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Nihilan, formerly a Lexicanum of the Salamanders[3c], was a Chaos Sorcerer bent on the destruction of his former Chapter. His initial motivation was to avenge the death of Vai'tan Ushorak of the Black Dragons Space Marine chapter whom he had followed in worship of the Chaos Gods, by way of destroying Nocturne.[Needs Citation]


This page contains spoilers for: Tome of Fire (Novel Series)

As a Lexicanum of the Salamanders, Nihilan studied in the Librarius under Chief Librarian Vel'cona, learning his craft with fellow neophyte Pyriel[3c]. It was during this time that Vel'cona began to have misgivings as Nihilian began to research and search for knowledge of the warp that bordered on the heretical. As a result Vel'cona had him shackled by a null collar and left in the ruins of the planet Lycannor. It was at this point that Nihilan decided to turn from the Emperor's light and utilize the full scope of his power, becoming a Chaos Sorcerer and forsaking his Salamander brothers.[3c]


After the events of Lycannor, Nihilan was quick to join a deranged Chaplain of the Black Dragons named Vai'tan Ushorak. What was promised to Nihilan or what dogma Ushorak was proclaiming is unknown, but the young sorcerer was swayed by the demagogue and swore fealty to his cause.[3c] It was on the planet Moribar that the Salamanders caught up with the renegade Dragon Warriors of Ushorak where, following an intense battle, the heroic Captain of the Salamanders' 3rd Company, Ko'tan Kadai, vanquished the Chaos-tainted Ushorak. However, in the moment of triumph Kadai sealed his own death warrant as Nihilan would kill him soon after on the planet Stratos in retribution for the death of Ushorak,[4] all the whilst in pursuit of a device known as the decyphrex.[2b] It was on Moribar, that Nihilan had learnt of Caleb Kelock, a tainted Technocrat, from a rogue trader house, who had learnt how to construct a weapon from the Dark Age of Technology- a Seismic Cannon. Kelock had then locked away the secrets of the design within the decyphrex and hidden it on Stratos, prompting Nihilan's recovery and deciphering of the device.[2c] Having obtained the decyphrex on Stratos, and engineered the downfall of Kadai into the bargin, he enlisted the help of a warband of Iron Warriors to mine a special ore, Fyron, from the planet Scoria and construct the Seismic Cannon.[1a] It was at sometime during these events that Nihilan entered into a pact with the daemon Engel'saak, whom he began using to supplement his already prodigious psychic powers.[3a] From the daemon Nihilan learned of a tome that was rumored to possess the knowledge of the ancient Nocturean corpsemancers that could bring back the dead. With this fell knowledge Nihilan hoped to resurrect his dead master Ushorak.[3d] As payment for this information and the power that Nihilan had been siphoning from the daemon, he gave Engel'saak a host body, the turncoat Salamander Iagon, through which Engel'saak broke into the material universe and wreaked havoc on the Salamanders.[3b] Gathering his fleet of renegades, Nihilan descended on Nocturne in force to prosecute a planet spanning war against the Salamanders. It is in the closing moments of the war raging around Nocturne that Nihilan's ultimate goal was revealed: he utilized a large Seismic Cannon, mounted on the prow of his cruiser Hell-Stalker to create a shaft into Mount Deathfire, the sacred mountain of the Salamanders, breaching a shrine that contained a book from the Tome of Fire written by the Primarch Vulkan. It was here that Nihilan was confronted by Pyriel, whom he defeated in battle and killed.[3d] However, Pyriel's sacrific was not totally in vain, as the venerable Vel'cona was able to intercept Nihilan before he could leave. The two battled and while Nihilan managed to escape, thanks to the timely intervention of Ramlek, Vel'cona was able to sunder him upon an anvil that had appeared from nowhere.[3d] Nihilan managed to escape, bent on resurrecting Ushorak.[3e]

The Glaive

The Glaive is Nihilan's trusted group of warriors that act as his bodyguards and advisors, though during the time leading up to his attack on the Salamander home-world of Nocturne, these warriors are only known to have met a few times. The Glaive consisted of Ramlek, Nor'hak' Ekrine and Thark'n, who replaced the warrior Ghor'gan after the latter was killed on Scoria by Dak'ir.[2a]


Nihilan's armour is the color of incarnadine blood, with curved horns arching each shoulder. The armour itself is adorned with scales and chains burned black from fire, and his gauntlets end in vicious talons.[1b] There is also a substantial amount of battle damage won from campaigning and graven sigils and unholy talismans of Chaos etched into it's surface.[3a] His eyes, smolder with the distinctive mutation of the Salamanders,[3a] set in a face grievously marred by horrific amounts of facial scarification with burns and lacerations searing his onyx-black skin[1b], much of which was caused by a fall into a lava pit that served as an incinerator on Moribar.[4] Nihilian is known for his prowess as a sorcerer, and as such, wields a Chaotic dragon-headed force staff of immense power and unerring accuracy.[4]


Of the large host of renegades, mercenaries and xenos under Nihilan's control he also possesses a cruiser called the Hell-Stalker which serves as the flagship of his rag tag fleet and also as his base of operations. The newest addition to the Hell-Stalker was a massive seismic cannon that was built with help from the Iron Warriors from the decoded decyphrex. Within Nihilan's armoury there is an ancient Stormbird that he uses to descend onto the surface of planets.[4]