- For the adult version of this character, see Lord English.
Caliborn, also known by his chathandle “undyingUmbrage”, is a male cherub with cherry red blood from a dead session of the game who a body with Calliope. He was to be the young Lord English. His sign is ophiuchus(⛎).
Biography[edit | edit source]
Caliborn is the mentioned "brother" Calliope is working with, and is generally an antithesis of them. He is very rude and ornery (which contrasts Calliope's politeness). Caliborn's typing quirk is also the opposite of Calliope's, capitalizing every letter except u. Like Karkat and Calliope, he types in a shade of grey, having abolished "hemotyping" as part of a game he has been playing with Calliope for most of his life. However to the color of Calliope's blood as a sort of trophy. He is confirmed to be a Derse dreamer, calling himself a when explaining to Dirk why he had to hire the archagent to kill his sibling instead of doing it himself. Calliope also mentions that they are a Prospit dreamer and that their brother must enjoy his “netherworldly affiliation”.
Caliborn has been confirmed as the Lord of Time, one of two essential aspects to a session, along with Calliope as the Muse of Space. This is the male Master Class, parallel to Calliope's title. It is revealed by Calliope to be the most active class, and reserved for male players. Caliborn's reveal as the Lord of Time ties in with his adult self being the time travelling English.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Like Calliope, his name bears reference to a certain puppet, which can also be seen as a reference to Lord English being "born" from Cal. External to MSPA, his name may also reference the following:
- Caliborn's name also bears resemblance to "Caliburn", an archaic name for the sword of Arthurian legend, Excalibur. Dave's sword Caledfwlch/Caledscratch also references a Welsh term for the sword. Hussie has confirmed in that Caliborn was, in fact, named after the sword.
- His name is also highly reminiscent of "Caliban", the name of a monstrous supporting character in Shakespeare's The Tempest, who is sometimes depicted as green, and shares Caliborn's misanthropy. He also has a Uranian moon named after him.
- Although no obvious connections present themselves, his name is nearly phonetically identical to that of the elf character "Celeborn" from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Caliborn (and Calliope) could be a reference to the Hindu goddess, Kali, who is known as the goddess of death, time, change, and also revered as the redeemer of the universe. This hints at the ongoing duality of the cherubic pair.
- Caliborn's early arc strongly resembles that of the robot Cal, from the short story Cal by Isaac Asimov. Cal's master is an author who commissions upgrades for the house servant robot in order to satisfy its curiosity regarding its master's writing. Cal is initially a poor writer, but rapidly improves and makes its master feel threatened - he then plans to have Cal's improvements removed. Cal hears of this and plans to kill his master, as it considers its desire, "I want to be a writer," a higher priority than the laws of robotics.
Symbol[edit | edit source]
Caliborn's symbol is a dark grey "U" with a red tilde (~) across it. Like Calliope, Caliborn's symbol is based on an astrological symbol for Ophiuchus, but his is more modern in comparison. It was proposed by British astrologer Walter Berg in 1995, and gained widespread popularity in Japan before being incorporated into the Unicode typographical standard in 2010.
History[edit | edit source]
When the egg contaning the young cherub falls on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Gamzee takes care of it and eventually locks the cherub in its room. Neither Caliborn or Calliope have any recordation of these events.
Caliborn spent most of his life in a single room "together" with his other half Calliope. They have contact with the alpha kids via a terminal. It is not until the dawn of their Sburb session that he breaks out of this situation.
By having Calliope's dream self assassinated by Jack Noir he prematurely takes full control of their shared body. He then chews off his still shackled leg, as only Calliope would have been able to open said shackle, losing a tooth in the process. He replaces his lost leg with a robotic leg he prepared with Dirk's help and starts the game.
After entering the medium he begins to explore his planet, meeting Gamzee Makara along the way. He weird tower that lets him communicate with Andrew Hussie. He decides to go through with his plan to and changes his text color to #2ed73a. This combined with the caps lock on the towers keyboard results in the typing style he would continue to use as Lord English (when he isn't using the flashing color text). He begrudgingly starts to accept Gamzee's presents and guidance, due to Hussie's .Gamzee's offer to be his guide. He also finds a
By meeting his denizen he gets the Choice “8etween a path of conquest, and a path of sacrifice”, where he chooses the most active quest of destroying a number of planets in a limited time. This way he a crew of minions, one member at a time, who aid his quest.
