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The B1 kids' browser icons clockwise from top left: Echidna, Hephaestus, Cetus, and Typheus
The B2 kids' browser icons clockwise from top left: Abraxas, Yaldabaoth, Nix, and Hemera

Denizens are powerful Sburb characters who appear at first to the uninitiated Hero to be the final boss of their planet. In truth, however, they are mostly benevolent beings with a vast knowledge of the workings of reality and great power with which to change it.

Concept and creation[]

The known denizens are all inspired by characters from Ancient Greek mythology and philosophy - Yaldabaoth is unique in having a name derived from Aramaic, but has his origins in the writings of Greek thinker Plato.

In particular, most of the denizens are inspired by mythological beings with serpentine aspects; Typheus, Echidna and Abraxas are commonly depicted as anguipedes, or beings with snakes for legs, while Yaldabaoth is usually a chnoubis, a serpent with the head of a lion. Hephaestus, Hemera and Nix are exceptions to this, though the latter two are depicted as wrapped in winding shawls or robes resembling the serpents on a caduceus. A majority of the denizens are also primordial beings, with Hephaestus as the youngest, mythologically speaking: Typheus ranked among the pre-Olympic Titans and gave birth to many of Ancient Greek mythology's monsters with his mate Echidna; Hemera and Nix descend from the primordial Chaos, and Abraxas and Yaldabaoth are creator deities.

It is unclear whether the ancient cultures of Earth were somehow inspired by the denizens of the Incipisphere, or if Sburb manifests beings from the cultural lore of the Heroes. Vriska Serket's denizen being CetusHS.svg, however, (in addition to the name of Feferi Peixes' trident referencing the mythological Poseidon) may indicate that certain mythological figures are universal constants (see Plato). Importantly, huge prehistoric serpents featured prominently in the mythology of both Alternia and Beforus[[#cite_note-<span_class="plainlinks">[https://homestuck.com/story/5263_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000001-QINU`"'_ACT_6_INTERMISSION_3][[File:HS.svg|16x16px|link=https://homestuck.com/story/5263]]</span>[[Andrew_Hussie]]<span_class="mobileOnly">“</span><span_class="mspaQuote"_style="color:&#35;000000">Again,_a_strange_thing_to_find._Who_here_would_have_a_memory_of_these?_Huge_prehistoric_green_serpents_have_always_played_a_major_role_in_your_people's_mythology,_both_before_and_after_your_session_scratched._Of_course,_only_people_with_an_interest_in_ancient_lore_and_dusty_old_bones_give_a_crap_about_that._You're_much_more_interested_in_their_monetary_value._Hopefully_you_can_find_a_sucker_to_pay_up_for_them_big_time.</span><span_class="mobileOnly">”</span>August_30th,_2012-1|[1]]], doubly connecting to the mythical nature of cherubs.

Many of the denizens have mythological connections to each other within their original session groups; as mentioned, Typheus and Echidna were mated, while Mount Etna is said to be both Typheus' prison and the volcano where Hephaestus' forge is located. Hemera, a dawn goddess, is said to be the daughter of Nix, the night goddess, and Yaldabaoth and Abraxas both have their origins as opposing forces in the Gnostic cosmology. If Cetus is to be taken as a reference to the primordial sea monster goddess Ceto, she may also be sometimes considered the mother of Echidna.

Known denizens[]

Role[]

Every one of the Heroes' planets in the Incipisphere has a denizen living deep beneath the ground, guarding a hoard of grist 8igger than [one] can imagine. They act as the final boss of a given planet, and as such are incredibly difficult for early-level players to defeat.HS.svgHS.svg Each denizen's lair is attached to a palace on the planet's surface.HS.svg

At least some denizens can also reward the Heroes with powerful endgame weapons, though these weapons are not necessarily suited to the specific Hero who acquires them; for example Dave Strider's denizen Hephaestus uses the powerful hammer Fear No Anvil, which is later used by John Egbert, and Echidna's quills act as needles or wands better suited for Damara Megido or Rose Lalonde.[citation needed]

