“The guardians of Maso Terra REALLY liked their bread.”
Average Adult Height: 2.1 m
Average Adult Weight: 99 kg
Alignment: Lawful Good
Established Planet: Semprada VII
Population: 3.5 billion
Civilization Type: 1
Found: Maso Terra, Semprada Allied
Having made residents in the cosmic backwater of Qn’Tahr, very few individuals encountered a Hillian. They were described as tall, lean, and fennec in appearance. Their fur was a colorful array of pastel hues that blended seamlessly into their jungle habitats. They had bushy, expressive tails that would flutter and twitch like a squirrel. Small patches of follicles shimmered with turquoise bioluminescence. Tails on males were more robust than the females. Their large, pointed ears could pinpoint specific sounds from over 2 km away. A Hillian's powerful scent receptors could detect faint smells from over 30 km away. The pupils of their vibrant eyes were both vertical and horizontal shaped- like a (+) symbol. This evolved feature allowed a Hillian to detect the slightest movement and provided a wide field of vision during any lighting conditions.
Xeno-biologists were fascinated by their cartilaginous bone structure. Lightweight and extremely agile, they also possessed impressive endurance. Their most notable trait was their double-jointed ankles. By collapsing their legs backward, they utilized the elasticity of their tibias to jump great distances. The species evolved powerful zygodactyl hands and feet, similar to chameleons on Earth. Three long, clasping toes were strong enough to support their weight as they parkour the thick vines of the paoluk trees. By amplifying their connection to nature through piezeron focus, a Hillian could blend seamlessly into their environment.
Barados hunters found the forest dwellers to be the ultimate quarry. A hillian bested by a flume lord- by no easy feat- had their tail severed and showcased as a trophy. Wealthy citizens of the Commonwealth pined over Hillian tails, and the Nohrd charged upwards of 30,000 zel for these rare items. Such displays of fashion were deemed barbaric among the allied sectors. Those caught selling or fashioning Hillian tails within the Combined and Tri-Fed territories faced severe reprimand and potentially a visit from a Vaulok.
====== The Great Dawn ======
Before entering Qn'Tahr through Mogotus Gate, the Hillian hailed from the exotic forests of Ashalorn. Their civilization had achieved a symbiotic balance between biological and technological. These artificers of nature made certain their progress left a minimal imprint on the lush eutopia they inhabited. When the Light Shepherds of Kryllos first encountered the Hillian during The Great Dawn, they were immediately drawn to the race's deeply spiritual connection to nature. The Nesis found their craftsmanship and adoration of their environment befitting of The Mother’s beauty. Impressed with their alluring works, the High Shepherd, Mundaaka Volgos, personally entrusted the Hillian to craft the majestic temples of Kryllos. As a reward for their skilled labor, the High Shepherd extended unto them the privilege of sharing Kryllos as their home within the Qn'Tahr. The Hillian were humbled to receive an opportunity to represent The Mother’s beauty through their craft. The Vlauk took an immediate liking to the Hillian’s warrior spirit deeply ingrained into their culture. War Chief Nokavn Xarduk of the Vaulok granted the Hillian warriors, the Ak Laoa, the distinguished opportunity to train with his soldiers on Cressca. Overwhelmed with accolades, Hillian elders, the Shaow Aa, converged in a private ceremony. A conclusion was reached; viewing Qn'Tahr as a great test of their faith, the Shao Aa encouraged compliance from their people. They encouraged their people to embrace the overtures with tremendous gratitude. To honor The Mother and Father, they swore an oath of absolute faith. In the eons following their sacred pledge, the Hillian held their bonds and were viewed as among the divine of Maso Terra.
Spiritual leaders viewed Hillian society as the perfect representation of peace achieved through The Mother and Father. During the course of The Great Dawn, Hillian artificers, the Etoa, incorporated their biological technology into that of the Vlauk's early infrastructure. With a painter's flourish, the Etoa crafted the forest landscapes around the Aash Tureo, creating a beauty yet witnessed. Their works of splendor brought tears of appreciation to residents of the holy worlds. Upholding his promise, Mundaaka Volgos welcomed the Hillian to their new home within Qn'Tahr. Throughout The Great Dawn, the Hillian and Nesis shared the lush majesties of Kryllos as equals. With reciprocal gratitude, the Hillian vowed to protect the Nesis against anything that would disrupt Mother’s beauty.
