From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Victor Voltavius was a genius in cybernetics, robotics and nanotechnology, specializing in their medical applications. One day, he and his wife Anna were working late at the lab when a battle between a group of heroes and a force of Sky Raiders erupted. The Sky Raiders may have been attempting to steal Voltavius' designs, it is unclear, but in the conflict, there was an explosion and the lab was destroyed. Anna was killed, but Victor survived beneath the rubble, and experimental nanobots that had been released by the destruction of the lab entered his body and began making repairs. When Victor awoke and emerged from the wreckage of his lab, he was forever changed. Driven mad by the changes made by the nanobots and by the loss of his beloved Anna, ceased to be the benevolent scientist Victor Voltavius. He swore to teach the world the lesson it had taught him - a lesson in pain and loss and suffering. Now and forever, he would be known as Doctor Nihilist.
Research Into Magic and the Occult
For a time, Doctor Nihilist developed a seemingly obsessive interest in studying magic and the occult. Doctor Nihilist ws involved in numerous incidents in which he stole or otherwise procured various magical artifacts and tomes, bringing him into conflict with groups such as the Legacy Chain, the Circle of Thorns, and the Banished Pantheon. This sudden interest in the occult may have been related to Doctor Nihilist's choosing to align himself within a demon known as Parum Perussi and her demonic lord, Accoron. Some speculated that both these developments represent a change in Nihilist's objectives and motivations. Nihilist has come to see the arcane as a means to restore his long lost wife, Anikha, perhaps through some dark union of magic with technology, and any who stood in his way risked the full force of Doctor Nihilist's obsession.
The Resurrection of Anna Voltavius
In the aftermath of the supernatural events surrounding Halloween 2010 in the Rogue Islands, Dr. Nihilist's delving into the occult at last bore fruit. Using many of the artifacts and tomes he had acquired, and taking full advantage of the weakening of dimensional barriers, Nihilist attempted to restore his wife, Anna, to a reconstructed body, melding cloning science with cybernetics and magic. His initial efforts were inexplicably unsuccessful, but through the aid of his demonic allies Nihilist learned the harrowing truth - that Anna's soul now lay in the clutches of the Circle of Thorns, whose motives were unclear. Perhaps they merely sought revenge against Dr. Nihilist for his interference in their own machinations, or perhaps it was something more sinister. Undaunted, however, Nihilist drew upon the aid of a rogue's gallery of villains with whom Nihilist had on occasion affiliated himself, but also engaged in a pact with Accoron and Perussi to open a gate into what can only be described as Hell itself to confront the Circle and free Anna's soul.
Whether the Circle of Thorns underestimated the resources Nihilist would bring to bear to rescue his wife's captive soul, or whether for some other, perhaps darker reason, the attempt was successful, and Nihilist retrieved Anna's soul from her binding by Vastan of the Circle of Thorns, and was finally able to restore his wife to life, melding the soul gem directly into the new body that he had constructed for her. What the future holds remains to be seen, but it seems highly unlikely that Dr. Nihilist's actions in freeing Anna and restoring her to life can possibly go without repercussions.
Voltavia and Alliance With the Parade of Souls
After restoring his beloved wife to life, Doctor Nihilist's ambitions began to shift. He began pursuing new avenues to greater and greater power, often successfully thanks to his overwhelming intellect and growing knowledge of both modern science and technology and the occult. Nihilist continued to work with Parum Perussi, helping her to form an organization of villains and rogues that came to be known as the Parade of Souls. Although Perussi generally remained behind the scenes, and Nihilist himself typically avoided drawing too much attention to his activities with any blatant actions, many of the other members of the Parade of Souls would commit a great many villainous acts, often (it was suspected) under the auspices of Nihilist and his demonic compatriot.
Perhaps the most shocking development occurred when the Midnighters, for reasons perhaps known only to them, enlisted the aid of Doctor Nihilist in ancient Cimerora, transporting him back in time to join forces with other villains and heroes in the struggle against the rising Nictus threat that had begun in that time. Nihilist's aid in the battle against Romulus Augustus was considerable, but the aftermath of his involvement would have repercussions that would carry forward all the way into the present day. In exchange for his assistance, Nihilist laid claim, and was granted control of, a small, uninhabited and seemingly unimportant isle off the coast of Cimerora. Naming this island Voltavia, Nihilist would slowly begin to build it into a prosperous island nation under his rule, even aiding Cimerora and becoming a political ally. In the 21st century, Voltavia is now a rich and prosperous nation, even acknowledged by the United Nations as a sovereign state and member of the U.N. Council. Although Voltavia seems to be an idyllic country on the surface, many heroes and other organizations view it with suspicion, certain that despite it's polished appearance no country under the rule of man like Victor Voltavius and his wife can truly be free of villainy and corruption. Nonetheless, Voltavia continues to prosper, weathering attacks by the Rikti and even offering support in the form of assistance and technology to groups such as the Vanguard after the Rikti began assaulting Voltavia.