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Calliope Caliborn

Cherubs are a race of solitary celestial beings, first mentioned offhandedlyHS as Andrew Hussie tries to muster up magic, and properly introducedHS to Roxy Lalonde by one of their number, Calliope. In Homestuck, the cherub species is represented solely by Calliope and her "brother" Caliborn, though their parents are also seen in flashback. Alternate timeline and future versions of the two cherubs also play major roles in the comic's story.

Cultural imagery of cherubs also features heavily in Hiveswap, primarily through a portal bearing their image.


Cherubs are sapient lifeforms that exist in Universes. They are both carnivores (like predators) and producers (like plants), able to sustain themselves with meat during maturation and on planets and solar energy as adults. They are biologically capable of interstellar travel, presumably faster than the speed of light as light takes years to travel between average solar systems; this may suggest that they have psychic powers similar to trolls (which may be relevant to Calliope's saying that she 'maybe' has the powers of a limeblood). They appear to have destructive abilities of some kind as well, as Caliborn and Calliope's father was able to destroy almost half of a planet. Although their neurological capabilities (language, creativity, limited empathy, invention of culture) suggest they evolved as social creatures, they are an extremely asocial species due to the nature of their split consciousnesses.

Each cherub body houses two distinct and opposing personalities, of different genders, each only being conscious while the other is asleep. Because of this, the cherub appears to never actually be asleep for more than the short time it takes for one personality to fall asleep and the other to wake. Each personality has individual thoughts and memories, unable to in any way communicate with the other except to leave them messages that they can access upon becoming conscious. These personalities emerge once the cherub pupates, soon after hatching. The currently waking personality determines a the color of a cherub's blood, eyes and cheeks, as well as whether their tongue is whiteHS or black.HS

Cherub hatchling

Calliope and Caliborn immediately after hatching

Upon hatchingHS, cherubs resemble a green snake with a skull-shaped head, with a red and green eye as well as a red and green cheek swirl (on opposite sides) and a striped black and white tongue. During this time the two personalities mingle together in the body simultaneously. Immediately after hatching, the sugary egg shell is consumed for its vital nutrients. Directly following this first meal the cherubs' personality splits into the two distinct halves. This is also when they pupate into their humanoid form. Even as infants, cherubs display attributes of their alignment. For example, Calliope was cheerful and friendlyHS, while Caliborn was an insuffera8le 8ratHS.

Cherubs have green skin and with skull-like heads, with their blood color showing through in spiral patterns on their cheeksbones. They have glassyHS eyesHS like a puppet'sHS, with dark bags underneath much like most trolls have. Their mouths are retractable, able to instantly pull their lips away to expose their entire powerful lower jaw, but can normally smile, talk, and even spitHS. They also have dexterous claw-like hands, sharp teeth, and forked tongues that likely changeHS colorHS based on which personality is in control. Hussie mentionsHS that teenage Caliborn has an exoskeleton, but all in-comic depictions of adult cherubim displayHS well-definedHS musculatureHS. It is possible that either the exoskeleton becomes an endoskeleton with maturation, or it simply becomes more flexible or segmented to accommodate the adult muscles. The only physical differentiation between the two personalities before predomination is the coloration of their cheek swirls (as well as tongue and eye color, though these are not mentioned by Aranea when describing the cherubs hereHS, but is present in the character models of Caliborn and Calliope), which indicates alignment. There is otherwise no way to tell the male and female halves apart before a cherub predominates.

While Calliope suggested thatHS her circumstances with Caliborn were unique, the narrative prompt suggestsHS that being born with split personalities is typical of cherubs, with one personality winning out and dominating the entire body once the cherub has achieved maturity. Instead of waiting for their body to mature naturally, Caliborn had Calliope's dream self killed, which in turn killed off her personality in their shared body, resulting in a premature predomination. However, as a consequence of this "unnatural" development, Caliborn was doomed to being stunted emotionally for the rest of his life. It remains unclear whether Calliope may have been referring to other circumstances, such as the fact that they were fated to play Sburb.


When one of the personalities predominates, the cheek swirls fill out into circles, as seen with Caliborn. Fully matured cherubs also possess large feathered wings resembling the Hope symbol. It would appear adult benevolent cherubs have large white wings while malevolent ones have similarly shaped black colored wings. Males are also larger and more muscular than females. Cherubs who do not mature properly lack wings, explaining why Lord English does not have them.