In the fictional past of each planet, the denizen is contacted by Agents of Derse, who commission the denizen to begin befouling [the] land with pollutants and underlings, the living embodiments of these pollutants. After all this is done, the denizen goes to sleep in their underground lair[[#cite_note-<span_class="plainlinks">[https://homestuck.com/story/1358_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000008-QINU`"'_ACT_4_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000009-QINU`"'][[File:HS.svg|16x16px|link=https://homestuck.com/story/1358]]</span>[[Andrew_Hussie]]<span_class="mobileOnly">“</span><span_class="mspaQuote"_style="color:&#35;000000">How_did_he_cast_a_spell_on_them_when_he_was_asleep?_Well,_he_wasn't_ALWAYS_asleep,_you_goofball!_When_he_was_awake_he_was_asked_by_some_really_terrible_guys_to_commission_a_whole_bunch_of_Underlings._He_then_went_about_befouling_our_land_with_all_this_sludge,_clogging_up_all_our_beautiful_Pipes,_and_now_it_can_barely_breathe._He_was_sort_of_a_huge_dick._Once_he_tuckered_himself_out_with_all_that_I_guess_he_decided_to_take_a_nap.</span><span_class="mobileOnly">”</span>September_2nd,_2010-2|[2]]]. Here the denizen is supposed to remain asleep until their Hero has completed the important parts of their quest; however, should a Hero attempt to fight the denizen too early, they will find them already awake.HS.svg

Upon encountering the denizen, the Hero is offered The Choice, which is always different [...] depending on the circumstancesHS.svg. Killing the denizen, which releases the huge grist hoardHS.svg, is an alternate to making The Choice: however, it is presumably possible to obtain the hoard, which is necessary to mature the Genesis Frog within SkaiaHS.svg, without violent conflict, with Vriska speculating that Tavros Nitram's denizen just released the hoard for him out of pity, while John Egbert suggests he just talked to his denizenHS.svg.

Appearance and description[]

Fitting their role, the denizens appear to all be large monsters (though Karkat Vantas seems to believe his was WEIRDLY SMALLHS.svg), superficially resembling their mythological namesakes; they are rarely mistaken for pleasant company.HS.svg In the case of most of the human Heroes, the denizens' physical coloration matched the color worn on the Hero's clothing, with Yaldabaoth appearing in parts both orange and red to suit both Dirk Strider and Caliborn: the twin exceptions to this are Hemera and Nix, who appear in purple and gold, respectively, fitting instead the colors of Jane Crocker and Roxy Lalonde's dream planets. In all known cases, the assumed gender of the denizen also matched that of their Hero.

Each denizen also gives its name and iconic appearance to a web browser used by their associated Hero, with these browser icons appearing as markers on the entrances to the denizens' lairsHS.svg[citation needed]. It is not known if these browsers are developed by a party familiar with the denizens themselves, such as Skaianet, if the similarity between the two is merely symbolic coincidence (as Jade believesHS.svg), or indeed if a Hero's choice in browser software may impact the denizen assigned to them by Sburb.

In at least some cases, the Hero's aspect seems to play a part in the denizen that appears in their planet: in mythology, Typheus was thought of as a master of storms (his alternative name Typhon being possibly related to the word 'typhoon'), relating to the Breath aspect's association with wind, while Echidna, known to be the denizen to Jade Harley, Porrim and Kanaya Maryam, and Calliope, is called the mother of all monstersHS.svg, connecting to the Hero of Space's reproductive duty. While Cetus is not necessarily connected to Light in mythology, she served as denizen to both Vriska and Rose Lalonde, who also both had watery planets where a sea monster would thrive. Hephaestus' connection with metalworking, as well as his association with the Hero of Space's Forge, may connect him to the clockwork and musical devices found on the planets of both Dave Strider and Aradia Megido.

Meanwhile, Yaldabaoth, who very rarely appears in game sessions, [...] is usually designated for the most naturally gifted warriorsHS.svg, including both a Hero of Heart and a Hero of Time. Karkat believes that his denizen was JUST THE OPPOSITEHS.svg and assigned instead to weaker warriors as some kind of "TRAINING DENIZEN}}, leading to speculation that it may have been Yaldabaoth's mythological antithesis Abraxas.