He eventually completes the quest and ascends to god tier, unlocking the skeleton key badge on his Kiddie Camper Handysash which he uses to assume control of the narrative. At this point in time it is also seen that he has a solid gold robo-leg, yet another step closer to English's adult appearance.
In what appears to be a command station he spends an exorbitant amount of time writing his own parody of Homestuck, mockingly entitling Homosuck, where John dies without entering the game. As Caliborn is laughing at this he accidentally hits the caps lock key, which opens a panel in his station where someone (presumably Hussie) had left a "How to Draw Manga" book, and most importantly an A6A6 game cartridge, intended to allow us, the readers, to experience the real story behind Caliborn's back during the intermissions of Homosuck. Irked by this, Caliborn fills the game cartridge with special stardust, which causes large portions of the A6A6 intermissions to be filled with tangible glitchy artifacts.
In the next installment the four female kids appear in
Dave Alpha Male's room, at which point they go adventuring on Land of Someone's Handicrafts I Took (LOSHIT). John, having zapped into said story, becomes infuriated with Caliborn's mocking and terrible writing and lashes out at the bogus surroundings, before being buried under a pile of Alpha Males.
After this Caliborn shows his self-insert OC, actually the first speculatory fanart of Lord English created four years prior to this point in the story, John appears on his room and Caliborn ignores his initial bids for attention as he gives the OC flashing colored eyes. After Caliborn looks up and has an intense staredown with John, they have a fight, resulting in Caliborn being injured and bloodied on the ground as John teleports away again.
Later Caliborn shows through narrative and the art of claymation (his so-called "masterpiece") a vision he had of his future. He has somehow obtained English's signature flashing billiard ball eyes, and has won his juju and the Ring of Void from Yaldabaoth. The main kids are teleported into the scene with John's retcon powers, and a fight ensues. Caliborn uses his juju to seal the four beta kids within, turning it into the weapon that could be used to destroy him later. The juju is sent into the Furthest Ring by his Ring of Void. Eventually, he manages to knock out all the alpha kids, but Jake counterattacks with a powerful Hope field (he paradoxically takes the English surname from Jake for this feat). Arquiusprite appears out of nowhere to subdue him, allowing Dirk to rip his soul out of his body (along with Arquiusprite's and half of a dead Gamzee), and place it in Lil Cal. Roxy then uses her Void powers to hide the puppet as Caliborn hid his juju.
Caliborn then resigns from the narrative and goes to fight Yaldabaoth. After doing so, he gains access to his own god tier clock, as well as the Juju Chest containing the Treasure. He proceeds to destroy his clock with Crowbar's crowbar and absorbs its energy, gaining the famed clockwork majyyk he frequently uses as Lord English. He sends a message taunting John to fight him, which later leads to the events of the masterpiece.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Caliborn is perhaps the most alien of all the voiced characters. He has a terrifying obsession with playing games, so much so that Calliope claims his love for them surpasses human comprehension of what love is. Additionally, he is obsessed with superstitions and Jujus, which define much of the relationship and "game" with his sibling. Thirdly, he shares his sibling's interest in romantic relationships, but unlike Calliope, he sees them as disgusting and pornographic.
Despite this obsession, he is apathetic towards Sburb, seeing it mostly as a means of escaping his dead home planet. He still intends to play it, but he plans to treat the game as a competition against Calliope instead of the cooperative game it is meant to be, which could make winning the session impossible.
A few conversations after his introduction, he approximating a circle with line segments, and touches on the concept of a mathematical limit, an essential component of calculus. Later on he provides the following truly encouraging professional advice: “DRAWING IS EASY. DON'T LET ANYONE EVER TELL YOU IT ISN'T. YOU WORK HARD. AND HONE YOUR CRAFT. AND IGNORE THE HATERS. UNTIL YOU ARE IN. "THE ZONE".”. He considers himself an artist even though he can barely draw a . Even on a it's still made entirely out of lots of straight lines. This is actually a method of
Despite his cartoon villain spiel and bizarre hobbies, Caliborn can be quite clever. He enjoys deploying "shitty" twists to spoil his "opponent's" game (such as pretending to switch positions of two chess pieces but merely camouflaging them as each other), and could be quite threatening if he was not so obsessed with theater.