While adjusting to their new paradise, they forged a bond with the custodians of knowledge, the Veliken, due to their similar praise through nature. Etoa and Veliken artificers, the Muomn, perfected ways to amplify their spiritual ties through piezeron focus. Attuning to their environment, these techniques allowed a Hillian to vibrate into their surroundings, making them nearly undetectable to even the most skilled hunters. These techniques made the Ak Laoa perfect sparring partners for the Vaulok. Through competitive trials, Ak Laoa began incorporating reyv kor into their martial ability. In turn, Hillian artificers incorporated their unique form of biotechnology into the Vlauk space fleet, the Hok Kahmah Tha- The Golden Hand of the Father. A utopian society had been achieved that stood as a beacon for others within the galaxy for thousands of dekron cycles. Hillian society did well to adjust to the universe, but as the dekrons passed, a murmur of frustration began to ripple within the tribes. Their adoration eventually devolved to platitude as a restlessness began to fester among the race. While Kryllos matched the beauty of their former home of Ashalorn, it lacked the one thing in which Hillian culture centered around: the kluen thistle.
Hillian society revolved around the farming of the kluen thistle, a particularly difficult ear of wheat to cultivate due to its forest environment's high humidity. Each tribe claimed to have mastered the perfect technique in which the kluen thistle should be harvested and processed. These methods were passed down from Shaow Aa to Shaow Aa, dating back thousands of generations. When the thistle was harvested, it is prepared into bread that all Hillian shared an insatiable craving for, kluen ak. It was viewed as a well-deserved treat for the amount of work that went into its preparation. Although peaceful, Hillian tribes shared an odd rivalry towards each other. Bickering and shenanigans between tribes were common but never escalated beyond slight mischief. Attempts to sneak-a-peek at a rival tribe's kluen harvest were daily occurrences. Their society had found a way to reconcile these mild spats, however. Once every harvest season, Hillian tribes would converge on the ancient holy site of Sholm Al’Real for the Kluen Ak Festival. During this seasonal event, Ak Laoa from different tribes would compete in trails of intense physical combat and endurance. Victors of these matches would be rewarded a portion of kluen ak from each of the defeated warrior’s tribe. Despite their competitive nature, death and severe injury during these festivals were rare and considered dishonorable. When a victorious tribe- Ak Thaholm- was crowned, tribes gathered in celebration within the halls of Sholm Al’Real. Once there, they regaled over the competition while listening to stories told by the Shao Aa. Intoxication was a hilarious necessity while indulging in the fruits of their harvest. In a long-standing tradition, the Ak Thaholm would offer portions of their kluen ak to the defeated tribes as a form of mutual respect. This custom was central to Hillian culture and happiness. Without this annual tradition within Qn’Tahr, the Hillian quietly grew miserable.
The frustrations of the Hillian didn’t go unnoticed by the leaders of the holy worlds. They commiserated with the Hillian, offering solutions to help mitigate their slow, cultural deterioration. The Nesis requested the assistance of the Rhy’Laar to search the cosmos for the precious thistle. Dekrons of explorations led to no prevail. The Shaow Aa tried to provide solace for their people, claiming their dedication would one day be rewarded by The Mother. Within 100 dekrons cycles after their arrival, Hillian society had slowly devolved into a feral state. Tensions between tribes were high as provocation became commonplace within the temples of Kryllos.
