Nihilism: The Path of Screams
N i h i l i s m
T h e P a t h o f S c r e a m s
R a t t u s k d ' M u r a n i
C o n t e n t s
Page 3 Preface
Page 4 Heresiarch's Forward
------ The Manuscript Begins
Page 5 Dedication
Page 6 Words of the Forgotten
Page 7 Questions
Page 8 Genesis
Page 9 The Nihilist, Defined
Page 10 The Lords of Nil, Rending of the First Veil
Page 11 The Lords of Nil, Names of Fire
Page 12 The First Rite
Page 13 Whispers in the Dark
Page 14 Fear
Page 15 Despair
Page 16 Pain
Page 17 On the Uses of the Dead
Page 18 Revelation
P r e f a c e
It is a curious thing, History. When I pad down the cavernous halls of
the d'Murani tower, apprehension sends a chill through my tail.
Paintings of my ancient forefathers loom down imperiously from the walls with
critical stares, their accomplishments paraded below in gilt lettering. Few are
the alcoves that do not hold a shrine to some dearly missed cousin's memory,
trophies of their life's work immortalized for future members of our line to
strive to supersede.
Yet some monuments stand apart. If you tread further through the warping
corridors of our benighted tower, tiptoe silently past Tunika's eternal
laboratory, and quickly turn left at the ivory bust of our glorious Matriarch
Veonira. There, preserved across the decades, awaits an empty ruby throne of one
of our most renown, the Lord Aiakon d'Murani.
Aiakon. In Tolborolla, indolent furrikin mothers threaten their brats
with his name, saying that Lord Aiakon hides under their bed to steal
away those who do not behave. It has reached my ears that old merians in
Bondero Bay warn the younger braves to be wary of a whirling earthquake, for it
heralded the Archmage Aiakon d'Murani, and his raids of extermination. But those
who tremble most greatly at the Mad Geomancer's name are the scribes of
Magnagora, for Lord Aiakon demanded brilliance and perfection in his writings.
Many unmarked graves fill the gloaming, detritus of the unfortunates who were
careless with their grammar, or criminally misplaced a period.
On occasion, Lord Aiakon would retreat into the unplumbed depths of the
Mountains of Madness, and disappear into our Tower, filled with new insights
that would be transcribed for the edification of all. Yet where did this occur?
The halls are much too busy, and while the smells from Tunika's laboratory may
broaden the horizons, the sounds are as inspirational as a privy.
Once, I was meditating in the throne room when the moon was waxing.
Moonbeams danced across the ruby throne, sparkling off its wicked spikes and
curiously formed a faint oval on the wall opposite. Thanking my humble rodent
heritage for keen sight, I inspected the wall at this strange effect when I
heard an audible click and most unusual whirring.
Could it be? My whiskers stood on ends as I traversed the winding musty passage
to its final heart. I had found it. The secret study of Lord Aiakon d'Murani.
It is a bit of a ruin now. Ages have passed since footfalls echoed
through the chamber. Cobwebs hang thick on a fine merian leather
armchair, indented with its owners shape, but with no one to support.
Old letters and correspondences have collected and form teetering piles on the
floor, untouched and perhaps unseen by the departed sage. History waits in dust.
There was a novel thing though. Next to an unopened manuscript lay the
bones of a seabird. Unsigned and certainly un-received, a letter was
addressed to Aiakon d'Murani for publication. The cover page bore only
an Ouroboros, and what it held within was most intriguing. I submit what was
scribed to you gentle reader, in dedication to Lord Legion, and all of those
whom we have met and miss.
Apprentice of the Clay
H e r e s i a r c h ' s
F o r w a r d
I was a young lady in my late twenties, I believe, when I began my work for the
Halls of the Void under Lord Aiakon d'Murani's lead. Nay. That is a lie. I was
precisely twenty-two and I remember it like it was yesterday. Many have come and
gone from Magnagora, yet one cannot forget a single second spent in the presence
of that man. The author depicts vividly and accurately his attributes and
persuasions, and indeed many trembled under his piercing gaze over that missing
comma or flippant grammar.
