Pianura the Hedgehog - leader
|Alignment||Neutral, perceived evil|
The Nihlic Clan of Nihlus is occasionally referred to as the elemental clan of the void; a faction that takes no allegiance and seeks dominance over the other clans. While this is indeed true; it is a corruption of their initial purpose and goals.
Many within the Nihlic Clan claim that they were the result of the feuding elemental titans; gifted warriors and followers of the elemental gods that often seemed to clash over superiority. Others claim that the entire clan is made up of the outcasts and misfits who did not fit into the mainstream clans - lovers expelled for marrying outside of their powers; or fighters that got too powerful to "control". The truth is widely forgotten within the Nihlic Clan itself, with very few acknowledging the fact this is misconception borne of many years of mistrust.
The true birth of the Nihlic Clan predates the founding date of the original Elemental Clans by many years; though the scholars of the clan tend to ignore their past. In truth; their god Nihlus bore the role of guardian of the voids; an entity capable of interacting with the space between dimensions in the hopes of safeguarding Mobius from forces coming from outside. This included fending off deities and entities that threatened the younger Elemental Gods and their followers, often with little more than rumors of dark gods reaching Mobius.
As the self-identified "elder brother" of the Elemental Gods; Nihlus felt duty-bound to serve as mediator in their squabbles and rivalries. However; his role as defender of the void often meant that the time he spent trying to calm arguments resulted in breaches into the world he was supposed to protect. His decision was simple; to found a clan dedicated to maintaining the peace and balance between the elements. Ones that were not afraid to fight; but controlled enough not to start a battle. He envisaged his followers as peacekeepers and guardians; dwelling within a small pocket of his mists so they could share in his power and travel the way he could; reaching any conflict as soon as they heard. Without consultation with his decreed siblings, Nihlus opened a small gate to his home, and began to recruit a small group; the first generation of Nihlic Clan warriors. The first leader was a coyote; very similar to Nihlus's original form and the first Mobian to achieve a true mastery of the unique variation of spatial manipulation Nihlus wielded. In honor of the god who had chosen him and raised him to champion, this coyote surrendered his name, and instead chose to be called Null.
Null and his people chose to explore the mists that Nihlus opened to them, and discovered it to be a spartan landscape. Fog perpetually surrounded the land, while monsters and other clans occasionally wandered in when Nihlus was slow to close a gateway; or accidentally brought through as he worked to expand the space for his Mobian followers to live. Nihlus himself maintained a castle within this realm to serve not as a temple but as a place of celebration and unity, his castle ever-evolving with the junk that slowly washed into his realm.
It took ten long years before the group that dubbed themselves the Nihlic Clan were ready to return to Mobius, fully active and ready with the magic Nihlus himself had trained them in. They emerged to elemental conflict; and feuding champions in a manner that they felt mirrored Nihlus's stories of feuds among their gods. Much as they tried; the Nihlic Clan was too small and weak to stand against these elemental masters; with only Null himself capable of holding his own with power that became known as erasure; the magic of the void. Even as he and his people pleaded and tried to hold their own; tried to reunify these giants of their elements, they split apart and began to form into clans; instinctively finding nexus points for their magic, with each remembering the strange magical fighters that pleaded with them. Over time, that legend mutated from attempted negotiations to attempted assassinations that each founder fought off; sent by their rivals to wipe them all out.
Reformation and the Preparation for War
When they returned to the Transitory Mists; Null felt like a failure; but his god took it in his stride. Instead, Nihlus offered a new suggestion - as with his protection of Mobius, they began to work behind the scenes. Whispered word of a clan dedicated to balance led to beings of all elements slowly trickling to the Nihlic Clan's banners. Nihlic Clan agents ventured to the lands of the other clans trying to call for peace while disguised, but every attempt led to more battles and more elemental power that leeched into Nihlus's void. Their god was often distracted by beings called by this power, and rarely had the chance to speak to his people; to encourage their work. In essence, he was as absent from his clan as he was from his siblings.
