Star Wars ABCs is a fun 26-part series that partners Star Wars with your ABCs to introduce you to characters, droids, places, and creatures from every era of the franchise, including the newest venture into a galaxy far, far away — The High Republic.
N is for Nihil
The Nihil were a group of marauders who were active during the era of the High Republic. The group was based in the Outer Rim Territories and were headquartered in a hidden base known as the Great Hall of the Nihil, which was located in an area that the group referred to as No-Space. The Great Hall consisted of a broad durasteel platform hundreds of meters long, with no walls or roof to insulate it from the cold darkness of space; instead, vacuum shields created a dome of breathable air.
Few groups were feared as much as the Nihil were in the Outer Rim Territories. They were known to wreak havoc and mayhem wherever they went — murder, kidnapping, blackmail, slavery, extortion, and thievery were all commonplace when the Nihil came to visit. The group of deadly marauders were known as anarchists that operated by the code of taking whatever they wanted and killing anyone that stood in their way.
Despite viewing themselves as lawless anarchists who didn’t conform to any rules or societal norms, the Nihil did have structure. The marauders were divided into three Tempests, which were in turn each led by a Tempest Runner, an individual who wielded sole control over the Tempest. Below the Tempest Runner in each group were the Storms, Clouds, and at the bottom of the totem pole, the Strikes. To climb the ladder of the group’s hierarchy you could be elevated by someone above you in rank, or take matters into your own hands and kill someone above you for their position.
The Eye of the Nihil was a unique position held by Marchion Ro and his father, Asgar Ro, before him. Operating outside of the Tempest structure, the Eye was unique in that it received two votes in council meetings with the Tempest Runners, and was seen as the symbolic backbone of the Nihil organization. Historically the Eye didn’t lead the Nihil, but that all changed when Marchion Ro sent one of the Tempest Runners to their deaths, and firmly wrested control of the group.
The Rule of Three was a Nihil policy that dictated how the spoils of any operation were shared, with one share going to the Eye, one share going to the Tempest Runner, and the rest of the share going to the Tempest members who operated under the Tempest Runner.
Each Nihil marauder was armed to the teeth with a wide variety of weapons ranging from blasters and thermal detonators, to blades, melee weapons, chemical weapons, and poison. The group was made up of numerous species from across the galaxy and the one thing that made them all similar (besides their bloodlust) was their masks. Each outlaw wore various weapons and armor, as well as a heavy mask with tubing and a rebreather that allowed them to hide their identities and protect themselves from their poison gas and chemical attacks.
When the Galactic Republic began expanding into the Outer Rim Territories, the Nihil took exception to this and caused a deadly hyperspace disaster that costs millions of innocent lives and became widely known during that time period as the Great Disaster. Following this event, Marchion Ro — the Eye of the Nihil — took control of the group and began leading them in coordinated strikes against the Republic and the Jedi Order. The Nihil’s ability to use the Paths — secret hyperspace routes throughout the galaxy — and their complete disregard for anyone but themselves, made them deadly foes.
You can follow the Nihil on their nefarious adventures in the new High Republic publishing initiative, beginning with Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule.
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