My attention to detail and dedication has yielded me the position
of a junior librarian and, after his mysterious departure, the position of the
Halls' librarian. Alas, I was not bequeath with all secrets and manuscripts such
as this remnant of the past. The Midnight Tower of Domination housed the only
private study that I knew of, and one wonders what other marvels our renowned
Tailor will procure from within the true one.
In regards to this manuscript, I must admit my surprise at its
timeliness. Within our subterranean library I have seen such manuscripts and
grimoires, of such alien and dreadful origin, and possessed of so cryptic and
grisly knowledge; as to diminish the most resilient into mewling babes or aghast
malcontents. Yet this manuscript exudes the calm and sensibility that have ruled
the Nihilists since as far as my memory reaches.
The immemorial philosophy of Nihilism is laid bare within this
manuscript and serves for a suitable stepping stone before one dwells
into theories and improvements built upon since. The core aside,
practices described within are much more intricate and solitary than the ones
recommended at present. We have since focused on strengthening the ties between
one another and the young brethren of the Church of Five are scarcely without a
mentor or those alike. Along those lines, a fair amount of terms is foreign me
and not used these days.
Overall, this manuscript provides an intriguing look into the bygone age of
struggle to find identity and laying down of the foundations for Nihilism of
today. A sudden change such as the one brought about by the Blessing that
transformed Shallamar into Nil, is clearly a troubled time where the new is
explored and probed. I am inspired by several passages myself and the Nihilists
will definitely keep a copy upon its shelves.
Countess Nariah d'Iasani,
Heresiarch of the Midnight Legions
D e d i c a t i o n
For the dedicated work of V.N.D. and the Legion above us all.
Your memory is not forgotten.
W o r d s o f
t h e F o r g o t t e n
Inscription found upon an ancient ruin.
"Efficiut Daemones, ut quae non sunt, sic tamen quasi sint,
conspicienda hominibus exhibeant."
"Devils so work that things which are not, appear to men as if
they were real."
Q u e s t i o n s
A child sees a fire in the hearth for the first time. He asks, "What is this?"
There is nothing else like it in the world. Orange, red, yellow and crackling
like a living thing; it waves and beckons. Mystified and intrigued the child
reaches out to touch it. To feel it, understand it, possess it. And there is
What happens next is more telling. Does the child cry out and recoil at its new
discovery? Does he bury his head in his nursemaids skirts and weep? Does he bar
his younger siblings from the fire, proclaiming it is forbidden and harmful?
This is the fate of most mortals. They spend their lives making decisions based
purely on the fear of some
What if, the child does not cry out? Does he instead grit his teeth and accept
the pain as a lesson? Can the child understand that perhaps the fire was not
treated with the proper respect? Is he courageous enough to try again, to
harness fire another way?
Confrontation with the unknown forces each of us with a very simple
choice: Will we be weak, or strong?
G e n e s i s
With this question burning in my mind, I packed up my meagre possessions and
joined the ranks of the Nihilists, pledging my soul to the Lords of Nil. You
have undoubtedly heard of the Nihilists of Magnagora. We are reviled in the
streets of New Celest, and regarded with deep suspicion under the bowers of
Serenwilde and Glomdoring. People call us tainted, twisted in body and mind,
while the irony is that most have never even seen a Nihilist, let alone spoken
My purpose here is to expose the lies you have been told of the Lords of Nil.
At base, a Nihilist believes that everyone should be free to follow their own
desires, without restriction. The Demon Lords, are both Gods and Symbols of our
desires that when pursued to the utmost, make us strong. Naturally, your
guildmasters and city leaders find this idea subversive and will forbid you to
learn of our teachings. They do this out of cowardice and fear. At some point in
their lives, your masters became fascinated with independent thought and the
darkness within their own hearts. Everyone does, it is an inevitable natural
event. Our path, however, is far from easy, requiring discipline, focus and
strength at ever step. Honestly, not all individuals are capable of following it
to its end. Those who have failed are jealous of young ones who are curious and
have the courage to succeed.
T h e N i h i l i s t
D e f i n e d
Nihilists are priests, first and foremost. Our duties are to
minister to and protect the physical and spiritual welfare of the
peoples of Magnagora. While other priests spend time restricting their
lives and that of their congregation, it is our mandate to pursue any
goals that make us stronger.