====== The Cleansing ======
While frustrations continued to compound on the Hillian, the macabre rituals of the Semprada were discovered beneath the Aash Tureo. Seeking to amplify his power through the Shaylos, Priest Qwitawu Weiqal of the Semprada sacrificed Priestess Okebah Bazelon grotesque blood ritual dedicated to the entity Ehan. The act radiated bizarre energy that chilled the spiritual core of every piezeron wielder. The Toaa Tobo tribe was the first to arrive in the disturbing aftermaths. Witnessing such desecration of nature rendered the Hillian unable to contain their rage any further. With swift fury, Ak Laoa of the Toaa Tobo brutally dispatched any remaining Semprada on scene. When word reached His Supreme Honor, he ordered the Vaulok and Ak Laoa to put an immediate halt to all Semprada practices and remove them from the holy worlds. Ak Laoa from 10 different Hillian tribes traveled with All-Father Nokavn Xarduk and his Vaulok to Oqavar, the established planet of the Semprada, to evict them from the sector. Though formidable, Semprada resistance was eventually overrun within a dalo- week. Few casualties of Hillian and Vaulok were reported during the skirmish. Following the cleansing, the High Shepherd and His Supreme Honor examined the Semprada ritual site's remains. The leaders were appalled that such perverse masochism had transpired without notice. Seeking to enact a Father’s righteous judgment, the Supreme Honor ordered the Semprada blood priests' immediate termination. Vying for a more peaceful solution, Mundaaka Volgos insisted on a Mother’s mercy towards the Semprada. Demanding clemency on the desecrators, he allowed the Semprada to vacate the holy worlds under the promise they cease their heinous acts. Cursing the High Shepherd’s offer, the Semprada fled uur of the holy worlds. Both leaders found the refusal of the High Shepherd’s overture blasphemous. With their combined wisdom, a solution was reached that could potentially satisfy both The Mother, The Father, as well as restore calm to the denizens of the holy worlds.
====== Journey of The Mother ======
In the dalos following The Great Cleansing, the Hillian were stricken with a maddening fervor. The peaceful race devolved to a feral state and instigated fights with each other within the halls of the Aash Tureo. Witnessing their society crumble, Shaow Aa beseeched the wisdom of the great leaders once more. They cried for mercy to heal their cultural plight. They had done nothing for thousands of dekron cycles but demonstrated unwavering faith and loyalty towards The Mother and Father. His Supreme Honor proposed a solution to the Shaow Aa: gather all Hillian tribes to the training hall of the Vaulok, the Kof Vala, to compete for the accolade of acting as the guardians of the Nesis on Kryllos. The defeated tribes would be gifted the Hok Kahmah Tha to peruse the Semprada into the galaxy, ensuring they abandon their dark practices. Bestowing the gift of Mother’s mercy for their dekrons of fealty, Mundaaka Volgos blessed the Hillian, emphasizing that their hardships had not gone unnoticed by The Mother. Recognizing their society would never be truly happy on Kryllos, the wise shepherd urged the Hillian to use their gifted fleet to find a home better suited for their people, ensuring The Mother will reward their faith in time. Praising the great leaders, the Shao Aa agreed to the competition.
Ancient Veliken texts reveal the Ak Laoa fought with untold savagery during this contest. Long-standing traditions of sportsmanship were forgone as multiple deaths and injuries occurred during the intense matches. Once the victorious Ak Thaholm emerged, a tentative calm seemed to blanket the culturally ravaged Hillian. Holding to his word, the Supreme Honor gifted the defeated tribes the mighty Hok Kahmah Tha. The Hillian received the gift with deep appreciation. Holding no acrimony towards their former hosts, the majority of the Hillian tribes set off into the galaxy with their new fleet, clinging to the promise of the High Shepherd. They set a course uur of the holy worlds to pursue the Semprada, holding animus towards their previous desecrations. The Ak Thaholm, the Mao Uh tribe, remained on Kryllos to act as escorts and protectors of their Nesis allies. Tentative peace was restored within the holy worlds. While the daily motions resumed on Kryllos, there was little else the Hillian could do but place their faith into The Mother’s mercy.
For a hundred dekrons, the Hillian pursued the Semprada into uncharted space, fulfilling their sworn promise to thwart any dark insurrections they incited. The fiercely stubborn Semprada refused to abandon their practices, claiming they were pivotal to the worship of The Mother and Father. Shao Aa dismissed the justifications of the blood martyrs, viewing their methods of sacrifice egregious to natural beauty. Determined to break free of their pursuers, fragments of the Semprada fleet began breaking away from the whole in an attempt to escape the might of the Hok Kahmah Tha. Utilizing this strategy, small pockets of Semprada began colonizing the regions elst of Shissada Gate. The sparsely populated Semprada Allied sector was established, but their Hillian pursuers' persistence made their settlements isolated. A daunting wariness began to resonate within the Hillian. Dalls grew longer; patience ran thin. Shaow Aa's efforts to invoke faith in their people began to fall short as quieted agony manifested at the spiritual core of every Hillian.
