“Shavarath,” from the Skandaharian word for “Warrior.”
“ZugZul,” to the Afridhi
“Nerigaul,” to Nithian star-gazers, and later corrupted to “Arik-hem” when their glyphic language was overhauled into Thothian script.
Darine astrologers know it as “Halav-eiboh.” “Halav’s Eye.”
Astronomers of Thyatis call it “Sarimaar.” The Alphatians know it as “Zwerverüd”(both of which translate to “Red Wanderer”)
When the King’s eldest asked Robert the Bald if he’d seen the Lights, the wizard merely shrugged. “Oh, that again?” was his response. She was most upset to find, after she’d worked out calculations of the periodicity of the Lights’ appearance, that Robert the Bald had done so many years before. She could not fathom his disinterest in the phenomena, and when the first THRONE was lifted above the skyshield, the Imperial Princess’ first target for the satellite’s Large Farseer Array was Shavarath.
What she saw, now above the skyshield’s distorting influence, was that the apparent twinkle seen on the bleary reddish disk was not an abnormality brought about by layers of air between the ground-based farseer and the roaming star, but was a steady, rhythmic pulse of light, the pattern repeating after every fifty-seventh flicker. It only disappeared when the planet hazed over, usually during the short springtime in the North, reappearing some time in the early or midsummer.
|Sarimaar, as seen from the ground|
through a fifth-power farseer, such
as Rowena might have used in the
earliest days of the Imperium.
Attempts to fling remote WizardEye probes across the Void to investigate the red planet met with failure after failure.
In the Fall of the year after losing her third WizardEye to Shavarath, Rowena took a page from her sister’s book of problem-solving:
“Throw a rock at it.”
The rock, in this case, was a twelve-by-three-span of Andahar onyx.