The Red Star is a mysterious heavenly body which appeared at the culmination of the Week of Nightmares on July 15, 1999. Known as Wormwood to vampires, Anthelios ("Anti-Sun") to werewolves, Telos or Mirzaba to mages, the Eye of the Demon Emperor to the Shen, the Eye of Apophis among the Reborn, and the Eye of Balor to changelings, the Red Star was seen by most supernaturals as being a sign of the End Times.
Dr. Bernhardt Mueller of the Sons of Ether predicted the coming of the Red Star, which he called Mirzaba, in the mid-1990s. He described it as a "hyperdimensional comet" and noted that in late 2012 it would be close enough to Earth to pose a collision risk. At the time he was laughed out of the scientific establishment. After the Red Star became visible, a vindicated Mueller and Stanislaus Wojciehowicz note that its previous passes coincided with the demise of scientifically advanced civilizations.
The Red Star was initially unable to be seen by mundane forms of perception. It could be seen only by supernatural creatures, but was readily apparent to oracles or people with Auspex. It could be seen in the Umbra, the Dreaming, and the Shadowlands.
As the end times neared, it brightened enough to be viewed by everyone. Using Hubble data, Marjorie Serway initially identified it as a comet, dubbing it "Serway's Comet." Dr. Xavier Filho disagreed with that interpretation. NASA declared the Red Star stellar object 2001KX76 (also Stellar Object #442899), theorizing it might be a reddish-coloured comet heading for Earth, although there was much disagreement on that point. By the rules of NASA's provisional designations, this would mean it was the 1,923rd object discovered in the second half of May, 2001, suggesting this is roughly when it became visible to mortals.
The Red Star became visible from most of the Northern Hemisphere, right in the bowl of the Big Dipper. Some theorize it may be a periodical visitor, perhaps the "bearded star" that presaged the destruction of Pompeii in 79 CE.
Revised Convention Books TimelineEdit
Shortly after its appearance to mortals, the Red Star vanished just as mysteriously as it had appeared. The Void Engineers launched a cover-up, but are still suppressing evidence of the phenomenon.
Astronomers subsequently said the Red Star was the dwarf planet Ixion, made highly visible in a freak event. Supernaturals, however, know otherwise.
The Red Star is still visible to certain vampires in the current nights (at the very least, those with the four-dot Advantage from the Week of Nightmares Loresheet, who once each story can stare at it for ten minutes to either reduce their Hunger to two or add one die to a Discipline pool). In keeping with its identification as Ixion by astronomers in V20, its NASA designation is 28978 Ixion.
There was, at the time, an actual stellar object with the provisional designation of 2001 KX76, which is a trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt object. It is, in fact, reddish in color, although far too small and distant to be seen with the naked eye. Coincidentally, it has since been named 28978 Ixion, after Ixion, the Greek equivalent of Caine. Ixion (in the form of the Ixoi and the Knife of Ixion) is relevant to the main scenario in Ascension.