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Beta exiles

The kids' exiles gathered on the post-apocalyptic Earth.

Exiles are carapacians who have either left or been banished from their home kingdoms of Prospit or Derse in the Medium to the surface of the Heroes' Reckoning-ravaged home planet; while they may take new names in their new lives, these almost always have the same initials as their old titles. Once there, they perform various background tasks essential to the operation of a game of Sburb using the command stations scattered across the planet's surface.

To survive the harsh conditions of a post-apocalyptic desert, exiles are known to wrap themselves in whatever they can find, which inevitably fades to the appearance of a dull grey or brown robe after hundreds of years of wandering.

Concept and creation[]

By sitting at computers and sending commands to the Heroes of Sburb, the exiles act as surrogates for Homestuck's audience itself; their existence is the in-universe justification for the commands associated with each page of the comic.[1][2] Their mysterious, sometimes helpful and sometimes abrasive nature makes them similar to the trolls, who serve a similar purpose later on in Homestuck's story, and even later Caliborn, who combines both of these roles together[3] (see B2 below).

Purpose[]

As guides[]

Base within LE's vault

An exile observing the beginning of a Hero's quest.HS

The exiles 4R3NT M34NT TO B3 4N OBV1OUS 4SP3CT OF TH3 G4M3HS; using the terminals at their command stations, they nudge the Heroes in the right direction with commands which are usually only perceived subconsciously by the Hero in question.[citation needed] Some Heroes, however, such as Rose LalondeHSand Terezi PyropeHS, are able to "hear" or understand these commands clearly, even to the extent of having fluent conversationsHS with their exile, possibly owing to the extrasensory abilities of Seers.

While each Hero seems to have one particular station associated with them, and in the case of the B1 session each Hero had one exile associated with them, it is possible for there to be additional exiles who do not communicate directly with any Hero - such as the Writ Keeper - and, as switching between screens on the command terminal is possible, some exiles - such as Snowman - have been observed communicating with more than one Hero. As such, it is not clear that there is any strict relationship between the number of Heroes and the number of exiles in any given session.

As terraformers[]

More broadly, the exiles' role is to R3BU1LD L1F3 4ND C1V1L1Z4T1ONHS on the dead world to which they have been exiled, presumably using the appearifiers, sendificators and other advanced technology provided to them in their command stations to restore the planet. 1F TH3YR3 SUCC3SSFUL 1N THOUS4NDS OR M1LL1ONS OF Y34RS TH3 T3CHNOLOGY 1S UN34RTH3D 4ND TH3 PL4N3T 1S R1P3 FOR S33D1NG 4LL OV3R 4G41N, likely explaining the similarly advanced technology distributed by Skaianet prior to the release of the Sburb beta on Earth. In Andrew Hussie's words, "This is the essence of the universal creation cycle. Sacrifice the old to make way for the new. Life rises again from the ashes of the old. Rinse and repeat", his commentary in the Homestuck books also suggesting that Earth has undergone this process many times before.[4] While possibly an atypical session end result, the carapacians overseeing the ectobiological repopulation of Earth C as depicted in the Credits may offer a glimpse into how this re-seeding happens.

Exiles eating

Exiles settling a dispute in a rational, diplomatic manner.HS

Handily, in many cases exiles express keen interest in civil service and other roles that could be useful for the resurrection of a civilization: the Wayward Vagabond is an avid believer in democracy; the Peregrine Mendicant sees mail as the one final hope for resurrecting a dead planet from its ashesHS and letter carriers as defenders of the light of knowledge, free communication, and the exchange of ideas; the Aimless Renegade is a staunch defender of the rule of law; and the Windswept Questant, an institution in her own right, saw fit to bring a ship full of her subjects with her to repopulate the dead land.[citation needed] While such roles are not immediately obvious among Spades Slick and his Midnight Crew, he is evidently a highly capable town plannerHS.

Other roles[]

Terezi hypothesizes that some of the exiles' most important contributions 4R3 TH3S3 L1TTL3 TH1NGS TH3Y DO PROB4BLY W1THOUT 3V3N R34L1Z1NG 1T [...] 4CT1ONS TH4T COMPL3T3 LOOPS 1N TH3 T1M3L1NE, likening them to COGS 1N P4R4DOX SP4C3, or what might be called non-player characters in more traditional game development parlance. Befitting this time loop theory, many exiles interact with their associated Heroes in small or significant ways prior to being exiled, with Clubs Deuce interacting with Sollux Captor in two ways at onceHS, and Spades Slick adventuring withHS Karkat Vantas long before he discovered his command terminal.