Caliborn seems to represent different aspects of the Homestuck fan community from Calliope, particularly his impatience with the speed at which things unfold. As many less fanatic readers do, he complains about long pesterlogs formatted strangely in unusual colors. Calliope's relationship with him mirrors the fans who keep pestering their friends to read Homestuck, even though they're not interested or don't "get" the story.
Caliborn proves to be tenacious, but this is also a result of his impatience. He tries to do everything in his power to get what he wants, even biting his own leg off to be freed from his shackles. He believes in his abilities greatly to the point of arrogance, believing that he is an amazing artist even though his drawings are horrendous.
He mentions to have a learning disorder, still his drawings slightly improve over time. On his DeviantArt account Caliborn states that he's never watched any movies or television, and that he likes meat. Caliborn likes candies, too.
Additionally, he has a strong prejudice against women. He shows multiple times that he believes women cannot handle much due to their heightened emotional state. It is clear that Caliborn strongly believes women to be inferior to men.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Calliope[edit | edit source]
Caliborn has a conflicted, aggressive relationship with Calliope, and often threatened to kill their dream self – an act heby hiring his Session's Jack Noir. In addition to the larger game between him and Calliope, the two regularly play chess, with Calliope winning all but once.
It was revealed that Calliope and Caliborn are two halves of one body, in a relationship that is perhaps somewhat akin to Jekyll and Hyde; one could say they are each the yin to the other's yang, calling to mind the shape of the cancer symbol. This had been heavily foreshadowed by several conversations and incidents. In her conversation with Jane in LOCAH, Calliope states that after a "dreadfUl nap" they "woke Up to find [their] coplayer has made a terrible mess here." This prompts a string of questions from Jane which Calliope is uncomfortable with, including whether or not they and Caliborn have actually met. It also explains why Calliope and Caliborn are incapable of simultaneously cheering/jeering one another and why they need to infer, rather than observe, one another's actions (such as Calliope suspecting that Caliborn is ). It is also mentioned that Caliborn would like to get his hands on Calliope's Juju (just as they would like to do with his, ), this likely being the cause for their "game". A potential reason for this could be explained in an when he says there are only a few moves left before he "CAN MATE WITH HER" by which he could have possibly meant that they would become one; by the one obtaining the Juju of the other, said other would effectively cease to exist, leaving only the one and freeing them.
Calmasis[edit | edit source]
Continued revelations concerning the Complacency of the Learned books foreshadowed that Calliope and Caliborn are two parts of the same being. In Dirk's conversation with Jake in 2008, the discussion of the books brings up an image of Calmasis bound by two shackles, the right foot's shackle bearing Calliope's Caduceus sign standing on red ground and the left foot's shackle bearing the lesser-known Ophiuchus symbol of Caliborn on green ground. The right foot standing on red ground could symbolize that the left brain, which controls the right side of the body, is Caliborn's domain. Meanwhile the right brain belongs to Calliope. The theory of right/left brain separation between Caliborn and Calliope holds up fairly well when looking at drawing skill, but falls apart when looking at chess, where the left brain (Caliborn) should have an advantage over the right brain (Calliope) (Caliborn does, however, end up winning Andrew Hussie may have been using this to imply that they are represented by the same astrological sign, which happens to be the 13th sign of the Zodiac in some cultures, which foreshadowed that the two cherubs are one.despite his questionable ethics). It should be noted that the more common Ophiuchus symbol is often confused with the Caduceus symbol.
Dirk Strider[edit | edit source]
Caliborn “PRETTYBOY NINJA STUD”. He also played a game with Dirk in which he threatened to kill Calliope's dream self unless Dirk drew him pictures of the B2 kids in various romantic pairings. When Dirk won by making him too uncomfortable to keep playing, Caliborn revealed that he had already killed Calliope's dream self before he started the game with Dirk. It is possible that he has a caliginous crush on Dirk.and Dirk, and refers to him as a
Lil Cal[edit | edit source]
Caliborn initially thinks of Lil Cal as a bad omen and cursed juju. However, after obtaining and "communing" with Lil Cal in person, he considers him no longer disconcerting, as he feels the bad vibes coming from it do in fact spell doom for all, but a doom that. He can feel that Cal will serve as a vessel for his soul at one point.
