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.The legend of how Gilei Hillen, a poor Preacher who worshipped a relatively unknown lake goddess, ascended to sainthood is a tale known by every young Hillenist. His heroic journey and sacrifice not only saved the people of southern Lethea from slavery and death, but also spawned a heretical branch of the Orthodox Abreanist religion that became far more popular than the old faith.
Humble OriginAround two centuries after the start of the 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 Kireseria of Sentijk intervened and offered to take the child from him. The old man, still grieving his daughter, agreed without a second thought.
Preacher and ProtectorAfter officially joining the clergy, Hillen started working side-by-side with his fellow Preachers to spread the news of the Invasion. Every week he saw hundreds of refugees fleeing from the war, and that made him afraid of the future. He, like everyone else in Sentijk, feared that the aberati-infested armies that were hellbent on conquering the world would arrive sooner than expected.
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 Tellaiti subcontinent . The marchers conducted raids and sabotaged their enemy's supply lines all while making their way further north, toward where Hillen believed the goddess had directed him.
SacrificeInvader, and his main force near a small village called Athe. While looking around for the best place to set up camp, Hillen spotted a large black rock the length of a sturdy oak tree and as wide as a typical well. Its edges were sharp and the top pointy. As he approached it, a loud horn echoed from whence he had come. Enemy forces had arrived far earlier than their scouts had speculated and all of Hillen's men were out of position. Although it pained him to leave his men behind, Hillen dashed toward the stone and dropped to his knees, begging Abrea for guidance. A bright beam shot out of the top of the obelisk and merged into the vague shape of a human who offered a hand to Hillen. He closed his eyes and placed his hand on hers as the sound of the horns closed in. A sudden flash and a loud screech followed, vaporising the enemy, the marchers, and the landscape itself. As Hillen opened his eyes, he realised that he had died in that blast, but his sacrifice and the sacrifice of his men and the villagers of Athe had saved the world from evil.
Historical BasisMost historians believe that Gilei 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 Kiretaev was built on top of the stone to protect it from the elements.
Hillenism is the largest branch of the Abreanist religion. Followers of the faith believe in the teachings of Saint Hillen, the hero whose sacrifice saved the world from the Invasion.
Orthodox Abreanism is the oldest and smallest branch of the Abreanist religion. Followers of the faith worship the goddess Abrea and follow her teachings.