand, and that Amon would soon destroy the cursed Infinite Cycle. He was interrupted by Fifth Ascendant Ji'nara, who informed him that First Ascendant Nuroka had just declared Rak'Shir, ritualistic combat that allowed one to advance in the Chain of Ascension, against Highlord Ma'lash. Alarak, who had manipulated his way to get as high as he did in the chain, sought a way to use this to make him rise higher.
Alarak was called later in the day to the corridors of First Ascendant Nuroka, where he was found bleeding. Alarak assumed he has been hit by assassins, but Nuroka revealed he did it to himself to remove the words of Amon he had carved into himself. He told Alarak that he had gone out and used terrazine to feel the will of Amon, and pushed beyond further then he had before. Amon, overconfident in his impending ascension, accidently revealed to him his true will: there was no ascension, only oblivion. He mocked the Tal'darim and sought to use them only as tools.
Alarak viewed this as heresy initially, but could not attack an Ascendant of a higher rank. He entertained the question of how he would kill Amon, which Alarak answered by saying that one would have to enter the Void. Nuroka then told Alarak to declare for him in the Rak'Shir next day, and to find a way to eliminate the two ascendants above him, Third Ascendant Zenish and Second Ascendant Guraj, who would undoubtedly declare for Ma'lash.
The next day, Alarak and Ji'nara arrived at the Pits of Ascension, where Rak'Shir was to commence. Alarak ordered Ji'nara to not enter the fight, and he too only watched. Nuroka was surprised, until Alarak showed his hand; by not declaring, Zenish would declare for Nuroka in an attempt to take Guraj's spot. The two fought, but Zenish was slain. It was then Alarak entered, not declaring for anybody, but killing Guraj and lending his power to Nuroka.
After this, Alarak announced he was declaring for Ma'lash, and switched his psionic focus to aid Ma'lash. The two combined killed Nuroka. Ma'lash threatened Alarak, who had just risen to First Ascendant, but Alarak knew he would not kill him. Alarak stated that he would serve Ma'lash and Amon, but secretly was plotting a way to overthrow Ma'lash at the right time. He just would need the right allies.