The Ascension of Hillen
A Tale of Sacrifice and Eternal Devotion
Silence! Let me tell the story our most holy Hillen and how he saved your worthless hides from eternal slavery. Pay attention to the story and recognise its purpose. Even useless lazy bums like you can achieve something if you're willing to work for it.
Humble OriginThe Invasion, a fisherman's daughter died whilst giving birth to a healthy son on lake Amber. The girl's father refused to feed the child that had killed his daughter, but the Kirijksus of Sentijk intervened and offered to take the child from him. The old man, still grieving his daughter, agreed without a second thought.
The clergy had become the newborn child's new family. They gave him the name Gilbert Hillen and cared for him until his fourteenth birthday when the kirijksus that had brought him in and saved him from his grandfather offered him an opportunity. He could leave and start his own life with a reasonable amount of money from the litskirijk, or he could stay and officially join the clergy. Hillen, although torn on the issue ultimately decided to remain after mulling over his options for over a week.
Preacher and Protector
Divine MarchThe next morning he gathered around the bustling marketplace of Sentijk. What had once been a vibrant place that smelled of spices, pastries, and perfumes, had been reduced to a crowded area for the refugees to inhabit in tiny tents and makeshift shacks. The preacher spoke to the foreigners who had come to his hometown, and in their eyes, he sensed fear and anger. He used their feelings to further his own goals by talking to them and turning them into Abreanists. After several months he had gathered a force of loyal men and women who were ready to strike back and defend their freedom.
Hillen used his recruits to spread the news of what he called a Divine March, a great holy war to liberate the world from the enemies of mankind. Thousands flocked to his banner, but his actions gained the attention of his enemies who promptly renewed their invasion of the Toldenian peninsula. The marchers conducted raids and sabotaged their enemies supply lines all while making their way further north, toward where Hillen believed the goddess had directed him.
Most historians believe that Gilbert Hillen was a real person but how historically accurate the rest of the legend is has remained a mystery. The date on which the explosion happened is considered inaccurate by most scholars as the mid-winter snow would have made Hillen's journey through the mountains nearly impossible.
The explosion itself did happen. Witnesses, many who claimed to be scouts from the army, spoke about the event. The bright beam and high pitched screeching that occurred right before the blast had left all witnesses blinded and severely disfigured. Whatever happened had corrupted their minds, and all of their tales had a different ending.
The black obelisk is also real, but the explosion had damaged it, and by now only a small chunk of the bottom remained. Years after the explosion a massive foarkirijk was built on top of the stone to protect it from the elements.
Victory and RebirthVictory Day is on the 1st day of the year and its for celebrating the end of the year and the start of the new one. Victory Day is focused more on the soldiers who died in the explosion at Athe.
Rebirth Day happens a few days after Victory Day, and it serves a similar focus but unlike the previous holiday, its about remembering the deeds of Saint Hillen.
Survivors and the SchismAfter Hillen's death and ascension, the scouts who had survived the event began spreading the tale and what Hillen had taught them on the long march to Athe. Many of the free peoples of southern Lethea felt gratitude toward the man and freely accepted his version of Abreanism.
Hillen's ideas were more militarist and slightly more conservative than what normal Abreanists believed. Not only did he advocate for holy wars to spread the faith to the heathens, but he also said that there should be a single head of the religion who could lead the kirijks of Lethea.
Four years after the explosion at Athe a group of devout followers of Saint Hillen's teachings met the Kirijksus of Sentijk and demanded her to accept the role of the entire religion's leader and Abrea's representative in the land of the living. She refused, denounced Hillen's heretical beliefs, and banned the Hillenist from the Sentijk litskirijk, causing the first Abreanist schism.