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Blood redirects here. For the aspect, see Blood (Aspect).
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The hemospectrum is the series of twelve blood colors possessed by trolls, forming the basis of the Alternian caste system. Lusii share these blood colors, and often or always have the same blood color as their charge.

A troll's sign is assigned based on their blood color, each caste having a huge alpha8etHS of them. The Extended Zodiac represents the canonical extended set of troll symbols, showing 24 signs for each caste. All trolls wear their sign somewhere on their clothing in the same color as their blood, with many trolls such as Eridan and Nepeta choosing to wear additional accessories in their blood color. Many trolls also type in their blood color, a practice similar to a quirk called hemotyping, the old tradition whereby one types in his or her own blood coloUr.HS.

Cherubs also possess multiple blood colors, though in a two-color binary rather than a spectrum.

Rust • Bronze • Gold • Lime • Olive • Jade • Teal • Blue • Indigo • Purple • Violet • Fuchsia


Biology

Troll blood is colored by an ingredient similar to melanin specific to their position on the hemospectrum which saturates much of their bodies, including theirHS tearsHS. These colors are also found among lusii, who take care of trolls with the same blood color. The heat of [a lower caste member's] touchHS can be used to tell the likely range of a troll's blood, indicating that a troll's average body temperature may go down as one goes up the spectrum.

Lifespan and population

Trolls higher on the hemospectrum have longer lifespans, with rust bloods usually living only a dozen or two sweepsHS (26 to 50 years) and most lower blood castes living roughly as long as a human, with green castes having lifespans extending above a hundred years. Blue bloods live centuriesHS longer than bronze bloods, and fuchsia bloods have an unparalleled lifespan of hundreds of thousands of years, or perhaps millions.

The relative population of each caste is inverse to their lifespan, with lower classes being much more copious than higher classes, and fuchsia bloods numbering only two. The exception to this are the jade bloods, which Andrew Hussie says "probably have the smallest population of any individual class, aside from fuchsia".[1]

The ratio of males and females can differ across castes, with jade bloods being described as an almost exclusively female caste[2], and only female fuchsia bloods being known. Blues, indigoes and purples are also described as being generally male-do+minated castes[3], although it's unclear if this refers to the gender ratio or merely means men hold the most power in these castes.

Psychic powers

LOW8LOODS

Mindfang manipulating some impressiona8leHS lowbloods.

Trolls of lower blood are more prone to possessing psychic powers, with telekinesis common to both rust and gold bloods, and animal communion being typical of bronze bloodsHS. These psychic trolls can be difficult to manipulateHS with mind control, but they are in exchange more psychically susceptibleHS to Gl'bgolyb's Vast Glub and are the first to die when it occurs.

Some higher castes are also prone to specific psychic powers. Sometimes those of Aranea's 8lood typeHS are able to access another's mind to the extent of mind control and psychic manipulation. Purple bloods also have access to REAL HARSHWHIMSIESHS called chucklevoodoos which allow them to psychically amplify fears through dreams and manifest variousHS puppetsHS inside them.

Sea dwellers

Trolls of the highest two castes are sea dwellers, a sub-race of troll distinct from the commoners by mutation and habitatHS, recognizable by the fins on the sides of their faces. Sea dwellers also have at least partially different internal anatomy to land dwellers, including a Collapsing And Expanding Bladder Based Aquatic Vascular SystemHS.

Mutant colors

Unlike all other trolls, Karkat and Kankri Vantas' blood is the same color as that of humans, carapacians, leprechauns, and malevolent cherubs. Though not true mutants, in the sense that their nature as paradox clones means they have no "natural"-colored ancestors, their blood is referred to as mutant candy-redHS for its lack of a place in the established hemospectrum. Doc Scratch also suggestsHS that this mutation was also the source of visions the Signless experienced throughout his life.

Because of the rarity of this color, Karkat's ancestor was unable to receive a signHS or be selected by any lusus,HS and was instead raised by another troll; his lack of place in the Alternian social order made him a pariah, forcing him to wander the world alone for many sweeps, concealing the color of his blood to avoid certain execution. Though the Signless' blood color has no true place on the hemospectrum, the sign given to Karkat after his ancestor's death sits between the gold Gemini and olive Leo signs in Earth's zodiac; this duality of lime and red is reflected in the cherubs, and alluded to in the Extended Zodiac, which states that Cancer, even though it technically belongs to the Lime Sign Class [...] for mysterious reasons, transcends the Sign Class Spectrum altogether.

Caste system

The caste system on Alternia follows a strict hierarchy up the hemospectrum in order of hue, with rust the lowest, bronze above rust, upward to fuchsia, the highest.

