[This article has been updated, revised, and rewritten from the original, cross-posted on the Call of Troythulu.]
“Rani, Rani, how thy visage of stars doth shine most brightly…” ~ verse fragment from an ancient tomb on the abandoned planet Malagol, believed to refer to an avatar of the King of Shards.
What is the Rani of Stars? What are her goals?
She is an avatar of the King of Shards, crafted for the purpose of safely interacting with humans. The pandimensional nature of the King of Shards produces a profound sense of fear and wrongness which is deeply disturbing to the human psyche.
Because dealing with humans and not having them go mad is not possible in the King’s true form, It created an extension of Itself in a more human-looking and feminine form just for this purpose.
The Rani of Stars, also known as Epu’Lar’A’Toq, manifests as a slim, unnaturally tall woman of regal bearing wearing resplendent garb sometimes reminiscent of the classical dress of ancient Terran royalty. Instead of a human face, however, hers is a field of stars against the background of deep space, with at least two stars of roughly equal relative luminosity shining where the eyes should be located.
The appearance of her starfield, as well as her hair style and mode of dress vary with each of her separate manifestations. She may even appear different in each location when interacting simultaneously in multiple places with different groups, her garb often reflecting a slightly alien-looking variation of the traditional royal costumery of her audience’s national, species, ethnic, or historical ancestry.
The Rani of Stars is fairly benevolent toward humanity, though sometimes her attitude could be characterized as one of benign disinterest, and she is not interested in worship nor in engaging in direct intervention of the divine sort.
But as an avatar of the King of Shards, she is a being of awesome power, and not to be trifled with. She is even more dangerous than the King, as she has a temperamental streak, an imprint from the first human the King used for her personality template.
Do not annoy her by gazing too intently or too long at her visage of stars, as she may randomly transport offenders to other times, other places, and other worlds to protect her modesty, pulling them screaming and shrinking into her starfield to an unpleasant fate.
The fortunate ones will die instantly, randomly popping up inside a planet or star, or transported to a universe of broken symmetry whose physical laws and constants cannot even allow life as we know it. For these lucky ones, the end comes quickly.
Most aren’t so lucky, and wind up in the vacuum of space to die of exposure and suffocation.
Most unlucky of all are those who live to suffer their fate on some barely habitable forsaken planet at the appendages of unfriendly natives, who may be…creatively hostile to strangers.
A being of considerable ability, the Rani has a great capacity to protect or to harm, but her role is usually that of an advisor to humans, not to act on their behalf personally. If attacked personally, she is known to effectively and ruthlessly destroy the offenders with bolts of twisted spacetime, vortices of ripping force against which there is no known defense. All physical defenses are ignored on any targets existing within the same universe as the Rani, and destruction is on the subatomic level as the very nucleons and their quarks are shredded.
The Rani of Stars has overall goals coinciding with those of her pure form, the King of Shards, though how she enacts her plans has a human unpredictability that seems like rash impulsiveness. She has yet to encounter any of the Four Gods; the Fractus, the Magna, the Mirus, or the Tempest, but I’ve plans for giving her a lot of story space and a crucial role in my fiction, including works to be published.