We act upon this by encouraging each acolyte to accumulate personal
power and material wealth. Jealous theologians of other cities point
accusingly and say this is proof that we are merely self-serving
parasites. They are short-sighted and fail to see the context of our
actions. By strengthening ourselves, not only does each Nihilist pose
less of a drain on the resources of the city, but also this
self-sufficiency allow us to better attend to the needs of others.
This, strengthens the city of Magnagora as a whole.
In our role as guardians, we defend and preserve the cosmic realm of
Nil, the abode of the Demon Lords. It is by their grace we study the
rites of Nihilism and the science of Necromancy. These arts grant the
wielder unfathomable power, but more of this I cannot speak. Said
knowledge is closed to the uninitiated, but open to the ambitious.
T h e L o r d s o f N i l
R e n d i n g o f t h e F i r s t V e i l
Scholars and theologians say the Lords of Nil are paragons of evil.
Entities beyond space and time that dwell in the cosmic pit of Nil,
feeding on mortal suffering as leeches feed on blood. They claim the
Demon Lords and their followers are solely responsible for all the evil in the
Basin. Does this statement sound familiar? Have you not heard your mentor and
guildmaster spread this calumny when speaking of
Nihilists and the Taint?
Examine this statement for a moment: the Demon Lords and Nihilists are
responsible for all evil in the Basin. Do you really believe this? Do
you really expect that if the Demon Lords and their servants were
banished forever, all evil would be wiped clean from the Basin? Of
course not. It is a fool's paradise. But the truth of this question
holds a secret for the wise. Potent though they are, the Demon Lords
are NOT the origin of evil.
Look around you; at your guild, your city, your commune. Have you not
seen families fight with one another for no logical reason? Citizens
steal from each other for gain or spite? Guildmates bicker publicly over some
meaningless conflict? Warriors spit words of hate and intolerance for another
society whom they have never even met? If the Lords of Nil left the Basin, all
this would continue unabated. The Lords are not the embodiment of evil. The evil
of the Basin lies in each of you. It lies dormant within every mortal heart.
Do you remember anger when someone has teased you? Have you ever struck back at
them with righteous hate? Have you ever spoke a lie to protect yourself? Desired
someone who belongs to another and plotted to poison their relationship?
Intentionally hurt someone you should have loved just to see their pain?
Accept who you are. Do not run from it, and hide behind religions of
restraint. It will follow you wherever you go. Instead have the courage to
understand the evil within yourself.
This is the first lesson.
T h e L o r d s o f N i l
N a m e s o f F i r e
Lords of Nil are complex Gods. They are both potent Demon Lords and
symbolic representations of our darker instincts. Simply, they are a
reflection of ourselves, of the power and ambitions we can achieve when our
primal urges run unrestrained. The Dark Lords welcome all
supplicants who lust for power, regardless of race, gender or bloodline, should
they give their unceasing devotion.
What follows is a primer on the worship of the Demon Lords. This is
presented in basic canticles and rituals for the novitiate in foreign
lands. May your mind be courageous and your secrets hidden as you walk
The Path of Screams.
T h e F i r s t R i t e
A beginners meditation
The number of the Demon Lords is five. Represent them by inscribing a
pentagram onto bleeding flesh, the point descending. Begin your
meditations on the Dark Lords by counting widdershins from the bottom
vertex of the pentagram, intoning the True Name at each direction.
Direction: First Descent.
Supreme Master Luciphage, The Dark Lord of Nil
The Supreme Master is the most powerful of the Lords of Nil. Regal and
aristocratic, he rules over the other Demon Lords as Emperor of the Pit.
Combining supreme discipline with all the virtues of his brethren, Master
Luciphage has achieved a state that nearly rivals the divine. He is power
incarnate, the Tyrant's Ideal. Anyone who lusts for power may seek out the Dark
Lord to make offerings of gold and blood while whispering the desires that lie
secret in their heart. However, I warn ye, be cautious when invoking the Supreme
Master. He does not suffer fools. Call to him without power ye have earned, and
ye will be found as a pile of ash, immolated by flames erupting from within.
Direction: Descending Left.