The term 'lowblood' is used to refer to the castes on the lower end of the spectrum, such as rustHS, but also to refer toHS blue bloods by trolls of a higher caste. Similarly the word 'peasant' is frequentlyHS usedHS toHS refer to trolls of lower castes, but 'peasantblood' is used by Gamzee to refer toHS Equius.

The term 'highblood' is usedHS mostlyHS toHS refer to members of the purple caste, and used as a properHS nounHS refers to the leaders of the land dwelling castes, described as a a self-governing bodyHS kept in check by the sea dwellers led by Her Imperious Condescension. The carrier of the Grand Highblood title presumably holds a high position among the Highbloods. These Highbloods would seem to be synonymous with with subjugglators, who use their psychic chucklevoodoos to quell rebellion among their governed.

The sea dwelling castes make up Alternia's royaltyHS and are a caste which rules over the entire species. Despite this and their position above the land dwelling highbloods on the hemospectrum, sea dwellers and land dwelling highbloods have a rivalry codified in traditionHS and are obligated to be at odds.

The two fuchsia bloods form the highest caste. Her Imperious Condescension holds the highest position in the empire, able to use her lusus' powers to threaten the castes below into submissionHS. Her descendants are heiresses to her throne, and are expected to challenge her for it upon reaching maturityHS.

Cherub blood

Lime
Candy red
Main article: Cherub

Cherubs have two different blood colors: rather than forming a hierarchic caste system, they act as representations of a moral alignment, predisposed to either creation or destruction. Biologically they serve a similar purpose to reproductive sexes, with green blooded cherubs only able to reproduce with red blooded cherubs.

Trivia

  • Most of the blood colors on the hemospectrum are distributed at roughly 30° angles on the HSV color system, deviating by only a few degrees. Lime and olive blood have the largest deviation, sitting at 73° and 82° rather than 90° and 120°, respectively. Olive sits between gold and jade rather than lime and jade due to being introduced later than the other 11 castes; however these hue deviations also help the two colors appear more visually distinct (as green has the largest hue range on the color wheel out of all primary and secondary colors).

References

  1. Andrew Hussie. "Another (Jade-like) pattern-breaking feature of Kanaya's character is that she's diurnal and thrives in the sun. Most trolls have a dash of cheesy pop culture linked to their profile. With Kanaya, if you're detecting notes of Twilight, you're not crazy. This also signals that jade bloods are rare relative to populations of other classes. Hard to say how rare, exactly. Considering she gets the "one of the few of your kind" refrain, jade bloods probably have the smallest population of any individual class, aside from fuchsia (which numbers exactly one on the entire planet, as you'll see soon). It's a class that has more to with breeding administration than other types of grunt work, for which much bigger populations would be more useful. Even so, Kanaya seems to be more notable than the average member of her class (which, admittedly, is true for most of these characters), in that she was chosen by a virgin mother grub. Her later-revealed vampiric qualities also seem to be unusual for her class, although I don't think it's ever really confirmed how unusual or common that trait is among jades. Since in the main Homestuck narrative we only ever get one solid example of each blood type, it tends to be left as a point of speculation how representative that one character is of the rest of their class." Homestuck: Book 4: Act 5 Act 1, p. 272. February 12, 2019.
  2. Openbound part 1.HS ARANEA: On 8eforus, well 8efore her drinker a8ilities had awakened, she grew up in the caste almost solely devoted to tending to the mother gru8, hatching the young and proliferating the 8rood. The jade 8loods were also an almost exclusively female caste, and she 8egan to resent the roles she was hatched into, designated for 8oth her class and gender. She challenged these roles wherever they existed in 8eforan society, as well as where she found them woven into our session, in kingdoms, class assignments, consort culture and the like.
  3. Openbound part 1.HS PORRIM: Yo+u can pretend to+ misunderstand all yo+u want, but we've talked abo+ut this befo+re and I kno+w yo+u're smarter abo+ut this than yo+u let o+n. We were raised in what was a fo+rmally "matriarchal so+ciety", which has always been used as a shield to+ do+wnplay clear instances o+f female o+ppressio+n and o+bfuscate the relevance o+f gender ro+les, particularly where they're weighted against females. But anyo+ne who+'s lo+o+ked at o+ur so+ciety mo+re ho+nestly can see that while, yes, it is superficially o+bserved as a matriarchy o+n a fuschia-do+wn basis, o+n a practical level all o+f the enfo+rcement and po+litical po+wer go+verning mo+st classes was delegated to+ the higher CIPs, which were generally male-do+minated castes. They go+t to+ co+ntro+l the agenda and dictate the so+cial co+nventio+ns, and anyo+ne who+ dared to+ o+bject o+r bring light to+ this co+uld always be co+untered with "Hey! Matriarchy! End o+f discussio+n."
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