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Nihilan was a former Librarian of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter who turned Renegade and joined the Chaos Space Marine warband known as the Dragon Warriors led by the visionary former Chaplain of the Black Dragons Vai'tan Ushorak. Eventually, Nihilan became corrupted by the malign influence of the Ruinous Powers, became a Chaos Sorcerer hell bent on the destruction of his former Chapter.
Brother Nihilan was a former Lexicanium of the Salamanders Chapter who had studied under Chief Librarian Vel'cona. He learned alongside his fellow Neophyte Pyriel. The Chief Librarian grew concerned by Nihilan's delving into forbidden knowledge of the Warp which bordered on the heretical. Deeming Nihilan a threat to the Chapter, he had him shackled with a Null Collar which rendered his psychic abilities inert, leaving him for dead within the ruins of the world of Lycannor. It was there that Nihilan turned from the light of the Emperor, repudiating his oaths to both his liege and his Chapter, becoming thoroughly corrupted by the powers of Chaos. Nihilan soon joined with the demagogue Vai'tan Ushorak, an insane former Chaplain of the Black Dragons Chapter who had also turned Renegade. It is unknown what promise Ushorak made to Nihilan or what bargain was struck, but the Renegade Salamanders Librarian swore fealty to the former Black Dragon's cause and eagerly followed his new master.
Eventually a strike force composed of the Salamanders' 3rd Company, under the command of Captain Ko'tan Kadai, caught up to the deranged Chaplain and his Renegades on the Cemetery World of Moribar. While Ushorak delved into the secret crypts beneath the sepulchre world, the Salamanders and the Renegade followers of Ushorak fought savagely through the crematoria of that ash-blanketed world. At the height of the fighting, Ushorak was plunged into the central furnaces at the heart of the planet, and Librarian Nihilan tried to save the former Chaplain but failed and was horribly burned in the process, barely surviving his horrific wounds. From the tattered remnants of Ushorak's followers the newly christened Chaos Sorcerer Nihilan forged the Dragon Warriors Chaos Space Marines warband, determined to exact vengeance on the Salamanders and the people of Nocturne. Captain Kadai sealed his fate, as the vengeful Nihilan proceeded to engineer the heroic Salamander's downfall as revenge for his own horrific wounds.
Decades later, a small group of Dragon Warriors under the command of the Chaos Sorcerer Nihilan orchestrated the uprising of a Chaos Cult, the so-called "Cult of Truth," on the Imperial Mining World of Stratos to serve as a distraction while they secretly recovered an artefact known as the Decyphrex from the depths of Stratos' floating loft-city and capital of Cirrion. The Salamanders responded to Stratos' astropathic distress call and Nihilan had the added enjoyment of arranging for the death of Kadai, one of the Space Marines who had nearly killed him after he had gone Renegade decades before on Moribar.
After the death of Kadai, Nihilan enlisted a warband of Iron Warriors to mine a special ore known as fyron from the world of Scoria. It was during this time that the Chaos Sorcerer entered into a daemonic pact with the daemon Engel'saak in order to enhance his already formidable psychic powers. The daemon told Nihilan of a forbidden tome that possessed the fell knowledge of the the ancient Nocturnean Corpsemasters that had the ability to resurrect the dead. With this forbidden knowledge, Nihilan hoped to resurrect his former master Ushorak. In return for the daemon's knowledge and the enhancement of his powers, the Chaos Sorcerer provided Engel'saak a host body, enabling the daemon to enter the material realm as a Daemonhost and wreak havoc on the Salamanders Chapter. It was during this conflict that Nihilan finally revealed his nefarious plan; utilising a Seismic Cannon that was emplaced on his flagship, the Chaos Cruiser Hell-Stalker, he created a shaft that delved deep into Mount Deathfire, the sacred mountain of the Salamanders on Nocturne. Within the mountain, the Chaos Sorcerer was able to breach the hidden sacred shrine that contained one of the lost books of the Primarch Vulkan, known as the Tome of Fire.
The Chaos Sorcerer was confronted by Epistolary Pyriel, his fellow former Neophyte-in-training, whom he defeated in a psychic battle that resulted in the Salamander psyker's death. Though it was a pyrrhic victory, Pyriel's sacrifice was not in vain as Chief Librarian Vel'cona arrived to face his former pupil before he could make good his escape. The Chief Librarian and the Chaos Sorcerer battled within Mount Deathfire, but unfortunately Nihilan made good his escape due to the timely intervention of his personal bodyguard, Ramlek, but Vel'cona was able to destroy Ramlek upon an anvil that mysteriously materialised out of nothing. The Chaos Sorcerer managed to escape, still intent on resurrecting his former master Ushorak. Nihilan's current whereabouts are unknown.
Nihilan wore Power Armour the colour of spilt crimson blood with long curving horns that arched from each shoulder plate. The armour appeared as if adorned with dragon scales and possessed unholy talismans and the fell sigils of Chaos with dangling chains blackened from fire. His gauntlets ended in wicked talons. His armour appeared heavily damaged from the various campaigns he had fought in. Nihilan also possessed large amounts of scarring on his onyx coloured skin from the incident on Moribar where he had been horribly burned. In battle he wielded a blasphemous Chaos-tainted Force Staff with deadly accuracy that enhanced his already prodigious psychic abilities.
Nihilan leads a large Chaotic host composed of mercenaries, Renegade Space Marines and various xenos. He possesses a Chaos Cruiser called the Hell-Stalker that serves as his mobile base of operations and the flagship for his motley fleet. The Hell-Stalker possesses an enormous Seismic Cannon that was acquired with the help of the Iron Warriors. Nihilan also possesses an ancient Stormbird dropship that he uses to descend to the surface of a planet.
The Glaive is the name of Nihilan's personal cadre of Chaos Space Marines, made up of his most trusted warriors who act as his bodyguards and personal advisors. The Glaive consisted of the Renegade Astartes named Ekrine, Nor'hak, Ramlek and Thark'n, who replaced Ghor'gan after he was slain on the world of Scoria by Hazon Dak'ir, a Veteran Sergeant of the Salamanders' 3rd Company.
- Tome of Fire Trilogy:
- Salamander (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Firedrake (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Nocturne (Novel) by Nick Kyme