Karkat Vantas[edit | edit source]
Caliborn is the antithesis of Calliope, who, in turn, character wise, is an antithesis of Karkat. This implies association with Karkat (except while Karkat hates mostly himself, Caliborn hates everything else). His ornery nature, tendency to ramble, his typing quirk ( which though originally is one with all u's in lower case, is eventually changed to one that mirrors Karkats), their shared blood color and their tendency not to type with their own blood colour all support a possible connection to Karkat, or, as suggested by the cancer symbol displayed on Calliope's sleeves, merely with cancer itself. He has also beento have much like Karkat when using .
While originally speculated to have some concrete connection to Karkat or his ancestor this became unlikely once revealed as cherub and is now only one of many parallels between situations and characters.
When Calliope checked Rose's tome they discovered Karkat's attempted relationship timetable which resembled Caliborn's drawing, causing them to speculate that Caliborn did have some connection and that maybe he was "already there", a phrase associated with English. This could be a joke Hussie played on the fandom for connecting those two (or four) characters in the first place (fitting, since Calliope is "the obnoxious fandom avatar character", making up theories about the story).
Connections to Saw[edit | edit source]
Many aspects of Caliborn appear to be related to the Jigsaw Killer from the movie series Saw. Both force people into playing their games (with Caliborn's greeting "I want to play a game" reminiscent of how Jigsaw greets his victims), use a black and red color scheme, and unveil twists that undo any progress or reward a "player" might achieve at the end. Caliborn also bears a resemblance to Jigsaw's puppet Billy, as he was revealed to be a cherub like Calliope. This race was to have blood-colored spirals on their cheeks and have a puppet-like appearance. In addition, Calliope's outfit is remarkably similar to Billy's, color notwithstanding. Billy was a puppet with red spirals on his cheeks, and the red-blooded Caliborn bears the same markings. In addition, Caliborn , which is reminiscent of the victims having to saw off their legs in the first Saw movie. When Calliope said Caliborn's love for games was more akin to horror than love this may have been a reference to Caliborn's connection to Saw, seeing how the Saw series is of the horror genre.
While not actually part of the Saw movies, Caliborn's requests for pornography do have a connection to them; in a famous MSPA Forums thread entitled "Cheerfulbear - PLAY ME", a user adopting the identity of Jigsaw demanded that Andrew Hussie draw him Muppet Babies porn. Furthermore, when Caliborn requests said pornography of Dirk's friends, he speaks with a similar demeanor as the user.
At one point while Caliborn is talking to Dirk, he claims he will do “THE LIVELIEST JIG YOu EVER SAW”, Which is clearly referencing the "Jigsaw" murderer.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
While trivia sections are fine, it might be a good idea to merge some of this material into relevant sections of the main text, because this trivia section is bloated.
In particular: While we all know cherubs have much symbolism, it may be good to mention this in an apart section.
- Although Caliborn and Calliope's birthday and age are not mentioned in canon, Hussie has stated that it would make sense that their birthday is 11/11 and that they are eleven "units" old.
- Based on his birthday, aspect, and lunar sway, this would make Caliborn's Extended Zodiac sign Scories, the Redeemer.
- However, the extended Zodiac sign Caniborn, the Tumultuous. is one letter from Caliborn, as well as being derived from the Cancer symbol (connecting him further to Karkat Vantas). It is also a Derse sign (which Caliborn has stated to be) and the Rage aspect, which is that of Gamzee.
- Finally, 'tumultuous' references 'tumut', Caliborn's emoticon.
- Based on his birthday, aspect, and lunar sway, this would make Caliborn's Extended Zodiac sign Scories, the Redeemer.
- Caliborn's text color hex code is #323232, 32 being the atomic number of element Germanium, a brittle grey crystalline element used as a semiconductor and anemia treatment.
- The word Umbrage can mean an offense or an annoyance. It can also refer to a shadow, likely a parallel to the Umbra portion of uranianUmbra.
- Umbrage can also mean an overshadowing influence, and having an eternal or "undying" influence is in line with his belief that “THE MORE I GROW IN POWER. THE MORE STUFF IT SHOULD TURN OUT I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR. UP TO AND INCLUDING. EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENS.”