Known exiles[]

A2[]

A2's exiles play a role in the continuation of Vriska Serket's drama with Tavros Nitram and Aradia Megido, with Hearts Boxcars pushing TavrosHS into initiating a romance with Vriska while Diamonds Droog meanwhile insists that Aradia make her payHS for what she has done; their enemy Snowman, meanwhile, communicates with both members of Vriska and Terezi's Team Scourge.

Snowman, of course also the 8th member of the Felt, is called the 8th exileHS. While this may indicate at least 3 other exiles on post-Reckoning Alternia never named or pictured, it may also serve as a continuation of her Prospitian counterpart being called the Fourth ExileHS, with Slick's late arrivalHS to his command station making him the ninth.

B1[]

B1's exiles begin to meet in the year 2422, four-hundred and thirteen years after the Reckoning began, eventually converging around what was once a Pacific island.

B2[]

Exile with crowbar

One of the Condesce's carapacian subjects.

Because a void session has no Reckoning, there was little opportunity for carapacians to be exiled from the B2 session. After the Condesce's hostile takeover of Derse, however, she made use of the gateways between the session and Earth to bring carapacian settlers to her flooded planet in the hopes that their loyalty to their queen would make them better subjects than the dwindling human population. They were settled on floating colonies seemingly grown from the same Skaianet technology as the Lalonde home.HS

Caliborn exile station

Just as the Frog Temple and Heroes' meteors all made their way to the post-scratch Earth, however, it seems that at least one command station may have landed there: many hundreds of years after even the Condesce left Earth, and after the completion of his quest, Caliborn continues to manipulate the story and bother its inhabitants from a single-monitorHS station somewhere on the dead Earth's surface. Similarly, while not an exiled carapacian himself, the author Andrew Hussie bothers Caliborn through a computer terminal which Caliborn experiences as a voice in his head.HS

Trivia[]

References[]

  1. Andrew Hussie. "Here's a little taste of the gameplay. You click on a thing and a menu pops up, which includes what is...technically a text command that is being entered by...the player of Homestuck? (Who has at this point been revealed to be any given exile, operating the post-apocalypse Sburb station.) It's pretty esoteric. But you don't need to think about any of this to play the game, get a sense of John's rad land, meet some scurrilous foes in need of a bashing, and feel like a cool hero." Homestuck: Book 3: Act 4, p. 9.
  2. Andrew Hussie. "Here we retroactively learn that it was PM issuing the commands all along during the game at the start of this act. We should have guessed, since her diction is so much better than WV's keymashing. The first walkaround game in John's house established the precedent that—since the reader of the story is now directly controlling John and therefore can't be issuing commands in the usual sense—the commands inside the game are being issued by an in-story character known as an exile, from a terminal appropriate for that purpose." Homestuck: Book 3: Act 4, p. 65.
  3. Andrew Hussie. "The first four lines Karkat says here literally sound like they could be a disgruntled Homestuck fan talking smack about me as they scan backwards through the story. Which sounds like a funny thing for me to say—and it is—but it's also not that remarkable, since at any given moment Homestuck is full of surrogates for various factions of the readership. Basically any character who is viewing the actions of other characters on a screen can be seen as a consumer of that story through some form of in-canon digital media. Whether they type in character commands like the exiles, or use Trollian to skip around the "archive" in a nonlinear way like the trolls do, for the sake of "adventure analysis" or to heap scorn on those involved, every narrative-viewing character is temporarily filling the role of the Homestuck reader from a certain angle. Later, cherubs become the ultimate distillation of the idea." Homestuck: Book 3: Act 4, p. 228.
  4. Andrew Hussie. "Skaia activates its defenses in response to the Reckoning. The fact that the portals send things back in time, toward Earth, is a secondary purpose. The primary purpose is just to catch meteors and protect the Battlefield, allowing the players as much time as possible to defeat the king and create the universe. But the longer the Reckoning goes on, the more meteors come, and the more Skaia struggles to defend itself with portals. Unfortunately, every meteor it successfully diverts is sent to Earth, which is another nail in its coffin. Skaia sacrifices the planet of origin so that its child (a new universe) may have a chance to be born. But it simultaneously seeds the dead planet with the potential for new life and civilization (exiles), and retroactively seeds the planet with the children who would fertilize Skaia with the new universe. This is the essence of the universal creation cycle. Sacrifice the old to make way for the new. Life rises again from the ashes of the old. Rinse and repeat. Something else to wonder: how often has Earth itself been through this process before humanity came along?" Homestuck: Book 3: Act 4, p. 459.


Homestuck Characters
Pre-scratch
Kids
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]
Post-scratch
Kids
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]
Post-scratch
Trolls
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]
Pre-scratch
Trolls
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
Cherubs
Muse of Space Space Aspect Lord of Time Time Aspect
Calliope symbol Calliope (Alt) Caliborn symbol 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
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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