St. Montenegro of Ávila, more commonly known as St. Avila, is the first and only living Saint and infamous figure in Hell. Known for his repeated attempts to enter the inferno, heaven has charged him with purifying hell and absolving every soul trapped there.
Saint Ávila's background is difficult to discern, as stories and legends spread in different versions as he travels the world. The most widely accepted version hold that Avila was once a compassionate young noble or a prince, forced into a marriage with someone he did not love. Appealing to his father, Avila would only agree to marry to one who could ease the suffering of people as they age, fall ill, and eventually die.
When his father asked who could ease all the above, Avila pointed out that a doctor was able to do all of these. His father grew angry as he wanted him to marry a person of power and wealth, not a healer. He forced Avila into hard labour and reduced his food and drink but this did not cause him to yield.
So strong and good was his spirit that he never relented for even a moment, and obeyed every task given. His father, seeing this, became so frustrated that he attempted to strike Avila with a lit torch, only to repel the flames with his bare hands and suffer no burns. Now struck with fear, Avila's father attempted to kill the holy young man with his own hands.
Avila, realizing the pitied fate of his fathers dammed soul, forgave him for his horrible actions. Avila willingly took on his fathers sin, and upon death descended into Hell. While there, he witnessed first-hand the suffering and horrors that the souls there endured, and was overwhelmed with grief. Filled with compassion, he released all the kindness and goodness he had accumulated in his soul, thus absolving and freeing many of the suffering back into Heaven and Earth.
In the process, Hell began to be filled with light and purified. It is said that the greatest demons, too dark and evil to be absolved, sent him back to Earth to prevent the utter purification of hell. Upon Avila's return to life he was granted sainthood, and declared the first living saint by the Heavenly Hosts.
Since then, Avila has attempted to reenter hell numerous times by making deals with young, greedy, ignorant demons, intent on finishing what was come to be known as the Light in Hell, and free every tormented soul there.
As Ostentatious as he is pious, Avila is well known as a grandiose priest prone to theatrics as well as genuine acts compassion. Born into nobility, as the stories would have one believe, Avila portrays himself as well educated, polite, sincere and charming. The living saint firmly believes that no one, demon or otherwise, is truly evil or free of inner goodness. His inherit ability to being out the goodness of others reinforces his believe that even the darkest of creatures have light in their souls.
Remarkably bright, he is well informed about the inner workings and conflicts of heaven and hell, and is well versed in the lore and legend of various mythologies. However, his mythological intelligence never stemmed to common sense, as he is remarkably naive and easily led off course by those with nefarious or ill intentions. It is unclear whether Avila is truly ignorant of their intent or is aware of their and his future actions. Fitting this lack of street smarts, Avila is appropriately poor at hiding himself or blending into society, making him remarkably easy to find or attack.
Regardless, Avila holds faith in not only his abilities, but in the goodness of others to triumph over evil, and has even befriended the demon Mara, despite the demons repeated instance otherwise.
Powers and Abilities
The worlds first and only Living Saint, Avila is regarded as especially powerful and highly dangerous to those of evil intent. Effectively immune to supernatural harm, Avila can purify all evil magic, demonic or otherwise, used against him and calm raging thoughts and emotions of those close to him. While lacking in any offensive abilities, Avila specializes in neutralizing his opponents by sapping their evil willpower and purifying their wicked abilities.
- Purification- Avila's most effective and commonly used ability is purification, which can neutralize and diminish the strength and form of evil and it's abilities. It is most commonly seen used in Avila's ability to break curses, disrupt spells, and scatter illusions. Demons and other unholy creatures fear Avila's touch, as even contact with the saint can purify their vessels, freeing the human and sending the demons back to hell. He is also shown immunity to Hex Bags and their curses, able to grab one bare handed and suffer no harm. He was even able to grab one throw directly from the spell caster, purifying it instantly into harmless flowers.
- Light in Hell- Perhaps Avila's most infamous ability, the Light in Hell refers to not only the event, but the ability of Avila to purify enormous areas in a brilliant expansion of light. Once used to purify a 10th of hell, in desperate times Avila can summon forth his inner strength to cast a shining swath of light to consume and absolve everything around him in a large space. The light draws it's power from Avila's soul and leaves him greatly diminished after its use, making him vulnerable and without the use of his usual purifying abilities. Able to cast back even the greatest darkness, it is this ability that made Flower-Fruit Mountain clean again and forced the demon Mara, in his smoke form, to retreat back to hell.
- Absolution- Absolution was the first of Avila's abilities to awake when he was murdered by his fathers own hands and took on the sin of his own murder, therefore descending to hell. Absolution allows Avila to transfer the karmic guilt and mortal sin of anyone he comes into physical contact with, freeing them from their sin while shouldering the burden on his own. Avila does not make active use of this ability, as too great a burden of sin diminishes his powers. However, he does seek the right chance to make use of Absolution, which will allow him to reenter hell and complete it's purification.