While pursuing a Semprada cult dedicated to the dark entity Apsuu, the Hillian tracked the dark monks to the remote Theta Wyi VII system. Upon touching down on the planet, the Hillian were immediately greeted with a sweeping beauty similar to Ashalorn. After laying waste to the blood martyrs, a surge of angst swept the Hillian. The cannibalistic aftermaths of the Semprada blood rituals had left the planet's natural energies contaminated and in dire need of healing. Amplifying their energies through their piezeron, Shaow Aa gathered at contaminated sites to cast their spiritual essence into the planet, slowly cleansing it. While the Shaow Aa focused on restoring the natural beauty, Ak Laoa scoured the jungle landscapes for their coveted prize. Following their thousands of dekrons of cultural turmoil, their faith and dedication to The Mother paid off: the Hillian had found their precious thistle in abundance on this remote, forest paradise. Exhausted elation surged throughout the tribes. The wary race abandoned their pursuit of the Semprada, shifting their focus on the colonization of the planet. Within several dalatos, a full planetary settlement had been achieved. Through Qn'Tahr's modern era, Semprada VII remained the established home to the Hillian.
Word of the discovery was met with jubilation throughout the holy worlds. The High Shepherd dismissed the Mau Uh tribe of their duties to assist in the development of Semprada VII. As tribes settled, they began cultivating their sacred thistle. Old rivalries resurfaced, leading to tensions during that first harvest cycle. With lingering apprehension, tribes began producing kluen ak. To their elation, the kluen ak that was prepared far surpassed anything the Hillian had anticipated. The bountiful harvest renewed their diminished faith in The Mother and Father. To celebrate the successful harvest, Shao Aa selected Shalamar's islands as the festival's site within Qn'Tahr. Celebrating togetherness, the Hillian extended invitations to their former hosts and allies to attend the festivities. With the Semprada nearly vanquished and peace restored, friends gathered on Semprada VII for the Kluen Ak Festival. Amercing themselves into the festivities, attendees found themselves rooting for tribes and partaking in the fun rivalries between Ak Laoa. The dour frustration seemed to wash away as the festivities commenced. Once an Ak Thaholm was crowned, tribes gathered for the massive feast. As tradition held, the Ak Thaholm offered portions of their winnings to the other tribes out of mutual respect. Shaow Aa gifted their spiritual allies portions of kluen ak as a symbol of strength through perseverance. The gesture was well received, and all who attended celebrated the rebirth of Hillian culture. It's rumored Mundaaka Volgos celebrated a bit too hard, losing several of his garments and jewelry during the hoopla. The Vaulok developed a liking to kluen ak, claiming every bite gave them a surge of the warrior spirit. To honor their kinship, Shaow Aa pledged the Ak Thaholm of every season would return to Kryllos to safeguard the Nesis and their teachings.
====== Unjiit'yahnopa'kii ======
As peace resumed within Qn'Tahr, rumors of a ruinous black shroud began to surface within the core worlds. With terrifying reports of dark entities ravaging through peaceful civilizations, the Supreme Honor beseeched the aid of the Hillian. Invoking their oath to the Nesis, Kavahk tasked the tribes to hunt down those responsible for the bloodshed. Fearing an imminent war against the Semprada, the Hillian scoured the sector for the perverse desecrators. They discovered the isolated Semprada cults denied any involvement, claiming the Hillian's constant pressure had left their colonies esoteric. Blood priests cursed the Hillian and embraced the news of the rising dark. Showing no signs of wrongdoing, the Hillian had no choice but to leave the Semprada to their own accord, turning their focus on defending Semprada VII.
The dark entities swept through Qn'Tahr like an unstoppable plague. As allied civilizations crumbled within the core worlds, the tribes on Semprada VII braced for the worst. In an odd twist of fate, as the veil of darkness neared Theta Wyi VII, the savage fog pivoted lowk towards Maso Terra, completely bypassing the system. The relief was bittersweet among the Hillian. Shao Aa dispatched the Hok Kahmah Tha to intercept but proved ineffective against the forces of darkness. After substantial losses, what remained of the Hillian fleet were forced to retreat to Semprada VII. When the dark entities reached Kryllos, the symbol of light within the galaxy was nearly extinguished. As the carnage ravaged the sublime temples, Mundaaka Volgos made a desperate plea to The Mother and Father for assistance. Answering the prayer, the deities vanquished the dark entities atop the Temple of the Mother on Kryllos, restoring calm within Qn'Tahr. Following their intervention, surviving civilizations emerged from the ruins with blurred memories of the dark uprising.