It only took a year or so before new entities began to emerge within the void; beings with Nihlic control rivaling that of Nihlus himself. The leader of these beings was a black feminine hedgehog; with clothes that rippled and changed form with her whim. Beyond nihlic power, she bore every element at her command in a manner she claimed was like Nihlus - simply using stored magic. She introduced herself and the others as the Void Angels; the assistants of Nihlus borne from the magic unleashed into the void by the clashing elemental clans. She began to hint and push that Nihlus had changed his will; that he felt peace impossible. Instead, he wanted balance through force. He wanted his clan to go from peacekeepers to crusaders, preaching his name as above all; as dominant. Null stood his ground and told the head angel that the clan was weak and unprepared, and that he would only trust Nihlus on this.
It happened in an instant. One second Null was there, the next, the coyote was simply gone. So too was the patchwork castle. The Void Angel simply offered a dark grin and swore that one day, when the time was right, the clan would reach a new level of might. Their magic was beyond elements because it was all elements. They were the balance Mobius needed. Her words slowly sunk in; and the moderates within the clan were slowly drowned out or disappeared as the Nihlic Clan prepared for war. They continued their hidden activities, while welcoming exiles and those with grudges against the Elemental Clans. Those with grudges against established entities of Mobius. In the name of Nihlus; they massed, awaiting the word from Nihlus's void angels to herald the dawn of balance upon Mobius.
Allies (good to fair terms)
- Other tribes dwelling within the Transitory Mists (good)
- The Pickup Merchants (Fair)
- The Trolls (Fluctuating)
Enemies (poor to bad terms)
The nature of the Transitory Mists makes true agriculture difficult. Constantly warping and changing as things vanish from Mobius and filter into the mass, as well as energy leakage from the combat going on within the dimensions they border, Nihlic Clan farmers are reliant as much upon foraging and friendly tribes providing resources as they are upon their crop lands. As such, the resources collected by the clan tend to be unpredictable and wide-ranging, anything from the berries, grains and fruits required by their alchemists and medics to simple staples for food.
As befitting a militant people; the Nihlic Clan have great skill in the production of materials of warfare; and the Transitory Mists makes that very easy to acquire. More importantly; the Nihlic Clan cherish their alliance with The Pickup Merchants, who in turn have connections with the Smuggler's Alliance. This network has allowed for some degree of advanced weaponry and armor to filter into their people; primarily G.U.N. combat bodysuits to be worn under their home-made steel armor.
Some of the more unique things that the Nihlic Clan trade in are items produced from Mistglass, an alchemic semi-crystalline metal that seems to exist and function similarly to the Transitory Mists themselves; existing as a space between worlds. Anything made of Mistglass is as hard as steel; yet can compress and transform. More importantly, these items have some degree of void power still; creating weapons that seem to disintegrate internal organs or armor that just devours magic. Highly expensive and slow for the alchemists to create, Mistglass is almost unheard of anywhere aside for the black market, and commands insanely high prices when it is seen. Also seen are relics from the monstrous creatures within the mists; as well as some items that have been described as "divine relics"; though how legitimate that claim is remains unknown.
- Nihlus - The clan has a very complex relationship with their namesake god. Nihlus originally envisioned the clan to be a peacekeeping force to help him keep balance within Mobius so that he could focus on dealing on outside threats to the safety of the other elemental gods. Even as they failed to stop the factionalism and the birth of the elemental clans, Nihlus seemed to have other ideas and a push for peace and balance. However, the greatest symbol of his presence among them vanished when Null stood against the Void Angels; and since that point the priests have said they do not hear his voice.
- In truth, Nihlus himself is not quiet; but his requests for patience and peaceful balance go unheard. He often visits the clan in a Mobian guise when he has the time free to do so. Other times, he has stumbled across moderate entities within the clan itself, and does his best to exert his influence through them. To his knowledge; he holds the most direct relationship with his clan of all the Elemental Gods.
- The Void Herald and Void Angels - Instead of Nihlus, the priests instead get their "messages" from him through "his Void Angels"; Mobianoid entities with power greater than any living Nihlic Clan member. These beings seem to be just as dedicated to balance as the god; though they have much more aggressive tendencies than he ever displayed.
- The Elemental Gods - Many of the former elemental clan members still worship the elemental gods and revere the elemental beasts from their former homes, but they also view them with resentment for the behavior of their clans and the belief that they cast Nihlus out because of his "power of balance".