The alignments of a cherub's two halves depend both on the alignments of its parents and which parent lays the egg. If the male lays the egg, the child will match, by gender, its parents' alignments. This was the case with Calliope and Caliborn, Calliope inheriting her mother's benevolence and Caliborn inheriting his father's malevolence. However, if the mother lays the egg, the alignments by gender are reversed. An alternative way of looking at it is that the male half of the cherub inherits the alignment of the losing parent, whilst the female inherits the alignment of the victorious parent.

Cherub Romance[]

Cherubs are an extremely asocial race, as the conflict with their other half developmentally conditions them to avoid social interaction; good cherubs fear that any interaction will only lead to further conflict, while evil cherubs shun being social in favor of harming others. Each adult cherub stakes out a large territory spanning several light years and, with the exception of looking for mates, can go their entire lives without ever seeing another member of their species.

Cherubs cannot feel love as humans do, or even as trolls can with matespritship. Instead, they can only engage in black relationships comparable to (albeit far more extreme than) troll kismesissitude. After reaching maturity, the void left by the demise of their other half will lead them to pursue a cherub of opposing morality as a mate in an effort to revive the conflict from their youth.

Cherub Sex[]


The violent cherub mating process.

Once two potential mates have found each other, they begin their mating ritual: a duel is performed at a black hole, where they take on the form of enormous serpents one astronomical unit long. In this form, the cherubs tap into their species' ties with the enigmatic forces presiding over all that is eternal, making them indestructible except for damage inflicted by their mate. Aranea states that these forces permeate all those endowed with immortality, suggesting that they may also be the source of the eternal life given to god tier players. This violent courtship, as well as the nature of evil cherubs generally, is likely the origin of the troll concept that angels usher in the apocalypse.

Eventually, one cherub will prove victorious and fertilize the loser with the new offspring. The victor will get to claim the loser's territory as their own and the loser is forced to retreat and find a suitable location to lay their egg, typically a dead planet near a dying star. The highly violent nature of the duel sometimes results in the death of one or both cherubs involved.

Like trolls, cherubs never know their actual parents and they pupate, though unlike trolls, they do have clearly defined lineages.

It may be possible that Caliborn's drawingHS of himself, Dirk, Roxy and Jane was actually intended to depict the four characters in serpent form. This would explain why, even allowing for Caliborn's terrible drawing skills, they resemble tangled lines rather than badly drawn shapes. There is also a somewhat definitive serpent head-like shape with Caliborn's swirl placed upon it.



A group of young Cherubs

Cherubs have a predilection for speaking and acting in an inscrutable manner; Calliope through her riddles, and Caliborn through his games and 'shitty twists'. Cherubs also seem to enjoy consuming a substance called Special StardustHS. It is inedible to most creatures and resembles a large box of glitter. Calliope at one point employs "powerful anti-sleep magyyks", which appear to involve using special stardust.

Cherub culture is heavily influenced by jujus, magical artifacts that are of great value to them and are passed down over generations. However, they also believe jujus can become cursed, at which point any person close to it or even occupying the same plane of existence will have a nightmarish life. Caliborn believes Lil Cal to be such a juju. Both Calliope and Caliborn also have a juju of their own. Calliope's juju is a large green lollipop. Caliborn's juju is the same except red. When the two are combined, they create a single spiraled red and green lollipop. When used (licked, for example) it engages Trickster Mode.

Cherubs have also been shown to glow in the Trickster Mode text colors, whileHS hatchingHS and before matingHS (the malevolent/male one, at least).

The cherub species scatter their numbers throughout space, each staking a territory spanning many light years. Those inhabiting an evil cherub's territory will regard it as an unpredictable tyrant, while those in the territory of a good cherub will likely come to view it as a protector, waiting quietly for millennia in deep space, ready to attack any encroaching threat. In that sense, the cherubs act somewhat like cells in a universal immune system. This balance of forces allows stability, such that life and new civilizations can blossom and thrive within a universe, thus assuring the possibility of its own elaborate procreation process.

Cherubim Folklore[]

Magical kingdom of cherubim folklore

The seven legendary continents.

