The cosmos of Nod hides many dangers, none greater than the Star Lords, a race of star-shaped creatures who roam from planet to planet in search of slaves and survival. The Star Lords, or Astarions, have no conception of danger, and thus fear nothing. It is said they once attempted to conquer Hell, seeing its demons and devils as no more fearsome than one might a peasant or fat merchant.
Of the astarions, there are four sorts which share a deep kinship and which always work in concert to achieve their aims. When they enter a new dimension, the first to be seen is the Star Mother. Her brood, the Starlings, soon appear and carry out their purpose of conquering the minds of whatever creature calls the dimension home. Some of these starlings manage to pervert the chemistries of their hosts, turning them into the dread Star Warriors, and a few of these Star Warriors manage to morph into the dreaded Star Lords, who rule dimensions until they are drained of resources.
[I’m putting this material down before I forget it – expect stats in the next post]
A star mother is a huge being that looks like a massive sea star, with black, coarse flesh and a pink underbelly. It lies, splayed out in a cool cavern, it’s great bulging eye atop its body, its legs flexed that it might deposit hundreds of small, translucent eggs on the ground. These eggs hatch in a few days, producing starlings. Star mothers are powerful combatants due to their size and flexibility.
Starlings are tiny creatures that resemble transparent sea stars. They are, of course, quite sneaky and stealthy, and it is their purpose to leave their mother’s nest and seek out sentient beings. Waiting until they sleep (usually), they attach themselves to their chosen victim’s back, at the base of their neck. From this point, they use their powers to bend the person to their will, pressing them to visit the cave, gather other starlings, and distribute them among other folk, especially folk known to be powerful, influential or capable of entering places in secret (i.e. thieves and assassins).
About 1 in 6 starlings is capable of slowly changing their hosts into star warriors. Star warriors are medium-sized creatures that appear as sea stars with coral flesh and large eyes in their center. These eyes are various colors, each corresponding to a different type of ray which the monster can use a limited number of times per day. Star warriors are covered in a sort of chitin, and they are capable of flight.
A rare star warrior is destined to grow to large size. Its flesh becomes a deep crimson, and its eye becomes multifaceted, allowing it to use a variety of rays. Star Lords are the rulers of their people, and gain mental control over any humanoid controlled by one of its brother starlings. Star lords command their slaves (whether controlled or merely cowed) to offer up all manner of resources, ceasing the raising of new crops or mining of new materials, and instead directing all effort towards the aggrandizement of the Astarions. When the resources are depleted, the Astarions move on, their star mother shifting into a new dimension / planet / world while its old children simply cease to be, drying into dust and blowing away.