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Quadrant diagram

The four quadrants as depicted on the walls of Nepeta Leijon's cave.HS

Quadrants are the four different types of romance recognized by trolls, first explained through exposition here.HS As humans are socialised to expect their single type of romance, a concept that can be defined by a single symbol (<3), so are trolls on both Beforus and Alternia conditioned to strive for four distinct types. Humans are shown to be able to have pitch HS and ashen HS feelings and cherubs are naturally inclined only towards kismesissitude HS. They are a frustratingly difficult concept for humans to grasp, so much so that in response to a callous remarkHS, Andrew Hussie trolls the readers by forcing us to read the troll relationship info all over again,HS BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK.

The quadrants primarily exist to facilitate the complicated reproduction of trolls. When the IMPERIAL DRONE comes knocking, you had better be able to supply genetic material to each of his FILIAL PAILS. Therefore, having a stable matesprit and kismesis is a matter of life and death for trolls. Because of these high stakes and the frequency of lesser feuds that might encroach on exclusive kismesis relationships, auspisticism is a necessary quadrant to prevent widespread infidelity and death. Likewise, moirallegience exists to prevent violence and death, though it is not related to the other quadrants.

These needs explain why all four quadrants are described specifically with the word "romance." Humans, due to their only means of reproduction being heterosexual, usually feel strongly about finding a matesprit and often have a strong belief in true love. (This description is of course not as black and white due to the varying nature of humans' sexuality and gender expression, but for the purpose of explanation it is simpler to leave it at that.) Therefore, trolls feel equally strong about having relationships of both red and black nature, because it correlates directly with their reproductive habits.

Trolls do not differentiate by genderHS when it comes to their relationships - the very idea is foreign to them.

Quadrant Vacillation[]

The boundaries between the relationships are fluid, and trolls, like humans, have to find the right balance between the emotions. Karkat and his friends, still being quite young, are particularly confused by the complexities of troll romance, and in most cases are far from discovering true romance in any quadrant. Quadrant vacillation is the tendency for relationships to switch or flicker back and forth between different quadrants. Due to the complex nature of troll romance and its volatility, it is not uncommon.

Matesprit/Kismesis double reacharound[]

Often in quadrant vacillations one party will have red feelings while the other one has black feelings. Usually one party will adjust their feelings to match their partner's emotions, but this is not always the case.

This sort of relationship volatility is one of the reasons why auspisticism is an important part of troll culture.

Vacillation from black to red is often drawn from the feelings of respect and admiration that are the other half of spades-type emotions (the first half being just hatred). As Karkat puts it, THE POSITIVE QUALITIES YOU SEE DEEP DOWN IN A KISMESIS ALSO SERVE AS THE BASIS FOR RED FEELINGS TOWARD THAT PERSONHS.

Double reacharound pairs may correspond with the ancient Greek concept of μανία (mania), or "highly volatile/obsessive love".

Group Vacillation[]

Vacillating Quadrangle

A simple Quadrangle undergoing vacillation.

Due to the multiple relationship types and the demands of troll society, trolls form groups and chains of Matesprits and Kismesises. A quadrangle is the simplest complete form of such a group of relationships. It consists of four trolls with two Matespritships and two Kismesissitude between them. If one pairing in a relationship group swaps its relationship type, it can force all other relationships within the group to swap as well.


A troll disease which spreads among groups if not carefully controlled. Equius says that in troll language, the word for friend is exactly the same as the word for enemy, even though both words are said separately in this conversationHS, which he has with Gamzee right afterwards, and Terezi specifically mentions the concept of H4T3FR13NDSHS.

Friendship corresponds with the ancient Greek concept of φιλία (philía), or "love between peers," which humans inexplicably believe to be a good and powerful thing. As a prank, John refers to it as an emotion in a conversationHS with Karkat, but laterHS (from Karkat's perspective, earlier from his own) insists that it is not.

Aradiabot refers to Karkat as being her friend in Alterniabound, and many other trolls appear to have amicable relationships with one another.

Troll emotions and society[]

Karkat has statedHS that trolls are driven by the two primary emotions, hate and pity. As he is young and idealistic, this is probably an oversimplification, as Marquise Spinneret Mindfang has used the word "love"HS in reference to her flushed feelings for one of the slaves she took. The words hate and pity also do not seem to be direct translations to the human concepts; the concept of pity is strongly linked with empathy and understanding - a troll who pities another wouldn't want that troll to be culled. The concept of hatred is strongly linked with passion.

Though the Beforan trolls were not subject to the corruption of society by outside forces that the Alternian trolls were, they subscribe to the same quadrants. Though Beforus was more peaceful, they still had the same method of reproduction to consider. It is unclear as to whether this was compulsory as it was in Alternia. Kankri has implied that at least on Beforus, some trolls are incapable of feeling the emotions required for certain quadrants similar to the human concept of asexuality, or even if they do, may choose not to engage in certain romantic configurations.