Once all four post-scratch kids are in the Trickster Mode induced by the combined Juju of Calliope and Caliborn, they start alchemizingHS seven legendary weapons out of ordinary household weaponry, and the reader is informedHS about these and the continents after which they are named. The name of the kingdom that these continents belong to is a well guarded secret. No one in the kingdom knows which name belongs to what continent. The subjects frequently ask each other which continent they're on, and as such every conversation tends to sound like an Abbott and Costello routine. Caliborn is seemingly ecstatic to hear about these legends and becomes distraught when the "CANDY ANTICSHS" end.


Aranea states that Sburb was never meant to be played by cherubs, a remark that suggests Caliborn's session to be exceptionally anomalous. Sburb players are ordinarily only those fated to play through ectobiology and the reckoning, plus collateral members of their species; consequently, it can be speculated that his session was not self-originating like normal sessions, and was instead somehow set up by an individual apparently in English's service, mimicking how others carried out the requirements to allow English's entry into a universe.


In part 1 of Openbound, Meenah discovers some ancient green serpent bones in a chest. Given her comments about prehistoric green serpents playing a large role in Alternia's mythology (before and after the Scratch), the presence of similar bones near Aradia's dig sitesHS including the blue frog temple, and Terezi and Sollux's conversationHS regarding similar mythology, it is very possible that these are cherub bones.


  • Cherubs resemble the Billy puppet used by Jigsaw in the Saw films.
  • Although the real world word "cherub" pluralizes as "cherubim", characters in Homestuck referring to the cherub race generally say "cherubs". Cherubim is however the name of the official soundtrack album about Caliborn and Calliope, and the word is occasionally used in the comic in some more formal contexts.
Clock Rook

From left to right: Doc Scratch's clock, the entrance to Yaldabaoth's lair, two rooks.

  • Doc Scratch's grandfather clockHS features decorations that were initially presumed to be crocodiles. However, with the revelation of the cherubs' mating form as a snake with large, crocodile-like jaws, it is far more likely that these are actually cherubs in their mating form. It should also be noted that the top of the clock features two winged humanoid beings, which could also presumably represent cherubs. Even more notably, this appears to have been intentional, since the original stock image lacks the crocodile heads and the two angels have less prominent wings. The overall shape of the clock is identical to Caliborn and Calliope's rooks, as well as the entrance to the lair of Caliborn's denizen, the pillars beside which appear to be decorated with more mating cherubs.
  • Although troll and human ghosts have white eyes, Calliope's ghost has black eyes; it is unclear why this is the case.
  • In the Bible, cherubim are a type of angel. Lord English has been called the "Angel of Double Death".
  • Calliope believes that she and Caliborn were not meant to be in a contest for their body, but that the two personalities, at adulthood and prime, were meant to work together, becoming one full, perfected, and whole being. This continues their allusions to the Yin-Yang, of balance and duality. However, Aranea has statedHS that cherubs are supposed to fight to dominate their entity. Calliope's misconception is understandable, as Aranea also implied that cherubs do not realize for a very long time that only one of them will live.
    • Cherubs have been frequently related to duality: red and green, black and white, Derse and Prospit, Time and Space, etc.
  • A cherub in Trickster Mode looks similar to Lil Cal.
  • The Cherubim album cost $6.11, leaving the cents as the arc number of the cherubs.
    • Until Volume 10 was released, this album's cover appeared on the bandcamp's main page, effectly spoiling the existence of cherubs in the comic.
  • Interesting to note, Calliope Hummingbirds have green backs and red streaks on their necks. Furthermore, once the eggs are laid the male leaves the nest and has no part in raising the young. This mirrors cherub mating. Also, hummingbirds appear to be a animal resident of the planet of another Space hero.
  • The mating behavior of cherubim is similar to penis fencing which is found in certain species of flatworm.
  • It is suggested, indirectly, that cherubs are ancient, and not native to any particular universe. In the HTML5 game ACT 6 INTERMISSION 3HS you are able to find a chest containing ANCIENT SERPENT BONES. These bones are green, remarkably similar in color to Calliope and Caliborn's skin. When you find these, a text box appears stating, among other things, Huge prehistoric green serpents have always played a major role in your people's mythology, both before and after your session scratched.
  • Cherubs bear a resemblance to Kami from the Dragon Ball franchise. Kami is a green-skinned, ancient, alien caretaker of the Earth, hatched from an egg, and has an evil alter-ego known as Piccolo.
  • Caliborn claims that humans have UNPLEASANT NONSKELETAL SMOOSHY LIPSHS, implying either that cherubs have lips that somehow appear skeletal, or that they do not, in fact, have retractible lips in place of a permanently exposed skeletal jaw.

