The Grishaverse
The Grishaverse
"It was a creature wrought from shadow, its face blank and devoid of features. Its body seemed to tremble and blur, then form again: arms, legs, hands ending in the dim suggestion of claws, a broad back crested by wings that roiled and shifted as they unfurled like a black stain. It was almost like a volcra, but its shape was more human. And it did not fear the light."
Siege and Storm, page 21

(Not to be confused with the nichevo'ya from the TV show.)

Nichevo'ya (or "the nothings") are shadow creatures created by the Darkling through the use of merzost (creation).


Siege and Storm[]

The Darkling demonstrates his ability to conjure the nichevo'ya when he ambushes Alina Starkov and Malyen Oretsev. One of the nichevo'ya bites Alina's shoulder, leaving lasting pain and a welt. Alina tries making nichevo'ya through light, but her attempt nearly kills her and turns her hair white.

Ruin and Rising[]

At the end of the book, the Darkling reveals his vast amount of power by turning Nikolai Lantsov into a nichevo'ya. Nikolai is only able to return to his normal self after Alina kills the Darkling, and later describes his experiences as a nichevo'ya, revealing that while he was the creature, he could not read.

Rule of Wolves[]

When Brother Azarov ironically accuses the Darkling of being a fraud who does not truly believe in the Starless Saint and threatens to expose him, the Darkling summons a nichevo'ya to kill him. The Darkling describes it as painful to create nichevo'ya.[1]

Physical description[]

The nichevo'ya are creatures created from shadow. Their faces are blank and featureless. Their bodies are indistinct, seeming to move and blur constantly. They have arms, legs, long claws, and wings at their backs. They are described as resembling volcra, but nichevo'ya are more humanlike.[2] It is also known that Nichevo’ya have lamprey-like teeth.

Their shadow bodies can disperse and reform as needed in response to attacks from gunfire and swords.[3]

Unlike volcra, nichevo'ya do not exist independent of the Darkling. They are created and dispersed again by him at will. However, their range is limited. The Darkling must be nearby in order to summon nichevo'ya to attack.[4]


Nichevo'ya have claws that can tear limbs with ease, using them on Sergei in Ruin and Rising, killing him in the process. As well as that, their teeth can rip out pieces of flesh within seconds. The wounds inflicted by them don’t heal.


Nichevo'ya means "nothings" in Ravkan. The Darkling chose the name in hopes of mitigating the fear the creatures inspired in his closest allies.[5]


  • Nichevo'ya are part of the Darkling and do not have free will.[6]