Earth is both more and less than what she expected.
The boy she followed from her home in Ulthar is... Less. His stories were captivating, enthralling, his eyes held the million stars he promised his world slept beneath -
He does not shine particularly bright in a world of death and blood and children fighting.
She leaves him behind. Cuts her hair. Follows whichever of the multitudinous stars seems most fascinating.
This world is beautiful, still. He was wrong about the stars. There are far more than a million, and rather than gods they are lights in the dark, other suns holding their own planets captive -
Clarie spends a while in a village, repairing things and tinkering with chemical rockets. She studied some of this in Ulthar's Women's College, the lighting of fires that will burn even without air, the creation of fireworks -
She closes her eyes at night, and dreams of dancing among stars of fire.
She wanders on eventually, into the woods, delighting in the many plants - so more here than the Dreamlands. So much more life.
...She takes a turn one sleepless night, and sees men gathered around a frightened child, their weapons drawn. The child wears armor, has dropped his own weapon -
It reverberates through the air, through her mind, like a mighty bell's been struck. The men stumble, and turn, and Clarie...
When she comes to herself, the men are gone, and the child is on his knees, staring at her in awe and fear.
"Do not kneel," she says, voice soft and lost. "Do not kneel."