Examples of quadrant relationships[]

Known moirails[]

Possible moirails or pale crushes[]

Known auspistices[]

  • Kanaya between Vriska and Tavros. Yet it failed, because she was too worked up on her own feelings to grasp the situation and now it's all gone down the slime tube.
  • Nepeta believes Jade to be auspisticizing between Karkat's past and future selves.
  • Doc Scratch between Snowman and Spades Slick, as seen here.HS
  • The Courtyard Droll (apparently) between Liv Tyler and the Wizardly Vassal, hereHS. The text does say he "mediates between the two bickering parties" and to top it off, the eyepatch he makes for Liv Tyler is a club badge.
  • Vriska was mentionedHS. to have demonstrated Strangely Natural Proficiency With Auspisticism when it came to intruding Kanaya's and Rose's privacy for the sake of keeping the latter sober and busy with her crush. HS

Known potential auspisticisms and ashen crushes[]

  • Kanaya between Rose and The Noble Circle of Horrorterrors. An aborted auspisice. Aborted specifically because Rose informed Kanaya she was auspisticizing through her remarks, and Kanaya would GA: Rather Not Get Stuck In That Kind Of Pattern Again HS.
  • Terezi believed Eridan was asking her to auspisticize between him and Sollux in Alterniabound, but she knew Sollux did not want to be in a relationship with him.
  • Feferi also rejected what she perceived as Eridan's ploy to get her to auspisticize between him and Sollux in Kanaya: Return to the core.
  • Kanaya between Eridan and Vriska. Eridan attempted to get Kanaya to auspisticize between him and Vriska, claiming that as she's the vvillage twwo wwheel devvice wwhen it comes to auspisticing she should be interested, but she rejected him.
  • Kanaya felt the compulsion to auspisticize Gamzee and Karkat as seen hereHS, but Karkat paps her, stopping her as seen hereHS.
  • Kanaya also feels compelled to auspice between Karkat and Dave as seen hereHS, though it has not yet been addressed again.
  • Rose, between Terezi and Gamzee as seen hereHS, as Rose believes the kismesissitude between Terezi and Gamzee could potentially destabilize Terezi's relationship with Dave, and Gamzee's moirallegiance with Karkat.
  • Jade, between Bec Noir and PM in [S] CollideHS. Unfortunately, PM got annoyed and punched Jade.

Known kismesissitudes[]

  • Jack Noir and the Black Queen. Andrew stated "troll players could immediately place it as a dead ringer for kismesissitude." Even in the form of Snowman, the BQ continues to taunt Spades Slick.
  • Eridan and Vriska, until Vriska broke things off.
  • Karkat believes he might be his own kismesis. The only opponent he's ever really felt strongly about were his past and future selves, who he has spent most of his recent time on Trollian arguing with, even after meeting the kids. According to Terezi, he has become obsessed with arguing with his past and future selves.
  • Marquise Spinneret Mindfang and Orphaner Dualscar, until Dualscar ended the relationship.
  • Terezi and Gamzee (pre-retcon). During Openbound, Gamzee stated that they were in the shadows about it, since he believed Karkat would most likely want to kill him if he found out. ThisHS discussion between Karkat and Dave proves this belief wrong however; he had known for a long time and, while he severely disapproved, was purposefully not taking action. Finding her half-naked and covered in Faygo, however, Karkat attempted to convince her to break it off, while Terezi confessed that while she is incredibly unhappy with the relationship, she finds herself unable to break it off because the very things she finds infuriating and repulsive about him are what makes him so irresistible and alluring as a kismesis.
  • Tagora and Galekh. Originally stated to have mutual pitch crushes, they eventually become a black couple off-screen at some point between Hiveswap Friendship Simulator Volumes Twelve and Fourteen, as confirmed in Marsti 's route when the player interacts with Galekh's lusus. (Dubiously Canon)
  • Gamzee and Jane (Epilogues - Candy timeline) (Dubiously Canon)
  • Tavros Crocker and Vriska Maryam-Lalonde (Epilogues - Candy timeline) (Dubiously Canon)
  • Jake and Jane (Epilogues - Candy timeline) (Dubiously Canon)

Known pitch crushes[]

  • Eridan for Rose. He solicits her, citing what he perceives to be similarities between the two of them as reasons why they would make a good rivalry: noble blood and diabolical theatrics. She blows up his computer, which seems to only exacerbate his feelings towards her.
  • Karkat for John, as shown in Act 5 Act 2HS. Over time, the feeling changes to this human emotion called friendship.
  • Gamzee for Dave, as shown hereHS. (Or possibly for Insane Clown Posse, after seeing their video.)
  • Terezi and Vriska have developed a rivalry that several characters explicitly recognize as a potential kismesissitude; Nepeta includes it on her shipping wall.
  • Prospitian Monarch for Bec Noir as shown hereHS.
  • Eridan for Sollux as shown in Alterniabound, although Feferi dismisses it as a ploy to lure her into auspisticing in order to pull her and Sollux out of their flushed relationship.
  • John and Terezi as shown hereHS and hereHS.

Possible pitch crushes[]

Possible matesprit/kismesis double reacharound pairs include[]

Possible Quadrant Vacillations include[]

  • Karkat and Dave with Terezi (proposed by Karkat but rejected by Dave, pre-retcon). HS