The form of the serpentine denizens is similar enough to that of a mating cherub that Caliborn and Calliope both consider them to be quite indecent, the former calling Yaldabaoth THE GREAT LEWD SNAKEHS.svg and his SLITHERING SEXUAL SNAKE BOSSHS.svg and the latter being [un]comfortable rendering sUch imagery as a big green snake monster like Typheus.HS.svg

The denizens speak in a language that only their respective players can understand: Karkat was unable to understandHS.svg what Echidna said to Jade, Typheus spoke to John in a language only he could understandHS.svg, and Yaldabaoth spoke to Caliborn in a way that only he understood[citation needed]. Every version of Echidna can speak to Kanaya, Jade, and Calliope, as they all have her as their denizen.[citation needed]

The dreams of a denizen draw from the same well of potential from which every conceivable possibility arises (the same place skaia gets its power from), and if an agreement with a denizen is reached in one reality, that same denizen in another reality could become aware of it, and respond accordinglyHS.svg. This, combined with their possible status as universal constants, may indicate a connection with the concept of the Ultimate Self.

History[]

Troll sessions[]

When they realised their session was totally unwinnable, the Alpha trolls consulted with Echidna[[#cite_note-<span_class="plainlinks">[https://homestuck.com/story/5263_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000010-QINU`"'_ACT_6_INTERMISSION_3][[File:HS.svg|16x16px|link=https://homestuck.com/story/5263]]</span>[[Andrew_Hussie]]<span_class="mobileOnly">“</span><span_class="mspaQuote"_style="color:&#35;000000">You_got_an_ECHIDNA_STATUE!_/_An_obviously_not-to-scale_depiction_of_the_denizen_Aranea_consulted_with_to_learn_how_to_scratch_your_session._The_decision_to_scratch_of_course_came_with_MAJOR_CONSEQUENCES,_and_you_guess_it's_only_now_that_the_true_extent_of_those_consequences_are_fully_apparent._Looks_like_it's_time_to_clean_up_her_mess.</span><span_class="mobileOnly">”</span>August_30th,_2012-3|[3]]]. Choice she offered them was between admitting the total extinction of their race or performing the scratch with the promise that a more prepared group of trolls would be able to win the game, at the cost of losing their memories of everything that had happened before the scratch and instead [becoming] the ancestors of the twelve [who] would be chosen for glory. Doc Scratch's oversight of Alternia's development was apparently to fulfill this promise.HS.svg


As a consequence of the deal with Echidna, the warriorlike Beta trolls seemed more interested in fighting and killing their denizens. Karkat believed that HUGE UGLY MONSTERS [WERE] FOR KILLING, PERIODHS.svg, while Vriska was under the impression that they all pretty much [killed their] denizens as fast as possible, without listening to themHS.svg. In truth, however, Karkat may not have got the whole story, as Kanaya did in fact converse with Echidna - though the demands of her Choice were merely ImpossibleHS.svg - and Vriska found it hard to believe Tavros, who had powerful animal communion and often looked for ways to avoid a tough 8attle, was actually capable of killing a monster as powerful as a denizen.

Human sessions[]

References[]

