eality is not solid, particularly not in the Shadowlands. The Shadowlands are constantly splintering and breaking, and where the fabric of this part of the Underworld tears, the Tempest bubbles through. Oblivion is constantly extending its tendrils from below, probing the world for cracks, flaws, fissures, and imperfections. Like a cancer infecting a pure cell, Oblivion gradually infects the world with its darkness.
Such infection sites often manifest in the Shadowlands as whirling pools of pitch-black darkness leading into the Tempest. These tumors on the face of the Shadowlands are called Nihils, vortices of nothingness eroding the world. Those who stare too deeply into them experience powerful hallucinations of overwhelming despair and pain.
Usually Nihils are very small – tiny little cracks – but some have circumferences equal to those of large pits or even railroad tunnels. Nihils can form on the surfaces of pools of water, in shadowy corners, in elevator shafts, and under manhole covers – anywhere that leads down. Some Nihils don’t exist permanently, but intermittently appear – perhaps randomly, perhaps in a cycle.
Things dropped into a Nihil fall into the Tempest. Just as a Nihil allows a wraith access to the Tempest from the Shadowlands, it can allow dwellers in the Tempest a way out. Spectres are often attracted to Nihils and feed off of them. Just as anyone viewing a nihil in the shadowlands sees it as pitch-blackness, to anyone viewing it in the Tempest; it is extremely bright. It is said that when one yells into a Nihil, she can sometimes be heard down below; though doing so is considered extremely unlucky. Things have been known to crawl up in reply…