The idea of the compass was first mentioned by Chandra Suresh in a tape which was recorded at the Coyote Sands camp in
1961.Using his father's research, Mohinder Suresh recreated the item forty-eight years later.
The compass was originally invented to led the owner to people who are possessing special abilities.
After Mohinder failed to talk to Samuel Sullivan,Joseph recreated the compass and gave one to Emil Danko so with the help of the item he can kill Samuel but when Samuel found this out,murdered his own brother for betraying him,than had Edgar to go after Danko and retrieve the compass
Samuel Sullivan after the funeral of his brother,Joseph Sullivan, ordered Edgar to go and take care of Emil Danko.Edgar arrived to New York City and killed Emil by slicing his stomach open but flee when he encountered Tracy Strauss and failed to defeat her.Tracy called Noah Bennet and found a key in Danko's stomach which led them to the Federal Bank of New York City.Noah needed someone who he can trust on this run and called Peter Petrelli for help who accepted only to take the power which Edgar possesses so he can make his job as a paramedic a lot easier.With the key, Noah and Peter eventually found the compass locked into a box in the bank but they were attacked by Edgar.Peter copied his ability and the two engaged into a duel and ultimately Peter ended up winning, so Edgar flee away once again.Peter told Noah that this was it and their team-up is over.Noah accepted his decision but Edgar reappeared and injured Noah badly and ultimately retrieved the compass for Samuel.
Later it was revealed that more than one compass was created as a few carnival members were holding one and one and even Samuel gave one to Tracy Strauss and Emma Coolidge.
After all, Noah did manage to get the compass back only to be stolen by his own daughter,Claire Bennet who went to look around the carnival and joined them but later dropped out.
Samuel Sullivan holds a compass tattoo on his arm which works as well as the original
one invented by Chandra Suresh.He showed this Hiro Nakamura after they traveled back fourteen years in the past and he explained him that that is how he found him.
Few weeks after Joseph's death, Samuel informed Lydia that he found someone who can fill Joseph's shoes and went to New York City to talk to Peter Petrelli and after a hand-contact, the compass tattoo appeared on Peter's arm as well.
Peter Petrelli first met Samuel Sullivan in the hospital after a bus accident who introduced himself as William Hooper.Peter thought that he may be an impostor who looked into his 'Petrelli' name and wanted money from him.Samuel broke into Peter's apartment and inserted the ink into a picture creating a pic of him standing among the victims.Seeing this,
Peter ran to the Central Park where he apologised Samuel for making a mistake and the two shared a special moment talking about life and who are out there people who won't accept them for who they are and they will always fear them.Peter than hold Samuel's hand and not much later after their departure that night, on Peter's arm the compass tattoo appeared.Next morning although it was already gone.
After Lydia learned the truth about Samuel and Joseph's death two and half months later, he used his empathy to call out for the 'next Joseph'.Peter suddenly woke up from his dream and the compass tattoo reappeared on his arm.