  1. [[#cite_ref-<span_class="plainlinks">[https://homestuck.com/story/5263_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000001-QINU`"'_ACT_6_INTERMISSION_3][[File:HS.svg|16x16px|link=https://homestuck.com/story/5263]]</span>[[Andrew_Hussie]]<span_class="mobileOnly">“</span><span_class="mspaQuote"_style="color:&#35;000000">Again,_a_strange_thing_to_find._Who_here_would_have_a_memory_of_these?_Huge_prehistoric_green_serpents_have_always_played_a_major_role_in_your_people's_mythology,_both_before_and_after_your_session_scratched._Of_course,_only_people_with_an_interest_in_ancient_lore_and_dusty_old_bones_give_a_crap_about_that._You're_much_more_interested_in_their_monetary_value._Hopefully_you_can_find_a_sucker_to_pay_up_for_them_big_time.</span><span_class="mobileOnly">”</span>August_30th,_2012_1-0|↑]] Andrew Hussie. "Again, a strange thing to find. Who here would have a memory of these? Huge prehistoric green serpents have always played a major role in your people's mythology, both before and after your session scratched. Of course, only people with an interest in ancient lore and dusty old bones give a crap about that. You're much more interested in their monetary value. Hopefully you can find a sucker to pay up for them big time." [S] ACT 6 INTERMISSION 3HS.svg. August 30th, 2012.
  2. [[#cite_ref-<span_class="plainlinks">[https://homestuck.com/story/1358_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000008-QINU`"'_ACT_4_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000009-QINU`"'][[File:HS.svg|16x16px|link=https://homestuck.com/story/1358]]</span>[[Andrew_Hussie]]<span_class="mobileOnly">“</span><span_class="mspaQuote"_style="color:&#35;000000">How_did_he_cast_a_spell_on_them_when_he_was_asleep?_Well,_he_wasn't_ALWAYS_asleep,_you_goofball!_When_he_was_awake_he_was_asked_by_some_really_terrible_guys_to_commission_a_whole_bunch_of_Underlings._He_then_went_about_befouling_our_land_with_all_this_sludge,_clogging_up_all_our_beautiful_Pipes,_and_now_it_can_barely_breathe._He_was_sort_of_a_huge_dick._Once_he_tuckered_himself_out_with_all_that_I_guess_he_decided_to_take_a_nap.</span><span_class="mobileOnly">”</span>September_2nd,_2010_2-0|↑]] Andrew Hussie. "How did he cast a spell on them when he was asleep? Well, he wasn't ALWAYS asleep, you goofball! When he was awake he was asked by some really terrible guys to commission a whole bunch of Underlings. He then went about befouling our land with all this sludge, clogging up all our beautiful Pipes, and now it can barely breathe. He was sort of a huge dick. Once he tuckered himself out with all that I guess he decided to take a nap." [S] ACT 4 ==>HS.svg. September 2nd, 2010.
  3. [[#cite_ref-<span_class="plainlinks">[https://homestuck.com/story/5263_'"`UNIQ--nowiki-00000010-QINU`"'_ACT_6_INTERMISSION_3][[File:HS.svg|16x16px|link=https://homestuck.com/story/5263]]</span>[[Andrew_Hussie]]<span_class="mobileOnly">“</span><span_class="mspaQuote"_style="color:&#35;000000">You_got_an_ECHIDNA_STATUE!_/_An_obviously_not-to-scale_depiction_of_the_denizen_Aranea_consulted_with_to_learn_how_to_scratch_your_session._The_decision_to_scratch_of_course_came_with_MAJOR_CONSEQUENCES,_and_you_guess_it's_only_now_that_the_true_extent_of_those_consequences_are_fully_apparent._Looks_like_it's_time_to_clean_up_her_mess.</span><span_class="mobileOnly">”</span>August_30th,_2012_3-0|↑]] Andrew Hussie. "You got an ECHIDNA STATUE! / An obviously not-to-scale depiction of the denizen Aranea consulted with to learn how to scratch your session. The decision to scratch of course came with MAJOR CONSEQUENCES, and you guess it's only now that the true extent of those consequences are fully apparent. Looks like it's time to clean up her mess." [S] ACT 6 INTERMISSION 3HS.svg. August 30th, 2012.