Lord Ashtorath, Duke of Damnation, The Raging Destroyer
Unrestrained power and violence, Ashtorath embodies the purity of blind
vengeance. His focus is on the destruction of those who transgress upon another,
and he is unceasing in his search for weapons that harm and maim. He teaches
that Fear, perfected, is the strongest weapon, capable of paralyzing the
staunchest defender, and opening them to the blessing of vengeance. Anyone who
has been spurned hurt or victimized by another throng to his temples. It is
there the white-hot Words of Retribution are engraved upon the bodies of his
Direction: Ascending Left.
Lady Nifilhema, Mistress of the Iron Maiden, Thorn of Cruelty
Never has there been a woman more sensual and sadistic than Lady
Nifilhema. She is an artist who treats mortal flesh as a canvass, a
medium in which she can elevate pain and torture to a masterwork of
quivering crimson glory. Followers of the Mistress know that Pain and
Joy are part of life. The two cannot be separated; they are merely
extremes of the same sensation. It is only the coward who teaches you to fear
and shun pain. Lady Nifilhema teaches that suffering is a blessing and that by
revelling in it, one can transcend it and become stronger. We worship Nifilhema
in our hearts when we are hurt, and seek to return the gift of pain to our
Direction: Ascending Right
Lord Baalphegar, The Dark Web, Spinner of Dark Fates
Lord Baalphegar is the keeper of forbidden knowledge. A genius, he
embodies the axiom that knowledge is power. Spurning crude force, he
favours weaving complex plots and subtle intrigues to achieve his will. In the
pursuit of our ambitions, he teaches that a simple whisper in the right ear is
more deadly than a score of knights. Those who are ruthless in their hunt for
knowledge, and those who desire secrets of another seek out Lord Baalphegar to
abase themselves before his scuttling form.
Direction: Descending Right
Lord Gorgulu, The Devourer
Gorgulu the Devourer they say, The Unknowable, Gorgulu the Mad. A
gibbering and writhing idiot god, Lord Gorgulu is an open maw, ever
hungry, consuming everything within reach, even his own flesh. He
represents the ancestral primal hunger and endless ambition within each of us.
He teaches that hunger is not to destroy, it is to strengthen by consumption.
Allow yourself to free your most hidden desires and let them consume you. Follow
your desires without restriction, whether they are lust for gold, knowledge, or
flesh. Only then will you truly live and become wise.
End your meditation by envisioning your deepest desire and whispering it thrice
to the earth. Make a holocaust of your sacrifice and scatter the ashes to the
five directions. Only then may you leave the sacred space without harm.
W h i s p e r s i n t h e D a r k
Now that you have pledged yourself to the Dark Gods, you must hear their
message to achieve what you crave. The problem arises that we
supplicants are mortal, reaching for the wisdom of the Divine. We cannot fathom
them, they are beyond our understanding. Even when the blessed among us visit
the holy plane of Nil we can comprehend only but a fraction of what the Lords
truly are. In addition they are native to the Cosmic plane and supplicants are
often bound to the Prime. Their wisdom, diluted by the distance of the spheres,
becomes whispers that can only be heard in the soft darkness, when our minds are
empty and receptive. To lay bare our souls and free our minds, the novitiate
will rely on instructors three: Fear, Despair and Pain.
F e a r
Fear is the first lesson. A grim headmaster, Fear overwhelms the senses, drives
reason from the mind, and fills us with nameless horror. When we have fear, we
can think of nothing else. When overcome by fear one instinctively reacts to
things as they truly are, without preconceptions or bias. Fear makes the mind
simple and empty, poised to listen to the language whispered in the dark by the
creators. One must learn to accept ones fear, and take hold of it. For the man
who embraces Fear as a lover is truly free, and bound by no law save his own.
D e s p a i r
Despair is the handmaiden of Fear. Fear is an active emotion. It cannot be
maintained forever. After Fear scours the mind all thought, only Despair
remains. When one is in despair all hope has fled, and the gnawing emptiness of
the void eats at our souls. This is the perfect state for the supplicant.
Despair is the emptiness of the mind, leaving it a hollow vessel to be filled by
the sibilant whispers of Nil.
The insightful student will recognize a deeper truth. The plane of Nil
is close to the mindless nothingness of the void, the force of entropy
in the universe. Empty the soul, and it spiritually akin to the Void.