====== Titory'yumaaach ======
In the early dalatos of The Great Silence, the Hillian salvaged the remainder of their fleet to mount a recovery mission to the holy worlds. Upon their arrival, they were met with a pulsating light anomaly that had completely encompassed the sector of Maso Terra. Already on scene, the Rhy'Laar and their allies had lost dozens of ships while attempting to penetrate the ethereal glow that now surrounded the region. Assiek scientists had no explanation for the bizarre energy signatures emanating from the aberration. Even utilizing the unique, biological technologies of the Hok Kahmah Tha, crafts that entered the region lost all communication and were never seen again. Unable to communicate with or enter the region, there was little else the allies could do but assume those within the holy worlds were lost. The best pilots were tasked with mapping the region's perimeter, marking the points of no return. Wary, the Hillian, returned to Semprada VII, eager to resume normal life within Qn’Tahr. Maintaining kinship with their allies, societies slowly pulled themselves out of the ruin left in the wake of the dark uprising. Exercising the teachings of holy leaders, a tentative peace was restored within Qn'Tahr. As societies rebuilt, the Hillian sought out Semprada cults for answers. Their search came up empty-handed, discovering only ruins of their former colonies.
As millennia passed, Shaow Aa and Veliken meisters began sensing familiar energies emanating from the holy worlds. Likening the sensation to a spiritual outreach, it was as if their allies within Maso Terra were attempting to communicate with the outside universe. Relieved that their allies could still be alive, Hillian and Veliken priests began developing meditative techniques to contact the holy worlds' survivors. Amplifying their mental focus through their piezeron crystals, priests could tune into those trapped within the holy worlds' spiritual wavelengths. Using themselves as a spiritual anchor, the Shao Aa and Veliken were able to “pull” their allies out of the region in the physical. Following thousands of dekron cycles of silence, the allies of the holy worlds were reunited.
====== The Great Calm ======
The reemergence of the holy races rang in the era of The Great Calm within Qn'Tahr. The reunion was celebrated throughout the galaxy. Those who were trapped within the ethereal Maso Terra began honing the techniques in which they could exit the sector in the physical. Techniques in which piezeron wielders could enter the celestial world were also mastered, allowing Hillian and Veliken to enter Maso Terra. Honoring their long-standing friendship with their allies, the Hillian resumed the tradition of granting the Ak Thaholm the privilege of protecting the Nesis of Kryllos for that dekron cycle. The Great Teacher and first disciple of Mundaaka Volgos, Aiseina Tobaru, of the Nesis embraced the accolade of the Hillian. To ease the process of traveling in and out of the ethereal Maso Terra, Veliken and Hillian artificers created nexus gates on Semprada VII and Oolumne. With kinships restored, life within Qn’Tahr moved forward.
====== Modern Era ======
In the eons leading into its modern era, the Hillian flourished in their established paradise of Semprada VII, maintaining their close bonds with the denizens of Maso Terra. Their faith in The Mother was unwavering. Those who had the rare opportunity of encountering the Hok Kahmah Tha reported it to be even more glorious than the fleet of the Alzheryn. Though considered a protected extension of Maso Terra, attempts to infiltrate the planet were common among pirate and smuggler clans. The Nohrd paid top zel to any who acquired the Hillian’s coveted kluen thistle. One wandering the lavish streets of Shuu Muh, Oolumne, paid upwards of 1000 zel for good kluen ak. On rare occasions, wayward Lioma fleets would travel elst of their sector into the Theta Wyi VII System, instigating fights with the forest warriors. Grievously to most who trespassed onto the sacred world, would-be aggressors were typically never seen again. The rare few who made it out of Semprada VII alive told stories of the forests seemingly coming alive, finding themselves surrounded by Ak Laoa. Their abilities to blend into their surroundings were rivaled only by the Barados. The Hillian were quick to defend their prize and were known to kill without question. It was rumored the Hillian amassed a substantial collection of ships and weapons of failed intruders throughout the ages. Hillian artificers were famously known to incorporate their organic technologies into the acquired devices. These devices were oftentimes utilized by the Vaulok while hunting their quarry.