Darth Nihilus (pronounced /ˈnaɪ.ə.lɨs/) was a Human male who reigned as a Dark Lord of the Sith during the era of strife following the Jedi Civil War. Before becoming a Sith Lord, he lost everything during the Galactic Republic’s war against the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. He survived the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator superweapon during the war’s final battle at the planet of Malachor V, which surrounded the planet with a destructive spatial phenomenon known as a mass shadow. Experiencing the shadow that obliterated almost everything on and around the planet made Nihilus crave Force energy. The affliction painfully ravaged his body while rendering him a wound in the Force. He was found by a seeker of these, the former Jedi Kreia, who became the Sith Lord Darth Traya and told him that she could teach him to feed his endless hunger. He accepted her offer of apprenticeship at the Trayus Academy on Malachor V, where he, over time, became one of three concurrent Dark Lords of the Sith.
Together, they formed a triumvirate with Darth Traya at its head and her other apprentice, Darth Sion, as the third member. The trio chose individual titles for themselves, Darth Nihilus becoming the Lord of Hunger. The apprentices grew in strength throughout their training and eventually overpowered their Master. Sion defeated Traya, while Nihilus sapped her energy. The two Sith then combined power to sever her connection to the Force and sent her into exile. Nihilus’ affliction developed to the point where the Dark Lord was forced to call upon the dark side of the Force to encase his spirit within his mask and armor to stay alive. He and Sion then began a Jedi purge, causing the virtual extinction of the Jedi Order. Nihilus was responsible for the devastation of the planet Katarr in 3952 BBY, killing and absorbing the Force energy of the Jedi at the Conclave on Katarr along with every other living thing on the world save one Miraluka woman named Visas Marr. Marr was collected from the surface and Nihilus began to train her as his Shadow Hand.
One year later, Nihilus sensed a growing presence in the Force and sent Marr out to eliminate it. That presence was a female exiled from the Jedi Order, Meetra Surik, who was on a quest to find the few Jedi Masters who had survived the Purge with the aide of Darth Traya, who had put away her Sith trappings and identified herself once more as Kreia. When Marr attempted to assassinate Surik, the exiled Jedi defeated her and convinced her to turn to the light side of the Force in the process. Although Nihilus returned to lurking the fringes of known space, he was eventually tricked by Kreia into initiating the Battle of Telos IV in an attempt to absorb a Jedi Academy that lacked any Force-sensitives aside from the headmistress. Nihilus met a large Republic and Mandalorian fleet at Telos IV that distracted him. Meanwhile, his flagship, the Ravager, was secretly boarded by a small force consisting of Surik, Marr, Mandalore the Preserver, and his Mandalorians. The trio confronted and slew Nihilus in the ensuing duel while the Mandalorians rigged explosives that destroyed the ship. The Sith Lord’s armor maintained his spirit and was collected for burial on the Sith homeworld of Korriban, where his soul could be contacted with a holocron of his own creation.