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- nihil: Latin, "nothing." Root of the common word "nil."
Nihils are a common (if dangerous) form of wraithly transport - any wraith skilled in Argos can jump into the Tempest through a nihil and travel with relative safety, although any other wraith is gambling with his existence. Nihils can be two-way, although certain ones have a definite suction - generally towards Oblivion.
The majority of nihils are natural events in the Underworld, and are viewed by most wraiths as a form of hazardous waste. Spectres can exploit these portals into the Labyrinth, and creatures from Oblivion can step out of them. In addition, they have a hypnotic effect on wraiths, who often hear sounds of moaning or odd songs leaking out of them. Nihils often appear in sites of great suffering or pain - places where Oblivion is strong. One of the largest known nihils is the Sheol nihil of Auschwitz, centered over the former SS barracks at Birkenau; theory dictates it may extend into the heart of the Void itself.
After the Sixth Great Maelstrom and the thickening of the Shroud into the Stormwall, nihils primarily serve as safe passages through the thickened, highly-corrosive barrier. The only way a ghost is guarenteed to open one is if a Banshee successfully uses the Horror Screaming Nothing. On rare occasions, one will naturally open through the Stormwall, but is usually accompanied or followed by a great disaster. Grandmother has also been shown to be capable of creating nihils, though she rarely does so.