The Well of Ascension is the mythical place where enormous energies would gather every thousand years. This was power that could supposedly save mankind. It is also the place where Rashek radically altered the world using this power, and became the Lord Ruler.
It is said in the Terris legends that the Hero of Ages will release the power at the Well of Ascension and use it to save mankind. However, this was a corruption of the text orchestration by Ruin. The original text was more vague on what to do with the power. Releasing the power at the Well ended up freeing Ruin from imprisonment, essentially dooming the planet. In the end, only someone wielding and balancing the diametrically opposing forces of Preservation and Ruin could save the world.
The Well was within Terris legend, and it was said that a man, known as the Hero of Ages, would use the power of the Well to help the world. When Kwaan met Alendi, he was surprised at how well the man fit the legend. He and a group of Terris packmen journeyed along with Alendi towards the Well. However, Kwaan noted that the legends in the copperminds and in text differed from the ones he had memorized, and how one such case was in the description of Alendi. He renounced Alendi and left, hoping this would dissuade the man from going to the Well. When this failed, he asked Rashek to do everything within his power, including murder, to stop him from releasing the power at the well. Rashek killed Alendi, and took the power for himself.
Rashek used the power to change the world in the following ways:
- He moved the planet closer to the sun, melting away the mist enhanced by Ruin.
- Seeing this would destroy humanity, he created the Ashmounts to provide shade.
- Seeing as this would suffocate humanity, he changed humans to be able to inhale ash, created plants that could survive in this new environment, and created microbes that could break down the ash.
- Turned the other Terris guides who were with him into Kandra.
- Genetically altered people into two groups. He made his supporters into nobility and everyone else into Skaa.
- Learned the secrets of Hemalurgy creating Kandra, Koloss, and Steel Inquisitors.
- Moved the Terris Mountains and changed geography to hide the location of the Well.
- He digested Lerasium, granting him Allomancy. As he was the only human to have both Allomancy and Feruchemy, he was immortal.
- Finally, he created the palace of Kredik Shaw above the Well of Ascension, hiding it and guaranteeing he would get to use it again once its powers returned.