Homestuck Characters
Heir of Breath Breath Aspect Seer of Light Light Aspect Knight of Time Time Aspect Witch of Space Space Aspect
JohnLogo John Egbert RoseLogo Rose Lalonde DaveLogoSlashed Dave Strider JadeLogo Jade Harley
ectoBiologist [EB]
ghostyTrickster [GT]
tentacleTherapist [TT] turntechGodhead [TG] gardenGnostic [GG]
Maid of Life Life Aspect Rogue of Void Void Aspect Prince of Heart Heart Aspect Page of Hope Hope Aspect
JaneLogo Jane Crocker RoxyLogo Roxy Lalonde DirkLogo Dirk Strider JakeLogo Jake English
gutsyGumshoe [GG] tipsyGnostalgic [TG] timaeusTestified [TT] golgothasTerror [GT]
Maid of Time Time Aspect Page of Breath Breath Aspect Mage of Doom Doom Aspect Knight of Blood Blood Aspect
Aries Aradia Megido Taurus Tavros Nitram Gemini Sollux Captor Cancer Karkat Vantas
apocalypseArisen [AA] adiosToreador [AT] twinArmageddons [TA] carcinoGeneticist [CG]
Rogue of Heart Heart Aspect Sylph of Space Space Aspect Seer of Mind Mind Aspect Thief of Light Light Aspect
Leo Nepeta Leijon Virgo Kanaya Maryam Libra Terezi Pyrope Scorpio Vriska Serket
arsenicCatnip [AC] grimAuxiliatrix [GA] gallowsCalibrator [GC] arachnidsGrip [AG]
Heir of Void Void Aspect Bard of Rage Rage Aspect Prince of Hope Hope Aspect Witch of Life Life Aspect
Sagittarius Equius Zahhak Capricorn Gamzee Makara Aquarius Eridan Ampora Pisces Feferi Peixes
centaursTesticle [CT] terminallyCapricious [TC] caligulasAquarium [CA] cuttlefishCuller [CC]
Witch of Time Time Aspect Rogue of Breath Breath Aspect Heir of Doom Doom Aspect Seer of Blood Blood Aspect
Aries Damara Megido Taurus Rufioh Nitram Gemini Mituna Captor Kankri Vantas
Mage of Heart Heart Aspect Maid of Space Space Aspect Knight of Mind Mind Aspect Sylph of Light Light Aspect
Leo Meulin Leijon Virgo Porrim Maryam Libra Latula Pyrope Scorpio Aranea Serket
Page of Void Void Aspect Prince of Rage Rage Aspect Bard of Hope Hope Aspect Thief of Life Life Aspect
Sagittarius Horuss Zahhak Capricorn Kurloz Makara Aquarius Cronus Ampora Pisces Meenah Peixes
Muse of Space Space Aspect Lord of Time Time Aspect
Calliope symbol Calliope (Alt) Caliborn symbol Caliborn
uranianUmbra [UU] undyingUmbrage [uu]
Dad Roxy Lalonde
Dirk Strider
God Cat Rose Lalonde
Dave Strider
Jane Egbert Jaspers Lil Cal Jake Harley
John Crocker Mutie Lil Hal Jade English
Nannasprite Jaspersprite Calsprite
Arquiusprite Erisolsprite
Carapacians /
Wayward Vagabond Peregrine Mendicant Aimless Renegade Windswept Questant Writ Keeper
Jack Noir (B2) (Dead Session) Draconian Dignitary (B2) Hegemonic Brute Courtyard Droll
Midnight Crew
Spades Slick Diamonds Droog Hearts Boxcars Clubs Deuce
The Felt
Lord English Doc Scratch Snowman
Typheus Cetus Hephaestus Echidna
Hemera Nix Yaldabaoth Abraxas
Salamanders Turtles Crocodiles Iguanas
Imps Ogres Basilisks Liches Giclopses
Other Black QueenBlack KingSkaian armiesGenesis FrogLususAncestors (The Condesce)HorrorterrorsBetty CrockerColonel SassacreCaseyGuy FieriInsane Clown PosseMaplehoofRambunctious CrowHalleySerenityMSPA ReaderMs. PaintAndrew HussieSawtoothSquarewaveHis Honorable TyrannyCalliope and Caliborn's parentsAngelsFantrolls