Homestuck Characters
Pre-scratch
Kids
Heir of Breath Breath Aspect.svg Seer of Light Light Aspect.svg Knight of Time Time Aspect.svg Witch of Space Space Aspect.svg
JohnLogo.svg John Egbert RoseLogo.svg Rose Lalonde DaveLogoSlashed.png Dave Strider JadeLogo.png Jade Harley
ectoBiologist [EB]
ghostyTrickster [GT]
tentacleTherapist [TT] turntechGodhead [TG] gardenGnostic [GG]
Post-scratch
Kids
Maid of Life Life Aspect.svg Rogue of Void Void Aspect.svg Prince of Heart Heart Aspect.svg Page of Hope Hope Aspect.svg
JaneLogo.png Jane Crocker RoxyLogo.png Roxy Lalonde DirkLogo.png Dirk Strider JakeLogo.png Jake English
gutsyGumshoe [GG] tipsyGnostalgic [TG] timaeusTestified [TT] golgothasTerror [GT]
Post-scratch
Trolls
Maid of Time Time Aspect.svg Page of Breath Breath Aspect.svg Mage of Doom Doom Aspect.svg Knight of Blood Blood Aspect.svg
Aries.svg Aradia Megido Taurus.svg Tavros Nitram Gemini.svg Sollux Captor Cancer.svg Karkat Vantas
apocalypseArisen [AA] adiosToreador [AT] twinArmageddons [TA] carcinoGeneticist [CG]
Rogue of Heart Heart Aspect.svg Sylph of Space Space Aspect.svg Seer of Mind Mind Aspect.svg Thief of Light Light Aspect.svg
Leo.svg Nepeta Leijon Virgo.svg Kanaya Maryam Libra.svg Terezi Pyrope Scorpio.svg Vriska Serket
arsenicCatnip [AC] grimAuxiliatrix [GA] gallowsCalibrator [GC] arachnidsGrip [AG]
Heir of Void Void Aspect.svg Bard of Rage Rage Aspect.svg Prince of Hope Hope Aspect.svg Witch of Life Life Aspect.svg
Sagittarius.svg Equius Zahhak Capricorn.svg Gamzee Makara Aquarius.svg Eridan Ampora Pisces.svg Feferi Peixes
centaursTesticle [CT] terminallyCapricious [TC] caligulasAquarium [CA] cuttlefishCuller [CC]
Pre-scratch
Trolls
Witch of Time Time Aspect.svg Rogue of Breath Breath Aspect.svg Heir of Doom Doom Aspect.svg Seer of Blood Blood Aspect.svg
Aries.svg Damara Megido Taurus.svg Rufioh Nitram Gemini.svg Mituna Captor Kankri Vantas
Mage of Heart Heart Aspect.svg Maid of Space Space Aspect.svg Knight of Mind Mind Aspect.svg Sylph of Light Light Aspect.svg
Leo.svg Meulin Leijon Virgo.svg Porrim Maryam Libra.svg Latula Pyrope Scorpio.svg Aranea Serket
Page of Void Void Aspect.svg Prince of Rage Rage Aspect.svg Bard of Hope Hope Aspect.svg Thief of Life Life Aspect.svg
Sagittarius.svg Horuss Zahhak Capricorn.svg Kurloz Makara Aquarius.svg Cronus Ampora Pisces.svg Meenah Peixes
Cherubs
Muse of Space Space Aspect.svg Lord of Time Time Aspect.svg
Calliope symbol.png Calliope (Alt) Caliborn symbol.png Caliborn
uranianUmbra [UU] undyingUmbrage [uu]
Guardians
Dad Roxy Lalonde
(pre-scratch)
Dirk Strider
(pre-scratch)
Becquerel
God Cat Rose Lalonde
(post-scratch)
Dave Strider
(post-scratch)
Brobot
Supporting
Characters
Jane Egbert Jaspers Lil Cal Jake Harley
John Crocker Mutie Lil Hal Jade English
Sprites
Nannasprite Jaspersprite Calsprite
Davesprite
Jadesprite
Tavrisprite
Gcatavrosprite
Fefetasprite
Jasprosesprite^2
Arquiusprite Erisolsprite
Davepetasprite^2
Carapacians /
Exiles
Wayward Vagabond Peregrine Mendicant Aimless Renegade Windswept Questant Writ Keeper
Agents
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
Denizens
Typheus Cetus Hephaestus Echidna
Hemera Nix Yaldabaoth Abraxas
Consorts
Salamanders Turtles Crocodiles Iguanas
Underlings
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
SburbLogotype.png
NPCs SpritesUnderlingsDenizensConsortsFirst guardiansCarapacians/ExilesLeprechauns
Locations (starting planet) Command stationsForgeFrog Temple
Locations (Incipisphere) The MediumThe Veil/Ectobiology labsSkaiaProspit/DersePlanetsThe Seven Gates
Concepts PrototypingEctobiologyGod tiering (Mythological roles) • Grist/Ultimate AlchemyBoondollarsFraymotifsDream selvesPhernaliaThe ScratchNull sessionsInternet
Related concepts SylladexSkaianetCrockercorp
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