Like attracts like, and this resonance facilitates communion between the
supplicant and the voices of Nil.
It is best to contemplate these words in a place that mimics the final
entropy for all things.
In the dark of the new moon, walk solemnly upon the great desert and
contemplate the voids betwixt the stars, the great emptiness and
Meditate upon life's worthlessness in a ruined city. Contemplate the
work and blood of a thousand lives that now lies forgotten, ground to
dust by the endless millstone of time. Consider how this lesson applies to the
meaninglessness of ones owns actions and be enlightened.
Unearth a forgotten grave and snatch the body. Press the corpse into
lotus position, sit face-to-face with your teacher and embrace it with
your warmth. Meditate and consider how the life, deeds and name of an
individual can be lost for society has forgotten its builders. Observe
the feast of the blind maggot, and see that all mans deeds, hopes and
dreams become no more than sustenance for the grubs of the earth.
P a i n
Pain is the teacher of the body, and useful tool to empty oneself.
Physical pain serves to focus and sharpen the mind. All thoughts and
concern fall away when in the tender grip of agony. Use this focus,
concentrate with it, and enjoy the rapture. In addition, Pain plays
a spiritual and symbolic role in worship. It reminds us that we are
mortal and it serves to sever the ties between our physical form and
spiritual side, which is more receptive to the Dark Lords. Pain is
also a symbol of cutting away our weaknesses, the better to serve
the Lords of Nil.
O n t h e U s e s o f t h e D e a d
The dead are the final evolution of all living creatures. They have
achieved a tiny aspect of the perfection of the void. Silent and empty, they
are closer to the concept of Nil than we, living supplicants of the Demon Lords.
Thus to further ones studies seek out the dead and learn their mysteries. For
truly the mad sage Ibn Schacabao wrote:
"The dead may teach the living, but the living cannot teach the dead."
The flesh of the dead is quite remarkable. Rare humours and salts
accumulate in the dead flesh making it quite nutritious. However, it
holds many properties other than simple sustenance. When the soul passes on it
leaves a fraction of its strongest traits behind in its fleshy prison. Thus,
consumption of the heart of a great warrior can imbue the eater with great
courage. Carefully prepare the forebrain of a renowned sage to absorb both his
knowledge and the images of his last moments. Likewise, the tongue and pride of
an infamous lover are highly valued, for they can bestow both charm and skill.
Care must be taken when learning from the dead in this manner. If the
spirit was strong in life or too much of the corpse is consumed, the
supplicant may be driven mad by old memories and be convinced that her
identity is indeed that of the one who passed on.
Another danger arises when the connoisseur of flesh seeks knowledge of
a corpse that is truly ancient. A wise savant must realize that she is
not the only eater of carrion. In the isolated environment of old tombs, the
body is the only energy source; a fact which stimulates the invasion of the
corpse by parasites both fungoid and animal of shapes foreign to the upper
world. After several generations the dead shells of parasites contribute to the
mass of the corpse. The supplicant must beware, for as their flesh as mixed, _so
hath their essence_ and a greedy savant who overindulges in such a feast will be
overcome by alien memories and urges of _the very worm that gnaws_.
Yet despite the risks, the corpses of the ancient are potent and
powerful. As time passes and the corpse is further removed from its
breathing days it begins to accumulate the essence of entropy. At the
upper limit, the body will have completely decayed and scattered the
accumulated essence to the four winds, but UNTIL THAT POINT, the
supplicant who devours knowledge will absorb some portion of that
Subsequent ingestion weaves a change among the body, mind and spirit;
transmuting the supplicants form to something more akin to the
entropic elements of Nil. Such a state is desirable, for the supplicant becomes
less fettered by the material plane and will find it easier to imbibe the wisdom
of the Demon Lords.
R e v e l a t i o n
Nihilists are damned.
You are not like us, is that what you think?
You confess evil thoughts and your body yearns to be free with
your desires, but you will not do this. You will not corrupt your
You are not a vile Nihilist and you never will be.
At least, not yet.
I spoke the same words. I started out as innocent as you.
But unlike you, I remember how it began.
It began with Curiosity.
It is why you opened this book.