- Caliborn and Calliope display a number of connections to Karkat.
- In line with previous heavy-handed references to The Sufferer, Caliborn makes a long speech about suffering
- The typing colors of Calliope (#929292) and pre-takeover Caliborn (#323232) are equidistant from Karkat's (#626262).
- Karkat and Caliborn share the same blood color, while Calliope calls their blood lime blood, which is the blood color that Karkat might have had, were it not for his mutation.
- The red in Caliborn's symbol matches his blood color, while the shade of grey in the symbol is the color he originally typed in.
- Actually, the grey in his symbol is #2B2B2B, which alludes to Hamlet's soliloquy and fits with the theme of quoting “CHERUB SHAKESPEARE” and holding Lil Cal's head aloft like Yorick's skull.
- Caliborn "jeers" his chat partner, as opposed to Calliope's "cheers".
- His title, the Lord of Time, could be a reference to long-running British television program, "Doctor Who"; the main character, the Doctor, hails from a time-travelling alien race known as "Time Lords".
- In addition, Caliborn's outfit may be inspired by that of the Eleventh Doctor, who is usually wearing a bow-tie and suspenders.
- As the Doctor is portrayed by British (or English) actors, one could say he is an "English Time Lord", which could be hinting at Caliborn's transformation into Lord English. His previous form/host being a "Doctor" also strengthens this connection.
- Caliborn's tie-ins with the Eleventh Doctor could further associate him with the arc-number of the post-scratch kids' universe: 11 11 11.
- Caliborn's Sarswapagus/Lord English's sarcophagus is similar to the TARDIS in the fact that both can hold more than thought possible judging by their sizes, as shown , when English appears in the dream bubble. Lord English's sarcophagus is obviously smaller than him. The sarcophagus is also English's time travel device, like the TARDIS to the Doctor. The sarcophagus and the TARDIS both travel in a similar way, disappearing there and reappearing here by de- and re-materializing.
- Caliborn's "tumut" emote is one letter from "tumult", which means chaos or disorder, possibly a reference to his rather aggressive personality as well as his handle.
- Caliborn is the only character in Homestuck to use lowercase letters for the initials of his screen name.
- The closeup of Tricksters' eyes, except in their respective colors.
and eyes are the same image as the closeup of and the
- Other than Lil Cal, Caliborn is the only male character in Homestuck to be drawn with visible eyelashes in sprite mode.
- Caliborn's trolltag undyingUmbrage is a reference to uracil, and thus is in keeping with the DNA motif of all the other chumhandles/trolltags.
- Despite the fact that they share a body, Caliborn's tongue is
while Calliope's is .
- This is yet another reference to their Yin-Yang theme.
- The pendulum of his god tier clock resembles the magic cue ball, probably explaining English's vulnerability.
- As many things Caliborn has said turned out to be the author's foreshadowing, it is possible that Terezi, Vriska and Davepetasprite^2 were killed offscreen.
- Since his juju was given to Jake in a timeline where Erisolsprite , the post-retcon kids should have obtained the lollipop through another method.
- That, or there were two Caliborns in the comic (and three Calliopes as well) despite having no timeline Gamzee would come to raise another cherub.
- As post-retcon Jane recognizes Calliope and a lot of events were reshown in the new timeline, its most likely Andrew did not have John's retcons planned to the end. This coincides with the multiple hiatuses the comic had later and Hiveswap's schedule.
- Caliborn's temporary candy corn tooth is a reference to Problem Sleuth, as PS has candy corn teeth in his Candy Corn Vampire form.
- On his DeviantArt account, he actually commented on the four year old fanwork which the update was homaging.
- Caliborn is the only character in Homestuck who has made confirmed vocalisations in-comic, by providing sound effects for his Masterpiece. The only other character implied to have vocalised is John, if one believes the chanting in "Warhammer of Zillyhoo" to be him.
- Caliborn is shown to own a Wacom tablet when he is drawing the Homosuck characters , as well a modified Casio Piano .
- The song used for [S] Caliborn: Enter was originally titled Eternity's Shylock and got changed before official release to avoid controversy.
- One of Undertale's main antagonist and this . They originate from this sound clip.
has a laugh clip that's also used for
- Sans's whoopee cushion clip is also the same used on the beginning of his masterpiece.